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Spartans set for tough test at Watertown, looking toward June 17 home opener at GCC's new field

By Mike Pettinella
Spartans football
Head Coach Harry Rascoe, left, and Drew Crofts, assistant athletic director at Genesee Community College, promote the Genesee County Spartans’ use of the new football field at GCC this season.

The Genesee County Spartans football club travels north this Saturday for a non-league game against the host Watertown Red and Black.

“Watertown is a powerhouse in the Gridiron Developmental Football League and an awesome organization, but if we play Spartans football – hard-nosed and disciplined – I feel we can play with any team in the country,” said Head Coach Harry Rascoe.

That’s a strong statement considering that Rascoe and his coaching staff have had only a couple months to recruit players and conduct practices in preparation for their inaugural season in the Northeastern Football Alliance.

Rascoe said that the team’s quarterbacks – Joe Canzoneri and Alex Rood – will each play two quarters against Watertown as the competition for the starting job continues.

“This weekend will allow us to get a look at both QBs and see some players at different positions in a real game. We are excited to play finally after weeks of practice,” he said.

Canzoneri is a 2010 graduate of Batavia High School and a three-year starter at QB for the Blue Devils. He attended GCC for two years. Today, he owns his own barber shop on Ellicott Street.

“I joined the team because I wanted to see if I still have it or not,” he said, noting that he held a couple passing records at BHS. 

Rood graduated from BHS in 2020, went on to play quarterback at Geneva College and now competes in track and field at Brockport State College.

“This is a great opportunity to continue playing at the semi-pro level,” he said.

When the squad’s regular home season gets underway on June 17 (opponent to be determined), the game will take place at the new synthetic turf football field behind the Richard C. Call Arena at Genesee Community College.

GCC Assistant Athletic Director Drew Crofts said the college is eager to show off the facility.

“It was completed last summer and it’s something we’re very proud of,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know that it’s here; it’s kind of a hidden gem.”

Crofts said the plan is to host different teams on the field, which also serves as the venue for the college’s lacrosse and soccer teams.

“We’re excited about having the Spartans play here. The team is great for the community, so we’re hoping they draw big crowds.”

Rascoe, a GCC graduate, said his staff and players “are pumped to be the first football team to play at the new stadium.”

“We can’t thank the community and all of our sponsors enough for the support,” he added.

Saturday’s game – 7 p.m. kickoff -- will be livestreamed, Rascoe said. The link to watch the game: https://www.youtube.com/@steveweedprod/streams

The remainder of the Spartans’ schedule is as follows:

June 3 – at Auburn
June 10 – at Lockport
June 17 – home vs. TBD, 7 p.m.
June 24 – home vs. Broome County, 7 p.m.
July 15 – at Broome County
July 22 – home vs. Lockport, 7 p.m.
Aug. 5 – TBD
Aug. 12 – home vs. Auburn, 7 p.m.

GENESEE COUNTY SPARTANS ROSTER
0 Jedidiah Reese RB/WR
1 Marc Montana K
2 Alex Rood QB/RB
3 Jzon Richardson Sr. RB/WR
4 Tyler Budzinack WR/DB
5 Josh Bradley WR
6 Patrick Krantz DB
7 Gunner Rapone DE/OL
8 Joe Canzoneri QB
9 Dame Butler Sr. DB
10 Eric Snell TE
11 Corey Nicholas WR/DB
12 Evan Cummings WR/DB
13 Alan Riggi WR/DB
14 Kier Moore WR.DB
16 Marley English DE/LB
17 Daryl Leach DB/LB
20 Brandon Bethel FB/LB
21 Delonta Curry LB/DB
22 Cody Wenner DB
23 Rob William Jr. RB
24 Kris Geising DB
25 Tre Woods DB
26 Dillon Szpaicher LB/DL
27 Baylee VerCruysse OL/DL
28 Keith Neureuter DB
29 Dylan Bordonaro WR
32 Brooks Boyle LB/DB
33 Robert Thurston Jr. TE
39 Howie Wilson TE/DE
40 Matt Dillon LB
42 Kyle Dougherty LB/DL
44 Ethan Jennings LB/DE
45 Amir Cleveland DB
46 AJ Spearance LB
52 Jordan Chambers RT
53 Alton Rupp C
56 Steve Kowalczyk DT
58 Jon Grann LB
65 Chezeray Rolle DT
67 Travis Mosher DT
68 Adam Hausfelder OL/DL
70 Tim King OL/DL
71 Anthony Natrigo FB/LB
75 Austyn Fernandez OL/DL
78 Randy Reiner DL
88 TJ Henderson DE/TE
92 Matt Mead OL/DL
98 Steve Stink OL/DL
99 Rylee Elliott OL/DL

COACHING STAFF
Harr Rascoe, Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Craig Tiberio, Defensive Coordinator
Burton Howell, Special Teams/Offensive Assistant
Cody Vohs, Line Coach

For more information about the team, including how to become a sponsor, go to the team’s Genesee County Spartans Facebook page or contact Rascoe at rascoeh@yahoo.com.

Spartans QBs
Alex Rood, left, and Joe Canzoneri will be under center for the Spartans as they compete in the Northern Football Alliance.

Zooming in for a 'total' grasp on 2024's eclipse

By Joanne Beck
GC chamber group in solar glasses
2023 File Photo of the unveiling for Genesee the Eclipse marketing message and Genny the Cow mascot for the April 2024 total eclipse weekend event. Photo by Joanne Beck

Planning a year out for an event may seem to be a bit of overkill — after all, it’s an entire year away, and there are 365 days to get things and people in place, so what’s the rush, right?

Well, for the county’s Chamber of Commerce, school districts, businesses, nonprofits and other organizations, those days, weeks and months are filling up quickly with to-do lists for the 2024 debut of the first total eclipse to grace this area in decades, and not another one to arrive for 126 more years. 

For the latest planning meeting this week, 43 people registered to sit in, and momentum is building, Chamber President Brian Cousins says.

“I believe there are more than a few businesses and organizations that are jumping on board already and taking an interest.  The three presenters today – Holland Land Office, Batavia Downs, and Genesee County Parks — are all in development of their planning, brainstorming elements to have, and creating programs to ensure public interest,” Cousins said Tuesday. “There are certainly more, which we engage with often – and invite them all to share in their ideas.  Being creative and promoting individual organizations and businesses during the eclipse will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Unlike the county fair and other yearly signature events that are planned well in advance and are continuously being updated and tweaked, this is a one-shot deal for these organizers and the folks counting on a fun event during this particular weekend in April 2024.

Genny the cow mascot

There was a kick-off celebration and unveiling of Genny the cow and mascot last month for the Genesee the Eclipse marketing message for the county, and there have been monthly Zoom meetings for stakeholders wanting a piece of the action come to the special 2024 event.

What does that actually mean for Genesee County?

  • Educational opportunities for students
  • Telescope lending library programs Rules and protocols for navigating the roads during what could be a mad dash to find a spot to sit and experience the three-minute, 42-second eclipse 
  • Related safety measures by law enforcement 
  • Orders of enough amenities for visitors 
  • Event merchandise to sell (the Chamber will have T-shirts, sweatshirts, and solar glasses)
  • Musical entertainment, parking lot configurations
  • Alerting local retailers to prepare with sufficient inventory for shoppers, and forewarning residents about potential traffic delays and increased demands for food and beverages 
  • Hundreds of senior citizens at Batavia Downs
  • Historically relevant details culled from Holland Land Office

Treat it like a Super Bowl
Trish Erzfeld, who led her county’s efforts during the 2017 eclipse in Missouri, was quite familiar with locals asking, “What’s all the fuss about” during early planning stages.

“It’s just a really weird two minutes, 40 seconds. They didn’t know how to relate to it,” she said during May’s Zoom meeting this week.

But then Erzfeld put it in terms that most anyone can relate to: think about the Super Bowl or the Kentucky Derby. Those events aren’t so much about one singular moment, but about the experience, she said. There’s the camaraderie, the crowd, and, perhaps the best part — the tailgating, with themes, food, decor, drinks, clothing colors and a unity in spirit.

Now you’re talking — that’s what planning and coming together for the eclipse is all about, she said, as meeting participants agreed. 

They all wish to make this a weekend experience for residents and visitors alike, in which they will remember it, cherish it, talk about it, and think fondly enough of this community that they might just want to make a return visit to see the Holland Land Office Museum, or place some bets at Batavia Downs, eat at that fun downtown restaurant, grab a craft brew, or shop for fine men’s wear.

Economic Boon
The largest factor in developing plans this far out is for those that will not be in the path of complete totality, but will make plans to travel to our community for the event, Cousins said.

Erzfeld, who is also director of Perry County's Missouri Heritage Tour, outlined that all of their hotels and restaurants were “packed full the entire weekend of the eclipse in 2017 (which was also a Monday),” he said.

“The economic impact and opportunity that our community has is tremendous.  Being able to promote those plans in advance to those that are looking to view the eclipse in our area is very important,” Cousins said. “In thinking about the impact that we can have on a personal level, there’s not many events that everyone gets to experience at the same time together in one community. We are incredibly lucky, and I’d like to be able to say that we all rallied around this event that was something special for us all to share – that was positive, natural, and awe-inspiring.”

Think of customers, employees, scheduling
Some business owners may operate as if nothing is different, Erzfeld said. However, most may want to consider the services they offer and how they can be as customer-friendly as possible, such as:

  • Closing for the day and allowing employees and customers to enjoy the festivities.
  • Revising hours based on activities happening on that Monday (total eclipse day).
  • Think ahead of what will happen if clients cancel.
  • Can you provide your parking lot as a viewing space.
  • Will you coordinate special sales with the eclipse theme.

No matter what the business — from a veterinarian, beauty spa, hotel and gym to dog groomer, dentist and clothing store, it’s client-based and is worth some consideration of how you want to handle that April weekend and especially Monday, she said.

Her community provided free parking and entertainment for visitors, plus transported folks from nearby hotels into town, and made many connections with people who have since made repeat trips back to visit, she said.

Her county, population 19,000, saw an influx of about 10,000 people from 36 states and 17 countries during the 2017 eclipse. There is great interest in this kind of thing, and people are willing to travel for it.

Cool, weird shadows
Shannon Lyaski spoke about plans — from basic to the weird — at Genesee County Park.

“Generally speaking, people are going to be showing up, you know, being ready to view the eclipse. And just, you know, making sure that there's porta potties, making sure that there are people there to direct the traffic in the parking lot, especially because in April, it's likely to be muddy, and we don't want parking on the lawns and stuff like that. So we'll have volunteers helping with parking, really, you know, the show is happening in the sky,” she said. “It’s just such a cool thing that's happening. 

"We're planning to have possibly some white canvases, either on the side of the building or on the ground," she said. "Because one of the natural phenomenon that happens during a total solar eclipse is shadow bands, you get these really weird shadows happening because of the way the (sun) light is bending around the moon, and the corona is visible, which is also really cool. But because of the way the light is coming through the atmosphere, you get these really weird shadows.”

There won’t be leaves on the trees, allowing for a lot of open space to see, she said. There may be a bounce house for kids since no one is expecting them to just sit there waiting for this thing in the sky to happen, she said.

The Rochester Museum and Science Center has an eclipse ambassador program with funding for 50 organizations, most of which are centered around the city of Rochester, she said, however, “We became recipients of that, and so we are getting … a $,1000 stipend to help with expenses to support the programming around the eclipse. 

"Also, a telescope is included, which is very beneficial to the park, because then this is something we can use for future events as well.”

She is trying to get a big screen “so that everyone can see what’s happening in the telescope,” she said, in addition to everyone having eclipse glasses.

There’s is no camping at the park, and no horses will be allowed during this event, she said.

“We’re promoting ‘leave-no-trace.’ We want people to enjoy the park, but not destroy it either,” she said. “We’re very excited, when I’ve talked to other parks, there is a darker sky there.”

Going home to roost, building educational lessons
Erzfeld described the eerie sense of environment when the eclipse was coming. True to lore and rumors, cows did return to the barn, and chickens went home to roost. Skies began to get darker as the wind shifted. If one was living in a more primitive time, it certainly could be perceived as the end of time, she said.

And on that note, Erzfeld encouraged participants to think long-term with their planning, and to make their efforts and related materials outlast the April 2024 event. For example, Missouri folks crafted a special sundial that still sits on the courthouse lawn to commemorate the 2017 eclipse event they had.

“So it was a real challenge in 2017, because, like I said, nobody really knew how to wrap their arms around this. So we ended up doing a lot of community outreach and community educating,” she said. “Our schools, I think our science teachers got behind it. But there could have been so much more because your music teachers can get behind this, your art teachers can get behind this, your language, English teachers, you know, and poetry and stuff. So I think our teachers will do a much better job this time around in bringing whatever they teach — their own little spin on the Eclipse, and that's what we're encouraging them to do.”

County school districts are getting the day off during the eclipse on that Monday, and educators are working on programs and activities related to the event.

"We welcome all organizations, businesses, and community leaders to attend our monthly Zoom calls to hear about the planning, create ideas, share brainstorming, and develop a sense of urgency for those plans – so we can present a great showcased event for those outside our community that may visit," Cousins said.  

They are able to join in and participate here 

Fire fighters to 'Fill The Boot' for MDA June 2 in Batavia

By Press Release

Press Release:

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has collected critical funds in the community since 1954 – one dollar at a time – as part of the Fill the Boot program for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 896 will be continuing this long-standing tradition as its members kick off the annual program raising funds to support MDA’s vision to accelerate research, advance care, and advocate for the support of MDA families.

Dedicated firefighters from Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 896 will hit the streets with boots in hand asking pedestrians, motorists, customers, and other passersby to donate to MDA on June 2 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Main and Court streets, and Ellicott and Court streets in the City of Batavia.

The partnership between MDA and IAFF began in 1954 when the IAFF signed a proclamation designating MDA its charity of choice and vowing to continue raising awareness and funds until cures are found. To date, the nearly seven-decade partnership has raised more than $679 million with involvement from over 300,000 fire fighters nationwide. These funds have led in part to over a dozen FDA-approved drugs in as many years for those with neuromuscular disease. Those treatments were created from MDA’s vision to open a new field of medicine and push the boundaries of the medical frontier we call genetic medicine.

“What the IAFF has done for MDA over the past 68 years is unprecedented,” said Donald S. Wood, Ph.D., President and CEO of MDA. “With the support from our partners at the IAFF, MDA is doing the impossible in accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for people living with neuromuscular disease. We have a mission to empower the people we serve to life longer, more independent lives and we will fulfill this mission together, with the IAFF.”

About the IAFF

The International Association of Fire Fighters represents more than 326,000 professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect more than 85% of the nation's population. More than 3,500 affiliates and their members protect communities in every state in the United States and in Canada. 

About Muscular Dystrophy Association

Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the #1 voluntary health organization in the United States for people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. For over 70 years, MDA has led the way in accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for the support of our families. MDA’s mission is to empower the people we serve to live longer, more independent lives. To learn more, visit mda.org.

Community Action to host free 'spring cleaning' Tuesday in Batavia

By Joanne Beck

Press Release:

Community Action of Orleans and Genesee is hosting a free “spring cleaning” giveaway event on Tuesday, May 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of the building at 5073 Clinton St., Batavia. 

Clothing, food, household items, personal care items, toys and much more will be available to the community for free.
There is no need to pre-register for the event. 

In addition, several agencies and organizations will be available as a resource to the community. These organizations include Eagle Star Housing, Neighborhood Legal Services, CORE the Learning Center, Genesee ACE, Genesee County Health Department, Fidelis Care, Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, Elderwood Health Plan, Ask Marshall/OFA, Healthy Living-The Cancer Services Program, Molina Healthcare and Independent Living of the Genesee Region.

After our event Community Action will continue to accept donations on a rolling basis for more information contact David Dodge 585-343-7798 x114. Unfortunately, due to limited storage capacity, larger items such as furniture can not be accepted at this time.

Community Action of Orleans and Genesee is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and have served low-income and disadvantaged families for over forty years. Community Action programs are designed to empower as well as provide opportunity to those who are not yet self-sufficient.

Borrello responds to Hochul's idea of migrant housing

By Press Release

Senator George Borrello sent Governor Kathy Hochul a letter of concern pertaining to her recent plans to move migrants to SUNY campuses. 

Press Release:

Dear Governor Hochul, 

In light of the news that upstate SUNY campuses are being considered as temporary migrant housing, I am writing to urge you to suspend this plan immediately out of concern for the strains on security and resources that such an influx would have on these campuses and the surrounding communities.

I am especially opposed to SUNY Fredonia being chosen as a migrant housing location. Our community does not have the resources that would be required to underwrite the costs of housing, feeding and meeting the many needs that immigrants will require. Our rural upstate social service network is already overburdened by the services required by our own community members.

New York City, a self-designated ‘sanctuary city’, does not have the right or the authority to send economic migrants to other counties in the state without the proper funding, coordination and approval of those counties. Additionally, these migrants have not been properly vetted by U.S. immigration authorities and pose a risk to public safety.

It is important for our state and federal governments to acknowledge their role in creating this crisis and take responsibility for this disastrous outcome.

New York’s immigration crisis is the result of its ‘sanctuary state’ status and policies like the 2020 Green Light Law granting non-citizen, undocumented migrants the ability to get a driver's license. New York’s Green Light law bars federal authorities from accessing New York’s motor vehicle database to enforce U.S. immigration policies and laws. The Green Light Law and its sanctuary status have made New York State the perfect place for undocumented immigrants to settle and avoid deportation.

At a time when New Yorkers face an affordability crisis, and we lead the nation in outmigration, the last thing we should do is add to the burden of hardworking taxpayers and business owners by handing them the bill for resettling migrants who came here illegally. 

My constituents do not support New York’s sanctuary status designation or policies and should not be punished by Washington’s unwillingness to protect our nation’s borders or bad policies adopted by Albany or New York City.

Thank you for your consideration. I would be happy to discuss this issue with you in more detail. 

Sincerely,
George M. Borrello
Senator, 57th District

Health and safety course completed by eleven first responders

By Press Release

Press Release:

Eleven first responders from seven fire departments participated in the twelve-hour Officer Development: Firefighter Health and Safety Course, which was conducted from April 5 through May 3.

The course provided current and potential fire officers with a basic knowledge of effective communications for both administrative functions and for emergency incidents. Students were provided activities to apply skills learned in addition to conducting a size up based on emergency incidents. Additionally, this course provided the Company Officer with the skills needed to identify and prevent common safety hazards and to perform an initial accident investigation. Students must have completed the basic fire fighter courses prior to participating in this course. Successfully completing the Officer Development: Firefighter Health and Safety were:

TOWN OF BATAVIA

  • Paul R. Dibble
  • Robert J. Hunt
  • Taylor J. Rivenburgh
  • James J. Ward

BYRON

  • Brandon L. Crossett
  • Zachary C. Johnson

CORFU

  • John T. McCarthy

ELBA

  • Scott T. Maloy

PAVILION

  • Hunter M. Schiske

PEMBROKE

  • David Linneborn

STAFFORD

  • Jason M. Smith

Joining the fire/EMS service not only provides you the opportunity to make an invaluable contribution to
your community but allows you to develop (free) professional skills, and form lifelong friendship and
positive relationships. Visit your local fire department to find out more about volunteer opportunities in
your community.

Eighteen first responders complete rescue tech basic course

By Press Release

Press Release: 

A Rescue Tech Basic course was conducted for emergency response personnel at the Genesee County Fire Training Center in Batavia from May 2 through May 23. Eighteen first responders participated in this twenty-four hour course which prepared students for a wide variety of possible rescue operations. The course provided students with an overview in areas of specialized rescue, search, technical rescue management, risks and priorities; use of ropes, knots and rope systems in a low-angle environment and establishment of landing zones for helicopter operations. The following response personnel successfully completed the course:

ALABAMA

  • David J. Kinney
  • Michelle Patnode
  • Brianna D. Smith 
  • Mark Smith
  • Alison L. Thompson
  • Ryan M. Thompson
  • Todd M. Thompson
  • Wendy L. Thompson

TOWN OF BATAVIA

Jonathan P. Parker

BYRON

  • Brandon L. Crossett
  • Tatum Higby

CORFU

  • Tyler G. Lang

DARIEN CENTER

  • Robert J. Chraston

EAST PEMBROKE

  • Patrick F. Gallaway

ELBA

  • Bradley R. Chaddock

INDIAN FALLS

  • Maxwell D. Olsen

LEROY

  • Brie L. Rogers

UNKOWN

  • Paul M. McGoldrick

Joining the fire/EMS service not only provides you the opportunity to make an invaluable contribution to your community but allows you to develop (free) professional skills, and form lifelong friendship and positive relationships. Visit your local fire department to find out more about volunteer opportunities in your community.

Annual HFH yard sale begins on Friday in Batavia

By Joanne Beck
Habitat yard sale

Due to Saturday's poor weather forecast, the annual Habitat for Humanity yard sale will begin a day early this year, organizer Angelina Pellegrino says. Shopping is set to begin at 10 a.m. Friday at 150 State St., Batavia, and continue through the weekend. 

Proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity of Genesee County.

File photo by Howard Owens.

Firefighter seminar draws more than 50 people this week

By Press Release

Press Release:

On May 15 a Public Employee Safety & Health Bureau (PESH) Firefighter Seminar: Myth vs. Fact was held at Genesee Community College.

Jennifer Puerner of the NYS Public Employee Safety & Health Bureau spoke about training requirements, standards, mandates, record & retention, PPE requirements, bailout system requirements and other rules and regulations. The purpose of the seminar was to differentiate between myths vs. facts.

Fifty-six participants from 17 agencies participated in this seminar.

ALABAMA

  • Anthony Mudrzynski
  • Henry Mudrzynski
  • Michelle Patnode
  • Gary L. Patnode
  • Rick Brunea

BARRE

  • Jesse Babcock
  • Douglas Bentley
  • Gerald Bentley
  • Gary Rowley

CITY OF BATAVIA

  • Robert Fix
  • Zechariah Gowanlock
  • Daniel Herberger
  • Dan Huggins

TOWN OF BATAVIA

  • Brian Bentley
  • Paul Dibble
  • Clayton Gorski
  • Robert Hunt

BERGEN

  • Kevin Bruton Sr.
  • Paul Cummings
  • Don Cunningham
  • Joseph MacConnell
  • Robert MacConnell
  • James Pascarella

BETHANY

  • Deb Donnelly
  • Jeff Fluker
  • Carl Hyde
  • Gail Smith

BYRON

  • Paul Carr
  • Brandon Crossett
  • John Durand
  • Robert Mruczek
  • Cory Russell
  • Edward Sharp
  • Robert Wasinger

CORFU

  • Dean Eck
  • Gregory S. Lang
  • Matt Lenhard
  • Justin Rodland
  • Daniel Smith

EAST PEMBROKE

  • Charles Chatley
  • Andrew Martin

ELBA

  • Nick Esten
  • Michael Heale
  • Nathan Tabor

GC OEM

  • Tyler Lang
  • Gary P. Patnode
  • Tim Yaeger
  • INDIAN FALLS
  • LuAnne Mileham

LEROY

  • Fay Fuerch
  • Craig Johnson
  • MURRAY JOINT FIRE DISTRICT
  • Jeff Elsenheimer

PEMBROKE

  • Kevin Ross
  • STAFFORD
  • Brian Breemes
  • Kari Breemes
  • Tim Eckdahl

UNKOWN

  • Jacob Schultz

Joining the fire/EMS service not only provides you the opportunity to make an invaluable contribution to your community but allows you to develop (free) professional skills, and form lifelong friendships and positive relationships. Visit your local fire department to find out more about volunteer opportunities in your community.

Tenney votes for law enforcement bills to mark National Police Week

By Press Release

Press Release:

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) this week voted for four pieces of legislation focused on supporting law enforcement officers during National Police Week, which runs from May 14 to 20.

Tenney kicked off National Police Week last week with a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Memorial, where she laid a wreath to honor Rochester police officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz. Officer Mazurkiewicz, who was raised in Livingston County, was tragically killed in the line of duty in 2022.

The legislation passed this week by the House of Representatives includes:

H.Res. 363, a resolution honoring law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. In particular, the resolution commemorates 224 officers that were killed in 2022, as well as 332 officers killed in previous years whose stories were recovered in 2022. This list of officers listed in the resolution included Anthony Patrick Mazurkiewicz, a Rochester police officer who was killed in the line of duty on July 21, 2022. This resolution passed the House by a vote of 413-2.

H.R. 3091, the Federal Law Enforcement Officer Service Weapon Purchase Act. This bill allows current federal law enforcement officers in good standing to purchase their retired service weapon at market value from a federal agency. Currently, these firearms are salvaged when they are retired, costing taxpayers millions of dollars. This bill passed the House by a vote of 232-198.

H.R. 2494, the POLICE Act of 2023, a bill Tenney cosponsored, which amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to explicitly state that assaulting a law enforcement officer is a deportable offense. This commonsense bill ensures that federal immigration authorities enforce our laws against illegal aliens who assault our law enforcement officers. This bill passed the House by a vote of 255-175.  

H. Con. Res. 40, a resolution expressing support for local law enforcement officers and condemning efforts to defund or dismantle local law enforcement agencies. Specifically, this resolution condemns the radical “Defund the Police” movement and expressed the House of Representative’s support for local law enforcement officers. Over the last three years, the radical left has engaged in an extremist campaign to defund and demoralize our law enforcement officers. Through this resolution, House Republicans sent a strong and unified message that we stand with our valiant officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. This resolution passed the House by a vote of 301-119-3.

"Law enforcement officers safeguard our communities, tirelessly dedicating their lives to serving and protecting,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. “We must stand united in support of these brave men and women who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way every day. Their unwavering commitment to keeping our communities safe is a testament to their valor and integrity. This National Police Week, I was honored to back legislation reaffirming our support for law enforcement officers in New York and around the country.”

Sponsored Post: Just listed: 11 Kingsbury! Open House this Sunday 1-3pm

By Lisa Ace
11 Kingsbury, Sunny Rathod

Open House Sunday - 1-3pm 11 Kingsbury! This cherished home has been lovingly owned for 68 years and offers 4 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. The tear-off roof is just seven years old, providing peace of mind and protection for years to come. The basement boasts new glass block windows, ensuring both safety and natural light. Stay comfortable year-round with the recently installed central air system in 2021. The blown-in insulation in the attic and basement enhances energy efficiency and helps maintain a comfortable indoor environment. Hand-crafted crown molding adds a touch of elegance and character to the home. Hardwood floors and natural woodwork are featured throughout, exuding warmth and charm. Updated windows not only improve the aesthetic appeal but also contribute to energy efficiency. With its proximity to all amenities, you'll have convenient access to shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Don't miss out on this incredible home with its long-standing history, modern upgrades, and convenient location. Offers due Tuesday 5/23 at 3PM.

Muckdogs announce 10 players for 2023 season

By Press Release
aidan_coony.jpg
Aidan Coony

Press Release:

The West Division Champion, Batavia Muckdogs, have announced 10 more members to their 2023 roster. Two familiar faces will be returning with pitcher Aidan Cooney from the University of Rochester, as well as pitcher Dylan Kinney from Xavier University of Louisiana. 

The eight newcomers on the list are highlighted by three St. John’s commits that include catcher Adam Agresti, two-way player Chad Falcon, and catcher Cristian Bernardini. Other newcomers to the Muckdogs include 6’3, 308 pound pitcher, Rijnaldo Euson from Georgia Southwestern University, 6’9 pitcher Casey Sabiers from Long Island University, infielder Noah Sorenson from the University of Connecticut, pitcher Tyler Gibson from Houghton University coming out of Albion, New York, pitcher Tyrone Woods out of Genesee Community College via Alexander, New York.

Standing at 6’2 and weighing 185 pounds, Aidan Cooney is a sophomore relief pitcher from the University of Rochester. Cooney is a force to be reckoned with out of the bullpen, tossing 12 innings with 1 save, while holding opponents to a .211 batting average. Cooney’s best appearance of the year came when he let up 1 hit with 3 strikeouts in 3 innings of work against Catholic.

Standing at 6’3 and weighing 182 pounds, Dylan Kinney is a sophomore left handed pitcher from Xavier University of Louisiana. Kinney has thrown 7.1 innings of 2.45 ERA ball, allowing opponents to only bat .222 against him on his way to a 1-0 record.

Standing at 6’3 and weighing 225 pounds, Adam Agresti is a catcher committed to St. John’s University. Agresti is a defensive star behind the plate, averaging a 1.89 pop time to accompany his cannon of an arm. On the offensive side, Agresti barrels up the ball 71% of the time with an average exit velocity of 92.6 MPH.

Standing at 6’0 and weighing 180 pounds, Chad Falcon is a two-way player committed to St. John’s University. Falcon is impressive in both regards, posting a .406 batting average and .673 slugging percentage to go with his impressive pitching resume, where the lefty threw 39.2 innings of 3.18 ERA ball, striking out 28 along the way. 

Standing at 6’1 and weighing 180 pounds, Cristian Bernardini is catcher/outfield hybrid committed to St. John’s University. Bernardini provides some pop with his bat, as he slugged 11 extra base hits on his way to a .726 slugging percentage. 

Standing at 6’3 and weighing 308 pounds, Rijnaldo Euson is a sophomore pitcher from Georgia Southwestern University. The southpaw had himself a dominant campaign, going 9-1 in 14 games started and 90 innings of work. Posting a 3.00 ERA, Euson averaged 11.70 strikeouts per game.

Standing at 6’9 and weighing 220 pounds, Casey Sabiers is a sophomore pitcher from Long Island University. Sabiers, a towering presence from the mound, is a Division 1 talent that threw 38 innings of 2.50 ERA ball, striking out 51 batters in the process. 

Standing at 6’3 and weighing 163 pounds, Noah Sorenson is a sophomore infielder from the University of Connecticut. Sorenson brings versatility to the team as he is a slick fielder while also being a threat on the basepaths, swiping 11 bags, the most on his team. 

Standing at 5 '11 and weighing 165 pounds, Tyler Gibson is a sophomore pitcher from Houghton University and out of Albion, New York. Gibson, limited in his work, has thrown an impressive 5.1 innings of 6 strikeout balls, securing a 1-0 record.

Standing at 6’0 and weighing 175 pounds, Tyrone Woods is a junior pitcher from Genesee Community College, out of Alexander, New York. Averaging 10.80 strikeouts a game.

These new and returning players will team up this summer in search to repeat as West Division Champions and you can see them in action for the first time in their home opener at

Dwyer Stadium against the Elmira Pioneers on Saturday, June 3rd. Following the opener will be a fireworks display for all to enjoy. For both individual and season tickets, as well as keeping up with future games and promotional nights, please check out our website https://www.canusamuckdogs.com/ or call 585-524-2260!

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Casey Sabiers
cristian-bernardini.jpg
Cristian Bernardini
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Rijnaldo Euson
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Tyrone Woods
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Adam Agresti

Submitted photos

Photo: 4th graders from St. Joe's tour HLOM and International Peace Garden

By Howard B. Owens
st. joe's peace garden 2023
Fourth graders from St. Joe's School toured the Holland Land Office Museum and the International Peace Garden in Batavia on Thursday.  Paula Savage, director of the Peace Garden, said the students were fascinated by the garden. They learned the history of the garden. She said they were fascinated by the flags and asked a lot of questions.
Photo by Howard Owens

Photos: Batavia Players open Opposites Attract on Friday

By Howard B. Owens
Batavia Players

Batavia Players premier A Cabaret Showcase: Opposites Attract at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Main St. 56 Theater in City Centre, Batavia.

The show is a smorgasbord of songs showcasing true opposites -- love and hate, dead and alive, in and out, big and small, and more.  All of the songs come from popular Broadway shows.

The show goes on again at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. 

Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for seniors and students.

Photos by Howard Owens.

Batavia Players
Batavia Players
Batavia Players
Batavia Players

 

Batavia Players
Batavia Players

GCC president pitches $37.3M budget, $50K additional ask from county

By Joanne Beck
James Sunser and Gregg Torrey
Dr. James Sunser, president of GCC in Batavia, reviews the 2023-24 budget and related requests from the county during a Ways & Means meeting Wednesday, as Legislator and GCC liaison Gregg Torrey listens. Photo by Joanne Beck.

County legislators have so far given a thumbs up to Dr. James Sunser’s $37.3 million budget for Genesee Community College, a spending plan that includes a $100 per semester tuition increase and a request of $50,000 in additional funding from Genesee County to continue operations for 2023-24.

“I think it’s a very modest budget,” the college president said during Wednesday’s Ways and Means meeting. “As you can see, from the current approved budget, it's about $150,000 more than this year's approved budget. It looks to advance tuition by $100 a semester, for full-time students, and $10 a credit hour for part-time students.

“We worked hard with the state. We were hoping to be able to get a little more from the state, but we at least got flat funding for the current year, which is something that has been the norm for the last few years. We've asked the county to support us with the base prior year aid plus the $50,000 planned increase that we've talked about in prior years,” Sunser said. “And we feel strongly that we'll be able to operate within that budget, but it will be a challenge, just like it is for all of you as well.”

The proposed 2023-24 operating budget is $37,350,000, with a “sponsor share” of $ 2,786,374 to come from the county within a tax levy by that amount.

A public hearing will be necessary for this budget and related sponsor’s share, as the resolution to be voted on by the county Legislature states:

“That the Genesee County Legislature does hereby approve of the sponsor’s share of the operating budget of the Genesee Community College for the fiscal year September 1, 2023, through August 31, 2024, in the amount of $2,786,374 and cause the same to be included in the county tax levy for the year 2023.”

A vote is to go before the Legislature next week, and if approved, the budget, levy and public hearing will be set for 5:30 p.m. June 14 at the Old Courthouse, 7 Main St., Batavia.

During the conversation, Legislator John Deleo asked Sunser about the GCC radio station, a staple of this area for a decade that has become silent this past year. Sunser explained that maintaining a station — which was a club activity — for 24 hours a day was becoming “more and more difficult” to do, and the board made the decision to sell the license.

Two bids were received: one that offered “no dollars, they were just willing to take it,” Sunser said, and the second bidder that ended up purchasing the license through the FCC for $55,000. There is no radio, per se, as the station operates via online streaming, he said.

“So what we've done is we've moved away from the FCC as a licensed radio station, and we're on a streaming platform. So we're still providing the same opportunity to students to broadcast and have all that, but outside of the FCC regulations,” Sunser said.

Mortgage tax refunds of nearly $470K expected to be doled out to municipalities

By Joanne Beck

Town, village and city municipalities will be a little fatter financially once again from county payouts of excess revenues.

With mortgage tax monies totaling $469,976.12, the Genesee County clerk and treasurer have reported to the Legislature that these funds may be distributed to everyone from Alabama to Stafford, and all entities in between, according to the provisions of Section 261 of the tax laws.

If this measure is approved by the Legislature, as expected after being approved by two sub-committees already, this will mean the following payments for each of the following in Genesee County:

  • City of Batavia $ 110,175.18
  • Town of Alabama $ 8,412.02
  • Town of Alexander $ 27,606.46
  • Town of Batavia $ 102,188.96
  • Town of Bergen $ 12,215.15
  • Town of Bethany $ 17,252.44
  • Town of Byron $ 12,933.80
  • Town of Darien $ 29,548.18
  • Town of Elba $ 11,242.94
  • Town of LeRoy $ 35,768.49
  • Town of Oakfield $ 12,056.45
  • Town of Pavilion $ 24,859.10
  • Town of Pembroke $ 25,400.70
  • Town of Stafford $ 20,007.16
  • Village of Alexander $ 2,550.49
  • Village of Attica $ 883.54
  • Village of Bergen $ 1,655.00
  • Village of Corfu $ 1,515.26
  • Village of Elba $ 1,401.70
  • Village of LeRoy $ 10,398.34
  • Village of Oakfield $ 1,904.76

Per a resolution to come before the Legislature May 24, its approval would direct that the Genesee County Treasurer “hereby is authorized and directed to pay the Town Supervisors, Village Treasurers, and the Treasurer of the City of Batavia the amounts aforesaid from the Mortgage Tax refund.”

New owners plan family-oriented cafe and play center in Darien

By Chris Butler
nutty's play den rendering
Rendering from planning documents of the proposed facade for Nutty's Playden in Darien.

The Town of Darien Planning Board this week approved a special use permit for a new indoor play center and café, which will cater to parents and their young children.

This new establishment, Nutty’s Playden, will likely open sometime between mid-August to early September of this year at 1415 Broadway Road in Darien, said Crystal Nutty.

Nutty applied for a special use permit as opposed to a basic commercial permit. The location has been home two a couple of different restaurants in recent years.

“There are children involved. We will have indoor play equipment inside of the building rather than normal restaurant equipment or business furniture. This is also because we are a café mixed with a play center,” Nutty said.

“We will be taking over the lease [to the building] in August. There are a few things that the owner must do to the building before we take over the lease — like cleaning it out and making sure the bathroom is up to code because right now it is not.”

She said Nutty’s Playpen will have the following: 

  • A large play structure that offers obstacles for children “to walk through, climb through and weave around.”  
  • Slides  
  • Creative play stations where children can pretend they are veterinarians or grocery store clerks  
  • A pretend food truck as part of an imagination station
  • A separate area for children ages 0 to 2   
  • Creative stations where children can draw, color, build blocks or do puzzles.  
  • A ball pit and sensory pit for digging and exploring
  • Regular classes and events
  • A café with strictly pre-packaged items as well as fresh baked goods, coffee, soft-serve beverages and birthday parties.  

“We are waiting for the building to get cleared out and the work to get completed so we can start moving our stuff in so we can get it opened. We will have a website hopefully within the next month. We won’t be open for live booking until we get a little bit closer,” Nutty said.   

“We will be offering online booking as well as drop-ins so people can come in for open play at any time. We will have a maximum capacity. We have not figured out what that is with fire and safety because once we get everything in the building, then we will work out those numbers a little bit. That is what the next step is.”

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Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying. We are a non-for-profit organization that provides its services free of charge. We run on a supportive community and selfless volunteers. With out both of those we would not be able to serve our community. If you have a caregiver's heart and 2 to 4 hours a week, we would love for you to become a part of our Crossroads House family! No experience required, we will train you and provide mentors and experienced volunteers to guide you. Please go to Crossroadshouse.com to apply, click on volunteer tab to complete application or email Ashleymanuel@crossroadshouse.com
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