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Batavia Boys improve to 8-2 with 88-39 win vs.Greece Olympia

By Howard B. Owens


Five of Batavia's players hit double-digits in scoring as the Blue Devils beat Greece Olympia 88-39 on Friday.

Carter McFollins scored 16 points, Carter Mullen 14, Sawyer Siverling 13, Ja'vin McFollins 12, and Aiden Bellavia 11. Adding on, Rashaad Christie scored eight points and Mike McKenzie scored six.

Batavia improves to 8-2 on the season.

Also, in Boys Basketball on Friday:

In Girls Basketball:

  • Elba beat Kendall, 47-12. Sydney Reilly scored 17 points and had 12 rebounds. Haille Scouten scored five points and had 15 rebounds, Kennedy Augello scored nine points and had four assists.
  • Notre Dame beat Alexander, 48-28. Amelia McCulley scored 26 points. 
  • Byron-Bergen beat Attica, 52-25
  • Oakfield-Alabama beat Lyndonville, 49-40
  • Arcadia beat Batavia 44-34
  • Geneseo beat Le Roy, 50-37
  • Wheatland beat Pembroke, 38-36

Blue Devils' next game is away at Livonia High School Tuesday, at 7 p.m.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene






Installation of the first cell brings vision to life of new county jail

By Joanne Beck


With a choice of building from scratch from the ground up or using prefabricated units, county management is confident that the right choice was made for the new jail facility on West Main Street Road in Batavia.

The first jail cell was delivered to the site Wednesday and installed on Friday. It will be one of about 100 such cells to be slowly and carefully transported by flatbed truck, an effort that Assistant County Engineer Laura Wadhams believes is well worth it.


“These units come to us completely finished on the inside, and once set into place, will be bolted together, and all of the electrical, HVAC and plumbing already installed will be connected to the rest of the building,” Wadhams said to The Batavian Thursday. “This is a cost-effective way of constructing these cells, as the other option would be to construct the cells out of (concrete masonry unit) block, which, as you could imagine, would be a very labor-intensive process.”

General contractor LeChase Construction Services has subcontracted with PennStress, a precast cell manufacturer that installs the remade cell units all over the eastern side of the country, she said.

“We do get a good product this way as well since these are manufactured in a factory with a rigorous quality control process,” she said.


The cell was installed at the facility with a crane on Friday, overseen by the construction company, workers, County Manager Matt Landers and Sheriff William Sheron. There’s a long way to go, Landers said, but this is “just one more step in the process.”

“It’s a milestone to mark the setting, it’s a good step in the process,” he said. “But it’s just one step along the way.”

Likening the building process akin to how Legos snap into place with one another, the prefabricated units are very secure, Sheron said. He has enjoyed observing the vision coming to life.

“It’s exciting, to go from the plans on paper to actually see things coming out of the ground,” he said. “It’s all coming together now that we can actually picture it.”

That picture includes a 184-bed facility to house men and women inmates. With a price tag of $70 million, it’s not something that Landers wants to do again in a long time, he said.


“Certainly, it is a milestone, we don’t plan on building out our jail for hopefully 100 years, which is why we’re trying to get it right this time, and building a jail as appropriate for our community for the next 100 years,” Landers said. “So I think we’ve done a good job of that … and it’s been a great process working with the sheriff and seeing where we are today.”

The plan is to get a substantial amount completed by the first quarter of next year, and to begin moving inmates in around June or July, Sheron said. It will then join the majority of other jails in New York State that house female inmates, and by keeping those inmates more locally to their homes, their families will be able to visit them more frequently and remain connected, he said.

“It’s a matter of the county manager, the county Legislature, all of us coming together and recognizing that we are well overdue. I would say that we’re working at a facility that was built in 1902. That was built at that time to take care of the population that they had then. And things have changed tremendously since then,” Sheron said. “I know it’s a substantial cost, but it’s one of those necessary evils. Unfortunately, in society, we have individuals that can get the following rules and regulations and laws. And I think it’s extremely important that we have a location to put those individuals that is not only safe for them but also safe for the officers that are involved with it.”









Top Photo of a prefabricated jail cell being lifted over to its designated place during the install phase on Friday; photos of the cell's interior, a crane lifting the container, Sheriff William Sheron, left, on scene, workers getting the cell into proper place, and relaxing after a job well done. Photos by Howard Owens.

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Developers say Pembroke location ideally suited for planned $142 million distribution center

By Howard B. Owens


The developers of a planned 100-acre distribution center are confident they've selected a unique and ideal location for such a facility -- halfway between Rochester and Buffalo along a stretch of Thruway with few other appropriately zoned sites.

"I think we all know why this is a great site for this particular use," Buffalo-based attorney Sean Hopkins said to the Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday evening. "I was actually looking at the county IDA (Industrial Development Agency/GCEDC) website. I believe what it says is this is well within a one-day drive for a tractor-trailer (to an area) of 2.8 million people, and we were obviously right on the Thruway. It's an excellent location. If you look in the Rochester market, you look in the Buffalo market -- there is a shortage of this type of use."

The location is on Route 77, across from the Flying-J, close to the 48-A Thruway Interchange.

Horizon Acres Associations of Spring Valley is the lead applicant. Geis Companies, of Ohio, is the developer. Metzger Civil Engineering presented the application for a Site Plan Review to the board.

After the presentation, the board recommended approval with modifications of required permits from the state Department of Transportation, that the applicants receive comments on the application from the Pembroke Fire Department, and that the site complies with 9-1-1 address requirements.

Geis currently has no tenants committed to any of the six buildings planned for the property but at build-out, within an estimated five years, the various warehouses should employ at least 400 people.

"This would be flex industrial buildings designed to attract potentially different-sized tenants," said Michael Metzger (on right in top photo). "We've had conversations with potential tenants, but nothing that is ready to be committed at this point." 

The developers hope to begin construction this year, at least getting the site graded and ready for construction, if not "going vertical" on at least two of the six buildings.  The six buildings combined will offer 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space and cost more than $142 million to construct.

"I think that documentation demonstrates that, in terms of the build-out of the project, we're hoping that this would occur in approximately five years," said Hopkins (speaking in top photo). "Obviously, it is subject to market demand."

Later he added, "But we do want to have a shovel-ready site. That's our goal, and we think we can accomplish it."

He expressed confidence in Geis Companies. He said the company has a lot of experience with this type of project in Ohio and they have "an excellent track record."

"I think it's really a welcome opportunity to bring them to Western New York, to bring their expertise," Hopkins said. "We think this project is a win-win for all parties involved."

When discussing the renderings of the potential design of the buildings, he said he anticipated the construction of quality, attractive buildings on the site.

"They're gonna have to obviously serve the function that they'll be designed for, but we also want them to look attractive from the outside," Hopkins said.

The site uses 100 acres of a 200-acre parcel, with the remaining space reserved for federally protected wetlands.

"We're not proposing any impact whatsoever to DEC wetlands, and I believe our impact on to federal wetlands is approximately .2 acres, so it's a very small impact," Hopkins said. "We readily expect that we will get that permit from the Army Corps of Engineers."

The wetlands-related documents, prepared as required by the application process and provided to the board, run to dozens of pages.

Horizon Acres Associates has requested from the Genesee Center for Economic Development a sales tax exemption of about $6.2 million, a property tax abatement estimated of approximately $11.9 million, and a mortgage tax exemption estimated at $1.1 million.

The project is projected to generate $7.9 million in PILOT revenues for municipalities during the 10-year PILOT agreement. According to the GCEDC, those payments total about  39.5 times more than anticipated municipal revenue from the property's undeveloped state.

Top photo by Howard Owens. Illustrations below, submitted.



Three-vehicle accident reported on Bloomingdale Road

By Howard B. Owens

A three-car accident with entrapment is reported at Bloomingdale and Martin Road, on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

Alabama Fire and Indian Falls Fire dispatched along with Mercy EMS.

UPDATE 3:48 p.m.: The Indian Falls chief is on scene and reports two vehicles blocking Martin Road. One patient inside a residence. No entrapment.

Dispatchers Wanted: seeking a few 'unsung heroes' for duty

By Joanne Beck


When it comes to recalling scenarios of being a dispatcher, Frank Riccobono came up with one immediately: he was on the phone with the mom of a young girl whose heart had stopped.

He talked the distressed mother through a procedure of moving her daughter to the floor and performing heart compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. It was a nerve-wracking few minutes before the mom cried out. Her daughter was revived.

“The mother was very thankful,” Riccobono said. “I can’t describe the feeling of having that happen, knowing I gave them that.”

While scenes like that are often depicted in TV shows, complete with melodramatic music in the background, they are part of the life of a dispatcher — something that Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron refers to as more than a job, but as a career. And a highly respected and under-credited one at that.

He and Riccobono, a former longtime dispatcher for the city of Batavia and Genesee County and current director of the county’s emergency communications, are hoping to pique the interest of candidates for three full-time dispatcher positions.

The pay has been increased ($22.55 to $28.81 per hour), two part-time positions were merged into a third full-time position to offer benefits and regular hours, the civil service exam fee has been waived, and the exam date has been extended to Jan. 25, all in an effort to get more people to apply.

So why aren’t they?
It’s a phenomenon that’s been occurring over the last couple of years, Sheron said. It’s not exactly novel, as many employers are bemoaning the same complaint as they continuously search for qualified candidates to fill a variety of jobs. And job duties for dispatchers include a certain level of stress, multi-tasking, knowledge, quick-thinking, and decision-making skills, he said. Plus, it’s emergency services, which signals a 24/7, 365 days a year operation of nights, weekends and holidays.

So why should they?

Well, there’s the rush of adrenaline for being in the thick of the action, such as when Riccobono provided directions for CPR to that distraught mom or helping to direct emergency responders to those in need, such as during the recent winter blizzard.

There were hundreds of stranded motorists buried in snow, and dispatchers were their only course of survival, as a link to responders out on the roads searching for them.

“We were able to direct emergency responders to their location,” Riccobono said. “That’s the most rewarding, just knowing I gave them the best chance of survival.”

Not that dispatchers are always in crisis mode. They also get the more mundane calls, such as reports of a minor traffic accident or a missing dog. But with each call, there’s an opportunity to make a difference, Riccobono said. He remembered when he began with the Batavia Police Department.

“My first week, there was a bank robbery, a high-speed pursuit and a SIDS death,” he said. “And I thought, ‘what did I get myself into?’ I’ve had people die on the phone. The good days outweigh the bad days.”

They’re unsung heroes.

That’s how Sheron describes dispatchers, those employees working behind the scenes taking calls from individuals and connecting them to the various multitudes of emergency service providers throughout Genesee County to get them the help they need.

“It’s a stressful job,” Sheron said Thursday. “Once you become acclimated with what’s out there, that stress is offset with a  sense of fulfillment. These are the people that get things moving, they are behind the scenes. There will be a lull, like a routine traffic stop, and in the drop of a dime, it can go from zero to 150, a barn fire or delivering a baby over the phone.”

He gives credit to all emergency service responders, for sure, with differences being those that are on scene and those behind the scenes. When asked who makes for a good dispatcher, Sheron was stymied by a foolproof description. There have been candidates that were perfect on paper, but then when put to the test, they didn’t follow through as their qualities promised. And then those that seemed to be too quiet and unassuming for the position nailed it, he said.

“Sometimes it takes a little longer, and you become comfortable after you’ve been through situations,” he said. “They orchestrate everything that goes on. It’s a very rewarding career, steady employment. They’re the unsung heroes.”

For more information about applying for a dispatcher position, see the related press release.

Top file photo of the Emergency Dispatch Center on Park Road in Batavia, by Howard Owens; and county photos of Frank Riccobono, and William Sheron, above.

Filing for emergency services dispatcher exam extended to Jan. 25

By Joanne Beck

The exam deadline has been extended to apply for one of the three open full-time emergency services dispatcher positions, Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron says. That date is now Jan. 25, and Sheron urges anyone with interest to apply for the Civil Service exam.

Hourly salary is from $22.55 to $28.81, and there will be a probationary period of eight to 52 weeks based on performance of duties. Candidates must be legal residents of Genesee, Erie, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans or Wyoming County at the time of examination and for at least two months prior to the date of the examination, which is Feb. 25.

It takes about three months from the time of the test for the results to come in, and the top three scores are selected for hire and paid training of 16 weeks before beginning their duties independently on the dispatch floor at the Park Road facility in Batavia. 

Typical work activities include:

  • Maintaining a continuous log of all telephone and radio calls sent out or received;
  • Recording all fire and emergency equipment in the county, and logging equipment out of service;
  • Operating telephone communications equipment and input of data into computer-aided dispatch systems utilizing a typewriter-style computer terminal keyboard;
  • Utilizing computerized data-bases (including NYSPIN system) to access and record data and information;
  • Acting as a secondary radio dispatcher for other agencies;
  • Receiving and answering radio calls for various agencies and transferring calls to appropriate personnel;
  • Receiving and relaying intra-county mutual aid calls;
  • Receiving and recording in log, location of fire alarms and emergency calls;
  • Performing filing, typing, and other clerical duties as needed; and
  • Giving instructions to callers and providing emergency medical instruction to callers using standard accepted medical guidelines.

Press Release:

“The timing of this exam could not be better,” stated Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. “We have all heard about the heroic actions and importance of first responders during the historic Blizzard of 2022. The Genesee County Emergency Services Dispatch Center handled 3,216 calls and 953 distinct calls for service over a two-day span! This was one of the busiest emergency events in the history of Genesee County. Our Emergency Services Dispatchers played a crucial role in meeting the tremendous demands presented throughout the blizzard that undoubtedly saved the lives of numerous individuals.”

Currently, there are three full-time Emergency Services Dispatcher vacancies that the department is looking to fill. In order to be considered for this position, applicants must take the civil service exam, which is only given approximately every two years.

"I highly encourage anyone that has an interest in being an E911 first responder to sign up to take the exam," Sheron said. "An Emergency Services Dispatcher is an extremely rewarding first responder career." 

To read related coverage, click on Seeking a few unsung heroes

If you have any questions about this position, please feel free to contact Frank Riccobono, Director of
Emergency Communications, at 585-345-3000, Ext. 3429. Please click on the recruitment video link
which will provide a glimpse into what this career involves. We look forward to welcoming you to our family.

The deadline to apply to take the open competitive Genesee County civil service exam is Jan. 25. To get an application, stop in or send a stamped, self-addressed  envelope to Genesee County Human Resources, County Building I, 15 Main St., Batavia, NY, 14020, call 344-2550, Ext. 2221 or go HERE

To watch a dispatcher in action, click this recruiting video.

Accident with entrapment reported on West Main, Le Roy

By Howard B. Owens

A person is reportedly trapped in a vehicle following an accident on West Main Street at West Avenue in Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire is on scene. Stafford dispatched mutual aid to assist with extrication.

UPDATE 1:44 p.m.: Fire police requested for traffic control.

Stuff the Cruiser warms up Christmas for hundreds in 2022

By Joanne Beck


These may be tough economic times, but local folks came through and gave plentifully during Genesee County Probation Department's annual Stuff the Cruiser collection last month.

The department reported that more than 450 local children were provided with gifts for the 2022 Christmas season, thanks to the Stuff the Cruiser event on Dec. 3 at Batavia Towne Center. As the name implies, the trunks of police vehicles were opened for people to place their donations inside, as shown in the photo below. 

An online post made by the department gave nods of credit for the "great work by the representatives of the Genesee County Probation Department, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, and the Genesee County Department of Social Services for their help in coordinating this event."

"And, of course, thank you to the community of Genesee County who made the extra effort through the gift of giving to local families in need," it stated. "These types of events are such a benefit to the community and we can't thank you enough!"


Top Photo: Members of Genesee County law enforcement and Social Services organize the generous donations from the 2022 Stuff the Cruiser collection, photo from GC Probation Department site. Above, file photo of Deputy Jordan Alejandro with the cruiser during the collection, by Howard Owens.

GCEDC projects in Alabama and Pembroke to advance as largest in county history

By Press Release

Press Release:

Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) has accepted initial applications for incentives to advance the two of the largest capital investment projects in the County’s history. Edwards Vacuum, part of the Atlas Copco Group, is proposing to invest $212 million for the first phase of the company’s semiconductor dry pump manufacturing project at New York’s Green Manufacturing mega site at STAMP; while Horizon Acres Associates, Inc. is proposing to invest $142 million to build six flex commercial/industrial facilities totaling 1.5 million square feet in the Town of Pembroke.

“These are substantial milestones for our community as Atlas Copco Group and Horizon Acres Associates Inc. are making two of the largest financial investments in county history,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde. “These historic investments represent the significant interest we’ve seen in Genesee County and at STAMP among companies exploring new business opportunities as a result of the growth of the advanced manufacturing and semiconductor sectors in our region and across upstate.”

Phase 1 of Edwards Vacuum’s “factory of the future” will create 343 high-wage careers that will support the company’s domestic semiconductor customer base. It is anticipated that over a 20-year span, the project will generate approximately $13.4 million in revenues for the Town of Alabama, Genesee County, Oakfield-Alabama School District, and the Alabama Fire Department.

Atlas Copco USA Holdings Inc. & Subsidiaries (Edwards Vacuum) has requested sales tax exemptions of $4.34 million and a 20-year property tax abatement of approximately $12.85 million. The project is estimated to generate $644 million in payroll and projected future municipal revenues, a $39 benefit to the local economy for every $1 of public investment.

A public hearing will be scheduled on the proposed project agreements in the town of Alabama. Horizon Acres Associates, LLC’s 1.5 million square-foot flex campus will play a vital role in growing the capacity for business growth in Genesee County and support the attraction of companies locating at the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) and other nearby locations. The campus will include six flex commercial/industrial facilities, with plans to start construction in late 2023.

The facilities will be suitable for a large single tenant, multiple smaller tenants, or suppliers for advanced manufacturing projects. The development is estimated to create up to 400 new jobs at full capacity.

Horizon Acres Associates, LLC has requested a sales tax exemption estimated at $6.2 million, a property tax abatement estimated at $11.9 million, and a mortgage tax exemption estimated at $1.1 million. The project is projected to generate $7.9 million in revenues to the Town of Pembroke, the Pembroke Central School District and Genesee County during the proposed 10-year PILOT agreement, which is estimated at 39.5 times the municipal revenue that would be generated under the property’s current use.

The GCEDC’s economic analysis of the project estimates a $227 million impact, including $218 million in payroll and $9.1 million in future municipal revenues. For every $1 of public benefit the project is projected to generate $16 into the local economy. A public hearing will be scheduled on the proposed project agreements in the town of Pembroke.

Finally, the board accepted a final resolution from NY CDG Genesee 4 LLC for a 4.275 MW community solar farm in the Town of Pavilion on Shepard Road. The $6.5 million project is projected to generate approximately $500,000 in future revenues to Genesee County, the Town of Pavilion and the Pavilion Central Schools.

Batavia City Schools' student artworks debut Jan. 25 at GO ART!

By Joanne Beck


Putting the finishing touches on display space has meant a slight postponement, however, the annual exhibit for Batavia High School student artwork will debut in about two weeks at the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council in Batavia.

An opening reception has been rescheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 25 at GO ART!, 201 East Main St., Batavia, Coordinator Nikki Greenbaum said.

The show will run through Feb. 24 and showcase 22 students from grades nine to 12.Their pieces cover a wide range of art electives, Greenbaum said, to meet the goal of highlighting a variety of art mediums within the class electives offered at the city school district.

“We have students participating that are from our AP Art, Portfolio, Printmaking, Drawing, Painting and Studio Art classes,” she said. “We do hope that many of our students will be able to make it to the opening reception and will be available to talk about their work.”

The artwork currently exhibited illustrates a variety of mediums from oil pastels, printing ink, graphite, watercolor, acrylic paint, charcoal, and ball point pen, she said.

Greenbaum has served to coordinate the show between the Art Department, which also includes staff Mandi Antonucci and Ashley Duzsa, and GO ART!

Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.




Photos of student artworks submitted by Nikki Greenbaum.

Genesee County Chamber of Commerce announces the 51st annual award recipients

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 51st Annual Awards Ceremony, which will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at Batavia Downs Gaming, 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism. Tickets are $50 per person or a table of 8 for $360.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. with Hors d'oeuvres, Entrée Tables and a Cash Bar (no formal sit-down dinner is to be served). The Award Program starts at 7 p.m., when dessert and coffee will be served.

This year’s honorees are:

  • Business of the Year: Max Pies Furniture Company, Inc.
  • Agricultural Business of the Year: Fenton’s Produce LLC
  • Innovative Business of the Year: Empire Hemp Co. LLC
  • Special Service Recognition of the Year: Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!)
  • Geneseean of the Year: Norm Argulski

Call Kelly J. Bermingham at 585-343-7440, Ext. 1026 to make your reservations.

Tenney calls on Ag secretary to assist WNY farmers in wake of Winter Storm Elliott

By Press Release

Press release:

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) yesterday alongside Congressman Nick Langworthy (NY-23) sent a letter to Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack calling on his agency to do all it can to ensure Western New York farmers can quickly recover from the deadly Winter Storm Elliott.

Winter Storm Elliot has been referred to as the storm of the century, and rightly so. This storm produced over four feet of snow and hurricane-strength winds, resulting in at least 40 deaths across our region and $5.4 billion in losses nationwide. Numerous businesses suffered countless damages, specifically the Western New York agriculture sector.

“[The storm was] devastating to our agricultural producers, who are already struggling with record inflation, high energy and fertilizer prices, and the existing supply chain dysfunctions,”  wrote the Republican Lawmakers. “It is imperative for our local and national economy that we provide these producers the help they need to quickly recover from this severe winter storm.”

The Republican lawmakers are calling on the Department of Agriculture to use all the tools at its disposal to accelerate aid distribution and assistance to the affected agricultural businesses across Western New York.

Previously: After digging out of the storm, Lamb Farms thankful for community and safety of staff and animals

Notre Dame dominates Holley 47-32 in Girls Basketball

By Howard B. Owens


Notre Dame improved to 8-1 on the season in Girls Basketball with a 47-32 win over Holley.

Amelia McCulley scored 20 points for the Fighting Irish, hitting two three-pointers along the way, and coming up with five rebounds, two blocks and three steals.

Avelin Tomidy scored eight points and had six rebounds. Emma Sisson scored seven points and had five rebounds.

Also in Girls Basketball on Wednesday:

  • Alexander beat Elba 58-53. Alyssa Kramer scored 32 points for Alexander. Laurel Kania scored 13, and Melanie Pohl scored 10.  No stats reported for Elba.
  • Byron-Bergen beat Pembroke 52-40. Kendall Phillips scored 19 points for the Bees. Karli Houseknecht scored 11 points for the Dragons.

In Boys Basketball:

  • Batavia beat Vertus 74-71. The Blue Devils improved to 7-2 on the season. Ja'Vin McFollins scored 19 points for Batavia. Carter McFollins scored 17. Aiden Bellavia scored 15. 
  • Le Roy beat Letchworth 67-49. Merritt Holly, Jr. scored 26 points for the Knights.
  • Pavilion lost to Mount Morris, 67-52.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene






Slow travels make for steady progress with new county jail

By Joanne Beck


The first of about 100 oversized construction material loads slowly made its way down Main Street Wednesday en route to the new Genesee County jail being built at 3839 West Main Street Road, and city motorists are asked to take note and give future loads a wide berth.

The special delivery package was a concrete cell that traveled down Route 63 to Route 5, and is to be followed by about 99 more in a series of staggered deliveries during the next two months, county officials say. Motorists are asked to “keep an eye out” for escort vehicles since the deliveries are oversized loads requiring adequate space for travel and turns to reach their destination.

“They should not be crowded for the safety of all travelers,” Public Communications Specialist Steven Falitico said Wednesday.

The new jail — a 184-bed, $70 million facility — has been in progress since the groundbreaking in May of last year on property adjacent to County Building #2 and Genesee County Animal Shelter. Deliveries of pre-fabricated jail cells are “one big step in the construction process,” County Manager Matt Landers said.

“There is still a long way to go, but overall, I am happy that the construction is progressing on schedule and coming in under budget,” he said.

The first major change order — an expense not to exceed $80,000 for stainless steel flashing glued around the perimeter of precast pods as extra insulation — also came up for a vote of approval Wednesday by the county Legislature. The Ways and Means Committee had previously reviewed the request and passed it on to the whole Legislature for final vote.

The project has been on track for a March 2024 completion, led by The Pike Company’s project management.






Top Photo: A jail cell on a flatbed truck slowly travels along Route 5 on its way to the new county jail being built on West Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia; photos of construction progress of the jail on property next to County Building #2 and the animal shelter. Photos by Howard Owens.

Law and Order: Trio from Rochester accused of stealing bags of items from Ulta Beauty

By Howard B. Owens

Mone N. Wiggins, 24, of Dana Street, Rochester, is charged with grand larceny 4th, conspiracy 5th, and criminal impersonation. Yathil Karis K. Lay-Rivera, 24, of Grand Avenue, Rochester, is charged with grand larceny 4th and conspiracy 5th.  Aniyah E. Kendrick, 18, of Sullivan Street, Rochester, is charged with conspiracy 5th.  On. Jan. 6, Sheriff's deputies responded to Ulta Beauty in Batavia Towne Center after receiving a report of a larceny in progress. When officers arrived, Wiggins, Lay-Rivera, and Kendrick were allegedly seen walking to a vehicle with "bags full of stolen items." The three were taken into custody and issued appearance tickets. Assisting in the investigation were Deputy Morgan Ewert, Deputy Nicholas Chamoun, and Deputy Jacob Kipler.

Joe Cortez

Joe Andrew Cortez, 40, no permanent address, is charged with rape 1st and rape 3rd. Cortez is accused of forcing a person under the age of 17 to have sexual intercourse on Sept. 20 at 3 p.m. at a location on Lewiston Road, Batavia. Cortez was arrested on Jan. 6 and ordered held in the Genesee County Jail.

Tommy Lee Mobley III, of Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with attempted criminal possession of a weapon 4th. Mobley is accused of attempting to purchase a firearm from a business on West Main Street, Batavia, on Sept. 27 at 9 a.m., while being a person prohibited by law from making a firearm purchase. Mobley was taken into custody on Jan. 6, processed at the Genesee County Jail, and released on an appearance ticket.

Vicki Lee Showler, 51, of Lewiston Road, Alabama, is charged with petit larceny. Showler is accused of shoplifting at the Dollar General store on North Main Street, Oakfield, on Jan. 4 at 8:24 p.m. Showler was processed at the Genesee County Jail and released.

Tatiana Makarevic, 55, of Maple Road, Alabama, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and moving from lane unsafely.  Deputy Jacob Kipler and Deputy Jeremiah Gechell responded to a report of an erratic driver on Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke on Dec. 15 at 8:48 p.m. Makarevic was taken into custody and processed at the Genesee County Jail. She was released on appearance tickets.

Jocolby Sherod Wallace, 34, of Bryan Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon 4th, aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd, and uninspected motor vehicle. Wallace was stopped on Jan. 6 at 8:52 p.m. on Route 33 in Byron by Deputy David Moore. During the traffic stop, Wallace was allegedly found in possession of a stun gun while being previously convicted of a crime. He was arraigned and ordered held without bail.

Theresa Lorraine Fisher, 34, of Royal Parkway, South Lockport, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and aggravated unlicensed operation 2nd. Fisher was stopped on Jan. 1 at 5:45 p.m. on Route 77 in Pembroke by Deputy Morgan Ewert. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Grand Jury Report: Man accused of first degree rape

By Howard B. Owens

Shane M. Vaname is indicted on counts of rape in the first degree, a Class B violent felony, sexual abuse in the first degree, a Class D violent felony, and rape in the third degree, a Class E felony. Vaname is accused of having sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion on Dec. 10 at a location in the Town of Le Roy. He is accused of subjecting another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion. He is accused of having sexual intercourse with a person who was incapable of giving consent.

Stephen E. Pike is indicted on counts of strangulation in the second degree, a Class D violent felony, criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor,  and assault in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor. Pike is accused of impeding the normal breathing or blood circulation of another person by applying pressure to the person's throat, thereby causing stupor or loss of consciousness at a location in the City of Batavia on Aug. 6, and that he intended to cause physical injury to another person. He is also accused of damaging a window at a property on Liberty Street, Batavia on Aug. 6. 

Jamie A. Dutton is indicted on three counts of burglary in the third degree, a Class D felony, and three counts of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. Dutton is accused of entering Walmart on Aug. 3, Aug. 14, and Aug. 18 with the intent to commit a crime once inside. He is accused of stealing bicycles on Aug. 3 and Aug. 14. He is accused of stealing two wireless keyboards on Aug. 18.

Benjamin D. Seekins is indicted on a count of DWI, a Class E felony. Seekins is accused of being drunk at the time he was driving a 2011 Kia on July 12 on Route 5 in the Town of Batavia. He is accused of driving drunk within 10 years of a prior DWI conviction.

Health Department seeking information on dog that bit person in Le Roy

By Press Release

Press release:

The Genesee County Health Department is seeking information about the location of a dog and its owner(s) following a dog bite incident on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 4:30 p.m. The incident occurred on the corner of St Marks Street and North Street in the Village of Le Roy.

The dog was described as a brown, pit bull/boxer mix. The owner was walking their dog on a leash, and the victim was walking toward the owner. As the victim was walking past the dog, the dog jumped up and bit the victim's left, upper arm. After the incident, the owner proceeded toward Church Street.

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

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

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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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Part -Time Children's Library Clerk Position available at the Haxton Memorial Public Library Application is available on the library website: Or apply at 3 North Pearl Street , Oakfield. Any questions please call 948-9900
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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 to apply, click on volunteer tab to complete application or email
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