Local Matters

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October 8, 2020 - 3:41pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, Fall 2020 semester, news, education.

Press release:

In just a few weeks, on Monday, Oct. 26, faculty at Genesee Community College will start seven-week session classes; the last session of the Fall 2020 semester.

These hand-selected courses cover all of the content included in a full semester-long course over a drastically accelerated timeline and delivered through completely remote and online modalities. 

The courses offered during this unique session are designed to help students to meet their general education and program course requirements on time or ahead of schedule. For added convenience and in conjunction with the current pandemic-related guidance, all seven-week session classes are offered completely online. To apply, visit here.

Both College Composition (ENG101) and Composition in the Natural and Social Sciences (ENG102) are being offered, which greatly helps those students who were unable to take these courses in earlier semesters.

In total, this session offers courses that cover five different General Education categories for students.

There are also a number of courses specific to a variety of majors but that also could serve as electives for others. Perhaps two of the most widely applicable options include Principles of Business (BUS101) and Introduction to Computers (CIS102) which are also both starting Oct. 26.

Of particular interest to those future Fashion Designers, Merchandisers, and others pursuing a future in fashion, courses like Principles of Fashion Merchandising (FBM101) and of Textiles (FBM115) are available at this time.

To participate in GCC's next online Instant Admit Days on either Oct. 8 and 13, register here.

In addition, GCC will host virtual Open House sessions on Oct. 17 and Nov. 11 and the College's 360 Virtual Tour is always available!

For more information or photographs contact Vice President, Development and External Affairs Justin Johnston at (585) 345-6809, or via email: [email protected]

October 8, 2020 - 3:27pm

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is holding their debut Walk, Run and Roll 5K or 10K All-inclusive Virtual Race for people of all abilities.

People with disabilities as well as the public will have the opportunity to compete side-by-side in an on-line event that will not discriminate based on disability. This fully accessible activity will permit competitors to pick the “course” of their choice any time between Oct. 18th to 31st.

Within the race itself, participants will have the secondary opportunity to engage in a Visual and Auditory Scavenger Hunt, where participants are challenged to locate particular sights and sounds of nature, city life, and Halloween decorations in a unique feature to the “race."

You can sign up in the Event section of ILGR’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/ILGR14020; or click here.

Entrance fee is $25, and includes an event t-shirt. For more information call Donna Becker at (585) 815-8501, ext. 411.

ILGR is grateful to our sponsors: Gold Level Sponsor Molina Healthcare; R.A. Haitz Company Roofing and Siding; and 139th District New York Assembly Member Steven Hawley.

October 8, 2020 - 3:12pm

Statement from NYS Senate Republican candidate Ed Rath regarding Audit of NYS Broadband Program:

“It has been announced that the NYS Comptroller’s Office is conducting an audit of the NYS Broadband Program," Rath said. "I eagerly await the results.

"At the inception of the NYS Broadband Program, $500 million was set aside to bring internet to the most rural parts of New York State. Unfortunately, we still have large areas, not only in rural areas but across many suburbs and cities, without access to broadband.

"This is unacceptable and the issue is only compounded by the current pandemic and the ever-growing need for reliable internet. Again, I look forward to the report from the Comptroller’s Office.”

October 8, 2020 - 3:04pm

Batavia-based funeral director Michael Scott Tomaszewski was arraigned on 15 new charges in Genesee County Court this morning as a result of the continuing investigation of his business practices.

He owns Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral Home & Cremation Chapel, Acme Holdings of NY Inc., which owns the building that houses his funeral home on West Main Street Road, and adjacent property, including the Dibble Family Center.

On July 23, the Edgewood Drive resident, 48, was charged with 91 counts of failure to deposit monies paid in advance in connection with agreements for funeral merchandise or services for 91 customers.

Since his initial arrest, 11 additional victims came forward.

Today's virtual arraignment via Skype in front of Judge Charles Zambito was for:

  • Seven counts of third-degree larceny (Class D felony);
  • Grand larceny in the fourth degree (Class E felony);
  • Three counts of petit larceny (Class A misdemeanor); and
  • Four counts of failure to deposit monies (in violation of NYS General Obligations law).

According to the report from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Investigator Christopher Parker states the new charges "represent additional allegations concerning conduct related to monies paid to Tomaszewski for prepaid funeral and grave markers which were not used for their intended purpose."

In February, Tomaszewski filed for bankruptcy for Acme Holdings under Chapter 11 in Federal Court. He has also filed for personal bankruptcy.

Following today's arraignment, Tomaszewski was released on his own recognizance.

The investigation is continuing.

Anybody who wishes to check the status of any prepaid account can call (800) 577-3752 to verify the existence of a preplan account. Anybody who believes they are a victim is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.


Local funeral director charged with stealing money from customers

Sheriff's Office looking into report that Tomaszewski improperly handled stillborn baby's remains

Darien Center couple would like the truth from Tomaszewski about what happened to their daughter's remains

People who think they were defrauded by Tomaszewski should hire an attorney with expertise in bankruptcy, advises law professor

October 8, 2020 - 1:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, video, livestream.
Video Sponsor

In this interview, Paul Pettit, director of Health for Genesee and Orleans counties, talks about: the recent uptick in cases; the level of community spread; how things are going with the schools; the arrival of flu season; the ongoing difficulty in getting adequate testing locally; and what the future holds.

Regarding the outbreak in Elba, Pettit said:

"What we can see is there is some connection, obviously, on the social side. I do want to say we haven't seen any school spread among these different students in Elba. They're more connected on the community side. There are some different things that we're identifying as some commonality and connections with some of these cases, some of them involved in social gathering, some birthday parties, different types of events that may have lent itself, again, maybe closer contact, prolonged contact that would have potentially led to some of these transmissions."

On guidelines and restrictions:

"We're continuing to advocate daily, locally, here, especially in the rural areas, for the testing capacity or some additional relief on some of these guidelines, some of the closures and capacity issues. We do believe that there should be a little more flexibility in some of these areas, especially with low infection rates overall. So we are advocating. We are working with all of our elected officials, to push back at some of these things."

After talking about eased guidelines for doctors in clearing students to return to school, Petit brought up ongoing issues with testing:

"Ultimately, that leads us into another area which continues to be a challenge for us -- access to testing. This has not improved for us here in Genesee County or pretty much any rural county in the state. We've been beating the drums significantly since the peak in March when we started to see our first cases. Unfortunately, we still are very, very limited with our access to testing. It actually became more restrictive about a month and a half ago when our health care facilities, most of the primary care docs, started doing testing of symptomatic folks only.

"The requirements for screens for going back to college or for people to want to go visit their loved ones in the nursing home now have to have a negative test within seven days. None of our local facilities were offering those types of tests if folks weren't symptomatic. And if they were able to get them, they were getting charged a pretty significant amount. That is not appropriate. It's something that we have, I myself personally advocated for almost every day, really, for our elected officials from local all the way up to our state elected officials to continue to push the governor's office for increased free testing for our residents. I mean, it's essential the way the governor has set up these guidelines with testing requirements and the need to have negative tests for various reasons. It's not rational in that we should be able to meet these guidelines without having the testing. ...

"We have to have the ability to meet the intent of the guidelines. So we're not in violation and we're not putting pressures and challenges on our residents that they have to make choices. Do I get tested to visit a loved one or do I potentially have money to go get groceries this week? ...  

"(We) need to get rapid testing. We need it now and we are working on it. We're working at Oak Orchard, both in Orleans, Genesee County. They do have some of these testing machines and we're just waiting on the test kits antigen to be able to use them. We're also working on getting some rapid testing machines from the state that we could deploy and potentially use more broadly for some of these testing needs. But that's really key. We need to get access to this rapid testing so that we can get folks to where they need to go."

October 8, 2020 - 1:13pm

COVID-19 is not about to stop the GOW Opioid Task Force from continuing its vision of collaboration and engagement leading to a community free from opioid-related deaths and overdoses.

Task Force Coordinator Christen Ferraro today announced that the group will conduct its first virtual quarterly meeting from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Oct. 22 via Zoom videoconferencing.

“Now, more than ever, it is important we continue the conversation surrounding the opioid crisis,” Ferraro said. “This new virtual setting of our quarterly meeting will help us to do that and reach even more of the communities across our tri-county region.”

Ferraro said the meeting will focus on the topic of non-opioid alternatives to pain management.

“Two local professionals have agreed to share their knowledge on this topic with an opportunity for questions to follow,” she said. “This meeting is open to the public and the community is invited to learn more on this topic and share any questions they may have.”

To register, visit www.gowopioidtaskforce.org for more details. Once registered, a confirmation email will be sent with Zoom information and a link to join.

The task force, serving Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties, currently has more than 350 members from across the tri-county region.

Members represent various sectors of the community, including public health, mental health, human services, local government, substance use disorder treatment and recovery agencies, law enforcement, emergency medical services, faith-based groups, health systems and medical practitioners, education, businesses, concerned individuals, families, and individuals in recovery.

Disclosure: Story by Mike Pettinella. GCASA publicist.

October 8, 2020 - 11:01am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Le Roy Police, Executive Order 203.


Village of Le Roy Police Chief Chris Hayward acknowledged that “we’re not perfect” as he encouraged the newly formed, 15-member Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative to provide the input to achieve its goal of developing a revised policing plan that meets the community’s needs in accordance with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203.

“We’re trying to get diversity here,” Hayward said on Wednesday night as the group met at the Village Hall for the first time. “I know that we’re not perfect and as for criticisms, this is what we want to do here. We want to do better.”

Hayward, sitting at a table at the front of the room with Mayor Greg Rogers, started the meeting with a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the governor’s call for police reform, members of the local advisory group, roles and responsibilities of the key players, and a timeline leading to the formation and submission of the plan to the state by April 1.

A discussion followed, focusing on policing in Le Roy, hiring and diversity, use of force policy, and accountability and transparency.

Public Defender Jerry Ader suggested the formation of a citizen-led advisory group or committee that could field individual comments or complaints, noting that people might feel more comfortable if that avenue was available.

Both Hayward and Rogers indicated that they are open to residents’ concerns regarding individual police officers and policing in general, with Rogers stating, “I’m the most approachable person in the room.”

Hayward said he is taking calls from citizens all the time, but said “we receive very few informal personnel complaints against the officers.”

He said he believes his agency is not transparent enough, but does not agree with a revised law that will allow disciplinary records for individual police officers, firefighters or corrections officers to be released without their written consent.

“That’s a violation of their constitutional rights,” he said.

Ader pressed on with his idea, adding that people would be hesitant to speak up “if they don’t think they would get a fair shake.”

Rogers said he would bring his suggestion back to the village board for discussion.

Hayward informed the group about the department’s hiring process, noting expanded interviewing, a 27-page background check packet for both full- and part-time officers and the ratifying authority of the mayor and village board.

As far as diversity on the police force, he said only one person of color applied in his 18 years as chief, adding that that individual did not make it through the background process. He then mentioned that minorities comprise only 1.7 percent of the Le Roy population before noting that the department has hired five women.

When Hayward said that it’s “getting tougher and tougher” to attract good candidates, Ader asked if there was a residency requirement.

“There is and there isn’t,” Hayward responded, prompting Ader to say, “You sound like a lawyer,” (prompting a chorus of laughter).

Hayward explained how the Civil Service scoring system guides hiring before mentioning that Le Roy’s police department of 16 officers now has “more of a balance who live in the community,” which he called a positive thing.

On the subject of use of force, Hayward said his department is steered by guidelines from the Municipal Police Training Council and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, as well as having to abide by four large volumes of general orders.

He said that officers must intervene if they see that excessive force is being used and that shots cannot be fired at a moving vehicle unless the perpetrator is using deadly physical force.

Hayward said that currently his agency does not have a ban on chokeholds since “they haven’t been trained on chokeholds since the 1980s.” However, he is fervently against the use of chokeholds and said it could be included in the reform plan.

Other topics of discussion were as follows:

-- On accountability and transparency: Hayward said the “boiler plates are there, we just have to tailor it to our department.”

He said, once again, that he didn’t think the department is transparent enough and admitted that its record keeping and filing are substandard, but added that Deputy Clerk Eileen Carmel is making great strides in correcting the situation.

-- On collective bargaining’s effect on internal discipline: Ader inquired if the contract with the union made it tough for Hayward to impose discipline.

“We’re hamstrung by village law, not the collective bargaining agreement, which is pretty standard,” Hayward replied, adding that he doesn’t have the power to discipline; that is in the village board’s hands.

Attorney Jake Whiting said that he thought the chief could be “the hammer” on disciplinary measures, but problems could arise “if he’s cherry-picking.” He suggested that maybe the chief could be given more power when it comes to discipline (a letter of reprimand, for example), with the board handling more serious charges.

-- On citizens’ level of trust in police: Whiting said the level of distrust of police and government is at “an all-time high” and only accountability and transparency will fix it.

Hayward said the perception is that “they’re going to cover for each other.”

-- On police officers’ role in mental health needs: Social worker Christine Gephart commented that school resource officers and police officers are part of the support system in Le Roy, which is important and unique to the community.

Hayward mentioned the department’s involvement in the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative with Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, where intervention without arrest is at the forefront of the program.

-- On the timeline going forward: Hayward indicated that the group will meet again on Oct. 20 to identify and assess the current effectiveness of police practices and policies along with key metrics, with an eye on conducting public forums to gather recommendations.

Other tentative meeting dates are Nov. 17, Dec. 2, Jan. 14 and Feb. 28, but Hayward said he hopes to complete by Christmas the tasks of the Jan. 14 meeting – the sharing of the detailed plan with the stakeholder groups for final feedback, revised where appropriate and attain village board approval and ratification.

Cuomo’s Executive Order stipulates that community policing reform plans must be completed and submitted by next April to avoid the possible loss of state funding. Currently, the Le Roy PD receives $17,300 from New York State -- $5,850 for STOP DWI, $4,200 for Selective Traffic Enforcement Program and $7,250 for Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program.

Other members of the Le Roy committee are Sean Ancker, police department representative; Lori Steinbrenner, business representative; Le Roy School Superintendent Merritt Holly, school representative; Jack Hempfling, clergy representative.

Also, Weldon Ervin, Laura Kettle and Monica Scarlotta, citizen representatives; Mary Margaret Scanlan, mental health representative; Kevin Finnell, district attorney’s office, and James Farnholz, Le Roy town supervisor.


The City of Batavia Police Collaboration Advisory Stakeholder Group meets at 6 o’clock tonight at the City Centre Council Board Room.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department advisory group has set a meet-and-greet for 7 p.m. next Wednesday at the Old County Courthouse. Sheriff William Sheron will make a presentation at a full meeting of the Genesee County Legislature at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the same location.

Photo: The Village of Le Roy Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative​ listen to Chief Chris Hayward (blue shirt) on Wednesday night. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

October 8, 2020 - 8:29am

After a trying, stressful and – ultimately – successful time managing the Primary and Special Elections in June, Genesee County Board of Elections commissioners say they are reenergized and ready to tackle the national Election Day next month.

“We are full staff now and we’re prepared as we can be for the big one,” said Republican Commissioner Richard Siebert on Wednesday afternoon during a departmental review for the Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee at the Old County Courthouse.

Siebert and Democratic Commissioner Lorie Longhany recapped their efforts during the June 23 Primary and Special Elections for the 27th Congressional District prior to outlining plans for the Nov. 3 general election.

Calling it a “year like we have never experienced before,” the officials stated that the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-changing guidelines from Albany made it very difficult for their team of poll workers, inspectors and technicians.

Beyond the state-mandated coronavirus health and safety protocols that were put into place at 24 polling sites, the local election office had to send out 40,000 absentee ballot applications – paying for printing and postage both ways.

“It was a big expense to the county,” Siebert said.

The commissioners reported their deputies “worked tirelessly and seamlessly to navigate through each Executive Order, delegate job duties to various county employees who helped with the large volume of election mail and to run point on every aspect of this most difficult election, including post-election absentee ballot counting.”

Siebert said the technicians charged with preparing the ballots had to program the electronic voting machines for six elections. Unable to meet strict deadlines and without scannable absentee ballots, staff had to hand count approximately 5,000 ballots.

Longhany noted that the teamwork of election workers on both sides of the political aisle and the assistance of Genesee County employees – led by County Manager Matt Landers and Human Resources Director Anita Cleveland – enabled the Board of Election to fulfill its duties and provide all the opportunity to vote without unreasonable wait times.

“We received a great deal of help from around the county,” she said. “It showed how cooperation is the name of the game for us.”

Siebert said the four complaints they received were addressed “and satisfied with explanation,” while Longhany added that an issue at the 400 Towers senior apartment building at East Main and Swan streets has been rectified.

“With the COVID and (having a senior population), they didn’t want us there, but they’ve come back on line with us for the general election,” she said.

Both officials said they are prepared for around an 80-percent turnout of the county’s 37,000 eligible voters for the November election.

They reported that 4,000 absentee ballot requests have been processed thus far, and that training is ongoing for 200 poll workers to use new electronic poll books in addition to their other duties.

Siebert said the electronic poll books are advantageous in that “it will tell us if a person has already voted.”

Additionally, Longhany said the absentee ballots for the coming election will be scannable – enabling workers to count the 6,000 to 7,000 they expect to receive in a timely fashion.

In summary, the commissioners thanked the legislature for its support -- both financially and by providing volunteer hours -- to ensure voters have the opportunity to “exercise their rights and feel confident in the integrity of our system.”

In a related development, the Ways & Means Committee forwarded a pair of resolutions concerning “chargebacks” to the county’s 13 towns and the City of Batavia stemming from costs incurred during elections in 2019.

The first authorizes the county treasurer to bill the municipalities for $7,794 in charges for expenses during the early voting period of Oct. 26-Nov. 5, 2019. Those charges range from $233 in the Town of Bethany to $1,817 in the City of Batavia.

The second allows the county treasurer to bill the towns and city for $54,785 in charges related to training and per diem fees for poll workers, inspectors and coordinators during the local primary (June 25, 2019) and general election (Nov. 5, 2019). Those charges range from $1,470 in the Town of Pavilion to $19,450 in the City of Batavia.

Landers said the county’s real property department will notify all the municipalities of the charges this year with the expectation that the county treasurer will bill and collect what is owed in 2021.

October 7, 2020 - 6:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, byron.


Submitted by Lynette Skelton, storm clouds roll in over Starowitz Farm in Byron.


Submitted by Lisa Ace.

October 7, 2020 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

New Cases – As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received two new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Elba.
    • The positive individuals are between the ages of 0-20.
    • The individuals were not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • One of the previous positive individuals has recovered and has been released from isolation.
    • One of the positive individuals is hospitalized.
  • Orleans County received three new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Albion, Gaines and Ridgeway.
    • Two of the individuals are in their 50s and one individual is in their 60s.
    • The individuals were not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Seven new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
October 7, 2020 - 3:59pm

Submitted photos and information from VA Western NY Healthcare System.

Sgt. Major Bill Joyce, Army (retired), and director of the Genesee County Veteran Service Agency, noticed earlier in the year that our “saluting monuments” representing all the branches of the military services needed refurbishment at the Batavia VA Medical Center.

The monuments are located in front of Building 1.

He then asked employees of Graham Manufacturing in Batavia to restore the monuments. They did so by late July, and in great fashion.

On Tuesday, four employees were recognized by Royce Calhoun, associate director for VA Western New York Healthcare System (center of second photo below).

Calhoun thanked and provided certificates of appreciation to employees of Graham Manufacturing, Batavia, who painstakingly restored and repainted our saluting military branch monuments to their original splendor, says Calhoun.

They are Bob Yungfleisch, Tom Herold, Ed Harding and Pat Coughlin.

"They look terrific! THANK YOU Graham employees and SGM Bill Joyce ... for making this project happen!”

October 7, 2020 - 3:26pm
posted by Press Release in city of batavia, fire hydrant flushing, news.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing / testing fire hydrants next Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 13 and 14 from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the general area of south of Main Street and east of Jackson Street. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected.

These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration of your water, run cold water for about five minutes or until clear.

This annual testing is essential to maintain the communities class III Insurance Services Office (ISO) public protection classification, and to assure that fire hydrants are operating efficiently for fire protection purposes.

Along with maintaining the fire rating, the test monitors the health of the city's water system, identifies weak areas in the system, and removes material that settle in the water lines. Checking each hydrant improves fire department personnel knowledge of the hydrant locations.

If you have any questions, or should notice a hydrant in need of repair, please contact the fire department at (585) 345-6375.

October 7, 2020 - 3:02pm

Press release:

Genesee County Job Development Bureau is hosting a Virtual Job Fair via Zoom on Thursday, Oct. 15th from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Register by Oct. 14th at (585) 344-2042 or emailing [email protected]

Whether you are hoping to find a fresh start, a better job, or a new career direction; job seekers will find some exciting opportunities at the Virtual Job Fair. 

“We are excited to partner with the GLOW Workforce Development Board to bring employers and job seekers together,” said Teresa Van Son, director of the Genesee County Job Development Bureau.

Local employers will be in attendance, eager to hire for immediate openings in a range of occupations. The job fair is open to the entire community.

“This virtual event links potential workers with great employers looking to hire. The job fair is a way to connect face-to-face,” Van Son said.

Come prepared by attending our Job Fair Success Virtual Workshop on Oct. 13th at 2 p.m. (call 344-2042 to register). Learn how to make the most of a job fair and turn it into a job offer!

You can also register for the Interviewing Skills Virtual Workshop on Oct. 20th at 2 p.m.

For more information, please contact the Genesee County Career Center, at (585) 344-2042 or [email protected]

October 7, 2020 - 3:00pm

New Listing Alert: 229 Vine St., Batavia. Solid city ranch in great location. Close to schools, library, shopping, college and the Thruway!

This home features an extra-large kitchen with lots of cupboards, pantry closet, built-ins and small desk area for home office and bill paying. Plus, a new kitchen floor! The kitchen also has a laundry area, if you want all one floor living! Living room is oversized with great built-ins for collectibles and decorating!

All bedrooms are good sized with closets and hardwood floors throughout that with a little refinishing will be great! Basement is huge, and would be great space for all the rest of your storage needs or hobbies or great space to convert into more living area if needed!

Two-car attached garage and a pretty yard with a fully fenced in back yard! Great home and with your decorating skills and upgrades its a keeper!

Call Lynn at Reliant Real Estate today, call 585-344-HOME (4663) or click here for more information.

October 7, 2020 - 2:52pm
posted by Press Release in news, education, fashion, jewelry design, GCC, Franci Jewelry.

Submitted photo and press release:

Eleven years ago, Nicole Davis (top photo), CEO, designer and Buffalo native, created Franci Jewelry from her kitchen table. Since then, her extensive collections have been featured in prominent fashion weeks around the world including New York, Los Angeles and Paris, worn by celebrity clientele and also published in several national and international magazines, which includes the likes of Vogue Italia.

On Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 11:30 a.m. Davis will share her story virtually through GCC's Fashion Episodes. To watch Fashion Episode 20:1 Franci Jewelry with Nicole Davis, visit https://zoom.us/j/4147496187

All are invited to hear this self-proclaimed "mompreneur" describe the growth of her business, the importance of understanding one's target markets and making intentional, appropriate business decisions that match that target market.

This episode is the first of its kind made available by the Fashion Program at Genesee Community College. The Fashion Program has always been a flagship for the college. The knowledge and experience of the faculty and their dedication to their students has produced quality and professional workplace candidates and well-prepared transfer students since the program's inception more than 40 years ago.

Just last year, GCC renewed its articulation agreement with LIM for students in the Fashion Business: Merchandising A.A.S. program. Students who complete the track and degree requirements can seamlessly transfer to LIM to complete their B.B.A. in Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Marketing or Management.

In addition, GCC is very excited to announce a new articulation agreement with Cazenovia College. This agreement provides a seamless transfer opportunity for GCC's Fashion Business: Merchandising A.A.S. students to Cazenovia's Fashion Merchandising B.P.S. and for GCC's Fashion Business: Fashion Design A.A.S. students to Cazenovia's Fashion Design B.F.A. degree program.

Anyone interested in taking advantage of these transfer opportunities through GCC is encouraged to contact GCC's Student Success Center at (585) 345-6805 or via email at [email protected].

October 7, 2020 - 2:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in election 2020, Trump Campaign sign, news, batavia, scanner.

Two females are accused by a resident on Noonan Drive in Batavia of stealing a Trump campaign sign off their lawn. A black female and a white female allegedly took the sign, which the male resident retrieved.

They walked away and police were called. They are responding to the "pretty agitated" Noonan Drive resident, who is said to be out with one or both of the females on Oak Street now.

October 7, 2020 - 2:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, batavia, City Schools, notify.
                  Alice Ann Benedict

Alice Ann Benedict is in only her fourth month as president of the Board of Education for Batavia city schools but she's already looking to make a significant change to a board policy that she said has bothered her for a long time.

Under the previous leadership of Pat Burk, who resigned suddenly over the summer, if a member of the public came to a board meeting and asked a question, Burk would inform the speaker, "We don't answer questions from the public."

Benedict wants to provide the public with public answers to board questions.

She brought the issue to the board's attention at Monday's meeting and Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr. suggested after the board discussion that the board hold off on changing the policy until staff can formalize the language and make a recommendation.

If the board adopts Benedict's suggestion, the district will offer a form on the district's website where members of the public could ask questions of the board. If the question is submitted prior to a set deadline -- such as 5 p.m. on the Thursday before the board's Monday meeting -- then either the board president or the superintendent would prepare an answer. At the next board meeting, during the "public speaks" portion of the agenda, the question and answer would be read aloud. 

Currently, Benedict said, if a question is sent to the district, either she or Soler answer it and the board never sees the question unless Benedict forwards it to them. Benedict would like the entire board to be informed of questions from the public.

During COVID-19 restrictions, members of the public are not attending meetings but once restrictions are lifted, Benedict wants the board to have in place a policy that would allow members of the public to ask questions. If questions are submitted in advance, they will be answered at the meeting. If not, the board president or superintendent will answer the question at a subsequent meeting.

Benedict expressed concern that some people, like herself, are not "quick on their feet" when it comes to answering questions, which is why she wants a built-in delay on answering questions so there is time for research and consideration.

"I always felt like before when I was on the board, I never liked the idea that if a community member took time to come to the board to make a comment or ask a question, we would never answer," Benedict said. "We would never answer the question. That really bothered me."

At first, Trustee Shawna Murphy seemed a little confused by the suggestion, noting that the public has always been allowed to speak at meetings.  After Benedict spoke more about her idea, Murphy said, "sounds beautiful."

Soler said it usually takes two readings for the board to adopt a new policy. He said the policy should incorporate best practices for dealing with public speakers and also suggested the policy should mimic what he said other districts do, which requires public speakers to sign up to speak hours in advance of the meeting "so people can't come and disrupt the meeting."

October 7, 2020 - 2:19pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, education, news, Virtual Open House.

Press release:

Genesee Community College will host two virtual Open House events this fall for students and families to learn all about what the College has to offer!

The first event will take place online from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17, where participants will be able to listen to and watch presentations from all types of areas of the College including various Academic Departments, the Admissions team, Athletics, Financial Aid, Student Success, Student Engagement and Inclusion, and more!

These special Virtual Open House events will also give virtual attendees an opportunity to ask questions and get answers! A complete schedule of the virtual event presentations is available on the registration page for each event date.

Register now at www.genesee.edu/VisitGCC to attend either GCC Fall Virtual Open House on Saturday, Oct. 17 or Wednesday, Nov. 11.

For more information contact GCC's Admissions Office at 1-866-CALL-GCC or by email at [email protected].

When: Saturday, Oct. 17 from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 11 from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Where: Register to attend at www.genesee.edu/VisitGCC

Who: Anyone interested in attending GCC!

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