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BPD participating in Polar Plunge for Special Olympics, fundraising goal of $1k

By Press Release

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Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department has accepted the challenge to support Special Olympics New York by participating in the Polar Plunge located at John Kennedy Intermediate on Feb. 10, and has set a goal to raise at least $1,000!

Children and adults with intellectual differences that participate in Special Olympics New York pledge an oath, "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt". Today, the oath has never been truer, and Special Olympics New York athletes need our help!

How can you help? Please take a moment to visit our personal fundraising page and make a donation to help us reach our fundraising goal!

Your donation will help Special Olympics New York continue to provide year-round sports training, athletic competition and healthy living programs. Giving every athlete to experience physical fitness, learn to be courageous, experience joy and meet new friends with Special Olympics New York athletes.

Thank you for considering a donation to this fundraiser! We will continue to update our progress to reaching our fundraising goal and we appreciate the support!

Be on the lookout for our School Resource Officers, Officer Borchert and Officer Stevens on February 10th participating in this event!

If you wish to donate or register yourself to join our team and participate (Batavia Blue Devils), you can click this link. http://events.nyso.org/goto/BataviaPoliceDepartment

Thank you for your support!

Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation opens winter funding cycle

By Press Release

Press release:

The board of directors of the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is excited to announce the re-opening of their Community Youth Grant for the Winter 2023 Cycle.  This grant will be awarded to charitable organizations whose primary mission is to facilitate youth activities for children up to age 18. It supports one of three mission priorities established by the foundation--”to assist youth organizations and youth athletics.”  The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation Community Youth Grants will be awarded based on the schedule below.

Winter 2023 Funding Cycle:

  • Application Form Available on Feb. 1 (Online Only)
  • Applications are due: Feb. 22
  • Award notices will be sent to applicants: March 22

On Feb. 1, the online grant application will be available at:  https://michaelshope.org/grants. There are no geographic limitations for recipients, but preference may be given to the Western New York region. Requests for event or program advertising will be directed to the appropriate grant cycle  Organizations may receive one grant annually, and there are two grant cycles per year (Winter and Summer/Fall).  Typical grant awards range from $250 - $1,500, depending on the number of applicants and funds available for each cycle. 

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, Inc., established in 2007, is in memory of Michael C. Napoleone, the eight-year-old son of Mark and Laurie Napoleone from Batavia, who died from Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer. During Michael's illness, the community rallied around the family to assist with food, gas, medical bills and other necessities. The not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization was created to give back to those who cared, to give forward to those in need, and to support research efforts in finding a cure for childhood cancer.  For more information to support the foundation, please visit  www.michaelshope.org.

GOP in Byron seeking candidates for November election

By Press Release

Press release:

The Town of Byron Republican committee is seeking registered party members that are interested in becoming selected as endorsed Republican candidates for the following offices in Nov. 7 General Election:

  • Town Supervisor
  • Town Highway Superintendent
  • Town Councilman – 2 positions
  • Member of Republican Committee

Those interested, send s letter of interest by Feb. 9 to Jim Northup. Email: jimmynorthup@yahoo.com or call Jim Northup, committee chairman (585) 409-4327 or Steve Hohn, vice chairman, (585) 703-5528

 

Weather advisory issued for Wednesday

By Howard B. Owens

A winter weather advisory has been issued for Wednesday, starting at 7 a.m. and lasting until 10 p.m.

The National Weather Service anticipates mixed precipitation, changing to mainly light rain by Wednesday evening. 

Total snow accumulation could be 2 to 4 inches.

Wind gusts of 30 mph expected.

Travelers are advised of potentially slippery road conditions.

 

 

Batavia Downs kicked off WNY Racing Series Monday

By Tim Bojarski

Press release:

On Monday (Jan. 23), Batavia Downs began a four-week Pop-Up Racing Series for Western New York-based Trackmaster pacers and trotters with preliminary leg classes going for between $6,000 and $9,000 each (depending on class). Monday saw 10 series races go postward and these events provided some very competitive racing.

The best pacing effort of the day was turned in by Sportskeeper (Jim Morrill Jr.) who went gate to wire in the $9,000 Trackmaster 78 class.

Morrill left from post five with Sportskeeper and grabbed the lead before the :27.4 quarter. Then once he settled on the point, the pair dominated the field. Operating with a gapped advantage, Sportskeeper went :56.2 to the half and 1:25.1 to three-quarters with only Pet Sur-rock (Kyle Cummings) staying remotely close. When he turned for home, Sportskeeper was clear, under a line drive from Morrill and willingly paced away to a 2-1/2 length decision in 1:55.2.

It was the second straight win for Sportskeeper ($3.70) at Batavia and the purse pushed his lifetime earnings over the $600,000 mark, as he now boasts $603,847 in bank. The classy 11-year-old gelded son of Sportswriter-Keeper Flying is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Sammy Smith.

The top trot came in the $9,000 Trackmaster 77 leg where Sanchez Rocks (Kyle Cummings) made a move past the half pay off with an impressive victory.

Pilgrim Caviar (Shawn Gray) led early and tripped the timer in a quick :28.4 before heading into turn two. But at the same time, Good Boy (Ray Fisher Jr.) brushed and crushed to the front and completed the first circuit in :59.4. It was at that point that Sanchez Rocks vacated the pylons from fourth and started trotting up a storm. Sanchez Rocks drew even with Good Boy on the backside, cleared at three-quarters and then extended his lead with every stride from there. By the top of the stretch, he was long gone and trotted home under no urging at all to win by 2-3/4 lengths in 2:00.2.

Sanchez Rocks ($5.80) is owned by Marie Houghtaling and trained by Ron Houghtaling.

The finals for the Pop-Up series races will be held on Monday (Feb. 20) and offer purses ranging from $12,000 to $18,000. Consolation races will also be offered and will go for $7,000 to $10,000 each. Spots in both will be secured by the top money earners in each Trackmaster category.

Jim Morrill Jr. and Keith Kash Jr. both had driving hat tricks on Monday, while trainers Joe Skowyra and Andy Torre scored two wins apiece.

Morrill is now only four wins away from 8,000 career victories, a number he should hit within the next week at Batavia. 

There will be two carryovers and a guaranteed pool when live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Thursday (Jan. 26) at 3 p.m. First, there is a $4,741 carryover in the Pick-5 (which starts in race one), and Batavia Downs has announced that pool will have a $10,000 guarantee through the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. Complete program pages for those five races will be available on the USTA’s website under the “Handicapping” tab. Then later in the card there is a growing carryover of $1,322 in the Jackpot Super Hi-5 pentafecta, which will be available in the 11th race.

Free full card past performance forms for the entire card of live racing at Batavia can always be downloaded at the Downs’ website (bataviadownsgaming.com) under the “Live Racing'' tab and all the racing action can be viewed as it happens at the Batavia Downs Live Facebook page. 

City leaders face a tax cap override or 'significant cuts' to 2023-24 budget

By Joanne Beck

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City Council has a choice for this year’s budget: vote to override the state-mandated tax cap or prepare to tighten the belt for significant cuts and make ends meet.

That may sound like an ultimatum, but it’s how this year’s 2023-24 budget is panning out so far, City Manager Rachael Tabelski says. She gave a budget presentation to council during Monday’s conference session at City Hall.

Healthcare, inflation, diesel fuel, employee salary and retirement costs are all on the rise, and the tax cap allows a levy increase of $154,000 when what’s needed is $450,000, Tabelski said.

Councilman Bob Bialkowski faced the elephant in the room and asked what happens if the group votes not to override the tax cap, “we raise property taxes?” Or make cuts, Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said.

Yes, more likely it would be the latter, Tabelski said: “That would mean significant cuts,” she said to The Batavian after the meeting.

“The tax cap is an arbitrary formula given by the state. You know, the only thought this year was that we can raise this revenue and continue the level of services that have expanded slightly in the last year or so. We have a full-time parking and recycling officer, a full-time ordinance officer, another firefighter that was contractually obligated through a contract signed before I was here,” she said. “To cover those costs, plus health care's up $457,000, retirement costs are up $300,000 … I would say this is this year's request, that the city would do everything in its power to maintain under the tax cap in the future.”

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That means that, hopefully, this won’t be a recurring ask, she said. City Council would have to approve the measure by at least a 60 percent yes vote.

Can department heads dig deeper and reduce their budget requests?
“This is the bare bones budget. We've already gone through that process of every department, and they present to me, obviously, what they'd like to see in the budget, and then we cut that back significantly to get to this point,” she said. “This is to maintain the level of employees we have at fair wages and to make sure we can pay social security and health care for those employees. Those are the main drivers, plus the inflationary prices of gas, electric, diesel, fuel, and supplies and materials. So they've already done their value engineering, as we call it. But again, council has budget work sessions that go right through, line by line, each expense and discuss it. And there certainly could be changes that come from that.”

Council members will be going through the budget during the next several weeks to ask questions, make suggestions, and see where other cuts might be made. The one area where Tabelski does not recommend taking from is the unassigned fund balance. That fund is best used as a savings account for future use.

She shared that the fund has grown a bit from an overdue payment from Seneca Power Partners, which had been in arrears with its taxes.

“I will say that we had a payment from Seneca Power of penalties and interest on the tax payments. So my hope is that will really help our unassigned fund balance when we get to the end of the audit year in August,” she said. “But when I do the budget, I don't know that number. I have no way to project what that number is until we get into the audit after the budget books close.”

Other parts of the budget include an extra $275,000 “to reserve funds to prepare to bond for the police facility,” she said.

“So right now, we're putting money into reserves, like our savings, so that we're able to bond when the time comes with the hopes of not having to raise property taxes, and being able to do it within those reserve funds we're putting away right now,” she said. “Kind of like when your car payment rolls off, and you put it into your savings account, and then you lease or buy a new car. You can then use that money in your savings account to pay that new car payment.”

Despite the ominous term of "override the tax cap," the actual tax rate would remain the same, Tabelski said. That would be $8.94 per $1,000 assessed value. She is proposing to raise the water rate by 30 cents. 

Council members will be discussing the budget this month and into February before a public hearing on Feb. 27.

Top Photo: City Manager Rachael Tabelski gives an overview of the past year and 2023-24 budget during City Council's conference session Monday at City Hall; shown with department heads nearby, who have already submitted their "bare bones" budgets for consideration. Photos by Howard Owens.

BCSD board extends superintendent contract to 2027

By Press Release

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Press Release:

At a meeting on Monday, the Batavia City School District’s Board of Education unanimously approved an amendment to extend Superintendent Jason Smith’s contract through June 2027.

“After a stellar first year leading the Batavia City School District, the Board of Education is thrilled to offer Superintendent Jason Smith a contract extension that will keep him in our District through June 2027, with the option to extend,” said Board of Education President John Marucci. “Consistency, goal setting, long-term planning, and execution are key components to any successful school district, and we’re proud of Jason’s commitment to seeing his vision for Batavia through.”

In exchange for Smith’s long-term commitment to serve the Batavia City School District, the Board granted Smith non-salary benefits, including a $3,000 per year stipend increase should he elect not to enroll in the District’s health insurance plan, a $2,000 per year increase of his 403(b) retirement contribution, as well as compensation for unused vacation and sick days, which will only be received upon his retirement from the District.

“Batavia is my home. Having walked our halls from first grade through senior year, our District has always held a special place in my heart,” said Superintendent Jason Smith. “It was the honor of my career to be offered the position of superintendent here, and I look forward to working with our students, staff, and community to achieve our shared vision of success for years to come. I thank the Board of Education for their trust in me, and I’m proud to see everyone in our educational community coming together for the good of our District. It continues to be a personal and professional honor to serve the Batavia community, families, staff, and students.” 

“The Board of Education, along with the BCSD leadership team, have made a commitment to our District’s vision and strategic plan,” said Board of Education Vice President John Reigle. “The high bar that we’ve set for this District can only be achieved through consistent leadership. I applaud my fellow Board members' commitment to this vision in approving Jason’s contract extension.”    

All terms (with the exception of the health insurance opt-out stipend) of Superintendent Jason Smith’s contract amendment will take effect on July 1, 2023. All other terms and conditions of the agreement remain unchanged, including the option for both the Board of Education and Jason Smith to extend the contract on an annual basis beyond June 2027.

Corfu woman sentenced by federal judge in African orphanage fraud scheme

By Howard B. Owens

A Corfu woman will serve a year of federal probation after admitting to knowingly participating in a fraud scheme perpetrated by an Internet contact who claimed to represent an orphanage in Africa.

Julie Keller, 57, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, was contacted by an "Eric Holder" in December 2014, who claimed to be raising money for an orphanage in Africa. 

Starting in July 2015 and until September 2020, Keller received money from numerous people who thought they were contributing to the orphanage project.

Keller raised $182,730.76 from the victims.

She deposited the money in bank accounts that she owned and controlled at First Niagara Bank, M&T Bank, KeyBank, and Bank of America before dispersing funds to other banks outside the United States.

During the course of the scheme, each of the banks closed Keller’s accounts, advising her that the accounts were closed due to suspicious and fraudulent activity.

Even though Keller realized during the course of the scheme that she was receiving funds from donors under false pretenses, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, she "consciously avoided learning the truth, and continued to deposit funds into her accounts from victims."

It's unclear from the U.S. Attorney's Office statement if Keller kept any of the funds for her own personal gain.

She was ordered to pay restitution of $162,853.59 by U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr.

New coach for Batavia Varsity Football: Alex Veltz takes to the field

By Press Release

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Press Release:

The Batavia School District Board of Education officially approved, upon recommendation from Superintendent Jason Smith and Athletic Director Michael Bromley, the appointment of Alex Veltz as Head Coach of the Batavia High School Varsity Football program. 

Veltz is a Batavia High School graduate (Class of 2005) and a member of the 2003 and 2004 Varsity Football teams. In 2018, he returned to BCSD as a social studies teacher at Batavia High School. 

He joined the Batavia Football program coaching staff in 2012 and 2013 as a defensive coordinator for the JV team, then returned in 2019 as the JV offensive coordinator and moved to the Varsity program in 2021 as the offensive coordinator. 

“I’ve always wanted to be a head coach,” said Alex Veltz. “I hold this program near and dear to my heart—I went to school here, I played here, and I’m proud of our achievements. I look forward to building on the success Coach Brennan Briggs, my former teammate, started, and I’m eager to continue to grow this program. I want to thank Mr. Smith, Mr. Bromley, and my family for their support and faith in my vision for this team.”

“I’ve had my eye on Alex Veltz as a standout coach from the moment he came back to our football program five years ago,” said Athletic Director Michael Bromley. “The secret to Batavia’s continued success is hiring Batavia alumni. Like those alums before him, Alex has a special passion for Batavia as a former student, player, and now teacher and coach. I know no one will outwork or outcoach Alex, and I can’t wait to see everything he’s going to do with this program.” 

“Alex Veltz is a Blue Devil through and through,” said Superintendent Jason Smith. “He is committed to continuing the success our football program has already achieved while also holding out student-athletes to a very high standard both on and off the field. I speak for all of BCSD to say we can’t wait for the next football season!”

Photo of Alex with his son Charlie.

Corfu Fire makes up for lost time, names top firefighters for past three years

By Howard B. Owens

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After missing installation dinners for two years because of COVID-19, the Corfu Volunteer Fire Department caught up on its annual awards on Saturday night, honoring top firefighters for 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Bruce Fauth, pictured above with Dean Eck and Greg Lang, was recognized for his 50 years of service and named Firefighter of the Year for 2020.

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Jim Hale, with Assemblyman Steve Hawley, was recognized as a top responder.

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Megan Stiles was named Firefighter of the Year for 2021.

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Brian Schollard was named Firefighter of the Year for 2022.

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Don Newton, chief of East Pembroke, was named an honorary member of the Corfu department for his hard work and service to the community.

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Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yaeger administered the Oath of Office for the 2023 officers. Greg Lang, chief, Dean Eck, deputy chief, Dan Smith, assistant chief, Tyler Lang and Jim Hale, captains, Megan Stiles and J.T. McCarthy, lieutenants, Dillon Hale, first aid captain, Krista Bellassai, first aid lieutenant, Rob McNally, fire police captain, Matt Lenhard, fire police lieutenant, Justin Rodland, safety officer.  The board for 2023 is Dillon Hale, president, Jacob Stiles, vice president, Jennifer Eck, treasurer, Paula Trapani, secretary, Jayden Eck, sergeant at arms, and trustees, Josh McMartin, Megan Stiles, and Matt Lendard.

Suspect in Elm Street shooting maintains his innocence, rejects plea offer, wants trial

By Howard B. Owens
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Jeremy Ives

Jeremy G. Ives, accused of firing a shotgun and injuring two people on Elm Street last August, maintains his innocence, said his attorney, Joseph Lobosco, after a hearing where Ives rejected a plea offer from the District Attorney's Office.

ADA Will Zickl said under the terms of the offer, the counts against Ives would be reduced to a single count of attempted assault in the first degree, a Class C violent felony.  Ives, who has a prior DWI conviction, would admit to the charge as a second-felony offender.

He would have been facing a possible sentence of five to 15 years.

In September, a grand jury indicted Ives on counts of attempted assault in the first degree, a Class C violent felony, kidnapping in the second degree, a Class B violent felony, criminal use of a firearm in the first degree, a Class B violent felony, two counts of criminal use of a firearm in the second degree, a Class C violent felony, and menacing in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor.

If convicted at trial, Ives faces a sentence of nine to 25 years in prison.

Today was the plea cutoff date, the date a defendant can accept a negotiated plea offer. In Genesee County, when a defendant rejects a plea offer on the cutoff day, the case is scheduled to go to trial, and the defendant is unlikely to get a second chance to accept the offer.

Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini scheduled jury selection to start March 20, with a week-long trial expected.

She will hear pre-trial motions on Feb. 15.

The trial was originally scheduled to start two weeks earlier, but the DA requested a DNA sample from Ives, which he provided.

Citing the likely delay while the attorneys await lab results and the subsequent investigation of those results, Lobosco petitioned the court to reduce his client's bail.  It's currently $100,000 cash, $200,000 bond, or $500,000 partially secured bond.

He said that the trial is likely to be delayed further because once the DA's office receives the DNA results, the defense has 30 days to have a DNA expert review the report, and if that expert disagrees with the findings of the people's expert, the DA has 30 days to review those findings, meaning the trial could be pushed back, up to 60 days more.

Zickl opposed modifying the securing order since a two-week delay is minimal.  

Cianfrini denied the motion, but "without prejudice," meaning if it looks like the DNA results report could lead to further delays in the trial, Lobosco can make a new petition to the court for a bail reduction.

ReAwaken organizers, host fight back on what they call 'intimidation,' 'libel,' from AG

By Joanne Beck

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Five months after the much-debated and narrowly criticized — mostly by local church groups — ReAwaken Tour hit Batavia, the event still haunts organizers in the form of a letter sent by the state attorney general last August.

After an attempt to obtain a retraction from Letitia James in October, event organizers Clay Clark and Paul Doyle, pastor of Cornerstone Church in Batavia, took legal action and filed a lawsuit against the top law enforcement officer on Jan. 20.

“Mr. Clay Clark and I obtained an attorney and filed a Federal complaint to Attorney General Letitia James in October 2022 giving her an opportunity to make a public retraction of her statements made in the letter sent to us, as they were not founded upon truth or evidence, but rather theoretical discourse, and were issued with ill intent to cause fear, intimidation and harm to Clay Clark, Cornerstone Church and myself,” Doyle told to The Batavian. “Her job is to protect The People of New York, not vilify, entrap, or create false propaganda to inhibit our pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.”

He was unable to speak further at the time but has said he will do so at some point. Meanwhile, The Batavian has obtained a copy of the letter and lawsuit, filed solely against James for her August letter pursuant to the New York State Human Rights Law, New York City Human Rights Law, and New York State Civil Rights Law for “negligence, defamation, libel, and discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, and political affiliation.”

Plaintiffs include Paul Doyle, senior pastor at Cornerstone Church, 8020 Bank Street Road, Batavia, and Clay Clark, coordinator and organizer of the Reawaken America Tour, Oklahoma.

“Specifically, plaintiff alleges that the Defendants negligently, wantonly, recklessly, intentionally, and knowingly sought to and did deprive them of their constitutional and civil rights, pursuant to the above-named statutes and causes of action by committing acts to deprive Plaintiffs of rights secured by the Constitution of the United States and the State of New York,” the suit states. “Further, Defendant James negligently, wantonly, recklessly, intentionally, and knowingly published multiple false statements to multiple media outlets to mar the reputations of Pastor Doyle and Clay Clark, to provoke objectionable opinions in the minds of members of the community to expose plaintiffs to hatred, contempt, and aversion.”

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The Tour had originally been scheduled for a venue in Rochester last summer, but as controversy and protests grew louder, it was canceled. Doyle then agreed to host the event at his church campus on Bank Street Road, which drew similar protests, fear and claims of violence related to white supremacists. About two weeks before the event occurred, James stepped in and sent a letter that began by introducing herself as “New York’s top law enforcement officer.” It was addressed to General Michael Flynn and Clay Clark, and copied to Cornerstone Church.

“I have significant concerns that the ReAwaken America Tour’s upcoming event at the Cornerstone Church … could spur extremist or racially motivated violence,” James said. “These concerns center around the event’s proposed dates, which coincide with the five-year anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and past extremist statements made by yourselves and the other featured speakers on the tour.”

The letter can be considered nothing less than “an attempt to covertly intimidate and threaten the plaintiffs into shutting down the event,” the suit states. James makes numerous statements that are “facially incorrect, libelous, and covertly threatening towards both Plaintiffs. Her actions are politically motivated and the concerns Ms. James relays in her letter are a cloak for her passive threats to prosecute plaintiff Doyle, Clark, and others associated with the event strictly for their political views,” it states.

Her letter was not the only tool for either dissuading the event from happening or expressing strong concern about it. Local church and nonprofit groups formed a coalition to protest, speak out, carry signs and hold a vigil in efforts to lessen the strength of what they perceived to be a dangerous event about to take place. Their concerns overlapped with those of James, including racism, white supremacy, violence, discrimination, and an overall violation of civil rights.

James’ letter continued on to remind the organizers that New York law prohibits “racially motivated violence, harassment, or interference with another person in the exercise of their civil rights,” and that Civil Rights Law 79-n empowers her office to investigate acts of violence, intimidation, threats, or harassment directed at people based on a belief or perception regarding an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious, practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

“In addition to actual damages,” she continues, “any person who violates this statute can be held liable for $5,000 in penalties for each violation.”

The lawsuit also alleges that James’ “reckless threats” to prosecute the plaintiffs along with her inferences towards racial discrimination and fraud associated with the church and the event were publicized in numerous media outlets and which have injured Pastor Doyle’s reputation, that of his church, and the reputation of Mr. Clark as well.

“As a result, Pastor Paul and Cornerstone Church now have a smear against their names which has created a suspicious taint on the relationships they have worked diligently to develop,” it states. “Yet, despite its years of sacrifice and service to the community and its youth, Ms. James decided to forego any reasonable inquiry into the church to verify her alleged concerns, as required of her as the top law enforcement officer.”

Item #55 cites the Supreme Court, “that speech critical of the exercise of the State's power lies at the very center of the First Amendment,” and as a result, "a section 1983 claim will lie where the government takes negative action against an individual because of his exercise of rights guaranteed" by the First Amendment.

“The plaintiff in this action has an undeniable right to associate and speak freely in accordance (with) the First Amendment,” it states. “The letter sent by the Defendant was meant to intimidate and harass the Plaintiffs into not exercising these rights through government coercion and veiled threats of investigation and prosecution into Pastor Paul and Cornerstone Church, Clay Clark, and the ReAwaken America Tour.”

The organizers, via the lawsuit, accuse James for taking actions that “constitute a blatant abuse of authority” that’s been granted to her by the state.

The Attorney General's Office did not immediately respond to The Batavian with comment.

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Top File Photo: Pastor Mark Burns prays for Attorney General Letitia James after she sent a letter warning organizers about hosting the tour in Batavia; General Michael Flynn offers a message during the two-day event; Pastors Lee and Paul Doyle talk to the crowd under the tent alongside Cornerstone Church in August 2022. Photos by Howard Owens.

Accident reported on the Thruway in Batavia

By Howard B. Owens

A motor vehicle accident is reported on the Thruway with injuries at mile maker 393 in the eastbound lane.

Town of Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched. 

UPDATE 3:44 p.m.: One lane blocked. One patient with a possible leg injury.

Photos: Batavia Ski Team competes at Wheels Run at Swain

By Steve Ognibene

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Batavia's Alpine Ski Team competed at Wheels Run at Swain over the weekend, with two girls team members notching five-place finishes.

On a cloudy day with no wind and temperatures just above freezing, Lily Wagner had the best individual results, finishing 17th in the afternoon slalom.

 

To view race photos, click here. To view team photos, click here. Photos by Steve Ognibene. Top photo: Ethan Bradley

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Lily Wagner

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Gunner Pietrzykowski

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Ben Stone

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Abby Bestine

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Quinn Woeller

Photo: Winter scene behind the courthouse

By Howard B. Owens

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It was a white world in Batavia this morning, with snow still clinging to tree branches, piled on the ground and nearly white, overcast skies, including along the Tonawanda Creek behind the County Courthouse.

Le Roy investigating fire at Lapp Insulator

By Howard B. Owens

A partition fire was reported at Lapp Insulator on Gilbert Street in Le Roy, and though the fire is believed to be out, firefighters are detecting heat on the roof.

Le Roy Fire on scene.

Byron and Bergen requested to the scene.

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: Firefighters believe the fire to be out.

Free program to improve body and mind offered this week at OFA in Batavia

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will offer a free event Tuesday in Batavia about how healthy habits can improve both the body and the mind.

“Healthy Living for Your Body and Brain” will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday at the Genesee County Office for the Aging at 2 Bank St. in Batavia. The program will cover four areas of lifestyle habits that are associated with healthy aging: cognitive activity, exercise, diet and nutrition, and social engagement.

Participants will learn, based on current research, the steps they can take now to improve or maintain overall health in each area and use hands-on tools to help incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging.

Registration is recommended and can be done online HERE or by calling 800-272-3900.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, call the 24/7 Alzheimer’s Association Helpline at 800.272.3900 or visit alz.org.

Busmire notches 300 game; Foss posts 801

By Mike Pettinella

Harris Busmire of Bergen picked up another honor score this week when he posted a 300 game at his hometown Rose Garden Bowl.

The 58-year-old right-hander turned an otherwise pedestrian night into one to remember when he finished with the perfect game on lanes 7-8 in the Wednesday Men's Handicap League. His other games were 233 and 166.

On Dec. 15, Busmire posted an 813 series in the Thursday Owls League at Rose Garden Bowl.

At Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Curtis Foss of Medina registered his fourth 800 series in the Genesee Region USBC this season -- spinning 268-258-275--801 in the Sneezy's Monday Night League.

At Medina Lanes, Scott Allis of Medina fired a pair of 279 games in a 791 series in the Sunday Rolloffs League -- four days after a 277--772 in the Wednesday Community League.

At Mancuso Bowling Center, Gary MacDonald of Batavia rolled a 297 game in the County Line Stone Friday Trios League.

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

Alexander FD to host Valentine's Dinner and Dance featuring Red Creek on Feb. 18

By Press Release

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Press release:

The Alexander Fire Department is again hosting its Annual Valentine's Steak Dinner and Dance on Saturday, Feb. 18. at the Alexander Fire Hall, 101505  Main St., Alexander.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with dinner at 7:00 p.m. 

Music by our favorite local band Red Creek! 

Tickets are $30/single and $50/couple.  Each ticket includes two bar drink tickets. A cash bar is available.  Advanced tickets only by calling Heidi at 585-813-6598.

File photo by Philip Casper

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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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