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May 31, 2015 - 9:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, csx, trains.

 

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Greg Rada sent in these photos. He said this stopped train had Upton Road and Wilkinson Road in Town of Batavia blocked for several hours this evening.

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May 31, 2015 - 3:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, golf.

Early in the spring, we contacted all of the Genesee County golf courses to get information on public golf tournaments. We thought since there are so many tournaments during the summer, golfers might appreciate being able to plan in advance with tournaments they would play. Below is the information we received back or just otherwise know about.  The list is likely incomplete, but it's the best we can compile at this time.

Terry Hills Golf Course:

  • June 10 -- Leadership Genesee 12:30 p.m. shotgun, $100 per golfer
  • June 12 -- BNAR (Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors) for Mercy Flight 12:45
  • July 20 -- Young Life 12:30 p.m.
  • July 29 -- Chamber of Commerce (for more information, click here)
  • Aug. 1 -- Ricky Palermo Tee Times TBD
  • Aug. 11 -- Leone Memorial 12:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 16 -- AAA for WNY Veterans 1 p.m.
  • Aug. 30 -- Alex’s Place, 1 p.m., for Crossroads

Batavia Country Club:

  • Thurs. June 11 -- Genesee/Orleans Ministry of Concern
  • Fri. June 12 -- Gillam Grant Community Center
  • Sat. June 27 -- Matt Luxon Memorial
  • Sat. July 25 -- Batavia High Football
  • Sat. Aug. 1 -- Crossroads
  • Fri. Aug. 7 -- Genesee County Cancer Assistance
  • Thurs. Aug. 20 -- Van Hulbert Memorial
  • Sun. Aug. 23 -- Jim Thompson Memorial
  • Wed. Sept. 16 -- Mercy Flight

Stafford Country Club will once again host the Genesee ARC golf, tennis and bocce ball tournament. It is July 13. There are a variety of packages available. Click here for more information.

At the Le Roy Country Club on Aug. 22, the third annual Andrea Mangefrida Memorial Golf Tournament will be held.

May 31, 2015 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, schools, education.

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Notre Dame High School held its 2015 commencement ceremony Saturday evening at the school.

Several students and supporters of the school received honors and awards during the ceremony.

The valedictorian was Abigail Bleier and the salutatorian was Natalie Moulton.

Anna Warner was named Woman of the Year and Joseph Falkowski III, Man of the Year.    

National Technical Honor Society Memberships went to Emma Francis and Emily Vandenbosch.

Special recognitions awards were:

  • Msgr. Eugene F. Kolb Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Education: Phil and Sally Bleier
  • Msgr. David P. Herlihy Award for Outstanding Contributions to ND High School, Julie Mancuso and Jerry and Carm Reinhart

After the jump (click on the headline or the link below), more awards, more information on the special recognition awards and the concluding remarks by Dr. Joseph Scanlan, who officiated his final Notre Dame graduation with his retirement at the end of this school year.

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John Fix hugs his son Dylan while Lorie Fix reacts to the moment.

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To purchase prints, click here.

 

May 29, 2015 - 10:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, 5K, festival of hope.

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Tonight was the Festival of Hope at Batavia Downs. Among the events, a 5K run and walk.

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May 29, 2015 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in va center, batavia, music, entertainment, veterans.

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Country singer Ricky Lee performed at the Batavia VA Hospital this afternoon. His set list included patriotic songs, songs honoring veterans and even some George "The 'Possum" Jones.

Each veteran in attendance was given a copy of his latest CD for free.

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May 29, 2015 - 2:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Police Facility, batavia.

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There will be at least two more meetings of the PoliceFacility Task Force before a decision is made, but after a tour of the three contending sites for a new Batavia PD HQ, there seemed to be a consensus forming around the Swan Street location.

At Alva and Bank, committee members expressed concern about vehicle and pedestrian traffic and the impact on surrounding businesses, as well as the security of the facility. At Jackson Street, the current Salvation Army location, the floodplain issue looms large. On Swan Street, there was none of that negative chatter while committee members walked the expansive open lot where the Wiard Plow factory once stood.

Chief Shawn Heubusch likes the location.

"I think it's an optimal location," Heubusch said. "It gives us the security we would need. It gives us the ability to get to places we need to get to in a timely fashion. You're not fighting with the traffic you're fighting with on the main thoroughfares at those other locations and you can't beat the lot size here."

The committee will meet next week to hear from Assistant City Manager Gretchen Difante and Code Enforcement Officer Ron Panek about the floodplain issues at the Salvation Army location and then the committee would like to hold a public meeting a couple of weeks later so that local residents can learn a bit of what the committee learned about all the locations considered and be given a chance to weigh in and perhaps raise issues not yet discussed by the committee.

One of Difante's current duties is developing a program that will lower the cost of flood insurance in the city. One part of that process is improving the city's score in a flood-readiness rating system. Building a critical facility in a floodplain would lower the city's score. How much and what the impact on residents flood-insurance policies would be is something the committee will learn about its next meeting.

But even with community rating aside, City Manager Jason Molino conceded during a discussion at the Salvation Army site, building a police headquarters in a floodplain is not optimal as a practical matter. 

In a major flood, about 40 percent of the workforce won't be available, Molino said, because people will be dealing with their own family issues, and a police HQ would become difficult to access, compounding the problem.

"The last major flood was in 1942, so you could say we're due for another 100-year flood in the next 30 years," Molino said. "It's likely to happen within our lifetimes, within the next half century."

Marc Staley, chairman of the task force, said he's pretty much taken Jackson Street off his list, is leaning toward Swan Street. But he looks on the Alva and Bank location more favorably after walking the lot and hearing what others have to say about the location. It would help improve density Downtown and could spur more economic activity in the city's primary commercial district.

"I think space-wise, this (Swan Street) is fantastic," Staley said. "It's out of the floodplain, cost-wise, it's within our reach, and it could spur economic development in the area. It's a part of the city that has had very little investment over the past 40 or 50 years. The fact that it's so close to Ellicott and so close to Main means it's really in the heart of the city. People don't think of this as the heart of the city, but we're so close to everything right here."

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The committee and members of the local media were shuttled to the three locations in the police department's ERT van.

May 29, 2015 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, pembroke, Alabama, Oakfield, Le Roy.

Zachary J. Ayres, 21, of Bankside Drive, Hamlin, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 4th, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th. Ayres was arrested on a warrant for allegedly selling suboxone to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force. He was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Shaun Claude Connors, 36, of Bissell Avenue, Depew, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Connors was arrested after being found sleeping in an unsecured, parked car on South Lake Road, Pembroke, at 8:21 a.m., May 20. 

Kimberly L. Winn, 61, of Church Street, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, inadequate exhaust and unlawful possession of marijuana. Winn was stopped at 9:09 p.m. Thursday in the Village of Le Roy.

Mark D. Nash, 56, of Curtis Street, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. Nash has a conviction for issuing a bad check. He was arrested at the Monroe County Jail and jailed in Genesee County on $105 bail.

Rae Charlene Cook, 26, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass and resisting arrest. Cook is accused of entering a residence without being invited nor having the owner's permission to enter. Cook reportedly left the residence before officers arrived, but allegedly returned later and was located on the front porch of the residence and taken into custody after a struggle.

Mark Jackett, 45, and Courtney Hewitt, 33, of Irving Parkway, Oakfield, are charged with eight counts of offering a false instrument for filing, 1st, and one count each of third-degree grand larceny. Jacket and Hewitt were arrested following an investigation by the Department of Social Services. Jackett and Hewitt are accused of submitting an application, recertification and wage verification forms that failed to report Jackett's correct income. As a result, Jackett and Hewitt allegedly received $9,747.09 in Medicaid benefits they were not entitled to between Dec. 1, 2010 and March 31, 2013. Jackett and Hewitt turned themselves into the Sheriff's Office, were arraigned and released.

Eric K. Ricks, 36, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, unlawful possession of marijuana and criminal obstruction of breathing. Ricks was allegedly involved in a domestic incident on State Street. He's accused of strangling and punching another person. He was also allegedly found in possession of marijuana. He was jailed on $2,000 bail or $4,000 bond. Ricks was also arrested by the Sheriff's Office on a charge of disobeying a court mandate for allegedly violating an order of protection.

Charles I. Farraro, 27, of Barron Road, Mount Morris, is charged with DWI, refusal to take breath test, moving from lane unsafely and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Farraro was stopped at 11:56 p.m. Tuesday on Walnut Street, Batavia, by Officer Darryle Streeter.

Samantha Lynn Gibbs, 27, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with unauthorized use of a computer. Gibbs is accused of gaining access to a computer network of another person and posting items on that network.

Jason Scott Stanley, 22, of Judge Road, Alabama, is charged with trespass. Stanley was arrested following an investigation into an ATV accident at 10:14 p.m. Monday at 7394 Hutton Road, Oakfield. Stanley was allegedly on private property without permission when she was involved in an ATV accident. Also charged, Amber Lynn Sharick, 22, of Lewiston Road, Batavia.

Stacey Lynn Santillo, 39, of Montclair Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Santillo is accused of shoplifting from Kohl's.

May 28, 2015 - 5:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, pembroke.

The father of Alyson D. Krzanak, the Genesee Community College student who died in an accident Feb. 21 at the intersection of Route 20 and Molasses Hill Road, Bethany, has filed a wrongful death suit against the driver of the car Krzanak was riding in as well as four other parties.

David Krzanak is the plaintiff as well as the estate of his daughter. He seeks damages "in an amount which exceeds the monetary jurisdictional limits of all lower New York State Courts but does not exceed the monetary jurisdictional limits of the New York State Supreme Court."

The wrongful death suit alleges that the driver of the vehicle, Hannah Dibble, as well as Leonard L. Odums, the Georgia resident driving the truck that hit Dibble's 1997 Geo, Celadon Trucking Services, Celadon Group and Frank's Garage of Akron, took actions that were negligent, reckless and careless, causing the death of Krazanak.

The 10-page document does not list any specific actions any of the defendants took that could be considered a cause of Krzanak's death.

There have been no criminal charges filed against Dibble, though Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster has confirmed that the Sheriff's Office has received the results of a toxicology report and both he and District Attorney Lawrence Friedman say the two offices have been in discussions about how to proceed.

The Dietrich Law Firm of Williamsville is representing the Krzanaks. Attorney Nicholas J. Shemik filed the lawsuit.

May 28, 2015 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

As the legislative session begins to wind down, legislative leaders start to get their ducks in a row and make the final push to squeeze every bit of work into those waning final hours. This session was an infamous several months that saw two of Albany’s most powerful leaders topple, an overwhelmingly poor budget, and little to help small businesses or the middle class. But, fortunately for us, the clock has not struck 12 and we still have a chance to do what is right for New Yorkers.

 It seems like forever since we have seen large-scale businesses tax and regulatory relief in New York. As a small-business owner for over four decades, I know the daily struggles and frustrations of owning a business here. Simple expansions or financial changes are met with hundreds of pages of regulations, and that doesn’t take into account the slew of taxes paid by business owners. 

To spur New York’s lackluster economy we need real business tax relief so employers can afford to hire more employees and retain larger profits that they will ultimately reinvest into their businesses. Too often legislative initiatives have targeted only the politically connected or promised to create jobs while falling short. I sponsor the Small Business Full Employment Act, A.5898, which would prohibit new unfunded mandates and provide a host of tax and regulatory relief measures to spur small business growth. It is time we embrace New York’s business climate and create jobs for our thousands of college graduates.

It is time once and for all to clean up Albany’s corruption and restore the people’s faith in government. I, along with the Assembly Minority Conference, have fought for several ethics reforms to deal with abuses of power and increase openness and transparency in government. Measures used by the governor and Assembly Majority allow the passage of unlawful laws like the SAFE Act and backroom deals that besmirch our Legislature. 

Our conference supports the removal of corrupt politicians’ pension and retirement benefits, a measure promised in this year’s budget but removed due to the influence of labor unions on Downstate politicians. Furthermore, over the past few months we have pushed the Public Officers Accountability Act, A.4617, which strengthens campaign finance laws and places term limits on legislative leaders to prevent the alleged abuses committed by former leaders Silver and Skelos. Until we enact both of these measures, Albany will remain a cesspool of corruption and malfeasance.

Despite the large increase in education aid, millions for local development such as the Brownfield Cleanup Program, and tens of millions in aid for our farmers, much more needs to be done. Despite our rocky start, it is time to finish strong and help Upstate New York regain the economic strength it once enjoyed. We’re part of New York State, too!

May 28, 2015 - 3:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hunting, outdoors.

Press release:

A bill, S.1292, to allow the use of rifles for big-game hunting in Genesee County has passed the State Senate by a vote of 52 to 4. State Senator Mike Ranzenhofer is the bill’s author and sponsor in the State Senate.

“In several areas of New York State, sportsmen are allowed to hunt deer with rifles, and this change in law would allow the use of rifles in Genesee County,” Ranzenhofer said.  “I am pleased to report that the bill has passed the State Senate, and I am hopeful that the State Assembly will pass it before session ends next month.”

Last fall, the Genesee County Legislature and the Genesee County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs requested the special legislation to be introduced at the beginning of the 2015 Legislative Session.

Existing environmental conservation law only authorizes the use of pistols, shotguns, crossbows, muzzle-loading firearms or long bows when hunting deer from the first Saturday after Nov. 15 through the first Sunday after Dec. 7. 

The bill has been sent to the State Assembly. Assemblyman Stephen Hawley is sponsoring the bill in the State Assembly. If enacted into law, the bill would take effect immediately.

May 28, 2015 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Baskin Livestock, business, Bethany.
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File photo of Douglas Mess by Howard Owens.

There's nothing Bill Baskin wants more right now than justice served in the murder of his friend and key employee Douglas Mess.

The body of the 52-year-old Attica man was found buried under a manure pile on his farm at 1229 Exchange Street Road on April 20.

Baskin, owner of Baskin Livestock on Creek Road in Bethany, seems to know a lot about the case, but he's not sharing any of it for publication for fear divulging more than Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O'Geen is willing to disclose himself and jeopardize the prosecution of Charlene Mess, Douglas's wife, who has been held without bail since her arrest April 20.

A grand jury is hearing the evidence against her today and we should know within days whether she will face a trial as the alleged murderer. It may take a trial to publicly unravel the mystery of how Douglas Mess died and why. Some news reports say his death was a culmination of an argument that got out of hand. Some people who know Charlene Mess say she was domineering within her family. Friends of Douglas Mess, including Baskin, use words like "Teddy Bear," and say he was a man who just loved to farm and work on machinery and rarely had a cross word with anybody.

Farming and fixing things were pretty much how Mess spent all of his time, said friends and family. When he wasn't in a shop shoulder deep in steel and grease, he loved to be alone on a field driving a tractor, and about his only hobby was collecting models of the tractors he owned or repaired.

Mess was born in Rochester and spent the first 10 years of his life in the Town of Victor before his father bought a dairy farm in Castile. That's where Mess fell in love with farming, working with animals, driving tractors, but most importantly, learning how to fix farm machinery.

Like a lot of farmers, the Mess family liked to save a buck by repairing their own equipment and keeping it operational longer than perhaps normal wear and tear would dictate. 

By the time he was a teenager, by all accounts, Mess was a natural at the kind of tinkering that kept heavy equipment in tip-top shape.

After his father sold the farm, Mess took jobs at other farms before landing at a dealership in Alexander. He worked there 18 years, establishing himself as the go-to-guy on all kinds of repairs.

The job afforded him the chance to get manufacturer training, particularly on skid loaders, and further hone his own skills.

He may have had a photographic memory, according to Susan Blackburn, Baskin's wife and business partner. She said Mess could look at a part and tell you on what page it could be found on in a particular parts catalog.

"I've spent a lot of time at a lot of universities," Blackburn said. "He had a high school education and he was the most intelligent men I've ever known. The guy was very, very intelligent and just as humble as anybody you've ever known."

Baskin first met Mess while he worked at the Alexander dealership. At the time, Baskin Livestock was still a young company with just a couple of employees, but already, Baskin knew he needed somebody full-time to work on his farm equipment.

When Mess let Baskin know he was ready for a change of scenery, Baskin hired him on the spot.

At the time, the repair shop was Mess and one other guy who worked on the delivery trucks used in the feed side of the business.

"At one point in time he thought we did not have enough work to keep him busy," Baskin said.

By the time of his death, Mess supervised a shop of six people repairing farm equipment, trucks and all the machinery used in the feed operation. He was Baskin's go-to-guy on nearly all aspects of the business.

"About every decision I had to make, in some way shape or form, I had some input from him," Baskin said. "Not every decision, but a huge percentage of the decisions I had to make, I relied on him for some percentage of the input to make that decision. He had a good feel for the big picture and the details."

There was little Mess couldn't do with machinery, from design of equipment used throughout the operation, to the creation of parts and tools, to taking something that was out of service and getting it to run again.

"He was a MacGyver type," Baskin said. "If there was something he couldn't fix, we had a problem, a real problem."

Mess had four sons, all of whom in one form or another have followed in his footsteps. Three of them work for Bill Baskin. Douglas G., the oldest son at 29, said he admired his father's love for what he did and how well he did it.

"He loved taking something that was broken, not even running, taking it apart and putting it back together like it was new, even better than new," Douglas said. "He was proud of that. 'I fixed it. It's usable again.' "

The oldest son said he'll never forget his father's mischievous smile. He loved a good practical joke and he enjoyed watching trainees trying to figure out how to fix something Mess could easily piece together himself. 

"He'd let you work on it a little while and then come over and show you," Douglas said. "'Hey, this way's a little quicker and a little easier,' and he was always right."

A frequent target of Mess's joking around was Jackie Murphy.

Murphy and Mess worked together daily over the past four years, starting with Murphy's transfer from the front office to an office in the repair shop, at about the time Mess's supervisory duties had him sitting at a tan metal desk a little more and spending a little less time loosening or tightening bolts or welding this part to that.

Mess teased Murphy about her boyfriend's loyalty to International Harvester (Mess was a John Deere man) and one of his favorite jokes to play on her was to make up names for new truck drivers, letting her use the made-up name for weeks until she figured it out herself, such as the Marty she called Theodore until she finally met him in person.

That joke would be worth at least two days of laughter.

"He was a funny, amazing guy," Murphy said.

And helpful. Clearly, nobody knew more about what parts were in the shop than Mess. At inventory time, he helped Murphy with the task. He would teach her anything she needed to know to do her job better.

He was always big-hearted with everybody around, she said.

That's how Douglas remembers him, too, and how he was recalled at his funeral service, Douglas said, which was attended by more than 350 people.

"You know the saying, give somebody the shirt off your back, he was the guy who did that," Douglas said. "He met other people's needs before he met his own."

How do you replace somebody like that, Baskin wondered.

Right now, the duties of Mess have been divided among four different workers. 

"Will we have at some point in time somebody with that ability?" Baskin said. "Sure, maybe. Everybody's replaceable, including me, but he ain't walking in the door tomorrow. (Mess) brought a big skill set with him and he learned and grew a lot. He learned as the business grew. His knowledge grew and his ability grew. That's hard to just drop somebody in that spot."

Baskin said Mess was like a member of the family, and he was bigger than Baskin, but younger.

"He was the big little brother I never had," Baskin said.

The loss of Mess is being felt throughout the company by all of the employees, Baskin said. 

"We've got guys who are really, really good and really, really competent," Baskin said, "and the comment's been made by more than one of them, 'I'm comfortable with what I'm doing and I like what I'm doing, but there are a lot of times where I got to the point where I had to ask him, 'what do you think about this or what do you think about that?' and who are you asking now?' "

As fast as the business has grown, it hasn't always been gold-dappled mornings over green, rolling hills around Baskin Livestock. There have been some tough times, but nothing compares to the murder of Douglas Mess.

"We've had two fires, got a guy, 52 or 53, who worked for us, who died in his sleep, and another guy we were quite close to who committed suicide, and this was the worst," Baskin said. "There are 85 and 95 guys who die all the time, they had a good long life and it's not unexpected and unnatural, but this was a complete shock, nonsense."

Which is why Bill Baskin doesn't particularly want to discuss the details of the legal case against Charlene Mess. There's stuff he may know because he's close to the situation, but he will leave that to the professionals in law enforcement to handle.

Douglas Mess can't be replaced, at least not easily, but justice can be served.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: There will be a benefit for Doug Mess's boys starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, at the Alexander Firemen's Recreation Hall, located at 10708 Alexander Road in Alexander. Enjoy a delicious spaghetti dinner for $10, eat in or carry out. Tickets are presale and also available at the door. There will be 50/50 raffles, basket raffles, and a baked goods table. Enter for a chance to win a trip to JAMAICA! (7 night, all-inclusive for two, including airfare) For more information or to buy tickets, call Jackie Murphy at (716) 481-6662.

May 27, 2015 - 10:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, alexander.

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Alexander resident Liz Farmer shared this photo of a tree that was damaged by the storm that passed through the area about 7:30 p.m. She said the strong winds and heavy rain had some trees blowing sideways. This tree damaged the roof of her shed.

Send storm damage photos to howad@thebatavian.com.

May 27, 2015 - 4:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

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Batavia PD is looking for help in identifying the woman in this picture. She is suspected of stealing from West Main Wine & Spirits.

Police believe she was with a small child (she is seen carrying him in another photo) and two other females, both African-American, one dressed in all black and the other in a black top and torn, faded blue jeans and carrying a red purse.

If you have information to share, contact Officer Christopher Lindsay, Batavia PD, (585) 345-6350.

May 27, 2015 - 3:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in VA Hospital, batavia.

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The VA Hospital in Batavia held a luncheon at the Clarion Hotel this afternoon to honor its dozens and dozens of volunteers, some whom have been giving their time to serve veterans for decades.

Emerson Campbell (center, above) has logged more than 17,500 volunteer hours. Paul Judkins, 15,000 hours and John Scott, 12,500.

Below, the Brockport Elks delivered a $1,000 donation.

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May 27, 2015 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in EPA, agriculture, farm bureau, chris collins, NY-27.

From Rep. Chris Collins:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after the Obama Administration finalized its Clean Water Act "Waters of the United States" Rule.

“The Obama Administration's ruling today is a continuation of their regulatory assault on our nation's farmers," Congressman Collins said. "The EPA’s overreach is causing real harm for local farmers and stalling business development. When I visit with local farmers, the heavy burdens under the Clean Water Act come up each and every time. When the bureaucrats at the EPA decide to call a divot in the ground that fills with rain a ‘navigable waterway’ under the CWA, we know our federal government has run amuck. I will continue to do all I can to fight this burdensome and business crushing ruling."

Last May, Congressman Collins led a bipartisan letter, signed by a majority of Congress, to the EPA Administrator asking for the Waters of the United States Rule to be withdrawn. Full text of the letter can be read here. This Congress, Congressman Collins co-sponsored H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, which would require the Administration to withdraw its Waters of the United States Rule. H.R. 1732 passed the House of Representatives earlier this month.

From Dean Norton, Elba farmer and president of the NYS Farm Bureau:

“Today the Environmental Protection Agency released the final rule on the definition of “Waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act. New York Farm Bureau members have been strongly opposed to the changes proposed by the EPA because of the potential regulatory overreach that will allow for federal control over land that is typically dry. Clean water has always been a priority and necessity for farmers, but we are concerned that the rule will strip property owners of long-held land rights.

New York Farm Bureau has serious concerns that the EPA has failed to take into consideration the thousands of comments from farmers, business owners, and property owners, who feel this rule would add unnecessary burdens on their land. EPA would have accomplished much more working with farmers than just brushing their legitimate concerns aside. We will be carefully reviewing the final rule, but based on comments from EPA, we remain concerned that the agency did not listen to our nation’s farmers or made significant changes to the rule,” NYSFB President Norton said.

May 27, 2015 - 2:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, business.

Genesee County's unemployment rate dropped in April to 5.1 percent, according to Labor Department statistics released today.

That's down from 5.5 percent a year ago.

The last time April unemployment was lower was in 2007, when the local rate was 4.4 percent, though the rate has been lower in the past 12 months, when it was 4.8 in October.

The Department of Labor says that there are 28,400 residents of Genesee County with jobs, up 100 from the prior year. There are 1,500 people counted as unemployed, down 100 from a year ago.

The jobs data comes out a week after Scott Gage, director of the local job bureau said that his department currently lists 400 job openings and the number of employment seekers coming into his office is dwindling.

The unemployment rate in Wyoming County dropped from 6.6 percent to 5.8 percent, in Orleans from 7. 7 to 6.4, and in Livingston, from 5.6 to 5.2.

New York's rate is 5.5 and the national rate is 5.5.

May 27, 2015 - 2:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education.

district.corey_.data_cafe.dr_.reed_from_fisher_website.jpgPress release:

Batavia City School District will host a Data Cafe on June 2, from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. in the High School’s library. At this cafe, Diane Reed, Ph.D., our Outside Educational Expert (OEE), will share information from the Data Triangle Survey, completed by our community last fall, and then will facilitate conversation regarding the information. Light refreshments also will be provided.

As a certified OEE, Reed is approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for working with Focus Schools and Focus Districts as they measure their effectiveness based on six tenets which have been proven to be key factors in school effectiveness: District Leadership and Capacity; School Leader Practices and Decisions; Curriculum Development and Support; Teacher Practices and Decisions; Student Social and Emotional Developmental Health; and Family and Community Engagement.

Reed worked with our District to facilitate the Data Triangle Survey -- the three-pronged survey approved by the State which uses the six tenets as a guide in gathering input from staff, students and families. That input was used in the evaluation of District and school effectiveness and then was used in creating strategic plans for improving effectiveness. Reed continues her assistance in preparing the District for its reviews by the NYSED.

In addition to her work as a consultant at the international, national, state and local levels, Reed is the director and an associate professor in the master's degree program in Educational Leadership at St. John Fisher College. She co-authored a book titled "Resilient Leadership for Turbulent Times," and has written chapters that have been included in several others. She has also received numerous awards for her leadership in education. During her 15 years as a superintendent in New York State, her district was named in the top 1.5 percent of the school in the nation by Newsweek magazine and in the top 3 percent of school in Upstate New York by BusinessWeek.

All are encouraged to attend this informative evening.

May 27, 2015 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, pembroke.

Kirk A. Thomas Jr., is indicted on counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, first-degree escape, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, and public lewdness. Thomas is accused of possessing heroin with the intent to sell on March 17 in the City o Batavia. On that date, having been arrested, he allegedly escaped from custody. On that date, he allegedly possessed a hypodermic instrument. He allegedly possessed glassine envelopes with the intent to distribute drugs. He is accused of exposing himself and masturbating in public with the intent of being observed.

Ronald M. Markek is indicted on counts of felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and is accused of having a prior DWI conviction on Oct. 11, 2011, in the Town of Pembroke. Markek is accused of driving drunk Nov. 28, 2014, on Route 63, Town of Batavia.

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