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December 8, 2022 - 11:26pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, elba, Oakfield, GCEDC, Cider Solar, solar farms.

stevehyde_oct142015filemug.jpegIf all goes as expected, a solar energy project in Elba and Oakfield will net a nearly $88 million gain for Genesee County over the next three decades, Steve Hyde says.

The CEO of the county’s Economic Development Center reviewed that financial projection as part of a Hecate Energy Cider Solar LLC project. Public hearings were recently conducted in each municipality, with a few comments and not much of an outpouring of concerns or complaints, Hyde said.

He and Marketing and Communications Director Jim Krencik presented the review during Wednesday’s Ways & Means Committee meeting. Krencik credited a successful negotiation between all entities for the project’s forward progress.

“This is going to have a major impact philosophically and visually,” he said. 

Once, or if, the measure is approved by both municipal boards and the county Legislature, the presence of a solar operation is to help fund infrastructure throughout the county via first-year payments to Elba ($989,739) and Oakfield-Alabama ($660,133) schools, the towns of Elba ($756,698) and Oakfield ($504,463), and Genesee County itself ($774,165), he said.

Thirty-year revenue predictions result with those entities each garnering $12 million to $19 million each, plus a residential utility bill credit of $2.5 million and special district taxes of nearly $5.8 million, Hyde and Krencik said. In the shorter term, each entity is predicted to receive anywhere from $504,463 to $989,739 from the deal in the first year alone.

Although the projects won’t create a lot of jobs, Hyde said, there is an impact of getting back $22 for every dollar invested, he said.

“We’ve got something here that’s pretty significant from a tax basis,” he said.

Committee legislators agreed with the plan.

“This is a transformational project for these communities,” Legislator Marianne Clattenburg said. “They need to get something back. We’re going to authorize our IDA to collect money on our behalf. If the state comes in, they’d be doing it for free.”

Admittedly, “playing tough” is not Hyde’s style, he said, but negotiations “got really tough at some points.”

jimkrencik.jpegThere were more than 10 meetings from spring 2021 to this fall, and they involved each town’s, the county’s and EDC’s leadership to arrive at an agreement. If approved by the Towns of Elba and Oakfield -- slated for votes of consent on Thursday and Dec. 13 -- and then approved by the county Legislature on Dec. 14, "all parties would execute on their approved agreements with Hecate Energy Cider Solar LLC," Krencik said.

The time and effort has been worth it, Hyde said.

"Accomplishing a high level of fiscal benefits from solar energy projects has been a shared goal of the GCEDC, Genesee County, and our towns and schools. We thank the towns of Elba and Oakfield for their commitment and collaboration throughout the negotiations for Hecate Energy Cider Solar LLC," he said. "They have gone above and beyond in representing their communities," Hyde said.

The Batavian has reached out to the Town of Elba for the results of this week's expected vote and will add that once a reply is received.

Top File Photo: Steve Hyde, CEO of Genesee County Economic Development Center, by Howard Owens; above, Marketing and Communications Director Jim Krencik, from GCEDC website. 

December 8, 2022 - 6:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Pavilion, Le Roy, Alabama, pembroke, corfu.

Jennifer M. "Miss B" Morton, 38, of Driving Park Avenue, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance 4th, and promoting prison contraband 1st, and Angela R. Bateman, 50, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal nuisance 1st and criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. As the result of a joint investigation by Batavia PD and the Local Drug Task Force, a search warrant was executed on Dec. 5 at a residence on Hutchins Street, Batavia. Morton, currently on probation related to prior drug charges, was allegedly found in possession of 150 bags of cocaine, and during processing, allegedly entered a secured portion of the Genesee County Jail in possession of cocaine. Bateman, on parole from prior drug charges, is accused of maintaining a premises where narcotics were being sold.  Both Morton and Batement were arraigned and ordered held without bail.

Chad W. Main, 41, of Warsaw, is charged with felony driving while ability impaired by drugs, felony aggravated unlicensed operation, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, obstructing governmental administration, uninspected motor vehicle, unlicensed operator, open alcoholic container, failure to signal, and inadequate plate lamps, and James W. Sherbert, Jr., 49, of Perry, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. Sgt. Mathew Clor initiated a traffic stop on Dec. 2 at 12:41 a.m. on Parmelee Road, Le Roy and upon stopping, Main allegedly fled on foot. He was apprehended a short time later by Clor and Deputy David Moore. Sherbert was allegedly found in possession of two controlled substances.  Main was arraigned and released on his own recognizance. Sherber was issued an appearance ticket.

Herbert B. Gennis, 33, of Raymond Avenue, Batavia and Jason W. Whitehead, Jr., 33, of Bank Street, Batavia, are charged with multiple crimes. It's not entirely clear from the Sheriff's Office which charges apply to which defendant. The charges are criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance 5th, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, criminally using drug paraphernalia 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation 2nd, operating with an interlock device, and other vehicle and traffic law violations. On Dec. 1 at 7 p,m., deputies Nicholas Chamoun and Kenneth Quackenbush stopped a vehicle on Park Road reportedly driven by Whitehead. Whitehead is accused of driving on a revoked license, without an interlock device, and was in possession of a weapon and narcotics. Gennis was allegedly in possession of narcotics with intent to sell. Whitehead and Gennis were arraigned in Batavia Town Court and released on their own recognizance.

Demetrius W. Richardson, 41, no permanent address, is charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument 1st. Richardson was arrested on three warrants containing four charges of each of the listed charges. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held without bail.

James W. Cason, 67, of Batavia, is charged with sex abuse 3rd. Cason is accused of subjecting another person to unwanted sexual contact at a location on Bank Street on Nov. 28 at 3 p.m.  He was arraigned in City Court. An order of protection was issued. He was released on his own recognizance. 

Jeannine M. Mobley, 46, of Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. Mobley is accused of stealing from a business on Jackson Street, Batavia, on Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. She was arraigned in City Court on Nov. 28 and released on her own recognizance.

Tonya M. Weber, 38, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Weber is accused of stealing from a business on East Main Street, Batavia, on Nov. 26 at 3:19 am. She was issued an appearance ticket and released.

Joshua P. Moore, 32, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd and criminal obstruction of breathing. Moore was arrested following the report of a disturbance at 1:35 a.m. on Nov. 24 at a location on Chase Parkway, Batavia. He was arraigned in City Court and released on his own recognizance.

Julie R. Richardson, 31, no permanent address, is charged with grand larceny 4th. Richardson is accused of stealing a credit card from a parked car outside a business on East Main Street in Batavia on Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Richardson was arraigned in City Court and ordered held without bail. Richardson is also charged with petit larceny. On Nov. 11 at 10:50 p.m., Richardson is accused of stealing items from vehicles at a business on East Main Street, Batavia. 

Christopher P. Robinson, 24, of Amherst, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Robinson was stopped at 2:49 p.m. on Nov. 21 at Batavia City Centre by a Batavia patrol officer. He was ordered to appear in City Court on Nov. 30.

Shyanna M. Williams, 19, of Hamburg, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd and criminal contempt 1st. Williams is accused of violating a stay-away order of protection by contacting the protected party via text message multiple times over several days in November. Williams was arraigned in City Court and released under supervision.

Colleen A. Wisniewski, 28, of Middlebury, is charged with petit larceny. Wisniewski is accused of shoplifting from a store on West Main Street at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 26. She was released on an appearance ticket.

Charles R. Brown, 47, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd. Brown is accused of violating an order of protection on Nov. 14 at 5 a.m. by talking with the protected party. He was ordered to appear in City Court on Dec. 6.

Kaitlyn Nicole Brooks, 30, of Shelly Road, Livonia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd, unlicensed driver, and inadequate headlights. Brooks was stopped at 6:58 p.m. on Nov. 27 on Ellicott Street Road, Bethany, by Deputy Zachary Hoy. She was allegedly found in possession of Fentanyl. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Joseph P. Gerwitz, 24, of Central Avenue, Lancaster, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and moving from lane unsafely. At 4:55 a.m. on Dec. 3, Deputy Jacob Kipler and Deputy Alexander Hadsall were dispatched to Alleghany Road in Alabama to investigate a report of a vehicle parked roadside. When they arrived, they found a vehicle that had crashed into a road sign and the driver was unresponsive at the wheel. Gerwitz was arrested and transported to the Genesee County Jail for processing. He was released on appearance tickets.

David John Conrad, 34, of West Ivy Street, East Rochester, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd. Conrad is accused of violating an order of protection at 8:40 a.m. on Nov. 23 at a location on South Lake Road, Pembroke. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Michael J. Fazio, age not released, of Walworth, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property 4th and petit larceny. Fazio is accused of using a stolen credit card to make purchases at the Kwik Fill in Le Roy in August. Fazio was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court on Dec. 6 and ordered held without bail. He is currently incarcerated in the Wayne County Jail on unrelated charges.

Kevin Wayne Howard, 23, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs. Howard was located during a property check at the Kwik Fill gas station in Le Roy at 2:37 a.m. on Nov. 28 and taken into custody. He was issued an appearance ticket.

James Junior Santiago, Jr., 43, of Hundremark Road, Elba, is charged with bail jumping 2nd. James is accused of failure to appear in County Court on Jan. 16 after being released from custody on felony charges. James was arraigned and ordered held.

Joseph David Krug, 28, of Somerset Lane, Victor, is charged with bail jumping 2nd. Krug is accused of failing to appear in Batavia Town Court on May 24 after being released on felony charges. He was arraigned and ordered held.

Beth Ann Jeffres, 40, no permanent address, is charged with bail jumping 1st. Jeffres is accused of failure to appear in County Court on Oct. 21 after being released on a Class B felony charge. Jeffres was arraigned in County Court and ordered held.

Carl Thomas Amesbury, 30, of School Street, Batavia, is charged with bail jumping 1st and bail jumping 3rd. Amesbury is accused of failure to appear in County Court on Sept. 29 after being released on a Class B felony charge and in Stafford Court on Oct. 13 on another charge. Amesbury was arraigned in County Court and ordered held.

Donald Brown, 48, of Loomis Street Rochester, is charged with bail jumping 2nd. Brown is accused of failure to appear in County Court on March 9 after being released on a felony charge. Brown was arraigned in County Court and ordered held.

Erik Robert Motquin, 40, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with bail 3rd. Motquin is accused of failure to appear in Batavia Town Court on Sept. 13 after being released on a criminal charge. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Shana C. Dugar, 31, of Hawley Avenue, Syracuse, is charged with bail jumping 2nd. Dugar is accused of failure to appear in Batavia Town Court on Aug. 30 after being released on a criminal charge. Dugar was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and released on her own recognizance.

Jada Imari Smith, 21, of Mourning Dove Road, Niagara Falls, is charged with criminal trespass 2nd. On Dec. 3 at 8:58 p.m., Smith was located on Genesee Community College property after previously being told she wasn't allowed on the property. She was released on an appearance ticket.

Bryan Paul Bartha, 61, of Boyce Road, Corfu, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, moving from lane unsafely, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.  Bartha is accused of driving a vehicle that struck a utility pole on Boyce Road, Pembroke, at 6:30 p.m., June 27. He was arrested following an investigation on Dec. 7 and issued an appearance ticket.

Keith P. McNaughton, 24, of West Seneca, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs. McNaughton was stopped by State Police at 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 6 and issued an appearance ticket. 

Shawnna L. Lamont, 33, of Perry, is charged with petit larceny. Lamont is accused of shoplifting $19.45 in merchandise at the Dollar General store on Big Tree Road in the Town of Pavilion at 7:50 p.m. on Dec. 3 and was arrested by State Police. She was issued an appearance ticket.

December 8, 2022 - 3:00pm

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December 8, 2022 - 8:05am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Ways & Means, batavia, coroner.

wujcik.jpegA proposal to increase the salary of the Genesee County coroner would coincide with extra duties, including the transport of deceased individuals when necessary.

A resolution for this measure would add a $200 payment for roundtrip costs of transporting someone who has died and a coroner has been requested. This change and additional stipend are being proposed as an amendment to a local law, County Attorney James Wujcik said.

County Manager Matt Landers elaborated on how the situation came to light.

“This is something that was brought to our attention from communications, law enforcement, public health, as a concern from the coroners underneath them, where we would have resources tied up at the scene for a while while we're waiting for transports, where dispatches would be going through a list and trying to get people to come,” Landers said during Wednesday’s Ways & Means meeting. “And so it was tying up resources. And it was especially the time when we had difficulty with our own resources as they are. We tried an interim step first, Tammi worked with public health to issue an RFP twice. Two times they issued it with hope to find a dedicated transport service vendor that would be doing this. We did not get any responses.

“So after that, the next option was, well, coroners are already there. Can we have them just do the transport,” he said.

There’s been an increased demand for this unscheduled service, he said, and “it really was becoming a challenge to acquire those services.” With an established fee, coroners will know the payment up front when a call comes in, he said.

There will be a public hearing about “providing additional duties and increasing the salary of the Genesee County coroner” next year. It will be at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 4 in the Legislative Chambers at the Old Courthouse, 7 Main St., Batavia.

This is for situations when a coroner has been called to provide the service. When asked by Legislator Marianne Clattenburg how often this has happened, Assistant County Manager Tammi Ferringer said more than a lot.

"So it's about 40 to 50 cases a year that are transported to the medical examiner,” she said.

Legislative Chairwoman Shelley Stein wanted to know if these bodies would be taken to the funeral home or to the medical examiner's office. Ferringer confirmed it was the latter.

“Thank you. I don’t want to be their delivery service,” Stein said.

Anyone interested in speaking during the public hearing may do so during this time.

UPFATE: The entire resolution to be voted on includes prior local laws from years 2012, 2018 and 2021. It states: A local law amending local law number one of the year 2021, as further amended by local law number five of the Year 2018 and incorporating local law number two of the year 2021 in relation to providing additional duties and increasing the salary of the Genesee County Coroner."

Assistant County Manager Tammi Ferringer further explained that, despite what the above passage states regarding salary, "The coroner’s salary will not increase.  The base salary of $2,000, with $100/case and $150/holiday case has been the method of compensation since 2018.  This local law does introduce a phone case reimbursement rate of $50/case.  By law, certain deaths do not need a coroner to physically respond.  However, the coroner may be contacted by a medical facility for consult on the case.  This new rate will allow the Coroner to be compensated for their work in these instances."

December 7, 2022 - 11:01pm


After a tour of The McCarthy (a condensed version of David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena sometimes used at the rink) Monday, and noting the newly painted fiberglass benches — in “Rampart Blue” — it was clear that a transformation has been taking place.

Led by ice arena operator/manager Matt Gray and his folks, Bob and Sharon Gray, representing Friends of the Rink, this tour showed off the hard work and diligence it takes to turn around an aging, unkempt facility.

Just ask City Council members. They raved about the differences at the rink during a recent council meeting. Bob Bialkowski noted the work and dedication of Friends of the Rink, while Paul Viele commended the condition of the smooth ice — “it’s like day and night” — and Tammy Schmidt happily reported that she attended a game, and kept warm with working heaters for a change.


Two meeting/training rooms have been carved out of the space and painted an ivory cream. Dark chocolate tiles have been installed on the ceiling, and a storage room with clean white cupboards lining one wall and a granite countertop is gradually turning into Matt’s office. A wall opposite the arena itself has also been painted, with a pale blue and Rampart blue trim — a feat performed by Sharon, she proudly said.

“That was built in 1994, but never painted. In every picture from high school, you see him playing, and here's his ugly backdrop,” she said. “So we painted, that was our first project this year. I painted it, and my grandson did the upper part.”

So far, members of the Friends group have put in 407 hours of hands-on volunteer time at the Evans Street arena. With their prompting, the city tore out a ramp with a huge pothole in it and rebuilt that section used for Zamboni storage.

Matt’s first goals were to revamp the concession area, which has been completed along with the addition of more hot food and install new brighter lighting. He is testing out three lights over the rink before proceeding with a larger purchase.

Rink management, including General Manager Kati Murray and Facilities Manager Adam Reich, is on the lookout for 12- to 16-foot conference tables for the meeting rooms, and Gray plans to have wiring installed with Cat 6 data cabling for integrated WiFi, which will allow for Zoom meetings and connect to a large television and camera — donated by Batavia Rotary — for game replays.

Carpet tiles will be added for its use as a “flex space,” he said, as Sharon added that someone recently hosted a birthday party there.

A future goal may be to serve brews at The McCarthy — sounds like a pub, doesn’t it? Other ideas include opening the rink year-round with roller hockey, and having an open public time for recreational roller skating and blading, Matt said.

When the elder Grays formed Friends of the Rink in 2020, they wanted to improve issues they had noticed over the years. A hockey player asked Bob why he was getting so involved. This is just an ice rink, the player said.

“And I said, ‘Yeah, but why can't it be the best ice rink in Western New York? Then when we get Western New York, we can have the best in the state, and keep going,” Bob said, adding that issues of unwanted running water, a filthy environment and poor communication have hurt the arena.  “I’ve been here throughout the years, and I see a big improvement.”

The Gray couple agreed that they want to see the rink bounce back, and for youth to be able to enjoy it and perhaps make good friends, just as their son and grandchildren have done.

“That's what we're looking for. We're doing it for the kids,” Bob said. “Matt was a big influence when he took over. We worked like busy beavers.”

Sharon added that she fell on the floor crying when she found out that Matt was taking on rink management. He certainly has the experience, having been a rink user for years, and the business acumen as a local entrepreneur of several successful establishments.

When asked if things have changed from years ago, Sharon had a definitive answer.

“Oh yes, 180 percent,” she said.

And sometimes what’s old is new again.

“We're old timers, you know, so this is a way we used to do it. We’d say, 'why can't we do it like that,' and it worked,” Bob said. “You know, we bring up ideas, and they say, ‘Oh, this is a good idea,’ when it was something we did years ago. We're just bringing it back.”

He’s talking as much about the social aspects of the rink and ice hockey as he is about the structural and aesthetic components. Amateur hockey membership had dropped from 425 players to 257 last year, and for reasons that include family busyness, a wide scope of recreational options — lacrosse and soccer are two popular ones — and other distractions for prospective players, all three Grays said.

This is not just a Batavia phenomenon, they said, but a national one of having multiple options of things to do. And, as Bob said, playing hockey is not just something to do, “it’s a lifestyle.”

“Either you’re in, or you’re out,” he said.


His family has been mostly in — since 1980, when Matt was a beginner on the ice. He aged out in 1996, and soon grandchildren laced up. Despite the downturn of participation in recent years, the Grays are “seeing more family involvement.”

That was one of the biggest benefits for Matt when as a kid, he played ice hockey and made friends for life. He was all in, as any avid hockey player is, Bob said. Another reason that may prevent more kids from participating nowadays is the cost. Helmets, protective gear, and sticks can quickly total $1,200 or more, he said. (See related story about equipment donations.)

Friends of the Rink hosted a Try Hockey For Free kids program this fall and will do so again in February. Members are also mulling a similar event for adults.

As for ice play, and related amenities, Matt plans to reconfigure the bathrooms and showers so that space is more equitable for female players.

“We have a checklist of things that we want to get done this year, next year, and the year after. And then there are side things where Bob, Sharon, Friends of the Rink can really help us do that, outside of what we have otherwise,” Matt said. “And staff have been fantastic with, you know, taking on new projects and doing it in between everything else they have responsibilities for, and then they fill in the gaps on different projects.”

Anyone interested in watching a game remotely may do so through LiveBarn, a subscription-based app. Although parents will typically attend in person, that will be a great tool for coaches scouting out the talent, Matt said, and Batavia United coaches John Kirkwood and Marc Staley set up the app.

For more information about the rink and hours, go to The McCarthy.  


Top Photo: Matt Gray and his folks, Bob and Sharon of Friends of the Rink, provide a tour of rink updates and discuss future plans of the Evans Street site; Bob Gray shows the newly painted benches that sit near the concession inside the arena; Matt Gray shows a painted wooden cutout of the Ramparts logo as it sits atop a handmade table in one of the multi-use meeting rooms; ice play in action on the rink.

December 7, 2022 - 10:51pm


Sharon Valyear-Gray wanted to make one thing clear: if you're in need of hockey equipment, Friends of the Rink may be able to help.

The nonprofit has six containers and then some of used goods, from skates and helmets to shoulder pads.

What she also wants to make clear -- similar to the sheen on the ice rink at David M. McCarthy ice arena -- is that these goods are available to kids in need to help them enjoy the sport. 

Friends of the Rink has brought back the used equipment and skate collection with the sole purpose to "help make the sport of hockey more accessible to local families," the group states.

After a free trial session, called Try Hockey For Free, Genesee Amateur Hockey Association introduces families to its beginner program of 15 sessions (from October to December) and again from January to March.  This program is sponsored by Batavia's Tim Horton franchise. Thanks to access to free used equipment and skates, "we can help out the families from the initial purchase of hockey equipment and skates," Valyear-Gray said.

"There is always the anxiety of spending that money and then the youngster becomes disinterested," she said. "Now, once again, we have a collection of gently used equipment and skates totally free of charge to ease that financial burden."

GAHA families have generously been donating items after their own children grow out of the items, she said, which include hockey pants, shoulder and elbow pads, gloves and skates. Supplies of helmets are limited, as they are date-coded with a five-year lifespan. Items are stored in metal bins at the end of the bleachers in the arena. 

"Families are welcome to help themselves to needed items," she said, or for assistance, call her at (585) 344-2248 or email [email protected].

To donate helmets with the code and date within five years old or less, or other clean ice hockey equipment, drop it off in a bin between the two entry doors. Donations are always welcome and needed as well, she said.


Top Photo: Sharon Valyear-Gray of Friends of the Rink shows the shelves of ice hockey items, above, available for free at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans Street, Batavia. Photos by Howard Owens.

December 7, 2022 - 6:44pm
posted by Press Release in 4-H, agriculture, news.


Press release:

Genesee County 4-H members participated in a Holiday Greens Workshop at the Cooperative Extension Office on December 1st.  The workshop was presented by Genesee County Master Gardener Volunteers.  Youth learned about using fresh-cut evergreens to make a holiday arrangement. After the presentation, youth created their own holiday centerpiece to take home.

4-H is a nationwide youth program that connects youth age 5-18 to a variety of hands-on learning opportunities.  For more information about joining the Genesee County 4-H Program, please contact the 4-H Office at [email protected] or (585) 343-3040 ext. 131.  Enrollment forms are also available on our website at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/4-h-youth-development/how-to-join-4-h

December 7, 2022 - 6:41pm
posted by Press Release in health department, flu, news.

Press release:

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is December 5-9, 2022.  This is an annual observance in December to remind everyone that there is still time to get vaccinated against the flu to be protected during the upcoming holidays and winter months.  “The best way to reduce your risk from seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications is by getting the flu vaccine every year,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “The vaccine lowers the chance of getting you and those around you sick with the flu. It also reduces the burden on the health care system by reducing doctor visits and hospitalizations.” 

Everyone 6 months or older should get a flu vaccine every year. It's best to get the flu vaccine early on in flu season, ideally by the end of October. You might wonder, is it too late to get vaccinated?  The simple answer is no. “Getting the vaccine later is better than not getting it at all,” said Mr. Pettit. “Once you have the flu vaccine, research shows that the vaccination reduces the risk of severe illness if you do get the flu.”

Vaccination is also important for people who live with or care for high-risk individuals to prevent spreading the flu to them. Individuals who are considered higher risk include younger children, pregnant people, people with certain chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or lung disease, and people 65 years and older. Children younger than 6 months old are also at a higher risk of serious flu illness because they are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for or are around infants should be vaccinated to protect those that are vulnerable and cannot be vaccinated.

Below are the number of reported flu cases for Genesee and Orleans Counties since 2018, according to the New York State Department of Health. Note that there was limited flu reported in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 compared to annual averages because of the heightened focus on practicing public health precautions such as frequent hand washing, social distancing, staying home when ill, limiting social gatherings, and wearing face coverings. During that period, less germs were spread due to people staying home and limiting their contact with others outside of their households as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 NYS Department of Health Confirmed Cases of Influenza


Genesee County

Orleans County













2022-2023 (as of 11/26/22)



In addition to receiving your flu vaccine, you can take preventative actions every day to help stop the spread of germs:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • If you are sick, stay home and limit contact with others as much as possible so that you prevent the spread of infection.
    • For flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Please note that stay-at-home guidance is different for COVID-19.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently shared surfaces and objects

To find a vaccine site near you visit: https://www.vaccines.gov/find-vaccines/

For more information about Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments, visit GOHealthNY.org. You can also visit GO Health on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching @GoHealthNY.

December 7, 2022 - 6:33pm
posted by Press Release in Tompkins Community Bank, Le Roy, news.


Press release:

In its ongoing dedication to bettering the communities it serves, this Thanksgiving Tompkins Community Bank gifted a total of $15,000 to local nonprofits across western New York in celebration of its annual “Banksgiving” holiday donation. This year, Tompkins’ Banksgiving featured $1,000 donations to nonprofits whose focus is food insecurity and local to each of its fifteen branches across Erie, Cattaraugus, Livingston, Genesee, Wyoming, Monroe and Orleans counties. This is the third year Tompkins has supported local nonprofits through the Banksgiving program.  

“The holiday season can prove to be a difficult time of year for many folks, and even more so as we continue to encounter aftereffects of the pandemic as well as rising costs of goods,” said John McKenna, president of Tompkins’ Western New York market. “It’s our hope that these gifts will make a meaningful difference in all of these communities, because we’re a part of those communities, too.” 

The Banksgiving donations round out a year of community-focused initiatives for Tompkins. Throughout 2022, the bank has continued to offer free, virtual seminars on topics ranging from first-time homebuying to fraud protection, as a means of cultivating financial education and independence in the communities we serve.  

“Giving back and supporting the communities serve is central to our mission as a community bank,” continued McKenna. “We have the unique privilege of seeing the impact of our actions first hand, as our employees also live and work in these communities as well. Our efforts are inextricably linked to the community’s well-being, and this is what inspires us to continue evolving to meet the needs of the counties we serve.  

Submitted photo: Mickey Hyde (Tompkins in Le Roy), Judy Ridley (LeRoy Food Pantry), and Wendy Holmes (Tompkins).

December 7, 2022 - 6:28pm
posted by Press Release in buffalo bills, Batavia Downs, Sports, harness racing.

Press release:

The management of Batavia Downs announced today that post time for the final card of racing for 2022 scheduled for Saturday (Dec. 17) has been changed from 6 p.m. to 3 p.m. This was done after the week 15 game between the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins was flexed to 8:15 p.m. by the National Football League.

Don Hoover, General Manager of Live Racing and Race Secretary at Batavia Downs, said: “After the NFL announced that the Bills/Dolphins game had been flexed to Saturday night, it was decided to move our post time to 3 p.m. to accommodate the fans of both live harness racing and the Buffalo Bills.”

With that change in place, several other times have changed as well.

Horsemen should be advised that the track will close for training at noon on Dec. 17 to prepare it for the night’s races.

The clubhouse will open its doors at 2:30 p.m. and will offer a prime rib and shrimp buffet that will be served from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Railbar will be open from 2:30 p.m. until the end of the last race, which will be approximately 7:00 p.m. However it will not remain open for the Bills Game.

The final day of racing will also host the “Night of Distinction” year-end awards, which will be presented by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association and Batavia Downs to honor all the human and equine stars of the 2022 meeting. 

December 7, 2022 - 6:24pm
posted by Press Release in problem gambling, news.

Press release:

The holiday season can lead to gambling problems.

The holidays can be an especially tough time for those struggling with or in recovery from a gambling problem. Stress from extended family time and pressure financially to provide gifts can be overwhelming. These stresses can lead to an individual looking for an escape, or a “quick fix” to help get the presents everyone wants for the holidays. Gambling too often becomes the “go-to” for many people when they need to get away.

The holidays are a wonderful time to give thanks and spend time with family and friends. If you have a loved one who is struggling to control a gambling problem, be kind and understanding if they seem irritable or anxious. Take time to ask your friends or loved ones if they are doing ok this holiday season. Your understanding and communication can help lead to treatment and recovery for someone who might be afraid, or simply not know how to ask.

The Western Problem Gambling Resource Center is “Here to Help.” If you need help, or you know someone who needs help because their holiday season is causing stress and anxiety because of a gambling problem, confidential help is available.

Happy Holidays!

December 7, 2022 - 3:00pm

Awareness continues to open doors because of Palermo Foundation

It is always an emotional boost for me to see how much comfort our foundation has brought to people that have become newly injured with a spinal cord injury (SCI). Just imagine yourself being away on a California vacation with your wife and two children and then the most unexpected catastrophe happens as you find yourself floating facedown because you just broke your neck in the ocean. You don’t know which hospital is the best for treating a SCI so, you are at the mercy of the first responders. Just when you find yourself with nowhere to turn, you get a phone call from The Miami Project (MP) to Cure Paralysis (the #1 spinal research center in the country). The reason that the MP has called you is because one of your friends was at the BRUCE in the USA concert that was put on by our Ricky Palermo Foundation. This friend got in touch with me and I in turn got in touch with the MP, and this family was able to have a plan that has many of the answers you were hoping for. This is the second time that this situation has come up this year. Last winter, a cousin of a close friend who lives in Minnesota suffered a SCI while snowmobiling. This family called their cousin that is a big supporter of our events and he was able to contact me and then I was able to put them in touch with the MP. Then the MP guided them to the nearest SCI rehab. I wish my family had a place like the MP to call when I was first injured in 1981, but the MP did not exist until 1985.

This year our events consisted of our annual soccer clinic, which brought in about 80 kids to learn skills from BHS girls varsity soccer coach Roger Hume. In early June, we hosted our largest event yet, as we had 1400 people attend a BRUCE in the USA concert at Batavia Downs And Gaming (a tribute band to Bruce Springsteen). This concert has really helped our main goal of spreading awareness of Spinal Cord Injuries, and then in early August, we hosted our 26 the annual Ricky Palermo Spinal Injury Golf Tournament. We are proud to say that these three events helped us donate more than $84,000 to our same four beneficiaries: UMMC’s Rochester Regional Health, Strong Memorial Hospital, Batavia’s GLOW YMCA (SCI) Bike Program and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. This brings our 26 year grand total to $1.8 million donated!

It was once again a thrill for me to bring our donation to NYC for the MPs 37th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner hosted by The Buoniconti Fund. This year’s dinner was held at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Everyone in attendance (nearly 1000) was treated to a delicious dinner, a Beatles tribute band, several speeches by sports celebrities and an incredible update given by The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis’s CEO Dr. Barth Green, and leading SCI research scientist Dr. Dalton Dietrich.


Your friend, Ricky Palermo
Follow us on Facebook – the Ricky Palermo Spinal Injury Tournament And Fundraiser to Cure Paralysis.
A Healthy, Happy Merry Christmas to everyone!!!


December 7, 2022 - 2:32pm
posted by Press Release in Tractor Safety, 4-H, agriculture, news.


Press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Program is now accepting registrations for its 2023 4-H Tractor Safety Program.  The program is open to youth age 14 and over and covers farm safety, tractor safety, tractor operation and other related topics. 

The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program is a certification program that allows youth ages 14 and 15 to be certified to legally operate farm equipment for hire.  After completing the training course, youth will need to pass a written knowledge test and driving test to receive the certification.

The program is scheduled to run Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, from January through April at farm machinery dealerships throughout Genesee County.  The fee for the program is $25, and youth must also be currently enrolled 4-H members.  Registrations are due January 28, 2023.  To register for the program or receive more information, please contact the Genesee County 4-H Office at [email protected] or (585) 343-3040 ext. 101.  Registration forms are also available online at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/4htractorsafety

Photo: File photo from 2016 by Howard Owens

December 7, 2022 - 2:28pm
posted by Press Release in GLOW With Your Hands, Business.

Press release:

GLOW Works Inc. is building on the momentum of its annual GLOW With Your Hands manufacturing event with an expansion to serve the healthcare sector with GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare on Friday, March 24, 2023, at Genesee Community College.

“A critical component of the success of that event is the support of sponsorships by companies across the GLOW region to bring hundreds of students to one location for an immersive career exploration experience,” said Karyn Winters, GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare Co-Chair.

“Sponsors are one of the main reasons we have seen so much success with the GLOW With Your Hands manufacturing event, and we are hopeful that healthcare entities will experience similar success by supporting this event,” said Chris Suozzi, GLOW With Your Hands Co-Chair.  “Similar to the manufacturing sector, there is strong demand from healthcare employers to identify the next generation of workers for great careers in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties.”

GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare will provide the healthcare sector with the opportunity to meet and recruit their future workforce. Students will have the opportunity to learn and interact with companies from various sectors of the healthcare industry, including hospitals and health systems and jobs in nursing, mental health, social services and first aid.   They will also engage with local colleges, universities, and secondary and post-secondary training programs to learn about career pathways that will provide a sound return on their investment.

“This is another incredible opportunity for students to learn about good-paying careers in the healthcare sector with companies right here in the GLOW region,” said Angela Grouse, GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare Co-Chair. “Healthcare is a dynamic field and an essential component of the regional economy as evidenced by various expansions and developments across the GLOW area, and the robust training programs for students ready to explore careers in healthcare.”

There are sponsorship opportunities for the March 24 event at the Platinum ($5,000), Gold ($2,500), Silver ($1,000) and Bronze ($500) levels.

For more information about GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare, visit www.GLOWWithYourHands.com/healthcare or contact Chris Suozzi at[email protected].

December 7, 2022 - 1:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
Melvin Huntley

A 41-year-old Town of Batavia resident was convicted Tuesday by a jury following a weeklong trial on the majority of counts against him in a child sex abuse case.

Melvin A. Huntley, a Wilkenson Road resident, could spend the rest of his life in prison following his conviction.

There were four victims in the case.

The jury found Huntley guilty of:

  • Five counts of sex abuse in first degree;
  • Two counts of sex abuse in the third degree;
  • Two counts of rape in the first degree;
  • Two counts of predatory sex against a child;
  • Predatory sexual assault;
  • Four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Three of the counts are Class A felonies and two are Class B felonies.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 11.  He has been ordered held in the Genesee County Jail without bail pending sentencing.

“We are very gratified by the jury’s verdict, which was made possible by an excellent investigation by the Sheriff’s Department headed up by Investigator Howard Carlson, tremendous victim support by Theresa Roth and the CAC, and most importantly, the courage of the four victims who testified at trial,” said Assistant District Attorney Robert Zickl, who prosecuted the case.

December 7, 2022 - 1:38pm
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 registered 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.
  • Sign-in issues? First, make sure you are registered for Day using the link at the top of this post; Second, if you know you're registered, use the "sign-in" link in this post; do not use the "login" box on the left side of the page.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Lisa Ace:   [email protected]
December 7, 2022 - 9:54am

Press release:

Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse has scheduled in-person and virtual Naloxone & Opioid Overdose Prevention Training sessions into June of next year.

Twelve sessions will take place at The Recovery Station on Clinton Street Road in Batavia and six will be held at GCASA’s Outpatient Clinic in Albion starting in January. Additionally, six virtual training classes are scheduled, beginning Jan. 9.

The dates at The Recovery Station are as follows:

  • Jan. 20, 10 a.m.
  • Feb. 23, 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 17, 10 a.m.
  • Feb. 27, 6 p.m.
  • March 17, 10 a.m.
  • March 27, 6 p.m.
  • April 21, 10 a.m.
  • April 24, 6 p.m.
  • May 19, 10 a.m.
  • May 22, 6 p.m.
  • June 16, 10 a.m.
  • June 26, 6 p.m.

The dates at the Albion Outpatient Clinic are as follows:

  • Jan. 9, 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 13, 6 p.m.
  • March 13, 6 p.m.
  • April 10, 6 p.m.
  • May 8, 6 p.m.
  • June 12, 6 p.m.

Virtual training dates, all at 1 p.m., are Jan. 9, Feb. 13, March 13, April 10, May 8 and June 12.

Participants are asked to register in advance by sending an email to [email protected] or calling 585-815-1883.

Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. Examples of opioids include heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, and morphine.

The GCASA series is partially funded by United Way.

December 7, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in st. james, Genesee Chorale, music, arts, entertainment, news.


The Genesee Chorale performs its annual holiday concert -- From Star to Star -- at 4 p.m. on Saturday at St. James Episcopal Church.

Ric Jones is the director. Janine Fagnan is the associate conductor, and Doug Hanson is the accompanist.

Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or at www.geneseechorale.com/box-office.

St. James is located at 405 East Main St., Batavia.

Photos by Howard Owens.







December 6, 2022 - 11:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Red Osier Landmark Restaurant, Stafford, Christmas, news.


It's a lot of work, Tim Adams admits, to decorate the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford. But it's worth it when he sees a kid's face light up to see all of the sparkling colors that are spread around the property.

"We had a customer last night that called the display 'magical,' which is pretty cool," Adams said during Saturday's free Community Christmas event.

He spends five or six weeks putting up the lights each year.  He gets some help, but does most of the work himself. Christmas is his favorite time of year, he said.

"It's nice to see all the kids who enjoy and appreciate the lights, because there's really not a lot of places to go and see something like this," Adams said.

Adams and partner Steve Foster started the annual tradition seven years ago, about the same time the annual light display on Fargo Road was ending its long run as the county's premier Christmas light destination.  Adams and Foster decided the best way to show off their holiday light display was to host a free Community Christmas, which they did this past weekend.

They offered a food trailer, carriage rides, a visit with Santa, and, of course, a chance to walk through and around the light displays provided for free to the community. The holiday tour at the Route 5 restaurant came with some help from the volunteers of Stafford Fire Department.

"We wanted to do something nice for Stafford and our local communities," Adams said.

The tradition actually began about a month before the official season of Santa Claus, Foster said.

"I think what made it right for us, and it happens every year, is on Thanksgiving, we weren't having Thanksgiving dinner until later, and we were out doing Christmas lights, and a van full of kids came through and said, 'Merry Christmas. We love your Christmas lights.' That's why we do it," Foster said.

Red Osier is also once again collecting holiday-time donations. This year the donations are going to Toys for Tots, Western New York Heroes, Little Tots, and the community pantry at St. James Episcopal Church.






Photos by Howard Owens.

December 6, 2022 - 11:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, news, veterans, NYS Veterans Home.


The Oakfield-Alabama Hornets Cheerleaders are collecting holiday decorations to donate to veterans staying at the New York State Veterans Home in Batavia.

They are accepting donations for any decor as well as holiday craft supplies so that veterans can decorate their rooms, doors, and bulletin boards for the holidays. 

The cheerleaders are also collecting holiday cards written to veterans.

There are donation boxes at the high school or contact cheerleading coach Kate Engle at [email protected].

Submitted photo.


Top Items on Batavia's List

Town of Batavia Ethics Board, Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Applications are being accepted for members on the Town of Batavia Ethics Board, Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. Applicant must reside in the TOWN OF BATAVIA. Applications can be obtained on the Town of Batavia website, at www.townofbatavia.com or at the Batavia Town Hall, 3833 West Main Street Road. Please send completed application and resume to Teressa M. Morasco, Town of Batavia, 3833 West Main Street Road, Batavia, New York 14020 by Friday, December 23, 2022.
Jobs offered

Full time - Auction Set Up Team & Warehouse/Loading Team Needed

We are currently seeking motivated individuals to fill full time openings in our team. Work where your efforts are appreciated and everyone is working toward the same goal. We offer a retirement package, health insurance, on the job training, and a friendly work environment. -Auction Set Up Team: Learn new skills as you assist the auctioneer with organizing, cataloging & photographing online auctions. Comfort with technology (computers, smartphones, etc.) is a must in this role.
Jobs offered

Health & Safety Coordinator

**HEALTH & SAFETY COORDINATOR NEEDED** The work involves planning, developing, implementing and monitoring the County-wide comprehensive safety and training programs. This includes departmental standards of the protection of employees and the public use of County-owned properties and facilities. The incumbent will act as a resource in the inspection of facilities, work sites and work practices to ensure compliance with applicable Federal/State regulation and insurance requirements.
Jobs offered

LPN - Oakfield Family Medicine

SUMMARY As a Licensed Practical Nurse, you are key in the success of operations and compassionate patient care every day. STATUS: Full Time DEPARTMENT: Family Medicine SCHEDULE: Monday-Friday, Days ATTRIBUTES Compassionate, warm and patient focused Critical thinking skills, decisive judgment Exceptional documentation skills and professional behavior RESPONSIBILITIES Patient Care & Service.
Jobs offered

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