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Self-Advocate Honored

By Genesee ARC News

BATAVIA - Corinne Phelps of Basom received the Self- Advocate Achievement Award at the 2009 Western Region Self-Advocacy Conference held June 4 – 5, at the Batavia Holiday Inn. She was joined at the awards luncheon by her parents, Dana and Bryan Phelps.

The following achievements were outlined in Corinne’s awards nomination form: Corinne has been a member of Friends for the Future Self-Advocacy Group for three years and is in her second term as Secretary; she is encouraging to her peers, empowers others and has taken part in many presentations and public speaking opportunities.

Along with self-advocacy, Corinne is active in her church choir and Sunday School and is a volunteer for the Down Syndrome Parent Support Group of Genesee County, Inc. As a member of Genesee ARC’s PREP for life program, she volunteers at the Genesee County Animal Shelter, Nursing Home and the Richmond Memorial Library. 

“Following Your Dreams” was the theme of this year’s conference. Workshop topics included empowered living, transportation, employment, disability awareness and legislative advocacy.

The Western New York Self-Advocacy Conference has been held in Batavia for the past several years due to its central location between Buffalo and Rochester. An impressive 430 people registered for the two-day conference.

Lamb Farm

By Bea McManis

With all this talk about Lamb Farm, I went hunting and found their website.

It is well worth the time to look through it all.  Make sure you click on the videos of the clipper and the milking merry go round.


Police Beat: Riga man accused of selling cocaine in Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens

Stanley Parker, 23, of 6480 Buffalo Road, Riga (pictured), is accused of selling cocaine to an undercover agent with the Local Drug Task Force. He is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. He is being held in Genesee County Jail on $20,000 bail. Assisting in the investigation were uniformed deputies of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and the Monroe County Sheriff and the District Attorney's Office.

Joshua Kitchen, 20, of 174 Hagadom Road, Broadalin, is accused of stealing a t-shirt from the Flying-J. He is charged with petty larceny.

Lost dog found on Montclair Avenue

By Howard B. Owens

A reader found a dog and wants to help reunite it with its owner.  Her's what he says:

A dog just wandered down my street (Montclair Ave.) in Batavia, and walked right up on my porch where me and my dog were sitting. I had never seen this dog in my neighborhood before so Ii put a leash on him and walked around the surrounding block asking everyone i saw if they had ever seen the dog and nobody recognized her. So I called the shelter and they said nobody called about that one yet but to bring it in. The dog is a female looks somewhat like a jack russel white with black and tan patches, I was just wondering if you could post that this dog is safe at the shelter so if the owner or someone who knows  the owner might have a good lead for a happy reunion.

UPDATE: The owner saw this post and recovered his dog, according the the reader who sent this in.

Legislature receives proposal to create focus group to study new legislative terms

By Howard B. Owens

County Legislators received a memo from County Manager Jay Gsell this evening suggesting that the legislature appoint a volunteer committee to review the idea of changing legislative terms from two years to four and to stagger the terms of the nine members.

The suggestion comes from the imposingly-long titled "Genesee County Comprehensive Plan Government Administration Focus Group," a committee of 11 administrators and community leaders.

The group met May 19.

The consensus was a larger group of volunteers who fairly represent the community should study the idea further and seek broad community input before fashioning a ballot proposal for the 2010 election.

"It is suggested that this volunteer focus/study group be carefully constructed to represent all aspects of the county; i.e., geographical, agriculture, business, construction, municipalities, political, health care, etc., and perhaps each Legislator could propose one group member with the Chair then submitting additional members to represent the various constituencies that should be involved" the memo reads. "There should be careful consideration of selecting a chair for the focus/study group who would provide, as far as possible, an impartial administrative-oriented position to the process."

A 2010 election is preferable, the memo states, to give the proposal a more deliberative process and ensure no changes are made prior to the 2010 census.

Participating in the May 19 meeting were Gsell, Frank Ciaccia, Lorie Cleveland, Susan Conklin, Scott German, Chester Kaleta, Lucine Kauffman, Ester Leadley, Karen Marchese, Don Read and John Rizzo.

Legislature approves GCC budget

By Howard B. Owens

The $3.26 million Genesee Community College budget received unanimous County Legislature support tonight.

The spending plan includes a commitment from the county for an additional $50,000 in spending in 2010, even though the county has not yet begun work on the 2010 budget.

"Higher education, with the way the economy is, is very important to people who need help in getting a job or keeping a job," said Ed DeJaneiro.

Both County Manager Jay Gsell and Legislator Charles Zambito noted that the county's contribution to GCC is among the lowest of any county in the state to a community college, as a percentage of the college budget.  Gsell also said after the meeting that GCC's students get one of the more affordable college educations in the state because GCC's coverage area is bigger than just one county.

The county's contribution to the spending plan will be $1,936,374.

Zambito spoke highly of GCC's efforts.

"Enrollment is the highest it's ever been and it's expected to be higher next year," Zambito said. "At a time when every other college is raising tuition, GCC is making a concerted effort not to increase tuition."

Students will pay $1,700 per semester in the coming academic year, or $140 per credit hour for part-time students.

County Legislature recognizes Dairy Month

By Howard B. Owens

County Legislator Charles Zambito, Elba, presents a proclamation in honor of dairy month to Dairy Princes Mackenzie Reynolds and Eric Zuber.  Following the proclamation, ice cream sandwiches, an annual tradition, were handed out to every person in the chamber. Um, good.

Power outage in Alexander

By Howard B. Owens

More than 220 National Grid customers along Route 98 south of the city are without power.

The National Grid web site says the power outage effects the town and village of Alexander as well as part of the Town of Batavia. 

National Grid estimates power will be restored about 5:30 p.m.

UPDATE 4:14 p.m.: Power has been restored. Steve Brady at National Grid said it was a short outage that was necessary to replace a failing lightning arrester.  It's safer to take power offline to make a quick, but much needed repair. "It was an unplanned, planned outage," Brady said. Normally, National Grid likes to notify customers of planned outages, but when this particular faulty arrester was found, engineers decided it should be replaced right away to avoid a bigger problem later. (Lightning arrester pictured)

Accident on Route 63 causes serious injury to driver of one vehicle

By Howard B. Owens

Genesee County units assisted in an emergency response to an accident yesterday in Wyomning County that led to one injured person being taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital.

The afternoon accident on Route 63 in the Town of Covington, according to a State Police, occurred when a car on Peoria Road pulled out on the highway in front of an oncoming car.

Eric Maggio, 49, of Leicester, driving a Pontiac Grand Am, reportedly pulled in front of a Oldsmobile Bravado driven by Esequiel H. Olan, 32, of Arkport.

Maggio was flown to Strong with head and chest injuries.

Maria Ortiz, 24, Arkport and Imelda Ruiz-Gomez, 27, also of Arkport were taken by ambulance to Dansville Hospital for chest pain. Olan and a young child in the Bravado were not injured.

Doris Bogner, 78, of Leicester, a passenger in the Grand Am, was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital by ambulance for chest pain.

Pavilion Fire and Ambulance and Leroy Ambulance assisted with the accident.

The investigation is ongoing and no tickets have been issued at this time.

First Grader Dairy Day at Lamb Farms in Oakfield

By Howard B. Owens

First graders from 10 Genesee County area schools got to learn all about cows and dairy products today at Lamb Farms in Oakfield.

It's the second year the annual First Graders Dairy Day has been held at Lamb Farms.

Jonathan Lamb said not only do the students learn about dairies, but the parents who come along also enjoy the day and learn more, as well.

"In dairy farming we need to do a better job of educating the public," Lamb said. "Lots of times we fall short in that area."

Robin Keller, president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau and a dairy farmer herself, said Lamb does a lot to support kids in the county.

"Jonathan is one of those guys who likes to volunteer and work with kids," she said.

Pictured above is Larry Burrows. He is explaining cow feeding and care to one group of kids.

Some 600 to 800 children attended the event this morning, Lamb said.

Hawley meets with fellow legislators and state dairy farms for Dairy Day in Albany

By Howard B. Owens

Press Release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) today joined Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R, C, I – Canandaigua), bipartisan members of the State Legislature, representatives from the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York Farm Bureau, New York Grange, Northeast Dairy Foods, and American Dairy Association, along with local New York State farmers in celebration and recognition of New York State Dairy Day. 

Additionally, the coalition discussed the negative impacts of Assembly Bill 1867, dubbed the “Farm Death Bill” and called on the State Senate and Governor to “vote no” on the bill, which was passed by the Assembly last evening.

Hawley stated, “I was a third generation family farmer and I know firsthand how difficult it is to run a farm successfully.  Right now farmers are losing money on every gallon of milk, every pound of grain, because production costs here are so high.  We are in the midst of one of the worst recessions in decades and now is not the time to add additional burdens on our farmers.”

The Assemblyman continued, “This onerous bill, if passed into law, will be the death of New York State’s farms.  Farming is not just a job, it is a way of life and I want to keep that quality of life around for many more generations.”

One angus calf recovered, but turns out, one is still missing

By Howard B. Owens

Remember the wayward Angus calf reported by Jonathan Lamp of Oakfield a few weeks ago?

I spoke with Lamb today and he said the rancher who owned the calf recovered it, but that wasn't the only calf to escape.

The report of the missing calf was seen on The Batavian by a niece of the rancher, and the rancher recovered that calf within two hours of the initial post. But the second calf remains, well, on the lamb.

So if you see a young, all-black bovine wandering around Oakfield, let Jonathan Lamb know so he can notify the rancher.

Shopping Local Merchants

By Laura Scarborough

I recently shopped at the Corner Vacuum Shop (Dick Mortellaro's) located at 328 Ellicott St, Batavia.  You see, I had bought my vacuum at Walmart about 6 mos ago.  It's a Eureka, an item that Walmart has been stocking for quite a while.  I've been wanting to change the filter, but found that Walmart does not stock the part to support this big ticket item I bought from them.  I was not very happy.

Instead of going online to try and find the filter, Howard's articles of shopping local popped into my head.  Also, I remembered someone blogging about buying a good used vacuum there and they were pleased w/the customer service.

I called the Corner Vacuum Shop and explained what I needed.  They knew exactly what I needed, and took my phone number.  They called back within 15 min saying they just happened to have the part on hand.  I went right away to pick up the filter, taking my dirty filter to compare size.  As soon as I walked in the door with my filter, the man at the counter reached under the counter and pulled out the cleaner version... he knew exactly who I was and what I wanted without me saying more then I just called him.  He even cleaned out the filter holder w/the air hose w/out me thinking to ask.

I told them they should probably stock this filter and other parts for vacuums that the local Walmart is selling and not supporting as I would tell everyone about my experience(I am keeping my promise through this blog).  He said If he does not have a part in stock,  he orders on Monday's and gets delivery on Tuesdays.  Also, I parked on the street right in front of the store and was in/out with my purchase in under 10 minutes.

Collision yesterday at routes 33 and 237 send three people to the hospital

By Howard B. Owens

An accident at the intersection of routes 33 and 237 yesterday at 2 p.m. sent three people to the hospital with minor injuries.

The collision is still under investigation, but the preliminary report states that Karen M. Hanson, 51, of Canandaigua, driving northbound on 237 in a 2002 Audi four-door sedan failed to stop at the posted intersection.

Hanson's vehicle struck a 2009 Ford Suburban driven by Sylvia Lombardo, 74, of Rochester, which was westbound on 33.

Sylvia Lombardo was taken to Park Ridget Hospital in Rochester complaining of whole body pain and with minor bleeding.

Her passenger, Andrew J. Lombardo, 84, suffered a concussion and minor bleeding and was also transported to Park Ridge.

Hanson complained of back pain and was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital.

No tickets have been issued yet and the investigation continues.

Flight club is unsure if it will restore vintage jet that crashed Saturday

By Howard B. Owens

Wings of Flight, a flying club based at the Genesee County Airport in Batavia, is unsure if it will restore the 1947 Vampire jet that crash landed on the Rochester airport on Saturday.

The jet was believed to be the oldest flying jet in the world.  The picture above was taken Saturday when the jet was headed toward Rochester for a EAA Wings air show.

Wings of Flight spokesman Nash Dsylva said pilot Peter Treichler showed his skill and experience in landing the jet on a grass area near the airport when he manuvered the plane to a safe landing area after losing power five minutes after take off.

"The experienced pilot made an educated decision to land on the grass as he is now executing a "dead stick" landing," Dsylva said in an e-mail.  "He continued to pull the gear and flaps up to clean the plane up to improve the glide ratio. He touched down on the grass and slid for 150 feet before hitting a burm. The plane was airborne once again and impacted the grass twice before coming to rest some 250 yards after the initial touch down. Pete was able to pull himself out of the cockpit and was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital with back injuries."

Shortly after take off, Treichler, of East Aurora, told air control he felt an unusual vibration. Minutes later, he declared an emergency. He turned toward the airport and lost power on final approach.  Dsylva said he made a split second decision to land in the grass.

The plan was originally based near Toronto and after it was retired was part of the Blue Devils demonstration team. Later it was owned by actor John Travolta, Wings of Flight acquired the jet in 2006. It was on loan to the Genesee Warbirds Musuem until Oct. 2008.

Police Beat: Batavia man accused of grand larceny at business in Bethany

By Howard B. Owens

Michael L. Jackson, Jr. 28, of 1 Seneca Ave., Batavia (pictured), is being held in Genesee County Jail on $25,000 on felony grand larceny and burglary charges. Jackson is accused of breaking into the Holland High Lift building in Bethany on April 11 and damaging parts worth $1,500 and stealing items worth at least $8,000 and a pick up truck valued at $19,000. The charges filed against him are criminal mischief in the second degree, grand larceny in the third degree, burglary in the third degree and grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Jeffrey Vanslyke, 27, of 20 Mechanic St., Elba, is charged with a felony DWI count and driving with a BAC of .08 or more as well as unlawful possession of marijuana. Vanslyke reported failed to dim his headlines on Chapel Street in the Village of Elba. When a patrol attempted to stop Vanslyke's car, Vansylke reportedly kept driving on Route 98, leading patrol units on a low speed chase that ended on Graham Road in Elba. He was also charged with failure to yield to emergency vehicles.

Stephen Mullen, 19, of 71 S. Main St., Oakfield, is charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. The details of the incident leading to his arrest were not released by the Sheriff's Office.

DeJaneiro, Christian, Charvella receive backing of county Democrats for County Legislature

By Howard B. Owens

Press release from County Democratic Chair Lorie Longhany:

The Genesee County Democratic Committee voted to endorse all announced candidates  unanimously for the Genesee County Legislature tonight at their regularly scheduled meeting on June 9th at the Elks Home.  Incumbent legislator, Ed DeJaneiro, who represents  district 9, is joined by city councilman  Rosemary Christian in district 7 and Chris Charvella in District 8.  These candidates represent a combination of strength and experience along with natural leadership and a new perspective on county government. The Committee is looking forward to an exciting election season and all of us are eager to get behind our endorsed candidates to help them move Genesee County in a new direction."

UPDATE: Russ Stresing submitted this statement on behalf of Rosemary Christian:

I am pleased and honored to recieve the Genesee County Democratic Committee's  endorsement.  Having the committee's enthusiastic support means a great deal as the campaign moves forward and I'm very enthusiastic about working with Chris Charvella and Ed DeJaneiro to try to bring balance, oversight and  transparency to county government.  So much more can be accomplished when people come together as a group than one person can do on her own and its exciting to be part of a real effort to help Genesee County move in a new direction.

UDPATE: Chris Charvella sends along the following statement:

It is with great honor and gratitude that I welcome the endorsement from the Genesee County Democratic committee.  I appreciate their enthusiastic and unanimous support as I continue to address the issues and concerns of the voters in the 8th District in the City of Batavia.  I'm looking forward to being a part of the team with Ed DeJaneiro and Rosemary Christian that can help bring balance, oversight and transparency to county government as we  chart a new course towards the future.

Three-car accident on Route 5 in Le Roy causes injuries

By Howard B. Owens

A Dodge Caravan driven by Theodis Hill, Jr., 40, of Medina, allegedly failed to stop yesterday around 2:30 p.m. when he came upon a line of stopped cars on Route 5 in Le Roy, causing a three-car accident.

There were injuries, but State Police Spokeswoman Rebbeca Gibbons did not have information available this morning on the extent of the injuries.

A 2000 Monte Carlo driven by Timothy Vanhouter, of Le Roy, was struck in the rear by Hill's vehicle, causing the pick up to slam into a 2003 Chevy S-10 pick up driven by David Agnello, 64, of Webster.

The cars were stopped in the road because highway crews were painting new lines on the State Route.

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