Northgate Church invites the community to its annual Vintage Christmas event on Thursday, Dec. 7, and Friday, Dec. 8. This family-friendly event will be “come and go as you please,” from 6 - 8 p.m. each evening. Enjoy a guided tour of a live nativity through the community prayer walk, complete with cookies and crafts.
Come celebrate the season, and enjoy a few classic Christmas movies on our outdoor movie screen, all while staying cozy around a campfire. There will be a small devotional, presented at 7 p.m., to ready our hearts and minds for the Christmas season, accompanied by a magnificent tree lighting.
This is a free event, open to all ages. Northgate Free Methodist Church is located at 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia. For more information, contact the Northgate office at 585-343-4011 or visit northgatefmc.com.
From Medieval times through the Renaissance, the classical period, and into modern carols, Christmas music has changed to reflect the times. On Saturday, at St. James Episcopal Church, the Genesee Chorale will take listeners through that journey in a program entitled "Christmas Through the Ages."
"We're going to go through the process of the beginning of Christmas carols back in the 1400s and then work our way up," said Musical Director and Conductor Ric Jones. "It's a wide mix of styles and in music, a lot of things that will be familiar, some that there'll be new."
Jones said he expects the audience to find the performance as entertaining as it is beautiful.
"The whole concert begins with Gregorian chants so that's really cool," Jones said. "We have four instrumentalists. They're gonna be joining us on about six different pieces, so they'll really liven things up. We have some great, really cool arrangement of "Jingle Bells." It's a rearrangement of the Barbra Streisand version of Jingle Bells written for choir. That's a lot of fun. And then "Joy to the World," "Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending" -- there's some really beautiful, large moving pieces as well."
The concert also isn't without its challenges for the choir, which should also impress listeners.
"The biggest challenging piece is probably "Here We Come A-wassailing," which is a traditional song, but it's super challenging for the choir," Jones said. "It's seven verses, and every verse gets more and more intricate. So it begins with the choir in unison and as we progress, it gets more and more integrated, and it breaks out into eight different parts of one point. So they're going to do great on that."
Jones said he always looks forward to the traditional Christmas concert because, for him, it signals the beginning of the season.
"You get into the mood and the spirit," Jones said. "Also, they're always well attended. They're always popular concerts because people just people want to hear great music at Christmastime."
The Genesee Chorale will perform Christmas Through the Ages 4 p.m. on Saturday at St. James Episcopal Church. For more information, click here. To purchase tickets, click here.
A senior associate with a Rochester-based engineering firm on Tuesday night updated the Batavia Town Planning Board on a proposed solar project on Oak Orchard Road, outlining four changes from the site plan that originally was submitted nearly a year ago.
Marc Kenward of Erdman Anthony LLC, representing New Leaf Energy of Lowell, Mass., said revisions have been made in four areas – type of solar panels, potential glare, the entrance to the array and location of National Grid’s inner-connection service line.
The plan is to place a 5-megawatt solar farm on 20 acres at 7757 Oak Orchard Rd., property owned by Batavia businessman and farmer Tim Call. As initially presented, the solar installation will go on an 85.5-acre parcel just south of Daws Corners on Route 98.
The large tract already contains a 15-acre solar farm, which will share its existing entrance with the New Leaf Energy project, Kenward told the board during the meeting at the Batavia Town Hall of West Main Street Road.
Kenward, working off a large drawing of the area in question, said that “the company that owns the array out back – we’re still waiting on that signed agreement to use this existing entrance, which we were rather forced to do because the DOT (state Department of Transportation) only allows one entrance to a parcel like this.”
Earlier, he informed the board that the New Leaf Energy project is switching from “fixed” solar panels to what he called “trackers” that move “and follow the sun the whole day.” The trackers will be placed in a north-south direction, unlike the fixed panels that were lined up in an east-west direction.
He said a glare study was conducted about three months ago and has been deemed “satisfactory” and that the National Grid inner-connection was moved south by about 80 to 100 fee to become perpendicular with Route 98. A turnaround for National Grid trucks to maneuver also has been added.
Following his 11-minute update, the board unanimously voted to approve the revised site plan. Work on the property is several months away, Kenward noted, added that construction plans need to be drawn up.
The Batavia Muckdogs are excited to announce Cooper French as the Muckdogs Assistant Manager for the 2024 season.
Cooper is entering his first season with the Muckdogs and the PGCBL. He found a great deal of success in the Commonwealth Collegiate Baseball League of Kentucky, leading his team to an 18 & 2 record, league championship, as well as winning the Coach of the Year Award.
Cooper coached players of all levels ranging from Division I to Division III. Cooper enters his second season as the Assistant Baseball Coach at Hanover College in Indiana during his collegiate regular season. Cooper Primarily works with pitchers & outfields for the Hanover College Panthers & has learned a great deal from the entire Hanover staff. While coaching he plans on studying to achieve his MBA.
The Muckdogs will have Holiday office hours all day on Thursday, Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Fans can get their favorite Muckdogs gear, get their 2024 season tickets, or pick out something special for that baseball fan in their life.
Every year, year by year, there are more Christmas lights at the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford, and the annual Community Christmas night keeps getting bigger, too.
This year, owners Steve Foster and Tim Adams hosted vendors in the four dining rooms, which Foster thinks helped increase attendance.
That was good news for Santa and Mrs. Claus, who had a busy night collecting Christmas wishes from visiting children. The line to visit Mr. and Mrs. Claus snaked through all four dining rooms.
"It's a lot of work, but I just love doing it," Adams said. "I love doing all of it. I really don't know what else to say. I just love it. The kids love it. When you see the kids enjoying it, walking through it, that is really what makes it meaningful to me, that they have a place to see this because there is not really any place around here that does this any more."
The Christmas lights are Tim's thing, Steve said. Each year, Adams adds on and the light display gets bigger and bigger.
"We love Christmas," Foster said. "We love putting up the lights. We counted 3.5 million lights three years ago, but we stopped counting, so it's got to be well over four million at this point. Tim thinks he has a budget, but there's no budget. It's basically unlimited when it comes to Christmas."
When it comes to traffic, there's a lot of it, so the Stafford Volunteer Fire Department assists, and employees donate their time for Community Christmas night. The night is free for community members who visit unless they want to buy something from the vendors.
Adams said it takes him six weeks to get the Christmas light displays set up.
"I've always liked decorating for Christmas, so ever since we've purchased this place, I've kind of made it my goal to do a little something more every year," Adams said. "The best part about the whole thing is it doesn't cost anybody anything to come here and look at the lights."
Pastor Ryan Macdonald has been passionate about his work with the City Church food distribution program at St. Anthony’s on Liberty Street as it has grown the last four years.
He has attended every single bi-monthly event, he says, and can appreciate the importance these distributions have for the 200 to 300 Genesee County senior citizens and families that come for the free food.
So it is with that same passion that he has responded to a request from city officials to stop the distributions at the southside location.
“They told us there is no resolution, there is no compromise, there is no bending, the event needs to be canceled at this location. And when we asked for an alternative location, they basically told us, that's our problem,” Macdonald said Tuesday. “I asked, ‘What if we declined to move it or cancel it? (Public Works Director) Brett Frank from the city, made it very clear, that they would seek some type of legal notice against the church. And I said, so you're gonna legally pursue a church for handing food out? And he said, yes, if you don't move it from St. Anthony's, we will.
“We definitely believe this is an infringement of our religious ability to practice our religious values. Thirty families from our neighborhood, the most impoverished neighborhood in the city, walked to this event. That’s why we are extremely opposed to moving it. This is the first time we’ve been told to cancel,” he said. “We have no interest in any type of disagreement or litigation. We respect and support our city officials. We pray they will reconsider their position on our food distribution.”
This hasn’t just happened overnight, City Manager Rachael Tabelski said, and the city has offered to help find an alternative location for the distribution. Both sides met last Friday, and as far as the city was aware, a process was in place to locate another site. She and Frank also denied that he issued any type of legal threat for conducting the food distribution.
“The police chief and Brett are the ones who met with them and let them know that they would be more than willing to help find a location to better suit traffic flow so that all the individuals who need to get the food can get it. We've reached out to multiple partners for them. This was a United Way function that was done, and it rotated between churches during COVID,” Tabelski said. “So it hasn't always been at City Church. It's just they've been so wildly successful with their program … They've got so many people that have a need and come to the drive-through food location that it's a hindrance to our citizens and traffic. So, we're not saying it's bad, it's actually a great thing. It's just outgrown the location.”
She said there have been complaints about neighborhood residents being blocked in their driveways by vehicles waiting in line during the distribution, and safety concerns during school hours when kids are walking to Jackson Primary, which is on one end of the southside neighborhood.
The driving route had been revised at one point, and distribution participants were asked to use Sumner and Jackson to avoid the school, Macdonald said, while the remaining route is on Liberty Street. He said there are some 50 volunteers involved in the event, and some have been on the street to watch out for people blocking driveways. Someone even recorded a video at one point as proof that traffic wasn’t blocking driveways, per the apparent complaints, he said.
Meanwhile, there have been “different emails, different phone calls, over the last two and a half years” to City Council and staff members, Tabelski said.
“And they fear for their safety for crossing the street. They are blocked from getting in and out of their driveways at certain times when these occur. And then, like I said, the school has had traffic issues as well,” she said. “So we've brought it up. This isn't the first time we've had these communications with them. This is just the most recent meeting that we've had, where we've asked for it to be relocated so the neighborhood isn't unduly harmed as it is now.”
Tabelski said she looks at it as a positive: the event has become so successful, that it now needs a larger venue to accommodate all of the participants.
The food distribution stemmed from a United Way program, and the food comes from Food Link to City Church. The food is purchased from state funding, Macdonald said, and City Church has built up a network of names internally for people in need.
They are primarily senior citizens and families, and while the bulk of them drive to the pick-up, some 20 to 30 people walk due to lack of transportation, he said. He is most concerned about how those people would get food if the distribution was moved to outside the city.
Church member Todd Crossett also attended the meeting, and he said city officials asked that a new site be located one to one and a half miles outside of the city since anything inside would be too congested with the line of 200 to 300 extra vehicles.
He recalled that the discussion with city officials involved mention of potential code violations for a business that disturbs the neighborhood.
Crossett and Macdonald are hopeful that they can alleviate the past issues with clear communication and flyers handed out to participants to ensure everyone understands not to block driveways and be mindful of neighborhood etiquette.
For Tabelski, “The city is committed to helping find a more suitable location for the flow of traffic for the food drive and looks forward to working with City Church to do so,” she said.
“It’s just outgrown its footprint … and we've just gotten to the point where we really, we don't see any other successful solution, except to put it in a place that's meant to handle this type of traffic,” she said. “We want this food drive in Genesee County to be successful. As far as we know, they’re willing to work with us.”
She sent the note below to the City Council to provide an update about the latest meeting:
Over the past year the City Church bi-monthly food drive has caused legitimate traffic safety concerns in the Southside residential streets. It has grown to almost 300 cars in our neighborhood and is an issue, that we continue to get periodic complaints about. Complaints from residents have included blocking driveways, crossing safety, rude patrons, and school safety issues.
Chief Heubusch and Director Frank had a conversation with Ryan MacDonlad to let him know City Church cannot continue the food drive at the current location. They offered to help them find a new location.
For Crossett, “we’re trying to come up with solutions. We’re going to have somebody on the streets. We don’t want to upset the neighborhood.”
“The ones that are walking there, obviously, they're the most needy people, you know, they don't have vehicles, they don't have a mode of transportation. That's truly our focus, is them. And if we can resolve it, and not forget about them, that's our end goal is not to forget about those people who are walking in. Again, it's early talking about coming up with a resolution. But I think, my experience with the city is, we will come up with a resolution, and it'll work for both sides.” he said. “I would hope the city would not show up and say, ‘Here’s your citation.’”
Macdonald had offered to pay for a police officer during the event, but "the city said that's not an option," Crossett said.
As for Macdonald, whose mother at one point in life had to go to a government food store when his father lost his job, “I simply want to be able to hand out food,” he said.
And so be it.
“We will be holding our next food distribution Dec. 13,” he said. “And it will be held here (at St. Anthony’s).”
43 Prospect Avenue, Batavia. Great opportunity to move into like new home on really great city avenue! This OVER 2000 sq ft., 4 bedroom, 2 bath, home underwent a major remodel less then 5 years ago and home was done from top to bottom with windows drywall cabinetry baths heating/AC roof flooring etc...Literally nothing to do besides put your personal spin on decor!! Layout is wide open and super spacious-first floor is perfect for entertaining and also features awesome first floor laundry /pantry room or even office space should you want! All bedrooms located on second floor are great size and spread out for privacy! Location is so great and yard super cute - nicely landscaped and partially fenced! No delayed negotiations and super easy to jump in and check out! Call Reliant Real Estate today. Call 585-344-HOME (4663).
The caller reported the fire and hung up without providing more information.
Le Roy Fire, City Fire, Bergen Fire, Pavilion Fire, and Le Roy Ambulance dispatched.
UPDATE 6:47 p.m.: All occupants are out of the house. Stafford and the Town of Batavia also responded. The fire reportedly started on the first floor and climbed through the wall into the attic. There is heavy smoke damage.
Asserting rights over the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, the Tonawanda Seneca Nation has filed a lawsuit against the federal government in U.S. District Court over the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s approval of a right of way for an industrial wastewater pipeline through the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.
The lawsuit asserts that the Nation has standing to sue because the refuge is historically and culturally interrelated with the Nation's ancestral territory, even though it is outside the boundaries of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.
The pipeline, which received approval from both the Fish and Wildlife Service and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, is intended to move wastewater from WNY STAMP in the Town of Alabama to the north.
The Genesee County Economic Development Center, developers of STAMP, are not named in the Nation's lawsuit.
An official with GCEDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Nation is claiming that the pipeline approval violates the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act.
The pipeline is not compatible, under terms of the law, with the purpose of the refuge, the suit claims.
The suit asserts that the Wildlife Service violated these laws granting approval for construction of the pipeline and seeks injunctive relief, which would mean stopping further construction of the forced main.
"Consultation with an Indian Nation must occur regarding sites with 'religious and cultural significance' that are off tribal lands, and federal regulations instruct agencies to consider that historic properties of religious and cultural significance are often located on ancestral or ceded lands," the suit claims.
NOTE: The lawsuit is 82 pages long. This story is a summary of key points of the suit. To read the full document, click here (pdf)
The Nation claims that a 19,000-acre area that includes the Refuge, the Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area, the John White Wildlife Management Area and the Tonawanda Seneca Nation Reservation Territory from the Tonawanda Iroquois Oak Orchard Wetlands Complex, an area the nation is claiming is important to the Senecas for cultural and historic purposes.
"This relatively undeveloped corridor protects the culturally significant plants, animals, land, and water resources that are essential to Tonawanda Seneca traditional cultural practices and beliefs," the suit states.
The suit asserts the Nation wasn't afforded its right, under Federal law, to participate in the pipeline approval process.
"The Nation retains the right to practice its culture, religion and traditional lifeways within its ancestral Territory, both inside and outside its Reservation boundaries," the suit states, adding, "Cultural resources and historic properties of importance to the Nation are located on the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, based on traditional cultural knowledge of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation and as confirmed by the Fish & Wildlife Service’s 1992 survey of the entire Refuge."
The Nation will be harmed if construction of the pipeline is allowed to continue, according to the suit.
"Construction and operation of the industrial wastewater and treated sewage pipeline through the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge will harm Nation citizens and their enjoyment of the Refuge, as well as the Nation’s cultural resources, which include both historical and archaeological resources and wildlife, plant, and water resources in their ancestral territory in Western New York."
The suit claims the wastewater treatment facility that will be connected to the pipeline will lead to noise, traffic, odors, vibrations, light, air, and water pollution, and that it will "negatively affect the Nation’s lands, waters, environment, cultural resources, and places of religious and cultural significance."
The suit claims that the Nation previously communicated its rights under the law to GCEDC in a letter in 2016:
The Nation’s sovereign right to its territory, including the natural resources of the territory, is protected by federal treaty. The Nation has federal reserved water rights attached to our territory and the STAMP project lies entirely in Seneca aboriginal land. Waters, including streams and wetlands, span the boundary between the STAMP site and the Nation. From time immemorial, our people have used and occupied the forests, streams and wetlands of the Nation’s territory, including those directly adjacent to the STAMP site. Fish, birds, deer and other wildlife pass freely through this area and many trees and plants, including medicinal plants, grow there. All of these are an integral part of the natural world that we give thanks and acknowledge every day as Haudenosaunee with the words given to us by the Peacemaker.
Previously, and primarily in response to the Orleans County lawsuit, GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde said he is not concerned about the legal challenges facing STAMP.
From The Batavian's prior coverage:
The northern route for the sewer line, he said, is the most environmentally sound option, which is why the route was recommended by the Department of Environmental Conservation.
"If you look at the reality of what we're dealing with, in that case, that particular situation, it is DEC permitted," Hyde said. "They spent three years reviewing the plans. The DEC directed us to put the flow there because it was the best place for the care of that water body versus where we were looking as an option in Genesee County. It would have been more environmentally challenging than to do it in Genesee, and that was the reason they selected that area. There was careful study by the authority that has the responsibility for maintaining and protecting our environment. And they issued the permit. And that permit is far more stringent than what the Medina Wastewater Treatment Plant is currently operating under because they're grandfathered.
"So when I look at the challenges that are before us and presented, it's procedural things, and with procedural things, there are always ways to find solutions. So I am not at all concerned about proceeding, because it's a long pathway to do all this stuff anyway. And at the end of it, by proceeding, we're going to enjoy greater economic vibrancy here in this region."
What better way to greet the New Year than with a hike in the forest?
On New Year’s Day 2024, ACORNS (Association for the Conservation of Recreational and Natural Spaces) is offering a First Day Hike at the Genesee County Park & Forest! Hike starts at 10 a.m. at Pavilion B on Raymond Road at the Genesee County Park & Forest. This FREE guided hike is for you and friends of all ages to welcome the coming year in the outdoors while getting healthy exercise and connecting with nature.
This casual recreational event offers 2 hiking options! Hike 1 is approximately 3 miles over rolling hills with moderate terrain. Hike 2 is approximately 1.5 miles over easy terrain. Both hikes begin and end at Pavilion B and feature time in the forest, beautiful natural scenery and snacks by a fire in an enclosed pavilion.
Trails are not stroller-friendly and may have tree branches overhead. All ages are welcome, dogs are also welcome and must be on a leash at all times.
Seize the day and enjoy the natural beauty of the Genesee County Park & Forest! We hope you’ll make hiking a habit for a healthy 2024! Please pre-register by FB message @GeneseeCountyACORNS or by email [email protected]. Walk-ins are also welcome.
“The news that an agreement has been reached on an extension of the Gaming Compact between the state and the Seneca Nation is welcome news to those of us who have been urging the Hochul administration to act before the Dec. 9 expiration date.
The Seneca Nation is a valued neighbor in Western New York and their gaming facilities and resorts are a major economic driver. This agreement relieves a measure of uncertainty that has increasingly clouded this issue as the expiration date approached.
I urge the Hochul administration to use this extension productively rather than as an excuse to kick the can down the road. The Governor and her team need to come to the table with a commitment to engaging in good-faith negotiations on an agreement that is fair to all parties. That commitment has been lacking in this process up until now.
The gaming landscape has changed profoundly in the last two decades and any new agreement should reflect that while simultaneously assuring that critical funding to host communities is sustained.”
For the second straight year, the Karl Marth Cup came down to the final match and for the second straight year, the BBA North team came out on top.
In competition on Saturday at Medina Lanes, the North squad, comprised mostly of bowlers from the Medina and Oakfield area, defeated the South team of mostly Batavia-area bowlers by a score of 62.5-60.5.
Points were awarded for winning scores in Doubles, Singles, Baker Doubles and Baker Team events. The North team now holds a 17-12 advantage in the series, which began in 1994 as a Batavia versus Albion match in the former Batavia Bowling Association.
This year, the North withstood a spirited rally by the South, surviving by taking one of three closing Baker team events. The North came out hot, winning all six Doubles matches.
The teams split the points in Singles and Baker Doubles, and the South won two of the three Baker Team events but just fell short.
Last year, the North won, 62-61, at Mancuso Bowling Center.
Individually, Alex Allis of Medina earned the Scott Wright Memorial Award by winning three of his four matches for the North. The South’s Paul Bacon received the Joe Trigilio Memorial Award, also taking three of his four matches.
Scott Gibson and Jake Rosenbeck each averaged 229 for the day to lead the North while Scott Culp’s 225 and Mike Johnson’s 223 paced the South.
Think what you will about the use of artificial intelligence for making up silly random songs and possibly helping to write that late-night term paper, but there are certainly more cutting edge, time-saving uses for the technology.
Just ask Genesee County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens. He recommended that the county purchase a $30,000 subscription to an AI service that will analyze state Department of Transportation bridge and culvert reports, identify problem areas and help county personnel potentially whittle a job from 12 months down to two or three weeks.
"So after the first of the year, we're going to upload all of our bridge inspection reports to the company. And they're going to use the AI software to just quickly analyze all the pictures and the data. And there's, I mean, each bridge probably has a 15- to 20-page report that comes with it, they're gonna go through each report, look at all the pictures that AI literally scans the photos,” Hens said after Monday’s Public Service meeting. “And I don't know how exactly it works. Yes, the software can detect things. I mean, you know, a human could detect it as well if we were going through it, but it's literally 1000s and 1000s of pages. And we only have two or three people. And we have other stuff like a jail and a water project that are being built. So you just nip away at it. And you might get through two or three a week. But we've got 374 bridges and culverts that have got to be inspected. And then someone's got to go through those reports. So this is kind of a quick way.
“Again, using AI software, which is brand new to the industry, to review all of those pictures and photos and then just spit out a report saying okay, you've got 20 bridges that have concrete abutments that need repairs, you've got 10 bridges that have bad bearings, you've got two bridges that should be painted, and here's the costs, and here's the locations,” he said. “It's got to be fixed. And it's pretty impressive. It literally will do in two to three weeks what it would take two to three humans to do all year long.”
He’s got faith in the company, Dynamic Infrastructure, which is just breaking into New York State, with Genesee County being one of the first counties to use this technology. He knows that some are using it in Iowa and Minnesota, with some counties here investigating it, “but I think we’re one of the fist ones in New York State” to be using it.
“I’ve seen a demo multiple times. I’ve been through an hour-long presentation on it. It’s very impressive,” he said. “It’s gonna be, I think, a good tool for us, hopefully moving forward.”
It is about prioritizing, he said, and will also involve some strategy once he can see what kinds of repairs are needed and where.
“Because if you have similar repairs on bridges, but they're spread out in seven or eight different locations, you might just issue one contract. You know that the contractor might go from bridge to bridge to bridge fixing the exact same thing in six different locations, which is a heck of a lot cheaper than putting out six different contracts and then having six different contractors, piecemeal, yeah, so it's going to allow us to kind of, you know, kill two birds with one stone, and probably get a little bit of bang for our buck too, because you're gonna be hiring a contractor to do 10 locations as opposed to one at a time,” he said. “So I think it's gonna be a really powerful tool.”
The Public Service Committee agreed with his recommendation and moved the resolution on to Ways & Means, and then it will go to the full Legislature for a final vote that Hens recommends further analyzing county bridge and culvert inspection reports with artificial intelligence software to quantify and estimate repairs identified in the reports.
Hens has evaluated a proposal for this work and has recommended the purchase of an annual subscription to this service from Dynamic Infrastructure of New York, NY, at a cost not to exceed $30,000 for the period from Jan. 1, 2024, through Dec. 31, 2024.
He doesn't believe that it will be necessary to have a yearly subscription, so once the brunt of the work is done and details obtained, it can be canceled until the county needs updated information, he said.
The contract will be funded by the Large Span Culverts Capital Project, which has an available balance of $2,739,357.
In October 2022, Social Services Commissioner Carla Mindler was figuring out how to fill a gap when the STAR program ended, and the Student Transformation and Empowerment Program (STEP) was put in its place and operated at Robert Morris in Batavia.
This year, Mindler had to find new space for STEP when she learned that Robert Morris would no longer be able to house the program and its middle and high school student participants after the end of this school year, she said.
As it happens, she knew a guy who knew a guy — Ryan Macdonald of City Church — who offered to rent out a portion of St. Anthony’s for the county-run program.
“So I'm looking to enter into a lease agreement with City Church, which is doing the business of St. Anthony's Church, to move the STEP program. We were notified by Batavia City School District that Robert Morris would not be available after the school year, so we've been looking for a site. We did find this location, it absolutely meets all of our needs,” Mindler said during Monday’s Human Services meeting. “We have access to all of the rooms, we have a gym, we have classrooms, we have an office. I had to go to the school district and ask that they terminate our lease early because it went through August, and we wanted to move in sooner just so we didn't lose the spot. And we're also hoping to move between when they're off for Christmas. So we're looking to start this January 1.”
The contract with the school district was $3,000 a month for Robert Morris, and it will be $3,500 a month for St. Anthony’s, she said.
The program includes academic lessons, physical exercise, and behavioral therapists. It is considered a preventive program for at-risk youth within child welfare and prevention.
STAR had an ongoing contract for these services, and program leaders did not renew the contract last fall, leaving a potential void that Social Services personnel opted to pick up. That included the hiring of full-time adolescent behavioral specialists I and II, and a full-time adolescent behavioral coordinator to work directly with the youth in their homes and schools to mentor, guide and assist them with their required tasks.
There have been about 40 kids in the program, Mindler has previously said.
“So we need two classrooms because we keep the kids separated by age, so kind of the middle school and high school kids. We have an office for the program coordinator, then we need access to the gym because we like to get them moving, especially in the morning. They do their exercises, calisthenics, and we have them back there in the afternoon,” she said. “We need space for when the therapist comes in and does group meetings with the kids. And so it's all right there kind of on the floor. It really checks all of our boxes. So we don't want to lose the space.”
The committee agreed to pass along the contract to Ways & Means, and then it will go to the full county Legislature for a final vote.
If approved, the contract would be for $3,500 a month from Jan. 1, 2024, to Dec. 31, 2028, for St. Anthony’s Church at 114 Liberty St., Batavia. The expenses are paid out of funding for Community Optional Preventive Services, which are 36.3 percent local share, or $15,246 per year.
Have you ever seen those appeals from the health department looking for the owner of a dog that recently took a bite out of someone on the street?
That’s because those random bites of unidentified animals result in rabies treatments for the victims. Just how often does this happen, Genesee County Legislator John Deleo asked during a Human Services meeting Monday.
More than you might think.
“You see a lot of press releases, particularly in April and May when the animals come out and people go out, and the weather gets better. On average, 25 to 30 people a year, with dog and cat bites,” Public Health Director Paul Pettit said while requesting a contract renewal for rabies treatment services between the county and United Memorial Medical Center. “Sometimes we're looking for a dog that maybe bit somebody, and we're trying to find the owner. That's been successful from time to time. And bat season is typically in August, where you get a lot of bats in the home at night while people are sleeping. Unfortunately, they let them go. And they just happen to test a lot of people.”
UMMC provides a post-exposure rabies vaccine to those bitten by animals suspected of having rabies or when it’s unknown whether they may have the disease.
The agreement is expected to result in a budget impact of a reduction of expenses for the vaccine and an increase in insurance reimbursements, according to the county resolution. The Human Services Committee agreed, and it is to move on to Ways & Means and then to the Legislature for a final vote.
The committee also approved Pettit’s request for an agreement to pay $750 to The Harvester Center for winter storage of the health department’s RV and trailer; and $8,000 for public health advertising about the ill effects of lead at Dwyer Stadium and the David McCarthy ice arena in Batavia. The advertising expenses are covered by a grant, Pettit said.
John A. Cabrera, 56, of Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon 3rd, menacing 2nd, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration 2nd, harassment 2nd, and promoting prison contraband 1st. Cabrera is accused of threatening another person with a handgun during a fight on Washington Avenue, Batavia, on Nov. 24. He is accused of fighting with police when they attempted to take him into custody. While being booked at the Genesee County Jail, Cabrera was allegedly found in possession of contraband. He was arraigned and released.
Shawna L. Lamont, 34, of Perry, is charged with bail jumping 2nd. Lamont is accused of missing a court date after being released on a charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance 5th. She was arraigned in City Court and released.
Benjamin G. Evans, 35, of Batavia, was arrested on three warrants on Nov. 28. Two of the warrants are related to incidents where Evans allegedly stole packages from porches. The other is related to a trespassing complaint on Swan Street on Sept. 19. Evans was arraigned and released.
James L. Dart, 70, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd. Dart is accused of spitting on another person during a fight on Tracy Avenue on Nov. 27. He was issued an appearance ticket.
Carla L. Spikes, 33, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd. Spikes is accused of punching another person in the face during a fight on Hutchins Street, Batavia, on Nov. 18. She was issued an appearance ticket.
Trevon L. Armstrong, 38, of Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief 4th. Armstrong is accused of damaging a window at a residence on Denio Street on Nov. 16. He was issued an appearance ticket.
Haley M. Larnder, 24, of Batavia, is charged with two counts of bail jumping 3rd. The charges stem from two separate cases where Larnder is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. She allegedly failed to appear in court as ordered. She was released on an appearance ticket.
Daniel N. McDaid, 40, of Tonawanda, and April J. Conley, 39, of Lewiston, are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. McDaid and Conley were charged following a traffic stop on Ross Street by a Batavia patrol officer. They were allegedly found in possession of narcotics. Conley was additionally charged with Tampering with Physical Evidence. She allegedly attempted to hide evidence. Both were issued appearance tickets.
Allyson P. Lawrence, 29, of Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. Lawrence was allegedly found in possession of narcotics on Nov. 26 while being arrested on an unrelated warrant. Lawrence was arraigned and released.
Alex P. Brasky, 32, of Batavia, is charged with DWI. Braskey was stopped by a Batavia patrol officer on Nov. 22 on South Jackson Street, Batavia. He was arraigned and released.
Russell H. Blumer, 51, of Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and harassment 2nd. Blumer is accused of punching another person during a fight on Thorp Street on Nov. 12 while a child was present. He was arraigned and released.
Jerome W. Amesbury, 58, of Batavia, was arrested on Nov. 26 on a warrant. The warrant stems from a traffic stop on Ellicott Street on June 23, which led to a charge of aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd and several traffic violations. Amesbury is accused of failure to appear in court as ordered. He was arraigned and released.
Trevawn O. Wright, 23, of Le Roy. Wright was arrested on a warrant on Nov. 23. Wright was initially charged on Aug. 13 with aggravated unlicensed operation 2nd after he was involved in a traffic accident on South Main Street, Batavia. The warrant was issued after he failed to appear in court. He was arraigned in and released.
Jonathan W. Dodson, Jr., 37, of Holley, is charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse 3rd. Dodson was arrested by State Police in connection with an incident reported at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 1 in the Town of Elba. He was issued an appearance ticket. No further information was released.
Mark P. Heale, 55, of Bethany, is charged with torture/injury/not feed an animal. Heale was arrested by State Police in connection with a report taken at 2:14 p.m. on Nov. 21 in the Town of Bethany. He was issued an appearance ticket. No further information was released.
Susan Ann Samanka, 60, of West Main Street, Batavia, was charged on Dec. 4 with sex offender failure to appear for photo. Samanka is accused of failing to report to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office as required for a photo as a registered sex offender by the required date. Samanka was held pending arraignment.
Joe Andrew Cortez, 41, of Park Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd. Cortez is accused of violating a stay-away order of protection at 12:43 p.m. on Nov. 23. Cortez was issued an appearance ticket.
Michael Robert Hawkins, 27, of Route 98, Attica, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd, speed not reasonable and prudent, and moving from lane unsafely. Hawkins was reportedly involved in a traffic accident on Simonds Road, Darien, at 11:51 a.m. on Dec. 1. During the investigation, Deputy Stephen Smith determined Hawkins was allegedly in possession of a large quantity of controlled substances. Hawkins was held pending arraignment.
Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying. We are a non-for-profit organization that provides its services free of charge. We run on a supportive community and selfless volunteers. With out both of those we would not be able to serve our community. If you have a caregiver's heart and 2 to 4 hours a week, we would love for you to become a part of our Crossroads House family! No experience required, we will train you and provide mentors and experienced volunteers to guide you. Please go to Crossroadshouse.com to apply, click on volunteer tab to complete application or email [email protected]