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April 29, 2016 - 10:45am

From our news partner WBTA:

A bomb threat was e-mailed this morning to Independent Living of Genesee Region, according to Rae Frank, director of the Batavia location at 113 Main St. downtown.

It is not clear, Frank said, whether the threat was intended for the Buffalo office or the Batavia office, or both, but as a precaution staff was told within the past hour to leave for the day and Batavia PD was alerted.

The person who made the threat allegedly has a history of complaints with the nonprofit agency.

Independent Living of Genesee Region (ILGR) is a multicultural, grassroots, peer-directed, civil rights organization that provides a full range of assistance, programs and services to enhance the quality of life for all individuals with disabilities. "ILGR assists persons with disabilities to realize their life choices through information and referral, independent living skills, community and systems advocacy and peer counseling."

It provides: adaptive aids/equipment, advocacy, benefits advisement, counseling/support groups, health insurance information, information & referral, library of disabilities, independent living skills instruction, community disability education.

UPDATE 11:29 a.m.: David Boyce, CEO of the building's owner Tompkins Insurance Co., said the agency's staff on the second floor was also evacuated as a precautionary measure. He said police indicated they do not believe there is an imminent threat.

UPDATE 11:41 a.m.: The "indirect threat" was made by an employee recently let go from the Buffalo office of Independent Living and the person has no known ties to Genesee County, said Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis. "We've checked the (Batavia) building and we've found nothing," Davis said. Adjacent businesses were notified of the situation and any decision to evacuate staff was their option. A bomb-sniffing dog from State Police Troop A is en route to go through the building and if nothing is found, officers will give the all clear.

April 29, 2016 - 10:16am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

From a Batavia PD press release:

A registered sex offender who allegedly failed to register his address as required by law was the subject of a manhunt in the city on Thursday in the area of Walnut Street.

Marlek E. Holmes, 42, no permanent address, was arrested after he fled from officers who were attempting to arrest him on a bench warrant out of City Court for the violation.

After being located on Walnut Street, he fled from officers and a foot pursuit ensued. A perimeter was set up in the vicinity and the Sheriff's K-9 unit with "Destro" assisted Batavia PD in finding the suspect, who was hiding on a porch at a residence in the area. Holmes was jailed without bail. Additional charges are pending.

April 28, 2016 - 1:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Press release:

The New York State Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges (NYSMATYC) held its 49th Annual Conference earlier this month in Kingston, hosting professionals from throughout New York State for a three-day event themed, "Three Days of Peace and Math."

Among the order of business was the presentation of the organization's scholarship awards, which honor high achieving students at two-year colleges across the state. Genesee Community College is pleased to congratulate student Rebecca "Becca" Sheets, of Batavia, who was awarded the coveted Helen Siner Scholarship Award, reserved as the NYSMATYC's highest honor.

"I recommended Becca for the award because she has been one of the strongest students in Calculus III, Discrete Math and Differential Equations this year," said Phillip Pickering, GCC professor of Mathematics. "They are the three hardest mathematics courses currently offered at GCC. She has no shortage of supporters among the math and science faculty, and all of us who have had the pleasure of having her in class are equally impressed with her work ethic, attitude, personality and intelligence."

Helen Siner taught mathematics at Staten Island Community College, which later became the College of Staten Island, a four-year City University of New York (CUNY) unit. In 1975, Siner was honored by NYSMATYC for Outstanding Contributions to Mathematics Education. During the 1970s and 1980s, Siner chaired the Scholarship Committee almost continuously. After her death in the early 1990s, the top NYSMATYC Scholarship was named in her honor, which includes a $1,000 incentive.

A 2010 graduate of Batavia High School, Sheets is a double major at GCC, studying Mathematics and Chemistry. She served in the Air Force from 2011 until 2014 as an air traffic controller and spent time in Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma. Becca was awarded the Waste Management Scholarship in the spring of 2015 and the Veterans Scholarship in the fall of 2015.

After her time at GCC, Sheets plans to move on to the University of Rochester or the State University of New York at Buffalo to continue her studies in hopes of becoming a professor or research scientist. She has already been accepted into the SUNY Geneseo Summer Engineering Research program (SURGE) and was named to the GCC President's List in the fall of 2014 and 2015 and the spring of 2014.

She is married to Jacob Sheets and has two daughters, Lillyan and Isabella. She is the daughter of Evangeline and Edward Canty and has one sister, Danielle.

April 28, 2016 - 11:59am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, sports, news, Milestones.

Submitted photos and press release:

Last week, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) honored four local high school sports teams for winning championships in their respective conferences. Hawley presented Assembly proclamations, the house’s highest honor, to the Batavia Notre Dame Hockey Team, Batavia Girls Basketball Team, Batavia Boys Basketball Team and Batavia Girls’ Indoor Track and Field Team.

Hawley spoke to the teams about the value of teamwork, perseverance and strength and offered his advice and good fortune to the teams for next year. 

“Batavia is my hometown and I appreciate the strong tradition in athletics that is perpetuated by these gifted athletes,” Hawley said. “Non-professional athletics is one of the purest forms of sport out there because athletes do not have hidden agendas or are distracted by salary requirements.

"Lessons learned in high school sports such as leadership, the strength to fight through adversity and mental fortitude will have profound impacts on these young men and women and help them succeed after high school. I wish these teams the best of luck for next season.”

April 28, 2016 - 11:39am

Press release:

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is looking for a few good architects (we really need those!), historic district residents (and these!), historians, or volunteers who have significant interest in the commitment to historic preservation.

If this sounds like you, and you are a City resident, submit your application today.

The HPC works toward the protection, enhancement, and perpetuation of landmarks and historic districts in the City of Batavia. For about an hour a month you can help preserve our historic community.

Volunteer today to see the difference you can make! Applications are available at the City Clerk’s office or online at www.batavianewyork.com in the documents section.

April 28, 2016 - 11:35am
posted by Billie Owens in washington avenue sewer project, news, batavia.

Press release:

The Washington Avenue Sewer Project is expected to impact traffic in that area and will start on or about May 2. Once construction begins, Washington Avenue will be limited to “local traffic only” in the specific section of Washington Avenue that is being worked on. The expectation is that the first section to be closed off would be Bank Street to Summit Street, followed by Summit Street to Ross Street.

During this time, thru traffic will not be allowed, only access for residents/deliveries/emergency services. It is expected that sidewalks will always be open and passable, but caution should be observed as it is a construction zone.

Once completed, construction will then shift to the Jefferson Avenue – Bank Street block of Washington Avenue. An additional notice will be provided for work on State Street which is also part of this project.

Work is expected to be completed on the entire project, including pavement resurfacing from Ellicott Avenue to Ross Street, by Aug. 19.

Construction updates, schedules and traffic plans will be posted on the City Web page, and should be available by the end of the week. You can access it here.

For additional information contact:

April 28, 2016 - 11:17am
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia.

Brandon Smart, 2016 graduate of Batavia High School, current undergraduate at the University of Rochester, has advanced to the finals in the Tibetan Innovation Challenge.

This is an intercollegiate social entrepreneurship business plan contest. Top universities from around the world compete in this challenge.

The ideals submitted from this contest are  meant to improve the lives of Tibetans living in refugee camps in India.

Brandon and his team, along with the other four finalists, will present their business plan to the Tibetan partners June 3 for the final round of the competition. The winner will get to meet the Dalai Lama and hopefully improve the lives of many Tibetans with their plan.

You can view the team's submission at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AubLB5zlfc  What a great honor to have made it this far.

April 28, 2016 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Emily Helenbrook, Genesee Chorale, batavia, arts, entertainment, music, news.

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Press release:

The Genesee Chorale, under the direction of Ric Jones, is excited to offer a performance of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 29th, in the beautiful sanctuary of St. James Episcopal Church, located at 405 E. Main St. in Batavia. 

“Performing this amazing work will truly be a memorable experience for us and for the audience,” said Jones, director of the large, talented community chorus based in Batavia. “This performance will run the gamut of human emotion; excitement, intrigue, humor, and love all rolled into one amazing work."

“Carmina Burana” is a scenic cantata composed by Orff and based on a collection of 24 medieval poems. You might recognize the exciting “O Fortuna,” which was first introduced to mainstream media in the 1981, John Boorman film, "Excalibur." Other appearances in movies include "Glory" (1989), "The Hunt for Red October" (1990), "The Doors" (1991), "Natural Born Killers" (1994), and "The General’s Daughter" (1999).

Orff’s Carmina Burana is based on 24 of the 254 poems found in the medieval collection Carmina Burana, a manuscript composed of 11th – 13th century poems and dramatic texts, believed to be written by clergy in Italy and Western Europe for traveling scholars, universities and theologians. The collection of texts was discovered in 1803 in the Benedictine monastery of Benediktbeuern in Bavaria (Germany).

The Chorale will consist be accompanied by several three outstanding soloists: Emily Helenbrook, soprano; John Clayton, tenor; Joe Finetti, baritone.

Hellenbrook is a senior at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Carol Webber. Helenbrook has performed several times as a featured soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic and in several appearances with Ars Nova Musicians in the Viva Vivaldi Festival. She also appeared twice on the nationally acclaimed show, From the Top, recorded at the Chautauqua Amphitheatre and Kodak Hall at Eastman.

Clayton is a tenor based in Buffalo. He has been described as “One of Buffalo’s top vocalists” who performs “gallantly.” He studied music and voice at SUNY College at Buffalo and has worked with vocal coaches from across America and Europe. Clayton is a frequent soloist with choral ensembles in Western New York. He has also been featured in concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Nickel City Opera. Clayton has sung the National Anthem for Buffalo Bills' home games and is a current member of the Harmonia Chamber Singers.

Finetti, bass – baritone, enjoys various performing opportunities in the Rochester area. He recently appeared as the beleaguered Herr Schlendrian in Bach’s Coffee Cantata at Nazareth College, interpreted the Bass role of Haydn’s "Creation" in several performances with the Finger Lakes Chorale, and sang Broadway favorites as a guest of the Irondequoit Chorale. A longtime member of the baroque ensemble The Publick Musick, he has sung solo roles in numerous Bach cantatas and masses as well as period performances of Handel’s "Messiah." Finetti performs regularly with the Renaissance group Musica Spei, the annual sponsor of the Rochester Early Music Festival as well as the well-known local chamber choir Madrigalia. He has a practice of family medicine in Greece, NY, and lives with his wife Maria Mastrosimone, also a family physician, in the Highland Park neighborhood of Rochester.

The performance will also feature two talented pianists, Doug Hanson and Howard Spindler. Five percussionists from the Batavia and Rochester area will accompany the work.

Tickets for the performance at St. James are available on the Genesee Chorale Web site, www.GeneseeChorale.com, from any Chorale member, or at the door. For more information please contact the Chorale president, Heather Lovelace at (716) 531-8986.

The Genesee Chorale is directed by Ric Jones, owner of Imagine Music Publishing. In addition to being the musical director of the Genesee Chorale, he also serves as musical director of the Brighton Symphony Orchestra and The Middleport Community Choir. Jones is also the organist at St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Medina and Trinity Lutheran Church in Wolcottsville.

The Genesee Chorale is a community choir comprised of singers from all walks of life. It draws membership from Genesee County and seven surrounding counties. The repertory of the Genesee Chorale encompasses a wide variety of music in various styles from motets and madrigals of the Renaissance, to folk, musicals and jazz. Over the years, the Chorale has championed contemporary works for choir as well as larger liturgical settings including Bach's St. Matthew's "Passion," Charpentier's "Midnight Mass for Christmas," the Mozart and Brahms requiems, and several masses by composers such as Schubert and Mozart. Additionally, the Chorale has performed "Die Fledermaus," Mendelssohn's "Elijah," Handel's "Solomon," Haydn's "Creation," Vivaldi's "Magnificat," and Vaughan William’s "Hodie."

This concert is made possible in part with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Genesee Regional Arts Council.

April 27, 2016 - 6:40pm
posted by James Burns in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, genesee.

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Tuesday evening the Richmond Memorial Library celebrated a new program, Dolly Parton's Imangination Library, providing free books to children from birth to 5 years old. The library hosted a special story time featuring a certain librarian imitating Dolly Parton and guest storytellers.

Leading off story time was Tim Richter (pictured in red below) from the Richter Family Foundation. The foundation is funding the program. (Previous Coverage) To sign a child up get free books visit the library or apply on line

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April 27, 2016 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Jacquetta Simmons.

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After being among Batavia's wanted for 18 months, Jacquetta Simmons, 30, appeared in court today following her arrest in Rochester last night, to answer to a charge of harassment 2nd.

Simmons, out of jail on $300 bail, asked for an adjournment of her case because on short notice, her attorney, Ann Nichols, could not appear in Batavia today.

The case was docked for May 25. 

In the meantime, Judge Durin Rogers issued an order of protection, which Simmons signed, barring her from any contact with the alleged victim in the harassment case, a 54-year-old woman.

Simmons was allegedly in an altercation of some sort with the woman back in October during a meeting at the YWCA. A couple of weeks later, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Simmons on the harassment charge. The warrant was reported by local and regional media in January.

The former Batavia resident gained international notoriety after punching a 70-year-old Walmart cashier on Christmas Eve, 2011. In August, 2012, Simmons was found guilty of assault in the second degree by a jury and later sentenced to five years in state prison. The sentence was later ruled too harsh by an appeals court and Simmons was resentenced to one year in jail.

Also in City Court today, 54-year-old Darlene M. Callan, charged with arson, 3rd, for allegedly starting a fire inside her home Monday at 189 South Main St., Batavia. Callan is being held on $25,000 bail and her attorney asked for her to be released under supervision given her lack of criminal record and ties to the community. Citing a low score on a bail review worksheet and concerns over recent substance use issues, Rogers declined to reduce the bail.

April 27, 2016 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A person was reportedly outside his vehicle at John Kennedy School when another vehicle struck it, causing the man's vehicle to strike him.

The man reportedly suffered a minor injury.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

April 27, 2016 - 12:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, news.

Shawn Thomas Rushok, 17, of Church Road, Le Roy, is charged with first degree criminal sexual act. He was arrested on April 26 for allegedly engaging in oral sexual conduct in the afternoon of July 20 with a person less than 11 years old. He was arraigned by Town of Le Roy Justice Welsh and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Timothy Wescott, assisted by Deputy John Dehm.

Brian K. Dyer, 49, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault, third-degree menacing, and criminal obstruction of breathing. He was arrested at 12:14 a.m. on April 23 as the result of an investigation into a domestic incident that occurred at a North Street residence a short time earlier. He was put in jail on $2,500 bail and was to be in court on April 25. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Ryan James Wetsell, 22, of Walden Creek Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and second-degree harassment. He was arrested at 5:30 p.m. on April 21 following an altercation with another male in the area of 335 Bank St., Northside Meadows Apartments in Batavia. It is alleged that Wetsell went after another male at that location, striking him several times and then attempting to choke him. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Timothy Jerome Stump, 44, of Montclair Avenue, is charged with: obstructed view; broken windshield; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree -- having a prior driving while intoxicated conviction; felony common law DWI; and felony DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or more. Stump was arrested at 5:51 p.m. on April 22 following a traffic stop on Porter Avenue. He was allegedly found to be operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and doing so on a suspended NY driver's license. He was to appear in City Court April 25. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Rebecca N. Bethune, 27, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with trespass and illegal disposal of items. The charges stem from a complaint in which Bethune was alleged to have disposed of a mattress at 679 E. Main St., the Batavia Gardens Apartments, leaving the item against a dumpster at that location at 3 p.m. on April 21. She is not a resident of the complex. She was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards.

Patrick A. Dudley, 18, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 5th. Batavia police conducted a traffic stop at about 12:30 a.m. on April 24 and Dudley was a passenger in the vehicle. During the course of the traffic stop, police allegedly disovered 28 grams of marijuana on Dudley's person. He was subsequently arrested and released with an appearance ticket for May 10 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

April 27, 2016 - 11:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, crime, batavia, news.

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    Darlene M. Callan

A 54-year-old South Main Street woman has been charged with arson in the third degree for allegedly setting a fire in a bedroom of her home around 5 p.m., Monday.

The bedroom had fire and smoke damage but city firefighters were able to put the blaze out before it spread.

Interim Fire Chief Dan Herberger said that the actual cause of the fire cannot be released yet because it's still under investigation. 

City fire was dispatched after a woman ran to a neighbor's house and said her bedroom was on fire.

After an investigation, it was determined the only person at home at 189 S. Main St. was Darlene M. Callan and police say evidence indicates she started the fire.

Several subjects at the scene were interviewed, police say.

Callan was held on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.

The investigation was conducted by Officer Jamie Givens, Sgt. Dan Coffey, Det. Kevin Czora and Capt. Craig Williams.

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April 27, 2016 - 11:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jacquetta Simmons, crime, batavia, news.
 Jacquetta Simmons

More than a year after a warrant was first issued for her arrest, Jacquetta Bernadine Simmons, who first made international news after punching a Walmart cashier on Christmas Eve in 2011, is back in custody.

Simmons was picked up by Rochester PD last night and turned over to Batavia PD on a warrant for an alleged incident at a church meeting in Batavia in October, 2014.

The warrant was issued Oct. 20, 2014, but information wasn't released until January. 

Simmons, 30, allegedly made some sort of physical contact with a 54-year-old woman.

She is charged with second-degree harassment.

The meeting reportedly involved church members at a business meeting being held at the YWCA, 301 North St., Batavia.

Simmons was convicted in August 2012 of assaulting a 70-year-old cashier at Walmart and later sentenced to five years in prison, but that sentence was later overturned on appeals and she was given a year in jail. She was also ordered to pay restitution, which became the subject of several court appearances as she appealed the amount and sought modifications to the payment plan.

Simmons, held on $300 bail, is scheduled to appear in City Court at 1 p.m. today to answer to the harassment charge.

April 26, 2016 - 6:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Joe Gerace, Genesee Cancer Assistance, batavia, news, charity.

Throughout his life, Joe Gerace has helped so many people in our community, and now it's our turn to help him, but he doesn't look at it that way.

"I'm a little humble," Gerace said. "I'm humble because I'm not looking for somebody to pay me back. I've done everything from my heart, and, yeah, now it is payback time, but I'm not looking for it that way. I'm not that way."

Gerace was diagnosed earlier this month with lung cancer and bone cancer, at the same time, he also suffered a broken femur. He's currently staying at the State Veterans Home but plans on attending his annual spaghetti dinner Thursday in Stafford, which is a fundraiser for Genesee Cancer Assistance, a local organization he's worked tirelessly for since 1995.

"I'm looking forward to going to my spaghetti dinner Thursday," Gerace said. "I'm not going to get to put my hands in the sauce. I'd like to, but they all know what to do. I gave them all instructions."

He thinks just being there is important, not for him, but for others who need the support.

"I did it for 20 years and I want to be there to root other people on," said Gerace, who is 80. "I'm not the only guy who has cancer. There's a lot of people out there. I don't want no one to feel sorry for me because I'm going to fight this. I'm going to fight it."

Gerace has been deeply involved in our community for decades. He was the first person selected for the Italian-American of the Year Award at Batavia Downs in 2008. That year he was also Humanitarian of the Year for United Memorial Medical Center and the Jerome Foundation. In 2006, he was named City of Batavia Volunteer of the Year and Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Genessean of the Year in 1993 and was honored for his community service by the Paolo Busti Foundation Scholarship Committee.

He has long been active in Rotary and Knights of Columbus. He's a former president of the Batavia Youth Bureau, co-chair of the Genesee County Cancer Society's Festival of Hope and a director of the Genesee County Baseball Club (co-owners of the Batavia Muckdogs).

"I've got the urge to help," said Gerace, who served in the Army from 1957-59. "I call myself a public servant for Christ. I'm not a very religious guy, but I believe in God."

For two decades he's devoted a lot of time and effort helping people afflicted with cancer, but he never had it himself until now.

"It's so easy to tell somebody, you're going to be OK," Gerace said. "Well, you know, you experience it and then you'll know what they're going through. It's not only the cancer. It's the treatments. It knocks the heck out of you. It makes you tired. I want to go faster, but they slow me down, my wife slows me down all the time."

Gerace has received hundreds of get-well cards and countless bouquets of flowers over the past couple of weeks. He knows hundreds of people are praying for him and he says his own prayer every time he goes into treatment. 

"I say, 'dear God, those people prayed for me. Please answer their prayers.' "

He vows to beat cancer.

He said the other day he was doing a little religious reading and came across the story of a woman who got cancer and asked, "why me?"

She told people, "I have the Big C."

"Another gentleman wrote a letter," Gerace said, "and wrote her back and said, 'It's OK to have the Big C. The Big C is Christ and Christ is bigger than cancer.'

"That's what keeps me going," Gerace added. "I'm going to have a fight and I'm going to win. I will win. I've got a lot of spirit."

The dinner Thursday is from 4 to 7 p.m. Gerace vows he'll be there for at least some of the time. It's at the Stafford Fire Hall. Adults $10 (includes a 50/50 raffle ticket), children $5. Takeouts available.

April 26, 2016 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Vibrant Batavia, batavia, news, business.

Whether Vibrant Batavia gets funded in 2016-17 depends on how a resolution passed a year ago by the City Council is interpreted by the City Council this year, and that decision will wait for another meeting, this year's City Council decided last night.

A year ago, the council made 2016-17 funding contingent on Vibrant Batavia securing $15,000 from another funding source, but the available language of the resolution seems unclear whether Vibrant Batavia must already have that funding in place or if the group of volunteers must have a plan in place for raising the money before the end of the fiscal year.

City Manager Jason Molino wasn't at the meeting last night and council members would like to hear from him and to review the minutes from a year ago to help with the interpretation of the resolution.

That said, it's a resolution, so it isn't binding. If there are five votes against Vibrant Batavia, the meaning of the resolution could be moot.

When Council President Eugene Jankowski asked council members to vote on a motion to request more information from Molino, four members -- Rosemary Christian, Kathy Briggs, Al McGinnis and Paul Viele -- all voted against even getting more information before making a decision.

Councilman Brooks Hawley was not at Monday's meeting, but it's not clear that other council members would support Vibrant Batavia if came down to a binding vote.

McGinnis likened Vibrant Batavia to socialism. He thinks the government shouldn't take the initiative on what private citizens should do.

Rosemary Christian said she was promised years ago that a spray park would be built on the Southside and she wonders whatever happened to that idea, and there are sidewalks that need repaired and police cameras that should be purchased.

"We need other things more than we need Vibrant Batavia, no ifs, ands and buts about it," she said.

Jankowski said everybody agrees that Vibrant Batavia has done good work over the past three years.

"There's no debate about it," Jankowski said. "The debate is on how to fund it. That's where the split is."

While the motion failed on the 4-4 vote, it really only takes one council member to request an item be placed on a conference agenda (it takes majority approval to place an item on a business agenda), so the council will be able to take up the issue again at the next conference meeting that Molino is able to attend.

April 26, 2016 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, history, news, batavia.

Submitted photo and press release:

The History Heroes Summer Program for the Holland Land Office Museum was established in 2011. It was our mission to immerse children in their local history and provide them with a foundation to understand how their hometowns fit into their history.

In four years, the History Heroes Summer Program has evolved into an experience where the youth of Genesee County can explore their roots and prepare for their futures as educated young citizens. 

The theme for the 2016 History Heroes Summer Program is Carnival Days at the museum. This year the children will work together to create a Penny Carnival. The program ends with the carnival and a multimedia musical production showcasing our local history with the children taking on the persona of a famous Batavian.

Each day of the summer program is packed with exciting and educational activities, field trips, games, crafts, and more! The program begins on Tuesday, July 19th and runs for eight days, ending on Friday, July 29th. The cost for the program is $25 a day for non-members and $20 a day for museum members. The program is open to children ages 7-12.

The program is staffed by Jeffrey Fischer, interim director for the Holland Land Office Museum, and Anne Marie Starowitz, a former elementary teacher, along with a certified art and music teacher, a profession photographer, along with volunteers from the community.

Please call the museum at 343-4727 for more information and to save a place for your child.

April 26, 2016 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, east pembroke, pembroke, Le Roy, news.

Press release:

This Saturday, April 30, the Batavia Police Department, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the Le Roy Police Department will be participating in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

The annual event is aimed at providing a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. in the parking lots of the Batavia Police Headquarters, the Le Roy Police Headquarters, and the Pembroke Town Highway barns located at routes 5 and 77 in East Pembroke.

This event is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

April 26, 2016 - 3:00pm

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April 26, 2016 - 2:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia.

Press release:

The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office Commander of the Drug Task Force, Captain Ed Till, announces that Members of the Wyoming County Drug Task Force have arrested two Genesee County individuals on drug charges over the last several days as a continuation of Operation Spring Sweep. (Six others were arrested in Wyoming County.) Several additional investigations are continuing. 

shannonapril2016.jpgJOHNNEY SHANNON, age 57, of Creek Road, Batavia, was charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. Shannon allegedly sold heroin to an undercover agent on two occasions in the Village of Attica in December. Shannon was being held in the Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail and has since been released.​

rileyapril2016.jpgDAVID T. RILEY, age 33, of East Main Street, Batavia, was charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. Riley allegedly sold heroin to an undercover agent on two occasions in the Village of Attica in December. Riley is currently being held in the Genesee County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail on a similar heroin sale allegation in the City of Batavia. Bail was also set at $25,000 cash in Wyoming County.

Wyoming County Sheriff Gregory Rudolph says: “These arrests are a continuation of “Operation Spring Sweep” and are the culmination of investigations that took several months. The opiate problem seen nationally and across the state is in Wyoming County. The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Task Force and all the Law Enforcement agencies in Wyoming County are committed to aggressively investigate the possession and sales of illicit drugs.

"We will do our enforcement part in curtailing the use and distribution of these highly addictive drugs. The Wyoming County Drug Task Force is an operational and investigative unit that has dedicated Deputies and Officers working together from the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office, the Arcade Police Department, the Attica Police Department, the Perry Police Department, the Warsaw Police Department and the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Wyoming County Drug Task Force maintains a Tip Line: 585-786-8965 and encourages the reporting of drug activity in our community.”

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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