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September 18, 2012 - 9:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in County Highways, tim hens.

County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens made a presentation Monday to the Public Service Committee.  We asked him to write a summary of his presenation to go along with the slide show he created.

Click here to view the slide show.

Here's Tim's message:

I took time from my annual department review yesterday to make a presentation that focused on some of the funding challenges we face as well as some of the brighter highlights from the year so far.

The initial portion of the presentation focused on the difference between capital improvements and preventative maintenance.  Generally speaking, a capital improvement is a significant improvement or total reconstruction of the roadway, whereas preventative maintenance is only a surface treatment or temporary improvement meant to extend the service life of the underlying pavement.  Preventative maintenance is used to keep "good roads good" and it is the best bang for the buck when applied at the appropriate time.  If you were to plot a line of pavement conditions over time, it would gradually drop, and after about 7-8 years, it would start to fall away quite quickly.  The goal with preventative maintenance is to catch the pavement before that line starts to get too steep.  That way we can take a typical 15 year pavement life and extend it out to maybe 30-35 years before it needs a capital improvement, which is very expensive in comparison.

The next phase of the conversation moved on to the cost of materials and construction in general.  Higher material prices have impacted both preventative maintenance and capital improvement costs, limiting the amount of work that can be performed each year.

The presentation then moved back to a quick overview of techniques that are used for preventative maintenance, a comparison of their costs, and a comparison of what was performed in 2012 versus what we should be doing to improve the condition ratings of our system.  As it stands we are generally treading water with our highway system and we are losing ground with regard to our bridges, especially the shorter span bridges which are not eligible for federal aid.  Tighter budgets as a result of unfunded mandates on the county and increasing material prices (mostly due to the cost of oil) are requiring the county to defer maintenance and improvements.  For every dollar deferred, the county will need to spend between $4 and $6 to get the same result (road condition) down the road.  We are falling further and further behind.

When is comes to bridges; the deficencies are significant.  The county owns and maintains 341 bridges.  Of these bridges, only 95 are eligible for federal aid.  The remainder are completely reliant upon local funding and very limited state aid.  More than half the bridges were built prior to 1960 and 53% of the bridges are considered functionally obsolete or structurally deficient by federal standards.  Our average bridge condition rating stands at 4.98 (out of 7) where anything below a 5 is considered in poor condition.  The cost just to support federal aid subsidized replacements is likely to exceed $600,000 per year if we replace the two bridges per year to stay ahead of the deterioration.  Factoring in the cost to replace short-span bridges and the total cost over the next ten years is likely to exceed $10-15 million.  The county currently does not have the capability to fund this need .

The Highway Department will be engaging engineering consultants this winter to analyze the inventory of short span structures the county owns, develop a plan of attack and design a few cookie-cutter solutions so that some of these smaller bridges may be replaced in-house to save money.  There is a need to bond some of the replacments over the long-term so that future taxpayers who will benefit from today's improvements may share in the cost as well.

Some quick slides were shown on the cost of Snow & Ice Control for the county.  A majority of county milage is plowed by Town Highway Departments under contract.  The contract rate is determined using a formula based off the three year average snowfall for the area.  The warm winter in 2011-12 adjusted this rate significantly and the proposed rate to the Towns for the 2012-13 season is much lower.  A quick history of rate adjustments waas presented; as well as a slide showing the limited amount of overtime expended by the county versus what was budgeted as a result of the warm weather.

The presentation ended with a few slides of the DeWitt Recreation Area and the improvements made there as a result of the open winter and available labor and equipment from the Highway Department.

September 18, 2012 - 9:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A 22-year-old man admitted in Genesee County Court today to illegal sexual intercourse with a girl age 15 years of age or younger.

Jonathan Garcia entered a guilty plea to rape in the second degree with no sentence cap in satisfaction of charges that also included rape in the first degree (forcible rape) and sexual abuse.

Garcia faces a sentence of up to seven years in prison and will be sentenced Nov. 15.

When Garcia was asked to admit to factual allegations by Judge Robert C. Noonan, Garcia balked admitting to sexual intercourse on May 16.

"I was there, but there are witnesses who were there who said I didn't do it," Garcia said.

Under questioning, however, Garcia admitted to sexual intercourse with the girl at another, unspecified, time.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman suggested the charging document be amended to cover the time frame of May through June rather than specifically May 16.

The crime took place in the City of Batavia.

September 18, 2012 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Pavilion.

A Pavilion man who was arrested multiple times in early spring will serve two to six years in state prison on a third-degree-burglary conviction.

Joshua Lanair Webster, 25, of 7882 York Road, Pavilion, admitted to the burglary charge June 28 and was sentenced in Genesee County Court on Monday.

Webster was identified as the suspect in one crime after a picture of him walking through Batavia Downs was posted on The Batavian.

In April and May, in various unrelated incidents, Webster was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and failure to yield right-of-way, burglary, 3rd, grand larceny and criminal mischief, 4th, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

September 17, 2012 - 11:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien.

UPDATED Tuesday, 8:36 a.m. with additional info from Sheriff's Office press release.

A Finger Lakes-area woman has reportedly written the District Attorney's Office and requested charges against a woman arrested at the Aug. 25 Jason Aldean concert be upgraded to a felony.

The suspect, 47-year-old Kelly Alcorn, is a 23-year veteran of the Niagara Falls Police Department, according to the Buffalo News.

Alcorn, of Town Hall Terrace West, Grand Island, was arrested at the concert for second-degree harassment, but Elizabeth Dake, 45, in a letter she sent to the News, describes a more serious attack.

Dake said she suffered a concussion and bruises and she missed nine days of work.

According to the News article, Dake accuses Alcorn of slamming her into a cement wall, punching her in the head, neck, arm and back.

A Sheriff's Office press release alleges that Alcorn punched a female in the face several times. Alcon was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Darien Town Court at 5 p.m. today.

Niagara Falls Police Superintendent John R. Chella said the department is awaiting a determination on whether the charges will be upgraded. A felony charge could cost Alcorn her job.

Full Story from the Buffalo News.

September 17, 2012 - 9:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, batavia city schools.

Information from the city school district:

The voters of the Batavia City School District on Monday overwhelmingly approved the sale of the District Administration Building. Those in favor numbered 272 (95.4%) compared to 13 who voted no (4.6%).

On July 23, the board of education authorized the transfer of the property, located at 39 Washington Ave., for $500,000 to Reed Batavia Properties LLC, pending voter approval.

The property was identified as surplus during the consolidation analysis process the district undertook in 2011, which also resulted in the closure of Robert Morris Elementary School. The administrative offices will be relocated to Batavia High and Jackson Elementary schools.

Now that the public has approved the sale of property, Reed Batavia Properties will need to complete its due diligence process in order for the transaction to be finalized. It is expected that the transfer will take place by Nov. 1.

Superintendent Margaret Puzio expressed her appreciation of the vote outcome. 

“The taxpayers and the children of the school district are both winners as a result of the vote. The extra funds will be used to reduce the tax burden along with maintaining the educational program.”

September 17, 2012 - 4:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Health Care, UMMC.

To help address a possible shortage of primary care physicians in the future, UMMC today announced a partnership with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine to transform the local hospital into a teaching hospital.

UMMC completed a credentialing process by American Osteopathic Association in August and will begin accepting medical students in residence in 2013.

“This is an exciting moment for United Memorial Medical Center,” said President and CEO Mark C. Schoell (top photo). “As a teaching hospital, United Memorial will be at the forefront of the latest medical developments and be able to provide improved quality of care; advanced treatment therapies; a shorter length of stay for major illnesses; and achieve superior outcomes and survival rates for our patients.”

Dr. Anna Lamb, herself an osteopathic doctor, said the announcement today is "awesome" news for Batavia.

"We need to grow our own," Lamb said. "We’re going to have significant primary care shortage in the next few years as some of our physicians are getting a little older. We have to grow our own. Batavia is just not on people’s radar, so we have to get people in here to see it, to like it, and as Dr. Terry said, 'if we grow our own, they’ll stay here.'"

Dr. Richard Terry also said that local kids with medical aspirations will now have a way to complete their education locally and stay in their hometown, if they choose that route.

UMMC will use a variety of incentives, such as student loan repayment, to help convince residents to stay in Batavia and become primary care physicians.

Many young doctors, Schoell said, no longer want to go into private practice and would rather work for a medical institution.

The reason, he said, are reductions in government medical reimbursements, increasing regulation and the difficulty inherent in owning and running your own business.

There will be four residents accepted for each year of the program (for an eventual total of 12). They will reside in the community and receive compensation and benefits from United Memorial while participating in the program.

Serving as program director for United Memorial is Laurie Kilbury-Taylor, D.O.  Dr. Kilbury-Taylor is an emergency room physician at United Memorial with the group FDR Medical. She is a graduate of the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and holds additional degrees including a master of science degree from the State University of New York-Roswell Park Division, and bachelor of science degrees in Biology and Engineering.

The first year of residency emphasizes the inpatient experience. For second-year residents,a significant emphasis is placed on taking more clinical responsibilities and enhancing decision-making skills. There are four months of inpatient medicine where residents are the primary physicians for their patients.

Each resident will manage his/her own inpatient service with supervision by an attending physician. The third-year resident has a significant role in teaching and supervising junior residents and assumes direct responsibility for leading the Medicine Teaching Service and Family Medicine Inpatient Teaching Service.

Individuals who have completed a baccalaureate program and wish to pursue a career as a physician in the United States must be accepted to and complete an additional four-year course of study at an accredited osteopathic medical school in order to continue in the osteopathic residency program.

September 17, 2012 - 2:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, pembroke.

It was an accident that emergency responders acknowledge could have been much worse.

The initial call at 12:13 p.m. was for a semi-truck hitting a school bus and pushing it over on its side on Route 5 near Wortendyke Road.

Four ambulances were dispatched, Mercy Flight was put on standby and East Pembroke Chief Don Newton requested mutual aid from Batavia, Alexander, Darien and Oakfield.

"We didn’t know if the school bus was full of children or not so a lot of ambulances were dispatched as a safeguard," said Sheriff Gary Maha. "You can always turn them back."

As it turns out, most of the responding units were put back in service.

There was only one pre-K child on the bus and he did not appeared to be injured. As required by code, he was taken to UMMC for evaluation.

Both drivers were evaluated at the scene and no injuries were reported.

The Pembroke Central School District bus was eastbound on Route 5 and was stopping to make a left-hand turn into a driveway to pick up another student when it was rear-ended by the tractor-trailer.

The bus skidded forward in a semicircle and landed on its side in the front yard of a residence on the north side of Main Street Road.

The driver and child were able to walk out the rear emergency exit.

"It could have been a lot worse," Newton said. "Thankfully, there was only one child on the bus and the driver was uninjured and the child is being taken to UMMC for evaluation, but it doesn’t look like anything too serious at this time."

Maha said it was too early in the investigation to determine if the truck driver -- whose name has not yet been released -- was distracted prior to the accident.

The driver, Maha said, claims the bus driver had not activated its bus stop lights; the bus driver, Maha said, told investigators he had activated the lights.

Children on school buses are not required to wear safety belts and the child on this bus was not belted, Maha said.

The trucking company involved has requested the trucker's load be released, but state authorities have requested the trailer be impounded until Wednesday pending further investigation.

September 17, 2012 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, batavia city schools.

Batavia city residents are being asked to vote today on a proposal to sell the school district's administration building on Washington Avenue.

Polls are open until 9 p.m.

The district has an offer of $500,000 for the building and the option to use the maintenance shop on the site for five years.

The offer comes from Reed Eye Associates, which will convert the building into a medical facility.

Residents may vote in the following locations:

  • Batavia High School -- Residents who live south of Route 5
  • John Kennedy Intermediate -- Residents who live north of Route 5
September 17, 2012 - 9:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander, Le Roy.

Clarence E. McLeod, 55, of 19 Porter Ave., Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument 3rd, and Joshua A. Harris, 23, of 110 Walnut St., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and forgery, 3rd. Harris is accused of stealing a checkbook and then forging the victim's name on a check and issuing the check to McLeod. McLeod allegedly passed the check knowing that it was stolen and attempted to cash the check at the Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union. The investigation was conducted by Officer Eric Hill and Deputy Brian Thompson.

Christopher P. Sullivan, 32, of 29 Tracy Ave., lower, Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, unlicensed operation and unsafe lange change. Sullivan is accused of being in an accident in the parking lot of Northside Deli and then fleeing the scene. Witnesses reportedly followed Sullivan's vehicle and contacted police. Sullivan was arrested following an investigation.

Scott M. Forian, 44, of 8317 Slusser Road, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI and improper right turn. Forian was stopped at 11:34 p.m., Saturday, on Harvester Avenue, Batavia, by Officer Chris Camp. Forian was jailed without bail.

Dennis A. Edson, 48, of 17 Porter Ave., Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Edson allegedly yelled obscenities repeatedly at officers who were investigating another complaint in the area.

Rae C. Cook, 23, of 121 Liberty St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Cook is accused of violating an order of protection with a prior conviction for criminal contempt, making this a felony charge.

Rosemary R. Waters, 26, of 2 Florence Ave., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Waters was arrested on a warrant for alleged criminal contempt after visiting an inmate in jail. Waters was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Rachell Onie Soggs, 24, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Soggs is accused of shoplifting $29.12 in merchandise from Kmart.

Jeremy John Haynes, 36, of Church Street, Le Roy, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, operating without an ignition interlock. Haynes allegedly drove to the Genesee County Jail at 7:16 a.m., Sunday, with a BAC of more than twice the legal limit.

Nicholas Adam Antonucci, 25, of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with two counts of attempted grand larceny, 3rd. On Jan. 6, 2010, Antonucci allegedly tried to steal two snowmobiles from the parking lot of the Beachhead Veterans Club in Alexander. One snowmobile was valued at $5,000 and the other at $4,000. Antonucci allegedly damaged the ignitions during the attempted theft. Antonucci is being held on the Wyoming County Jail on other charges.

Jason A. Klinkbeil, 24, of an unknown address in Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. Klinkbeil was observed at Save A Lot allegedly shoving frozen food items and cans of beer into his backpack and then attempting to leave the store without paying for the items. Klinkbeil, who had been released from the Genesee County Jail the day before on unrelated charges, was jailed on $1,000 bail.

September 16, 2012 - 11:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Law enforcement is responding to Walmart to help locate a possible shoplifter who fled the store after he reportedly dropped and broke a bottle of perfume while putting it in his backpack.

The subject is described as white, carrying a backpack and wearing a red hat.

He was last seen running to the west and jumping a fence.

September 16, 2012 - 10:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Pike Road.

There's a place on Pike Road I've passed many times thinking, "If I could walk behind that building, there might be a picture there." That, of course, would be trespassing. Today, the property owner was there and it turned out to be a friend. So here's the picture.

September 16, 2012 - 9:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke.

The Kiwanis Club of Corfu, Pembroke and Darien hosted a vintage auto show in Pembroke Town Park today.

September 16, 2012 - 2:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, wine walk.

Batavia enjoyed perfect weather Saturday for the third-annual Wine Walk as 500 wine lovers strolled through downtown to more than 20 businesses serving a variety of wines for tasting. Merchants also offered finger foods and a couple of shops featured live music.

If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here. To purchase prints of the photos, click here.

September 16, 2012 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, Notre Dame.

Press release:

In the third $7,500 "Dash for Cash," Lindsay Hilburger -- representing Notre Dame of Batavia High School with professional driver Dave McNeight III alongside -- led all the way to take the first-place scholarship check of $3,000.

The one-mile harness race for area high school seniors racing for college scholarship funds took place Saturday night (Sept 15.), at Batavia Downs Racetrack & Casino.

Sonia Nevinger (Alexander) took second place and a $2,000 scholarship check; Leanne King (Pembroke) was third and earned a $1,200 scholarship; Jessica Levins (Batavia High School) took the fourth-place spot and $800 in scholarship funds, while Jamie Marshall (Elba) was fifth and received a $500 check.

The final time of 2:08.2 was by far the fastest running time of any of the scholarship races.

“It was nice to see such a large turnout,” said Todd Haight, general manager of Live Racing.

The track apron was packed with fans of all ages as they came out to cheer on their classmates and favorite schools.

The scholarship race is a partnership of the New York Sire Stakes, the Harness Horse Breeders of New York, the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association, Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs.

Photo: Jamie Marshall, Jessica Levins, Leanne King, Sonia Nevinger, Lindsay Hilburger (courtesy of Paul White).

September 16, 2012 - 12:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, Oakfield, alexander, pembroke, Le Roy.

The Blue Devils dropped off the list of the undefeated in Genesee County on Friday with a 30-12 loss to Livonia.

Le Roy kept its perfect record in tack with a 35-28 over Avon, while in the Genesee Region Conference, three teams sit atop the standings at 3-0 -- Elba/Byron-Bergen, Notre Dame and Attica.

Elba/BB beat Holley 27-7 with Zack DuBois rushing for 156 yards on 22 carries, scoring once. QB Zack Gillard was 7-14 for 167 yards and two TDs. He also carried the ball five times for 29 yards and a touchdown. Austin Yockel had four receptions for 141, including a 44-yard TD reception. Ryan Morse had a 10-yard TD reception. Andy Underhill made 23 tackles. Brandon Naylor had 14 tackles.

Notre Dame moved to 3-0 with a win over Alexander 36-6. Tim McCulley completed 11 passes on 20 attempts for 187 yards, including TD tosses of 14 and 35 yards to Charlie Hebert and Jared Thornton. Nick Taylor had TD runs of 26 and 89 yards. Andrew Mullen carried the ball 11 times for 65 yards. For Alexander, Dylan Scharlau had 18 carries for 117 yards and QB Nelson Burke was 8 of 17 for 128 yards, including a TD pass to 36-yard TD to Sam Browne. Burke was intercepted twice.

Pembroke dropped to 0-3 with a loss to undefeated Attica 47-0. Four turnovers by the Dragons led to four Attica TDs. Pete Thomas had 12 tackles for Pembroke and Caleb Patterson and Jared Kolmetz each recovered two fumbles.

For Batavia, in the Blue Devils 30-12 loss to Livonia, Nick Canzoneri rushed for 40 yards on eight carries, scoring once. James Soggs had 11 carries for 85 yards.

Le Roy's third win was highlighted by Peter Privitera's 181 yards on 39 carries and two touchdowns. Both Marcus Mistersaro and Dylan Johnson scored on the ground. T.J. Crye was 13-of-27 for 173 yards.

Oakfield-Alabama improved to 1-2 with a win over Finney (1-2), 20-16. Ryan Emery scored twice and carried the ball for 99 yards. Chris Nanni rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. Danny Monachino and Tommy Geiss each recorded 12 tackles.

September 16, 2012 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department during the KISS concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

Traci L. Bartlett, 43, of Beach Road, Syracuse, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and resisting arrest. When deputies attempted to arrest Bartlet she allegedly physically resisted being taken into custody. After being transported back to the security trailer, Bartlett allegedly kicked an officer that was walking past her. Bartlett was jailed on $500 bail.

Pamela Loughridge, 44, of Buffalo Street, Churchville, is charged with of harassment, 2nd, after allegedly fighting with a security guard. Loughridge allegedly bit the security officer and hit him in the throat. Loughridge was jailed in $250 bail.

Wes R. Schraufstetter, 39, of Niagara Street, Buffalo, is charged with of disorderly conduct. Schraufstetter allegedly engaged in disruptive and threatening behavior which was directed toward security officers and deputies. Schraufstetter was jailed on $250 bail.

Kyle J. Burdick, 23, of North Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with of disorderly conduct. Burdick allegedly engaged in disruptive and threatening behavior which was directed toward his girlfriend, security officers and deputies. Burdick was jailed on $250 bail.

Bryan J. Sheridan, 31, of Reddick Lane, Rochester, is charged with trespass for allegedly refusing to leave the concert venue after being told to leave on several different occasions.

John A. Williams, 45, of 32nd Drive, Queens, is charged with trespass after allegedly jumping a fence in order to gain access to the concert venue.

Tracy A. Piller, 35, of Euclid Avenue, Bradford, Pa., is charged with trespass after allegedly refusing to leave the concert venue after being told to leave on several different occasions.

Brett M. Ferrington, 26, of Route 39, of Chaffee, is charged with of disorderly conduct. Ferrington allegedly engaged in disruptive and threatening behavior which was directed toward both security officers and deputies.

Michelle L. Shimburski, 24, of Genesee Street, Chaffee, is charged with of disorderly conduct. Shimburski allegedly engaged in disruptive and threatening behavior which was directed toward both security officers and deputies.

Michael J. Discipio, 43, of Bernhardt Drive, Amherst, is charged with of disorderly conduct. Discipio allegedly engaged in disruptive and threatening behavior which was directed toward both security officers and deputies.

September 15, 2012 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke.

Press release:

New York State Department of Transportation is undertaking a preventative maintenance project next week to resurface portions of Route 5 and Route 77 in Pembroke, Genesee County.

The project limits on Route 77 are from the New York State Thruway to a half mile south of Route 5, and on Route 5 from the Erie County line to just east of Route 77.

Pending favorable weather conditions, the road work will begin Monday, Sept. 17 and is expected to take about five days to complete. Crews will work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Flaggers will direct traffic through the work zone, one direction at a time. Motorists are advised to allow extra time to safely proceed through the highway work zone.

For real-time travel information, call 511 or visit www.511NY.org

September 15, 2012 - 11:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Don Carroll.

We received this statement from Jerry Foster regarding Don Carroll's health:

Donald R. Carroll of Batavia is currently in Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester recuperating from abdominal surgery for cancer of his esophagus and stomach. The surgery that took place on Sept. 12th was cancelled once his surgical team determined his cancer had spread to the point where surgery would not be beneficial.

Don is well known in Western New York for his charity work, which has raised thousands of dollars for many young residents of Genesee County over the last 30 plus years. Just three weeks ago Don ran a 5K Run/Fun Walk as part of Summer in the City to raise money for his annual Toys for Kids program.

Don has received numerous awards for his work in the community and in 2009 was inducted into the Oakfield-Alabama Alumni Hall of Fame.

Two weeks ago a fund raiser organized by several Batavia business people was held to assist Don with his medical bills and living expenses.  Donations may still be dropped off at T-Shirts Etc., Main Office of Birchwood Village, or mailed to Jerry Foster, 20 River St., Batavia, NY 14020. Checks should be made out to Donald R. Carroll.

Readers may follow Don’s progress by visiting: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/donaldrcarroll/journal

Don isn’t going to let this setback keep him down. He has a very positive attitude and is determine to beat his cancer which was first diagnosed this past April.

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

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