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July 29, 2011 - 7:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC.

When classes begin at Genesee Community College in the fall, the name of one assistant professor will be new to many students, but the teacher won't be.

Candice Faulring, entering her fifth year of teaching at GCC, will be known as Ms. Vacin from now on.

On Monday, Candice, 37, and her partner Sara Vacin, 35, became among the first 1,600 same-sex couples in New York to enter into a legal marriage.

"It's really exciting," Faulring said.

Now in the third year and fourth month of their relationship, Candice and Sara have been talking about marriage since their first anniversary. Sara proposed on New Year's Eve 2008.

They expected the Marriage Equality Act to pass in 2009 and had planned a big ceremony for last summer.  

After they got over the disappointment of the legislation failing in the Senate, they went to Canada to get married.

But that still wasn't the same as having a legally recognized marriage in New York, said Candice, who is originally from Lewiston. 

"When we told people we were married, it always seemed like they were thinking we were like kids having a tea party, or kids doing something that only adults do for real," Candice said. "This is a legal marriage with all the rights and responsibilities that go with marriage, so it's much more significant."

The Vacins, who live in North Buffalo, took part in a group wedding at Niagara Falls where 45 same-sex couples were married on Monday.

When the Marriage Equality Act came before the Senate again this year, Candice said she was live blogging and tweeting developments for four days. When the vote finally came, she was with a group of friends.

"We got together to watch the vote," Candice said. "It was very emotional (that day), as was our arrival at Niagara Falls on Monday. I didn't think it would be as emotional as it was."

Legalized same-sex marriage has had a tremendous impact on her outlook on life, Candice said.

"After the vote, I walked around feeling different," Candice said. "I walked around feeling validated and that I didn’t have to hide anymore."

Photo: Submitted by Candice Vacin (left) and Sara Vacin (right).

July 29, 2011 - 7:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A 23-year-old East Main Street resident has been charged with assault in the first degree for allegedly running down a pedestrian June 6 while on Central Avenue.

The pedestrian suffered serious injuries and was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital.

Jailed on $10,000 bail following arraignment in Genesee County Court today was Brandon K. Macioszek, of 519 E. Main St., Batavia.

Macioszek was indicted by the Genesee County Grand Jury on the assault charge, which was sought following an investigation into the incident.

On June 7, Macioszek was issued traffic citations by Darryl Streeter for alleged aggravated unlicensed operation and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

July 29, 2011 - 6:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, kathy hochul.

Press release:

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul offered the Democrats’ final argument against Speaker John Boehner’s plan that only aims to postpone a U.S. default by six months, while drastically cutting discretionary spending.

“Never in our history has there been an intentional disaster, perpetrated by the very people who were elected to be the caretakers of this country,” said Congresswoman Hochul.  “That is exactly what will happen if we refuse to take action to prevent default and pay our nation’s bills now."

Congresswoman Hochul introduced her own amendment that would prioritize where spending cuts come from: cutting subsidies to Big Oil and corporate jets owners, before cutting education funding.

“Tell me why at a time when we all agree that the deficit must be reduced, we don’t ask Big Oil and companies with corporate jets to help out the country that helped them.

“Seaman’s Hardware Store in Genesee County pays more in federal taxes than many companies that are enjoying off the chart profits, while some of my constituents can barely afford to fill a gas tank so they can get to their minimum wage jobs at the dollar discount store.

[PART OF PREPARED REMARKS]

“There is one value we all share and that is fairness. Two things that are fundamentally unfair about this plan: It is unfair to put this country through this disgraceful, political gamesmanship again in another 6 months. 

“It is also unfair to cut money from education.  Education is the one chance for economic equality among our young people, and the one shot for them to reach their full potential.

“By making tax loopholes and tax breaks for Big Oil and corporate jets a priority over education, we are harming the economic engines across the country, and particularly in my district: our colleges and universities.  University at Buffalo, Geneseo, SUNY Brockport, Erie and Genesee Community Colleges – each is critical to our local economy and to the future of our students.”

July 29, 2011 - 11:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

More than an inch of rain has already fallen on Genesee County this morning and more than an inch more is expected by 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

There is an increased chance of flooding on roadways.

Creeks and streams may see water levels rise with some cresting at the top of their banks.

A front of heavy rain showers and thunderstorms are expected to move through the area from now until 1 p.m.

Areas with poor drainage are expected to flood.

The weather service warns that most flood-related deaths are come people driving across flooded roads.

"Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear," warns the weather service. "Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road."

July 29, 2011 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A Batavia resident wanted on a warrant out of city court was arrested Thursday and allegedly found in possession of a quantity of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

Members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task force went to the home of Ryan M. Shrauger, 42, of Hull Park, Batavia, to arrest him on the warrant.

While inside Shrauger's home, investigators allegedly found drugs and drug-related items.

Shrauger was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd.

Following court arraignment, he was jailed on $2,500 bail.

July 29, 2011 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A 59-year-old Ellicott Street resident has been arrested by members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force as part of an ongoing investigation into suspected cocaine dealing in Batavia.

A search warrant was served on Julious "Fatboy" Murphy on Thursday afternoon for his home and car.

Officials say they found a quantity of cocaine, a quantity of U.S. currency and five weapons.

Murphy is being charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal possession of a weapon, 4th.

Following arraignment in Batavia City Court, Murphy was jailed on $5,000 bail.

July 28, 2011 - 8:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C – Batavia) recently attended a press conference at Monroe Community College announcing the creation of the area’s first Regional Economic Development Council. Joining Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy, Hawley expressed his optimism to see such hands-on efforts to improve the economy here in Western New York.

“Today signals the beginning of a new day for the Western New York economy,” Hawley said. “I am especially pleased to see that Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy will be the chair of all 10 regional councils. Hailing from our region, he has been a tremendous advocate on behalf of Western New York, and I have full confidence that he will be even more helpful in this new capacity.

"I have had a number of face-to-face and phone conversations with him to discuss the priorities facing the business owners and job creators in my district, and I know that the formation of this regional council will only continue to spur the growth and revitalization of Western New York’s economy.”

Ten regional economic development councils will be created across the state to compete for $1 billion in funding that will be geared toward jump-starting local economies. The panels are comprised of leaders from government, business and academia, and will partner with community leaders and state legislators to craft projects that will benefit their geographic and demographic needs.

July 28, 2011 - 7:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, kathy hochul.

Press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul was appointed to the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) for the duration of the 112th Congress. 

“I am honored to join the House Armed Services Committee and work to help the brave men and women of our Armed Forces,” Congresswoman Hochul said. “The thousands of valiant Americans who serve our country every day deserve Representatives that will fight to give them the proper resources needed to do their jobs accurately, but more importantly, safely.  I also look forward to reaching out and helping all of our veterans, who have done so much to help our great nation.”

“As a Member of Congress from a region with thousands and thousands of Armed Service men and women, Congresswoman Hochul will bring a perspective that fits well with the House Armed Services Committee,” said Ranking Member Adam Smith. “I know Kathy will be a strong advocate for all of our men and women in uniform and will ensure that each of them have the tools and resources needed to ensure America’s safety and security. I look forward to working with her.”

Western New York and the Finger Lakes Region have seen over $1 billion of direct investments into our country from defense contracts; creating thousands of jobs and spurring the Upstate economy. 

Hochul added, “At just the Niagara Falls Airforce Reserve and National Guard, we have 2,800 men and women stationed, not only looking out for our security and well being, but investing in local businesses. Those jobs help spur our economy and help our businesses create even more spill-over jobs.”

Congresswoman Hochul already serves as a Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, where in the last two months she has met with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, offered an amendment in Committee, which passed with near unanimous consent, and sponsored legislation that would ensure the safety of Americans at our borders and airports.

July 28, 2011 - 6:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

The case of a burglary at Le Roy Central School over the weekend has been solved, according to Le Roy Police.

A 24-year-old village resident and a juvenile have been charged with burglary, 3rd, and grand larceny, 4th.

The duo, along with an alleged accomplice, are accused of stealing a computer system, several cameras and camcorders. Some of the property has been recovered.

Charged were Kyle Nash, of 7 Myrtle St., Le Roy, and a 15-year-old suspect whose name was not released.

Bishop Williams, 18, of 106 Lake St., Le Roy, was charged with criminal trespass, 3rd. Williams is accused of being on school property, but he reportedly left before the alleged burglary took place.

Assisting in the investigation was the Le Roy School District and the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

UPDATE 7:40 p.m.: Based on a scanner conversation: A mother learned of "the situation" shortly after this post went up and spoke with a son about it and he surrendered some cameras to her (the mother-son relationship is a bit of an assumption). A police officer said, "the cameras appear to have come from the burglary at the school the other night."

July 28, 2011 - 6:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford.

Deborah Maniace would have turned 48 today, but she wasn't give that chance.

Nearly a year ago, early in the morning on Aug. 8, Maniace somehow plummeted more than 30 feet to her death from a bridge on Clinton Street Road, Stafford, where it crosses the CSX railroad line.

Today, her family gathered on the bridge to grieve, remember and ask the community for help -- somebody saw something or knows something that could help close this case.

"I don't feel it was accidental, and I don't feel it was intentional," said Justina Maniace, Deborah's oldest daughter. "I feel that somebody did something. And we don't know who...or what."

Deborah's son, daughters, grandchild, sister and other family members gathered for about an hour on the bridge, placed flowers at the scene, and wrote messages to her on balloons before releasing them to float skyward.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said officially, investigators don't know if Maniace jumped, fell or was pushed. They only know the cause of death was blunt force trauma from the fall.

Other than that, there isn't much evidence to explain what happened. 

Officials believe that Maniace had been to the Onion Festival in Elba earlier that day and then went to her boyfriend's house in Stafford. She left the house around 2 a.m. after some sort of dispute and began walking home.

She was carrying her shoes in her hand as she walked over the bridge, Brewster said.  It's a detail he hopes might jar a memory of somebody who drove by and maybe saw something, anything.

And investigators know there was vehicle traffic on Clinton Street Road in those early morning hours because surveillance cameras of nearby businesses recorded passing traffic.

Anybody who has any information that may assist the case, no matter how insignificant the information might seem, should call the Sheriff's Office at 343-5000. Tips can be made anonymously.

July 28, 2011 - 11:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

It wasn't much of a video, but it was just enough to help identify a suspect in two incidents of vandalism in May at the BOCES facility on State Street Road.

The video, posted on The Batavian, led directly to the arrest of a suspect, Christopher Michael Smith, 17, of Porter Avenue.

Smith is accused of subsequently, while the case was under active investigation, returning to BOCES on July 10, and causing more damage.

Smith was also accused last week of causing damage to vehicles at Godwin Pumps on Route 98 and Ashley Furniture on West Saile Drive.

Investigator William Ferrando said if not for reader tips, all five of these cases might still be open.

In connection with the BOCES allegations, Smith is charged with three counts of criminal mischief in the third degree.

Smith is accused of doing damage estimated at $950 on May 21, more than $1,300 on May 29 and more than $800 on July 10.

July 28, 2011 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia Youth Football.

Press release:

Through the kindness of a local benefactor, Batavia Youth Football, celebrating its 45th season, is excited to offer Tri-County cheerleaders and players an anniversary discounted rate for this season. With the matching donation participants will pay just $45 for the upcoming season.

For 45 years Batavia Youth Football has provided 7 – 13 year olds of our community the opportunity to learn the basics of football within a league focused on player development, guaranteed playing time, annually updated equipment and the ability to play all games locally. The 12-team league consists of three divisions that call Lions Park their home with all games being played on Saturdays.  

The league that was started by area businessmen and funded by local companies and service organizations in 1967 has benefited each high school program in the area. Thousands of area players and many high school coaches came through the ranks of Batavia Youth Football and have starred on and coached State Championship teams, won countless Sectional Championships and earned League Champion accolades. 

Any players or cheerleaders who previously paid the standard registration fee will be refunded the difference by the league administration. Also, available through local generosity, prospective participants who find the cost prohibitive a sponsorship program is available.

The league will be holding its final weekend of registration sign-ups at the Genesee Country Mall (Batavia City Centre) July 29th and 30th. Anyone interested in signing up can do so between the times of 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. You can also contact Batavia Youth Football, Inc., at [email protected] or call Steve Grice at 585-344-4636 or Cal Klippel at 585-356-2728.

July 28, 2011 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Darien.

Vyacheslav Migitskiy, 21, of Lake Road, Holley, is charged with DWI, a felony count of DWI (child under 15 in the car), failure to keep right and following too closely. Migitskiy was reportedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident on Colby Road, Darien at 11:57 p.m., Sunday, and then fled the scene. A witness described Migitskiy's vehicle, which was later reportedly spotted on Pearl Street Road, Town of Batavia. Migitskiy was also charged with leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, speed not reasonable or prudent, reckless driving and unsafe passing.

Kimberley Anne Showler, 46, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Showler is accused of shoplifting from Kmart.

Christopher Brian King, 19, of Pearl Street Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and improper left turn. King was allegedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident at 5:17 p.m. Monday, at Route 33 and Hartshorn Road, Town of Batavia. King reportedly made a wide left turn while allegedly driving too fast. He reportedly lost control of his car and struck curbing at the intersection. Two other people were in his vehicle. Nobody was injured.

Benjamin Gove Evans, 22, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Evans is accused of shoplifting from Bed Bath & Beyond in April.

Daniel Frank Martino, 22, of Red Maple Court, Amherst, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and following too closely. Martino was charged following a non-injury accident in the parking lot of Darien Lake. The accident was reported at 11:11 p.m. Tuesday.

Christine U. Rose, 23, of Cedar Place, East Rochester, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI (driving with a BAC of .18 or greater) and unlawful possession of marijuana. Rose was charged after her 1998 Ford Taurus reportedly struck to parked cars at 12:39 a.m. Wednesday on northbound Route 77. There were no injuries reported in the accident. 

Jessica L. Ritch, 29, of North Avenue, North Tonawanda, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Ritch was charged following an investigation into an accident reported at 1:08 a.m. Wednesday in the area of 9993 Alleghany Road, Darien. Ritch's vehicle was reportedly found in a ditch along the road.

Frank Joseph Oddo, 29, of Alleghany Street, Buffalo, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation and no/inadequate exhaust. Oddo was charged following a traffic stop at 11:29 p.m. Tuesday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Christine Lynn Aman, 45, of Big Tree Road, Hamburg, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, failure to obey a police officer and improper turn signal. Aman was stopped at 12:05 a.m. Wednesday after allegedly failing to stop for a deputy directing traffic at the intersection of Route 77 and Sumner Road, Darien.

July 28, 2011 - 9:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

Expectations where high that a plan to transfer ownership of the Le Roy municipal pool to a private volunteer group would save the pool, but the deal fell apart at the last minute.

A group of volunteers rejected the proposal because they didn't want to assume long-term ownership of the pool, and Mayor Ged Brady said state law prevents the village from using volunteer labor to make much needed repairs.

"I don't think any of us (volunteers) want to take over. That was not our purpose," said group leader and former county legislator Mike Welsh. His group's proposal for several weeks has been to raise several thousand dollars, and complete the state-required pool safety repairs on donated volunteer labor. 

Taking over operations of the pool was never part of the group's plans, Welsh said.

"We are certainly not going to accept (the village's deal), because this is not practical," Welsh firmly said. "It's not even reasonable!"

But village trustees said that if the village is going to be the lead agency on pool repairs, state law requires that the job be bid out to contractors and that prevailing wage must be paid to workers.

For more on this story, read the coverage from The Batavian's news partner, WBTA.

July 27, 2011 - 11:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, sports.

A good number of the fans who packed into Dwyer Stadium on Wednesday got what they paid for, and some of them went home disappointed.

The Staten Island Yankees, behind the slugging of #1 draft pick Cito Culver, slammed the Batavia Muckdogs 10-1.

Culver, a Rochester-area native, playing his first game before a sort-of-hometown crowd, didn't take long to give friends, fans and family in the stands something to cheer about, driving a first-inning home run over the right field wall on the third pitch he saw (picture below).

In his third at bat, Culver hit another shot over the right field wall (pictured above) with two runners on base.

The home runs were Culver's HRs of 2011. He's now hitting .295 on the season.

The Muckdogs' (20-19, two games out of first) lone run came on a solo home run from German Medina in the sixth inning.

For the Muckdogs, Joey Bergman had two hits, raising his average to .327. Roberto Reyes also had two hits.

Starter Jose Almarante (2-2) lasted only 3.2 innings getting tagged for seven earned runs and raising his ERA to 4.26.

Culver and the Staten Island Yankees (29-9) return to Dwyer on Thursday. Game time is 11 a.m. The teams meet again on Friday at 7 p.m. (fireworks after the game).

July 27, 2011 - 4:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC.

Press release from the Genesee County Economic Development Center:

For the second year in a row Genesee County has been recognized in the top five of the rankings for Metro Food Processing Industry Growth by the National Site Selection publication, Business Facilities Magazine (July/August Edition). Genesee County has New York State's highest percentage of classified farmland, three of the top 100 vegetable farms nationwide and is first in agriculture sales statewide. More than two-thirds of Genesee County's acreage is used for agriculture and employs more than 1,500 workers.

Agri-Business is the number one industry in Genesee County and naturally where the crop is grown and the cows are plenty, food processing plants spring up. Genesee County is home to O-AT-KA Milk, Yancey’s Fancy, Allan’s Canning, and the new home of Alpina Foods, LLC. 

“The completion of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park and the announcement of Colombia-based Alpina Foods, LLC’s decision to build its first U.S. manufacturing plant at the park underscores the strength of our region’s food and beverage manufacturing sector,” stated Steve Hyde, president and CEO of Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC). “We have strategically invested in building an infrastructure to attract food and dairy processing companies."

Alpina, one of the most recognized dairy companies in the world and a leading dairy producing company in Colombia and South America, has decided to open its first specialty yogurt manufacturing plant in the United States by mid-August and will be the first occupant of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. 

The GCEDC has developed the largest agri-business park in the nation.  The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, a public-private partnership between GCEDC and Farm Credit East, encompasses 202 shovel-ready, pre-permitted acres in the center of Western New York.

The park was designed with food-processing companies in mind, and on site there is access to low cost process water via a local aquifer – that produces more than 6+ million gallons per day and a pretreatment facility (Ecolab). A robust utility infrastructure throughout includes rail access. In 2010 municipal water lines were brought into the park as well as gas and electric and the main roadway was constructed. Recently the GCEDC was awarded a $3.9 million New York State grant to bring rail and a cross dock into the park. 

Supporting the agri-business industry of Genesee County are world-class Universities including Cornell and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Cornell University is the leader in food science research and transfers research-based information and technology for the food systems of New York State. Within the department of Food Science, six organizations specifically provide direct support to the dairy industry.

RIT’s Packaging Science Department works closely with a variety of companies in Genesee County and across the U.S. to create sustainable environmentally friendly packaging. The university also explores cooperative global opportunities for students to work in manufacturing facilities.

The university resources, skilled workforce and available facilities, combined with the area’s steep agri-business and manufacturing heritage give rise to unbridled growth in Genesee County’s food processing capabilities.

July 27, 2011 - 12:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, Baseball Muckdogs, sports, YMCA.

The Staten Island Yankees arrived in Batavia this morning and climbing off the bus for a workout at the YMCA was the Yankees #1 draft pick in 2010, Cito Culver.

He's a Rochester native and this will be his first game played close to home.

Between the Yankee's connection and Culver's WNY roots, big crowds are expected at Dwyer over the next three days. Game times are 7:05 tonight, 11:05 a.m. tomorrow and 7:05 p.m. on Friday (with fireworks afterward).

Culver, who some predict is the future starting shortstop, replacing Derek Jeter for the Yankees, comes to town swinging a hot bat. He's hitting .350 over the past 10 games, including two three-hit games last week.

As for the young player, he's ignoring the Rochester-area media hoopla around his sort-of-homecoming and concentrating on getting ready to play his game.

"I try to stay away from looking at all that," Culver said. "I'm just happy that my mom and my sisters and my close friends can come watch me play. It's been a long time since my grandma and my grandpa came to see me play, so I'm really excited for that."

Meanwhile, the Muckdogs (20-18) are wrapped up in a tight pennant race, tied for second with Williamsport, one game behind three times tied for first (Jamestown, Auburn and Mohoning Valley, all at 21-17).

Staten Island comes into the series with a 28-9 record, seven games ahead of Brooklyn (21-16) in the McNamara division.

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

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