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Law and Order: Trio from Rochester accused of possessing drugs with the intention to sell

By Howard B. Owens

Bria Chaquan Carson, 30, no street address provided, Rochester, Chas Westley Burgess, 36, street address redacted, Rochester, and Robert Earl Wyche, 49, street address redacted, Rochester, are each charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd. Each was allegedly found in possession of fentanyl and cocaine at a location on Oak Street in Batavia at 3 a.m. on May 7. The case was investigated by Deputy Jeremiah Gechell and Deputy Morgan Ewert. All three were arraigned in City Court. Carson was released on his own recognizance. Burgess and Wyche were ordered held on no bail.

Mikhail Eric Lundberg, 32, of State Street, Blasdell, is charged with DWAI/combined drugs and alcohol. Lundberg was arrested on a warrant stemming from an incident at 9 a.m., Dec. 29, on Main Street in Corfu. He was arraigned in Town of Pembroke Court and released on his own recognizance. 

Kevin Brown Goodenough, 65, of Stone Road, Rochester, is charged with sexual abuse 1st. Goodenough was arrested in connection with an incident reported at noon on Oct. 8, 2017, on Lincoln Avenue in Le Roy. He was arraigned in Town of Le Roy Court and ordered held on $10,000 bail, $15,000 bond, or $40,000 partially secured bond.

Kayla Jean Nicolucci, 30, of Ridge Road, Elba, is charged with petit larceny. Nicolucci is accused of shoplifting from Walmart at 4:59 p.m. on May 7.  She was released on an appearance ticket.

Jerome Wayne Amesbury, 56, of Gilbert Road, Bergen, is charged with harassment 1st and stalking 4th. Amesbury is accused of stalking and harassing a victim on Gilbert Road in Bergen at 9:52 p.m. on May 7. He was arraigned in Bergen Town Court and released on his own recognizance. 

Jimmy L Moore, 45, of Oakfield, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. He was stopped by state police at 4:34 p.m. on May 7 in the city of Batavia. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Newly minted dollar coin gives nod to Native American hero from Genesee County

By Joanne Beck

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Hailed as a hero and confidante of General Ulysses Grant, Ely Parker is mostly known by local historians and history buffs, even though the Native American celebrity of sorts was a Genesee County native and now graces the tail of a $1 Native American coin minted this year.

Don’t know about Ely Samuel Parker? The 2022 Native American $1 Coin honors him as a U.S. Army officer, engineer, and tribal diplomat who served as military secretary to Ulysses S. Grant during the U.S. Civil War. When Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia, on the morning of April 9, 1865, Parker rendered the formal surrender documents in his own hand. On the coin Parker is depicted in his Army uniform while a quill pen, book and what’s been called “his graceful signature” are included as symbols of his experience as a successful communicator. His tribe of Tonawanda Seneca and HA-SA-NO-AN-DA are inscribed to recognize his tribe and given birth name. The coin’s head design is of Sacagawea carrying her infant son, Jean Baptiste.

Terry Abrams, administrative coordinator of Tonawanda Reservation Historical Society, believes this coin is another piece of recognition for Parker.

“I think it's just one one more step in sort of recognizing, you know, the contributions that somebody like Ely Parker specifically had, not just locally but nationally,” Abrams said during an interview with The Batavian. “He was somebody who was a national figure during the Civil War and the Grant administration. So, that's something to note and something to acknowledge.”

He also noted that Parker was “really a sort of complicated figure,” as captured in one of Parker's biographies, Warrior in Two Camps. As intelligent, savvy, effective and versatile as Parker was, he was not always so highly regarded. As a Native American, Parker was not considered to be a United States citizen, he could not take the Bar exam to officially become a lawyer, and his application to join the Union Army as an engineer was denied, all due to his Native American status.

Who he was ...
There’s an exhibit about Parker at Holland Land Office Museum, and Genesee County Michael Eula has given talks about him during the Museum’s History Heroes youth program. Eula recapped Parker’s life, from being born into a large family in 1828 in Indian Falls as a Seneca Native American (part of the Tonawanda Reservation at the time) to studying law for three years and gravitating toward civil engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It was when a shortage of engineers opened the door for him to join the Army, eventually serving as an assistant to General Ulysses S. Grant. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was present when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox in April 1865, Eula said.

Parker became an esteemed brigadier general and, shortly after the Civil War, named Commissioner of Indian Affairs, serving from 1869 to 1871, Eula said. “He worked hard o improve the lives of Native Americans,” he said.

“He was raised … in a somewhat traditional environment. He learned to speak English, he studied law, he studied engineering. But at the same time, he grew up during the period where, you know, they were trying to move Native people out of New York State, out west. It was only a couple of years after he was born, that the Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830. There was a constant struggle to remain here,” Abrams said. He was one of the people involved in that, trying for the Tonawanda Seneca to stay in their homes and stay where they were.”

The word hero is derived from the Greek word heros, Eula said, to mean a protector or a defender. Not only did Parker do that as a soldier in war, but also during a tumultuous time in civilian life, when Native Americans were not wanted to remain on their own home turf.

During his time in the Army, he exhibited a willingness to risk injury and even death. His readiness to put himself in harm’s way sets him apart from other Americans, which is why we still remember him today,” Eula said. He was a clear role model – especially for young people, Native American and otherwise. He never allowed unjust setbacks to long discourage him. He picked himself back up after disappointment and found new ways to move his life ahead.”

Misnomers and stereotypes ...
Unfortunately, when it comes to notions about Native Americans, society still often thinks in terms of stereotypes, Abrams said. There are either the poor, downtrodden alcoholics or everyone is rich from casino money and tax-free gas and cigarettes, he said. Neither of those extremes are true, he said.

For example, where he lives, on the Tonawanda Reservation, residents don’t participate in any of the casino revenues because those are separate operations of Seneca Nation of Indians. “They’re a completely separate nation,” he said.

“Tonawanda has always been very strongly traditional from the beginning. And they’re still there, they're quite proud of that,” he said. But at the same time, they're certainly very forward-thinking. That Tonawanda community still maintains its traditional tribal government of chiefs and clan mothers. But at the same time, they were the first reservation community, and the second reservation community in the country to integrate in the public school system back in the 30s. So, you have that sort of dichotomy, I guess.”

Full disclosure: although Abrams grew up and remains a resident of Tonawanda Reservation, he is not an enrolled tribal member of the Tonawanda Seneca, he said. However, with that being said, he is a well-versed source for Native American history with deeply steeped ties to personal and professional Native American backgrounds.

Native American Coin Program ...
In 2009 the U.S. Mint began minting and issuing $1 coins as part of the Native American $1 Coin Program. The coins feature designs celebrating the important contributions made by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans to the history and development of the United States. The program builds on the Sacagawea Golden Dollar, released from 2000 to 2008. It featured a portrait of Sacagawea carrying her infant son, Jean-Baptiste on the obverse (heads side) and an eagle on the reverse (tails side). It was authorized under Public Law 105-124, also known as the United States $1 Coin Act of 1997 (Section 4 of the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act). Native American $1 coins are circulating quality produced as collectibles, not for everyday transactions. However, they may be still used as legal tender.

Ely Parker was one of 17 finalists for the latest edition of the U.S. Mint's Native American series. The inscriptions “TONAWANDA SENECA” and “HA-SA-NO-AN-DA” recognize his tribe and the name given to him at birth.

The newly minted dollar coin has gotten some publicity, but not as much as it could have, Abrams said. He has spotted “a little bit here and there,” but not a whole lot. As curator and collections manager for Niagara County Historical Society, Abrams has access to the coin as the Society acquired a roll for its collections. Abrams said that Parker’s reputation has wavered over time.

“His reputation has sort of gone back and forth. He was seen as sort of, an exemplar of native people. Because he managed to succeed in the larger world. And then that was seen as not necessarily a good thing that he sort of left behind that … there was some feeling that he had left behind his traditional culture, his own people because he moved away from the reservation, and, he never returned.”

Parker has bounced back into favor, Abrams said, for being “instrumental in maintaining” the Tonawanda to nation territory. Despite that “back and forth” of Parker’s contributions, Abrams feels that he deserves acknowledgment for his good deeds. Are there some people that see a coin as a literal token commemorative for Native Americans? Perhaps, Abrams said.

“I think any sort of acknowledgment should be recognized. You know, I think for Native people to see themselves, to see one of their own somewhere in something that potentially can travel all over the place, and is, you know, accessible to anyone almost, because too often native people are sort of hidden or forgotten about or ignored or overlooked. So, you know, having a reminder that we're still here, you know, that's not a bad thing.”

Top photo: The newly minted 2022 $1 coin honoring Ely Parker. Bottom photo: Terry Abrams of Tonawanda Indian Reservation checks out the Ely Parker exhibit at Holland Land Office Museum in Batavia; and above,  Photos by Howard Owens.

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Life's journeys explored in Genesee Chorale performance on May 15

By Howard B. Owens

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Life is a journey, and where we wind up often depends on the roads we choose, hence among the most memorable words ever written come from Robert Frost, "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood ..."

Paths taken, and those not taken, is the theme of the next Genesee Chorale program to be performed at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 15, at Elba Central School, 57 South Main St., Elba.

In the performance, the Chorale tells the tale of the Traveler in the coming of age story of the "Prodigal Son," the traveler in the Monomyth, the "Hero’s Journey Quest Story." The traveler appears in stories of discovery and adventure. The traveler also trods the journey within, reflectively traveling a path to find love, peace, and spiritual fulfillment in the "Winding Road of Life."

Musical selections for this performance also include some well-known favorites like "The Impossible Dream" and "You'll Never Walk Alone," recognizable hits from "The Greatest Showman" and "The Lion King," as well as new choral works by John Rutter, Ysave Barnwell, John Leavitt, and others. 

"This concert will take the audience on the journey of life," said publicist Janine Fagnan, "from when we first step out onto life's path, through all the moments and experiences that it can throw at us until we finally come home and can reflect on the journey."

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any Genesee Chorale member, on the website at geneseechorale.com/box-office, or at the door. 

This program is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council. 

Photo: File photo from 2018

Cornell Cooperative Extension rolls out new resource for producing, marketing livestock

By Press Release

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Press release:

If you are looking for resources for producing and marketing livestock, then visit the NEW Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Livestock Program Work Team website https://www.ccelivestock.com.

The CCE Livestock Program Work Team recognized New York livestock producers’ need to have a trustworthy central location for all things livestock and developed the website in response. The website is organized into themes based on species and information can be found on a variety of production topics including breeding and reproduction, nutrition, and health as well as marketing.

“Our goal is to continue adding resources and have it be the go-to place for workshops, training, and webinar recordings”, states Nancy Glazier, Regional Small Farms/Livestock Specialist.

Dana M. Havas, Ag Team Leader from CCE Cortland, expressed, “It is exciting to have extension livestock experts from all over the state working together to develop a robust and valuable collection of resources for our communities.”

As the website grows we look forward to hearing how you use the website and invite you to tell us what you think by contacting the website administrator https://www.ccelivestock.com/contact-us.

The CCE Livestock Program Work Team is comprised of educators working to build a collaborative network of experts and resources to foster the success of livestock farms across New York State. Find your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office here, https://cals.cornell.edu/cornell-cooperative-extension/local-offices.

Rochester-area, award-winning author to visit Richmond Memorial Library

By Press Release

Press release:

Richmond Memorial Library will welcome back author George “Rollie” Adams to discuss his new work of historical fiction, Found in Pieces. Mr. Adams, president and CEO emeritus of the Strong National Museum of Play, will be at the library for a talk and signing on Wednesday, May 18 at 7 pm.

Found in Pieces was recognized by the Independent Press Awards as the winner of its 2022 Award for Race Relations. Set in fictional Unionville, Arkansas, Found in Pieces unfolds during the second year of turmoil over Governor Orval Faubus’s determination to stop the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. Found in Pieces, recipient of five previous national and international awards for historical and social issues fiction, explores the tension between business considerations and editorial policy in journalism during the Civil Rights Era in the South.

Copies of the book are available to check out at the library before the program & will be available for sale by the author at the event for $15 (paperback) or $20 (hardcover), cash or check.

This event is free and all are welcome. It is best suited to older teens and adults.

George Rollie Adams is a native of southern Arkansas and a former teacher with graduate degrees in history and education. His previous novel, South of Little Rock, received four independent publishers’ awards for regional and social issues. Adams has served as a writer, editor, and program director for the American Association for State and Local History and as director of the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans. He is president and CEO emeritus of the Strong National Museum of Play. Learn more at georgerollieadamsbooks.com

An additional press release about the Independent Press Awards honor for George Rollie Adams as well as additional background on Found In Pieces after the jump (click here read more):

Press release: 

Independent Press Awards has recognized the novel Found in Pieces by George Rollie Adams as a winner of its 2022 Award for Race Relations.

Independent Press Awards are given in several categories and are based on judging by experts in different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, cover designers, and copywriters. Award winners are selected based on excellence.

Found in Pieces, recipient of five previous national and international awards for historical and social issues fiction, explores the tension between business considerations and editorial policy in journalism during the Civil Rights Era in the South. In doing so, the book helps us understand the role of media in today’s political and social climate. Adams, a PhD historian, and former president and CEO of The Strong National Museum of Play, examines what happens when public perceptions and expectations, economic pressures, and personal beliefs about morality, fairness, and justice clash in a small southern town in 1958. (Author, coauthor, and coeditor of nonfiction books on American history, Adams grew up in southern Arkansas during this period, and his first novel, South of Little Rock, received four independent publishing awards for regional and social issues fiction.)

“Found in Pieces is a captivating story and a must-read for anyone interested in American history and how it informs our lives today,” says Gretchen Sorin, historian and author of Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights, which was the basis for a PBS documentary. With “characters you care about and experiences that tug at your heart,” says Sorin, Found in Pieces “raises questions about the importance of a free press, the meaning of democracy, and the ultimate fate of American racism.”

Set in fictional Unionville, Arkansas, Found in Pieces unfolds during the second year of turmoil over Governor Orval Faubus’s determination to stop the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. At a time when almost no women own and edit newspapers, Pearl Goodbar risks her family’s financial future to buy a defunct weekly. Before she can get the paper up and running, her husband loses his job, Faubus initiates a new crisis in the state capital, and the adult son of black businesswoman Sadie Rose Washington disappears. The mystery of his whereabouts brings the two women—one white and one black but both of them mothers—together and leaves Pearl facing business decisions that could lead to more money woes and even physical harm to herself and those close to her. Meanwhile, a prominent white man hides a dark secret that Sadie Rose knows but will not tell.

“I am grateful for this book,” says James Whorton, Jr. of the College at Brockport and author of Frankland, Approximately Heaven, and other works of fiction. “Once upon a time, respectable people thought that races should be kept apart. Insane but true, and Found In Pieces does the work of remembering how natural and easy it is not to see the wrong in front of you. There are always a dozen reasons to overlook injustice. George Rollie Adams dramatizes the problem in a vivid, suspenseful, and violent story that I did not want to put down.”

Says Adams, “Growing up in Arkansas and later teaching there, I saw and heard firsthand the arguments for and against social change, and I saw how the coming of it heightened tensions between the races and among white citizens who held diverging views. But I also saw ways in which social change brought people together, and how it caused some to see in new ways. Also, as a youngster, I had opportunity to see inside a small local newspaper, and later I was privileged to do historical research in many newspapers from various eras and sections of the country. I used all of that and numerous works of history to inform the novel.”

According to Independent Press Awards sponsor Garbielle Olczak, this year the awards judges considered books from the United States, Canada, Australia, and several European countries. “It’s crystal clear,” she says, that independent publishing is pushing to every corner of the earth with great content. We are thrilled to be highlighting key titles representing global independent publishing.” For more on Independent Press Awards, see: https://www.independentpressaward.com/2022winners.  

Found in Pieces, published by Barn Loft Press, is available in hardcover, paperback, and digital formats through Amazon and other major book outlets. For more information, visit: https://georgerollieadamsbooks.com.

About George Rollie Adams

Adams is an educator, historian, author, and museum professional. As president and CEO of The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, from 1987 through 2016, Adams led the development of the world’s first collections-based history museum devoted solely to the study of play and its critical role in learning and human development and the ways in which play illuminates cultural history. Adams grew up in southern Arkansas, received a bachelor’s degree in social science education and English from Louisiana Tech University, and taught history for four years at El Dorado, Arkansas, High School while also earning a master’s degree in education from Louisiana Tech. He holds a doctorate in American history from the University of Arizona and is the founding editor in chief of the American Journal of Play; author of General William S. Harney: Prince of Dragoons, a finalist for the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Book Award; and author of South of Little Rock, recipient of four independent publishing awards for regional and social issues fiction.

Two BPD officers complete crisis intervention training

By Press Release

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Press release:

Recently Officers Borchert and Tucker of the City of Batavia Police Department graduated from the intensive Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training held at the Monroe County Public Safety Training Facility. 

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training is the course of instruction associated with the CIT approach to responding to people with mental illness. The CIT training course requires an extensive 40-hour curriculum taught over five consecutive days.

The course emphasizes understanding of mental illness and incorporates the development of communication skills, practical experience, and role-playing. Officers are introduced to mental health professionals, consumers, and family members.

"City of Batavia Police Officers are dedicated to responding to those in crisis with compassion and understanding," stated Police Chief Shawn Heubusch, "Giving officers the tools and training they need to understand and communicate with those in crisis is key to positive outcomes and to the reduction of uses of force during these interactions."

UMMC's Dan Ireland tabbed as GCC's 54th Commencement speaker

By Press Release

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Press release:

On Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 1:00 p.m., Genesee Community College will recognize its graduates during its 54th Commencement Ceremony at the Richard C. Call Arena. Honoring this group of deserving achievers, will be keynote speaker, Daniel Ireland, GCC Alumnus and President of United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, NY.

"I am honored to have been invited to speak at GCC's 2022 Commencement,' Mr. Ireland said. "The perseverance of GCC students who have completed their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic is very inspiring. I cannot think of a greater privilege to speak to them on this momentous occasion, and, interestingly, this commencement is exactly 30 years from when I humbly crossed the stage for my GCC graduation with my Nursing Degree."

Dan completed his Associate Degree in Nursing from Genesee Community College in 1992, a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing from SUNY Brockport in 1994 and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1997. He is also a member of the Leadership Genesee Class of 2006 and recipient of Buffalo First's 40 Under 40 award in 2007. In January 2013, he became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the nation's leading professional society for healthcare leaders. Dan was also named to 2018's roster of Health Care Champions, by Buffalo Business First, signifying his high levels of accomplishments within the field in Western New York. Dan continues his commitment to lifelong learning as he is enrolled in the Doctorate of Healthcare Administration program at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Entering his 32nd year at United Memorial, Mr. Ireland spent much of his clinical career in emergency medicine, clinical informatics, quality, and clinical leadership roles. In 2010, Dan was promoted to Vice President of Operations/Chief Operating Officer. As Vice President of Operations, he was responsible for oversight and project management of the surgical and front entry construction project, a major Maternity unit renovation, and the revitalization of the Jerome Center Diagnostics facility. In November 2013, he was promoted to President, leading United Memorial through its merger with Rochester Regional Health in 2015 and through its response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Additional commencement information can be found at https://www.genesee.edu/home/events/commencement/.

Photo: 2018 file photo. By Howard Owens

Hawley calls on Legislature to pass bill mandating accessible playground equipment in public parks

By Press Release

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) today joined his colleagues from the Assembly Minority in calling for the passage of bills that would make playgrounds in New York state accessible to people of all levels of physical ability. One of the bills (A.9923) would require that playgrounds in state parks include at least one wheelchair-accessible platform swing with a high-back, full-support seat, and the other (A.9539) would offer grants to local municipalities to help them purchase and install handicap-accessible elements to local recreation facilities.

“Every child deserves to experience the basic childhood joy of playing on a playground, so today we’re taking a stand to ensure New York’s outdoor recreational centers are places everyone can enjoy,” said Hawley. “If there were ever a simple problem that people of all political backgrounds can get behind, I would think it’d be this, so I am hopeful our colleagues in the Majority will join us to get these bills passed before the end of session.”

Sponsored Post: Join us this Thursday for Red Day - our annual day of service

By Lisa Ace


Since May of 2009 our entire company – from the U.S. and Canada to our family abroad – sets aside the second Thursday of the month to Renew, Energize, and Donate within the communities we serve. Join the Keller Williams Realty Batavia Branch as we volunteer at The ARC GLOW on Thursday, May 12th from 8:30 am - 2:30 pm.

County to receive funding for three water projects

By Press Release

Press release:

Genesee County officials announced that approximately $3.5 million in funding has been secured for three water projects across the county.

Genesee County received an inter-municipal grant for $1.213 million from the New York State Environmental Facilities Fund for remaining pump station upgrades related to the county’s Phase 2 Water Project.  The pump stations are located on North Road in Le Roy and in Scottsville, Riga, and on Morgan Road in Chili.  This funding completes Phase 2 construction and will increase water supply to Genesee County by 2 million gallons per day (MGD).

The City of Batavia received approximately $2.2 million in funding through the New York State Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA) also administered by the Environmental Facilities Fund. 

The funding will be used for upgrades at the City of Batavia Water Treatment Plant and is a joint project between the City of Batavia and Genesee County to help restore lost efficiency at the plant, which is needed to meet peak demands.

The Town of Alexander also received a grant of $132,000 to aid the construction of Water District #6.

Genesee County continues to seek federal and state funding to assist in the implementation of Phase 3 of the Countywide Water Program. Under the Master Plan developed for water, the Phase 3 project further increases regional supply by another 3.1 million gallons per day but, more importantly, replaces a threatened water supply. Phase 3 is currently estimated to cost $132 million.

“There is significant demand for water across the county among residents, the agricultural community, food processing and the advanced manufacturing sectors. Meeting that demand requires significant upgrades in infrastructure,” said Genesee County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens.  “We have a solid plan to help us meet the demand. Now we need the funding.”

Average gas price in Genesee County surges 10 cents

By Press Release

Press release from the Automobile Association of America:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $4.33, up 14 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.96. The New York State average is $4.52, up 17 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3.00. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia - $4.34 (up 10 cents from last week)
  • Buffalo - $4.35 (up 12 cents from last week)
  • Elmira - $4.47 (up 18 cents from last week)
  • Ithaca - $4.46 (up 18 cents from last week)
  • Rochester - $4.43 (up 12 cents from last week)
  • Rome - $4.48 (up 16 cents from last week)
  • Syracuse - $4.43 (up 14 cents from last week)
  • Watertown - $4.46 (up 15 cents from last week)

Gas prices jumped significantly in the past week. According to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased while gasoline demand increased slightly. Increasing gas demand and rising oil prices have pushed pump prices higher.

This morning, oil prices are about $110 per barrel and up. Crude prices rose after the European Union announced a proposal to ban Russian oil imports within six months, while refined product imports would be prohibited by the end of 2022. Countries such as Slovakia have stated they will seek exemptions because they need more time to find alternatives to Russian oil. However, given that global crude supply remains tight, crude prices will likely remain volatile amid the news that supply could get tighter if the ban is implemented.

Meanwhile, the national average for diesel fuel hit a new record today reaching $5.54. One year ago the price was $3.11. In New York, the average price for diesel is $6.38, which is also a record high. One year ago the price was $3.19.

High diesel fuel prices impact businesses that need to transport goods and those that have commercial vehicles like AAA. Nearly all of AAA Western and Central New York’s tow trucks rely on diesel fuel. “To say we’re feeling pain at the pump is an understatement,” said Steve Steinmetz, director of automotive service operations at AAA Western and Central New York. “Prices have literally doubled since last year impacting all towing companies across the state.”

From Gas Buddy:

“Gasoline and diesel prices alike saw strong upward momentum last week as oil prices continued to climb after the EU signaled its desire to sanction Russian oil. In addition, U.S. petroleum inventories saw yet another weekly decline as we near the start of summer driving season," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. "Not only are diesel prices at a record high, they are at their largest differential to gasoline on record, surpassing the 98-cent difference in 2008 and currently standing at a $1.20 per gallon premium. While motorists filling with gasoline have seen a slight rise in prices, diesel's surge will be a double whammy as diesel prices will soon be passed along to retail channels, further pushing up the cost of goods."

Girl golfers rising in the Genesee Region

By Howard B. Owens

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Photos and article submitted by Mike Cintorino

This year in Genesee Region Varsity Golf there seems to be more girl golfers than ever before. 

Roughly three-quarters of the teams have at least one female golfer on the team, with some squads filling rosters with multiple girls. 

During the spring season, which is the boys golf season, these young ladies play alongside the boys from the white tees. 

Earlier this season, the league's coaches decided to try and put together a unique event for these young ladies -- a golf tournament for just the girls, allowing them to play from the red tees and against their fellow female competitors. 

On Saturday, May 7th, Batavia Country Club hosted the inaugural Genesee Region Girls Golf Invitational.  Five young ladies accepted the invitation to play in what hopes to be the first of the annual event: Judah MacDonald (Notre Dame Senior), Maggie Woodruff (Notre Dame Senior), Grace Mileham (Notre Dame Junior), Aerianna Cintorino (Elba/OA Freshman), and Jada Fite (Elba/OA 8th Grader).  

While it was a little cool and windy, the sun shined down on these ladies as they made their way around the front nine at Batavia Country Club.  At the end of the day Elba 8th grader Jada Fite earned the medalist honors with a round of 54 on the par 36 course. 

Elba/OA’s Aerianna Cintorino took second place with a round of 63 while Notre Dame’s Maggie Woodruff rounded out the top three with a round of 70.  For some of these ladies, it was their first time competing and a great opportunity to play competitive golf. 

Top Photo: Jada Fite, Aerianna Cintorino, Maggie Woodruff, Judah MacDonald, Grace Mileham

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Jada Fite putting to finish her round of 54, Aerianna Cintorino looking on

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Maggie Woodruff

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Jada Fite

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Aerianna Cintorino

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Grace Mileham

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Judah MacDonald

Barn fire reported on North Byron Road, Byron

By Howard B. Owens

A barn fire is reported at 6029 North Byron Road, Byron.

Byron and South Byron fire departments are responding.

UPDATE 3:42 p.m.: The fire reportedly started with a "controlled burn."  The seasonal burn ban is in effect until May 14.  Law enforcement has been requested to the scene. 

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: Elba requested to the scene.

Photos: Derby Day 2022 at Batavia Downs

By Howard B. Owens

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Shock maybe.  Certainly dismay.  Those were the reactions of race fans at Batavia Downs when 80-1 long shot Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby today.

While not all the data on today's wagers are in, Marketing Director Ryan Hasenauer said at least one patron wwnt home happy. She turned her $15 bet on Rich Strike into more than a $1,000 windfall.

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A tribute to all mothers

By Anne Marie Starowitz

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No one will ever love you like your mother. I heard this saying years ago, and the words didn't attack my heart until August 18, 2012, when we lost our mom. With Mother's Day around the corner, I am flooded with her memories.

I remember so many things, but one that came to the surface was when we would come home from school, we would open the back door and yell, "Mom, I am home." If she didn't answer, we panicked because she was always at the kitchen table folding stacks of clothes. We couldn't miss her smile and then asking us could you please be her legs and deliver the freshly folded clothing to the various bedrooms.

When it came time for the dreaded report cards to go home, our dear mom would say, "Hide them until Monday because I feel you may be grounded this weekend." Then, there were those evenings when we would all gather around her and listen to her read Little Women.

She tried so hard to curl my hair when I was young. She tried pin curls, and when that didn't work, she would pack me a lunch and send me to Cinderella Hair Salon on Ross Street for my annual perm. I wanted to look like Shirley Temple, but I looked more like a Brillo Pad.

So many funny memories and yet so many treasured memories. Trying to get the six kids ready for Sunday Mass was always an ordeal.   We were usually late as we paraded down the aisle of St. Joseph Church. I could not sit next to my brother Tony for apparent reasons.

Mom was not a fan of cooking. It is a bit overwhelming when you are cooking for eight every day. But, I loved to cook, so I knew that was one area I could help her make her Sunday sauce and throw in every meat we had during the week, pork chops, chicken, sausage, and meatballs which always made our Sunday sauce days memorable. The dinner seating was always mom at one end of the large table and dad at the other. We were seated on the opposite sides according to who needed, again, to be separated. Mom always made you think you were her favorite, except we all knew Johnny was.

I remember when I had my daughter, Jenn. Mom came to the recovery room, looked at me, and said, "Honey, are you ok?" I looked at her kind face and saw her love and relief in her eyes, and said yes; she kissed me and left. I loved calling her almost every day just to hear her say, "Hi honey, how are you today? I don't ever remember her being mad at us, which had to be quite a feat. The one word you never said and considered as bad as any word you hear today was jackass. I used that word, and of course, Tony did too, and he had a tasting party with Ivory Soap.  

I have so many memories of my mom, and I know my five siblings share many and yet have their own of our dear mom.

Our last memories of her were at my brother Tony's home, sitting in her favorite chair from our family home. She would always smile and say how glad she was to see us. We never left her without a kiss and, "I love you, mom. "I hope my words enkindled in your heart memories of your mom. Remember, no one will ever love you like your mom. I will continue to miss that beautiful lady for the rest of my life. 

Happy Mother's Day to all of our moms in our hearts and those moms blessed to be with their children on Mother’s Day.

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Photos: 2022 Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation Derby Day Gala

By Howard B. Owens

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In August 2019, life in the Morgante family went from happy-go-lucky to something far more stressful.

Doctors found that Donato, at 13 months old, had cancer.  His little kidney had swollen, and it was essentially a single mass of diseased tissue.

The good news, if there was any, was that the cancer was stage one.  It hadn't spread to any other organs.  After six months of chemo, Donato was in remission and doctors estimate that he has a 91 percent chance of remaining in remission.

That news brought a round of applause from the more than 200 in attendance at the annual Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation Derby Day Gala Saturday at Terry Hills.

Along with the doctors, this was the foundation that gave the Donato family -- Joe and Jackie along with their other four children, Nina, Ryan, Vincent, and Coleman -- the most hope and the most support.

"They really got us through the most trying time of our lives," Joe said.

After Joe shared his family's experience, Laurie Napoleone presented Joe with a giant $2,000 check as a gift from the Foundation. Joe immediately said "We're donating it back."  Laurie wouldn't have it. "No," she said. "Go do something fun with your family.  Go on a vacation."  

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Hornets beat Royalton 15-8 in baseball

By Howard B. Owens

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Oakfield-Alabama beat Royalton on Saturday 15-8.

Colton Yasses went 4-5, driving in four runs and scoring twice.  Bodie Hyde was 3-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored.  Kyle Porter had two hits in five ABs and scored twice.  Brenden Westcott collected three hits in five ABs and drove in four runs.

Porter was the winning pitcher, going 6 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and seven runs, but only three were earned. He struck out 8.  Yasses finished out the game with an inning and two-thirds work giving up three hits and an unearned run.  He K'd two.

In other baseball action: Elba Lancers lose to Northstar, 10-3

Photos by Kristin Smith.

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Driver suffers apparent medical emergency, pronounced dead at scene of accident on West Main, Batavia

By Press Release

Press release:

At approximately 3:48 p.m. on May 7, City of Batavia Police Officers along with the City of Batavia Fire Department were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident near 390 West Main Street (Tops Market). 

A single vehicle, a Dodge pickup truck, was traveling on West Main Street when it appears the male operator and sole occupant of the vehicle suffered a medical emergency causing him to lose control of the vehicle. The vehicle crossed over all lanes of traffic and left the roadway onto the property of 390 West Main Street, where it struck a fence, coming to rest in the ditch on the property.

City Fire, along with Mercy EMS, attempted life-saving measures, however, the operator was pronounced deceased at the scene by Coroner Peck.

There were no other vehicles or parties involved.

The accident is still under investigation. An autopsy will be performed at the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office to determine the cause of death.

The release of the driver's identity is pending notification of family members. 

UPDATE: "The vehicle operator has been identified as Lars B. Walker, 64, of Phoenix, Arizona."

Photos: Superheroes drop in on Foxprowl

By Howard B. Owens

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It was Free Comic Day 2022 at Foxprowl on Ellicott Street in Batavia today and some popular superheroes and villains made a guest appearance.

Submitted photos. Top photo: Batman, Spider-Man, Bill Hume, Moon Knight, Wonder Woman & Penguin. 

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Batman squares off against his arch-rival the Penguin.

Photo: Squirrel saved from string around his neck is now quite neighborly

By Howard B. Owens

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This little guy is a resident of Colonial Boulevard in Batavia.  One of his two-legged neighbors found him with a string around his neck so she removed it and nursed him back to health.  He's a friendly little tyke, even amenable to petting and hanging out with other neighbors.

Photo by Lisa Ace.

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