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County secures funding emergency vehicle Bethany Fire can use for rescues in County Park

By Press Release

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Press release:

Genesee County Emergency Management Services is pleased to announce the deployment of a MedLite Transport Bed for use by the Town of Bethany Fire Department. This equipment was obtained through the procurement of Homeland Security grant funding, is the property of Genesee County and is being deployed to the Bethany Fire Department for use at the Genesee County Park and Forest.

The State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and the State Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (SLETPP) are the two-core homeland security grant programs in New York State. Every county in the State, along with the City of New York, receives funding under these programs.

“The MedLite Transport Bed was deployed with Bethany Fire Department because they are the first responders to the County Park. The equipment fits their UTV and allows Bethany and Mercy Flight to more efficiently make extractions of injured individuals in the rough terrain of the County Park,” said Gregg Torrey, Genesee County District 6 Legislator.

The MedLite Transport Bed is a medical rescue skid unit for Utility Task Vehicles that has the ability to transport one patient on a long board or stokes basket and one attendant in a seat. The equipment also has the ability to be fully removed from the vehicle in the field. A video of the MedLite Transport System can be seen here.

Paul Osborn, Deputy Highway Superintendent, spoke to the use of the equipment at the Genesee County Park and Forest, “The use of it in a UTV will allow for access into areas of the park that aren’t accessible by a standard vehicle, and ultimately provide more safety for the guests of the park.”

Submitted photo: From left to right, Tim Yaeger (Genesee County Emergency Management Services), John Szmkowiak (Bethany Fire Department), Gregg Torrey (Genesee County Legislator) Paul Osborn (Genesee County Highway), and Jeff Fluker (Bethany Fire Department).

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Le Roy school district briefed on South Street Road culvert replacement

By Howard B. Owens

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Genesee County owns and maintains all 350 or so culverts in all of the towns and villages in the county and every year, there are a few that need to be replaced.

After a few years of trying to secure funding, New York State has approved a $625,000 grant to replace a culvert on South Street Road just south of Exchange Street.

That's not only an inconvenience to residents in the area, but it's going to disrupt travel to Le Roy Sr./Jr. High School.

Laura Wadhams, assistant county engineer, presented the culvert replacement plans to the Le Roy Central School District Board of Education on Tuesday so they could have a better understanding of how and when the work will proceed and to begin the process of approval for the district to deed a tiny portion of land next to the culvert for an easement.

Construction will begin in June, just after the end of the school year, and should be completed in October.

The culvert being replaced is made of corrugated metal pipes and was installed in 1960.  It won't last much longer -- meaning a possible collapse of the roadway -- and it is subject to clogging. 

"We're going to realign the culvert slightly to make the stream do what water wants to do, so we don't try to force water to do something it doesn't want to do, because that doesn't end well for us," Wadhams said. "We're going to put it on a little bit of a skew, add new headwalls, and that'll actually help with a lot of the debris that gets caught up on the culvert."

The new cull will have a 10-foot span, a four-foot rise, and be 47 feet long, compared to 53 feet for the current culvert.

The county will need to acquire more land from the school district for the placement of protection measures.  Wadhams said the county is asking that the district provide the land as a gift to the county, which is an item for a future school board agenda.

During construction, that area of South Street Road will be restricted to local traffic only, and access to the school will be available only from the south side.

The detour will take people down Asbury Road and Harris Road to connect with Route 5 and is approximately 4.9 miles long.

Photos provided by the County Highway Department.

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O-A beats Attica 63-49

By Howard B. Owens

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The Oakfield-Alabama Hornets beat Attica in Boys Basketball on Wednesday night, 63-49.

For O-A, Noah Currier scored 18 points, Kyle Porter, 14 (hitting four three-pointers), and Colton Yasses, 11.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more photos, click here.

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Sponsored Post: Just Listed; 14 Morton Avenue, Batavia

By Lisa Ace


Just listed! 14 Morton Avenue, Batavia. ​Why rent when you can build equity by owning this beautiful two-story, three-bedroom, one-bathroom home! Welcome home to 14 Morton Ave, Batavia. Check out the lovely details waiting for you to customize, like the breakfast bar, a bench seat in the dining room, recessed lighting, and the walkout porch. You’ll love the beautiful tile in the bathroom and jets in the shower. Create your very own oasis in the large main bedroom. Enjoy the warmer months on the deck and in the large backyard! This home is NOT in a flood-zone, saving you the hassle of flood insurance! Come check it out for yourself! Call Sunny Rathod 585-813-2445 at Keller Williams today to see this listing!

Snow, ice, winds expected this afternoon through Sunday

By Howard B. Owens

A winter weather storm is heading our way, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter weather advisory is in place to start at 4 p.m. today.

A winter weather watch has been announced for Friday evening through Sunday morning.

Initially, expected mixed precipitation with snow accumulations of up to two inches and ice accumulations of around one-tenth of an inch with wind gusts up to 40 mph.

Starting Friday evening, heavy lake-effect snow is expected, with accumulations of nine inches or more in the most persistent lake-effect snow bands.

 

Travelers should plan for slippery road conditions with increased difficulty of travel where lake-effect snow is falling.

UPDATED: Multiple weather-related calls reported in Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens

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Reader submitted photo of tanker truck rollover in Bethany.

Two rollover accidents are reported in Alexander, one on Route 98 and another on Brookville Road.

No injuries are reported at either accident, but people are trapped in both vehicles.

Icy road conditions are reported at both locations.

Alexander Fire is dispatched to both locations.

Town of Batavia is requested to assist with extrication on Route 98.  Bethany Fire requested to assist at Brookville Road.

The Brookville Road accident is a contractor's truck with tools spilled in the roadway.  A heavy wrecker required.

UPDATE 9:08 a.m.: A tanker truck rollover accident is reported in the area of 5546 Broadway Road, Bethany. Unknown cargo.  Bethany Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 9:17 a.m.: Route 20 is being closed at East Road. Pavilion is requested to check Route 30 east of East Road. The truck rollover is a milk truck. Route 20 is "just a sheet of ice, the whole road."

UPDATE 9:21 a.m.: Two heavy wreckers will be needed for the milk truck rollover.

UPDATE 9:23 a.m.: Alexander's Brookville assignment is back in service.

UPDATE 9:24 a.m.: On the milk truck rollover, about 2,200 pounds of milk aboard. The driver self-extricated and is uninjured. The dairy has their own heavy wreckers coming. 

A motor vehicle accident with injuries is also reported at 1225 Main Road, Batavia. East Pembroke Fire dispatched.  It's the second call in East Pembroke's district. The vehicle is off the road. 

UPDATE 9:28 a.m.: Units responding can respond non-emergency. The occupants are reportedly out of the vehicle and have left the scene.  There's also an incident Pembroke is working on the Thruway.

UPDATE 9:31 a.m.: A first responder is on Route 5 near Powers Road where two vehicles are off the road.

UPDATE 9:36 a.m.: Three vehicles involved on Route 5 at Powers Road, property damage. All three vehicles have headed further east with four ways on to get to a safer location to meet with law enforcement.  There is a Thruway incident where an ambulance is requested for a neurological evaluation.  There is another incident where the driver is being taken to the TA Travel Center to get him out of the elements (he's uninjured). The vehicle is well off the road, and it's not going anywhere until a wrecker gets there.

UPDATE 9:41 a.m.: A vehicle has reportedly struck a tree in the area of 3603 Lockport Road, Oakfield. Injuries are reported. Oakfield Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 9:42 a.m: A rollover accident is reported in the area of 3668 Telephone Road, Pavilion. Pavilion fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 9:47 a.m.: A pickup truck fire is reported at the Ontario Service Center, 8700 Vallance Road, Le Roy. The vehicle is reportedly next to a building. Le Roy Fire and Bergen Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 9:50 a.m.: Minor injuries reported at Oakfield incident.  Fire police requested to shutdown traffic. Elba requested to close traffic at Snyder Road and to respond to the accident with extrication equipment.

UPDATE 10:39 a.m.: A vehicle is off the road at Route 20 and Marsh Road, Alexander. The driver is at the fire hall, uninjured. A deputy is requested for an accident report.

UPDATE 11:07 a.m.: Bethany assignment to Route 20 is back in service. Route 20 remains closed.

Concert at City Church tonight a celebration of Christmas and community

By Howard B. Owens

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The set list for tonight's (Dec. 15) Christmas Concert at City Church promises to be as diverse as it is joyful, with more than just gospel and hymns but also hip-hop, R&B, and smooth jazz celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Ryan Macdonald also promises concertgoers will enjoy engaging and energetic performers and great musicians.

"We've done (the Christmas Concert) every year now, with the exception of COVID, for about five years," Macdonald said. "It's really been a wonderful night of really coming together and celebrating."

The artists, Macdonald said, are also personal friends.

"They are not just great artists but great people," Macdonald said.

Carlton Wilcox, Rufus McGee Jr, and Trellis Pore have all performed at previous Christmas concerts.  This is the Batavia debut for Kimera Lattimore (top photo).

Macdonald said he's tried to get her on the bill for years, but there was always a scheduling conflict.  He said he met her in Buffalo years ago, where she is the music director and worship leader of Renovation Church.  She is a national recording artist, singer, songwriter, musician, poet, rapper, vocal teacher, theologian and Elder of the gospel."

"She is really a great spirit, a great believer," Macdonald said. "She believes people matter. She believes humanity matters."

Her bio states that she believes, "We were all created, by the creator, to create."

The concert, Macdonald said, is intended to uplift the whole community, and all are invited.

"Our goal the whole Christmas season is the celebration of the birth of Christ, but beyond that, we're celebrating each other," Macdonald said. "The term that has really stuck with me is that we're not independent; we're interdependent. We need each other.  We don't only need each other as believers, but we need the whole community." 

The concert begins at 7 p.m. at City Church, 210 East Main St., Batavia. The concert is also live-streamed.

Submitted photos.

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Submitted information:

Pastor Trellis Pore, multi-instrumentalist and Vocalist. A Western NY native. He started singing and playing instruments at the age of 5 with his family gospel group, The Cooper family Gospel singers. Singing traditional quartet Gospel music. Also was apart of the band Perifial Vision,  and The Glorious Sons of Rochester.  Currently, he leads The Trellis Cooper Band. Singing gospel music with a twist. Trellis has his own Signature series guitar with the company Mucho Guitars of Rockwall, Texas. Trellis is currently the Pastor of Shiloh Church Albion. 

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Submitted information:

Rufus McGee Jr., son of Bishop & Lady Rufus and Linda McGee is Rochester’s best-kept secret, however, now the secret is out! His parents began molding him at age 2 years old to become a musician. Although he began as the church drummer at 6 years old, at 11, he progressed to becoming one of the most extraordinary organists/keyboardists that anyone has ever heard.

His ability is God-given, but can also be attributed to years of absorbing gospel music passed down through the classic COGIC style of music, and the music of the church that he attended growing up in his hometown, Rochester, New York. His drive and confidence developed from the challenge to rise above mediocrity. 

He is an exemplary musician, producer and the founder of RMJ Productions. He enjoys listening to George Duke, Chick Corea, Kevin Bond, Jason White, Mike Bereal and Eddie Brown. 

He has recorded with: Aaron Lindsey, Kathy Bowman, Ricky Dillard, Jason Wright, Serena Young, Shirley Murdock, Eddie Balltrip, Danell Daymon and Royalty, Malcolm Williams, Amar’rae Hill True Foundation and Jerome Francis and Divine Nature.

Rufus gives every ounce of his being to excelling and finishing well! Rufus has a great passion and love for gospel music and enjoys devoting his life to giving God his all. His greatest inspiration is God. He often says, “Without God, I would be nothing.”

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Submitted information:

Carlton Wilcox has been creating a standard of excellence in music that embodies, style, quality, and substance. This singer, songwriter, and accomplished bassist has been entertaining Western NY for over two decades. Resounding melodies accompanied by rich voice make this crooner one of our area’s sought talents. With gospel, smooth jazz and R&B roots, Carlton wants to spread the message of hope through music. Carlton Wilcox is also a Monroe County Deputy Sheriff, event promoter and music instructor for the City of Rochester’s ROC Music Program. Carlton Wilcox wants to make a difference in the world, one day at a time, by giving back the love and support that he has been given.

United bounces back from two goal deficit to win 6-3 over Greece Storm

By Steve Ognibene

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Story based on submission by BND  

BND started slow, but gained stream as the game went on exploding for six goals in 30 minutes to completely erase a 2–0 deficit after the first period.

"This was the first time all season we were trailing at the end of the first period, and we were down by two," said Head Coach Marc Staley. "But the kids did a really nice job gathering themselves and starting fresh in the second period.”

United scored four goals in the first eight minutes of the second period to go from down by two, two up by two.

“Executing on the power play like we did there in a second period gave us a huge boost," Staley said. "We are going to be a difficult team to beat if teams are going to take penalties against us.”

The Storm were called for three penalties in the early portion of the 2nd period, and BND capitalized on all three.  

Senior Cooper Hamilton scored on the power play only 29 seconds into the period, followed by another power-play goal from sophomore Brady Johnson.  A mere five minutes later, Junior forward Joe DiRisio buried a rebound and made it three power-play goals on three chances.

“Specialty teams are huge in hockey nowadays," Staley said. "We converted three of our four chances on the power play, and we killed off all five of the penalties called against us. I thought the kids did a great job executing in the big moments.”

Junior goaltender Frankie Falleti made 21 stops on 24 shots against. Also scoring for BND was sophomore Ivan Milovidov, sophomore Jameson Motyka, and sophomore Brady Carney, who registered his first ever Varsity goal. 

Senior, Ronin Hofmaster linished with three assists on the evening.

Junior, Defensman, O’Rian Lama chipped in two assists as well.

United out shot the Storm during the game 37 to 25.

“Greece has an excellent program and they are a huge school district," Staley said.  "All four of their high schools combine to create one varsity team. I’m really proud of our kids for going into their home barn and coming away with a victory. This is the bounce back we needed after the loss to McQuaid, and hopefully this gives us some nice momentum heading into “The McCarthy” this weekend”

BND United will be hosting the annual David McCarthy Christmas Tournament on Friday and Saturday.  Iroquois/Alden (4-1) will face off against Niagara/Wheatfield (5-0) at 6 p.m. on Friday evening. Following this game BND (4-1) will take on WFL Geneva (0-3) at 8 p.m.  The consolation game will take place at noon on Saturday, with the championship game scheduled to face off at 3 p.m.

United won the Tournament last year fending off a tough Webster Schroeder squad 5-4.  

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

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Harvester Center businessman 'pleased' with informative response from police chief, more discussion to follow

By Joanne Beck

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Even though all of business owner Rob Credi’s scrutinies have not been quelled, he feels that portions of city management have given him what he wanted: informative communication.

After sending emails to city leaders and talking publicly at this week’s City Council meeting, Credi has gotten answers and a prospective meeting to further discuss his issues.

He has served as a representative of his Pub Coffee Hub and for other entrepreneurs in Harvester Center, which houses 75 businesses.

During Monday’s council meeting, Credi wanted to express his frustration and know why “no parking” signs were re-installed on the east side of Harvester Avenue, where he operates his coffee shop.

City Police Chief Shawn Heubusch informed Credi Wednesday that the signs “were never intended to be removed” permanently, Credi said. They were taken down temporarily as part of the Harvester road construction project and were to be returned upon completion of work.

Credi said he wasn’t surprised that it took quite awhile to return the signs, or that there was “no communication with us whatsoever.” He was, however, disappointed to find out, after believing that his street was going to reap some extra parking spots for customers, that it was just a matter of delayed action to re-install the "no parking" signs.

He also learned that similar signs on the west side of Harvester do not fall within City Code and cannot, therefore, be enforced by city police. To clarify, approving the City Code falls within the authority of City Council and not the police department.

“(Heubusch) has no explanation as to when or how they got there,” Credi said. “We are working to schedule a meeting for mid-January to look into the best way to address parking on both sides.”

Credi said he is “very pleased with the communication” from the police chief. He has, though, tallied another tick mark in “the disappointment column from the construction debacle,” he said.

For prior coverage, go to: 

Harvester Avenue businessman presses city for answers

Harvester Avenue road construction a slow-moving hindrance

File Photo of Rob Credi when he opened Pub Coffee Hub in July 2020 at Harvester Center, Batavia, by Howard Owens.

Accident reported at Buckley Road, Britt Road, Stafford

By Howard B. Owens

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A motor vehicle accident with possible serious injuries is reported at Buckley Road and Britt Road in Stafford.

There were four children in one vehicle.

Dispatchers are checking on the availability of Mercy Flight.

Stafford Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 8:50 p.m.: Two vehicles off the road with entrapment, according to a first responder.

UPDATE 8:51 p.m.: There are four children and four adults. At least one helicopter is required.  Le Roy ambulance and fire and Byron ambulance requested to the scene.

UPDATE 8:54 p.m.: Mercy Flight #8 out of Buffalo is en route.

UPDATE 9:09 p.m.: A second helicopter is requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:11 p.m.: Mercy Flight Central is not available due to weather. No second helicopter is available.

UPDATE 9:12 p.m.: All patients are extricated.

UPDATE 9:23 p.m.: Mercy Flight has landed.

UPDATE 9:34 p.m.: Mercy Flight is airborne, headed toward Rochester.

UPDATE 10:17 p.m.: Stafford assignment back in service.  State Police is handling the investigation.  Two people were seriously injured. One was transported by Mercy Flight to Strong, the other by ground ambulance (destination not confirmed).  It appears an SUV t-boned a minivan, reports Alecia Kaus/Video News Service. Troopers refused to provide more information at the scene. 

UPDATE 11:07 p.m.: State Police still on scene investigating. Fire police requested to the scene for traffic control.

UPDATE Dec. 15, Noon: The State Police have released the names of the drivers: Charles A. Johnson, 47, of Byron, and Danielle C. Wojtaszczyk, 34, of Le Roy.  There were a total of seven people injured. No further information has been released.

Photos by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service

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Organizers to bring the spirit of 'Holiday Man' to life this weekend, seek more participants

By Joanne Beck

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There are toy drives and food drives, but for Jenn Noon and Cortney Dawson, their sights are on the third annual Bob’s Christmas Car Day drive that is to parade through the city this weekend.

An idea that was sparked by Dawson’s then-four-year-old son Maddox, the decorated cars are in loving memory of Bob Zeagler. Maddox was watching television and saw decorated cars driving around, and he asked his mom why they can’t also do that. Despite the fact that COVID had hit hard, rendering everyone indoors, there was no good reason why people couldn’t drive in their own separate vehicles. So Dawson and Noon started talking about it and floated the idea on social media, and before they knew it an event was born.

Zeagler was a well-known local character who enjoyed not only dressing up his Jeep Wrangler for various holiday occasions but also himself — sporting bows and ribbons, ornaments and novelty figurines of the particular season. His Jeep was a fixture of Batavia, and the roof toppings usually jutted out above other vehicles in amusing flamboyancy. He died in 2016.

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The organizers wrote a poem last year to tell the story — in holiday fashion — of how and why this event originated. It may be best to tuck yourself into a stuffed armchair next to a fireplace to read:

Twas a week before Christmas — 2020 in the house

Everyone in lockdown — Even the mouse.

A little boy watching TV — decorated cars driving around

He suddenly turned and asked "why can't we do that?  — And drive around town.

So his mom went online — And asked if anyone down

To decorate their cars — And drive all around.

The operator of the little free pantry — Replied and so eager

Told the little boys mom — About a man named Bob Zeagler. 

So they began to plan it all out  — With permission from Bob's wife

One little boy helped bring — Bob's spirit back to life.

People, they came — To honor one man

Who always made others smile — The best that he can.

We remember is humor — His style and grace

So many miss him, — Miss seeing his face.

They miss seeing his outfits — The whole year through

A man who was so — Honest and true.

One tiny boy — And a few tiny words

Created something wonderful — For All other boys and girls.

To remember that man — That every one knew

So to the holiday man -- Merry Christmas to you.

“Bob used to be a great friend of mine,” Noon said, adding that she had previously thought that he deserved some type of citywide honor for the entertaining role he played. “Cortney’s son saw the cars on TV … and it has just taken off. Anyone who wants to participate is more than welcome to.”

In fact, the more cars, the merrier, she and Dawson said. Participants are to show up at 4 p.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, 300 East Main St., Batavia. If you need decorations, they will be provided at that time. The parade is then to proceed at 4:30 p.m. along a route throughout pre-selected city streets.

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“The event was started in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic as a way to bring Christmas cheer to those who were stuck at home on quarantine,” Noon said. “This year, the event will start with a Christmas car drive around town, with cars decorated in the style of Bob's always festive Jeep. The route will include stops at the VA and nursing homes, as well as other locations in town.” 

Beyond the fun of a parade, Noon, who works at the Little Free Pantry next to the church, took the event further with an after-party from 6 to 8 p.m. Kids can visit with Santa Claus and pick out a toy, and there will be refreshments available.

“This event will include refreshments, such as cocoa, cookies, cakes, and pies, as well as food and clothing giveaways. There will also be a visit from Santa where kids and families are encouraged to take photos,” she said. “After visiting Santa, kids (up to 18) will be able to visit his workshop and pick out a toy or two to take home. There will also be music, games, and tables set up by community organizations offering free giveaways.”

The event is free and open to anyone in the community and is supported by community members and local small businesses, the organizers said.

Donations may be placed in drop boxes at First Presbyterian Church or Independent Living of the Genesee Region at 319 West Main St., Batavia, up to the day of the event.

For more information and route details, visit the event page or email jennnoon@yahoo.com or cortdaw@gmail.com. 

File Photos of the 2020 car parade, by Stephen Ognibene. Photo of Bob Zeagler by Howard Owens.

Batavia man accused of attempted murder makes initial County Court appearance in case

By Howard B. Owens
Tyshon Taylor

A Batavia man indicted by a Genesee County Grand Jury on an attempted murder charge in what was an apparent, unprovoked attack against a stranger on Jackson Street in Batavia, entered a not guilty plea to the charge in Genesee County Court on Wednesday.

Tyshon L. Taylor, 25, dressed in an orange jail shirt and paints, sat motionless during the hearing with his head down, seeming almost disengaged from the proceedings, except to coherently respond to every question of Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini.

Taylor is accused of stabbing a person walking on Jackson Street at about 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 18.  The Batavian has learned from a source who asked not to be identified that neither the victim nor Taylor had met prior to the encounter.

The victim survived the attack.

Taylor is also accused of attempted assault in the third degree for an incident reported at 11:39 p.m. Oct. 13 on Oak Street.

As is procedure following an arraignment on a Grand Jury indictment, Cianfrini set calendar dates for future appearances and motions. 

A preliminary conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. Jan. 25. Defense motions are due Jan. 30. Prosecution answers are due Feb. 6. Oral arguments on motions is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Feb. 22.

Taylor is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

Sentencing delayed for drug dealer so attorney can better explain case to him

By Howard B. Owens
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Tarrence Williams

A Batavia man was ready for sentencing on a drug-dealing-related charge on Tuesday, but Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini decided to delay sentencing after a private discussion of a legal issue with the defendant's attorney.

Attorney Fred Rarick indicated in court that it is in the best interest of his client, Tarrence Yuron Williams, 23, that he combines his sentencing with his possible acceptance of a plea offer in a gun-related charge.

Ironically, while Williams was ready to move forward with sentencing today, in October, Williams requested and received new legal counsel because he wanted to combine the two cases in the hopes of getting a better deal.

To recap:

  • In December 2021, Williams was arrested an charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal obstruction of breathing and blood circulation, and menacing in the third degree.
  • At a later date, he accepted a plea offer that satisfied all of those charges. He entered a guilty plea to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.
  • On Sept. 30, Batavia PD received a report of shots fired somewhere on Ellicott Street.  An officer pursued a suspect on the Ellicott Trail to Evans and then to Court, where the suspect eluded capture but apparently ditched a firearm in the bushes.
  • Williams was subsequently arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a Class C felony, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Williams last appeared in court on Nov. 2 for sentencing on the drug charge, but District Attorney Kevin Finnell was unexpectedly called away on other business and couldn't appear. The case was postponed because Rarick was trying to negotiate a plea offer for his client on the weapons charge.

After a late start to his case on Tuesday, there were some financial matters to resolve.

First, Finnell wanted to incorporate into Williams' original plea the forfeiture by Williams of $3,195 that Williams had on him at the time of his arrest in December 2021. That matter had not been properly recorded at the time of the original plea.  Williams agreed to include the forfeiture stipulation in the record of his original guilty plea.

Second, the Sheriff's Office had requested restitution of $100. Though not discussed in court, this is typically money used by an agent of the Local Drug Task Force to make a narcotics buy -- and Rarick informed the court it was his understanding that Williams had already paid restitution.  

Nobody in court had a record of the transaction, though a friend of Williams who was sitting in the gallery said he had a receipt at home for the payment.  

Cianfrini called for an adjournment while Rarick went to the Public Defender's Office to obtain a receipt and Finnell went to his office to check records in his office.

Both came back to court a short time later and informed Cianfrini that both had found proof that restitution had been paid and the money had been remitted to the Sheriff's Office.

At that point, Cianfrini called Rarick and Finnell to the bench.  After a lengthy private discussion, she informed Williams of her decision to continue his case so that he could have time to discuss the case further with his attorney.

She told Williams it was really in his best interest to delay sentencing.

Williams, who remains in custody, is scheduled to appear in court again at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 20.

ND High School sponsors toy drive for Golisano Children's Hospital

By Press Release

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Press Release:

The Batavia Notre Dame Girls Basketball teams are sponsoring a toy drive for Golisano Children's Hospital.

Toys have been donated by all Notre Dame staff and students to "Give Back." The toys are given to children spending their holidays in the hospital, and additional toys are used for the playrooms.

If you would like to donate to The Golisano Children's Hospital, contact Wendy Lane at 585-275-3028 or email wendy_lane@urmc.rochester.edu. 

Submitted photo

Batavia resident promoted to corporate management position with Tops

By Press Release

Press release:

Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and Vermont, is pleased to announce the promotion of Laura Gould to promotions manager.

Laura began her career at Tops in 2001 as a scan associate at store 245 in Batavia. She eventually worked her way up to assistant scan coordinator. In 2008 Laura joined the Corporate Office as a data integrity coordinator, and in 2015 was promoted to the promotions coordinator. Later in 2015, Laura was promoted to the position of promotions analyst. She holds a BS in Mathematics, as well as a BS in Computational Science from SUNY Brockport.

Laura lives in Batavia, NY, with her husband, Charlie and their children, Adam and Olivia. She is an avid baker and enjoys spending time with family and friends. 

BPD promotes Lindsay to sergeant

By Press Release

Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department is honored to announce the promotion of Officer Christopher "CJ" Lindsay to the rank of Sergeant.

Sergeant Lindsay began his career with the City of Batavia Police Department in September of 2014.

He attended the Basic Police Academy at the Monroe County Public Safety Training Center, graduating in 2015.

Sergeant Lindsay is a Field Training Officer, Bicycle Patrol Officer and a member of the Department's Emergency Response Team. He has been active in community events and has received recognition from the Department, City and community for his work on several cases. 

Sergeant Lindsay is a 2006 graduate of Cornerstone Christian Academy, where he received his high school diploma and then attended Genesee Community College, graduating in 2013 with his Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice.

Sergeant Lindsay will be assigned to the swing shift.

City Centre property appraisals approved as a step toward downtown growth

By Joanne Beck

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Batavia City Centre is in a “really good place” for the city to consider selling off vacant properties, City Manager Rachael Tabelski says.

She endorsed the move during this week’s City Council meeting as a first step toward relieving the city of unnecessary assets. Or maybe it’s a second step, after securing an appraiser to review the properties and provide estimated pricetags for each.

Tabelski asked council to first approve the expense of $5,400 for the appraisal services of Rynne Murphy before she can proceed with putting the properties on the selling block.

“There are several interested businesses that are looking at properties inside City Centre mall,” Tabelski said. “Currently the city would like to take steps to divest of the City Centre properties, however, more important we want to see them in productive use, such as the theater in which the city is continuing to rent space to.”

The city will not cease its responsibilities for the 46,000 square-foot mall concourse, and will continue to maintain that space, she said.

Tabelski was asked why the city can’t go with the assessed values available online, and why an appraiser was needed.

“We need the market value according to the Charter,” she said, backed up by City Attorney George Van Nest.

The city Charter mandates use of an appraised value versus what has been assessed, they said.

The Charter includes several statements about selling city-owned property, including this from Section 66:

“Where there is a strong showing of competitive developer interest for large or unique parcels, the land shall be sold employing a request for proposal process,” the passage states. “A price shall be obtained from a licensed independent appraiser prior to the negotiation stage.”

A total amount of $440,789 in VLT money was received by the city, and the $5,400 would come out of that, Tabelski said, and be put into a Community Development fund. Performing these appraisals and proceeding with potential sales and/or leases of vacant properties is part of a mall redevelopment strategy to “bring vibrancy to the mall,” she said.

Parcels 2, 35 and 39 have recently been rented by Batavia Players during the group's theater construction.

Council also approved Police Chief Shawn Heubusch’s request to spend $125,000 of reserve money to purchase police vehicles by the end of the year. He typically would put in for the purchase during budget talks in March, however, a dealer advised the department that supply chain issues are likely to bog down the process.

“We’ve been informed that if we don’t order them by the end of the year, we won’t get them next year,” he said.

Go here for previous coverage on these issues.

File Photo of City Manager Rachael Tabelski, by Howard Owens.

This Saturday is last one of the season for Mall Market at City Centre

By Joanne Beck

There will be many items available for purchase this weekend -- from ground lamb, winter squash and sugar waffles to holiday hams, furniture and jewelry -- during the last Mall Market of the year at Batavia City Centre in downtown Batavia.

The market is set to run from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the mall concourse. 

The following vendors are planning to be there with their goodies::

  • Garner Farms: holiday hams and breakfast sausage, pasture-raised chicken cuts and other pork cuts.
  • Porter Farms: winter squash, ground beef, ground lamb and gift cards.
  • Tastefully Simple: spices, sauces, mixes and gift items.
  • Designed Gracefully: beautiful clay jewelry
  • Max Pies Furniture: furniture and flooring
  • Flint’s Maple: maple products, gift boxes and dog treats
  • Dilcher’s Concessions: cotton candy and sugar waffles
  • Tree Hugger Hard Cider: artisan ciders

Additional vendors may register as this week progresses, Batavia Development Corporation Director Tammy Hathaway says.

"We also will have two delightful guest pooches (from Flint’s Maple) in Santa hats who love attention, and to have their photos taken," Hathaway said. "Should anyone be interested in vending this Saturday, or participating in the Mall Market after the new year, please contact me at any time."

For additional information, go to Mall Market

New city police station on its way from virtual to actual reality

By Joanne Beck

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A new city police station project has virtually gone high-tech.

Members of the police department were able to view the new station during the design phase with virtual reality equipment and provide feedback before the actual construction gets going, Chief Shawn Heubusch said.  

“When we completed the VR tour, we were able to ‘walk the halls' and see some of the details that we would have needed to wait to see until walls were built,” Heubusch told The Batavian. “This allowed us to really pick out if a window or door was in the proper place or if the adjacency of rooms was correct for everyday use. This will save time and money during the construction process as it will require less change orders further down the road.”

Being the second most publicly traveled city facility — with City Hall being first — it’s important to get the building and details right, he said, and should save money from the typical myriad change orders of large construction projects.

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Project Manager Ken Pearl presented the designs and a timeline during this week’s City Council meeting. A 20,000 square-foot building will take up a front portion of the parking lot at Bank Street and Alva Place.

A total of construction, engineering, equipment and material costs is estimated to be from $13 million to $15 million, City Manager Rachael Tabelski said.

At least 115 public parking spots are to remain after construction, in addition to free public parking on surrounding streets, “which would more than adequately serve the needs of existing businesses on Washington, Alva and State Streets,” she said.

This has been a long time coming, given prior consultant studies, Task Force Committee meetings and discussions about how to proceed with the current station housed in a 167-year-old building. Known as the Historic Brisbane Mansion, the Main Street site has been deemed unsuitable for police operations, and renovations were ruled out as being too costly.

“There have been no less than five studies conducted since 1991 to determine the future of the police station in Batavia, as well as a citizen task force commissioned to investigate possible site locations,” Tabelski said.  “The location of the new facility was identified by the task force in their top three site recommendations.” 

The new facility will improve “the quality, efficiency, security, and regulatory compliance features of the services and activities of the department,” she said.  It will also enhance the opportunities to meet community-oriented policing needs, and become a space to conduct community events, including educational forums, police-assisted addiction recovery initiatives, explorer post, citizen academy, and focus groups.

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“The new station and headquarters will be designed with accreditation standards in mind, including LEED and will be ADA compliant,” she said. “In short, the new station and headquarters will be a welcoming place for all persons in our community.” 

LEED is a third-party green building certification program, and these buildings are, according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s website, proven to save money, improve efficiency, lower carbon emissions and create healthier places for people.

Heubusch highlighted the fact that the Brisbane Mansion was to serve as a residence, and has been renovated throughout the years to fit the needs of city government.

“However, the current facility does not meet regulatory requirements as well as ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements for a modern facility, not to mention the regulations surrounding a police station. The new police station will be better in every way; it will meet the department's needs for proper workspaces; interview rooms; evidence storage; vehicle storage; victim and witness interview spaces; training spaces; a community room; proper lobby and records facilities; proper locker and shower facilities and secure parking for our staff and visitors,” Heubusch said. “In short, it will be a welcoming and professional, purposely built facility to meet the needs of the Department and community for the next 50 years or more.”

Tabelski further expanded on the current station’s misgivings: it was built in 1855 and retrofitted for purposes other than a residence since the city took on ownership in 1918. Continuing to renovate the station as a modernized version to include the various operational and legal requirements “is cost prohibitive,” she said.

City Council approved the new station in 2021 and approved Ashley McGraw Architects PDC of Syracuse in January 2022. Pearl said that final figures won’t be nailed down until the project goes out for bid and council awards contracts for the work.

Construction documents are to be finalized by February, with the project to go out for bid in March. Contractor bids are expected in April, and construction is to begin sometime between May and July, Tabelski said.

And now for the big question: how will this be paid for?
The new station would be financed by the city with a 30-year public improvement serial bond, Tabelski said.

“The City will pursue various state and federal grant opportunities in an effort to offset the cost,” she said.

For anyone wanting to view the renderings in person, they are available at City Hall, she said.

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Top Photo of  the new city police station to be built at the corner of Bank Street and Alva Place in downtown Batavia; a view from the side of the building, in front at night and toward the rear next to a parking lot. Renderings by Ashley McGraw Architects courtesy of the City of Batavia. 

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