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September 30, 2022 - 8:53am


OPEN HOUSE THIS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1ST, 11AM - 1PM. 6873 Norton Road, Elba.  ​Truly a country classic Homestead on picturesque 5 acre lot! This home offers everything that most people try to recreate – large room sizes, tall ceilings, wide planked wood flooring, HOMINESS and good country livin'! There is first floor bedroom with full modernized bath and upstairs has 4 large bedrooms and newly added second full bath. Country kitchen has tons of cupboards, large dining area that is the heart and center of this home, oversized back entrance/mudroom and laundry area(every home needs!) All Bedrooms are large and offer a lot of storage/closet space and two staircases will get you where you need to go in this almost 2200 sq ft home! Let's not forget to mention this home is all mechanically up to date including newer windows, metal roof and new septic installed 2019! The yard is something that most would not notice cruising by but is absolutely beautiful with pretty views of farmland and gardens with pretty stone steps and garden pathways-all the hard work has already been done for you AND you can sit on one of 3 different porches to enjoy it all! Last but not least don't forget about the gorgeous big red barn! Make sure to tell your country loving friends about this one! Call Reliat Real Estate today 585-344-HOME (4663).

September 29, 2022 - 10:20pm
posted by Press Release in spiritual connections, religion, news.

Arbor House, 350 Bank St., Batavia. We are a community of believers and disciples of Jesus Christ. Arbor House was founded to be a place of safety, refreshment, and renewal for all. Each week we gather to hear the spoken Word, eat from the Lord’s Table, and enjoy fellowship with all who come. If you have been hurt by a church before we want to be the place where you can find healing and hope. All are welcome! Service will be in person on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and available live stream on Facebook. (350 Bank Street Road, Batavia, NY) For more information about Arbor House visit arborhousefmc.com.

Ascension Parish -- Roman Catholic Community, Batavia. We are open for Mass in the Church on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. Daily Mass Mondays at 5 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall. Confession time is Saturdays from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. in Church. Please join us for our Sunday streaming Mass online at 10 a.m. We invite everyone to join us on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ascensionromancatholiccommunity. Please follow us on Facebook for any Mass time changes. Our webpage: www.ascensionrcc.com.

Batavia First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., Batavia, invites you to join us for in-person worship on Sundays at 9 a.m. (Arise-relaxed with band music) or 10:45 a.m. (Sanctuary -liturgical and organ) or on Livestream via Facebook Live for both times at: https://fpcbatavia.org/  or https://www.facebook.com/fpcbatavia/videos/

Batavia First United Methodist Church, 8221 Lewiston Road, Batavia. Our mission & vision statement:  “To be disciples we must listen, learn, lead and love our way to God.”  Reverend Wayne Mort leads our worship service every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in the church sanctuary. You can also find the service on Facebook.  And we invite you to learn more about Batavia First UMC by visiting our website at www.BataviaFirstumc.com.

Byron Presbyterian Church, 6293 W. Main St., Byron. Sunday Service begins at 9:45 a.m. Kim Dewey, Clerk of Session. Laurence Tallman, Music Director Oct. 2, Celebrate World Wide Communion – service led by Rev. Laurel Nelson (585) 548-2800[email protected]

City Church, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, is open for Sunday morning services at 8:30 and 10, and Thursday evenings at 7 o'clock. Everyone is welcome to join us for worship and a message. We also have a noontime Sunday service at our St. Anthony's location at 114 Liberty St. in Batavia. You can also connect with us online, through our Facebook page, or our YouTube channel.

Cornerstone Church of East Pembroke, part of American Baptist Churches USA, 2583 Main Road, East Pembroke. Our Sunday service is at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Glenn Bloom preaching. Bible Study is every Wednesday at 10 a.m. We are a small church and welcome new members; we are following social distancing rules and masks must be worn. (585) 762-8721

East Bethany Presbyterian Church, 5735 Ellicott Street Road, East Bethany. Our Sunday morning worship service is held at 10:30 a.m. and led by Rev. Dr. Shiela McCullough. Visitors are always welcome. You can find out more information on our Facebook page or by emailing us at [email protected].

Emmanuel Baptist Church, 190 Oak St., Batavia. Join us for services in person or livestreamed via Facebook and EBCBatavia.com. Be part of the family today and join in the blessings of Jesus in your life!

EverPresent Church, 4 Batavia City Centre, Batavia. Come visit us for our upcoming events. Be our Guest on Sundays for Worship and the Word at 10:30 a.m. Children are dismissed after the second worship song to a morning filled with lessons, laughs, learning, play, and a craft. Doors open at 10 a.m. Check out the website for more information on EverPresent. We are hosting a Rummage Sale on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 9 a.m. If you would like to DONATE some goods for us to sell at this event, please call (585) 250-4400 (we accept gently used items, and all items must be in working condition). All proceeds are going toward our building fund for the renovation of our HVAC and exterior work. Don't forget our women's meeting on Sept. 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guest Speakers are Mary Woods, Karen Vanyggarden, and Pastor Michelle Norton. More information to come along with registration on our website. We look forward to seeing you soon.

First Baptist Church in Batavia, 306 E. Main St., Pastor David Weidman, where "Christ the Center, Love for All" is very evident to all who enter. We invite you to our Full Gospel Sunday services at 10 a.m.; prayer and Bible study on Wednesdays from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m.; Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., please come and browse in our beautifully renovated "Thrift Shoppe." You'll find many bargains, including $2, $6, and $10 bags sales on all unmarked clothing. You can also enjoy a light lunch at Lydia's Kitchen while you shop. Questions? Email:  [email protected]. Call us at (585) 343-9002.

First Baptist Church Elba, 31 S. Main St., Elba, is open for the main service in person at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays. For more information about our church go to www.fbcelba.net. The pastor is Michael Davis. Email: [email protected] / Phone (585) 757-2722

First Presbyterian Church of Byron, 6293 W. Main St., Byron. Two worship experiences are offered each Sunday: 9:45 a.m. in person in the church sanctuary, with appropriate safety protocols, and 11:15 a.m. -- a Zoom-only service. Please call the church office to obtain Zoom access codes, 585-2800

Grace Baptist Church, 238 Vine St., Batavia. The Morning Worship Service begins at 9:30 a.m with our new series in Philippians, “No Matter What”. Our fall kids programs are: Nursery & Grace Kids for ages 2 through grade – 5 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. KidZone Kids are for grades 1st through grade 5 on Sunday evenings from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Grace Student Ministries (Grades 6-12) Sunday Evening at 6 to 7:30 p.m. Let’s Get Acquainted begins as well at 6 p.m. If you are unable to join us in person for worship, the service is live-streamed at www.gracebatavia.org. or view it on our Facebook page: Grace Baptist.

Indian Falls Methodist Church, 7908 Alleghany Road, Corfu. Reverend Karen McCaffery will hold a Worship Service inside the church sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays. Or join our service via Facebook Live or on YouTube by searching for IFUMC TechTeam. Weekly Online Bible Study and Prayer Services are held on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. via Facebook Live on “Pastor McCaffery's” page.

Morganville United Church of Christ, 8466 Morganville Stafford. We’d love to meet you!  Please join us and our "God is still speaking" church at 10 a.m. Sunday as Reverend James Morasco shares some inspiring words for the week.  The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be shared. Please bring canned goods to share with the LeRoy Food Pantry. Our church is located at 8466 Morganville Road.  Friend us on Facebook! and visit us any Sunday!

North Bergen Presbyterian Church, 7068 N. Bergen Road, Bergen, is open for in-person services at 10 a.m. Sundays. The phone is (585) 494-1255.

North Darien Bible Church, 9768 Simonds Road, Corfu. We are open! Sunday worship service begins at 10 a.m. Children's Church classes are available for children ages birth through sixth grade, including a classroom for children with special needs. For more information, visit our website. You can also watch LIVE on our Facebook or YouTube channel. Join us from 9 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of every month for our free community closet, full of clothing, coats, and shoes for all. (585) 547-9646.

Northgate Free Methodist Church, 8160 Bank Street Road (North Campus), Batavia. Over the last few years, it feels like more and more topics have become things we don’t talk about. Politics, abortion, sexuality, and more. Emotions get high, feelings are hurt, and relationships can be damaged. But sometimes we have to talk about difficult subjects, especially when we are trying to understand what the Bible teaches us about them. Join us for our upcoming series “Hard to Say” as we look at Things You Don’t Talk About At Church. Join us Saturday at 6 p.m., and Sunday morning at 9:30 and 11 a.m., 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia. For more information about Northgate Free Methodist Church and to watch our services online go to northgatefmc.com or facebook.com/northgatefmc

Oakfield-Alabama Baptist Church, 2210 Judge Road, South Alabama. On Sundays, Bible School for all ages at 9:45 a.m. & Worship at 11. Men's Bible Study meets weekly on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome. Email:  [email protected] or call the church office at (585) 948-9401.

Our Lady of Mercy & St. Brigid parishes, Lake Street, Le Roy. All Masses are livestreamed Saturday at 4:30 p.m.; Sunday mornings at 7:15 & 9 & 10:45. Daily Masses are livestreamed at 7:30 a.m. Monday-Friday; 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and 9 a.m. Saturday. View on YouTube and Facebook. Visit Fr. Matthew’s parish website.

Resurrection Parish (St. Mary and St. Joseph churches in Batavia). Services livestreaming at 5:30 p.m. every Saturday from St. Mary's Church via Facebook, or view the livestreaming Mass on YouTube by searching for Resurrection RC Parish or visit the parish website. In-person Masses are 4 p.m. Saturday and at 11:30 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Church; and at St. Mary's Church at 7:30 and 9:15 a.m. Sunday.

St. James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main St., Batavia. Join us on Sundays at 9 a.m. on zoom, 10 a.m. in the church building, and on Facebook Live. Links and the bulletin can be found on our website: https://www.sjecbataviany.org/

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1 E. Main St., Le Roy, is open for in-person services at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. Communion will be offered to people in their seats and will only include bread. We welcome you to join us -- either in person or online. For more information, visit our website.

St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, 18 W. Main St., Corfu. Weekend Masses are celebrated: Saturday at 5 p.m., Sunday at 8:30 a.m. at the Corfu Church Site; and at 11 a.m. Sunday at the East Pembroke Church site, 8656 Church St., East Pembroke. Weekday Masses are celebrated on: Monday and Friday at 8 a.m. in Corfu, and Thursday at 8 a.m. in East Pembroke; on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Corfu followed by Adoration. Corfu Masses are also available for viewing on our YouTube channel. All information is on the church website and on Facebook. Email:  [email protected] (585) 599-4833

St. Padre Pio Parish, 56 Maple Ave., Oakfield. Weekend Masses are celebrated: Saturday at 4:30 p.m., Sunday at 8 a.m., and at 10 a.m. in the Oakfield Church Site, 56 Maple Ave., Oakfield. Weekday Masses are celebrated Monday 6 p.m. in Elba (Our Lady of Fatima Church, 65 S. Main St.); Tuesday at 8 a.m. in Elba; Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Oakfield; Thursday at 8 a.m. in Oakfield; Friday at 8 a.m. in Oakfield.

St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 6188 Main Road, Stafford. In-person service, including Holy Communion, is at 9 a.m. Sunday mornings. All  Are Welcome. 

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Batavia - This coming Sunday we will celebrate the 17th Sunday After Pentecost.  The sermon titled: “O Lord, Help My Unbelief?”  is based on the scriptures from Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4. Adult Bible Class Sunday at 8:30 a.m. with a new "Verse on Verse Bible Study on Revelations" Our service begins at 10 a.m. or can be viewed 'live' on Facebook. Our Youth class meets at 9:30 a.m. Sunday School children will attend the service through the children's sermon and will then go to their Sunday school rooms for their studies. Communion is part of the service on the 2nd and 4th Sundays.  God continues to bless us richly as we focus on Him and His plans for our congregation and community.

Trinity United Methodist Church, 75 Main St. in Attica, worships at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays, and Darien United Methodist Church, 1951 Broadway (Route 20), Darien Center, worships at 9 a.m. on Sundays. For the Zoom connection, email [email protected] and request the link(s). Prayer requests may be left at Trinity's voicemail (585) 591-1549 or with Pastor Pam at (716) 560-0290.

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"Spiritual Connections" -- The Batavian will post updates to connect people with their places of worship, religious services, fellowship opportunities, and/or spiritual advisors, etc. There is no charge for this service.

If you have information to announce, please email: [email protected]

September 29, 2022 - 10:14pm
posted by Press Release in COVID-19, covid-19 vaccine, news.

Press release:

Public health officials are encouraging eligible residents in the Finger Lakes region to get vaccinated with the updated booster shot against COVID-19. The CDC recently approved reformulated booster shots to further protect against the disease.

According to CDC guidelines, people ages 12 and older are now eligible to receive an updated booster two months after their last COVID-19 dose — either since their last booster shot or since completing their initial two vaccine doses.

  • Pfizer’s updated booster dose is recommended for individuals 12 and older.
  • Moderna’s updated booster dose is recommended for adults 18 and older.
  • Anyone can get either the Pfizer or Moderna booster, regardless of the manufacturer of their previous vaccines.

The CDC suggests that people who had COVID-19 recently may consider waiting three months from the start of their symptoms or a positive test before getting the updated booster shot.

Linda Clark, Chief Medical Officer at Common Ground Health, said, “With COVID-19 variants continuing to persist and with flu season approaching, it is important that people stay up to date with their vaccinations. Everyone who is eligible should get the updated booster this fall for maximum protection against the disease, and people can get the booster shot the same day as their flu shot.”

These new booster doses contain an updated bivalent formula that protects against the newer Omicron variants and against the original Coronavirus. The updated bivalent formula is not for initial vaccination; it is for use only for COVID-19 booster doses.

People who have questions about COVID-19 vaccines should talk to their physician or visit http://www.getyouranswers.org.

September 29, 2022 - 9:48pm
posted by Press Release in David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena, batavia, news.

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Press release:

The David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena is hosting an open house weekend this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The McCarthy Ice Arena welcomes the community back to the arena for another great year of winter sports.  Stop by the Evans Street arena and check out the recent improvements to the rink, enjoy discounted public events, cheer on area youth and adult hockey teams, and food specials at the newly opened snack shop.

EVENTS

  • $5 Hockey Skate & Shoot Friday 3p-5p
  • $5 Public Skate, free Rentals Friday 7p-9p
  • Batavia City Schools Public Skate Day Saturday 1p-3p (A portion of the proceeds go back to Batavia Community Schools)  $13 includes admission and Rentals
  • Family Skate Sunday - $25 for up to a family of 4, admission and rentals
  • $1 hotdogs at the snack shop all weekend

Friends of the Rink Scrap Metal Drive on Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Games

  • Ramparts 16U WNY - Saturday 6 p.m.
  • Ramparts 18U WNY - Saturday 7:40 p.m.
  • Ramparts 16U MOHL - Sunday 3:10 p.m.
  • BMHL - 4 games Sunday morning starting at 6:55 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m.
September 29, 2022 - 9:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oktoberfest, batavia, Ascension Parish, news.

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Ascension Parish is ready for a party at its Social Center, 19 Sumner St., Batavia, on Saturday, headlined by The German American Musicians and beer.

It's Oktoberfest time.

The German American Musicians is a 25-member band founded in 1933.  It is a  not-for-profit cultural organization dedicated to the cultivation and performance of the traditional music and culture of German-speaking lands. 

Oktoberfest organizers said in a statement, "Our Oktoberfest creates an opportunity to gather as a community to listen to fine German music, to dance and sing, to eat and drink and appreciate one another."

The event is scheduled from 5 to 10 p.m.

For more information, visit www. ascensionoktoberfest.com

Photo of tents in place, ready for the celebration, by Howard Owens.

September 29, 2022 - 9:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, batavia.

Something new from the very musical Del Plato family, "Jamaica."  Written by John Del Plato. Performed by Anthony Del Plato.

September 29, 2022 - 9:13pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, jobs, notify, economics.

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There’s a common presence at many businesses nowadays: help wanted postings.

A shortage of workers has enveloped most every business sector since the pandemic rubble landed, and many employers have been encountering stumbling blocks with filling vacancies ever since.

And it’s not just at restaurants and grocery stores, as the shortfall is also for county positions, law enforcement and school districts.

Few, but qualified
City of Batavia Police Department has been short-staffed due to vacancies, creating more overtime hours for full-time officers, Chief Shawn Heubusch said.

“This has caused the officers to work a lot of short-shift over time, therefore we have not been able to work as much of the OT associated with special details as we would like,” he said. “We have hired several qualified candidates that are working their way through academies or field training and will be able to fill vacancies on road patrol in the near future. This will allow us to get back to working more of the specialized details that we look forward to doing.”

He did note, however, that the department had “a significant drop in applicants” for the last exam.

“Roughly, the applicants were cut in half. It has been difficult recruiting in public safety, across the spectrum for a variety of reasons,” Heubusch said. “I will say that although the number of candidates has decreased, we have not seen a decrease in qualified candidates. In fact, I would say just the opposite. Given everything that has been going on in the nation, the current candidates are extremely dedicated to becoming law enforcement officers as demonstrated through the background and interview process. We have learned that these recruits have a very high drive to be police officers for the City of Batavia.”

That’s some good news. So how about Batavia City Schools, whose board just approved a long slate of teachers and teacher aide positions?

Creative recruiting
During her presentation at this week’s meeting, Trisha Finnigan, executive director of staff development & operations, outlined the ways in which the district is recruiting for and retaining qualified candidates. It’s not just about posting a position anymore. 

“So starting with recruitment, we've had to take a more creative approach in terms of recruiting exceptional staff to join the Blue Devils family. Instead of leaning on traditional methods, such as newspapers and our websites and our recruitment sites, for example, we've been using Indeed,” she said. “We’ve also noticed that when I was looking back at the past year, there seems to be a disconnect from when someone expresses interest in a position. Now we tell them, they, for example, have to complete a civil service application, as it seemed like that wouldn't happen. So when I looked back at that information, we decided that we would take a different approach.”

That approach involves not taking for granted that job applicants understand the steps required to apply, she said. Candidates are scheduled for an interview and given the Civil Service application for them to complete. The process has been refined, she said, to be more proactive about informing candidates about what’s next for them to do, such as getting fingerprinted or completing necessary paperwork.

“It's been awesome. We just now posted for substitute teacher aides and teachers and those are coming in. So I'm feeling positive about us having some people that could fill the need that last year we were lacking,” Finnigan said. “So we're moving in the right direction. It's my responsibility to make sure that I'm tapping into avenues where we're attracting exceptional candidates to come and work with us. And then how do we get that? Let me just see if I've missed anything here. One of the other things we did too, is that, in negotiating contracts with some of our units last year, we needed to do a better job of posting what the benefits of the positions were.

"So instead of, say, putting out teacher aide, just with a salary range, we made sure we included things like there is health insurance benefits, you can get paid for holidays, you can accrue vacation time," she said. "So those are some things when we're competing with other employers in the in the area, maybe offering a more an increase hourly wage, we can compete with some other things.”

Parents have been asking about jobs aligning with their schedules “to mirror the school calendar." That has meant more hiring of local residents, which has been nice, she said.

“Hiring is a very collaborative process. We work closely with the administrators, we’re looking at positions. Since July 1, we've hired over 35 personnel with New York State Certification, 16 new support team members, and that includes food service helpers, custodial support, as well as teacher aides,” she said. “And it should be noted that with that money we received for the preschool programs, that allowed us to add 10 positions, certificated positions … So that was something because we really did have to hustle.”

She had a quick turnaround of posting, hiring and getting those people trained for school opening in the second week of September. It worked out well, she said, and the district continues to reach out to colleges for candidates. In an effort not to “settle” for a lesser qualified candidate, the district has opted to plug in gaps with retired teachers until the best candidates are found.

She also spoke about retention: “it's one thing that we are getting people, it’s another to keep them."  And that depends on the tangible — contract terms — and the more subtle perks of a welcome package and surveys, she said.

“It’s a way of gauging their satisfaction and their perception of whether they feel valued as a Batavia Blue Devils family member,” she said. “And I also get interesting feedback on the interview process and other things that helped me plan better when we're looking for candidates.”

Resolving to address the issue
Earlier this year Genesee County Legislature agreed to waive all Civil Service fees to remove a potential barrier for applicants, and this week approved a resolution to extend the residency territory for corrections officer positions in hopes of gaining more interested candidates for openings.

Mental Health Department Director Lynda Battaglia previously spoke of the difficulty in filling four vacancies for wide-ranging clinical and finance positions to a psychiatrist role. The county has had trouble finding a full-time psychiatrist and revised the position to provide a hybrid of in-person and remote counseling services to better accommodate someone not able to be local on a full-time basis.

Many, but inexperienced
Although some employers are being more creative to attract job candidates, it may not be about the job at all. At least that’s what Chris Van Dusen of Empire Hemp Company has discovered. He and wife Shelly were at a recent job fair and did quite nicely, they said.

“We had over 300 applications,” Shelly said.

What they soon learned was that applicants weren’t so interested in the job as they were the product. And when that misunderstanding was cleared up (no, there’s no smoking marijuana on the job), the 300 potentials dropped to about three or four viable candidates, the couple said.

State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon visited Batavia Tuesday and acknowledged the lack of qualified candidates for some fields while she encouraged students to pursue education, training and labor skills to fill the many jobs available in manufacturing, food chain and other trades fields.

Maybe when all is said and done, it might just be that there aren’t the bodies out there to fill vacancies. According to the most recent state data, there were 30,500 Genesee County residents reported to be in the labor force, up from 29,400 a year ago. The state’s unemployment rate of 4.8 percent is a few points lower than 7.1 percent a year ago, and 900 people were listed as unemployed, compared to 1,300 a year ago.

Photo by Howard Owens.

September 29, 2022 - 7:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Game of Throws, The Harvester Center, batavia, business.
Video Sponsor

About a year and a half ago, Game of Throws opened in the Harvester Center on Harvester Avenue, Batavia, and to celebrate, owners Eric and Sarah Jones hosted the Chamber of Commerce for a Business After Hours.

The event was more than a month ago and The Batavian was there to make a video, but there were technical difficulties with the interview.  Then it took some weeks to arrange schedules to reshoot the interview.  Finally, here's the video.

For more information about Game of Throws, click HERE.

September 29, 2022 - 6:00pm

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Elba Central School’s Future Farmers of America cleaned house at the New York State Fair, picking up several awards for the 2022 Premier National Junior Dairy Show and All-American Dairy Show.

The students and their awards are:

Senior showmanship

  • Maggie Winspear - 12th place and in the finals drive
  • Amelia Brewer - participant in the semi-finals

Intermediate showmanship

  • Addison Keberle - participant in the semi-finals
  • Bing Zuber - participant

Junior showmanship

  • Tate Zuber - participant

All-American Junior Show

  • Bing Zuber - 16th with his Brown Swiss
  • Tate Zuber - 15th with his Brown Swiss
  • Amelia Brewer - 10th with her Ayrshire
  • Amelia Brewer - 35th her Holstein
  • Addison Keberle - 3rd with her Holstein heifer
  • Maggie Winspear - 5th with her Jersey heifer
  • Maggie Winspear - 3rd place with her Holstein heifer
  • Maggie Winspear - 1st place aged cow, senior champion, grand champion

Photo submitted by Elba Central School.

September 29, 2022 - 2:01pm
posted by Press Release in news, Batavia City Schools, school resource officers.

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Press Release

Officials from the Batavia Police Department (BPD) and the Batavia City School District (BCSD) officially introduced the community to School Resource Officers (SRO) for the 2022-2023 school year. 

Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, who has served as an SRO since 2021, is returning this school year, and Batavia Police Officer Connor Borchert, who started with BCSD in September, was officially introduced as the district’s second SRO.

School Resource Officers are trained in school-based law enforcement and crisis response. They work directly with school administrators and staff to enable a safe learning environment, and act as a resource for students, staff, and community. Officers Stevens and Borchert will serve as a liaison between the school district and police department, and will provide essential on-campus law enforcement, informal student mentoring, as well as participate in select in-person teaching opportunities in the classroom.

“Health and safety are our top priorities across the Batavia City School District. In addition to adding another School Resource Officer, we’re prioritizing funding and grants to provide essential mental health resources to assist with social and emotional issues that have emerged as a result of the pandemic. We’re approaching school safety from a variety of angles and appreciate the incredible support we’ve received from the Board of Education, our administrators, staff, students, parents, and community members,” said Jason Smith, Superintendent, Batavia City School District. “We also want to thank the Batavia Police Department who have been a great partner throughout this process—we have shared goals of community health and safety, and our collaboration will certainly help support our students and families.”

“The safety of students is of paramount importance to the Batavia Police Department and we want the parents and caregivers of students to know that their children’s safety is our highest priority, especially while they are attending school and school related events,” said Shawn Heubusch, Chief, Batavia Police Department.  “We are working very closely and collaboratively with Batavia City School District officials on this important community concern.”

In addition, Dr. Molly Corey, BCSD Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, discussed resources available to students and families, including mental health programs, additional grant funding, and counselor support, while Athletic Director Mike Bromley also discussed the enhanced security measures recently adopted at Van Detta Stadium.

Officer Stevens has been with the BPD for four years and has been an SRO in Batavia for approximately a year and a half while also serving as a substitute SRO prior to becoming full-time. A Batavia native, Officer Stevens attended Pembroke Central School District and graduated from Genesee Community College and SUNY Brockport where she studied and earned degrees in Criminal Justice.

Officer Borchert is from Akron and has been with the BPD since 2019.  He is a 2015 graduate of Akron Central School and attended Niagara University earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology with a minor in Sociology.

“The City of Batavia is pleased to support and provide the resources to bring on a second SRO for our schools,” said City Council President Eugene (Geno) Jankowski Jr.  “One of the key components of our annual strategic plan is to ensure that our residents feel safe.  Protecting our children is one of our top priorities.”

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Top Photo: Batavia Police Officers Connor Borchert and Miah Stevens, the city school district's school resource officers; and above, City Police Chief Shawn Heubusch and Superintendent Jason Smith. Submitted photos.

September 29, 2022 - 11:54am
posted by Press Release in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Press Release:

The Batavia Police Department is investigating a robbery at McDonald's, located at 573 East Main St., which occurred at approximately 5:36 a.m.

A white male, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a mask, walked up to the drive-through window and demanded money.

The suspect stole the cash drawer from the register and fled the scene. The suspect was last seen on foot, running westbound behind 555 East Main St.

No one was injured and the suspect got away with an undetermined amount of money.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Matthew Wojtaszczyk at 585-345-6357, the Batavia Police Department's confidential tip line at 585-345-6370.

Due to the ongoing investigation, no further details will be released.

September 29, 2022 - 11:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

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  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign-in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Sign-in issues? First, make sure you are registered for Day using the link at the top of this post; Second, if you know you're registered, use the "sign-in" link in this post; do not use the "login" box on the left side of the page.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Lisa Ace:   [email protected]
September 29, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, cybersecurity, Genesee County Legislature, batavia.

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Getting a jump start on October, Genesee County legislators presented a proclamation Wednesday to Michael Burns in honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which begins on Saturday.

The Information Technology director, who was hired in May 2021, was grateful for the acknowledgment but advised folks not to be lulled into complacency the other 11 months of the year.

“I’d like to thank the legislators for understanding the importance in terms of security in general, not only within the county but also within referral support … it’s a reminder to everyone that cybersecurity is not just something that we have. This is something that we have to actively practice, and we are more wired than ever before,” Burns said during Legislature’s meeting at the Old Courthouse. “It's all devices that we carry … they're in our everyday life. The data that we use every day is valuable, and people know it. Some may want to get their hands on that. So we have to oversee and understand that cyber security is not just October, it's every month of every year.”

Legislator Chad Klotzbach read a proclamation regarding how the world has become all things cyber, and people are more "interconnected than ever before but also more susceptible to increased risk of cyber theft, fraud and abuse."

“The county’s IT Department is responsible for delivering secure, accurate timely information and services to county departments, municipalities, residents and visitors effectively and efficiently,” Klotzbach said, reading the proclamation. “Cybersecurity Month provides an opportunity to increase public awareness and understanding of cyber threats while empowering employees and citizens to be safer and more secure online.”

The City of Batavia just received a similar warning during City Council’s audit report earlier this week. That message included being diligent with technology processes, protocols and preventative measures to avoid cyber attacks.

Since 2004, the President of the United States and Congress have declared October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month, as a way to help individuals protect themselves online as threats to technology and confidential data become more frequent.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) lead a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise cybersecurity awareness nationally and internationally. 

This year’s theme is “See Yourself in Cyber” to enable people to recognize and understand how prevalent the world of cyber is, whether at work, home or school. The CISA.gov website encourages folks to take four personal action steps to help prevent cyber crimes:

  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
  • Use Strong Passwords
  • Recognize and Report Phishing
  • Update Your Software

Photo: Genesee County Legislator Chad Klotzbach presents a proclamation this week to IT Director Michael Burns as a prelude to Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October. Photo by Joanne Beck.

September 28, 2022 - 11:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, music, arts, entertainment, news.

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Five Finger Death Punch headlined a show Tuesday at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center that was supported by Megadeath, Fire From the Gods and The Hu.

PreviouslyFive Finger Death Punch brings AfterLife and familiar hits to Darien Lake tonight

Photos by Philip Casper.  Top photo: Five Finger Death Punch

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Five Finger Death Punch

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Five Finger Death Punch

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Five Finger Death Punch

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Five Finger Death Punch

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Megadeath

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Megadeath

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The Hu

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Fire From the Gods

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September 28, 2022 - 10:38pm

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There’s only one problem with creating a law to restrict weapons from would-be criminals, Gary Maha says.

Law-abiding citizens will be the only ones to follow it.

“If they want a gun, they’re gonna get a gun,” the legislator said during Genesee County Legislature’s meeting Wednesday. “If you’ve got a shooting somewhere, do you want the good guy without a gun? You don’t just want the bad guy with a gun.”

Maha first proposed that Legislature sign a letter of opposition to the newly adopted Concealed Carry Improvement Act, and send it to Albany for Gov. Kathy Hochul and state Legislature members to see.

He had no idea that about 10 people would show up for the vote, with two of them there to speak during a public hearing about issues other than Concealed Carry.

Glen Adams represented the Genesee County Federation of Sportsman's Clubs, which consists of about 12 clubs throughout the county. He stood at the podium alone, but spoke for some 1,200 members, he said.

Adams voiced his concern that the Concealed Carry act was not for the average gun owner and hunter, and was, therefore “unconstitutional.”

Likewise, Jim Tuttle, chairman of SCOPE — Shooters Committee on Political Education — appealed to Legislature members to join Maha and fellow legislator John Deleo, both of who have been most vocal about the act’s flaws.

“We all took an oath to support the constitution of the United States, which is the Second Amendment,” Deleo said.

He added his full disclosure that he was a member of the National Rifle Association and SCOPE and pointed to the ill-conceived bail reform problem.

“A criminal charged with having a gun … is let go,” he said. “We’re the salt of the earth here.”

During a prior meeting, legislators discussed Maha’s proposal to send the letter and underscored the prominence of the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and how the Concealed Carry act is no improvement for the typical gun user.

The Second Amendment states that “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The legislators’ resolution states that the act “presents procedural roadblocks in the form of privacy violation, subjective standards, financial burdens, and overt restrictions on individuals seeking to exercise a fundamental right.”

A subdivision of the law was added to state that no license shall be issued or renewed pursuant to this section except by the licensing officer, and then only after investigation and finding that all statements in a proper application for a license are true.

It further states that no license shall be issued or renewed except for an applicant 21 years or older (military veterans honorably discharged are exempt from the age requirement), and be of good moral character, which means having the essential character, temperament and judgment necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it only in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others.

Legislators Shelley Stein, Gordon Dibble, Brooks Hawley, Christian Yunker, Chad Klotzbach, Gregg Torrey, Delo and Maha voted for the resolution to send the letter. Legislator Marianne Clattenburg was absent.

Will it make a difference? Maha wasn’t sure.

“Well, at least we want to make our voices known in Albany that we oppose this,” he said. “You know, we're a Second Amendment community out here in Genesee County and many of us grew up hunting and carrying guns. It's a lot different downstate around New York, and we think these laws are unconstitutional.”

Top Photo of SCOPE Chairman James Tuttle, and Glen Adams, Vice Chairman of Genesee County Federation of Sportsman's Clubs, as they appeal to Genesee County Legislature to approve a move to send a letter opposing the Concealed Carry act Wednesday at the Old Courthouse. Photos by Joanne Beck.

September 28, 2022 - 7:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in COVID-19, news, notify.

For the first time since late spring, there have been more than 100 new COVID-19 cases reported in Genesee County in back-to-back weeks.

For the week of Sept. 14, there were 123 new positive tests reported to the Genesee County Health Department. For the week of Sept. 21, there were 115.

New case reports were well below 100 most weeks throughout the summer.

The county only has data on cases reported from labs or people who did at-home tests and took it upon themselves to report their positive tests to the county.  People who test at home but don't report their results are not included in the count.  The total number of lab-based positives for the past week is 91.

One death from COVID-related causes was reported in the past week, bringing the total number of Genesee County residents who have died from the disease to 201.

According to the CDC, the county's current transmission risk is "medium." 

September 28, 2022 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, byron, notify.

Alone one night in a car in the Target parking lot with a teenage girl, Shawn D. Myers made a decision that he and the girl will have to deal with for the rest of their lives, Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini told Myers before sentencing him to five years in prison this afternoon.

In July, a jury convicted Myers of first-degree criminal sexual act, a Class B violent felony.  

By all accounts in Court this afternoon, except for that one decision, the Byron resident had led a pretty exemplary life up to that point -- a volunteer in his community, including a volunteer firefighter.

On Jan. 28, 2021, Myers forced the girl to have sex with him, the jury said.

His attorney, Jeremy Schwartz, argued that the evidence in the case, despite the jury's verdict, didn't really support the assertion of forcible compulsion, though Myers, now 21, admitted that he had sex with a person less than 17 years of age.

First Assistant District Attorney Joseph Robinson said the victim suffered physical injury as a result of what Myers did and is still dealing with the emotional fallout of the sexual abuse. 

More than two dozen community and family members attended the hearing in support of Myers.  

The victim and her mother were also at the hearing.

In his statement, Myers said he knew he made a mistake but expressed concern about being sent to prison because he is being treated for PTSD, anxiety, and depression, and during his time in the criminal justice system, he and his attorney said, he's already suffered one disruption to his medication regime. 

Cianfrini, who could have sentenced Myers to up to 25 years in prison, said that she would note in documents that will go with Myers to the Department of Corrections, that Myers has prescription medication he must take.

She encouraged Myers to use his time in prison to learn that he can't force people to do things against their will and to learn a trade.

Myers said during his statement that he loved being a volunteer firefighter and regretted that he had ruined his firefighting career by his decision.  He promised Cianfrini that never again will he make a mistake that lands him back in jail.

September 28, 2022 - 2:58pm


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