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January 16, 2020 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in trade, economics, agriculture, news.

Press release from the NYS Farm Bureau:

“The Senate’s passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement clears the final hurdle that stood in the way of progress for New York’s farmers.

"Nearly half of our state’s agricultural exports go to our North American neighbors, providing vital market opportunities that will remain open thanks to USMCA.

"The certainty that this agreement provides to farmers, plus the potential for expected growth for our dairy farms, are reasons to commend lawmakers for getting the job done in a strong bipartisan fashion.

"Combine this news with yesterday’s announcement of the phase one trade deal with China, and there is renewed hope that United States’ trade policy is headed in the right direction.”

January 16, 2020 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Scholastic Bowl, news, schools, education, pembroke.


In Wednesday's Scholastic Bowl matches, Pembroke and Alden came out on top.

In the first match, Alden scored 240 points to 230 for Le Roy and 140 for Pavilion.

In the second match, Pembroke scored 260 points to 160 for Alexander and 110 for Akron.


January 16, 2020 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, oakfield-alabama, basketball, video.
Video Sponsor

With a three-point jumper late in the second quarter, Elba's Colton Dillion pegged his 1,000th career point during the Lancers' away game against the Oakfield-Alabama Hornets. 

The game was stopped briefly for Colton to be awarded with a commemorative 1,000-point ball.

The Lancers, now 9-2, won 59-52. O-A drops to 6-4 on the season.

Colton scored 20 points in the game. Greyson Huntington scored 11. Zach Marsceill scored nine, Collin O'Halloran, eight, Andrew Hale, seven.

For the Hornets, Kam Cusmano scored 10, and Travis Wiedeich, Joey Burdick, and Gage Armbruster had nine each.

UPDATE: A photo of Colton Dillon taking the three-point shot that put Dillion right on 1,000 career points. Submitted by Kristen Smith.  For more photos from the game, click here.


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January 16, 2020 - 12:00pm

"Our Town" -- tickets on sale now! Please join the Batavia Players for this  American classic. The lives of a small New Hampshire town at the beginning of the 19th century. A warm and loving look at the people and the day to day activities in Grovers Corners. A true treasure of American theater staged in a traditional but unique way. By Thornton Wilder. Directed by Patrick D. Burk.
7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24th & Saturday, Jan. 25th, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26th. Tickets: Adults $16, Students/Seniors $15.

January 16, 2020 - 11:26am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, GCASA, GOW opioid task force.

Press release:

The quarterly meeting of the GOW Opioid Task Force is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the Quality Inn & Suites Hotel on Park Road in Batavia.

Residents of Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties wanting to gain or share information regarding the opioid crisis are invited to attend.

“The purpose of this meeting is to address the growing opioid crisis by sharing information across several sectors and to monitor the task force’s progress in our tri-county region,” said Christen Ferraro, project coordinator. “You do not need to be a member (of the task force) to attend.”

Ferraro said the meeting will feature more than 10 community resource tables from agencies across the region.

“Our work groups will share their highlights of 2019 and plans for the upcoming year,” she said. “The Law Enforcement Work Group will be giving a presentation on the new bail reform law -- going into more detail on what it means and how it might affect our area – and task force evaluators will discuss their role and share and their findings from last year.”

She said representatives of the Greater Rochester Health Foundation will talk about the grant that supports the task force and how to connect with the organization to apply for community health grants.

For more information about the GOW Task Force, go to www.gowopioidtaskforce.org.

To attend the meeting, visit the Eventbrite link here to RSVP, or contact Ferraro at [email protected]

Disclosure: Written by Mike Pettinella, GCASA publicist.

January 16, 2020 - 9:02am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news.

Pin Points

Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls captured his fourth Genesee Region USBC Scratch Memorial Tournament on Jan. 5 at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, which continues dominance of this event by bowlers from counties of the former Perry Bowling Association (the tournament's originator).

For more about Culp's victory and other bowling news from the area, click on the Pin Points logo above or the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

January 15, 2020 - 6:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in spectrum, Empire Access, business.

Officials at Empire Access are warning their customers that Spectrum sales reps may be using deceptive tactics to try and convince them to switch broadband and cable services.

Today, Marketing Director Bob R. VanDelinder released a video taken by a customer's front-porch video recorder that shows a man who looks like a Spectrum rep and represents himself as a Spectrum rep telling the customer that Spectrum is acquiring Empire Access.

"We thought this may be of interest since Empire Access did NOT sell to Spectrum, and has no plans of selling," VanDelinder said. "Our company is locally owned and operated, and deeply rooted in the communities we serve."

The rep tells the customer, "We just bought Empire, you know, so sooner or later you're going to be with us."

"So you're going to raise up your rates?" the customer asks in response. 

"No, we're just going to get everybody switched over, so whenever you're ready. The official switch-over is March, so sooner later you'll be on board with us or you'll be on satellite. Right now we're offering you a deal to get on board with us."

VanDelinder said his company has received two complaints, both involving the same rep at a location in the Southern Tier.

The Batavian attempted to reach a spokesperson for Spectrum this afternoon and we received no response.

UPDATE 9:43 p.m.: We apparently contacted the wrong Spectrum. We just received the following statement from a Spectrum spokesperson: "The content of the video is not accurate and we’re investigating these apparent comments by the sales representative."

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January 15, 2020 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, news, schools, education, batavia.


Tech is increasingly part of the learning environment in City School classrooms and at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting, two teachers -- Alexander Veltz, Social Studies (photo), and Andrew Kiebala, Math -- shared how they're using Chromebooks and Google classroom tools to aid in their instruction.

Their presentions came as part of the information technology review by Director of Technology Jeff McKinney.

Veltz shared how he can use Google tools to share assignments, worksheets, handouts, and ensure that not only are they available in the classroom, but students (and their guardians) have access to the material at home. The availability of the material is helping him meet the new demands for greater reading comprehension in state exams.

With the tools, students can answer questions and get immediate feedback on their responses. 

Another tool allows students to sort through documents, which is especially helpful for a project that requires them to write an essay based on pre-assigned material that they must study, find a common theme, and then organize in order to write the essay.

"There is a shift in New York State where it's less about retention and more about argumentation based on perspective and point of view," Veltz said. "Retention is a skill New York is moving away from."

Trustee Shawn Murphy, who teaches at Genesee Community College, asked if the use of the tools was taking away from classroom engagement. Veltz said not at all.

McKinney added, "We are not switching over to where kids just sit in front of a computer. That's not the intent at all."

Kiebala shared tools that students can use to study geometric properties. 

He also shared a program that allows students to work on quizzes that he guides from his own computer and see where they need help. He said the program allows students to ask questions and make observations that he can then share with the class. The process allows students who might normally be shy about raising their hands to contribute more readily to classroom learning.

"This is my favorite thing to do," Kiebala said. "It allows them to be independent and also allows me to have control, so it's the best of both worlds for a teacher."

Kiebala shared a study published by NPR that indicated most people in the work world don't spend a lot of time doing trigonometry or geometry but they do spend a lot of time working in Excel, so his statistics class is heavy into spreadsheets.

"I tell the class, 'this is what you're going to spend your time doing because this is what you're going to use,' " Kiebala said. "You don't have to do anything by hand anymore because you either have a calculator or a spreadsheet but you still need to know what the numbers mean."

January 15, 2020 - 3:00pm

202 Trumbull Pkwy -- Super well cared for City ranch located on North side on quiet street. This home sits on a large double lot with nice landscaping. Don’t let this one go unnoticed – this owner did everything right and took care of all the maintenance so you can just move in and make it your own! You name it, it was done. Roof, windows, furnace etc. ... Many nice features including: entry hall with laundry area off garage. With a place to kick off your shoes and storage-leading into large and cozy kitchen with dining area next to gas fireplace, so so homey! Look out slider door to peaceful backyard or curl up next to fireplace while you eat and entertain! Also has large front living room and three good sized bedrooms. Don’t forget two-car garage and very large and dry basement for all your extra storage or hobbies. Come see! Click here for more information on this listing.

9400 Putnam Road -- Location is key for this solid and comfortable country farmette-located on almost 23 PRIME country acres in the Town of Batavia with Alexander School District! This home offers so much for someone looking for room to spread out, large rooms, high ceilings, big bedrooms, TONS of storage, two living rooms gorgeous woodwork, hardwood floors and some of the County’s best farm land! This property goes all the way over to East Road with frontage there as well-you could parcel off and sell OR build your other dream home! So many possibilities—and all very well kept and lovingly cared for, definitely worth a look! Click here for more information on this listing.

January 15, 2020 - 2:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in bail reform, news, steve hawley.

Submitted photo and press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley joined law enforcement professionals, lawmakers and family members of crime victims at a press conference today in Albany held by Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay calling for a repeal of dangerous bail reform laws that are leading to serial criminals being released before trial. 

Joining lawmakers at the press conference today was Jennifer Payne, mother of Sarah Tombs who was shot and killed in April by her live-in boyfriend. The individual was released from custody last week under the new bail reform laws.

Also in attendance at the press conference was Sheila Harris, cousin of Maria “Rosie” Osai, a 35-year-old mother of three who was struck and killed by an unlicensed, hit-and-run driver in Rockland County on Christmas Eve. The driver was immediately released without bail pursuant to the new law.  

“Bail reform has already become a public safety epidemic with a new, dangerous criminal released back out onto the streets seemingly each day,” Hawley said. “New York City politicians who passed this law are directly responsible for tying our judges’ hands and restricting their ability to lock up career criminals with long rap sheets and that has dire consequences. I am calling on legislative leaders to join us in making much-needed changes to bail reform immediately before any more damage is done.”

January 15, 2020 - 2:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in gc sheriff's office, Milestones, Road Patrol Division.

New deputies above, from left: Jordan M. Alejandro, Kenneth A. Quackenbush III, Brock D. Cummins, Jared T. Swimline and Nicholas R. Chamoun.

Submitted photo and press release:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. has filled several vacant deputy sheriff positions with the hiring of Kenneth A. Quackenbush III, Jared T. Swimline, Nicholas R. Chamoun, Jordan M. Alejandro and Brock D. Cummins.

All five Deputies recently completed their field training programs after graduating from the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy at Niagara University on Sept. 11.

Deputy Quackenbush was awarded "Top Gun" in his basic academy class. He is a 2004 Pavilion Central School regents graduate and was previously a correction officer at the Genesee County Jail, hired Nov. 26, 2016, before being appointed a deputy sheriff.

Deputy Swimline is a 2013 Pembroke Central School regents graduate. He attended Erie Community College and earned an Associate in Science degree in General Studies. Deputy Swimline was previously a correction officer at the Genesee County Jail, hired July 21, 2018, before being appointed a deputy sheriff.

Deputy Chamoun was awarded the Sgt. Jeff Juron Defensive Tactics Award and the Physical Fitness Award in his basic academy class. He is a 2012 graduate of Terra Nova High School in Pacifica, Calif. In 2013, Deputy Chamoun enlisted in the Marine Corps for four years and held the position of sergeant -- squad, and mortar section leader, and he was awarded several medals. He earned an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensics last year from Genesee Community College.

Deputy Alejandro is a 2004 Tonawanda Central School graduate. He attended Niagara County Community College where he earned an Associate in Arts degree in Humanities and Social Science. Deputy Alejandro was previously employed as an associate director of operations for ConServe.

Deputy Cummins is a 2002 graduate from Greenview Central School in Jamestown, Ohio, and enlisted in the Army right after high school. During the 11 years enlisted, Deputy Cummins was part of the “Old Guard,” the Army’s official ceremonial unit, escorting the president, and providing security for Washington, D.C. He held the position of platoon sergeant and squad leader and earned several medals while serving.

Sheriff Sheron said, “I am proud to have these exceptional individuals join the Road Patrol Division of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.”

January 15, 2020 - 2:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, business, Pavilion, Hands of Time Massage.


After the west wall of the Opera House in Attica was heavily damaged in a windstorm last week, Pavilion resident Jolene Coots found her business, Hands of Time Massage, displaced.

It didn't take long for the community to find out and the outpouring of support has been overwhelming, said her husband, Jesse Coots.

"Because of the damage, the county has deemed the building unsafe so she was instantly out of business," Jesse said. "Feeling crushed, we went to Attica yesterday (Monday) to remove what we could then we went for lunch at local diner and people were amazing to Jolene. They gave her hugs and words of encouragement and offered any help we needed.

"We took a walk down Main Street looking for a place to rent. Nothing was advertised for rent and feeling desperate we just walked into a couple of local businesses and asked if they knew if anything. Everyone, and I mean everyone, offered space to Jolene. They offered to share a room and offered to make room for her!

"We were really shocked. We thought she would be out of business for a few months but the community has literally rallied behind her."

Talking about it makes Jolene tear up.

"It's amazing," Jolene said during a phone interview. She started to sob and confessed she thought she had told the story often enough already that she wouldn't cry during the interview.

"Everybody knew," Jolene said. "It's a small town. Word spreads quickly. The expressions of concern when we went out, messages on Facebook, Jesse's friends had spots available, even in neighboring towns, they'd say they have spots available and though know it's not close for a majority of my clients, but they have space. It's been great."

That's the advantage of small-town life, both Jesse and Jolene noted, and why they wanted to share their story.

Jolene has been a massage therapist for 20 years and had her own business in Attica for more than 19 years. The Coots are known, of course, for the Hardcore Happening, which they host at their home in Pavilion every August.

While Jolene is hopeful the Opera House can be repaired -- she believes her landlord expects to repair it -- she now has space for her practice. 

On Monday, while she and Jesse stepped into the Tompkins Insurance office and asked if the staff new of open space downtown. Manager Mike Hardy came out and right away offered a space upstairs. Jolene said it was the most move-in ready space they had seen and Hardy allowed her to move her business into the room immediately.  

"The words of encouragement have meant the most," Jesse said. "I don’t think she ever realized how loved she is or how powerful and supportive a small town can be.

"We’ve had offers from people all over once word got out -- friends who own building in Batavia, Le Roy, Pavilion and Attica have reached out. Other massage therapists have offered space. It really made us feel good to live in such a caring community and feel loved by so many."


January 15, 2020 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, education, schools.


David Chua, Stephen Pribek and Ashley Elmore -- Certificate of Appreciation

Sarah Gahagan has nominated David Chua, Stephen Pribek and Ashley Elmore for a board award. Each of these individuals invested a large chunk of time mentoring and modeling the word "commitment" to the B Squad boys. They did what not everyone does....they SHOWED UP. Each week, two days a week for 20 weeks these volunteers modeled follow through and were able to showcase what "doing what you love" looks like.

Each of these volunteers had something special to offer, a love of running and showed just how important it is to continue doing what you love, even into adulthood when you are busy and "life" takes over. Chua was a soft spoken guiding force of optimism and motivation, whereas Pribek could always add a science lesson into our running and truly teach us something new every single practice. His humor was a favorite with the boys. And Elmore is a ray of light. She is positive, fun, and encouraged the boys to always be their best under any circumstance. She is a true leader who shines from the inside out.

This program is only able to be successful because of the volunteers. We need to ensure safety while running and the more adults we have, the safer we are and the more boys we can accept within this program.

Volunteering is something not many do these days and it is valuable and appreciated and for this they all deserve to be recognized.


Carlos Colon -- Certificate of Appreciation

The English as a New Language faculty nominate Carlos Colon for a Board of Education award because of his dedication to our district and students. Anyone who knows Carlos would use words like friendly, easy going, helpful, and caring to describe him. Colon's official job title is maintenance staff, however he frequently uses his time to help others outside this requirement.

Most notably, Colon has helped countless times this year alone in translating needs, concerns, and important information between teachers or administration, and parents who speak only Spanish. He does this because he knows the parents and teachers struggle to understand each other using only a translation app, and he doesn't want something important to be misconstrued due to a technical error.

He has also been called upon when our Spanish-speaking students needed a familiar face and language to calm them down. He has talked kids down from metaphorical ledges more than once, and helped the students come to a more peaceful place so that teachers could have a conversation with students. One student even shadows him as he works, as an incentive for good behavior.

Other students also look up to Carlos, as a friend, mentor, and a person they can trust. Colon embodies the phrase “above and beyond,” all in the hopes of helping our students be successful and understood. For these reasons, we believe Colon is well deserving of recognition for his work by the Board of Education.

Nominated by the ENL Department Staff.

Jenna Mrzywka (pronounced Majifka), Trina Cox, Addison Marino, Chelsea Cummings, Courtney Turcer and Shawn Chrysler.


Jim Jacobs -- Certificate of Appreciation

Jacobs recently came back out of retirement to fill in as Interim Director of Facilities. He stepped back in and it was as if he had never left. His knowledge and experience was instrumental in our schools opening smoothly and safely this year as the Capital Project created many changes to the District. Working closely with him, I saw first hand his continued dedication to make our schools the best they can be for our students and staff. It was a pleasure working with him again. Thank you, Jim!

Anonymous nomination.

Information and photos submitted by the school district.

January 15, 2020 - 12:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, oakfield-alabama.


Oakfield-Alabama, coming into the game with a 5-4, upset the #1 Class D team in the state Tuesday night, beating the Elba Lady Lancers (7-1), 48-45.

Both Brianna Smith and Kelsey Schlagenhauf notched double-doubles, with Smith scoring 22 points and nabbing 10 rebounds. Schlagenhauf scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. MaKena Reding scored six points and Brooke Reding scored six. Karly Smith had 10 rebounds.

Lauryn Engle scored 12 points, Lea Bezon 10, and Brynn Walczak, nine. Bezon and Walczak each had eight rebounds. Bezon had five assists. Engle hit four three-pointers.

Photos by Kristen Smith. For more photos from the game, click here.





January 15, 2020 - 11:45am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, credit card fraud.

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department has been investigating several cases where credit card numbers have been used fraudulently at businesses in the City of Batavia.

The suspect will not have the physical credit card but will ask the clerk to type in the numbers manually. The transactions will be initially approved, allowing the suspect to obtain the items from the business, but will be declined approximately a month later.

Business insurance will typically not cover the transactions, which means the business is out of the money.

The best practice for businesses to help prevent this type of fraud is to ensure customers have the physical credit card with them and to ask for identification with every card transaction, making sure the names on both the ID and card match.

The cases are ongoing so further details cannot be released at this time.

Anyone with information in reference to the case may contact: Detective Sgt. Matthew Lutey at 585-345-6365; or the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350; the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370; or online here

January 15, 2020 - 11:30am

Runner-up Landon Kent, left, and winner Ryan Benstead, both Byron-Bergen seventh-graders. Photo courtesy of Terry Vick.

Submitted photos and press release:

Byron-Bergen Junior High School students participated in the National Geographic Society's Geography Bee on Thursday, Jan. 9.

Based on a written test taken in December, 21 of the students were asked to participate in the annual school-level Bee. All participants answered questions in the preliminary rounds, which were used to determine who would compete in the finals.

Congratulations to all the participants!

Seventh-graders included: Ryan Benstead, Jake Carlson, Eli Kupfer, Jackson Lundfelt, Martin MacConnell, Sam Hersom, Roman Smith, Anna McLaughlin, Jack Farner, Logan Fregoe and Landon Kent.

Eighth-graders included Carter Prinzi, Braedyn Chambry, Grayson Erion, Aurora Hiscutt, Jeff Borycki, Daniels Dawson, Gabe Vallese, Megan Zwerka-Snyder, Sawyer Zinter and Travis Shallenberger.

Students who qualified for the Final Round were Ryan Benstead, Eli Kupfer, Martin MacConnell, Sam Hersom, Landon Kent, Carter Prinzi, Daniels Dawson, Jackson Lundfelt, Roman Smith and Logan Fregoe.

The top two contestants went on to compete in the Championship Round.

After three questions, Ryan Benstead was declared the Geography Bee champion. He was given a medal from the National Geographic Society and awarded a $40 Amazon gift card. As the runner-up, Landon Kent received a $20 Amazon gift card.

Ryan will now complete a formal written test, which will be submitted to the National Geographic Society. If his score is among the highest from New York State, he will be asked to participate in the state-level bee.

The winner in each state competes in the National Geography Bee in Washington, D.C.

Below, Byron-Bergen Junior High School contestants at Thursday's Geography Bee. 

January 15, 2020 - 11:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news, ethics reform.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, a Democrat running in the Special Election in NY-27 to fill the vacancy left by the Chris Collins, and Ammar Campa-Najjar, Democrat running in CA-50 for Duncan Hunter’s former seat, have teamed up to call for ethics reform to prevent corrupt Congress members from retaining their Congressional pensions following their guilty pleas.

McMurray and Campa-Najjar ran against Collins and Hunter, respectively, in 2018 while they were under indictment and proclaiming their innocence. Both former Congress members have since resigned in disgrace after pleading guilty to their crimes. Collins will be sentenced for insider trading violations on Jan. 17th.

The candidates are pledging to sponsor legislation to require Congressional pensions to be forfeited if a member is found guilty of a felony. Additionally, they will sponsor legislation to require the repayment of personal loans to campaigns within two years of the election.

McMurray first called for pension forfeiture in an October letter to the judge overseeing Collins’ case after Collins pled guilty.

It was reported earlier this month that Collins, a multimillionaire, also paid himself back more than $140,000 for a personal loan he gave to his losing 1998 campaign.

“People across our country are fed up with politicians illegally using their positions for personal gain – here in Western New York and in California, we have been deeply betrayed by our Congress members who prioritized their personal wealth ahead of their constituents,” McMurray said.

“That’s why Ammar and I are committed to addressing corruption when elected. Specifically, we want to ensure no felon former Congressmember can profit off their crimes by retaining their pensions and prevent campaign accounts from turning into personal piggybanks. Americans deserve better.”

“Nate and I are standing together today to fight back against the corruption that has harmed our districts, and demanding that Washington hold members of Congress to the most basic standards of ethical behavior,” Campa-Najjar said.

“Regardless of your party, if you break the public’s trust, you should not be able to keep your pension. Corruption harms all of us and undermines faith in our government. We must do better.”

January 15, 2020 - 8:00am

Submitted photo and press release:

On Thursday, Jan. 16, The Roberts Chorale will perform its first solo concert of the New Year. The concert is free of charge and open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m.

It will take place at the First Presbyterian Church of Batavia, which is located at 300 E. Main St. Seating is by general admission; doors will open at 6:45. There will be a reception following the performance.

The Roberts Chorale is Roberts Wesleyan College’s premier vocal ensemble, devoted to the study and performance of high-quality choral music from diverse styles, musical eras, languages, and cultures.

Bonded by a passion for compelling musical performance and a desire for meaningful Christian fellowship, the Chorale is an ensemble of talented singer-artists who combine their gifts to cultivate excellence in choral singing.

For its 2019–2020 season, it is comprised of 41 students representing 18 academic majors at Roberts Wesleyan College, four home states, and three home countries.

The day after this concert, the Chorale departs on a performance tour of Florida, with concerts throughout the following week in Lakeland, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and Marco Island.

In the past two years, the choir, directed by Adam Potter, Ph.D., has toured the East Coast and returned from France in May, performing to large and enthusiastic audiences in Paris and Normandy.

Each year, the Chorale’s musical programming and extra-musical activities are structured around a unifying theme. This year, the theme—and that of the tour—is perseverance.

In devotionals and other spiritual life activities incorporated into the ensemble, they are reflecting on James 1:12: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

The title of the Florida tour program is “Through the Storm … Lead Me to the Light.”

These words are borrowed from the central piece on the program, Thomas Dorsey’s “Precious Lord,” and the repertoire is structured around the storm, ead, and light themes.

The first set of the concert is called “The Rain Awakens” and features storm music that represents the elements of nature. During the second set, “Turn Darkness Into Light,” the storm fades away and the theme of light begins to emerge through. The Chorale returns to the stage for its third set: “Lead Me Home,” during which the music leads the audience not only to physical light but to the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. Finally, in the final set, “The Star of My Life Is Jesus,” the Chorale sings of the One who is the culmination of every piece that preceded it.

Although thematically unified, the program is stylistically eclectic, including music from Renaissance Mexico, Classic Austria, and also music guaranteed to delight audiences, including new music by American composers, a folk song arrangement, gospel music, spirituals, and even a choral arrangement of a contemporary Christian ballad from the 1970s.

Through Potter’s philosophy of “relentless positivity,” the choir has been able to bring the concert together with the goal of sharing their music and their faith with the Batavia community in preparation for expanding their reach while on tour in Florida the next week.

January 15, 2020 - 4:31am
posted by Billie Owens in news, Bethany, accidents.

A tractor-trailer and box truck collision is reported in Bethany at 6071 Ellicott Street Road. Minor injuries. The northbound land is completely blocked and  there is a lot of debris across both lanes of traffic; southbound is partially blocked.

The road will be shut down. The tractor-trailer will be require a heavy wrecker for removal; the box truck is towable.

The location is between East and Transit roads. Law enforcement is to respond non-emergency mode. Bethany and Stafford fire departments are called to the scene along with Mercy medics.

January 14, 2020 - 9:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, alexander, notify.
2018 mugshot of Cleveland Johnson

The driver of a rented Chrysler 300 that slammed sideways into a tree in the Village of Alexander yesterday was apparently a member of a nationwide criminal enterprise known as the "Felony Lane Gang."

The gang members, often recognizable by their gold teeth, are known to smash into parked vehicles and then use stolen debit cards to obtain cash from bank accounts. When going to a bank, they use the lane furthest from the bank building, which makes it harder for security cameras to pick up identifying information. That lane is known as the "Felony Lane," hence the gang's name. 

Cleveland D. Johnson, 22, of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The vehicle he was driving was stopped for a traffic violation in the Village of Warsaw but Johnson hit the gas after the police officer exited the patrol car and headed west on Route 20. At Varysburg, he turned north and an Attica PD patrol spotted the vehicle on Route 98 and attempted to pursue but soon broke off the pursuit because of the high rate of speed of the white Chrysler. Johnson lost control of the sedan as he entered the village and the car wrapped around a large tree in front of a residence on Main Road.

Johnson, according to Chief Deputy Brian Frieday, did have gold teeth.

One of Johnson's passengers, Clyde A. Frazier, 24, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was seriously injured in the crash and remains in guarded condition (meaning he is in the intensive care unit) at Strong Memorial Hospital. A social media profile for a Clyde Frazier in Ft. Lauderdale shows multiple pictures of a young man with gold teeth.

The other passenger in the vehicle, Desarae N. Steriotis, 33, of Philadelphia, was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC. Frieday said as of today, her injuries are no longer considered life threatening.

Frieday said investigators are still developing information about the suspects and didn't have anything to add about their activities in the area.

Johnson was arrested in Greenburgh, N.Y., in January 2018, along with three other individuals, who were all accused of being part of the "Felony Lane Gang." One of the other suspects, Tyrone Parker, bared his gold teeth for his mugshot.

The four people were suspected of taking part in a crime spree throughout New England and Upstate New York. At the time of their arrest, they were reportedly found in possession stolen checks, dozens of stolen credit and debit cards, and 25 stolen licenses from several different states.

In July, Johnson was arrested in Watervliet, along with two other suspects, charged with criminal possession of a stolen substance, a felony, and criminal impersonation, a misdemeanor.

The Felony Lane Gang is reportedly based in the Ft. Lauderdale area but operates nationally. There have been crimes and arrests reported in nearly every one of the lower 48 states.

Our news partner, 13WHAM reports that Frazier has a criminal record in Florida.

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For Rent - Village of LeRoy

1 bedroom lower Washer/Dryer hookup $675 per month includes heat, water and trash removal. Security deposit required

CNC Machinist

Established industrial manufacturing company requires CNC machinist, minimum 3 years experience. Looking for committed, long term employee. Must have own tools. Good blueprint reading, measuring and math skills a must, CAD and CAM capabilities needed. CNC horizontal and vertical machining centers and lathes. Excellent benefits. Accepting applications and resumes at Brach Machine, Inc., in person or online.

Part-time Bookkeeper Wanted

Part-time bookkeeper wanted -- Six hours per week. Experience with computerized bookkeeping systems required. Church Windows Systems preferred. For more information call 585-343-6802, Ext. 1.



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