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May 2, 2017 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Central Avenue, news.

One of four men allegedly involved in a home-invasion burglary in October on Central Avenue, Batavia, was supposed to be sentenced on a guilty plea in that case, but it turns out there is a disagreement between the attorneys in the case on what exactly was in the plea deal given to Daniel J. Gilbert.

At the start of the hearing, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman told Judge Charles Zambito that the agreed upon sentence was a straight-up five years in prison (a determinate sentence).

Zambito turned to defense attorney Thomas Burns and asked, "is that your understanding?"

"That's not accurate," Burns said. "That's not our position at all."

Zambito asked if Burns wished to discuss the plea on the record and Burns said he did not, so Zambito called for a recess and met with the attorneys in chambers.

When he returned he said that Burns would be able to file a position paper with supporting citations, and Friedman would be given a chance to answer.  Because of trial schedules and vacation schedules, Gilbert won't be back in county court for a hearing on the plea, and possible sentencing, until 11 a.m. on June 20.

Asked for more information outside of court on the particulars of the dispute, Friedman said he couldn't discuss it.

The cases for the other defendants, Oliver Thomas, Marquis Saddler and Adante Davis, are still pending.

May 2, 2017 - 5:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford, news.

mug-jefftorrey2016.jpgA Stafford resident came close to seeing his prior guilty plea to a drug-dealing charge rejected by Judge Charles Zambito because of information contained in a pre-sentence report.

A letter from the Sheriff's Office said the activities of Jeffery D. Torrey Sr., give indications that he has been dealing drugs recently and a letter from Torrey's wife said he travels around with a bodyguard. 

"This is not a favorable PSI," Zambito told Torrey, before saying he did consider rejecting his prior guilty plea.

Instead, Zambito sentenced Torrey to six months in jail and five years probation.

Torrey had previously entered guilty pleas to criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony, and criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, a misdemeanor. 

The Local Drug Task Force executed the warrant on Torrey's home in October. Agents found a grow operation inside his residence, a quantity of marijuana and cocaine, a set of metal knuckles, a gravity knife and U.S. currency.

Torrey made no statement when asked, prior to sentencing.

Undersheriff Greg Walker was head of the task force at the time and wrote the letter in the pre-sentence report expressing concern about Torrey's activities.

Zambito said he took the letter seriously.

"The Sheriff's Department doesn't often take a stand," Zambito said.

May 2, 2017 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Fair, fairgrounds, news.

Over the past five years, the Genesee County Fair has gone from a local event that was barely hanging on, to one that is now the envy of many other rural counties around the state, according to a report delivered by Ag Society President Norm Pimm to the Human Services Committee of the Genesee County Legislature.

Pimm said he recently attended an expo for county fair organizers in Rochester and Genesee County's fair was a subject of curiosity.

"There are a lot of fairs that are crying that they're going backward in attendance, so we are one of the few that is going forward, and we actually have a lot of fairs coming to us and asking what we're doing differently," Pimm said.

Last year more than 22,000 people attended the fair.

People attend, he said, because of the attractions and the animals.

Ag is a big part of every county fair, but Genesee County has been able to revitalize its ag program and last year there were more than 800 animals on show, which put the fairgrounds at capacity for farm animals.

Last year's fair included the Empire Classic sheep show, which attracted competitors from all over the state. The show gave local youngsters a chance to learn from and compete against some of the very best competitors in the Northeast.

The beef show was also a big hit and attracted two farm families that hadn't shown beef at the Genesee County Fair in 40 years. They were quite pleased with what they found at the show.

"They went to Syracuse after that and they were telling people there, 'you've got to go to Genesee County next summer. You've got to be in this show. It's awesome. and their fairgrounds look great.' "

The two families were in Ohio the following week complimenting the Genesee County fair again, he said. 

"We now have two big nationally known exhibitors out talking about us," he said. "That's fantastic."

Not everything, though, is a home run. The midway -- all the rides and games -- is a fair essential, but it's also a reliable money loser.

"Our midway kills us, but you have to have one," Pimm said. "It sounds sad, but you have to have one. We had some fair board members say 'let's not have one.' You have to, so we just need to make it up somewhere else."

Part of what pays for the fair are all the other events that are hosted by the fairgrounds spring, summer and fall, from auctions and 4-H events to flea markets and horse shows.

The new horse barns, in fact, are a big attraction now and there is a horse show booked at the fairgrounds every weekend this summer. 

There's also going to be a statewide high school rodeo hosted by the fairgrounds this summer; it's the first held locally. If it goes well, Genesee County could be considered to host the national high school rodeo championship.

The Genesee County Agriculture Society is on a continuous improvement project with the fairgrounds and is about to embark on a $500,000 electrical upgrade of the entire grounds. Because of the cost, it will have to be done in stages, Pimm said. A recent grant of $90,000 from the governor's office will help the society get started, he said.

The County budget earmarks $9,500 in assistance to the Ag Society.

Improvements lead to more events to host, and more events help generate the funds for more improvements. The events throughout the year help pay for the fair which, even with all its success last year, still came up short of expenses by $4,400.

"We're trying to use the grounds as much as we can so we keep the revenue coming in and we can keep investing back into the grounds," Pimm said.

May 2, 2017 - 4:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mercy Flight, news.

It was another busy year in Genesee County in 2016 for Mercy Flight, Bill Schutt, director of Mercy EMS locally, told members of the County Legislature at its Human Services Committee meeting on Monday.

The ambulance service received about 8,600 calls, which resulted in about 6,700 transports.

Mercy Flight itself received 189 requests and flew a total of 96 transport missions.

Those 189 requests not only included the time an airship went to a medical emergency scene, but all the times it was put on ground standby or in-air standby or was requested to do so, but couldn't fly because of weather.

Schutt explained that dispatchers operate off a set of protocols for determining whether to alert Mercy Flight to a possible emergency call for the helicopter and sometimes what dispatchers are being told from people at the scene sounds more serious than it might actually be. When a fire chief or medic arrives on scene, the situation can be clarified.

"You don't want to wait for a crew to get there to make an assessment because now you're there waiting for a helicopter," Schutt said.

With Mercy Flight handling all the calls they do, it isn't unusual to periodically get in a situation where all the ambulances are on calls or there is no ambulance close by a particular emergency. That's what makes the volunteer ambulances around the county so valuable.

"As a commercial ambulance, you would think you would want those volunteers to go away, but we need those volunteers," Schutt said. "We need those resources. There are always going to be the days where no matter how many ambulances you have in service, they are not going to be enough."

The Human Services Committee unanimously recommended approval of the Mercy Flight/Mercy EMS contract for the county, along with the continuation of the $12,800 contribution the county makes to help support the nonprofit service.

County Manager Jay Gsell explained that eight counties contribute to Mercy Flight's funding, but as the host county for the main ambulance services office and a host county for one of the agency's helicopters, it was important for Genesee County to provide financial assistance.

"This is part of our commitment, but it also aligns us with this vital service," Gsell said.

May 2, 2017 - 10:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, news.

pembrokepetmasks.jpg

Pembroke firefighters Troy Williams, left, and Kurt Pasturszynski hold pet oxygen masks, which were donated to the department by Emma's Mission. The pet masks will be stowed on Pembroke's trucks, ready to use in the case of a fire where a pet suffers from smoke inhalation.

For more information about Emma's Mission, click here.

Submitted photo and information.

May 2, 2017 - 10:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, batavia, news.

Press release:

U.S. Representatives Chris Collins (NY-27) and Eric Swalwell (CA-15) kicked off Small Business Week today by reintroducing the Main Street Revival Act of 2017. This legislation will expedite local small business development in underserved areas.

“For America to achieve a high rate of economic growth, government must do a better job creating an atmosphere for small businesses to thrive,” Congressman Collins said. “Small businesses are the engines that drive our economy, and here in Western New York we must do everything we can to ensure they have the tools to succeed. I am glad to partner with my colleague, Congressman Swalwell, as we work to generate tangible economic development and job growth in our communities.”

“Small businesses are at the heart of our communities and economy – we must do what we can to help them grow and succeed,” Congressman Swalwell said. “The Main Street Revival Act helps new small business owners build a strong foundation for future success. Encouraging entrepreneurship nationwide, especially in struggling areas, will help create an economy that can work for everyone, everywhere.”

The Main Street Revival Act allows qualifying small businesses to elect to defer paying payroll taxes during their first year in operation. The deferred taxes would then be paid in installments over the subsequent four years. The option is limited to businesses expecting to hire no more than 25 people in their first year, and that are located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones, known as HUBZones.

The areas in NY-27 that would be eligible for this benefit include: Tonawanda Reservation, along with portions of Batavia, Lockport, Medina, and York. The HUBZone map can be seen here.

Full text of the legislation can be read here.

May 2, 2017 - 9:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, schools, education, news.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that legislation (S4281),raising the monetary limit to $150,000 for school districts to purchase local produce without approval from the State Department of Education, has passed the New York State Senate unanimously.

Under existing law, a waiver from the State Education Department is required for food purchases above $50,000. The bill, sponsored by Senator Ranzenhofer, would amend state procurement laws to conform with Federal rules.

“Requiring a waiver at current levels creates unnecessary, burdensome paperwork for schools districts, discouraging the purchase of food products from local farmers,” Ranzenhofer said. “This legislation makes it easier for schools to buy more local produce and support the local agriculture economy, while offering healthier options– more fresh fruits and vegetables– to students.”

The New York Farm Bureau supports the initiative. The bill will be sent to the State Assembly. The legislation is sponsored by Assemblywoman Addie Jenne.

The 2017-18 State Budget raised the threshold from $25,000 to $50,000. In 2016, Senator Ranzenhofer successfully worked to establish an initial threshold at $25,000.

May 2, 2017 - 9:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
May 1, 2017 - 4:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

img_0197weathermay12017.png

A severe thunderstorm is moving east, spreading across Western New York at 60 mph, the National Weather Service reports.

Wind gusts could reach 70 mph.

The weather service warns to expect considerable tree damage, and damage likely to mobile homes, roofs, and outbuildings.

May 1, 2017 - 2:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for today until 10 p.m.

The watch covers all of Western New York.

May 1, 2017 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, environment, schools, education, business, news.

Press release:

International recording artist, environmentalist, and educator, Mr. Eco, will be visiting John Kennedy Primary School on Tuesday, May 9th at 9:30 a.m. for a special performance. Mr. Eco combines hip hop music with lyrics that inspire children to be environmentally conscientious.

The event is being sponsored by the Building Technologies Division at Siemens and hosted in conjunction with the fourth-grade innovators STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) programing at John Kennedy School and the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC).

Mr. Eco’s songs emphasize the active role we all have in creating a sustainable culture, decreasing energy usage, increasing recycling, and working to keep communities free of litter. He has performed for more than 135,000 children across the United States, Canada, Turkey, South Africa, Colombia, St. Lucia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

“Conveying how important it is to take care of our environment to children at a young age is critically important,” said Christopher Dailey, superintendent of Batavia City School District.

“We want to ensure that our students develop environmentally friendly habits early on and we are really looking forward to having Mr. Eco teach them this in such a fun way. We are also very proud of our fourth-grade innovators program and the STEAM course work they have completed this year, so this will be a natural extension of what these students have been learning.”

Siemens’ sponsorship of the concert is in keeping with its support of student achievement, STEAM and sustainability.

“We are excited to honor the students at John Kennedy and the leadership at Batavia City School District for their outstanding accomplishments this year,” said Joseph Peters, Northeast zone manager, Siemens’ Building Technologies Division.     

“An important component of economic development is mitigating the impact of construction projects and other infrastructure work on the surrounding environment,” said Chris Suozzi, vice president of Business Development at GCEDC.

“We need to prepare the future workforce of our county and region to understand this delicate balance so that we can continue growing the economy while protecting the environment.”

For more information about Mr. Eco please visit www.mreco.org.

May 1, 2017 - 12:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, emergency management office, news.

img_0119.jpg

Press release:

The Genesee County Emergency Management has received a $2,600 fire prevention grant from FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers.

FM Global representatives presented the award to Genesee County Office of Emergency Management, which will be accepting the grant award at a presentation at the Fire Training Center, located at 7690 State Street Road, Batavia. It will be used to help fire investigators more efficiently investigate and determine the cause of a fire.

Because fire continues to be the leading cause of property damage worldwide, during the past 40 years FM Global has contributed millions of dollars in fire prevention grants to fire service organizations around the globe. Locally, the company has awarded grants to a number of New York-based organizations.

 “At FM Global, we strongly believe the majority of property damage is preventable, not inevitable,” said Michael Spaziani, manager of the fire prevention grant program.

“Far too often, inadequate budgets prevent those organizations working to prevent fire from being as proactive as they would like to be. With additional financial support, grant recipients are actively helping to improve property risk in the communities they serve.”

Through its Fire Prevention Grant Program, FM Global awards grants to fire departments — as well as national, state, regional, local and community organizations worldwide — that best demonstrate a need for funding, where dollars can have the most demonstrable impact on preventing fire, or mitigating the damage it can quickly cause.

To learn more about FM Global’s Fire Prevention Grant Program, or to apply for a grant, please visit www.fmglobal.com/grants.

For nearly two centuries, many of the world’s largest organizations have turned to FM Global to develop cost-effective property insurance and engineering solutions to protect their business operations from fire, natural disasters and other types of property risk. With clients in more than 130 countries, FM Global ranks #561 among FORTUNE magazine’s largest companies in America and is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best and AA (Very Strong) by Fitch Ratings. The company was named “World’s Best Supply Chain Risk Insurance Provider” in 2014 by Global Finance magazine and was voted “Best Commercial Property Insurer” in Business Insurance’s 2013 Buyers Choice Awards.

May 1, 2017 - 12:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake theme park, Darien, business.

Press release:

Darien Lake, Western New York’s largest theme park, will open for its 54th season on Saturday, May 6. The park plans to continue its long-standing role as Western New York’s premier homegrown family destination.

The season will kick off with a Season Pass Holder Appreciation Day on opening day, May 6. Each season pass holder who visits the park that day will receive an additional free bring-a-friend ticket that’s good for any day this season, as well as a Buy One, Get One Free discount on the park’s new games, “Strike U Up” and “Slapshot.”

2017 marks a momentous landmark occasion for the park’s signature coaster – the Viper. Upon completion in 1982, the Viper brought Darien Lake international attention as the home to the first steel coaster in the world to feature five inversions. The coaster also features a blackout tunnel and a gut-wrenching 70-foot drop – the ultimate experience for thrill-seekers. In honor of the park’s most beloved ride, a special 35th anniversary party will be held in June.

“Many of our guests throughout the years have pinpointed the first time they were tall enough to ride the Viper as one of their fondest memories,” said Darien Lake General Manager Chris Thorpe. “Thirty-five years later, it’s a wonderful thing to see those guests bring their children and grandchildren here to recreate that special moment.”

It is truly the “Year of Traditions” at Darien Lake this season. Not only will the Viper be turning 35, but The Darien Lake Amphitheater will be celebrating its 25th season of concerts this summer.

To commemorate this special occasion, Darien Lake and Live Nation have partnered to enhance the experience and value for concertgoers this year. Every ticket purchased for a 2017 season concert will also include free admission to Darien Lake Theme Park on the same day as the show.

“By inviting all our concert guests to join us in the theme park before the show, there’s a truly unique opportunity for fun,” Thorpe said. “Where else can you ride coasters all day and rock out all night with the greatest stars in the music industry?”

Darien Lake’s 25-year partnership with Live Nation is just one of several long-standing business relationships that have brought added value to park guests while supporting the local economy. Darien Lake proudly partners with Western New York brands including Tops Friendly Markets, Perry’s Ice Cream, Anchor Bar, Tim Hortons, Sahlen’s and Tyson. Darien is also welcoming a new partner this year – PepsiCo., which means the region’s favorite Pepsi products including the popular Buffalo drink, Loganberry, will be available in park.

For more information on season passes, concerts or accommodations, visit www.DarienLake.com.

May 1, 2017 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

Press release:

The City of Batavia is looking for City residents who are interested in serving on this committee! Submit your application, available on the City’s website, www.batavianewyork.com, under “Documents,” to the City Clerk’s office by May 19th!

The Audit Advisory Committee was established to provide oversight to the financial and compliance reporting process, external audit process and control environment.

The Committee aids in the communication between the City Manager and the independent auditor in areas including the integrity of the City’s financial statement, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and the performance, qualifications, and independence of the auditors.

The Committee will be responsible for meeting with the auditors prior to the audit, reviewing risk assessment, reviewing the draft financial statements and making a recommendation on acceptance of the external audit reports to the City Manager. Additional responsibilities include reviewing the management letter and establishing internal controls.

The Committee is made up of five members, two of which are Council members. Thank you for your interest in serving on this committee!

May 1, 2017 - 12:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in tourism, business, batavia, sports.

Press release:

The 2017 Empire Cup College Showcase has teamed with Elite Tournaments and U.S. Youth Soccer Region 1 to bring the Eastern Regional League to Batavia. Over the next two weekends (May 6-7 and 13-14) Genesee County will host more than 3,000 soccer players, plus coaches, families and fans, as the tournaments are played at the Batavia Sports Park and Genesee Community College fields.

Historically this tournament draws teams from throughout New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Canada. With this new partnership, the event has shown significant growth and the influx of visitors and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce estimates that this event will create an economic impact of more than $1.1 million during the span of the two tournament weekends, from both hotel stays as well as visiting local restaurants and shops. The tournament will generate more than 1,200 room nights at area hotels.

This tournament invites all USYSA and U.S. Club Soccer affiliated boys and girls U13 through U19 teams to participate. Players not only get the opportunity to play with and against the top teams in Region 1; they also get the chance to showcase their abilities and talents to recruits at the collegiate level.

The Genesee County Visitor Center will be open to assist visitors in finding local destinations by providing the new dining guide, maps, visitors guide and area coupons from participating merchants.

May 1, 2017 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Alabama, Oakfield, Le Roy, Stafford.

Gannon D. McNall, 20, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful surveillance, 2nd. McNall is accused of setting up a camera to record a female acquaintance for the purpose of sexual arousal and/or gratification. He was jailed on $5,000 bail. He was also arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an unrelated incident.

Brandon James Nugent, 23, of Gilbert Street, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unlawful possession of marijuana, moving from lane unsafely and failure to keep right. Nugent was allegedly found asleep at the wheel of his running vehicle while it was parked on the shoulder of Sweetland Road, Stafford, at 6:28 a.m. Saturday, by Deputy Eric Meyer. When the deputy approached and woke Nugent, he reportedly put the vehicle in gear, drove east on Sweetland in the wrong lane and drove the vehicle off the north shoulder of the roadway. Deputy Meyer completed a field sobriety test and allegedly found Nugent in possession of marijuana during the investigation.

A 16-year-old resident of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. The youth is accused of stealing money from a safe inside a residence where he was living at the time.

A 16-year-old resident of Wood Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. The youth allegedly threw scissors at another person striking the person in the back.

Joseph Marsceill, 32, of Lewis Place, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Marsceill was located during a home check by Probation and taken into custody by Batavia PD.

Jolynn M. Gorski, 37, of West Main Street Road, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to comply with court-ordered program or service. Gorski was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Priscilla M. Donahue, 38, of Liberty Street, Batavia, was arrested on a pair of warrants. Donahue was arrested by Batavia PD after being located in City Court on an unrelated matter. She was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Jacob L. Hernandez, 22, of Pearl Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Hernandez turned himself in.

Elizabeth A. Hicks, 34, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Hicks is accused of shoplifting at Tops on April 21. She was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Lori A. Keech, 46, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with petit larceny. Keech is accused of shoplifting from Tops on April 12.

Kevin J. Weber, 46, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, criminal obstruction of breathing, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. Weber was arrested following a report of an incident at 12:26 a.m. April 23 on Columbia Avenue, Batavia. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Kiha Samuel McNear, 19, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, inadequate lights, no bell/signal device. McNear was stopped at 8:12 p.m. April 26 at 10 Ellicott St., by Officer Arick Perkins.

Dander J. Cramer, 18, of Route 46, Dansville, is charged with riding a bicycle on a sidewalk. He was stopped at 8:34 p.m. April 26 at 117 Jackson St., Batavia, by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Gregory M. Munroe II, 29, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with driving with a suspended registration and aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Munroe allegedly failed to appear in City Court on these charged.

Lisa M. Burke, 48, of Maple Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Burke is accused of shoplifting at Kwik Fill on Jackson Street.

Haley Marie Findley, 24, of Mt. Read Boulevard, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Findley was charged following a traffic stop at 8:40 p.m. Friday on Judge Road, Alabama, by Deputy Micheal Lute.

Jason William Whitehead, 19, of Batavia Oakfield Townline Road, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, unlicensed operator, moving from lane unsafely, expired inspection and failure to use signal. Whitehead was stopped at 11:43 a.m. Saturday on Pratt Road by Deputy Michael Lute.

May 1, 2017 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in five generations, news.

20170429_164034fivegenerations.jpg

Eugene Laney turned 80 on Saturday. As part of the celebration, the family created a five-generation photo, with his daughter Linda Johnson, his granddaughter Serena Richardson, his great-granddaughter Cheyenne Richardson, and his great-great-granddaughter, 2-month-old Kymina. 

Photo and info submitted by Jessica Budzinack.

May 1, 2017 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
May 1, 2017 - 7:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

If the sun comes out over the next few hours, it could help energize a storm heading toward Western New York, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a special weather statement this morning.

The storm is likely to hit western counties between 3 and 6 p.m. and move east.

Cloud cover this morning could limit the storm's growth as a cold front pushes across the state.

A severe thunderstorm could include dangerously strong winds.

The slow-moving storm could also deliver downpours on top of already wet conditions raising concerns for flooding.

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