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Travel advisory lifted for Genesee County

By Joanne Beck

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office has lifted the travel advisory for Genesee County as of midnight Monday. The sheriff's office urges caution if motorists decide to travel. 

The weather forecast calls for a sunny day on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with a high of 21-degrees and a four percent chance of snow, increasing to a 50 percent chance by Monday evening, with snow showers and accumulations of less than one inch.

Photos: Batavia digging out of first major storm of 2024

By Steve Ognibene
Batavia city snowplow heading east on Washington Avenue.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Batavia city snowplow heading east on Washington Avenue.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene

There was plenty of snow around Batavia on Sunday afternoon that needed to be moved, so city crews and local residents dug in and did the hard work of digging out.

More than a foot of snow fell on Batavia in the previous 24 hours. 

A travel advisory remains in effect until 7 a.m. on Monday.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

Digging out of the first storm of 2024.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Digging out of the first storm of 2024.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
A look to the east on main st Batavia.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
A look to the east on Main Street, Batavia.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
A local man shoveling heavy snow is challenging in single digits temperatures.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
A local man shoveling heavy snow is challenging in single-digit temperatures.  Photo by Steve Ognibene 
A Buffalo Bills fan testing out his electric snowblower for the first time.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
A Buffalo Bills fan testing out his electric snowblower for the first time.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Ellicott street route 63 Batavia heading east.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Ellicott Street, Route 63 Batavia heading east.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
A man clearing his sidewalk with his snowblower on East Avenue.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
A man clearing his sidewalk with his snowblower on East Avenue.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Road signs near the main intersection of main and route 98 facing west showing little travel due to the storm.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Road signs near the main intersection of Main and Route 98 facing west showing little travel due to the storm.  Photo by Steve Ognibene

Chambry scores 34 in Bees' 20-point win over Albion

By Staff Writer
byron bergen basketball

Byron-Bergen's Braedyn Chambry was dominant again, scoring 34 points, to lead the Bees to an 80-60 win over Albion on Saturday afternoon.

Brenden Pimm and Colin Martin each scored 12 points. Brody Baubie scored nine points.

The Bees are now 9-1 on the season.

Photos by Jennifer DiQuattro

byron bergen basketball
byron bergen basketball
byron bergen basketball
byron bergen basketball

Batavians Prucha, Townsend, Neubert post big scores on the lanes; two record 800 series

By Mike Pettinella

Batavian Jim Prucha enjoyed a "career night" earlier this week as he rolled a pair of 279 games in a 764 series in the Mancuso Real Estate Monday Doubles League at Mancuso Bowling Center.

The 60-year-old right-hander started with 279 and finished with 279 (posting 11 strikes in a row after an open) to record his highest three-game series ever. He went into the night with a 188 average.

Prolific left-hander Brian Cline of Middleport continued his assault on the pins with games of 236, 266 and 288 for a 790 series, raising his average to 236.

In other Genesee Region USBC league action:

--James Townsend of Batavia registered a 278 game in a 753 series in the Toyota of Batavia 4-Man League at Mancuso's.

-- Bill Neubert of Batavia finished with a 297 game -- leaving the 3-6-10 on the 12th ball -- for a 755 series in the Thursday Owls League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

-- At Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Reid Cole of Albion fired 279-279-247--805 in the Every-Other-Saturday League, and John Beadle of Brockport tallied 244-279-278--801 in the Thursday Men's Triples League.

For a list of high scores for the week, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of the home page.

Readers’ weather pictures for Sunday

By Howard B. Owens
weather photo
Naramore Drive, Batavia.  Submitted by Shelley Falitico.

Please send weather photos to news@thebatavian.com.

weather photo
Somewhere in Batavia, submitted by Melissa Esposito.
Somewhere in Batavia, submitted by Melissa Esposito.
Somewhere in Batavia, submitted by Melissa Esposito.
Remote video URL
Birds at feeder during storm, submitted by Jason Smith.
winter storm
Norton Road in Elba, submitted by David Stackhouse.
winter storm
Looking out of a window at the VA Center in Batavia, submitted by Leslie Crittenden
winter storm
Columbia Avenue, by Nancy Forsyth

Scanner monitoring Sunday, Jan. 14

By Howard B. Owens

NOTE: Please email weather-related photos to news@thebatavian.com.

A black Kia is off the road at the Thruway interchange, just before Route 77. One occupant complaining of an arm injury. Pembroke and Indian Falls dispatched.

East Pembroke's chief is out with multiple vehicles off the road, all occupied, at 2855 Main Road.

In Pembroke, a driver was stuck in a ditch, was helped out, and then tried to leave on her own and got stuck again. Dadwells responded, and the driver refused to pay for the tow.

There is an accident in Pavilion on Route 63 near Cook Road. Pavilion Fire is on scene. Bethany Fire has shut down traffic at Texaco Town.  No injuries.

UPDATE 11:41 a.m.: A black sedan is stuck in the roadway at Swan Street and Ellicott Street, Batavia.

UPDATE 11:47 a.m.: Bethany Fire requested to Wyoming to fill in. Wyoming is working a structure fire.

UPDATE 12:03 p.m.: A deputy is out with a box truck and another vehicle off the road on Route 77 south of the village of Corfu.  

UPDATE 12:28 p.m.: A Chevy silver Trac is off the road on Route 77.

UPDATE  12:42 p.m.: A tanker is off the road on Broadway Road.  A vehicle is off the road on Clinton Street Road.

UPDATE 12:45 p.m.: A tractor-trailer is stuck on Route 33 near Reed Road, Pembroke.

UPDATE 12:48 p.m.: A vehicle is off the road at Railroad and Broadway, Alexander.  A Spectrum truck is off the road, muddled location.

UPDATE 1:03 p.m.: A deputy is asked to return to 9575 Alleghany Road to assist with traffic control at the request of a tow truck operator. The deputy reports he just found another vehicle off the road and would check status before responding.

UPDATE 1:06 p.m.: Traffic is blocked in both directions at some location on Route 77,

UPDATE 1:11 p.m.: A deputy reports they were able to get one lane open.

UPDATE 1:54 p.m.: Corfu fire police requested to shutdown southbound traffic at Route 33 for Route 77.  A Rav 4 is stuck in the road at Alleghany and Broadway, Darien.

UPDATE 2:29 p.m.: A deputy is out with a vehicle at Route 33 and Ellinwood Road, Corfu.

UPDATE 3 p.m.: A U-Haul is off the road on Route 33.

UPDATE 3:04 p.m.: A snowmobile rollover accident is reported on Slusser Road.  The patient is inside a residence with a leg injury. East Pembroke Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 3:19 p.m.: An SUV vs. snowplow accident is reported at Ellicott Street Road and Bethany Le Roy Road. The SUV is on its side. Bethany Fire and Stafford Fire along with Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 4:02 p.m.: From the Bethany accident, three ambulances - Bethany and two Mercy EMS units -- transporting patients to Strong.

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.: Route 20 at Route 63 is closed eastbound because of vehicles in the road.

UPDATE 5:10 p.m.: There are tractor-trailers blocking Route 77 near Flying J.  A deputy requested to help get them moved into the Flying J parking lot or the school parking lot.

Travel advisory for Genesee County remains in place for Sunday

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Genesee County Highway Department, Emergency Management Services, and the County Manager, is continuing the travel advisory for all of Genesee County.  The advisory is anticipated to remain throughout the day on Sunday due to heavy snowfall, strong winds, and zero visibility, resulting in unsafe travel conditions.  An update will be provided once the weather conditions improve.

Sheriff Sheron and all emergency services first responders would like to thank residents for their cooperation in adhering to the travel advisory by staying off the roads and asking for continued cooperation today. 

“Please remember, even if it is not snowing where you are, the destination you are traveling to may have poor visibility and heavy snow accumulation.  The best and safest option for you and your loved ones is to stay home until the snowstorm passes,” stated Sheriff Sheron.

During a travel advisory roads are not closed, however, no unnecessary travel is advised. A trip that could wait should not be made until the advisory is lifted.  The Genesee County Sheriff's Office does not determine the necessity for any individual to report to work.

The Firing Pin to host safety class Jan. 28 at Kodak Center

By Press Release

Press Release:

Industry-leading self-defense center ‘The Firing Pin’ to host a first-of-its-kind safety class at The Kodak Center; Hundreds of students to learn newly required NY Handgun Safety information.  

The Firing Pin, a retail firearms store, indoor shooting range, and defensive training center located in Bergen, has booked The Kodak Center in Rochester and is hosting a low-cost handgun safety class on Jan. 28. Topics will include basic safety information, NY state gun laws, situational awareness training, as well as interacting with law enforcement, as set forth under the new required curriculum.

With NY State’s focus on reducing violence involving firearms through legislative action, TFP’s mission has been educating the public on firearms safety and security. Thousands of students over the past decade have learned how to safely handle a firearm at The Firing Pin, utilizing the classroom and 25-yard indoor range to hone their skills and become better gun owners.

NY State now requires 18 hours of training before an applicant can be granted their NY Pistol Permit, a new change as of September 2022. This large-scale class will fulfill 8 hours of that training, and students interested in getting their permit can take the remaining 10 hours at a later date.

firing-pin-johnh-1.jpg
Submitted photo of
John Huther, lead instructor.

The class on Jan. 28 at The Kodak Center, 200 W Ridge Rd, Rochester, hopes to reach as many people in the region as possible, the Center seats 1,900 total. The class runs from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., doors open at 8 a.m. Tickets are $15 and include a box lunch.

“We are extremely excited to bring our training to this many students, but we’re even more excited to be able to do so in such an amazing venue as The Kodak Center, we’re very thankful they were willing to work with us, as uncontroversial as a safety class should be, it took us a while to find a venue willing to work with us on this - it was very important to our mission that this class happen in the City - again, thanks to the great folks at The Kodak Center”, Brandon P. Lewis, Owner/Founder, The Firing Pin.

Cancellations and closures for anticipated Jan. 13, 14 winter storm

By Staff Writer

Here are the announcements submitted due to weather.  Email your announcements to news@thebatavian.com. 

  • Due to the winter storm warning, the Genesee County Animal Shelter will be closed to the public on Sunday, January 14, 2024. We hope to resume normal public hours on Monday, Jan. 15 from 1 to 3 p.m.  We recommend calling the shelter at 585-343-6410 to confirm this prior to attending open hours.
  • All BCSD events and practices for Sunday are canceled, and all BCSD schools will be closed.
  • Due to the dangerous weather conditions, Batavia First Presbyterian Church’s in-person Sunday worship has been cancelled for Sunday morning.
  • Alabama Hotel is closed today.

GCEDC consultant mapping out career paths with local businesses for area students

By Howard B. Owens
Shelia Eigenbrod gcedc
Shelia Eigenbrod, education consultant for GCEDC, making a presentation to the GCEDC board of directors on Thursday.
Photo by Howard Owens.

When you're charting a new path, you need a roadmap, and Shelia Eigenbrod, a year into her new job with the Genesee County Economic Development Center, has exactly that in mind.

The map would help inform high school students about career opportunities in Genesee County and what it might take to land the jobs that will put them on a path to a good salary with no college debt.

Eigenbrod, a retired Pavilion Middle School principal, is GCEDC's education consultant.

She told The Batavian after a GCEDC board of directors meeting on Thursday that her roadmap project is "very exciting."

"It's like a typical old-school map," Eigenbrod said. "It unfolds. It will contain all of the industries in Genesee County, especially those focused on advanced manufacturing. It'll designate the types of hires, whether it's engineers, skilled trades, technicians, or apprenticeship programs, and will have a lot of descriptions so that students and school counselors understand what mechatronics is, what CNC is, what advanced manufacturing is, and will also connect to workforce development."

The roadmap was the focus of her presentation on Thursday to the GCEDC board.

"This is something that is meant to be attractive to and understandable for all the guidance counselors and school officials," Eigenbrod said. "It's also something easier to hand out to students. I know we're going to compete with a lot of college materials, the mountain of stuff every graduating senior gets, but really, the message here is all the great careers we have in our community that are, no doubt, we have training programs already set up in our BOCES (and at Genesee Community College)."

She expects the map to be a nice handout at school open houses, parent meetings, and career fairs.

"We've identified a lot of the companies in Genesee County," Eigenbrod said. "We're going to have descriptors of what the company produces, their type of workforce, number of people if they're intending to hire, and if they are looking for apprenticeships, skilled trades, engineers, and technicians."

In response to board questions, she said she also expects to include information on local businesses in need of back-office help, such as accountants and other financial workers.

The map will point students to resources for training for the type of jobs available.

"I really want educators to understand what is going on, and these career pathways," she said.

Fire investigators determine Swan Street blaze 'incendiary,' investigation ongoing

By Howard B. Owens
46 swan street batavia
Photo of 46 Swan St., Batavia, taken Nov. 2 by Chuck Bernard.

Fire investigators with Batavia City Fire have concluded that Friday's blaze at the former Backhoe Joe's, 46 Swan St., was the blaze "ignited under circumstances when a fire should not be ignited," according to a press release.

The press release notes, "a fire declared incendiary does not indicate the crime of arson."

The investigation is being turned over to Batavia PD to determine if the fire was intentionally set or caused by some human action.

The building was without electrical or gas service.

Earlier today, the building's owner, Ron Viele, told The Batavian that there has been an issue with transients going into the building, perhaps lodging there.

"Probably what happened was a transient was in there who was trying to keep warm, and something stupid happened," Viele said.

See previously: Former Backhoe Joe's building nearly valueless, slated for demolition, wasn't insured owner says

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department was dispatched to a reported working structure fire at 46 Swan St. in the City on Jan. 12, 2024, at approximately 12:11 p.m. Initial dispatch reported multiple calls of flames showing.

City Fire crews were clearing two separate EMS at the time of dispatch, and Squad 17 was the first initial unit on location. Squad 17 arrived at 12:14, reporting a 3-story wood frame structure fully involved. At that time, a second Alarm was called. Engine 12 arrived four minutes after initial dispatch and requested a third alarm.

Captain Robert Fix was the initial Incident Commander and declared defensive operations with total building collapse seven minutes after initial units arrived. City Fire Chief Joshua Graham arrived at 12:23 p.m. and assumed command of the incident.

Fire crews focused on protecting an exposed building to the south of the incident structure. Crews were initially hampered by a live power line that burnt through and fell onto a metal fence, preventing them from making entry to the rear on the incident structure.

Once the fire was knocked down, an excavator was called in from Yasses. Fire investigators worked with the excavator to slowly remove debris while working to determine a cause and origin.

City of Batavia Fire Investigators believe that the fire spread through ventilation holes. No utilities were operational to the structure in preparation of demolition.   Fire Investigators have ruled the fire incendiary. Incendiary fires are defined as fires ignited under circumstances when a fire should not be ignited. 

City Fire has completed its portion of the investigation. It is important to note that a fire declared incendiary does not indicate the crime of arson. City Police will continue to investigate.

There were no injuries as a result of this incident.

City Fire would like to thank City DPW, City Police, Genesee County Office of Emergency Management, Genesee County Dispatchers, the Town of Batavia, Elba, Stafford, Pavilion, and Oakfield Fire Departments, Mercy EMS, National Fuel, National Grid, and Salvation Army for their assistance and support.

46 swan street
Photo of 46 Swan St., Batavia, taken Nov. 2 by Chuck Bernard.

Scanner monitoring Saturday, Jan. 13

By Howard B. Owens

6:41 p.m.: A deputy looking for a vehicle off the road at 33 and Angling couldn't locate it, reporting whiteout conditions. The Corfu fire chief was also in the area and a short time later, he located the vehicle off the road. He reports no injuries.  Another deputy on another call at another location (didn't catch the location) reports poor visibility.

UPDATE 6:48 p.m.: A vehicle is off the road and in a ditch off Bethany Center Road. Occupants are out of the vehicle. A school bus with 22 students on board is off the road and in a ditch at 9998 Day Road, Alexander. No injuries.

UPDATE 7:01 p.m.: A driver of the bus spoke to a supervisor who is en route. The bus isn't that far off the road.  The supervisor will determine whether to send out another bus or call a wrecker to get it unstuck.

UPDATE 7:12 p.m.: There are multiple deputies assisting multiple motorists.  We didn't hear all of the initial dispatches.  One deputy is giving a courtesy lift to a truck driver to the Econo Lodge.  On Day Road, the students are being transported by law enforcement vehicles to the fire station.

UPDATE 7:39 p.m.: A car vs. pole accident is reported on Cary in Oakfield.  A Blue Jeep Compass, no injuries, is off the road on Oak Orchard Road near Batavia Elba Townline Road, Elba.

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: The storm band seems to have moved to the south, the wind has died down, scanner traffic has slowed down.

UPDATE 8:50 p.m.: There is a tree down on wires partially blocking the roadway on Hickox Road, Alexander.

UPDATE 9:11 p.m.: An estimated 76 National Grid Customers are without power near Darien Center.  Power has been out since 8:39 p.m.  National Grid expects to restore power by 10:45 p.m. That is the only significant power outage in Genesee County.

Former Backhoe Joe's building nearly valueless, slated for demolition, wasn't insured owner says

By Howard B. Owens
46 swan street
Chuck Bernard took this photo on Dec. 17, which shows 46 Swan St., Batavia, as it was being prepared for demolition.  Bernard noted that the orange object on the ground in the lower right is a sleeping bag. Owner Ron Viele said he was trying to keep transients out of the building.

It's been Ron Viele's intention for years to tear down the wood-framed structure at 46 Swan St., Batavia, once known as Backhoe Joe's, because it has been an eyesore on Swan that potentially devalues the rest of his property on the street.

Viele owns Viele Construction, which has an office at 61 Swan St.

"I want to make sure that street looks as good as possible," Viele told The Batavian.

He's aware of social media chatter that the fire was an "insurance fire," but it wasn't insured, he said.

"That building was not in good shape," Viele said. "It is adjacent to the railroad tracks. A former owner had taken everything out and people were coming in and taking wires and pipes, anything of value. I intended to take it down, and the building had no insurance on it."

Some years ago, he tried to buy the building, winning it at a tax lien auction for $8,000, but a former city manager felt his purchase of the building was a conflict of interest with Ron's son, Paul Viele, on City Council, so the property went to another buyer.  Then in 2018, it came up for auction again, and he and Dick Borrell teamed up to buy it for $1,800, he said. 

He bought the property with the intention of demolishing the building.

He said he owns about $800,000 worth of property on Swan Street. He wants to protect those investments.

The clean up -- after the fire -- will still cost him at least $40,000.  That may be at least $4,000 cheaper than the demolition would have cost, he said, because there is now less material to haul away.

He noted that electrical and water service had been shut off to the property for some time. 

"It was one of those buildings that could become a money pit," Viele said. "I could put six figures into it.  The return (on investment) wouldn't have been good enough to fix it."

Viele said he needed multiple permits from the city in order to proceed with demolition.  He recently got final approval and was ready to proceed, but the contractor he hired for the job was tied up, so demolition wouldn't have started for at least another two weeks.

That section of the street is zoned industrial, and the parcel is too narrow to build anything new on it because of setbacks required in the current zoning code, so once the building is cleared away, the lot will likely remain vacant.

While most people remember 46 Swan as Backhoe Joe's, it was a tavern for many decades under various names.  Those were once thriving businesses when there was still heavy manufacturing at the Harvester Center and Wiard Plow, but as employees drifted away from those industrial hubs, the bar and restaurant business on Swan Street dried up.

More recently, the building has been attractive to transients, Viele noted. He said just a week ago, he called the police to chase transients out of it, and he had asked Batavia PD to provide extra patrols in the area to keep transients away.  He put a fence around the entire property a few weeks ago to try and keep transients out of the building. 

Viele said a fire chief told him initial indications are that the fire started in the basement.

"Probably what happened was a transient was in there who was trying to keep warm, and something stupid happened," Viele said.

Fire Chief Josh Graham said that is possible, but investigators, which include investigators with Batavia PD, have not yet made a final determination on the cause and origin of the fire.

"No matter what happened, it's not a happy event," Viele said.

Previously:

H.E. Turner receives national Pursuit of Excellence award

By Press Release
steve-and-jack-poe.jpg
Submitted photo of John O. "Jack" Mitchell, NFDA President, and Steven L. Johnson, Partner and Licensed Funeral Director at H.E. Turner. Photo Credit: NFDA.

Press Release:

H.E. Turner & Co., Inc. Funeral Home with locations in Batavia, Bergen, Oakfield, Warsaw, Perry, and Attica was one of only 104 funeral homes from throughout the U.S. and around the world honored with the 2023 National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Pursuit of Excellence Award, placing it among an elite group of funeral service professionals. 

Pursuit of Excellence Award recipients raise the bar on funeral service excellence by adhering to the highest ethical and professional standards and providing unsurpassed service to families and communities.

To earn an NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award, a participating funeral home must meet or exceed business standards set forth by the program and demonstrate proficiency in key areas of funeral service, such as compliance with state and federal regulations; providing ongoing education and professional development opportunities for staff; offering outstanding programs and resources to bereaved families; maintaining an active level of involvement within the community; participating and actively serving in the funeral service profession; and promoting funeral home services through a variety of marketing, advertising and public relations programs. Participants are also required to adhere to a Pledge of Ethical Practices.

“This year’s Pursuit of Excellence honorees are a truly exceptional group. Not only are they serving grieving families with dignity and compassion, but they are finding meaningful ways to support and give back to the community,” said NFDA Director of Public Relations Jessica Koth, who manages the Pursuit of Excellence Award program. 

“The Pursuit of Excellence Work Group was very impressed by this year’s entries and enjoyed reviewing each and every one. The Work Group applauds H.E. Turner & Co, Inc. Funeral Home for their hard work and dedication to providing a superior level of service to families and communities. We are proud to have them as part of our NFDA family.”

“We are extremely proud to have been recognized by NFDA. We work hard every day to provide the very best in funeral service in Western New York and to receive this prestigious award is proof positive that what we’re doing is exceptional. We couldn’t accomplish any of what we do without the support of our amazing team and the communities we serve” said Steven Johnson, a partner and funeral director at H.E. Turner.

More information about the NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award program can be found on the association’s website, www.nfda.org/pursuitofexcellence.

Tompkins Community Bank to take part in 2024 homebuyer program

By Press Release

Press Release:

If buying a home for the first time is a goal for 2024, take note. Tompkins Community Bank recently announced its participation in the 2024 Homebuyer Dream Program (HDP). The program, offered through the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY), provides up to $20,000 in assistance for eligible first-time homebuyers with the purchase of their first home.  

“As a community bank, helping people thrive in the areas that we serve is at the heart of everything we do,” said Stacy Merrill, Vice President, Residential Mortgage Lending Manager. “Purchasing a home is a big personal milestone and one with several benefits, including wealth accumulation and stability. It is our honor to be a part of that process. The Homebuyer Dream Program can help to improve access to homeownership opportunities and remove potential hurdles with down payment & closing cost assistance.”

To apply for the HDP, borrowers must be in good standing with the FHLBNY, be a first-time homebuyer, and have a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income for the county in which the home will be purchased. Additionally, awardees will need to complete a homeownership counseling program. Tompkins is proud to assist our customers as they move through the application process.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit your nearest Tompkins Community Bank and connect with one of our mortgage consultants (www.tompkinsbank.com). Applications are now open through August 30, 2024, or until funds are exhausted. 

Schumer secures $15M for EV charging stations in NYS

By Press Release

Press Release:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer today announced he has secured $15 million in federal funding for New York State to help install new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at over 200 locations across the state.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program, which the senator created in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. Schumer said the project will support the growing demand for electric vehicle use, lower air pollution, and reduce the overall environmental footprint of New York by ensuring residents and visitors throughout the state have easy access to charge EVs during their daily routines and at popular destinations.  

“New York just got a major jolt from the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law to power up brand new electric vehicle charging stations across the entire Empire State. Electric vehicles are booming in popularity, and for this industry to succeed we need to make charging your car as easy and convenient as filling up a gas tank, today’s investment will help us to do just that by bringing more charging stations to where people work and to popular tourist destinations across New York,” said Senator Schumer.

“When I led the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law to passage, it was investments like these — that help boost the state’s economy and improve air quality — that I had in mind. New York, under Governor Hochul’s leadership, is leading the way to build out our nation’s network of EV chargers, supercharging the fight against climate change and getting us on the road to a cleaner future.”

“Reducing transportation emissions and transitioning to electric vehicles is key to meeting our nation-leading climate goals,” Governor Hochul said. “New York State is accelerating access to strategically placed EV infrastructure as we continue to advance clean, healthy transportation options. This funding from the Biden Administration will ensure residents and visitors alike have the latest charging technologies available to suit the needs of all travelers and communities across the state.”

Schumer said the federal funding for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will help support both Level 2 chargers which are suitable for charging over longer periods, and Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC) for quick charging. This federal funding will allow New York State to award grants to communities and projects across New York State on a competitive basis for projects that support Level 2 charging stations at more than 200 locations, including state parks, hotels, additional tourist destinations, state office buildings, and municipal parking lots throughout the state. 

In addition, competitive awards using this federal funding will also help be able to be used for Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC) chargers in up to six small- to medium-sized cities and workforce development initiatives to train New Yorkers to install and maintain charging stations.

Schumer has been a relentless champion for expanding electric vehicles, helping bring production back from overseas, and expanding charging infrastructure for all communities. In the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, that Schumer led to passage, he successfully secured $7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers, including an estimated $175 million over the next 5 years in funding for EV charging stations for New York State. 

New York’s first federally funded rapid charging EV station was installed last month. Earlier this week, Schumer also announced $700,000+ for Oneida County to install new EV charging infrastructure, and $15 million for NYCDOT to build an EV charging depot in the Bronx, from the same grant program funding was awarded today.

Established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Senator Schumer led to passage, the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program (CFI program) $2.5 billion over five years to strategically deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle charging and alternative fueling infrastructure in the places people live and work, in both urban and rural areas, including downtown areas and local neighborhoods, particularly in underserved and disadvantaged communities.

Designed to accelerate the deployment of transformative projects that will help to ensure the reliability of the clean energy infrastructure, this charging infrastructure program will ensure all American communities have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity anytime, anywhere.

Batavia falls to Eastridge in Girls Basketball, 64-40

By Staff Writer
Isabella Walsh trying for possession of ball.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Isabella Walsh fights for possession.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Eastridge proved a tough opponent for the Batavia Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon, taking the game 64-40.

Jamin Macdonald scored 12 points, Isabella Walsh, 10, and Karizwa Wescott, nine.

Liv Green scored 19 for Eastridge.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Jaimin Macdonald led the blue devils with 12 points.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Jaimin Macdonald led the Blue Devils with 12 points.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Violet Lopez shooting from three point range.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Violet Lopez is shooting from three-point range.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Karizma Wescott driving to the hoop.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Karizma Wescott driving to the hoop.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Leilah Manual looking for the rebound.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Leilah Manual looking for the rebound.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Sheriff's Office announces travel advisory for Genesee County

By Press Release

Press release:

In anticipation of the severe weather conditions that are predicted to begin this evening, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Genesee County Highway Department, Emergency Management Services, and the County Manager, is issuing a travel advisory for all of Genesee County effective this evening until further notice. 

Sheriff Sheron encourages residents, “For your safety and the safety of first responders and highway snow removal personnel this weekend, please stay off the roads until conditions improve.”

Motorists are encouraged to avoid all unnecessary travel due to the expected strong winds, heavy snow and sub-zero visibility.  These conditions will undoubtedly create treacherous travel for all motorists. 

During a travel advisory roads are not closed, however, no unnecessary travel is advised. A trip that could wait should not be made until the advisory is lifted.  The Genesee County Sheriff's Office does not determine the necessity for any individual to report to work.

State Police announce travel ban on I-90 into Erie County

By Press Release

Press release:

On Saturday, Jan. 13, a travel ban for Erie County and the I-90 has been issued due to the severe winter weather forecasted to impact Western New York through Sunday.

The driving ban begins on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 9 p.m. Anyone on the road that is not considered emergency personnel will be ticketed in Erie County and the I-90. The ban will be active till Sunday, Jan. 14 at 6 a.m. Depending on the storm on Sunday, the ban may be extended. A travel advisory for the entire area of Western New York remains in effect.

Additionally, there is a ban on Trucks/tractor trailer traffic on the I-90 from Exit 46 in the Rochester/Henrietta to the Pennsylvania border.

The Buffalo Bills game has been rescheduled to Monday, Jan. 15 at 4:30 p.m.

Troopers will be out checking all major routes of travel to ensure that motorists are as safe as possible and working with local Emergency Operations Centers as needed.  The State Police need your assistance to make this possible.  Motorists traveling in areas impacted by the snow and ice are asked to leave with extra time to make a slow and careful drive to your destination. Consider the snow accumulation on the roads, the current snowfall rate, the wind, and visibility.  Use your best judgment to determine if driving is prudent.  

Keep the following tips in mind:

•    Get the latest weather forecast before leaving with your local weather apps, monitor radio or TV stations.
•    Always clean your windows and mirrors FULLY of any snow and ice before driving.
•    Keep a full tank of gas
•    Fluid levels are sufficient ( windshield washer fluid, ant-freeze)
•    Spare tire is sufficient and you have the jack and wheel wrench
•    Use headlights at all times to increase your visibility to others.  Remember, if your windshield wipers are in use due to weather, then your headlights must be on.
•    Drive prudently.  If the conditions are adverse, you should decrease your speed accordingly.
•    Brake early 
•    Do NOT use cruise control.  This decreases your reaction time to apply braking.
•    Look out for events farther down the road.  Creating more time to react can make a difference.
•    Be aware of maintenance vehicles and emergency vehicles.  Give them room to work. 
•    If you do not absolutely have to go out on the roads, then don’t.

If you do go out, is your vehicle prepared?

Is your trunk supplied to help you to be safe in case you are stopped or stranded in an area without assistance readily available:

  • Gloves, blankets, warmers, tool kit, first-aid kit, non-perishable foods, water, working flashlight and batteries, cell phone charger, etc
  • Shovel, ice scraper, de-icer, snow brush, rock salt or cat litter, tow chain or cable, jumper cables or battery charger, etc.

If you are involved in a collision or leave the roadway:

  • If you drive off the roadway and are stuck in a snow bank or ditch, stay in your vehicle and call 911.  DO NOT exit your vehicle unless it is an absolute emergency.  You put yourself at risk of being struck by another vehicle.
  • Roll your windows down a few inches or turn your vehicle off if you are stranded in snow for a period of time with your vehicle running. Covered mufflers can cause serious physical injury or death due to inhalation of carbon monoxide.
  • If you should become stranded on the Thruway or any Roadway, know your location by being aware of your direction and mile post marker.  This will help emergency personnel reach your location as quickly as possible.  

The Thruway Authority provides a wide variety of information for travelers, including current traffic conditions, accidents, and lane closures.  Visit www.thruway.ny.gov for more information.  

Slow down.  Be prepared.  Be safe.  

Elba tops Pembroke in Girls Basketball

By Staff Writer
elba pembroke basketball

Elba beat Pembroke 54-46 on Friday in Girls Basketball.

Sydney Reilly scored 16 points for the Lancers. She also has seven assists. Lydia Ross scored 14 points, and Mariah Ognibene scored 12 points. Ognibene also had 11 rebounds for a double-double.

Jayden Hootman scored 12 points for the Dragons.  Elle Peterson scored eight.

Also, in Girls basketball on Friday, Notre Dame, for the second consecutive game, won in OT, beating Kendall 32-28. Sofia Falleti scored 13 points with nine rebounds. Emma Sisson scored seven and had six rebounds. Nina Barts scored six points and nabbed nine rebounds.

In Boys Basketball, Le Roy beat Warsaw, 76-48. Merritt Holly had another big game, getting a double-double with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Jean Agosto scored 20 points and had seven rebounds. Le Roy is now 9-2 and riding a five-game win streak.

Photos by Debra Reilly.

elba pembroke basketball
elba pembroke basketball
elba pembroke basketball

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TAKE NOTICE THAT The Town of Elba is requesting Bids for the 2024 Cemetery Mowing season, with extra clean-up and trimming of trees/bushes. This will include three (3) cemeteries, Pine Hill Cemetery on Chapel Street, Maple Lawn Cemetery on Maple Avenue and Springvale Cemetery on Edgerton Road. Bids are for a 1-year contract and the successful bidder must provide their own $500,000.00 Liability Insurance certificate. A complete list of specifications/properties can be obtained by contacting the Town Clerk’s Office at (585)757-2762, ext. 10. Sealed bids should be clearly marked “Elba Cemetery Mowing Bids” and submitted no later than 4:00 p.m., Thursday, March 7, 2024 at the Town Clerk’s Office, 7133 Oak Orchard Road, Elba, NY 14058. Bids will be opened at 1:00 p.m. at the Town of Elba Town Hall on Monday, March 11, 2024. The Town Board reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids that do not comply with their specifications. By Order of the Town Board, Trisha Werth Town Clerk
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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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