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May 29, 2020 - 7:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, corfu, scanner, animal abuse, animal cruelty, pet abandonment.

A caller to the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center, who is roadside in a black Buick sedan, reports someone abandoned a pregnant dog in the area of 7921 Hopkins Road, Corfu.

The caller is near the Akron Road intersection, waiting for law enforcement to respond, and they have been dispatched.

May 29, 2020 - 6:08pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley voted "yes" on an amendment, introduced by the Minority Conference that would have taken large steps to ensure that the governor’s executive powers wouldn’t continue.

Since the start of the statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Cuomo has issued 36 executive orders that impose a range of rules and regulations, from business closings to election process overhauls.

Hawley believes steps to curb that power will return the state to the more familiar democratic republic that New Yorkers expect.

However, despite the clear need for curtailing of executive privilege and overreaching of authority, the Downstate politicians voted down this amendment, keeping the governor’s power absolute. Despite this setback, Hawley is just as determined to fight and hold the Majority and the governor accountable.

“In the early stages of a pandemic, getting all of your ducks in a row is incredibly important, and the use of executive privilege in handling a crisis early on was important,” Hawley said. “However, with the decline in positive cases and the return of the legislature, it’s high time that clearer boundaries be made for what is and is not acceptable for the governor to do.

"This amendment would have restored the checks and balances system that is so crucial to our democracy. It’s a shame that my colleagues in the majority couldn’t recognize this, because it leaves the door open for power abuse and manipulation in the future. That’s no future I want to see in this state, so I will be fighting diligently to return the checks and balances.”

Specific provisions of the proposed legislation included:

  • County-by-County Declaration – All state of emergency declarations would be done on a county-by-county basis rather than statewide, with a detailed explanation for each county based on the specific facts and circumstances of such county justifying the emergency declaration.
  • Limited Duration – All emergency declarations would automatically end within 30 days, and could be extended by the governor for an additional 15 days. No other extension could occur without being authorized by the state Legislature.
  • Local Authority – The county executive, chairperson of a county legislature would be able to request that the governor terminate any state of emergency that applies to their respective county. If the governor does not grant the request, he must provide the specific reasons why the request was denied.
  • Due Process – Any Executive Order that impairs freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, the equal protection of the law, the loss of liberty or property, or other fundamental constitutional rights would be subject to due process review, in a manner specified in the Executive Order and subject to independent judicial review.
May 29, 2020 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, Andrew Cuomo.

Press release:

  • Announces additional industries following strict safety and social distancing guidelines can reopen in Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier as part of Phase 2 today.
  • Implements new early warning system dashboard to aggregate and organize New York State's COVID-19 data in partnership with county, regional, state and global experts. 
  • Confirms 1,551 additional coronavirus dases in New York State -- bringing statewide total to 368,284; new cases in 48 counties.

Governor Cuomo: "Phase one should bring about 400,000 employees back to work in New York City. Remember that reopening does not mean we're going back to the way things were. Life is not about going back. Nobody goes back. We go forward. It's going to be different. It is reopening to a new normal, it's a safer normal. People will be wearing masks, people will be socially distanced. It doesn't mean they don't like you, it's not a personal reflection, it's just a new way of interacting which is what we have to do." 

Cuomo: "Wear a mask, get tested, and socially distance. It is that simple, but that hard. It is that simple, but that hard. Those simple devices - wearing a mask, hand sanitizer -- they make all the difference. You talk to all the experts -- what advice, what should we do? Wear a mask. How can it be that simple? Because sometimes it's that simple." 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York City will enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 8 and that five other regions—Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier — can enter Phase 2 of reopening today. Phase 2 allows office-based workers, real estate services, in-store retail shopping and some barbershop services to resume.

Each industry is subject to specific state guidelines to maximize safety and social distancing. Business guidance for phase two of the state's reopening plan is available here.

Governor Cuomo also announced the implementation of a new early warning dashboard that aggregates the state's expansive data collection efforts for New Yorkers, government officials and experts to monitor and review how the virus is being contained on an ongoing basis.

It tracks new infections and their severity, hospital capacity by region, and other metrics. The early warning system dashboard was developed in consultation with internationally known experts who have been advising New York State. The early warning dashboard can be found here.

May 29, 2020 - 5:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Darien.


Three train cars of garbage caught on fire in Darien this afternoon and to enable volunteer firefighters to fight the blaze, the train was moved further up the track into Erie County.

Darien Chief Jeff Luker said given how tightly compacted the trash was in the cars, it was a hard fire to fight but the rain was expected to help.

Darien Fire Department along with Pembroke, Corfu, Indian Falls, and Alabama responded to the fire.

Photos by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.




May 29, 2020 - 4:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, live stream, video.
Video Sponsor

Public Health COVID-19 briefing for May 29, 2020.

Press release:

  • As of 2 p.m.
    • Genesee County received one new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 186 positive cases.
      • The positive case resides in Batavia.
      • The positive individual is in their 20s.
      • The positive case was on mandatory quarantine prior to becoming symptomatic.
      • Two of the total active positive cases are hospitalized.
    • Orleans County received 10 new positive case of COVID-19, for a total of 221 positive cases.
      • One of the new positive individuals resides in Albion, three of the new positives live in Ridgeway, one of the new positive lives at The Villages of Orleans Health & Rehabilitation Center and five of the new positive individuals live at Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
      • Of the new positive case one of the individuals is under 20, one of the individual is in their 20s, two individuals are in their 50s, two individuals are in their 60s, three individuals are in their 70s and one of the individuals is in their 90s.
      • Two of the new positive cases were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
      • One of the previous positive cases has recovered and has been released from mandatory isolation.
      • Nineteen of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility. We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.
      • We are sorry to report that we have lost two more county residents due to COVID-19. The individuals resided at the Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of these individuals during this very sad time.



Click here to view the Genesee and Orleans County online map of confirmed cases.

May 29, 2020 - 1:37pm

Press release:

The Salvation Army of Batavia is excited to announce a new food distribution program. Through a partnership with Foodlink we have secured a new national source for food banks.

Beginning on Wednesday, June 3rd, The Salvation Army in partnership with Northgate Free Methodist Church will host an all new Mobile Pantry program. It runs from 9 a.m. until the food is gone.

It will take place at the church's North Campus, 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia.

As a part of this program each household will receive three boxes. One dairy, one meat and one produce. Each box will contain up to 25 pounds of food. That is a total of nearly 75 pounds.

Because of the quantity of food being given out, pick up will be strictly limited to one allotment per vehicle. Unfortunately picking up for others will no longer be possible.

You are also reminded that there should only be one person per vehicle.

Please be sure to clear out your trunk/hatch prior to arrival. Volunteers are not permitted to touch your belongings.

This program is scheduled to continue every other week through the end of August if needed.

If there are questions feel free to contact The Salvation Army at (585) 343-6284. Leave a message and someone will call you back.

You can also check their Facebook page.

May 29, 2020 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in le roy hs, Le Roy, Fine Arts Festival.

2020 Le Roy Jr.-Sr. High School Fine Arts Festival, produced by Principal Tim McArdle.

May 29, 2020 - 1:17pm

This is a FREE listing of locally owned restaurants and food-related businesses. (No need to be a current sponsor of The Batavian.) To be added, email:

[email protected]   or   [email protected]

(We'll put this back to the top of the home page each time it's updated.)


Alabama Hotel, 1353 Lewiston Road, Basom. Takeout menu. Wednesday through Saturday 4 to 9 p.m. (585) 948-9994

Alex's Place, Takeout and delivery, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily. Menu. (585) 344-2999

Angotti's Beverage, Curbside takeout available. 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday - Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. (585) 343-7335

Batavia's Original, Monday through Saturday, noon to 9 p.m., closed Sundays. Free delivery within city limits, curbside pick up, takeout. Menu. Call: (585) 343-3303

Blondies Sip-N-Dip, 670 E. Main St. Road, Batavia. Hershey's Ice Cream & Soft Serve Custard; serving customers at walk-up window and drive-up service to front door.

Bourbon & Burger Co., Delivery Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Menu. Delivery within City and Town of Batavia. (585) 219-4242

Buttercrumbs Bakery, Corfu, Takeout, Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. to noon. Call (585) 599-4550

Byron Hotel and Trail House, Takeout available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. Menu. Please call at least 15 minutes before closing to ensure your order can be completed. (585) 548-9992

Capish! Brick Oven Pizza Ristorante, 49 Main St., Le Roy, is open for takeout, curbside pick up or FREE delivery from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Closed Sundays. Check out the lunch and dinner menus. (585) 768-1000

Caryville Inn, 25 Main St., Oakfield, Takeout/curbside. Wednesday & Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, and 4 to 7 p.m. for dinner / Friday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. / Saturday 4 to 7 p.m. (585) 948-9780

Center Street Smoke House, Curbside pick up starting at 4 p.m. every day. Menu Page 1. /  Menu Page 2. Pickup is at the westside door, drive-thru Jackson Square. (585) 343-7470

Chap's Elba Diner, Delivery to Elba, Batavia, Barre, Albion ("If elderly customers need anything we will be there for them."), Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Menu. (585) 757-5001 or (585) 797-7505

Cinquino's Pizza, Takeout and curbside pick up within Batavia city limits. Menu. (585) 343-2447

Commit to Well (from the proprietor of Eat Well Grill), healthy meal prep service. Meals are $8 each, plus tax. New menu posted every week. For more information call Eat Well Grill at (585) 446-3033.

Cookies2Remember, Food-licensed retail bakery inside Oliver's Candies. Order online, "ship on Mondays" schedule. Photo cookie gifts, with or without engraved keepsake tins. Website. Email proprietor Trisha Fietz at:   [email protected]

D & R Depot Restaurant, Le Roy, Open 11 a.m. -1 p.m., & 4 to 7 p.m. Free delivery in Le Roy, $1/mile for other locations. (No minimum). "Track-side" pick up. Full menu available! Order via website or mobile app, or call (585) 768-6270.

Dave's Ice Cream, Drive-thru and walk-up window service open from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily. Visit online for flavor updates.

Deb's Bakery, Inside Harrington's Produce, 5282 Clinton Street Road (Route 33), Batavia. Specialty baked goods, gluten-free options, cheesecakes, pies, muffins, etc. Click on bakery menu. Phone bakery directly for orders (585) 297-8595.

Dibble Family Center, Dinner service pick up and delivery, daily from 4 to 7 p.m. New menus posted daily. For more information, click here. (585) 409-0011

Eat Well Grill, Takeout is available in addition to delivery via Door Dash, Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Menu. (585) 446-3033

Eden Vegan Cafe & Bakeshop, Pre-order meals via the website carrotdogcafe.com. Menu. Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Also, get two bags of random, fresh produce for $20 (about $30 retail). Order by 5 p.m. Wednesdays for pick up Fridays 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (585) 815-4487

Eli Fish Brewing Co., Takeout and delivery, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily. Menu. (585) 343-0008

Fishtales Hideaway, Open for takeout only. 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday. Menu.

Fullerino's Pizzeria, 6321 Townline Road (Route 262), Byron, Takeout and delivery Sunday thru Saturday. (585) 548-2727

Gilliana's Diner, 41 Jackson St., Batavia. NEW! Takeout, curbside pick up, catering. Specializing in breakfast and Italian specialties. Dinner on Fridays only. Sunday -- 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. / Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday -- 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. / Friday -- 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 5 to 8 p.m. Closed Wednesdays. (585) 201-7772

Harrington's Produce and Market Cafe (for Deb's Bakery see above), 5282 Clinton Street Road, Batavia. Cafe open for takeout daily 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Fresh produce and grocery items. Fresh breads Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. Call for grocery pick up. (585) 343-0805

Islands Hawaiian Grill, Free delivery, Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. MenuAlso staggered delivery countywide by area -- must order BY 2 p.m. & arrives between 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Family meal deals available. (585) 483-3113

Jerry Arena's Pizzeria, Takeout and delivery, 3 to 11 p.m. daily, lunch Friday through Sunday. Cash or ATM only. (585) 344-4424

Los Compadres Mexican Taqueria, 40 Oak St., Batavia. Operating daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for pickup. Menu pages -- here and here. Order via Door Dash, (585) 250-4067.

Mama Chavez's TaqueriaLe Roy, Takeout orders only. Tues - Sat. 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Daily specials. Call in your order for pick up (585) 502-5093.

M & M Meats & Archery, 3316 Pearl Street Road, Batavia. Fresh meat, poultry, sausage, jerky, custom slaughter & processing, smoking & sausage making. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday - Friday / 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Call in order for pick up. (716) 982-5718

Mr. Wine & Liquor, Free delivery for orders of $15 or more: noon to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Curbside pick up hours: Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Sunday noon to 6 p.m. (585) 219 4050

My Saloon, 1928 Broadway, Darien Center, is open for takeout or curbside service (request when placing the order). Sunday & Monday 2 to 8 p.m., Tuesday to Friday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (subject to change). Menu. (585) 547-9911

Northside Deli, Takeout, Monday thru Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Menu. (585) 343-2888

North Pembroke Hotel, Serving full menu Tuesday-Sunday for takeouts from 12 to 8 p.m. (585) 762-9917

Oak Grill and Cafe, 7062 Lewiston Road, Oakfield. Walk-up and drive-thru windows open daily, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; delivery service from 4 to 8 p.m. Call in for pick-up orders. (585) 948-6070

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, "Old-fashioned Comfort Food." Cans, bottles, growlers of beer to go! TAKEOUT ONLY. Wednesdays 4 to 8 p.m., and Fridays 1 to 8 p.m. Call ahead to order (585) 343-3270.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St. Open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Inside store shopping, curbside pick up. Ice cream parlor open. (585) 343-5888

Public Coffee Hub, Food and beverages for pick up. Times and locations vary. Click here to find out where the food truck is today.

Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant, 12 Ellicott St., Batavia. Operating daily for takeout / delivery. Menu. Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Call (585) 343-3903 or order via Door Dash.

Roman's, Batavia, Delivery within the City/Town of Batavia, Wednesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Menu. (585) 345-6788 or (585) 409-6981.

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia. Open weekdays for takeout only, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.. Menu. (585) 343-7443

Southside Deli, 300 Ellicott St. (corner of Liberty Street), Batavia. Takeout only 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. All deli and store items are available. Menu. Call ahead for a quicker service. (585) 344-2220

Sport of Kings, aka "Sportos," 419 W. Main St., Batavia. Open for curbside pick up. Hours: Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 12-5 p.m. Hours will be expanded if demand warrants. Facebook page. (585) 343-1274

Sweet Dream Maple Farm, Corfu. Order online at:  SweetDreamMapleFarm.com

Sweet Life Country Store, 100 S. Main St., Elba. Open Mon. 12 - 5 p.m., Tues. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Inside store shopping, curbside pick up, low-priced local delivery. Ice cream parlor open. (585) 312-1200

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia. Free delivery (2.5-miles radius; $20 minimum) & curbside pick up Wednesdays thru Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Order online or phone (585) 343-3033.

That Taco Place, 4160 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Open for drive thru and phone in orders, CASH ONLY: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday. (585) 343-3533

The Coffee Press, Takeout and curbside pick up all of our menu items (drinks included) Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Menu. (585) 483-3096

The Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant, Stafford. Delivery / curbside pick up Tuesday through Sunday, 4:15 to 8 p.m. (closed Mondays). Visit here, click "Menu" for regular options, click "Specials" for those, including $10 dinners. (585) 343-6972

The Willow Bend Inn, 3489 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Friday fish fries, limited menu for takeout/curbside service. Menu -- orders can be called in from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at (585) 343-9767.

The Yngodess Shop, 73 Main St., Batavia. Curbside pick up, and free delivery with a $20 minimum (1 - 6 p.m.), call for more details. Sunday 12 - 6 p.m., Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Visit online. Call in your order. (585) 343-3170

Twilight Meadows Restaurant, 11071 Route 98, AlexanderClassic American diner fare. Open daily for takeout: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekends. (585) 591-2811

Viking Valhalla Restaurant, Open for takeout Tuesday through Saturday, 3 to 7 p.m. Menu. (585) 494-9900

West Main Wine & Spirits, Offering curbside pick up. 341 W. Main St., Batavia. (585) 344-2717

May 29, 2020 - 1:04pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley voted "yes" on a bill that proposes residential healthcare facilities be more proactive and responsible when dealing with pandemics moving forward.

The regulations will be reviewed and enforced by the state Department of Health. Hawley’s "yes" vote was made the night of May 27, with the bill being passed by the Assembly that same night.

“This pandemic has taught us much; one of the unfortunate lessons we have learned is that the health and well-being of our senior citizens is sometimes squandered by unprofessional and irresponsible senior living facilities,” Hawley said.

“With this bill being passed, it looks likely that the sins of yesterday committed by both the managers of these facilities and the state government through their inaction will begin to be redeemed, one step at a time.”

Assembly Bill A10394, introduced on May 27, was drafted and developed in response to the staggering loss of life throughout senior care communities across all New York State. It determines what bodies of government can be authorized to intervene in cases where quality of life standards are not stringent enough.

The bill requires the following:

  • Residential health care facilities must submit an annual pandemic emergency plan to the commissioner of health;
  • Requires such plan to include a communication plan with families, and plans to protect staff, residents and families against infection;
  • And plans to preserve a resident's place at the facility if he or she is hospitalized.
May 29, 2020 - 12:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in public health column, news, arthritis awareness month.

Public Health Column: May is Arthritis Awareness Month

Arthritis is one of the most widespread health conditions in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in every four adults live with the pain of arthritis (1.*)

To recognize this toll on Americans’ health, the CDC and the Arthritis Foundation observe Arthritis Awareness Month every May. Paul Pettit, Public Health director of Genesee and Orleans counties, proclaims the importance of the month.

“It is imperative to recognize arthritis awareness month as many of our local community members are faced with this debilitating health condition," Pettit said. "Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are many effective treatments available and lifestyle changes that can benefit the quality of life for people suffering with this disease. We want our community to know that help and specialists are available so that no one has to suffer.”

Arthritis is the name of a disease that covers a wide variety of conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout. Common symptoms of arthritis include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion.

Symptoms may come and go and can range from mild to severe. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray.

Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.

The arthritis rate in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties in 2016 (crude rate, percentage of people with this health condition per reported region/county), and in New York State are (2.**):

  • Genesee: 32.80 percent
  • Orleans: 31.10 percent
  • Wyoming: 32.70 percent
  • New York State: 22.90 percent

“During the coronavirus pandemic, we understand that older ndividuals and people with autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, may be more likely to get seriously sick if they do become infected with the virus, so it is important to take appropriate precautions,” Pettit said.

“It is important that healthy individuals continue taking their medications as prescribed by their physician and to practice social distancing,wearing a face mask or cloth face shield, and to wash hands frequently for 20 seconds.”

  1. *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- Arthritis Awareness Month. Reviewed May 2017. Accessed May 27, 2020.

  2. **New York State Department of Health. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Health Indicators by County. Accessed May 27, 2020.

Engaging in physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can help manage arthritis symptoms.

Physical activity can reduce arthritis pain, improve function and mood, and delay the onset of disability. All adults should get two hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, per week and do muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week.

You can achieve these goals by taking brisk walks for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. You can also break it up into 10 minute sessions and spread it out during the day — walk the dog 10 minutes in the morning, take a 10-minute walk to the post office, coffee shop, or grocery store in the afternoon, and then take a 10-minute walk after dinner.

Make sure to talk to your doctor about new or worsening arthritis symptoms. You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in arthritis and related conditions such as a rheumatologist or orthopedist. For more information on arthritis, click here.

For information about Health Department services contact the Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website.

May 29, 2020 - 12:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, fire, news.

A train reportedly has six of its railroad cars on fire, with flames showing, on the tracks near Genesee Street and County Line Road. Darien fire and EMS are responding.

UPDATE 12:11 p.m.: Law enforcement is on scene. Pembroke's tanker is called to provide mutual aid.

UPDATE 12:12 p.m.: Corfu is also called to provide mutal aid to fight the fire.

UPDATE 12:30 p.m.: Erie County asks that Crittenden Road be shut down and law enforcement is responding to do that. Erie County fire police are also responding.

UPDATE 12:59 p.m.: Indian Falls and Alabama fire departments are called to the scene.

UPDATE 1:26 p.m.: The train was pulled into Erie County to provide firefighters with better access to entinguish the blaze. East Pembroke is called to their hall to stand by for all West Battalion calls.

May 29, 2020 - 10:49am

With Phase Two of New York’s reopening plan temporarily on hold due to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s call for a review of the health data by “international experts,” Genesee County business owners hoping to open their doors to the public can only sit and wait for another update out of Albany.

That update may be coming very soon, said state Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, speaking by telephone after a nearly 15-hour legislative session that ended around 2:30 this morning.

“My belief is that he (Cuomo) is going to make an announcement this morning that on Saturday we’re going to enter Phase Two,” Hawley said, after expressing his dismay over how things have been handled since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in mid-March.

“I’m not sure how he has been able to do it pretty much all on his own up to this point with looking at statistics and data as he likes to call his decision-making process,” Hawley said. “I’m not sure why all of a sudden, he wants to bring in whoever his experts are. He has quite a few around him and pretty much has single-handedly run the state for the past two months.”

On Thursday, published reports indicated that Cuomo said he has “international experts who (will) go through it and we’ll follow the data.”

“The reopening in the first five regions ends tomorrow. When the reopening of Phase One ends, we’ll give the experts all the data. It is posted on the web, but let them analyze it. And if they say we should move forward, we’ll move forward,” the governor stated.

The Finger Lakes Region, which includes Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming counties, entered Phase One on May 15.

Regional leaders were expecting to enter Phase Two today, with that action clearing the way for more retail stores, barber shops, salons, real estate offices and professional services to reopen.

Hawley said the time has come, with adherence to proper safety guidelines, to return to some sense of normalcy.

“Enough stalling,” he said. “We have done what we need to do for the last two and a half months, and we’ve been doing it well. Western New York is not New York City.”

The assemblyman also said Republicans attempted to pass a resolution to a bill last night during session “that would have taken away his (Cuomo's) powers and suspended his one-man rule, but it failed on a party-line vote pretty much.”

“We need to get back on track and have three co-equal branches of our government operating as it was intended to do in our country and our state,” he offered.

Hawley also criticized the state Department of Labor for delays in processing unemployment insurance checks for those who have been laid off through this health crisis.

“We have folks who have been waiting for unemployment for eight, nine, 10 weeks,” he said. “The Labor Department was operating under a system known as MS-DOS, which is an outdated, archaic technology that was used back in the 1980s. It was never updated in all these years.”

Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein also weighed in this morning, acknowledging that patience has “worn thin.”

A part of the regional control room, Stein said that prior to official word from Cuomo, business owners could put their licenses at risk by opening on their own.

“We would just ask for additional patience and we understand that (patience) has already all worn thin. But to get out ahead of the governor is not a good position to be in,” she said.

She added that new guidance has been posted on the New York Forward website.


Genesee County Fair cancellation a tough break for 4-Hers

Stein said she was disappointed over the cancellation of the Genesee County Fair and felt bad for the young people involved in 4-H.

“The 4-H youth who participate in educational programs all year long, and have an animal ready to go to the Fair that they have spent an incredible amount of time, either training or growing --this type of learning experience that 4-H provides for our youth, along with the animal agriculture education, for me, that’s the hardest hit,” she said.

Co-owner of Stein Farms in Le Roy, she said she understands the work that goes into getting ready for the fair.

“It’s not just a couple weeks before the fair,” she said. “It starts when the animal is born, and there is a significant amount of blood, sweat and tears that goes into these animals and these projects. That’s where my heart really has been saddened by this.”

She said she supports the Agricultural Society’s decision to cancel.

“I know it’s been a terribly difficult decision for the Ag Society to come to, but as I see that other fairs have done the same to protect the health and safety of others, I know that just this one time, just for now, this is what needs to happen,” she said.

May 28, 2020 - 6:30pm

671 Back St., Pembroke -- Here’s one to not overlook! Located in Pembroke School System on quiet country back road -- over 1 acre of land with large Quonset outbuilding for all your storage needs. Back yard is partially fenced for kids or four legged friends. Home has way more space than you would think-good size attached garage leads to oversized mud room/laundry/work space incredibly convenient to kick off and store all the coats and shoes and everything else before stepping inside!

Interior is well laid out and spacious. Pretty oak kitchen outlooks into living area and dining area. Bedrooms are large and one holds a surprise (you must see). Large enclosed front porch area that could provide a lot of extra living space or just to enjoy summer days. All this home really needs is some cosmetic updating...don't let this one slip by without checking it out! Easy to see. 

19 Mckinley Ave, Batavia City -- Solid two family on super quiet street, centrally located and within walking distance to shopping. Currently has really great tenants! Call Lynn today. Call 585-344-HOME.

May 28, 2020 - 5:46pm

There will be no change in the daily schedule for students at the four Batavia City School District buildings.

“After thoughtful consideration and collaboration over the last six weeks, the members of the Batavia Teachers’ Association voted against a proposal to change the start and end times at all district buildings,” BTA President Mark Warren said following today's online voting by union members.

District administration had suggested the change during the 2020-21 budget process, maintaining that the proposed starting and ending times would save $200,000 in transportation costs. The outcome of the vote will not affect the passed budget.

With the “no” vote by the teachers, the school day will continue as follows:

-- Batavia High and Batavia Middle, 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

-- John Kennedy Elementary and Jackson Primary, 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The proposal called for BHS and BMS to be on 7:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. schedule, and for JK and Jackson to be on a 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. schedule.

Warren said he exit polls revealed two main concerns.

“The current research on sleep patterns and the school day for teenagers supports a later start time for secondary students, and concerns were also expressed over modifying the students’ schedule in the midst of all of the changes going on due to the pandemic,” Warren said.

He said the BTA’s goal moving forward is “to work collaboratively with district administration as we determine the best path to reopen the school buildings in the fall to ensure the safety of students and employees.”

Warren said all four building votes would have had to be favorable for the measure to pass, but indicated that it was rejected at all four schools.

May 28, 2020 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy.
Video Sponsor
             Joshua Blessed

A man from Harrisonburg, Va., whose social media posts indicate he thought he spoke directly to God and received visions of the devil, has been identified as the driver of a tractor-trailer involved in a high-speed pursuit through three counties last night before he engaged in a shoot-out with police near Geneseo.

Joshua Blessed, formerly Sergio Jourev, 58, also posted a video to his YouTube account with the headline "Brave Patriot defending US Constitution and 2A vs. Domestic terrorist gang member 'blue devils.' "

The video is taken from the dashcam of a police patrol vehicle and shows what appears to be a traffic stop where the driver opened fire on the police officer and engaged in a protracted gun battle before fleeing in his sedan.  

The description of the video asks viewers to join Blessed's "militia" and links to a website where he claims that in February 2018 he received a new message from heaven calling on him to recruit an army to fight a new civil war.

Livingstone County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty said Blessed fired numerous rounds at officers and struck four patrol vehicles, two from Livingston County, one from Genesee County, and one from Le Roy PD.

The bullet that hit the Genesee County Sheriff's patrol car entered through the windshield, struck the headrest and became lodged in the plexiglass divider between the back and front seats.

"I believe if he wasn't ducking, then it would have been right to his head," Dougherty said.

Blessed was employed by a trucking company, Yurman Express, in Harrisonburg and was driving to Batavia to pick up dairy products when at 8:37 p.m. a Le Roy police officer attempted to stop his tractor-trailer for speeding through the village.

When he was uncooperative with the first officer, the officer called for backup. When the second officer arrived, both officers approached the cab of the truck, each getting onto the running boards on both the driver's and passenger's side of the vehicle.

Le Roy Chief Chris Hayward said the officer on the passenger side observed a handgun in the vehicle.  

One of the officers stepped down from the truck and at that point, Blessed began to drive off. The other officer was able to safely jump from the moving vehicle.

As he fled, Blessed rammed his truck into a Sheriff's patrol vehicle that had responded as backup for the Le Roy officers. He headed westbound on Route 5 toward Batavia. Batavia PD was alerted and officers responded to the city line but before Blessed reached Batavia, at some point after passing through Stafford at a high rate of speed, he managed to turn his truck around.

Sheriff Bill Sheron said he hadn't yet spoken with the officers involved, so it wasn't clear to him how the trucker managed to execute a U-turn on Route 5.

"I think they were quite amazed, too, that he was able to maneuver the vehicle the way he did," Sheron said.

Now eastbound, when Blessed returned to the Village of Le Roy, he proceeded south on Route 19 toward Pavilion. Sheriff's deputies attempted to stop the truck at the county line with spike strips. Blessed continued south through Wyoming County to Route 63 in Livingston County near Geneseo.  Livingston County deputies also tried to deploy spike strips to no avail.

In Livingston County, Blessed started taking shots at police officers.

At one point, Sheriff Dougherty pulled up along the passenger side of the cab of the truck and Blessed fired rounds in his direction. Neither the patrol vehicle nor Dougherty was struck. 

"This isn't a common type of situation where you not only have a heavy, heavy vehicle that is near impossible to stop but also the person then taking shots at cops," Dougherty said. "So it was a stressful, intense incident."

Once the vehicle was stopped, the gun battle continued. Sheron said at least one of his deputies fired shots at Blessed.

The official cause of death for Blessed has not been determined but Dougherty said he sustained multiple gunshot wounds.

On his website, Blessed wrote in February 2018:

This is Joshua Blessed the man of Yahweh, for the spirit of אליהו /EliYahu ( My El is Yahweh), is upon me!

As of February 12. 2018, I received from heaven a new task; “go, begin recruiting for a heavenly hosts/army,..”

My brother, the king of heaven Yahweh of hosts said to me,  “…the civil war is coming and many shall die and descended to hell for the fruits of their life,…”

Here is my confession; As for me, for many years I was blind /slave of “the Beast”,… but now my spirit is revived by my Redeemer Yahweh of hosts, and His holy spirit is upon me and causes me > love Yahweh unto death, for He took away the fear of death of me,…It is why now I seek to die as His warrior for His great name > the king of heaven Yahweh of hosts!

The Batavian's news partner 13WHAM is reporting that Blessed had been banned from a militia site for reportedly being "self-destructive."

He posted multiple videos equating law enforcement with the devil and domestic terrorists. He also posted videos, speaking in what may be a Russian accent, describing dreams and visions he had.  

His Facebook page indicates he was banned by the network for violating community standards in April, a ban that was extended to June 16. His offending posts were described as bullying.

Dougherty said investigators are looking into Blessed's social media posts in an attempt to work up a full profile of the man.

"(Among the) things that we're looking at: How extreme is he?" Dougherty said. "What other encounters has he had with police? What led to this yesterday? Again, there are so many unknowns that we can't interview him on. So these are things that we have to put together. And this is what police agencies do. We put together a timeline and try and get the best answers possible to conclude our investigation."

Dougherty praised the professional response of members of law enforcement from the multiple agencies who participated in the incident.

"Members from various agencies put their life on the line trying to warn traffic ahead, blocked the roadways, get everybody removed all the while knowing that he's popping shots," Dougherty said. "I can only tell you that it is simply unbelievable that nobody was injured."'

UPDATE 6:50 p.m.: An editor with the Harrisonburg Daily-News Record contacted the Sheriff there about Blessed and says the Sheriff told him his office never had any encounters with Blessed, at least nothing serious. Our news partner 13WHAM reports Blessed had a wife and two children.  

Also from 13WHAM: Drivers recall fearing for their lives as they got caught in middle of dangerous pursuit

Previously: After high-speed chase that ended with shoot out, Le Roy chief kept thinking of the 'what ifs'

Video provided by our news partner 13WHAM.

May 28, 2020 - 5:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany, news, genesee county, Shared Sales Tax Revenue, notify.

From Carl Hyde Jr., Bethany town supervisor:

At an emergency financial Town Board Meeting in Bethany last night, May 27, after discussion on the FACT of Genesee County breaking its agreement with the towns and villages for Shared Sales Tax Revenue it agreed to, the Town of Bethany made some hard choices.

The Sales Tax Revenue Sharing has made up 50 percent of the town's budget for decades to keep town taxes low.

The Genesee County Legislature ended that on the evening of May 13, 2020.

The Town of Bethany's budget was passed in November of 2019 for the 2020 year; taxes came in and plan were made for 2020, the county dropped a BOMB on all towns and villages.

The Town of Bethany voted unanimously to furlough the Highway Department from June 1, 2020 through Aug. 31, 2020. The employees will be brought back on occasion in emergency situations.

With the revenue to the town cut off, we need to have money to get through the winter plowing.

The Bethany Town Board is planning budget adjustments and cuts in spending to plan for the 2021 budget, which will likely have a tax increase if the county keeps the sales tax revenue going forward.

May 28, 2020 - 4:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Le Roy, Bethany.

Dillen Andrew Merrell, 24, of Bernd Road, Le Roy, is charged with third-degree assault. He was arrested on May 26 following the complaint of an assault that allegedly occurred at 11:36 p.m. on May 22 on Ellicott Street Road in Bethany. He was arraigned in Genesee County Court May 26 and released on his own recognizance. He is due to return to county court at 3 p.m. on Aug. 11. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Officer Jordan Alejandro.

Destiny M. Green, 23, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment -- physical contact. Green was arrested at 12:45 p.m. on May 23 after allegedly subjecting a person in her household to unwanted physical contact by striking them with a shoe and then kicking them repeatedly. Green was issued an appearance ticket, then released after her arrest. She is due in Batavia City Court on July 22. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Daniel R. Yates, 50, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with dog running at large. He was arrested at 5:23 p.m. on Pearl Street after his two dogs allegedly escaped from his home and subsequently a person was bitten by one of the dogs. He was issued an appearance ticket after his arrest and is due in Batavia City Court on July 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens.

James W. Shute, 37, of Humphrey Street, Warsaw, is charged with disobeying a court order. On May 22, Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Shute for second-degree criminal contempt after he allegedly violated an order of protection on May 16 on Main Street in Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on July 28.

Corey Allen Brown, 34, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Brown was arrested after an investigation into a bicycle that was stolen on April 22 at 5:53 p.m. on Highland Park. Brown was arrested, issued an appearance ticket, and is due in Batavia City Court on July 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan.

Alicia M. Lyons, 40, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Lyons was arrested at 5:17 on May 21 at the Kwik Fill on the corner of Jackson and Ellicott streets in Batavia after officers were called for a reported larceny. After a brief interview, Lyons allegedly produced the stolen property and turned it over to the officers. Lyons was arrested, issued an appearance ticket for June 16 in Batavia City Court, then released from custody. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

May 28, 2020 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, scanner, animal cruelty, pet abuse, batavia.

Two dogs are reportedly locked in a vehicle in the Walmart parking lot and an animal control officer is responding. The dogs are in a blue Mitsubishi that is parked in the first row outside the grocery store entrance. It's currently 75 degrees.

UPDATE 4:21 p.m.: The animal control officer is at the scene and asks dispatch to have Walmart management page the registered owner and have that person step out to speak with the officer.

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Treatment Coordinator Needed

Looking for a Treatment Coordinator to join our Salmon Orthodontics team! Work in a dental office with dental knowledge preferred. 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. Dental experience is a plus, but we are willing to train and develop the right candidate with a winning personality and professional drive!



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