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Dragons hand Hornets first loss of the season

By Howard B. Owens

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Pembroke and Oakfield-Alabama had a shootout on Friday and the Dragons pulled out a big win over the Hornets, the defending Division C2 champions, 65-59.

It was the first loss of the season for the Hornets after opening the year 3-0.

Scoring by quarter:

O-A: 17 15 14 13
Pembroke:  14 14 24 13

Scoring for Pembroke:

  • Cayden Pfalzer, 23 points
  • Tyson Totten, 15 points
  • Chase Guzdek, 15 points

 

Scoring for O-A:

  • Kyle Porter, 23 points
  • Noah Currier, 8 points
  • Aiden Warner & Brayden Smith, 7 points

​Pembroke is now 2-1.

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

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Raw, personal and poetic: GO ART! staffers put themselves into exhibits

By Joanne Beck

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Gregory Hallock hid his personal life for “a very long time,” before realizing that he needed to be a better role model for his children.

The GO ART! executive director and father of two stepped out from the shadows to display that it’s ok to be who you are.

“Coming out was hard for me. I prayed to God every day to make me not gay,” Hallock said of his life up to his mid-20s. “My then-husband and I decided that we have to be proud of who we are. And we want our children to be proud of who they are.”

That love and respect he has for himself, his family and his children — Augustus, 7, and 10-year-old Cattaleya — has been folded into a 15-piece exhibit of various artworks that tell “My Journey” at the Genesee Orleans Regional Arts Council, 201 East Main St., Batavia.

It was a colleague, Mary Jo Whitman, working as art coordinator for Genesee Community College, who prompted Hallock to submit his first piece in 2016.

“I was doing a piece for a charity auction. And I was selling that piece. And they were auctioning it off, and I bought it back because it didn’t go for what I thought it was worth. And Mary Jo … they were doing an alumni show, and she asked me to apply for the show. So I applied, thinking that I would be putting in that one piece. Only six artists got selected. And she's like, 'you got selected, now I need the rest of your collection,'” he said. “So I added to the collection, and I decided the initial piece was about love. I had taken two chairs that were exactly the same, I cut out half of the seats on both of them … and I combined them to make a bench. For us, we were two separate people that weren't allowed to be together because of being homosexual. And then we were allowed. So that was our love coming together. So from there, I decided to create a collection based on my journey through life.”

Now 42, Hallock has embraced his persona, which has been steeped in the performing arts, having gone to school for theater, acting and dancing. He was not one to give up easily, and in fact, is “very competitive,” even to the point of making sure to win every coloring contest as a kid.

"My first piece, “(I’m) Coming Out” is a collection of stories from all different people about moments in their life, that, upon looking back on, they realized they were literally 'born this way,'" he said. "I have attached them to a closet door in representation of my childhood and the moment I came out at age 24."  

His pieces use materials, such as the wooden chairs, that have been created from two separate pieces to meld into one unified bench. Even his children’s school work has been incorporated into his imagination through decoupage. The collection has been a gradual accumulation of work, much of which was found when a staffer was cleaning out his office. Much of the pieces are from objects found — literally in the street, he said — and fashioned into something meaningful, often weaving family into them.

“I love the arts, fine art is something I have not pursued, he said. “I did that collection to make people smile. In general, it just makes me smile. This is my now. There’s a meaning behind every piece. For photographs, I would make my whole family do a photo shoot with costumes.”

During his first adoption process, it went much quicker than expected, and before he knew it, Hallock and his former husband welcomed Augustus as part of the family. Then Jezebel the dog, a wheaten terrier, got pregnant and had seven puppies. His life had become wrapped up in pregnancies, and he loved every moment of it, he said.

Hallock then had the privilege of cutting Cattaleya’s umbilical cord during his second adoption, and it further strengthened his fatherhood — and personhood — experience, he said.

“And then came the biggest day of our lives: “Our Little Princess” (also one of his pieces) was born.  I remember swearing that I would never buy Disney clothes or in general be that Disney person,” he says in the exhibit statement. “Well, I failed. I am 100 percent that Disney person, but when you have a daughter how can you avoid it (excuse, lol).”

Fast forward six years, and his “now” has changed, he said, to having a 10-year-old daughter, seven-year-old son who was adopted at age four, plus five chickens, two dogs, two gerbils, one cat, one hedgehog, and one fish. He is "flying high" despite having encountered some bumps along the way.

"I have been working my dream job for nearly seven years, I have gone through a bout of cancer, a separation bought a house and am living life to its fullest," he said.

He credits his family for supporting everything in and about his life -- including dressing up in costumes for photos --- and his mom's handiwork of crocheted ornaments and stockings is included in the exhibit as well.

He has a tattoo that simply states where he’s at these days: “love for all, hate for none.”

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Mary Jo Whitman always had an interest in art, she said, and pursued that by obtaining an associates, bachelor and master degree in fine and studio arts, sculpture, and finally, critical museum studies. Her goal was to become a professor, which she accomplished as an adjunct at GCC.

Whitman also wanted to get involved in an art gallery or museum, she said, and was art coordinator at GCC. She is currently at GO ART! as an educational statewide community regrant program director. Long titles aside, Whitman’s craft is short on boring — bringing multiple facets of images together as a completed visual.

“I’m very interested in human behavior and how we come to identify ourselves. So I believe that our identities are socially and culturally constructed. Meaning that every single aspect of your personality, your beliefs, everything that makes you a person has been influenced by someone or something else that you've come in contact with through your life,” Whitman said. “And taking that on the next level, as adults to really be successful in life, you really have to be able to assimilate to whatever situation you're presented with. I really got into what is the psychological impact … who are you at the very root of it.”

Although she answered that for herself through these pieces — there’s an image of Whitman in every photo — she’s reluctant to share that with the world. Considered “very personal,” she wants instead for viewers to interpret for themselves what each piece means, and how they feel when they see it.

Her 18 pieces, “Deconstructed and Raw,” include sculptures and digital photos culled over the last decade, with the last two years being devoted more to the digital realm.

“I’ve always had an interest in art, pretty much my entire life. I went to school for art. And I've always, within doing my art, I'm always experimenting with different mediums, trying different things. I decided, after taking some courses in digital art, I really enjoyed being able to manipulate images in Photoshop,” Whitman said. “I like the kind of freedom it gave you. Because you can't really make mistakes. You know, when you're doing a painting or something, if you make a mistake, it's hard to kind of rectify it where and when you're working in a digital capacity, it's easy; I could just undo whatever I just did.

“I dissect myself into different identities, and break them down,” she said of her “The Disillusioned” piece. “Once the work is shown publicly, it’s the audience’s responsibility to interpret.”

Whitman was doing her grad school research, being drawn heavily into the idea of identity construction, she said.

“And so, in looking at this, I really got interested in what is the psychological impact of knowing that your identity is constructed: who would you be if you had not been influenced by this specific thing, or that specific thing?” she said.

Backdrops are taken from obscure places, such as her gutted basement with pieces of dropped ceiling torn down. That construction material is shot in wide angle with other images positioned on top and merged.

"And when it was on the floor, I was just kind of, you know, enamored with this, these materials, it was all broken up and dusty. So I started taking photographs, I took these very low wide angle photos of it. And usually, when I'm doing one of these digital images, that's my first thing I go to, as I find the central background image of it, and it's usually something wide angle, you know, from an unusual perspective, so that was kind of fitting into it," she said. "And, you know, it was kind of telling through some things that I had going on, ... and I scanned in these incomplete drawings and manipulated them so tha they're overlaid of this image, and then there' an image of me ... And then just kind of put this like introspective silhouette kind of image of myself, it's like sitting amongst this rubble."

Whitman plans to have other exhibits in the next year, she said, depicting “that mode of anxiety of who am I right now? I enjoy the human behavior.”

"I attribute much of the success in my life to my ability to assume whatever identity is necessary to function within any social situation with which I am presented. My appearance, my clothing, my mannerisms, my vocabulary, and even the tone of my voice differ from situation to situation. I am the crazy hippie, dancing barefoot at a festival as my flowing skirt chases me. I am the curator, entertaining pretentious conversation in stilettos," Whitman said. "I am the smart-ass bartender, donning pigtails and a bowtie with a mischievous grin. I am the country girl in mud-covered, ripped-up jeans, destroying targets with a shotgun and riding four-wheelers. I am an artist, conceptualizing all my observations in an array of mediums, often in wax and plaster-covered clothing. I am a sister. I am a daughter. I am an aunt. I am a mom. The sheer size of my closet can attest to how many different people I can be and who I may need to be at any given moment.

"So, who am I beneath the fractured and fluid identity which has been constructed in accordance with societal expectations? The truth is, I am all of these identities… and none of them at the same time," she said in her artist statement.

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How does Program Coordinator Jodi Fisher feel about her first exhibit, “Pictures and Prose?”

“It’s nerve-wracking,” she said.

Her 22 photographs of mostly color scenes focus on the outdoors, nature, and, really, “anything that’s interesting or out of the ordinary,” she said.

One muse she’s drawn to is the sky — she loves”I love taking pictures of the clouds and the infinite blues” — and gaze into Centennial Park.

“I’ve always been into art, and have never been able to draw,” she said. “I’ve always been into poems and poetry — m mom used to read poems to me every night.”

Now that she’s discovered a special lens for the iPhone — noted for capturing “amazing” photos by users these days — Fisher plans to home in on the fine details of close-ups, called “extreme detail photography.”

“I just see something beautiful,” she said. “I don’t necessarily see it as art, it speaks to me in some way or another. It sometimes tells a story about something, like an abandoned building.”

Her poem “Autumn” aptly describes a photo of those leafy trees:

Autumn

The sun peaking through 

The leftover autumn leaves

Casting shadows on the ground

Blue skies above the canopy

The sweet fragrance wafting up

From the forest floor

The sharp crunch with each step

As you trek across the uneven soil

You are transported back

To a time before the lands were spoiled

Before the trees were stripped 

And if only for a moment you are one with everything around you

You are Autumn

 

She began writing poetry, and “wanted to incorporate that with photos,” she said. “Poems and songs have always intrigued me. Those were my nighttime stories.”

The exhibits of Whitman and Fisher will be through Feb. 18.

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Photos of GO ART! staff artists Gregory Hallock, top, Mary Jo Whitman and Jodi Fisher are featured in an exhibit at the facility at 201 East Main St., Batavia; various works on display; and Angie Dickson, above, who contributed some artwork to the exhibit. Photos by Howard Owens.

Sponsored post: New listing from Reliant Real Estate; 5399 Horseshoe Lake Road, Batavia

By Lisa Ace


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GCASA salutes Dr. Baker, presents longevity awards

By Mike Pettinella

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Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse leadership and staff on Wednesday afternoon celebrated Dr. Bruce Baker’s many years of dedicated service to the agency.

Chief Executive Officer John Bennett, at the organization’s annual holiday luncheon, applauded Baker’s work as GCASA’s medical director.

“Bruce has been a tremendous asset to our agency, helping hundreds of people in their efforts to overcome substance use disorder,” Bennett. “We are fortunate to have had him as part of our team and we wish him the best in his retirement.”

Bennett said that Baker shared his knowledge and compassion in a variety of roles for GCASA, including medical director, consultant, teacher and general practitioner.

A physician for 60 years, Baker has made an impact throughout Genesee County as a primary care doctor, school physician in Le Roy and Pavilion, medical consultant to the health department and medical director at Le Roy Village Green Health Care Facility.

He has worked in the addiction field for more than 40 years and was an early proponent of Medication Assisted Treatment.

“Dr. Baker recognized early on, especially as the physician at the Genesee County Jail for a quarter of a century and at Hope Haven (inpatient clinic), that individuals who suffered from addiction needed treatment, both medically and therapeutically,” Bennett said.

Dr. Baker thanked GCASA for the gift he received, adding that he treasured his time with the agency.

“I’ve made many wonderful friends along the way,” he said, noting that his “mission was to treat those suffering from substance use disorder with respect and dignity.”

GCASA management also recognized several employees who reached longevity milestones, led by Chief Financial Officer JoAnn Ryan, who has worked at the agency for 35 years. She said that she plans to retire next year.

Others receiving longevity awards are as follows:

  • 25 years -- Lori Brade, manager of Billing Operations;
  • 20 years -- Linda Ackley, residential aide; Kathy Hodgins, chief clinical officer;
  • 15 years – Carol Nicometo, prevention educator; Jim Garber, jail services counselor; Charlene Grimm, assistant director of Peer Services.
  • 10 years – Diane Klos, prevention secretary;
  • 5 years -- Danielle Ludeke, outpatient treatment supervisor; Rosalie Mangino-Crandall, director of Project Innovation and Expansion, and Jordan Smart, residential peer.

Submitted photo: GCASA honored Dr. Bruce Baker and presented longevity awards at its annual holiday gathering at Terry Hills Restaurant. Seated from left are Danielle Ludeke, Dr. Baker, Kathy Hodgins; standing, Rosalie Mangino-Crandall, Carol Nicometo, JoAnn Ryan, Diane Klos, Charlene Grimm, Lori Brade, Jordan Smart, Linda Ackley

Disclosure: Mike Pettinella is the publicist at GCASA.

JOANN Fabrics closing its Batavia store

By Howard B. Owens

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The national chain JOANN Fabrics and Crafts is closing its Batavia store next month, according to a company representative.

It's part of a strategic move, said Shauntina Lilly, JOANN Manager of Public Relations.

"In alignment with standard brick and mortar business processes, JOANN closes stores occasionally while simultaneously investing in, and opening brand new stores to best meet the needs of our customers," she said.

The store is located in Valu Plaza, which lost its anchor tenant, Valu Home Store, in a similar cost-cutting move earlier this year.

The final day of business for JOANN is scheduled Jan. 15.

Photos by Howard Owens.

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Genesee County named Clean Energy Community by NYSERDA

By Press Release

Press release:

Genesee County officials have recently been notified of the naming of this community as a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and an awarded eligibility of a $5000 Designation Grant.

The Genesee County Planning Department in collaboration with the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council recently completed four high-impact actions under NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Community program which allowed for the designation. This program is for local governments across NYS who are striving to create a healthy and sustainable environment by investing in future-focused clean energy solutions for their community, while at the same time facing unprecedented societal and financial challenges. 

St. Paul Lutheran School hosting Christmas show tonight

By Howard B. Owens

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St. Paul Lutheran School on Washington Avenue in Batavia will be hostsing a Christmas show at 6:30 p.m. Friday titled "Christmas Hang-Ups," and featuring the school's students.

 The program is directed by Jennifer Dunn, and lead roles will be played by the 5th and 6th-grade class, with other classes, Pre-K through 4th-grade, playing supporting roles.

Following the program, there will be a bake sale put on by FOLKS (Friends of Lutheran Kids) full of homemade donations to support the school.

Submitted information and photos.

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Photos: Christmas concert at City Church

By Howard B. Owens

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City Church hosted its annual Christmas Concert on Thursday night, featuring Carlton Wilcox, Rufus McGee Jr., and Pastor Trellis Pore.

Singer Kimera Lattimore, originally scheduled for the bill, was unable to perform due to illness.

Top photo: Carlton Wilcox. Photos by Howard Owens.

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Patti and Marty Macdonald, who are about to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

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Rufus McGee Jr.

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Ace on the river ends World Poker Champion run for Batavia native

By Howard B. Owens

Ron "Tigar" Penepent has been to Las Vegas a few times. But on this trip, he had the time of his life even if he didn't win a portion of the more than $15 million pot up for grabs in the 2022 World Poker Tour World Championship.

The Batavia native won his $10,400 buy-in to the tournament and was hoping to make a deep run, but on the third day of play, he got beat by an ace on the river.  Worse, he was the one holding a pair of aces.

"This has been an unbelievable experience," Penepent said. "It was a bucket list item of mine to play in a big-stakes tournament."

A love of poker runs in the Penepent family.  His father used to host regular games after hours at Ron's Shell at Main and Oak in Batavia.

"It was my father, my uncles, a bunch of good friends," Penepent said.

Penepent joined the World Poker Tour site 20 years ago, and he told his father that he would play in a big tournament one day.

Unfortunately, the elder Penepent passed away a couple of years ago so he didn't get to see "Tigar" (his nickname since he was a child) sit down at a WPT hold-em table.

About a dozen family members did travel to Vegas to support Penepent during the tournament.  They've all been having a good time, he said, and now he's out of the tournament, he and his wife Patty are going to have some fun, too.

They think they will go to the shop where the TV series "Counting Cars" is filmed, as well as the bar, Vamp'd, owned by the show's star, as well as the Pawn Stars pawn shop.

As for that final hand, Penepent, who now lives just outside of Chattanooga, Tenn., isn't calling it a bad beat or even a misplayed hand.

He was on the button (the last position to bet on hand) with blinds of $1,500/$3,000.  His stack was $175,000 to $200,000, about midsize at his table.  To his left is an aggressive player who is by far the chip leader at Penepent's table.  

When the bet gets to him, and there's been no raises, Penepent looks down at pocket aces and decides to double the blind, making the bet $6,000.  

The chip leader calls and a guy on Penepent's right calls.

The flop comes jack, 10, seven.  

Player to the right checks, hero checks, chip leader bets $12,000.  

The guy on the right calls. The hero goes all-in.

Chip leader calls.  The guy on the right calls.

Cards up.  Chip leader hit two pair, jack and 10s.  The guy on the right has an open-ended straight draw with a suited king and a queen (meaning either an ace or a nine gives him a straight).

If a jack or a 10 comes on the turn, or the river, the chip leader has a full house.  The only card that can help the straight draw in an ace.

The turn is a deuce.  Our hero's outs are now one of the three remaining deuces or one of the three remaining sevens. Otherwise, he loses and is out of the tournament.

Mr. straight draw spikes the ace on the river and rakes in a pot of some $500,000 to $600,000, and our hero is headed to the Strip to join the Vegas fun with his family.

"I played the hand the only way I could have played it," Penepent said. "If I go all in from the start, the chip leader is going to call."

He also figures he would have gotten a call from both players if he hadn't check-raised and just gone all-in when it was his turn to bet after the flop.

"I decided to slow play the aces from the start, and I still think that was the best play," Penepent said.

(The risk of playing pocket aces too aggressively is marginal hands fold, and you miss the opportunity to maximize the value of a strong starting hand. In this case, the marginal hands called -- which is what you want -- but those players were lucky enough to improve their hands with the community cards.)

Penepent does expect to be on TV when the championship is aired in five or six months.  He said he was interviewed.

He had a chance to meet one of the show's stars, Vince Van Patten. 

"I talked with Vince Van Patten (about the hand), and he said if he were sitting in the same seat playing the same hand, he would have played it the same way, except maybe he would have made it $9,000 (before the flop)."

Even with the fairly early tournament bust, Penepent said he wants another crack at it. He plans to play in the same satellite tournament that won him this year's seat again next year.

"I really enjoyed the experience," Penepent said. "I don't know if I'm going to get to enjoy it again, but I'm going to try."

More than a village, it takes a Genesee County team to mitigate threats of violence

By Joanne Beck

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In talking about Genesee County’s threat assessment and management program, Undersheriff Bradley Mazur often referred to one county over, and how Rochester Threat Advisory Committee, or ROCTAC, will serve as a role model of sorts.

No wonder. All of New York State is watching the Monroe County program, which was announced in June. And Genesee County is nearly ready to jump on board, Mazur said Thursday.

"Governor Hochul passed executive order 18, which required each county to come up with a domestic terrorism prevention plan. So what we did, we put our plan together. And in our response, we believe that to mitigate this type of threat in our community, our best action would be to create a Genesee County Threat Assessment management team, or a TAM team is what they're called," Mazur said. "This is kind of very similar to Monroe County's ROCTAC ... a Rochester threat advisory committee that they developed, I think, last year. So a lot of the counties are kind of going to mimic what they've done. Ours is going to be a threat assessment committee. And this is going to be a diverse team. We have individuals from mental health to GCASA, social services, school administrators, and our SROs. The goal is early intervention to prevent any types of violence."

Similar to Rochester’s Threat Advisory Committee, so too will Genesee County have a cohesive group of representatives from law enforcement, social services, probation, GCASA, emergency management, school administrations, and school resource officers, he said.

A primary goal is “to mitigate any threat to our community,” he said, through early detection and intervention of potential threats of domestic violence, school shootings, workplace assaults, stalkings, and any other similar threats of violence.

This effort takes money, which will come from a related $172,000 state grant previously announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul. After the May shooting in Buffalo that left 10 people dead, Hochul began to charge each county in the state to develop a threat assessment plan, signing an executive order and providing funds to ensure that could happen.

Monroe County had already established its own version of a threat advisory team as a proactive measure to help prevent deadly assaults, so state leaders pointed to that team as an example for other counties to follow.

Although Genesee County is a small, rural area, it is just as susceptible to such violence as is any big city, Mazur said.

“The biggest threat to our community is any type of community radicalization. And I think their ability to use the internet and social media to reach out to anybody anywhere. And that's our focal point right now, is that use of social media and the internet," he said. "They try to push their social or political agenda. And oftentimes, it advocates for the use of violence. And using the internet and social media, I think you could have a vast audience, of which some people may be susceptible to their messaging."

The grant money will go toward training and training-related costs, such as overtime to cover officers while they’re in training. The grant is good for two years, and it does not cover equipment, only “training costs and related items that we need to establish the program,” he said.

“We submitted our plan to the state for approval,” he said. “The Genesee County Legislature reviewed the plan, and we’re going to move forward … we’re hoping to have the training completed in February. This will include all law enforcement in Genesee County."

Given this new initiative, the plan also includes promotion:  “We will be doing an awareness campaign,” he said.

That campaign will be rolled out to the public so that anyone can participate in the program. For example, if a resident reads or hears something that seems like a possible threat to the community — an online discussion about attacking a school, for example — that resident will be more equipped to know where and how to report it, and the threat advisory team would assess the situation to determine how to proceed.

"So people know, obviously, in an emergency situation, they're going to call 911. But we're also going to have another reporting system that may not reach that level yet," he said. "And the management team or the TAM team would then get together and assess it and see if we can intervene and get resources out there at that early stage."

As Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter put it: The team is “a holistic group that gets together and analyzes their case, looks at it, and sees how we can mitigate the risk and take someone off that path and stairway to targeted violence.”

More details will be publicized once the county’s plan is officially approved and the training is complete, Mazur said. Squad 9 LLC, which was used by Monroe County, will conduct the training and consulting work.

Squad 9 is led by two veteran Federal Bureau of Investigation experts who provide consultative, training and research services related to threat assessment and management, behavioral intervention, international and domestic terrorism, interview and interrogation, and risk management needs.

Mazur presented the plan to the Legislature this week, and he expects for there to be more public discussion and details to be provided after state approval and completion of training in early 2023.

File Photo of Genesee County Undersheriff Bradley Mazur talking to Genesee County legislators during a meeting at the Old Courthouse in Batavia, by Joanne Beck.

Elmore misses another court appearance while Oddey remains at shelter

By Howard B. Owens
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Cassandra Elmore

The Batavia woman whose dog reportedly ingested narcotics, leading to her arrest and to the dog being confined to the Genesee County Animal Shelter, once again failed to appear in Batavia City Court as directed.

A motion hearing was scheduled for Thursday afternoon and Cassandra Elmore didn't make it.

Elmore's attorney, Jamie B. Welch, assistant public defender, told Judge Thomas Burns that he hasn't heard from nor been able to contact his client for weeks and did not know why she wasn't in court for the hearing.

Burns issued a warrant for her arrest but stayed it for 48 hours, giving Welch a little more time to try and track her down.

Elmore hasn't consistently missed her court appearances, but she did skip an appearance in September and was subsequently arrested.

The 30-year-old Elmore has promised that once the case is cleared, we will get "the real case."

Welch was prepared to file motions on her behalf on Thursday but told Burns he would rather hold those motions until Elmore can be present in court. Burns said he also thought that is the best way to proceed.

Elmore was first arrested in July after she had taken her French Bulldog, Oddey, to veterinarians for emergency treatment. In each case, the veterinarians determined Oddey had overdosed on narcotics. Twice the veterinarians said they suspected Oddey had ingested cocaine.  On one occasion, Elmore reportedly said Oddey had found white powder on the kitchen floor of her residence, then on River Street.

Since that arrest, Elmore has also been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, obstruction of governmental administration, aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd. 

Two members of Volunteers for Animals waited for nearly two hours Thursday to see if Elmore appeared.  After court, they said Oddey is doing well at the shelter.  Oddey, however, can't find a new forever home so long as Elmore retains ownership of the dog.

At her last court appearance, on Oct. 20, Elmore said she was willing to negotiate Oddey's future.  The volunteers said there have been negotiations but no resolution was reached.

Previously:

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.

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