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February 25, 2020 - 12:08pm


Batavia Development Corporation Executive Director Andrew Maguire borrowed a line often used by his counterpart at the Genesee County Economic Development Corporation on Monday night as he outlined accomplishments and goals of the City-funded agency charged with attracting and facilitating investment.

“Economic development is a marathon, not a sprint,” Maguire said, echoing to a certain extent the message conveyed by Steve Hyde, GCEDC president, in his public addresses.

Maguire, a lifelong Batavian and former clerk-treasurer for the Village of Oakfield, was named to the post on Nov. 18.

He has had to absorb much information in that time as the City of Batavia is in the midst of negotiations to advance several $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects along with other business-friendly loan and grant programs.

Over the past few years, Batavia has come up with different strategies to spur new development and investment, including remediation of Brownfield Opportunity Area districts, Revolving Loan Fund and Grant programs, New York Main Street Grant program and the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity Fund PILOT-repurposing agreement forged by the five taxing jurisdictions (City of Batavia, Genesee County, Batavia City School District, GCEDC and BDC).

“New development is about what will make Batavia attractive to all entrepreneurs,” Maguire said, adding that the success of these programs can bring about a “Live, Work, Play” lifestyle that young professionals are seeking.

Maguire said the City’s population of 14,396 is projected to decrease considerably over the next 20 years, with about 5,000 less citizens in the 25 to 64 age range. But, he said, that effective economic development could turn things around for a community that has 2.3 million people and 67 colleges within a 60-mile radius.

“HP Hood is set to hire 200 to 250 employees, which will double its workforce,” Maguire said, adding that about 75 percent of those who work in the City don’t live in the City.

He also pointed out that the housing situation in Batavia is less than optimal as more than half of housing units are more than 50 years old and “in need of substantial rehabilitation.”

“Industrial growth is outpacing housing (construction),” he said, factors not conducive to attracting millennials who are opting for a “more simplistic lifestyle.”

Maguire said he believes the City is poised for a burst of economic development as long as the DRI projects reach the ground-breaking stage in the near future and the Business Improvement Fund Grant investment reaps a projected three-fold harvest.

“The $10 million DRI projects (including Ellicott Station, Mall/City Centre, Healthy Living/Campus, Creek Park and Batavia Players theatre) will result in $64.6 million in investments and the $600,00 BIF will generate another $2 million,” he said. “All programs combined are expected to bring in $72 million in capital investment to the City.”

Maguire, the lone paid employee of an independent agency governed by a board of directors and financially supported by the City, said “it is critical to not let this momentum stop … to increase the quality of life and attract new talent. More than ever, the City needs boots on the ground.”

Photo -- Batavia Development Corporation Executive Director Andrew Maguire during Monday night's City Council meeting. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

February 25, 2020 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
Daniel Lewis

Another criminal charge has been filed against a Western New York man who was released from custody Dec. 5 after admitting to stolen property charges in Genesee County Court.

Daniel Jon Lewis, 24, who has variously been listed as a resident of Lima, Chili, and with no permanent address, went on -- if the allegations against him are true -- a crime spree in Genesee County starting Jan. 1.

The latest charge against Lewis is petit larceny for an alleged left at a residence on Stringham Drive, Batavia, just after midnight, Jan. 3.

Lewis is being held without bail in the Genesee County Jail on a felony robbery charge. He is accused of forcibly taking property from a person on Bank Street, Batavia, on Jan. 1. He was named as the suspect in that case and taken into custody late in January.  By that time, he had allegedly committed a number of thefts and fled from police when allegedly caught in the act in the Haven Lane area.

When Lewis pled guilty to criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree as a second felony offender on Dec. 6, his attorney, Fred Rarick told Judge Charles Zambito that his client should be released from custody since, under terms of bail reform legislation taking first at the start of the year, Lewis would be eligible for release while awaiting sentencing.

Neither Zambito nor District Attorney Lawrence Friedman contradicted Rarick's mistaken interpretation of the new law but it appears that Lewis would not have been eligible for release under bail reform.

Public Defender Jerry Ader brought the discrepancy to the attention of The Batavian after previous articles noted that Lewis was released from custody because of bail reform. While that may be factually correct, to the degree that was the understanding in County Court on Dec. 5, the truth is, Ader said, bail reform only applies to pre-trial/pre-conviction defendants. 

"The pre-trial bail reforms were no longer applicable to his case after he entered a plea of guilty," Ader said in an email to The Batavian. "The judge exercised his discretion when he decided to release Mr. Lewis to the supervision of Genesee Justice. He did not have to do so. He also had the authority at any time after Mr. Lewis was released to revoke that securing order and issue a new one, which could have included setting bail if he was not compliant with his release conditions."

Over the course of our discussion of the case, which included Ader reviewing the minutes of the Dec. 6 hearing, Ader asked that in reporting this clarification, we include his view:  "I do not know whether the Court would have still released Mr. Lewis under supervision of Genesee Justice if Mr. Rarick had made the request after the plea was entered without any reference to the upcoming changes in the bail statutes. He may have been inclined to do it either way.  You can’t tell from the record of the proceedings.

Lewis remains a person of interest, according to criminal justice sources, in the theft and police pursuit involving a Spectrum work truck Jan. 25.  Lewis has reportedly been cooperating with investigators on several pending cases.


February 25, 2020 - 10:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

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February 24, 2020 - 10:47pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia City Council.

If the Batavia City Council votes to not override the state’s 2 percent tax cap at its March 9 meeting and send the 2020-21 budget ordinance back to the city manager for further cuts, it will serve only to make a bad situation worse.

That is the steadfast opinion of Manager City Martin Moore, who spoke out against further reduction in services and/or personnel during an emotionally-charged City Council Conference Meeting tonight at City Hall.

“I can tell you in the strongest terms that our City employees do not deserve another $350,000 in cuts,” said Moore, responding to City Council President Eugene Jankowski asking what further cuts could be made if the board decides not to authorize a budget that currently calls for a 7.48 percent property tax rate increase -- from $8.92 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $9.59 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

At that new rate, property taxes on a house assessed for $100,000 in the City, for example, would be $959 -- an annual increase of $67 from a year ago.

The City is facing a $700,000 shortfall this year due to the loss of potential loss of more than $440,000 in Video Lottery Terminal funds generated by Batavia Downs Gaming.  The VLT money has always been part of the City’s budget. Things could change this year, however, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s has included those funds in the state budget.

Moore said that programs not critical to public health and safety would be the first ones on the chopping block. Those include youth and recreation programming, equipment replacement, travel/training seminars and the elimination of temporary and part-time employees.

“We would look at cuts in the Batavia Development Corporation and even the K-9 (police dog) unit may not survive (being cut),” he said.

Moore defended the work of his department heads for finding $350,000 in expenses to slash, noting that youth bureau funding has been cut and an additional school resource officer, computer replacement programs and purchases, and vehicle replacement for the fire, police and public works departments already have been put on hold.

My personal feeling is that I think the City has struck the right balance between cutting expenses and asking the people in the community to step up with us and help us with the property tax levy," Moore said. "I know it's difficult -- it's difficutl for all of us -- and it's very unfortunate that the state has a proposal (to take the VLT money) but it order to keep quality services, I think we need to stay right where we're at."

Jankowski said he put forth the “what if” scenario to “let the public know the gravity of what we’re facing. We’re looking at every line item.”

Initially, Moore’s budget came with a 0.97 percent property tax hike, a figure in line with the previous two budgets that had no tax increases. That fact wasn’t lost on Council member John Canale.

“I always say, ‘get it under 1 percent and then we’ll talk,’” Canale said. “But now our wonderful leader in Albany has decided to steal some money from us.”

Canale then, respectfully, called out Council member Rose Mary Christian for objecting to the revised budget despite the board sifting things out during several budget sessions.

Christian, along with Council member Paul Viele, voted no to sending three resolutions to the Council’s Business meeting next month -- overriding the tax cap, the budget itself and establishment of new water rates (3.5 percent increase), meter fees and capital improvement fees. They all passed by a 7-2 margin.

Earlier in the debate, Christian said she didn’t think Council took enough time to discuss potential cuts, believing that it was left in the hands of the department heads.

“That’s b--- s---,” she said, not holding back.

Jankowski took offense to Christian’s view and, a bit later, Canale questioned her motives.

“It’s almost our final meeting and now we’re doubting the budget … after hammering out $350,000 in cuts,” he said. “Now we’re second guessing that budget. We have to do it (override the tax cap). Our people see what Governor Cuomo did; they’re not idiots.”

Council member Kathleen Briggs agreed.

“We can’t go down that road (of finding more to cut),” she said. “We can’t do that to these departments, and I don’t think he (Moore) has to give us a scenario.”

Jankowski reiterated that it is possible that Council votes to not override the cap, but said that in any event, the citizens of Batavia realize the board’s dilemma.

“They’re angry, but they understand and they are with us,” he said.

Previously, Council member Robert Bialkowski took a jab at Cuomo and then gave credit to his colleagues and city officials for finding a way to close the monetary gap.

“I’m proud of Council and administration,” he said. “We got the first budget done but then threw it in the trash and started over. The manager and department heads made this happen.”

Bialkowski said the board is “not happy about raising property taxes on ourselves, but the budget now puts the least financial burden on taxpayers.”

During the budget public hearing, City residents David Twichell and John Roach spoke with the former asking Council to reconsider cutting funds to the youth bureau and the latter suggesting that Council should use money earmarked for the Batavia Development Corporation to instead restore the school resource officer position.

“We have a brand-new youth center on Liberty Street … with 400 (kids) registered to use the facility – twice as much as before,” Twichell said. “What better way to invest our hard-earned tax dollars then to the youth of our community?"

Roach said he understood that Council didn’t see the loss of the VLT money coming and raising taxes by more than 7 percent is “not how you gain popularity.”

He said he is disappointed that the SRO was cut.

“You give $100,000 to pay the salary of a person who is not a city employee (BDC executive director) and not for a second SRO who is going to protect kids,” he said. “I’d rather see a police officer to protect the schools.”

Council member Al McGinnis, the board liaison to the youth bureau, also said he was against cutting youth programming but said all (departments) have to take the cuts equally.

Bialkowski responded to the BDC suggestion by noting that it would difficult to find a volunteer to work the hours needed to coordinate development projects in the city, singling out the much-anticipated Ellicott Station mixed use redevelopment initiative.

“Once you start down that road, you might as well leave the community,” he said. “It will be a ghost town.”

February 24, 2020 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in farm labor, agriculture, batavia, business.

Press release:

New York State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon today announced she will convene a wage board for farm laborers that will hold hearings, review and make recommendations regarding overtime work for farm laborers in New York State.

Under the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, which Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law last year, farm laborers are entitled to overtime premium pay as of Jan. 1 for any work that they perform in excess of 60 hours per week, and for work performed on their designated day of rest.

As part of that Act, the wage board will consider and make recommendations as to overtime work and, specifically, will hear testimony about reducing the threshold for overtime below 60 hours per week and whether to do so in phases.

“We worked hard to ensure this bill included the proper labor protections and benefits that our farm laborers are entitled to,” Commissioner Reardon said. “We have an opportunity to improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of farmworkers. Overtime is a key component and we need to get it right.”

Convening the Wage Board

As required by the Act, New York State Labor Commissioner Reardon will convene a wage board with the following members:

  • David Fisher, president of the New York Farm Bureau
  • Denis Hughes, former president of the New York State AFL-CIO
  • Brenda McDuffie, president of the Buffalo Urban League

Under the Act, the wage board must hold at least three hearings at which the public will be afforded an opportunity to provide comments. The board will hold five hearings in various parts of the state. The board will carefully consider the input it gathers from farmers and other stakeholders.

The board has until Dec. 31 to make its recommendations, after which the Commissioner will have 45 days to take administrative action on those recommendations.

Public hearings are scheduled as follows:

  • Friday 2/28 – 11 a.m. – Albany – New York State Museum Cultural Education Center, Clark Auditorium, 222 Madison Ave., Albany, NY 12230
  • Friday 3/13 – 11 a.m. – Syracuse – Onondaga Community College, Storer Auditorium, 4585 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13215
  • Monday 3/23 – 11 a.m. – Binghamton – Binghamton University, Symposium Hall, Center of Excellence Building Innovative Technology Complex, 45 Murray Hill Road, Vestal, NY 13850
  • Thursday 4/16 – 11 a.m. – Long Island – Brookhaven Town Hall, 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville, NY 11738
  • Thursday 4/23 – 11 a.m. – Batavia – Genesee Community College, William Stuart Forum, 1 College Road, Batavia, NY 14020
February 24, 2020 - 5:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.47, up 3 cents since last week. One year ago, the price was $2.39. The New York State average is $2.61 – no change from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.52. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.59. (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.54 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.62 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.55 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.62 (no change since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.48 (no change since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.61 (no change since last week)

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.47 per gallon, which is 3 cents more than last week, 6 cents less than a month ago, and 8 cents more than a year ago.

With many people traveling for midwinter break, demand increased over the past week, which contributed to the spike in national gas prices.

Total national gasoline stocks also decreased last week, so that drop in supply also sent prices up nationally.

Demand will likely fluctuate in coming weeks with spring break travel and peak at Easter week.

February 24, 2020 - 5:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears 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.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]



February 24, 2020 - 4:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, Green Light Law, news.

Submitted photo and press release:

Following a briefing in Albany by members of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Assemblyman Steve Hawley joined lawmakers from across the state today (Feb. 24) at a press conference to highlight the dangers of the "Green Light Law," which went into effect on Jan. 1.

The law, which a recnt Siena Poll show is opposed by 48 percent of New York voters, allows illegal aliens to apply for a New York State driver’s license. 

Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders have expressed strong opposition to allowing Customs Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration authorities to access the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database to improve data sharing efforts.

Genesee County Clerk Michael T. Cianfrini recently wrote to Gov. Cuomo requesting that an amendment be passed allowing Customs Border Patrol to gain access to the DMV database. 

“As egregious and offensive this law is to law-abiding New Yorkers, we shouldn’t be making matters worse by limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities who use this information to keep the country safe,” Hawley said.

“Cooperation and data sharing between law enforcement agencies are key to tracking down and apprehending dangerous individuals and state leaders in New York are putting us all at risk by playing these political games with Washington.

"I am calling on Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders to work with us to amend this dangerous law before the public’s safety is compromised any further.”

Photo: Assemblyman Steve Hawley, left, listens as Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay speaks at the podium on the dangers of the "Green Light Law."

February 24, 2020 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Chris Jacobs, NY-27.

Press release:

President Donald Trump’s recent endorsement of Republican Chris Jacobs is highlighted in a new radio ad, which will begin airing across the 27th district today (Feb. 24).

President Trump endorsed Jacobs on Tuesday saying, “Chris Jacobs will be a great Congressman who will always fight for the people of New York.”

“I’m grateful for the President’s endorsement and trust,” Jacobs said. “As Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Nate McMurray attempt to drag this country toward socialism, I’m proud to stand with President Trump in the fight to put America first, secure our borders, grow our economy and honor our veterans.”

The ad:

MAN: Who does President Donald Trump support for Congress?

WOMAN: Chris Jacobs.

MAN: Why did President Trump endorse Chris Jacobs?

WOMAN: Because Chris Jacobs will have Trump’s back in Congress.

MAN: Chris Jacobs will vote every time to help President Trump finish building the wall that will secure our southern border.

WOMAN: Chris Jacobs will be on the Trump team in the fight to hold sanctuary cities that hide illegals from federal law enforcement accountable.  

MAN: Chris Jacobs will fight side by side with President Trump to drain the swamp, secure the border and keep our economy growing.

WOMAN: It’s no wonder that President Trump gave Chris Jacobs his complete endorsement, tweeting that Jacobs supports our Make America Great Again agenda.

MAN: President Trump said Jacobs “will continue to Secure our Border. Loves our military, vets and is strong on the 2nd Amendment.”

WOMAN: Cast your first vote for President Trump this year by supporting Chris Jacobs for Congress on April 28th.

JACOBS: I’m Chris Jacobs and I approve this message.

ANNOUNCER: Paid for by Jacobs for Congress.

February 24, 2020 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, charity, crossroads house, Rotary Club of Batavia.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Rotary Club of Batavia recently blessed Crossroads House with a new snowblower and lawn mower to keep the grounds of their home beautiful in the summer, and safe and snow free in the winter.

Crossroads House Executive Director Jeff Allen and Rotary Club of Batavia President Bob Knipe were on hand to see the new equipment at Cedar Street Sales and Rentals.

“For so many years, we have relied on volunteers and staff with shovels in the winter and used lawn mowers in the summer that often times were held together with duct tape.” Allen said.

“With this wonderful gift from the Rotary Club of Batavia, the great folks who keep up our grounds all year long can do so more efficiently.”

Upon delivery of the equipment Guy Clark, along with sons Adam and Connor, presented Crossroads House with a certificate from Cedar Street providing all parts, labor, maintenance and tune-ups for the new equipment for three years.

“With the added bonus, we only need to pay for gas and that is great for our budget.” Allen added.

Rotary Club of Batavia has partnered with Crossroads House for many years. They provided funds in the recent past to install a vital handicap bathroom.

They also funded an upgrade to the security camera system as well as LED lighting in the parking lot providing peace of mind important to a home that operates 24 hours a day.

Pictured, from left Bob Knipe, Rotary Club of Batavia president; Connor Clark and Guy Clark, Cedar Street Sales and Rentals; Jeff Allen, executive director of Crossroads House.

February 24, 2020 - 4:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Republican Rally 2020.

Republican "Rally for Our Candidates" is Saturday at Dibble Center in Batavia; must RSVP to get breakfast

The 2020 “Republican Rally for Our Candidates” will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28, at The Dibble Family Center.

It is located at 4110 West Main Street Road, Batavia.

A continental breakfast will be available to those who RSVP, and it will consist of fruits, bagels, pastries, coffee, etc.

Scheduled participating candidates are:

  • Chris Jacobs– U.S. Congress
  • Ed Rath II– NYS Senate
  • William Sheron– GC Sheriff
  • Scott German– GC Treasurer
  • Karen Lang  -- GC Coroner
  • Adam Palumbo– GC Coroner

To RSVP for breakfast, email Kathy Jasinski at:   [email protected]

Or call Don and at (585) 356-5135 and leave a message.

February 24, 2020 - 3:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in The Batavian.

Our website host started experiencing technical difficulities today about 9:45 this morning. That's why we were offline until 3 p.m. We're good to go now.

February 24, 2020 - 3:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in Ranzenhofer, hunting, sports.

Press release from Senator Michael Ranzenhofer:

Participation in hunting is declining across New York State and much of the nation.

This not only has a dramatic impact on conservation funding but also a negative impact on state revenues. It is important that the state examine ways to both attract and retain hunters.

Expanding opportunities for hunters can help boost state revenue and aid the environment.

The issue of hunters “aging out” is well documented and it is important for New York State to do all it can to reverse this trend.

Expanding crossbow-hunting opportunities and loosening ambulatory hunting requirements would provide thousands of willing hunters the opportunity to continue pursuing their passion.

Current laws regarding ambulatory licenses, require that license holders need permanent assistance to qualify.

That being said, many hunters do not need assistance devices to complete daily activities but are unable to navigate a field or more rugged terrain without assistance.

This reality should be reflected when determining who qualifies for these privileges. If enacted, these proposals would help countless hunters.

In addition to retaining hunters, attracting new hunters is critical.

Lowering the hunting age has long been discussed as the primary way to get youth more engaged at a younger age.

While I do believe that reducing the big game hunting age to 12 would be helpful, hunter apprentice programs should also be examined.

Hunter apprentice programs have proven to be an extremely safe and effective way to introduce more youths to hunting in other states.

With the state facing a $6.1 billion deficit, I believe there is a tremendous opportunity to advance proposals that are positive for hunters as well as generate much needed license revenue and conservation dollars for the state.

I have shared these opinions with the Governor and colleagues in the legislature and will continue to advocate for their adoption.

Supporting hunting helps the environment, supports rural communities and provides license revenue for New York State.

February 24, 2020 - 3:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, business, GCEDC, HP Hood.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) has announced that HP Hood will receive the Economic Development Partner of the Year award at the agency’s annual business meeting on Friday, March 6 at Batavia Downs.

Approximately 250 business, government, community and economic developments leaders are expected to attend the annual meeting.

HP Hood is one of the country’s largest branded food and beverage companies with 13 manufacturing plants throughout the United States. More than 250 food and beverage professionals are now employed at HP Hood’s Batavia facility in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

Theresa Bresten, vice president and treasurer for HP Hood, will be accepting the award on behalf of the company.

“Since opening its doors in Genesee County in 2017, HP Hood has been a model for success,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde. “The company continues to create jobs and is the latest success story in Genesee County’s proud dairy industry.”

HP Hood has invested more than $200 million in expanding, improving and operating its world-class 448,000-square-foot facility at the Agri-Business Park. The facility occupies 82 acres there and it recently purchased 22 additional acres to accommodate future growth.

“HP Hood is honored to have been selected as the GCEDC 2020 Partner of the Year,” said Hood spokesperson Theresa Bresten. “We’re proud of the work we’ve done together to bring new jobs to the local community.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with GCEDC in enriching the economy of Genesee County and New York.”

The theme of the 2020 annual meeting is “Success Starts Here,” including the growth of Batavia’s food and beverage hub.

In the past 10 years, companies in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park and surrounding companies have invested more than $500 million into facilities that employ more than 700 professionals and operate over 1 million square feet of operations.

The event will focus on the GCEDC’s business accomplishments in 2019 and economic development goals and objectives for 2020.

Register to attend the GCEDC Annual Meeting and Luncheon by visiting GCEDC.com.

February 24, 2020 - 3:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in hawley, news, Genesee County Cooperative Extension.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley has written to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie requesting increased funding for County Cooperative Extension (CCE) Associations, which haven’t seen a funding increase in more than 20 years.

CCEs are statewide organizations that are actively engaged in their communities in fundamental areas of agriculture and nutrition sciences as well as youth development and leadership, including 4-H programming, economic development and community and environmental progress.

“We are requesting your support for an increase in the overall funding to the CCE system from $3.9 million to a total statewide amount of $8 million which would support all CCE county associations,” Hawley wrote in the letter.

“With increased funding the CCE system will be better able to proactively respond to local emerging necessities in the area of food system support. In addition, it will better leverage county funding and competing grant support for all communities.

“Additionally, funding will help generate research-based environmental justice projects related to urban agriculture.”

Hawley is a longtime member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, former owner and operator of his family farm in Batavia, Hawley Farms, and is a past president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau.

February 24, 2020 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, pembroke.

David James LeRoy, 27, of Gabbey Road, Pembroke, is charged with aggravated harassment in the second degree and falsely reporting in the third degree. At 3:57 p.m. on Feb. 23, LeRoy was arrested after allegedly making several phone calls to the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center for no legitimate purpose, and making false reports. He was released on appearance tickets and is due in Pembroke Town Court on March 3. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputy David Moore.

Three Buffalo residents are charged with crimes following a reported of an alleged larceny from Target in Towne Center at Batavia mall on Feb. 23. They reportedly left the scene and were located on the Thruway in Pembroke. Arrested at 5:25 p.m. Sunday were: Ashley M. Drexinger, 27, of Kensington Avenue, who is charged with third-degree grand larceny – a Class D felony, and fifth-degree conspiracy – a Class A misdemeanor. Ericka K. McBride, 30, of Janet Avenue, is charged with fifth-degree conspiracy and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Kahel S. Suttles, 23, of Dodge Street, is charged with third-degree grand larceny, and unlawful possession of marijuana. All were released on appearance tickets and are due in Town of Batavia on March 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy David Moore.

Harry Thomas Gibson, 55, of Watson Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. On Feb. 21 at 6:25 p.m. Gibson was arrested for petit larceny following a complaint of a shoplifter at Kohl’s department store. He allegedly stole three bottles of cologne. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court on March 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputy Mathew Clor.

February 23, 2020 - 6:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in FeBREWary, downtown, batavia, news.

It was a lot of fun shooting video of FeBREWary last night and I was looking forward to editing the footage this afternoon.

When I got home last night, I put the SD card in my computer and imported the hockey video footage. When that was done, I forgot to import FeBREWary.  

Normally, I don't take SD cards out of the computer and put them right in the camera for the next project. I rotate through them in order to diminish the chance of deleting something I'm not ready to delete. But that isn't what I did this morning -- running late to cover something, I grabbed the SD card I saw first -- the one in the computer. I didn't realize my mistake until I was ready to edit the FeBREWary video.

I was disappointed. My apologies to anybody who was looking forward to being included in the video and to the BID and Downtown businesses.

February 23, 2020 - 6:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, sports, track and field.


Photos and write-up submitted by Coach Nicholas Burk.

The Batavia Indoor Track Team had a phenomenal meet yesterday competing in the Sectional Championships at RIT.

The girls' team accomplished an amazing feat, winning their 16th Sectional Championship in 18 years. This was their seventh consecutive championship.

The Blue Devils scored 92 points, edging out Pittsford Mendon with 89.5 points and Pittsford Sutherland with 82 points.

Batavia had a number of clutch performances, highlighted by our throwers. Rebekah Daniszewski won the Shot Put with a throw of 37-8.5, and Maggie Andersen won the Weight Throw with a throw of 44-11.75. Both girls have achieved the State and National standards in their events and will look to qualify for the NYS Championships next weekend.

Arianna Brown continued her impressive season winning the 55 Hurdles with a time of 9.07. She also finished in third in the High Jump clearing 5-0, and third in Long Jump with a 16-3.5. Sarah Adams finished second in the triple jump with a distance of 33-10 and second in Long Jump with a distance of 16-4.75. Sydney Konieczny had a very strong race in the 1000m finishing in secnd place with a time of 3:23.45.

Not to be outdone, older sister Gavin Konieczny was able to earn a second-place finish in the Pole Vault with a height of 9-0. Jianna Torcello and Liz Kingston finished in fourth and fifth place in the 1500m Racewalk.

Batavia's 4x800 Relay of Melanie Quinones, Sydney DellaPenna, Brooke Scott, and Makayla Andalora finished in fifth place with a time of 11:13.70 and the 4x400 Relay of Aurelia Colby, Sydney Konieczny, Maddie Taggart, and Noelia Ventura finished in fourth place with a time of 4:37.98.

This championship was a total team effort and demonstrated that the Batavia girls deeply care for the standard of excellence that the school has established in Section V Track and Field.

"Our strong desire to maintain our winning traditions each year lead our girls to compete at a very high level in this meet," said Coach Nicholas Burk. "We seem to always find a way to get the job done."

The boys' team had a very gritty performance while being down almost the entire meet, but inevitably finding a way to pull out the Championship in the last few events of the evening. Batavia finished with 105.5 points, edging Pittsford Mendon, who scored 101 points.

This is the boys' team's ninth Sectional Championship and its fourth consecutive one. Just like the girls, the boy's team was led by our Impressive group of throwers.

Batavia had seven out of 13 competitors in the Shot Put with Alex Rood repeating as the Sectional Champion with a throw of 54-9.5. Alex is currently ranked second in New York in the Shot and has the State and National Standard as well. Cody Eisenberger finished second in shot with a throw of 48-9.25 and Austyn Fernandez finished fifth with a throw of 42-5.

In the Weight Throw, Batavia had 10 out of 16 Competitors with Alex Rood finishing second with a throw of 53-10.25 and Cody Eisenberger finishing in fourth with a throw of 50-5.25.

The Batavia Pole Vaulters turned the tide of the meet with four athletes placing in the top six.

Daemon Konieczny won the Sectional Championship vaulting 11-6. Andrew Lin finished third with a height of 11-0; Jacob Torcello finished fourth with a height of 10-6; and Quinten Betances finished fifth with a height of 9-6. The 22 points from these athletes turned the tide in this meet and put Batavia ahead by four points with only three events left to score.

Daemon Konieczny finished off his very strong meet with a second place in the High Jump clearing 5-10 and a second place in the Triple Jump with a distance of 42-3.

Also in the high Jump, Jesse Reinhart finished fifth with a height of 5-8.

Batavia's distance athletes battled all meet long and had some clutch races which contributed to the team's success.

Garrick Havens placed fifth in the 3200m with a time of 10:25.39, and he was fourth in the 1600m with a time of 4:47.82. Mario Rosales placed fourth in the 1000m with a time of 2:47.53; Wyatt Gaus Finished sixth in the 1600m with a time of 4:48.48; and Jonah Epps placed fifth in the 600m with a time of 1:30.21.

Terrez Smith placed sixth in the 55m with a time of 6.73; and Jamarion Richardson placed sixth in the Long Jump with a distance of 20-5.25.

The boys' 4x800 Relay of Mario Rosales, Jonah Epps, Cody Harloff, and Garrick Havens had a very clutch performance, edging out a talented Pittsford Mendon team, finishing in second place with a time of 8:46.46.

The 4x400 Relay of Zack Anderson, Ayden Dowd-Devay, Wyatt Gaus, and Max Tomaszewski had a tremendous race, winning the Sectional Championship with a time of 3:44.38.

The final running event was the 4x200 Relay -- consisting of Terrez Smith, Joey Gefell, Gabriel Reyes Mercado, and Max Tomaszewski -- and they placed sixth with a time of 1:37.31.

This was a very impressive meet by the Batavia boys' team as they were down significantly through the first half of the competition.

Many of these athletes fought for those fifth- and sixth-place finishes, which turned out to be the difference in the meet. The depth of our team was on display as each group, the throwers, distance runners, jumpers, and sprinters scored points and contributed to the team's total score.

The Batavia Track and Field program has continued to demonstrate strong character, dedication, and toughness toward accomplishing the goal to uphold the tradition and reputation of the school's track teams.

A number of other athletes trained with Batavia this winter from other Genesee Region schools:

  • Emily Tait -- Attica: second in the Class C Long Jump (18-4.5); second in the Class C Triple Jump (38-9.75)
  • Veronica Duell -- Byron Bergen: third in Class C Long Jump (16-6.75); ninth in Class C 300m (47.96)
  • Dylan Rykert -- Oakfield Alabama: first in Class D Weight Throw (39-4.25); first in Class D Shot Put (43-9.25)
  • Zack Hall -- Oakfield Alabama: first in Class D 1000m (2:40.06)
  • Nick Munger -- Oakfield Alabama: first in Class D Pole Vault (10-0); fifth in Class D 1000m (3:00.15)
  • Fanny Vanegas -- Elba: first in Class D 1500m (5:26.71)
  • Kelly Mickey -- Elba: third in Class D 55m (7.89); fifth in Class D 300m (46.32)



February 23, 2020 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, sports, track and field.


Le Roy's indoor track and field team came home with three Section V Class C titles this weekend.

Above, Aiden Harrington wins the 600-meter title with a time of 1:27.93.



The boys won the 4x400 relay title. The team is comprised of Brian Roblee, James Blake, Chase Bordonaro, Aidan Harrington.



The girls' team also won the 4X400 relay championship. The relay team is: Ashley Totten, Ellie Dambra, Riley Wood, and Mia Hampton


The boys and girls teams both came in second place.

Photos and info submitted by Tim McArdle.

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