Local Matters

Community Sponsors

January 4, 2021 - 6:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, east bethany, Pavilion.

Juan M. Mendez, 20, of Holley, no address provided, is charged with first-degree rape -- sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless. It is alleged that at midnight on Sept. 4 on Batavia Stafford Townline Road, in Batavia, that Mendez had sexual intercourse with a female who was incapable of consent due to her level of intoxication, rendering her helpless. He was put in Genesee County Jail following his arrest and arraignment and his bail was set at $2,500 cash or $10,000 bond. Mendez is due in Town of Batavia Court on Jan. 28. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Office Investigator Joseph Loftus.

William Richard Kapelke, 38, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal obstruction of breathing. On Dec. 31, he was arrested after the investigation of a domestic incident that occurred at 8 a.m. on West Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia. It is alleged that Kapelke choked a female durihg a verbal and physical altercation, and that this occurred in the presence of the victim's child, who is under the age of 17. He was arraigned in Genesee County Court and released on his own recognizance. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Tower, assisted by Deputy Mathew Clor.

Dylan S. Pehrson, 18, of Franklin Street, Batavia, is charged with: criminal mischief in the fourth degree; criminal mischief in the second degree; grand larceny in the fourth degree; and third-degree robbery. The arrest follows a domestic incident that occurred at 3:06 p.m. Dec. 20 on Franklin Street. It is alleged that the defendant forcibly took items from the victim and broke property at the residence. After arraignment in Batavia City Court, Pehrson was released on their own recognizance and is due back in city court on Feb. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Officer Wesley Rissinger.

Joanne K. Harper, 56, of Pavilion, no address provided, is charged with: failure to keep right; driving while ability impaired by drugs; and driving while ability impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol. At 3:27 p.m. on Dec. 20, the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office Emergency Dispatch Center received a report of a two-car head-on collision with injury on Old State Road near Silver Lake Road in the Town of Covington. It was also reported that one of the drivers was trapped and could not get out of the vehicle. Responding deputies observed two vehicles that had collided on the north shoulder of the westbound lane on a blind curve. Deputies freed the entrapped driver and both drivers were medically evaluated by Perry and Monroe ambulance medics. The eastbound vehicle appeared to have swerved into the westbound lane, causing the head-on collision. The driver of the eastbound vehicle, Harper, was given field sobriety testing and arrested. She was taken to Attica Police Department for evaluation by the NYS certified Drug Recognition Expert, who reported that she was allegedly under the influence of multiple drugs and could not operate a vehicle safely. Harper is due in Town of Covington at a later date. The case was handled by Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputy Austin Harding.

Morgan Elizabeth Rector, 21, of Pickthorn Drive, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. She was arrested after an investigation into a domestic incident that occurred on Pickthorn Drive at 2:53 p.m on Dec. 27. It is alleged that she damaged property. Following her arrest, she was released on an appearance ticket to be in Batavia City Court on Feb. 23. The case was handled by Bataiva Police Officer Samuel Freeman, assisted by Officer Austin Hedges.

Cassandra M. D'arconte, 22, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and criminal contempt in the first degree. She was arrested on Dec. 23 after the investigation of a domestic incident that occurred at 4:31 p.m. that day on North Street. It is alleged that she violated an order of protection that was issued the same day. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under supervision of Genesee Juctice. D'arconte is due back in city court on Feb. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Taylor M. Peyman, 29, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more; unsafe backing; aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree; and DWI -- common law. On Dec. 19, Peyman was arrested after an investigation into an accident that occurred at 8:20 p.m. in the area of Jackson Square. Peyman was released with appearance tickets and is due in Batavia City Court on March 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Samuel Freeman.

Tammy Rene Daigler was arrested at 3:55 a.m. on Jan. 1 on Wiard Street in the City of Batavia for driving while intoxicated -- first offense. She was stopped for a vehicle and traffic law violation and, following an investigation, allegedly found to be impaired by alcohol and to have a suspended driver's license. She is due in Batavia City Court on Jan. 13. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush, assisted by Deputy James Stack and City of Batavia Police.

Michael Shane Lytle, 31, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree -- with a previous conviction, and unlawfully selling fireworks with a value of $500 or more. He was arrested at 12:03 p.m. on Dec. 21 on State Street after an investigation by Genesee County Probation Department and city police. It is alleged that he possessed an illegal metal knuckle knife and more than $500 worth of illegal fireworks. He was arraigned in Genesee County Jail virtually by Batavia City Court and released inder supervision of Genesee Justice. Lytle is due to return to city court on Feb. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Austin Hedges.

Casey Thomas Vaughn, 31, of Prune Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Vaughn was arrested on Dec. 28 after an investigation into a larceny that occurred Dec. 20 at 5:08 p.m. at the Mobile Gas Station on East Main Street in Batavia. It is alleged the defendant stole products from the convenience store. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Samuel Freeman, assisted by Officer Sean Wilson.

Richard J. Burdick, 42, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested on Dec. 26 after allegedly stealing a shipping cart full of goods from Tops Market in Batavia at 10:29 a.m. He was processed on scene and released with an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court on Feb. 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen

Robert C. Strollo, 60, of Bethany Center Road, East Bethany, was arrested by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post after Strollo turned himself in on a bench warrant for petit larceny out of Batavia City Court.

January 4, 2021 - 6:12pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Human Services Committee, genesee county legislature.

The manner in which the first group set to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has grown in recent days makes one wonder whether the butcher, baker and candlestick maker will be the next ones to be added to the list.

Paul Pettit, public health director for Genesee and Orleans counties, today said the roster of the 1A prioritization group is “very fluid and keeps expanding, and it seems like every day.”

Speaking at the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee meeting via Zoom videoconferencing, Pettit said the 1A group now includes health-related professionals well beyond those initially identified as the most essential of the “essential” workers.

“You may recall seeing a week or two ago (that 1A) was really targeted at EMS (Emergency Medical Services) workers, frontline healthcare workers and coroners, medical examiners, funeral home directors,” he said. “Since that time, the list has grown fairly substantially, which now includes private medical practices, hospital affiliated medical practices, public health workers, dentists, other dialysis workers, diagnostic treatment centers, and also includes occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, behavioral health workers and student health workers.”

Pettit noted that other frontline health workers, home healthcare aides and related providers are in the process of being added into the first group.

“As you can see it has grown fairly large over the last week or two (and) that could change tomorrow. So, we’re currently working again with the hospital and Oak Orchard Health, which is the former Pembroke Family Medicine, … to start to vaccinate the different groups that I just mentioned under the 1A prioritization,” he said.

Pettit said the vaccine is “starting to roll out” at United Memorial Medical Center.

“They’re holding pods actually today and a couple other days this week,” he said. “We’ll be getting the vaccine hopefully tomorrow – smaller amounts – and we will be starting to work on the 1A priority group. Obviously, day by day as more vaccine comes in to the community and more providers start to come online, it will speed things up.”

Pettit reiterated what he said during a media briefing last week (as reported by The Batavian) that it will take a couple weeks to meet the demand – especially as the 1A list continues to grow.

“The focus is on the 1As and keep in mind, that once we get the 1As done, we will have to start over with their second shot as the vaccination series is 28 days apart with the Moderna vaccine,” he said. “So, essentially we’re going to be giving folks their second round while we’re trying to start with the first round of the 1B essential group. It’s going to get a little muddled there about a month from now.”

He also emphasized that nursing homes throughout the state are part of program coordinated by the NYS Department of Health in conjunction with pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens.

“They’ve gone in and have been vaccinating nursing home residents and staff. That is not anything that we have had any oversight … that is being done strictly through the state DOH,” he said.

In action related to the local health department’s efforts to COVID test, contact trace and vaccinate, the Human Services Committee approved three resolutions during today’s meeting:

  • A memorandum of understanding with the state DOH to ensure the proper distribution and administration of the vaccine by the Genesee County Health Department. The MOU is subject to ratification and approval by the full County Legislature.

“The governor is cracking down on this (adherence to making sure the vaccine is given per the state-mandate prioritization),” Pettit said. “At the moment, it (vaccine) is a scarce commodity; there’s not a lot of it out there yet and there’s a high demand for it.”

Pettit, again, talked about the stiff penalties that could be imposed, including the loss of the provider’s medical license and fines of up to $1 million for failure to comply.

“That is why that MOU … is being put in place,” he said. “It’s basically us attesting as a receiver of the vaccine that we – the county – will follow the state guidelines.”

  • The creation of two temporary full-time COVID-19 response specialist positions to assist the health department with testing, contact tracing and vaccination.

Each job, which will be in force for six months beginning Jan. 18, carries a salary and fringe benefits totaling $40,388, with those expenses to be paid with a combination of state aid reimbursement and Medicaid to State funds.

  • Acceptance of a $35,000 grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials to the health department for contact tracing, overtime and testing expenses.

Pettit said the money isn’t enough “to carry us through to the finish line” but expects more funding to be available as a result of the passage of the federal stimulus bill.

“We have a monumental task ahead of us "over the next four to six months,” he said.

In other news, the committee reported that the Orleans County Legislature reappointed Pettit as its public health director per the two counties’ municipal agreement.

January 4, 2021 - 4:50pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is calling on his colleagues in the Legislature to reject Assembly Bill 416, which would give the Governor or his surrogates the authority to detain individuals determined to be a threat to public health. Hawley opposes this legislation as he believes it to be unconstitutional and in violation of the right to due process.

“This bill is unconstitutional on its face and disregards all basic concepts of due process that make us free in this country,” Hawley said. “Protecting the health of our neighbors is a noble goal to be certain, but this bill forfeits our constitutional liberty in a way we can never allow.

"This is yet another piece of legislation from a downstate member of the Majority that blatantly disregards the constitution and causes people to distrust their government. People being detained on a whim just isn’t something that should ever happen in our country, and I will do everything I can to stop the passage of this dystopian legislation.”

January 4, 2021 - 4:40pm
posted by Press Release in Western Problem Gambling Resource Center, news.

Press release:

The new year symbolizes fresh starts and new beginnings. People use January as a benchmark to reprioritize their lives, and with the unique challenges that last year brought, many of us are looking ahead with even more fervor.

Something that 2020 brought clearly into focus is the importance of mental wellness. A variety of factors can impact mental health, including thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Problems related to gambling can influence each of those components. If gambling, yours or someone else’s, has negatively affected you, know that you are not alone and there is support.

Nearly 668,000 New Yorkers have experienced a gambling problem in the past year. The effects can include sleep issues, strain on relationships with loved ones, financial problems and increased alcohol or drug use. People who struggle with problem gambling are also at a higher risk for other mental health problems. Two out of three individuals reported that their mental health suffered as a result of their gambling. Gambling disorder may also occur with other existing conditions like anxiety, depression, mood disorder or personality disorder.

Emotional and psychological distress is not exclusive to just the person gambling either – each of those individuals can affect up to 10 of the closest people in their lives. A study found that nine out of 10 people impacted by someone else’s gambling problems felt emotional distress. Between the people gambling and their close friends and family, nearly 6.7 million New Yorkers are affected by problem gambling and may experience mental health issues because of it.

Most importantly, help is available if you or someone you love has been exhibiting warning signs of a gambling problem, such as being absent from activities with friends or loved ones because of gambling; feeling stressed or anxious when not gambling; low work performance due to absence or preoccupation with gambling; or lying to family and friends about how much money and time is spent on gambling. January is a great time to reach out to the Western Problem Gambling Resource Center (PGRC).

The Western PGRC is here to help anyone who is looking to reprioritize their lives and overcome the problems that gambling has caused. Private-practice counselors, behavioral health and treatment facilities, recovery groups and other community services throughout Western New York make up a vast referral network.

When people call (716) 833-4274 or email [email protected], they confidentially connect with a knowledgeable PGRC staff person who will listen to and connect them with the resources that best meet their needs.

Whether you are ready to get help, or you are just curious about your options, call us today. We’re here to help.

January 4, 2021 - 1:13pm

Press release:

After successfully securing in July an amendment to the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which expanded the list of diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced Jan. 3 that the FY2021 NDAA included his amendment, which officially authorizes $8 billion in new benefits for vets suffering from Agent Orange-linked illnesses.

Schumer explained that upon the president’s signature, nearly 240,000 veterans around the country who might be suffering from bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and parkinsonism will be able to access healthcare and benefits, numbers that have expanded because of the senator’s amendment associating additional diseases with exposure to the herbicide commonly referred to as Agent Orange.

“After years and years of suffering and fighting, I proudly stood shoulder to shoulder with our Vietnam Vets who were exposed to Agent Orange to get Congress to finally take a major step forward so they get access to the medical care they need,” said Senator Schumer. “It’s taken far too long, but I join veterans across the country in celebrating today as a victory for those who put their lives on the line finally getting the healthcare they deserve.”

Schumer added, “I’m especially proud today to have expanded access to this incoming influx of benefits by securing an amendment that adds bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism to THE LIST of diseases associated with Agent Orange. Our veterans did not hesitate in the face of danger to fight for our country, and we must not nickel and dime them as they fight for their health now.”

The senator has fought for years to not only secure funding for Agent Orange-affected veterans’ health benefits, but also to increase the number of veterans who have access to those benefits. Earlier this year, Schumer unveiled his plan to add an expansion of the illnesses associated with exposure to "Agent Orange" to the NDAA.

The senator has previously visited Staten Island, Rochester, Albany, Utica, Dunkirk, Wallkill, and Ithaca to meet with Vietnam vets and advocate for an expansion of the associated illnesses list. Schumer said that the nation’s Vietnam veterans – more than 240,000 of whom are in New York – who were exposed to Agent Orange, have been calling on the feds to expand the list of diseases associated with the herbicide exposure.

Schumer added "I am proud to have helped our Vietnam vets cut through bureaucratic red-tape and with only the president’s signature needed, New York’s vets are closer than ever to getting the medial access they deserve.”

Schumer emphasized the importance of adding added bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism to the list of diseases associated with ‘Agent Orange’ exposure, and reiterated just how long this fight has been waged. Last year, the Senator secured a provision in the budget deal requiring OMB and the VA to issue a detailed report to Congress on the delay in adding these conditions to the presumptive conditions list, BUT the report was woefully insufficient and Schumer said those agencies failed to properly explain why they were denying veterans. In addition to the failure to include bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism on the Agent Orange presumptive conditions list, the VA has never acted on a 2018 National Academies report that found sufficient evidence of association between exposure to herbicides and hypertension.

Schumer also explained that per the Agent Orange Act of 1991, the VA automatically accepts that if a Vietnam Veteran physically served in Vietnam between January 1962 and May 1975, it is probable that the veteran was exposed to an herbicide agent like Agent Orange.

Furthermore, the Act established a list of “presumed” diseases that the VA stipulates are caused by Agent Orange exposure. Therefore, if a veteran served in Vietnam at any time between 1962-1975 and is diagnosed with one or more of the diseases VA recognizes as service connected, the VA will compensate the veteran and his or her family. However, even though there has been scientific evidence linking Parkinsonism, bladder cancer and hypothyroidism to Agent Orange exposure, they are not currently on the VA’s list of recognized presumptive conditions.

Schumer said if an Agent Orange-related condition isn’t specifically listed on the presumptive conditions list then the VA forces the suffering veterans and their families to argue their claim in a lengthy, bureaucratic appeals process that can last years and often end in a denial. In many cases the veteran will die before the process is even concluded.

Schumer said veterans shouldn’t have to wage their own war to gather the scientific facts and medical opinions about hypothyroidism in order to receive the care and benefits needed to treat the illnesses they contracted because they served our nation. Schumer said that is absolutely crucial that thousands of Vietnam-era veterans in New York State receive the healthcare benefits they need and deserve, and final passage of his amendment in the NDAA will allow that to happen.

January 4, 2021 - 12:39pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

Scott Gibson rolled a 300 game this past week in the Wednesday Men's Handicap League at Rose Garden Bowl -- the first at the Bergen bowling center after several perfect games at the former Scopano's Lanes in his hometown of Oakfield.

The 55-year-old right-hander started with 12 strikes in a row on lanes 1-2 before posting games of 231 and 199 for a 730 series. He is averaging 220 in the league after posting a 223 average last season.

In other action, Tony Sprague of Batavia fired a 299 game on Sunday in the T.F. Brown's Adult-Child League at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

Last season, Sprague, 18, rolled a 300 game as a youth bowler at Medina Lanes. He now is bowling as an adult.

For more high scores around the Genesee Region, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

January 4, 2021 - 9:26am
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) released the following statement after being sworn into the 117th Congress today.

“Serving Western New York has been the honor of a lifetime," Jacobs said. "I am looking forward to a productive new term and working to tackle pressing regional and national priorities. My focus will be on rebuilding Western New York’s economy, supporting small businesses and farmers, and investing in new infrastructure -- including rural broadband.

"I also know there is much work left to be done as we defeat COVID-19, especially securing vital aid for our local governments. I want to thank Western New York and the great people of NY-27 for putting their trust in me. I pledge to put you and the United States Constitution first, and continue to uphold my commitment to serve with honor and integrity.”

January 4, 2021 - 9:24am
posted by Press Release in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA: 

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.26, up 1 cent from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.59. The New York State average is $2.33 – up 1 cent from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.72. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.27 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.26 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.30 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.30 (no change since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.38 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.28 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.36 (no change since last week)

Upward price movement at the state level has pushed the national gas price average up to the highest level since stay-at-home guidance was issued in mid-March. This is the result of higher oil prices -- crude oil pricing reached the highest levels since February.

The month of December has seen the biggest pump price jump of any month this year, ending with a national average of 11 cents higher than it began. Despite low demand, pump prices are more expensive because crude oil has seen steady gains. However, gas prices remain much lower than one year ago.

January 4, 2021 - 9:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
January 4, 2021 - 8:53am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

2021_scratch_memorial_finalists_2.jpg

Jake Rosenbeck of Medina, bowling in just his third scratch singles event, captured the 67th Genesee Region USBC Scratch Memorial Tournament on Sunday with a 233-212 victory over top-seeded Matt Balduf of Batavia.

Rosenbeck, a strong right-hander with a high-powered release, struck on six of his last eight deliveries – including three strikes in the 10th frame – to close out Balduf for the $600 first prize.

Balduf was the tournament’s high qualifier with an 893 four-game series on Sunday morning, and followed that up with an 882 four-game series in the semifinals to earn the No. 1 seed. He earned $340.

The two-day tournament drew 58 entries – up from 37 when it was held at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion last year. Thirteen of the bowlers – five from the Saturday 12:30 p.m. squad, four from the Saturday 4 p.m. squad and four from the Sunday 10 a.m. squad -- advanced to the semifinals.

Rosenbeck, 34, a manufacturing group leader at General Motors in Rochester, qualified off the Saturday 12:30 p.m. squad with 859 for four games and then posted 778 in the semifinals to earn the No. 3 seed for the five-bowler stepladder finals.

In the first match, four-time champion Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls defeated 18-year-old Dennis Van Duser of Perry, 231-170, before dropping a 209-185 decision to Rosenbeck.

Rosenbeck then knocked off second-seeded Brady Weber of Perry, 224-186, before meeting Balduf in the title match.

The 25-year-old Weber, who rolled a 275 final game in the semifinals to advance, won $260, while defending champion Culp, 42, pocketed $225 and Van Duser won $200.

He said he was expecting a challenging oil pattern – which it was – and had the mindset to not give away the 1-3 pocket and pick his spares.

“I knew that it was going to be a tough condition out there – as it should be for a scratch tournament -- and I was just trying to make my spares – fill the frames,” Rosenbeck said. “I figured that being on the plus side of 800 after four games would put me in a pretty good spot.”

Using a Roto-Grip Halo throughout the tournament, he played around the third arrow, staying behind the ball for maximum forward revolutions.

“My game is up and in -- not to covering a lot of boards – and that’s where I get my best carry,” he said. “The big hook is not my game. I try to stay behind the ball and not get around it too much.”

The stepladder finals featured a variety of styles – Rosenbeck staying behind the ball; Balduf off the side more; Weber utilizing the contemporary pro release; Culp as the prototypical power player; and Van Duser, a two-hander.

Rosenbeck competed in the tournament last year, but didn’t make the cut. He finished in second place two years ago in the GRUSBC Masters at (then) Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield.

He and his wife, Kayla, have a son, Henry, almost 2, and are expecting another child in April. He bowls in the Thursday Firefighters League at Medina Lanes.

Balduf, 52, registered several big games, including 253 in qualifying (his 893 was good for a $25 bonus) and 259 and 269 in the semifinals.

Geoff Harloff of Batavia, the leader of the Saturday 4 p.m. squad with 872, fell one pin short of tying Van Duser and Culp for the fourth and fifth spots in the stepladder finals – shooting 771 in the semis. He earned $130.

Mickey Hyde of Le Roy placed seventh at 765 in the semifinal round and won $120.

Other cashers were Brian Weber of Perry, $110; Mike Pettinella of Batavia, $105; Mike Johnson of Batavia, $100; Don Parrott of Warsaw, $95; Chris Huntz of Castile, $90, and Kevin Reigle of Elba, $90.

For tournament statistics, go to www.bowlgr.com.

The Genesee Region USBC Masters is scheduled for Feb. 13-14 at Letchworth Pines in Portageville.

Photo: From left, Jake Rosenbeck, Matt Balduf, Brady Weber, Scott Culp and Dennis Van Duser. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

January 3, 2021 - 1:59pm
posted by Anne Marie Starowitz in nostalgia, batavia, news, history, urban renewal, downtown, main street.

I always have been a follower of Hallmark movies due to their storyline's simplicity and happy endings. What I think that most intrigued me was when the main characters always seemed to go home to save a part of their town, from historic buildings to Main streets.

These stories always take me back to our Downtown. I've written many articles about urban renewal, its history, why it happened, and how it happened.

But it never illustrates the sadness we endured or the memories we cherish.

Watching a Hallmark movie with its predictable ending always makes me think about going home or being home in Batavia.

Many of these movies take me back to the '60s and the daily ritual of walking home from Notre Dame High School. As my best friend and I would cross Union Street to Main Street, our first stop would always be the Red Barn for a little snack. The next stop would be Oliver's for Molly Pops.

It was a simple time, but the memories of walking down Main Street are as vivid today as they were in the '60s.

The big red brick square building on the corner of Court Street and Main Street always intrigued me.

I knew it must have been a hotel, and standing on our tiptoes, looking at the dusty lobby always made me curious about that building.

Many years later, as I was researching the hotel, I returned to that window scene imprinted in my mind, imagining people dancing and eating in that beautiful Richmond Hotel, named after the famous Dean Richmond family.

I think some of my favorite memories were shopping. I love the clothes of the '60s. Favorite places to shop were Alexander’s Clothing Store and C.L. Carr's department store. It was always so much fun to go into the stores and look at the newest styles.

Being a Notre Dame student, we had to wear the ugliest uniforms.

What were they thinking by having the girls wear a bolero? So, the idea of getting new clothes was a big deal.

 Alexander's on the north side of Main Street had a section in the store called The Barn. It was like walking into a teenager’s fashion dream, showcasing all the newest styles.

When I was a freshman, there was a dance called the Christmas Dance, and I remember buying my dress from The Barn.

It was pink, and since this was my first dance (I was 14), and my dad being a dad, he made me add a big black velvet bow to the neckline of the dress. I always thought that was funny since I weighed about 93 pounds.

I also remember in my senior year buying my formal for our senior prom at Alexander's.

I can't forget my other favorite store on the south side of Main Street, C. L. Carr. It was like entering into many little departments that, together, created a building where you could buy almost anything.

I loved their clothes. Somehow, there was a deal with my parents, or I should say with my mom, that I could take home clothes on approval.

That was always exciting because I could pick out my favorite clothes and take them home and show my mom, and hopefully, I could keep one or two of them.

My mother would say, "Don't show your father today; wait a few days, and the day your father asks 'When did you get that new outfit?' you can say, 'Oh, I’ve had it awhile, Dad.' ”

Since we had to wear such attractive uniforms one year, the store sold mohair sweaters that we could thankfully wear over our school uniform. I didn't care that I was allergic to wool. I would wear that sweater, so did my best friend, Cathy. I think she might've had a blue sweater and I had a pink one. I loved that sweater.

I have so many memories of that fantastic store in which you could buy a particular card, vacuum cleaner, a rug, sewing supplies, pots and pans, and have gifts wrapped all year long.

I can remember buying my wedding gown in 1974 with my mom, another memory I will cherish.

It was the way the sales clerk treated you with such kindness and respect that left such a remarkable impression. I picked out our everyday dishes and "good china” at Carr’s.

They also had a travel agency kiosk called Travelore on their first floor where we bought our honeymoon tickets. You really could find everything in that store. 

Years later, I had my first child and couldn't wait to buy baby clothes.

I also would buy gifts for other friends and relatives, and somehow the sales clerks at the store knew if that new baby had already received the gift I had picked out.

When our daughter was in high school, she was one of the Christmas wrappers in the store's basement.  

With their fake snow and predictable storylines, Hallmark movies take me back to my hometown to remember what it was like before it was taken away.

The one thing the wrecking ball couldn't take away are the treasured memories of my hometown Main Street.

PHOTOS:

1) (Top) Demolition of Downtown Batavia in the name of urban renewal, courtesy of Genesee County History Department;

2) Red brick building -- Hotel Richmond, courtesy of the Holland Land Office Museum;

3) Hotel Richmond lobby, coustesy of the Genesee County History Department;

4) Notre Dame High School class photo of girls wearing boleros, from a ND yearbook;

5) Anne Marie Peca in her Senior Prom formal from Alexander's clothing store, courtesy of Anne Marie Starowitz;

6) Anne Marie Peca wedding photo, courtesy of Anne Marie Starowitz;

7) C. L. Carr store drawing, Pat Burr;

​8) (Bottom) Main Street Downtown Batavia, courtesy of the Holland Land Office Museum.

January 2, 2021 - 3:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, football, batavia.

Photo and information from Batavia resident Ann Hart:

Fun news -- my daughter Nichole Hart (second from left), a die-hard Bills' fan since birth (Bills' last playoff), moved to Hyannis, Ma., after graduating from pharmacy school to start her career in 2016. She has put up with a lot of sympathy from fans of the New England Patriots since then.

Now the tables have turned and she couldn’t be more excited!

So she and her fellow pharmacy friends from Albany, Rochester and Binghamton found a "once-in-a-lifetime" billboard to celebrate! It's in Foxborough, Mass., a town in the Greater Boston area where Gillette Stadium is located --  home of New England Patriots.

"(Nichole) said it was exhilarating standing there with people beeping as they drove by and other fans were coming and going as well, shouting 'Go Bills!' Ann Hart wrote in an email. "Just thought people could use some uplifting news!"

Nichole Hart is a 2010 graduate of Notre Dame High School.

In the photo from left are: Carolyn Enos, Nichole, Courtney Chapman and Ally Jurik.

January 1, 2021 - 6:13pm
posted by Press Release in sports, Batavia Downs, Buffalo Bills Playoff Game, football.

President and CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming, Henry Wojtaszek, announced Thursday that they will give tickets to the upcoming Buffalo Bills' Football Playoff Game to frontline workers and first responders in the community.

“We are grateful to the Pegulas and to Governor Cuomo for allowing fans into the stadium for the playoff game," Wojtaszek said. “We wanted to make sure those who have been at the forefront of this pandemic and those keeping us safe during these extraordinary times were considered for this opportunity.

"These folks have made tremendous sacrifices for the greater good of the communities they serve. This offering is just a small part of what we can do to thank them.”

To be considered, Batavia Downs is asking that community members nominate a frontline healthcare worker or first responder by emailing a one paragraph synopsis on why that person should be considered for a ticket. The subject line should read: Ticket Nominee.

Email must also include:

  • The nominee’s name;
  • Job title;
  • Place of employment;
  • The nominee’s phone number and email address.

Nominations can be sent to [email protected] and will only be accepted until 11:59 tonight -- one minute prior to midnight Friday, Jan. 1st.

Nominations will be reviewed and a limited number of nominees will be contacted on Saturday or Sunday if chosen.

“We’re very excited to give these tickets away,” said Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing for Batavia Downs. “Once we pick the recipients, we will be contacting each to let them know what they’ll need to do in accordance with the protocols set forth by New York State and the Buffalo Football Team.

Information on this and other ways tickets can be received can also be found on a post on their Facebook page.

January 1, 2021 - 12:12pm
posted by Press Release in Bowling, sports.

Update 6 p.m.:The 12:30 p.m. squad is currently full at 28 bowlers.

-------------

Press release:

The Genesee Region USBC is kicking off the new year with the 67th Scratch Memorial Tournament on Saturday and Sunday at Perry Bowling Center.

The singles event features three four-game qualifying squads -- 12:30 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday -- followed by the semifinals and finals on Sunday afternoon. Entry fee is $55 ($50 for reentry).

Currently, 24 bowlers are signed up for the first squad, which means that four openings remain. Plenty of openings are available on the other two squads.

One in five bowlers from each squad (rounding up) will advance to the four-game semifinals. Bowlers with the top five semifinal scores will advance to the stepladder finals.

The top 60-and-over bowler not making the cut will advance to the semifinals unless a 60-and-over makes the cut outright.

To enter, contact Mike Pettinella, GRUSBC association manager, at: [email protected] or at (585) 861-0404.

December 31, 2020 - 7:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Batavia PD, batavia.

img_1589.jpg

A Batavia police officer driving a city patrol vehicle was involved in a two-vehicle accident at 3:10 p.m. today, according to Chief Shawn Heubusch.

An ambulance did respond but no information was released on possible, if any, injuries.

The officer was returning to Batavia from training, Heubusch said. 

The accident is being investigated by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and the chief said further details will be released once the investigation is completed.

Reader-submitted photo.

December 31, 2020 - 7:09pm
posted by Press Release in William Sheron, sheriff, news.

sheriff_taking_oath_2_cropped.jpg

Press release:

William A. Sheron Jr. was administered the oath of office yesterday by the Honorable Thomas A. Graham for his second term as Genesee County Sheriff. Sheriff Sheron began his career in 1977 as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher and rose through the ranks, including 21 years as Undersheriff before being first elected Sheriff in 2016. 

Sheriff Sheron has appointed Bradley D. Mazur as his Undersheriff. Mazur began his career in 1999, and has held several positions, which include Deputy, Sergeant, and Undersheriff the past two years.              

“I look forward to serving the citizens of Genesee County for the next four years as Undersheriff and working alongside our sworn and non-sworn members of the Sheriff’s Office to continue to provide a very high level of professional service,” said Undersheriff Mazur.

Sheriff Sheron said, “I am humbled by the confidence that the citizens of Genesee County have expressed by reelecting me to a second term as their Sheriff. I pledge to continue to lead and serve with honesty, integrity, compassion and respect and am extremely proud to be associated with the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office.”

undersheriff_taking_oath_cropped.jpg

December 31, 2020 - 5:39pm
posted by Press Release in Holland Land Office Museum, news, batavia.

Press release:

The Holland Land Office Museum will have adjusted operating hours for the month of January.

The museum will be open from Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be closed Sunday through Tuesday.

Beginning in February, the museum will reopen on Tuesdays.

For further information or questions please contact the museum at (585) 343-4727 or [email protected]

December 31, 2020 - 5:32pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, news, coronavirus, notify.

Press release:

Data Update – Please note the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments will be closed for the New Year’s Day holiday, Friday, Jan. 1 and will not be updating data until Monday afternoon.

We thank each of you for your encouragement, assistance, diligence during this very extraordinary year. We look forward to continuing to provide updated health information and wish each of you a safe, healthy and Happy New Year!

We encourage everyone to limit their time in public and to celebrate virtually with family and friends who don’t live with you.

  • Genesee County received 75 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in the:
      • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
      • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield) 
      • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
  • Eighty-three of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Seven of the positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Four of the new positive cases are residents at LeRoy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility. 
  • Please note there was a miscount for reporting the deaths yesterday. There are 29 COVID-19 related deaths in Genesee County, not 30.

  • Orleans County received 34 new positive cases of COVID-19.
  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby) 
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre) 
    • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon).
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. 
  • 5 of the individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • 24 of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • 13 of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • We are saddened to report the death of one of our community members. The individual was under 65 years old. We will not report any other details out of respect for the person and their family. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this person during this very difficult time.
December 31, 2020 - 5:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Grand Jury, batavia, Le Roy.

Desiree M. Hutchinson is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 12 in the City of Batavia that Hutchinson knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- cocaine -- with intent to sell it. In count two, she is accused of the same crime for allegedly possessing fentanyl that day with intent to sell it. In count three, she is accused of criminal possession of a crontrolled substance in the fourth degree, a Class C felony, for allegedly knowingly and unlawfully possessing one or more substanes containing a a narcotic drug -- cocaine -- which had an aggregate weight of one-eighth of an ounce or more.

Montell L. Cunningham is indicted for the crime of first-degree burglary, a Class B violent felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 13 in an upper apartment on Tracy Avenue in the City of Bataiva that he unlawfully entered a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime and while there caused physical injury to a female victim. In count two, his is accused of second-degree strangulation, a Class D violent felony, for allegedly applying pressure to her neck or throat, with the deliberate intention of impeding normal breathing or blood circulation, and thereby caused stupor, loss of consciousness or physical injury or impairment. In count three, Cunningham is accused of second-degree harassment, a violation. It is alleged in count three that on that day, with intent to annoy or alarm a person, that he struck, shoved, kicked or otherwise subjected the female victim to physical contact.

Anthony J. Welch is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance -- cocaine -- with intent to sell it, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on May 22 in the City of Batavia that Welch possessed cocaine with intent to sell it. In count two Welch is accused of tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count two that on May 22 that he acted with intention to conceal evidence -- upon being confronted by a uniformed police officer, he hid a quantity of cocaine between his buttocks. In count three, Welch is accused of the crime of promoting prison contraband in the frist degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged in count three that on that day he knowingly and unlawfully introduced cocaine into a detention facility -- the Genesee County Jail. In count four, Welch is accused of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count four that on that day he knowingly had scales used to weigh or measure controlled substances and that he intended to use them for unlawfully packaging or dispensing a narcotic drug or stimulant.

David P. Grossman is indicted for the crime of second-degree burglary, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 4 that Grossman entered and remained unlawfully in a dwelling on Highland Park in the City of Batavia with the intent to commit a crime. In count two, he is accused of third-degree criminal mischief, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count two that one that day he damaged property belonging to another person in an amount exceeding $250 -- a City of Batavia police patrol vehicle. In count three, he is accused of fourth-degree criminal mischief, a Class A misdemeanor, for damaging property belonging to another person -- a door and the face of a clock. In count four, he is accused of resisting arrest, a Class A misdemeanor, for preventing or attempting to prevent a police officer from arresting him. In count five, Grossman is accused of obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for impairing or attempting to impair a public servant from performing an official function by means of intimidation, force or unlawful act. In count six, the defendant is accused of third-degree coercion, a Class A misdemeanor, for making a demand of an officer and instilling fear that if the demand was not complied with, the defendant would cause physical harm to the officer. In counts seven and eight, respectively, Grossman is accused of endangering the welfare of two children, a Class A misdemeanor, for knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of children less than 17 years old.

Jennifer D. Abrams and Tarus O. Fluitt are indicted for the crime of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 16 at the Crosby's store on Clinton Street Road in the Town of Batavia that these defendants committed the crime of second-degree criminal mischieg, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 16 they intentionally damaged property belonging to another person in an amount exceeding $1,500 -- mutiple doors, a kitchen sink and merchandise at that Crosby's location. In count three, they are accused of third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony, for allegedly stealing porperty having a value of more than $3,000 -- cigarettes worth $3,500. In count four, they are accused of fifth-degree conspiracy, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally engaging in conduct that constituted a felony and they agreed and engaged in such conduct.

Aurelio A. Figueroa is indicted for the crime of third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony. It is alleged that between July 2014 and July 2019 that Figueroa stole property valued at greater than $3,000 --- a total of $9,321 in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. In count two, he is accused of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count two that on July 5, 2017 in the Town of Batavia that Figueroa offered a written instrument -- a SNAP application/recertification, knowing that it contained false information and presented it with the intent to defraud a public authority. In count three, he is accused of the same crime for filing another written instrument -- a Landlord Statement -- allegedly knowing it contained false information and presented it with the intent to defraud a public authority. In count four, it is alleged that on Jan. 19, 2018 in the Town of Batavia that Figueroa offered a written instrument -- a SNAP application/recertification, knowing that it contained false information and presented it with the intent to defraud a public authority. In count five it is alleged that on Jan. 19, 2018 in the Town of Batavia that Figueroa offered a written instrument -- a Shelter Verification, knowing that it contained false information and presented it with the intent to defraud a public authority. In count six, it is alleged that on June 19, 2017 in the Town of Batavia that Figueroa offered a written instrument -- a SNAP application/recertification, knowing that it contained false information and presented it with the intent to defraud a public authority. In count seven, it is alleged that on June 19, 2018 in the Town of Batavia that Figueroa offered a written instrument -- a Shelter Verification, knowing that it contained false information and presented it with the intent to defraud a public authority. In count eight, it is alleged that that on Jan. 14, 2019 in the Town of Batavia that Figueroa offered a written instrument -- a SNAP application/recertification, knowing that it contained false information and presented it with the intent to defraud a public authority. In count nine, it is alleged that on Jan. 11, 2019 in the Town of Batavia that Figueroa offered a written instrument -- a Shelter Verification, knowing that it contained false information and presented it with the intent to defraud a public authority. In count 10, it is alleged that on July 9, 2019 in the Town of Batavia that Figueroa offered a written instrument -- a SNAP application/recertification, knowing that it contained false information and presented it with the intent to defraud a public authority. In count 11, it is alleged that on July 9, 2019 in the Town of Batavia that Figueroa offered a written instrument -- a Shelter Verification, knowing that it contained false information and presented it with the intent to defraud a public authority. In count 12, it is alleged that on July 16, 2019 in the Town of Batavia that Figueroa offered a written instrument -- a SNAP application/recertification, knowing that it contained false information and presented it with the intent to defraud a public authority. In counts 13 and 14, Figueroa is accused of falsifying business records in the first degree, a Class E felony, for allegedly making a false entries into business records by submitting Shelter Verification forms which had information crossed out on Jan. 19, 2018 and Jan. 14, 2019, respectively.

Ana M. Uribe is indicted for the crime of third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony. It is alleged that between August and November 2019 in the Town of Batavia that she stole property with a value exceeding $3,000 -- a total of $3,218 in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits and public assistance. In count two, Uribe is accused of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degreem a Class E felony. It is alleged in count two that on Sept. 4, 2019 in the Town of Batavia that she submitted a SNAP/Public Assistance Recertification to public authorities knowing that is contained false information and did so with the intent to defraud them.

Robert A. Bell Jr. is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on March 13 of this year that Bell, in the City of Batavia, knowingly possessed stolen property with the intent to benefit himself and its value exceeded $3,000 -- a 2008 Hummer H2.

Craig L. Fien is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on July 22 on Lake Street in the Village of Le Roy that Fien possessed a dangerous instrument -- a bat -- with intent to use it unlawfully against another person. In count two, he is accused of second-degree menacing, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count two that on that day he intentionally placed a person in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by means of displaying a dangerous instrument -- a bat. In Special Information filed by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Fien is accused of having been convicted of: petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, on Oct. 22, 2014 in Monroe Couny Court, and the same crime on Nov. 15, 2016, in Town of Batavia Court; criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, a Class E felony, on Aug. 14, 2019 in Genesee County Court; and these convictions form the basis for count one in the current indictment.

December 31, 2020 - 2:34pm

With the start of a new year less than 10 hours away, it certainly would be nice if the world could just turn the page and put 2020 – a year marked by a global pandemic known as COVID-19 – in the rearview mirror.

Unfortunately, however, the challenges and stress caused by the coronavirus will continue for at least several more months and words such as quarantine, contact tracing, asymptomatic testing and vaccine will continue to be part of our everyday vocabulary.

Earlier today, Paul Pettit, public health director for Genesee and Orleans counties, with support from Genesee County Manager Matt Landers and Legislative Chair Rochelle Stein, updated the media on the latest developments and statistics via Zoom videoconferencing.

Pettit touched upon all the buzzwords mentioned above, as well as addressing what could be a new and even bigger problem – an apparently more contagious variety of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19) that is spreading throughout the United Kingdom and has been identified in California and Colorado.

“About the strain, what we do know is that it is a lot more infectious, so it spreads a lot easier, which is the concerning part,” Pettit said, responding to a question from The Batavian seeking to know if local health officials have the capacity to test for the variant mutation of the virus. “But what we do know is that it is not any more aggressive or severe – it appears anyways – than the strain that we have been dealing with locally, but that again could change as time goes on.”

Pettit said not much is known about the new strain, but worries that due to the higher level of infectiousness, more people could get sicker at a quicker rate.

New Strain Could Overload Hospitals

“That again is a concern with higher positivity rates and mainly with the stress on our health care system,” he said. “If we have more folks getting infected, specifically more at-risk folks that will be infected, (that will) put a strain on our bed capacity and the ability to deal with those folks who need a higher level of care … and that could lead to a quicker overwhelming of our medical system.”

Pettit said the new strain has not been identified in New York, but "it being in California and Colorado, it's more than likely -- it's just a matter of time before it is identified (in New York)."

"It is being tested for out of Wadsworth (a state facility), so the state lab is looking for this variant," he said. "The 3,000 or 4,000 tests that they've run or analyzed has not shown it yet. We do not have the local ability to look for it in our rapid testing, but we did reach out to Wadsworth to see if they would like us to be part of a sentinel process where we can send them -- or make sure they get samples from around here to test for that variant."

Pettit also talked about the Moderna vaccine – a two-step process that is said to be about 95-percent effective against the virus – and outlined the pecking order, so to speak, of those who will receive it.

Again, responding to a question from The Batavian regarding who comprises the 1B group, which follows the 1A group of healthcare personnel, Pettit said he wasn’t sure beyond “certain essential workers” such as law enforcement and firefighters.

“We have a general idea … but the state has not really fleshed out the details of the 1B group … they want us to focus on (vaccinating) the 1A group,” he said, previously mentioning that the 1B group in Genesee County is estimated at around 13,000 people and in Orleans County at around 9,000 people.

After that, there is a 1C group (with close to the same numbers) and then “bucket 2” or the general public, he said.

Pettit mentioned the procedural challenges once it’s time to vaccinate those in 1B (hopefully in late January) because those in the 1A group likely will be ready for their second shot.

“We need to make sure we're giving that second shot at that four-week mark while trying to vaccinate new people in the 1B group. So, this is where it gets into the complexity and logistical challenges of this vaccination campaign,” he said.

Volunteers Play Key Role in the Process

When asked about utilizing volunteers from the community – namely the Medical Reserve Corps in Genesee and Orleans counties – Pettit said he is open to enlisting as many people willing to help in the testing and vaccination process as possible. Currently, many citizens have stepped up on an individual basis to support the cause, he noted.

“We actually have had one (a Medical Reserve Corps) in Orleans County for many years now and the Genesee County Legislature approved expanding the Orleans County one into Genesee about a year and a half ago,” he said. “Medical Reserve Corps do have an important role to play in medical emergencies.”

Pettit admitted that the local MRS is not “overly robust and populated” but mentioned that Serve New York is the statewide program by which those – especially healthcare workers – can sign up to help out.

“As we need volunteers, we can call up and activate those members who are part of Serve New York,” he said. “They are automatically adopted into our Medical Reserve Corps … and we will be utilizing folks through Serve New York.”

He said that he is hopeful that by the time the campaign is over in “three, four, six months, we’ll have about 200 to 300 people in our Medical Reserve Corps because once we have them captive, we’re going to keep them.”

Other new information shared during the 50-minute presentation:

Current Statistics

Genesee County: 2,374 positive cases; 65,126 negative; 173 active cases in isolation; 489 in quarantine; 29 deaths; 1,854 have recovered, which means they have cleared the 10-day isolation period.

Orleans County: 1,342 positive cases; 34,209 negative; 195 active cases in isolation; 601 in quarantine; 61 deaths (mostly from long-term care facilities last spring); 914 recovered, which means they have cleared the 10-day isolation period.

Regionally (Finger Lakes): The Genesee County seven-day positivity rate is 11.2 percent and 14-day is 11.5 percent. The Orleans County seven-day positivity rate is 9.1 percent and 14-day is 8.4 percent.

Genesee County is higher than most of the region but is leveling off, Pettit said, adding that it could qualify for Yellow, Orange or even Red Zone status, but that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is “pivoting away” from micro-cluster analysis to focus on hospitalization rates.

Vaccination

Pettit said the University of Rochester Medical Center is the “hub” that oversees COVID vaccination in the Finger Lakes Region but that he is part of the task force that will help ensure equitable allocation of the vaccine.

“This is unlike anything we’ve ever seen in New York State,” he said. “The vaccine is flowing – coming in slowly – and we’ll get it to residents as quickly as we can.”

The first group of people – the 1A group – is being vaccinated, with 284 staff members at United Memorial Medical Center already receiving the initial dose.

He said the vaccine is not available to the general public yet and that aspect is under the control of New York State. He noted that those who try to circumvent the system are subject to revocation of their medical license and fines of up to $1 million.

Pettit revealed the number of people who qualify for the vaccine in each of the groups as follows:

Group 1A – 4,892 in Genesee County; 3,421 in Orleans County;

Group 1B – 13,000 in Genesee County; 9,000 in Orleans County;

Group 1C – 13,000 in Genesee County; 9,500 in Orleans County;

Bucket 2 – General public.

Pettit also said that testing will continue in both counties – on Tuesday and Thursday in Genesee and on Wednesday in Orleans – and that contract tracing, while “difficult and challenging,” also is ongoing, but is in the hands of state authorities after contacts are made by local health officials -- a fact emphasized by Stein as she opened the media briefing.

Stein: Stay Safe & Support Local Business

"Genesee County does the initial investigation on positive cases and identifies those who are positive," she said. "The process usually takes 24 hours of receiving a test result."

She said after that state contact tracers handle the cases and that is where the delay comes in -- sometime four to six days.

Stein asked residents to be patient with this process before encouraging them to support local businesses, especially restaurants, while continuing to follow the safety protocols.

Pettit also said the state has changed the 14-day quarantine period to 10 days to line up with Center for Disease Control guidelines.

When asked if the data provides any sense of hope, Pettit said the “hope is the vaccine.”

“Getting folks vaccinated, getting them protected – the most vulnerable. The nursing homes, seniors, those with underlying health conditions – that’s really where we need to focus right now,” he responded. “As we start to get them vaccinated and protected, I think that is going to put us in a whole different position as we start to move forward with risk and exposure potential, which I think is going to move us hopefully to where we need to be.”

Top Items on Batavia's List

The Genesee County Agricultural Society is seeking competitive bids from competent, licensed contractors, including MWBEs, for both, high-voltage and low-voltage electrical services, to be performed at the Genesee County Fairgrounds in Batavia, New York.

Fairgrounds Electrical Infrastructure Competitive Bid Request Batavia, N.Y. NOTICE: The Genesee County Agricultural Society is seeking competitive bids from competent, licensed contractors, including MWBEs, for both, high-voltage and low-voltage electrical services, to be performed at the Genesee County Fairgrounds in Batavia, New York. The work will entail replacing a main-gang switch with pole, replacing wiring, boxes, and lighting with high efficiency LED fixtures, and adding specialized ventilation equipment.

2 Open Positions: Treatment/Marketing Coordinator and Administrative Assistant

Two positions available: Treatment/Marketing Coordinator and Administrative Assistant for our Salmon Orthodontics team! Work experience in a dental environment is a plus as is a Marketing or Communications degree or work experience. The ideal candidate must be highly motivated, have a positive attitude and engaging personality. Excitement to help us create beautiful and confident smiles is a must. We are proud to offer highly competitive pay and benefits.

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button