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April 13, 2021 - 5:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, bergen, batavia.

A Rochester man is facing three felonies after three people were arrested following a traffic stop in Bergen April 11.

A gray Chevrolet Malibu was pulled over by Genesee County Sheriff's deputies on Route 33 at 12:38 a.m.

The operator, Paula G. Pierce, 29, of State Street, Batavia, was allegedly driving with a suspended NYS driver's license. There were two other occupants, Michael R. Whitman, 48, of Federal Street in Perry, and 29-year-old Justin P. Porter, of Bennington Drive, Rochester (inset photo, right).

Deputy Nicholas Chamoun conducted an investigation, aided by Deputy David Moore, and K9 Deputy Andrew Mullen, who deployed K9 Frankie to check the exterior of the vehicle. According to the Sheriff's Office report, Frankie indicated a positive response for the presence of narcotic drugs.

Deputies conducted a vehicle search and allegedly found drugs and the three occupants were arrested. Assisting at the scene were Deputy Austin Heberlein, Deputy Ryan Young and Deputy Jacob Gauthier.

Porter is accused of providing deputies with a fake name and refusing to disclose his true identity. It is also alleged that while in custody at the Sheriff's Office, he attempted to conceal drugs by hiding them in an interview room.

Porter was arraigned virtually in Town of Bergen Court and charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree -- with intent to sell, a Class B felony; tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony; fourth-degree conspiracy, also a Class E felony; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor; obstruction of governmental administration, another Class A misdemeanor; and false personation, a Class B misdemeanor.

Due to bail reform, Porter was released on his own recognizance.

Pierce and Whitman was issued appearance tickets on charges of fourth-degree conspiracy and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.

Pierce is also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree, an unclassified misdemeanor, and she was issued a traffic ticket for insufficient turn signal, a violation.

Members of the Genesee County Drug Task Force also assisted in this case.

April 13, 2021 - 5:01pm

From the City of Batavia Police Department:

On Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Batavia Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will provide the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your pills for disposal to the Alva Place parking lot across the street from Batavia Showtime (located in the Genesee Country Mall). Sharps will also be accepted at this location, as the United Memorial Medical Center will have staff on hand.

The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

To keep everyone safe, collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations, which include masks for citizens dropping off medication.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 11,000 authorized collectors that are available all year long.

The Batavia Police Department Headquarters has one for everyday collection of drugs and sharps located in the rear vestibule at 10 W. Main St., Batavia.

The FDA also provides information on how to properly dispose of prescription drugs. More information is available here:

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 24 Take Back Day event, click here.

April 13, 2021 - 5:00pm

With a key component of the City of Batavia’s wastewater treatment plant operating at just 20-percent capacity, Maintenance Superintendent Ray Tourt says that it’s imperative to move up the capital project plan timetable to get it fixed.

“We desperately need to get that air back into the pond,” said Tourt at Monday night’s City Council meeting, talking about a faulty air header system at the plant. “We recognize how severe it is becoming.”

Tourt said the city has received about 10 years less than the expected 40-year life of the system, which introduces supplemental air to the three primary wastewater ponds.

In a memo to City Manager Rachael Tabelski dated March 29, Tourt wrote that “this air provides oxygen to the ponds to effectively digest waste.”

“Even though this project is scheduled for (this fiscal year), it was discovered that the system’s rate of decline is higher than originally anticipated,” he wrote. “For this reason, the project is being advanced as quickly as it can be.”

City Council acted favorably to his request, forwarding a resolution to contract with the lowest bidder to its April 26 Business Meeting. Opening of the bids is scheduled for April 19.

Tourt said work will be done in sections, starting with the large 16-inch line and working down to the six-inch line. He noted that the lines will be wrapped to prevent deterioration from the elements.

He said the system is leaking a “significant amount of air” and is creating a distinct odor near and around the ponds. Once that segment of an overall $1 million wastewater treatment plant project is finished – hopefully be the end of summer, he said crews will evaluate the plant’s compressors and diffusers.

In other action related to infrastructure, Council forwarded a resolution to apply for a Northern Border Regional Commission grant in the amount of $328,000 to partially fund a waterline project on Bank Street. The total cost of the project is approximately $410,000 but the city would be responsible for a local match of 20 percent ($82,000).

Tabelski, in a memo to Council dated April 6, wrote that work is needed “to improve water pressure and fire suppression capabilities on Bank Street, as well as enable future development on the City Centre campus and the Alva Place location for the (new) police station.”

She wrote that the Bank Street waterline will be expanded from its current four- and six-inch lines to an eight-inch line.

April 13, 2021 - 4:59pm

Michael Tomaszewski, the former local funeral home owner accused of misusing his client's deposit money and improperly disposing of human remains, entered a guilty plea this afternoon to felony charges that could send him to prison for up to seven years.

The plea offer included no promise of a sentence of lesser than the statutory time in prison of two and a third to seven years for his guilty plea to grand larceny, scheme to defraud, offering a false instrument for filing, and untimely burial.

The sentences for each count will run concurrently under the terms of the plea.  

Prior to Tomaszewki's last court appearance, he disclosed, through his attorney Thomas Burns, to the Sheriff's Office that the remains of another body could be found in his former funeral home. A human body was recovered.

As a result of that investigation, he is expected to be charged with another misdemeanor charge of untimely burial. Under terms of the plea deal, he is expected to plead guilty to that charge and any sentence on that charge would run concurrently to the charges disposed of in today's hearing.

Sentencing for the 40-year-old Batavia resident is scheduled for July 13 at 1:30 p.m.

Tomaszewski was arrested last summer and accused of taking money from clients who had made prearrangement deposits. He misappropriated as much as $15,000 from some clients.

Clients may have suffered a cumulative loss of more than $525,000. 

At his sentencing on July 13, Tomaszewski, under terms of the deal, must agree to make restitution in the amount specified by the prosecution.  

Assistant District Attorney Kaitlynn Schmit told Judge Charles Zambito today that she couldn't provide the exact amount of restitution because Tomaszewski has already paid some people back and there needs to be further research into exactly how much he owes his victims.

Burns said he and Schmit had reached an agreement to delay sentencing by four weeks over the standard time between a plea and sentencing to allow more time to arrive at the final restitution figure.

In a bankruptcy filing last year, which is still pending, Tomaszewski listed $1,094,346 in assets against $3,242,390 in liabilities. 

UPDATE 5:05 p.m.: The Sheriff's Office has released the arrest report on the additional charge against Tomaszewski, duty to bury. According to the Sheriff's Office, after being notified by Burns of the body, a body of a deceased person who had died Sept. 10, 2019, was recovered at the former funeral home. The body was removed and buried. Tomaszewski was issued an appearance ticket on the charge.

April 13, 2021 - 4:37pm

Press release:

This month, New York passed the legalization of mobile sports betting. Although leaders believe this will have a positive economic impact for New York State, potentially closing the budget deficit over time, increasing the availability and accessibility of gambling options may cause problems for those at risk.

The Western Problem Gambling Resource Center maintains a neutral stance on gambling; however, we want the community to know there is a local, confidential resource available if you or someone you know is struggling to control their gambling.

Problem gambling is simply anytime someone’s gambling causes problems in their life. These could be financial or relationship problems, issues at work or school, some people have even resorted to criminal activity to support their gambling problem.

Let’s look at a few problem gambling facts:

  • Each person struggling with problem gambling affects 6-10 of those closest to them.
  • A study found that nine out of 10 people affected by someone else’s gambling problems felt emotional distress, (Nash et al, 2018).
  • One in five persons struggling with a gambling problem have attempted and/or died by suicide. 

Because as many as 10 other individuals are impacted by one person’s gambling problem, a person’s mental and physical health could certainly be impacted.

It is important to recognize the warning signs of problem gambling. We can not simply pick a person struggling with gambling problems out of a crowd. So, what are some warning signs can we look for?

  • Being absent from friend/family events because of gambling.
  • Feeling stressed or anxious when not gambling.
  • Low work performance due to absence or preoccupation with betting.
  • Lying to family and friends about how much money and time is spent on gambling.
  • Chasing losses to “get even."

Services for those persons struggling with problem gambling are available in WNY. Friends and family of those impacted by problem gambling are also encouraged to reach out for support. Local, confidential, and free help is available through the Western Problem Gambling Resource Center.

For more information: Call (716) 833-4274 or email:   [email protected] visit www.nyproblemgamblingHELP.org/Western

Western PGRC is “Here to Help."

April 13, 2021 - 4:23pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, news, coronavirus.

Press release:

Genesee County reporting 19 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 19-20s, 20s30s, 40s and 50s.
  • Eighteen of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Six of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • One of the new positive individuals in an inmate at the Genesee County Jail.

Orleans County reporting 14 new positive cases of COVID-19.

  • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
  • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
  • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon)
  • The positive cases reside in the:

  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.

  • Seventeen of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.

  • One of the new positive individuals was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.

  • Two of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.

April 13, 2021 - 3:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dianna Spiotta, music, arts, entertainment, batavia, news.


Batavia native Deanna Spiotta moved to Nashville, Tenn., in 2013 to try and make it as a recording artist but found, she said, that she was unprepared for the music business and felt alone in trying to navigate it.

But that experience didn't diminish her drive nor dampen the dream of making music her career.

She returned to Western New York in 2015 and started renewing and building connections locally and as a result, this week released her first EP, "The In Between," a collection of six songs she wrote and arranged.

It was produced by Dave Drago in Macedon. Spiotta sings and plays guitar and piano on the tracks. She is joined by Drago on bass, electric guitar, and backing vocals, Alex Northup on keyboards, and Javi Torres on drums.

"It is my hope to share this music with our community and that it will resonate with people and help them feel through difficult emotions," Spiotta said.

This is Spiotta's debut release. She said it was tough making connections in Nashville without any professional recordings under her belt. She hopes the EP is a step toward realizing her dream of writing and performing music for a living.

Her influences include, she said, The Beatles, Shawn Colvin, Miranda Lambert, and Leslie Odom Jr.

She provided a Spotify link to music that inspired and influenced her.

"I'm also inspired by Motown, which makes sense as The Beatles and Shawn Colvin were heavily influenced by Motown artists and Black artists who founded rock 'n' roll and country music," she said.

"Miranda Lambert was very influential to me at the beginning of my career about 10 years ago, and now I find myself growing from her style to create my own. Leslie Odom Jr.'s album, Mr, serves as a big inspiration to me.

"Our sounds don't sound anything alike, but I love that he fuses many different styles, genres and sounds to make something unique. I find it fascinating to fuse all of the musical experiences in my life into my own unique sound."

Her EP is available on Apple Music, Spotify, and her own website, DeannaSpiotta.com.


April 13, 2021 - 3:17pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, news, walk-in vaccination clinic, Moderna.

Public Notice

Genesee County will be taking walk-ins for the COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Wednesday, April 14 at Genesee Community College from 1 – 4 p.m. No appointment necessary!

This will be for the first-dose Moderna vaccine.

People needing a second Moderna dose will have already made a clinic appointment, as is required at the time of the initial inoculation.

Those getting a first dose tomorrow will have to schedule the second dose while at the clinic.

The college is located at 1 College Road in Batavia, off of Stephen R. Hawley Drive.

April 13, 2021 - 3:00pm

NEW LISTING: Click here to view 1376 Church St., Alabama. Call Lynn Bezon at Reliant Real Estate (585) 344-HOME (4663) today for more information on this listing.

April 13, 2021 - 2:39pm
posted by Press Release in dog bite, news, batavia, rabies.

The Genesee County Health Department is seeking information about the location of a dog and its owner following a dog bite incident on Thursday, April 8, around 3:20 p.m. The person was walking on the sidewalk near Batavia Gardens Apartments on East Main Street, heading west toward Jerome Place in Batavia. 

The dog is described as a tan Chihuahua. The dog was accompanied by a 16- to 18-year-old male who was described as tall and thin with brown/dark/dirty blonde, semi long shaggy hair. He was wearing a black hoodie, pants and glasses. He had headphones on and was paying attention to his phone at the time of the incident. 

It is important to locate the dog to determine whether or not it is current on its rabies shot. If the health status is not identified, post exposure rabies shots will be offered to the victim.  

If you have information about the location of the dog and its owner, please contact the Genesee County Health Department at (585) 344-2580, ext. 5555. 

Spring is here and animals are out more, so "love your own…leave the rest alone." All wild and unknown animals (even dogs and cats) should be avoided whenever possible since the possibility of exposures to rabies can occur anywhere and anytime.

April 13, 2021 - 2:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in road rage, scanner, news, batavia.

An officer is dispatched to meet up with a complainant at Centennial Park in the city who wants to report a road rage incident.

The complainant said it started at the Country Max on Veterans Memorial Drive. An operator of a black BMW is accused "driving past at a high rate of speed and giving the caller the bird," says the dispatcher.

The caller was, of course, referencing the crude hand gesture that is indicative of moderate to extreme contempt.

April 13, 2021 - 10:31am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia City Council, assessment review board.


City Council Member John Canale relayed some “fatherly” advice Monday night to a pair of Batavia residents who came before the lawmaking body to express their aggravation after receiving notification of significant increases in their home assessments earlier in the day.

“My father gave me this advice years and years ago, and I’ve used it,” said Canale, addressing Wendy Walker of Otis Street and Karen Sherman of James Street – homeowners who spoke about their struggles during the public comments portion of Council’s Business Meeting at City Hall.

“I would definitely sign up for grievance day but don’t go in there and say I can’t afford this raise, please help me out. It’s not going to work,” Canale said. “You’ve got to do your homework. If you’re able to go online, you can access the Genesee County site, you can access houses in your neighborhood, you can access houses in other neighborhoods that are similar to your house and compare the assessed values of those houses to the assessed value of your house. Go in with the ammunition of why your house is being assessed higher than other people’s houses, if that’s the case.”

Canale said that a “booming” housing market is driving assessments up, mentioning that houses are going for $25,000 to $30,000 over the asking price “and people are coming in with cash.”

Walker said she came to the meeting to “protest and contest” the increase in the assessment of her house.

“I don’t know how that was made or why the increase to such a dramatic amount. The problem being is that we live on the Southside. I don’t know where this money is going that you’re going to be using because the Southside has not been improved,” she said.

Walker said there is a lot of crime in that area and “nothing has been cleaned up; nothing has been done.”

'What About My Justice?'

“The last time I checked, even in the pledge of allegiance, we say liberty and justice for all. What about my justice? Where are my taxes going? We pay the highest taxes in the nation, and there’s nothing to show for it. Not where I live, not on the Southside – no improvements. If I’m wrong, I surely would be willing to acknowledge my error in saying that, but I don’t believe it – I don’t.”

She said that her neighbors feel the same way and many people are moving out of New York for these reasons.

“And I think we should take that into consideration in the small, little town of Batavia,” she said. “I don’t understand this. If we’re getting all of this money from the government and I don’t know what that money is necessarily earmarked for – I don’t understand all of it – but it would seem we could help the little people in Batavia.”

Walker mentioned that her husband is disabled and on a fixed income, and his allowance barely goes up.

Sherman said she is a single mom who is providing for her daughter without any public assistance.

“You guys have raised my taxes every year since I bought my house. I get when you buy a house, it comes with a lot of maintenance and stuff, but every single year something has gone wrong – new roof, my windows have broken, gutters have come off,” she said.

She said her assessment went up $19,000 last year, and this year it is going up $30,000.

It's Getting Tougher and Tougher

“This is becoming very hard for me as a single parent and I do not get assistance,” she said. “I own my own business … I had to pick up two other little odds-and-ends jobs to make ends meet. Again, I just want to know why, where this is going and answers.”

In response, City Manager Rachael Tabelski said there was no reassessment last year.

“When you reassess a home, you assess it on value of comparable sales of like homes,” Tabelski offered. “And that’s all done through formulas and data. I don’t even see what reassessments are done in our community, just so everyone is aware. We do know that there were assessment letters that did go out this week.”

She, too, encouraged homeowners to call the assessment office for an informal review, adding that the assessor (Rhonda Saulsbury) will “gladly speak to you over the phone, on Zoom or through email to discuss the level of assessment and why.”

“And you can explain and challenge why that happened. If you don’t find that as a remedy, you can move to Grievance Day, which is the first Thursday after the fourth Tuesday in May (the 27th), and you could have assessment formally grieved in front of a board of your peers rather than the City of Batavia.”

City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., also an Otis Street resident, said that he received his assessment letter just prior to the meeting and explained that reassessment is a regular process.

“They don’t just pick houses randomly. They use sections of the city and they try to rotate it around every so many years,” he said.

The discussion then shifted to Tabelski and Council Member Robert Bialkowski defending the city’s budget and tax rate.

Tabelski: City Taxes Less Than Others

“The city actually has the lowest percentage of taxes we pay,” said Tabelski, noting that taxes pay for police, fire, snowplowing, parks and recreation and other services. “The county is slightly higher and then the school district, so it’s an ‘all in’ rate."

Bialkowski said the city doesn’t raise taxes (it did raise the tax rate by 1.38 percent this year, however) and doesn’t determine the assessments, but sets a tax levy that is distributed among property owners.

At that point, Viele expressed his frustration over the school tax rate.

“What I really want to complain about is the school because the (Batavia City) school (District) is out of hand. They need to have their head examined.”

Bialkowski compared the taxing entities, mentioning that taxes levied by the school district were more than $19 million compared to the city’s $5.25 million.

Jankowski said in recent years the city did not increase the property tax rate.

Christian: People Are Hurting

Council Member Rose Mary Christian proceeded to sympathize with Sherman and Walker.

“It’s fine and dandy what everyone is saying but government is out of control,” she said. “We’re not doing anything to help these people. Here’s a single mother by herself, taking care of her daughter. There is a mother, a woman, a wife taking care of her husband. Some of you have two incomes coming in; that’s fine and dandy for you. But there’s people out here that are really hurting and they need help.”

Christian, too, said they should take their concerns to Grievance Day.

“There’s no doubt about it -- schools are out of control. I would like to go to the next school meeting and I want to know if any of you want to join me,” she added. “And as far as our budget goes and everything else, we’re down $400,000 … and when May comes you’re going to see that people are really hurting because they’re not going to be able to pay their taxes.”

Photo: Karen Sherman, right, makes a point about her home's assessment as Wendy Walker looks on at Monday night's City Council meeting. Photo by Mike Pettinella.


Information from the assessment letter:

If you disagree with your new Full Value Assessment:

  • Go to https://cityofbatavia.prosgar.com
  • Print an Informal Review Application
  • Email your completed Informal Review Application to: [email protected]
  • All Informal Review submissions must be received by April 23, 2021 for consideration
  • For questions or more information, please call 1-866-910-1776 no later than April 21, 2021.
April 13, 2021 - 9:04am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Ellicott Trail, Batavia City Council, town of batavia.

As the Batavia City Council voted Monday night to consider accepting five easements from the Town of Batavia toward the maintenance of Ellicott Trail, its members encouraged residents to take pride in the 9.7-mile recreational walking and bicycling path by picking up trash along the way.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said he was on the trail recently and noted that “the part from Jackson to Pearl Street is pretty rough.”

“It’s pretty washed out and there’s debris – there’s surgical masks laying on the side of the road,” he said. “Now, that’s the new thing. (With) COVID, everybody’s throwing their masks away; they’re falling out of their pockets and this waste is laying around on our streets now, and there are some on the trail itself.”

Jankowski said he realizes that it is spring and outside has that “look to it,” but wanted to know the city’s timetable for cleanup and suggested rounding up some volunteers to help out.

City Manager Rachel Tabelski said the process starts with accepting the transfer of the easements at 665 E. Main St., Batavia Gardens, Ellicott Station (two) and Elmwood Cemetery.

The city then would be responsible for maintaining these areas as they are located inside the city limits form Pearl Street Road to Cedar Street, but the county will maintain the DeWitt Recreation Area on Cedar Street.

During planning and construction of the trail, the town acquired various easements for real property in the city but, per a resolution to be formally voted on in two weeks, these parcels will be transferred back to the city.

Tabelski also reported that a volunteer group led by John Roche, owner of Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle on Center Street, is willing to help pick up trash along the trail, and that the city will schedule “ongoing maintenance” to coincide with the park schedule this spring and summer.

Officially opened last year, the 10-foot-wide trail consists of crushed stone along 4.9 miles of old railroad beds. When you add in sidewalks, bike lanes and bridges, the entire trail is 9.7 miles, with the eastern entrance on Seven Springs Road and the western entrance on Industrial Boulevard (off Pearl Street).

Council Member Robert Bialkowski said he was looking for the city’s annual cost to maintain the trail.

Tabelski said it would cost about $7,000 in materials every five years and that city Department of Public Works employees would take care of the maintenance.

Interim DPW Director Ray Tourt said “to figure on eight to 10 times per year for additional mowing.”

“As for materials, we’ll have to kind of figure it out – it is new,” he said. “The town’s idea is that we should be able to go five years without putting a new top on it – another layer of stone dust – but there are some washed out areas that they’ve committed to repair this year.”

Bialkowski then asked for an annual labor cost, to which Tourt replied, “About $4,000 annually, and we’re going to have a bump when we do that recap at around five years. And we’ve got about a week’s worth of work there, also.”

Council Member Paul Viele then asked about security on the trail, mentioning that college campuses have put up blue lights for illumination and for emergency situations.

“Do we have anything back there for these young girls walking the trail? There are a lot of idiots out there, you know, that could be hiding in the woods. I’m just concerned with safety – girls jogging, running, walking, whatever …” Viele said.

Jankowski said most people have a cell phone with them, the trail is “pretty open” and that he feels safe walking the trail because he has a view of 100 yards in each direction. He added that developers didn’t include the expense of having emergency lights, but Tabelski said Viele had a “valid point” as she has considered that as well.

Bialkowski then said he wanted to get back to his original point, calculating that the annual cost to the city for materials and labor would be about $5,500. He said that because the city’s DPW crew is already stretched, he urged residents to pick up trash when they see it and “to pitch in.”

Jankowski then brought up that he considered the trail’s crossing point on Cedar Street as dangerous.

“You can’t see that traffic from that location, and I know enough to cross down the road more. But if you follow the trail, it wants you to cross on the downslope, near the overpass where the train tracks are, and your blind spot is that left side,” he said.

He asked Tabelski to look into possibly moving it closer to the entrance of DeWitt Recreation Area. He said it was a “marking issue” and suggested moving it over about 30 feet to make it safer, especially for those riding bikes.

Calling it a “nine mile park,” Jankowski said the trail is very popular. He said he must have seen a couple hundred people along the trail recently.

Council Member John Canale then suggested an “adopt a highway” program where certain community groups commit to maintaining a section on an annual basis.

“We might somewhere down the road, may want to look at offering some various local groups, especially groups of young people, that might want to take on a project like that and say, ‘This is our portion of the trail that we’re going to adopt and every spring we’re going to go and do cleanup,’ ” he said.

April 12, 2021 - 11:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, sports, basketball, notify.


Tom Redband, head coach of Elba's Lady Lancers, which is coming off its fifth straight championship season, announced today that he and his assistant, Marci Redband, also his wife, are stepping down from their coaching positions.

The announcement:

Marci and I would like to announce that we are stepping down from the position of Head Coach/Assistant Coach of the Elba girls basketball program. While this is a very difficult decision due to our love and passion for Elba basketball, we have put a lot of thought into it, and Marci and I know that personally and as a family it is time and the right decision.

Marci and I are so appreciative of the opportunity we were given to lead these wonderful young women. We will cherish these times forever and want to thank all of the supporters from the bottom of our hearts for the positivity and trust. In due time, I look forward to personally thank each one of you. The people we have met and grown relationships with never would have occurred without this opportunity to coach this awesome team, it’s been wonderful.

Marci and I are looking forward to being positive and supportive of the new coach and all the young Lady Lancers we have worked with and will miss dearly. We will be cheering each one of you on and will always be here for you. We will be continuing our basketball training camps, so we won’t be too far away.

When I was given the opportunity to teach business at Elba as my first full-time teaching job and to coach the Lady Lancers, I knew Elba was special, but I didn’t know Elba was next-level special. Well, I know now, and it’s one of a kind. It’s so special and the kids mean so much to us, that of all places, I chose a smelly locker room to propose to Marci. We hope we served the kids and community with class, it was certainly our pleasure. In closing, Marci and I are Lancers for life, and that makes us proud.

For Elba, the past two seasons ended in wins but also disappointments. With a team led by Byrnn Walczak, Taylor Augello, Maddie Muehlig, and Leah Bezon, the Lancers had legitimate chances in each of the past two seasons to win state championships. The team was deprived of that opportunity by a global pandemic. Those four players all graduate this year.

Elba has a long history of basketball success. Tom Redband replaced Tom Nowak, who over 26 seasons amassed 587 wins, 10 sectional titles, and in 2012 a State Championship.

A new head coach has not yet been named.

Photo: File photo of Tom Redband in 2013.

April 12, 2021 - 11:19pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia City Council, batavia police department.

The Batavia City Council tonight asked City Manager Rachael Tabelski to look into getting a police report of a vehicle-pedestrian incident last Thursday afternoon involving a Batavia woman and her grandchildren.

Council Member Rose Mary Christian made that request on behalf of the board, calling it an “unfortunate” situation.

“I would ask that the individual involved be the one that we release information to,” said Tabelski, following Mary Ellen Wilber’s account of what happened to her sister and her three grandchildren at the intersection of Main and Ross streets.

Wilber, an Attica resident who grew up in the city, was speaking at Council's Business Meeting on behalf of her sister, Batavian Michelle Gaylord.

Gaylord was walking on the north side of Main Street with her 15- and 11-year-old grandsons and 11-month-old granddaughter, who was in a stroller. They were en route to Gaylord’s home on Fisher Park around 3:30 p.m. after spending time at the mammoth sale at Resurrection Parish.

According to Wilber, a woman driving an SUV on Ross Street, heading south, approached the intersection and made a right turn onto Main Street while Gaylord and the children were in the intersection. The vehicle struck the buggy, knocking the 71-year-old Gaylord to the ground.

“The reason I am here, correct me if I’m wrong … is when we took our road test and took our driver’s ed – please understand I am not trying to be facetious – as I recall that we all learned … we were told that drivers must have complete control of their vehicles at all times,” Wilber said. “It was the number one rule I was taught. And I took my course and I took driver’s ed, and ever since I’ve been driving for almost 50 years.

“We also were always told that pedestrians had the right of way, especially when they’re in the crosswalk. And we were always supposed to be cautious. My greatest fear was ever hitting a child. It scares the heck out of me, even now.”

Wilber went on to say that the Gaylord family waited for the light to turn red and began crossing Ross Street (which is marked at the intersection by a no right on red sign from Ross onto Main).

Showing a diagram that she had made as she spoke, Wilber said “a woman came to the stoplight, stopped for a second and proceeded to go through the light – striking my sister as she moved the – thank God it was an Eddie Bauer* -- stroller away because it had shock absorbers. She fell onto the road, the kids jumped back and the lady just, oh my goodness – she hit my sister.”

The driver, according to Wilber, asked Gaylord if she was OK and “proceeded to go on her merry way.”

She said people in two cars behind the driver in question saw the incident and called the police.

“My sister was so shaken, she was so worried about the kids; she waited on the side until her son, Joshua Gaylord, came to pick them up,” Wilber said. “Nevertheless, to say, the police in our City of Batavia chose not to ticket the woman who drove; chose not to believe my sister; chose not to believe the two witnesses; and chose not even to talk to the 11-year-old boy, who when he told his teacher at Robert Morris (actually the Middle School) today, confirmed – ‘Oh no, drivers are always supposed to be in control and you never, ever, ever hit a pedestrian and pedestrians always have the right of way.’ ”

Wilber said the boy has had nightmares over the incident.

She also said that the two witnesses called the police department and then Gaylord called and spoke to Officer (Sgt. Mitchell) Cowen “who said to her, there is no report, there were no damages, and you didn’t go to the hospital.”

“My sister, who has been a nurse and served this community for 35 years at the VA Hospital – helping veterans – and you all know me, I served the city on the City Charter Review Commission and as a Youth Board member for six years,” Wilber said.

She said that Sgt. Cowen told Gaylord, that “we know your sister (Wilber). She called to speak to Chief (Shawn) Heubusch; he’s not going to talk to her anyway.”

“You see, there’s a resentment from what happened to my brother (the late David Zanghi, who was forced out of his Liberty Street apartment in November 2019 as a result of a police standoff with the upstairs tenant),” Wilber said, adding that Police Chief Shawn Heubusch looked down upon Zanghi, who had obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Wilber said her niece, who is an attorney in Livingston County and the baby’s mother, has tried to get an incident report but was told that she would have to file a Freedom of Information Law form to get it.

“Her daughter was involved in this accident – couldn’t get a report. My sister can’t get any information. Ridiculous. You know the law; drivers have to be in control of their cars. Pedestrians have the right of way. This woman was not given a ticket,” Wilber said.

“My family can’t do anything about finding any information. What is wrong with the police department in the City of Batavia? And why do kids not respect the police? Here is clear evidence. I don’t know. You tell me what is going on in the City of Batavia?”

Contacted by telephone later tonight, Gaylord corroborated Wilber’s account.

“The lady said ‘I didn’t even see you.’ Here I am, lying flat on the ground,” Gaylord said.

Gaylord said she asked the grandsons to call their dad to pick them up because she couldn’t walk as she was banged up.

“Even the lady who witnessed it was shook up, but before I could say anything, the driver said that I was all right and took off,” Gaylord said.  “She never looked our way, and out of the clear blue sky, she pulled out and started to turn right. She hit the front of the stroller. I pulled back and got it out of the way a little – in the crosswalk – and when I did, I fell and hit my head on the curb. The baby’s so tiny, just 18 pounds. I screamed because I was so scared for these kids.”

Gaylord said she contacted police, who had already learned about the incident from witnesses. She said she is disappointed that the driver wasn’t ticketed for making an illegal right turn on a red light or for striking pedestrians in a crosswalk.

“I don’t want to sue or anything, but I can’t believe she didn’t get a ticket,” Gaylord said. “When I asked for an accident report, the police said it is an accident only if there is $1,000 damage. What, people don’t count anymore?”

Chief Heubusch said he had no comment.

After the meeting, Christian called it “unfortunate what Mary Ellen said, that the police didn’t respond to her.”

“I did ask Rachael if she would have the police respond to her (Wilber) because she certainly does deserve that and so does her sister, and thank God nobody was killed.”

*Eddie Bauer is a retail sporting goods maker in business since 1920.

April 12, 2021 - 5:17pm
posted by Press Release in city of batavia, news, carry-in carry-out trash policy.

Public Notice

To all residents and visitors:

The City of Batavia has implemented a “Carry-in -- Carry-out” trash policy in all city parks.

All park users are requested to remove any trash generated and take with them.

Please, help us keep our parks clean for everyone’s enjoyment.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

From the city Bureau of Maintenance.

April 12, 2021 - 5:09pm

Gilliana's Diner in Batavia is donating 30 percent of all take-out dinner sales to benefit the Batavia Business & Professional Women's Club on Thursday, April 29.

Time is 4 to 8 p.m.

The diner is located at 41 Jackson St. in Downtown Batavia.

The club provides scholarships to local youth and monetary wards to nonprofit organizations to help further their missions in our community.

Visit Gilliana's Diner Facebook Page here.

Visit the website of Gilliana's Diner here.

April 12, 2021 - 5:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, video, fire services, Byron Fire Department.
Video Sponsor

Laura Platt was just settling into defrosting a freezer on July 7 when the alarm came in: somebody had a serious cut.

The Byron Volunteer Fire Department EMT grabbed her gear, making sure she had a tourniquet and plenty of gauze and was on scene about a minute later.

Somebody who provided first-aid to a man who suffered a large cut in his arm from a chainsaw had done a good job of slowing the bleeding by using a bungee cord as a makeshift tourniquet.

William Hallinan, trauma program manager of UR Medical Center, said some first responders think that would be enough but Platt, through training and experience, knew better. She applied a medical tourniquet. That stopped the bleeding and at a minimum saved the victim from losing his arm and probably saved his life.

For her efforts, Pratt was honored Saturday at the Byron Fire Hall by her department and UR Medical Center.

To become a volunteer in your community, visit ReadyGenesee.com.

April 12, 2021 - 4:37pm

The electronics recycling event in the parking lot behind the parish hall* at Ascension Parish in Batavia has been so successful they are ending it early.

It got underway on Thursday April 8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and planned to go for 13 days until April 20th.

This afternoon The Batavian received an email saying it would not continue into a second week because they received a lot of scrap electronics.

"We have done well," Terri King wrote.

So tomorrow Wednesday and Thursday of this week, April 14 and 15, will be the last opportunities to get rid of your old electrical stuff to benefit Camp Good Days & Special Times. It's an organization working to help improve the quality of life for children, adults and families whose lives have been touched by cancer.

Sunnking Recycling is handling the e-waste.

*Location is 17 Sumner St.

April 12, 2021 - 4:07pm
posted by Press Release in news, GCASA.

Press release:

Added to the list of programs offered by Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse last September, the GCASA Reentry Program continues to provide support to men and women seeking to find their place in the community after being incarcerated.

“The main goal of this program is to help reduce or remove some of the barriers that are associated with reentry,” said Christopher Budzinack, program coordinator. “As a former offender myself, I know how difficult this can be and we just want make sure our clients have an opportunity to get all the support they need in order to be successful.”

Simply put, the GCASA Reentry Program provides case management and peer recovery services to those who have been in jail or prison by connecting them to the following necessities:

  • Substance use disorder treatment;
  • Mental health treatment;
  • Housing, food and clothing;
  • Employment and/or job training;
  • Childcare;
  • Transportation;
  • Medical care.

Eligible individuals are those who have a history of substance use, who were sentenced to jail or prison for a minimum of three months and who are returning to communities in Genesee County or Orleans County.

For more information about the GCASA Reentry Program, call (585) 813-6570 or send an email to [email protected].

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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.



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