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April 9, 2021 - 10:34am

Developer Eric Biscaro is looking at a 20-acre parcel on East Avenue in the Village of Le Roy to construct a bigger version of the Clinton Crossings Adult Community that his company built on Clinton Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

“If you drove around Clinton Crossings, it’s the same thing, only 50-percent bigger,” said Biscaro, owner of Classic Home Improvements and Armor Building Supply on Ellicott Street Road. “It’s in its early stages, and there’s a lot of stuff to work out before it’s definitely a go, but we’re attempting it.”

Biscaro appeared before the Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night, requesting a zoning map change to rezone the area from Residential to Planned Unit Development and for a review of the site plan that outlines the development of 30 duplex patio home rentals for seniors.

County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said a Planned Unit Development (or PUD) is a custom zoning district that encompasses a multiunit layout with one owner. He compared Biscaro’s project to the Royal Apartments in Le Roy in this regard.

The planning board recommended approval of Biscaro’s referral, but with several modifications, as follows:

-- The applicant include street connectivity to the west through the development of "South Avenue,” which is currently a paper street, in order to improve public safety/emergency access and to better conform with the Village's Comprehensive Plan, which calls for prohibiting the construction of cul-de-sacs;

-- The applicant work with the village to provide a pedestrian connection, such as a sidewalk extension, to the north on East Avenue and to the west on the proposed South Avenue;

-- The applicant conduct an archaeological survey and apply for 9-1-1 Address Verification to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office to ensure that the addresses of the proposed homes meet Enhanced 9-1-1 standards.*

Planning Board Member Tom Schubmehl also emphasized the necessity of having enough room for fire and emergency trucks to be able to properly navigate through the complex.

Biscaro said he is prepared to “go through all the steps (as required by the village), and hopefully we get all the way.”

“With all of the approvals and utilities and that kind of stuff, it likely will be months before we’ll be able to do any work,” he said, adding that two other attempts at a project such as this failed to materialize.

Rooftop Patios at Ellicott Place

Planners also took another look at the downtown design for Ellicott Place, the $2.3 million renovation of the Save-A-Lot building at 45 Ellicott St., in light of V.J. Gautieri Constructors Inc.’s revised plan to create rooftop patios outside of the 10 second-floor apartments.

The board is recommending approval of the installation of the 10-foot by 6-foot patios, which will be secured by protective guardrails measuring 42 inches high.

Company President Victor Gautieri said work continues on the project, which calls for the creation of seven one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments on the vacant, 11,600-square-foot second floor and development of 18,000 square feet of first-floor commercial/retail space.

“It’s been a tough road with the impediments that we have faced – COVID and material shortages, but we’re plugging away,” Gautieri said, adding that the wait time for appliances is between 12 and 14 weeks. “(Acquiring) paint has been an issue as well …”

Gautieri said he has moved the completion date of the apartments back a month to May 30.

“That will be a tough one to get to, but we’ll keep pushing at it,” he said.

A Drive-Thru for Chipotle

In other action, the planning board recommended approval of the following referrals:

  • A special use permit for COR Development Veterans Memorial Drive Company LLC, to add a drive-thru to the building at 4222 Veterans Memorial Drive in the Towne Center at Batavia that is slated to house a new Chipotle restaurant.

The building also is the site of the Five Guys restaurant.

Other additions to the Chipotle location, which will have indoor seating, include outdoor seating, grease trap and trash enclosure.

  • An area variance for Dickinson’s Auto at 4028 W. Main Street Road (Route 5) to construct a new truck storage building that will be 10 feet from the lot line – 20 feet less than the minimum required. The business is in a Commercial District.
  •  A site plan and area variance for Carolina Eastern-Crocker LLC, to build a new 60-foot by 200-foot pole barn to replace the current 45-foot by 113-foot structure at its main location, 8610 Route 237, Stafford. The variance was needed because the building will be 30 feet from the side lot line – 10 feet less than what the ordinance mandates.

Carolina Eastern-Crocker’s products include dry and liquid fertilizers, "Pop Up" fertilizers, organic fertilizer, crop protection products, ag lime, gypsum, seeds, custom application and spraying, variable rate application, fine ground corn meal, and corn purchasing.

  • Placement of a sign for a new liquor store – Liberty’s Liquor Cabinet – at 10594 Main St., Alexander. The store, owned by Jennifer Wall, replaces a dog grooming business that previously operated out of that location.
  • Zoning text amendments from the Town of Alexander and Town of Bethany to regulate solar energy systems.

*Enhanced 911, E-911 or E911 is a system used in North America to automatically provide caller's location to 9-1-1 dispatchers. 911 is the universal emergency telephone number in the region.


Early layout of an enclosed patio at the Ellicott Place apartments above the Save-A-Lot store (from Genesee County Planning Department renderings).

April 8, 2021 - 10:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, Batavia Players, video.
Video Sponsor

"Dirty Face" by Shel Silverstein read by Avelynn William for National Poetry Month.

April 8, 2021 - 10:10pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Section V football.


The injury bug took another bite out of Notre Dame’s varsity football team tonight in an 8-6 loss to Clyde-Savannah at Van Detta Stadium.

Already without starting quarterback Colin McCulley, Head Coach Joe Zambito was forced to make more changes on both sides of the ball when lineman Dalton Hamm suffered an ankle injury in the first half, and standout halfback and linebacker Dylan Warner departed with four minutes left in the third quarter after taking a hit to the helmet.

Despite the setbacks, the Fighting Irish kept the Eagles at bay except for one big play – a 69-yard catch-and-run from QB Steven Dunn to Logan Massey on the second play of the fourth quarter that put C-S on top, 8-0.

The visitors had taken a 2-0 halftime lead when they recorded a safety in the second quarter by tackling ND punter Cody Henry in the end zone after the snap sailed over his head.

Notre Dame rallied, however, on a 10-yard scamper by Alonzo Storey, who was forced into action as a running back, with 5:43 remaining in the game.

The Irish’s attempt to tie the game failed when wide receiver Anthony Zambito was unable to corral a pass from sophomore quarterback James Fanara, who started the season with the junior varsity team.

Coach Zambito noted that his squad had several opportunities to even their record at 2-2.

“A dropped pass here, a dropped pass there, a missed block here. It wasn’t one particular play that cost us the game, it was a combination of a bunch of plays that did it,” he said. “It’s tough to play a team as good as they are as banged up as we are,” Zambito said. “I’ve got six starters on the bench on both sides of the ball, but take nothing away from Clyde because they played a heck of a game tonight.”

Notre Dame’s defense, except for the long TD pass, stepped up time after time to stay within striking distance.

“I thought our defense was phenomenal tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised if we outgained them,” Zambito continued. “The one play they got us on, I had my third-string corner in, who did the best job he could because at the time we were juggling people in and out of position because our linebacker (Warner) got pulled out of the game for concussion protocol.”

The athletic trainer’s decision to keep Warner out of the game didn’t sit well with Zambito.

“Believe me, I’m all about safety, and I know Dylan, and his dad was also on the sidelines as he’s a coach,” Zambito said. “Dylan was fine but wasn’t allowed to go back into the game. That’s just part of it. That happens, I guess, but that was big.”

With Warner out, Storey came through with several key plays – putting the Irish deep into C-S territory in the closing minutes.

“He’s our third receiver and he turned into our first-string back. In the game of football that happens,” Zambito said.

Following Storey’s touchdown, the ND defense stymied the Eagles, now 2-2, on three straight plays – with linebackers Vin DiRisio and Hayden Groff and lineman Eric Ricks Jr. recording the tackles. As a result, C-S was forced to punt from its own 12.

Storey fielded the punt inside of midfield and darted about 30 yards to bring the ball back to the Eagles’ 16 with three minutes left.

Fanara fired a pass on first down that fell incomplete, intended for tight end Groff. Storey ran for three yards on second down before Fanara misfired on a third-down pass intended for freshman Ryan Fitzpatrick.

After ND took its final time out, Fanara attempted to hit Storey in the right corner of the end zone but the pass was just out of the reach of a diving Storey. The Eagles ran one play before running out the clock on a couple of “kneel-downs” by Dunn.

Statistically, the Irish outgained C-S, 210-151, with Storey picking up 40 yards on 10 carries, Warner gaining 51 yards on 14 carries and DiRisio running for 15 yards on his lone carry.

Fanara ran seven times for 70 yards and completed three of 16 passes for 34 yards, with his receivers dropping four passes.

On defense, junior DiRisio had eight tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery while linebacker Henry had 10 tackles and a sack.

Zambito said he was encouraged as the Irish bounced back after a 37-6 loss to Avon last week, but frustrated over losing so many players to injury.

“Last season, we were lucky; we didn’t have a lot of injuries,” he said, talking about the club that won the Section V Class D title. “This season, it’s like dominos. They’re falling left and right.”


Photo at top, ND quarterback James Fanara bursts up the middle for 37 yards; photo at bottom, fullback Vin DiRisio on a 15-yard run. Photos by Howard Owens.

April 8, 2021 - 6:42pm
posted by Press Release in news, steve hawley, NYS 2021-22 budget.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“As families throughout the state have tightened their budgets throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for an uncertain future, the Majority has decided now is the time to become more cavalier than ever in their spending," Hawley said. "Worse yet, by increasing spending to historic levels, we may have less than ever to show for all of that spending in this incredible time of need for so many small businesses throughout New York. 

“In this second-largest budget in our nation that spends more than those of the large and populous states of Texas and Florida combined, and almost as large as California’s proposed executive budget for this year, a state with about twice as many people as ours, we will give $2.1 billion to illegal immigrants in stimulus and unemployment payments while only giving small businesses about $1 billion in assistance.

"These small businesses employ our neighbors, pay taxes that fund our municipal governments and emergency services and make our communities the unique places we know and love. The loss of these businesses would devastate the communities that rely on them and our state as a whole, and it should not be controversial to want to support businesses that families have worked to build for generations rather than people who disrespect our laws in order to enter our country.

“As unwise as this spending is, it’s also unsustainable in a very dangerous way. The Majority is treating the hefty federal stimulus we received this year like an incredibly irresponsible person would treat lottery winnings, spending it all rapidly to start living a lifestyle we won’t be able to sustain that will be financially ruinous for our state in the future.

"The money we’re spending now won’t be there this year, but it’s unlikely the people and agencies across the state it supports will plan for that. Instead, we will be forced in the future between painful tax increases or spending cuts, which will come with very real consequences for our economy and our communities."

“Those in the Majority would do well to look at how their constituents have ‘lived within their means’ in the last year as we pass this budget that’s 20-percent larger than last year’s. If New Yorkers managed their finances like their government did we would be in a very bad place, and I only hope the consequences of this budget do not bring about suffering in communities that have worked to be responsible with their resources.”

April 8, 2021 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Aldi, batavia, news, notify.


A mechanical failure of a refrigeration unit apparently caused a carbon dioxide leak at the Aidi Food Market in Batavia this afternoon.

The leak led to the evacuation of every business in the structure, from the Job Bureau on the east to the Five Star Bank on the west.

Chief Stefano Napolitano did not have an estimated time for when the buildings can be reoccupied. Firefighters are using fans for ventilation, or "positive pressure" to push air through the buildings, as the chief put it, to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. The goal is to get it down to 400 parts per million, which is a satisfactory ambiant level, the chief said.

April 8, 2021 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.


The driver of a silver sedan that rear-ended a semi-truck on Ellicott Street at the intersection with Swan Street, Batavia, was evaluated by a Mercy medic and declined further treatment.

The roadway was reopened moments ago.

April 8, 2021 - 4:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in allergies, Rochester Regional Health, news.


Allergy season is upon us and for those who annually get sniffles and sneezes it's time to be prepared, said Dr. Peter Capucilli, an allergist with Rochester Regional Health, during a call with reporters on Wednesday.

"The first thing is just making sure that your prescriptions are up to date, that you have refills on the medications that you know will help you," Capucilli said. "I usually like to tell my patients that starting right after Valentine's Day, that's a really good marker of when to say, OK, now is the time to get prepared and start having those medications available just because we know allergy season can hit really hard and quickly when the trees start to drop all their pollen."

There are predictions that this could be a severe allergy season given the weather patterns of the winter and early spring and the general trend of global warming and Capucilli said those predictions have a strong possibility of coming true.

"We very well could see a higher pollen count this season," he said.

While people with severe allergies need to wear masks while doing things like mowing the lawn, Capucilli said don't expect those face coverings you've been wearing to slow the spread of COVID-19 to do much to protect you from pollen, which doesn't know anything about social distancing and is therefore always around all of us.

"I anticipate that overall the allergens will make their way into affecting us," he said. "I do feel like we'll still have a significant allergy season. We are already starting to see the beginnings of that now as we're getting into early April."

It's important, Capucilli said, for people to distinguish between the symptoms of COVID-19 and allergies. 

"Symptoms that are usually specific to allergy are things like itchy nose, sneezing, and certainly you can have those symptoms with COVID," Capucilli said. "I would say if you're having any of those things, and especially if you haven't been an allergic individual previously, it's probably better to be thorough and get tested to speak to your doctor if you have concerns that you're having new symptoms.

"The other symptoms that would probably tip you off in terms of being a bit more worried about COVID versus allergies are actually feeling sick. So generally, for patients who have allergies, the symptoms can be quite invasive but you don't feel like you necessarily are sick with a cold or that you're under the weather. Fevers would also be very atypical of allergy. You should not be getting fevers with allergies."

If you have any doubts, suggests Capucilli, you should get tested for COVID-19.

For those with allergies, it's fine to seek out the help of a specialist even if over-the-counter medications help your symptoms. You don't need serious symptoms to consult with a doctor. In some cases, Capucilli said, the best treatment might come in the form of a shot.

"The goal of that therapy is to actually make you less allergic," Capucilli said. "So some patients may be well controlled on over-the-counter therapies like antihistamines or the nasal sprays, which we prefer using often. The benefit of the allergy shots is that over time we desensitize you. We essentially reprogram the immune system to become tolerant of these allergens with a lasting effect."

April 8, 2021 - 4:07pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, coronavirus, notify.

Press release:

  • Genesee County reporting 24 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in the:
      • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
      • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield) 
  • The individuals are in their 19-20s, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. 
  • Twenty-seven of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.  
  • Eight of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. 


Orleans County reporting 17 new positive cases of COVID-19.  

  • The positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
      • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.
  • One of the new positive individuals was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Ten of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Four of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • One of the new positive individuals is an inmate at the Orleans Correctional Facility.
  • Four of the new positive individuals are inmates at the Albion Correctional Facility.
April 8, 2021 - 3:28pm

With the City of Batavia deciding to contract with the Genesee Area Family YMCA for its youth services, an intermunicipal agreement with Genesee County to fund a shared youth bureau executive director has been terminated.

As a result, the Genesee County Youth Bureau has set sail for the Safe Harbour program – focusing its attention on a state-funded initiative that offers support services to youth who have been trafficked, exploited or are at risk.

“We have received a five-year grant through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to administer its program in Genesee County,” said Chelsea Elliott, who is serving as the bureau’s deputy director while interviews are being held to find a full-time executive director. “Safe Harbour’s main purpose is to make the community and its youth aware of the problem of human trafficking.”

Elliott said the youth bureau has started a public relations campaign – putting up billboards, distributing brochures and contacting human services agencies to take part in their activities.

“It’s important to let people know what the red flags are; what to look for,” she said. “We hope that the young people in our community aren’t being trafficked, but are they able to be trafficked? Easily.”

She said in an age of social media, “everything is at kids’ fingertips.”

“We live between two big cities, so that doesn’t help our situation. So, we just want to make sure our community and youth are notified about human trafficking, and that we’re all keeping our eyes on the youth of our community – and focusing on keeping our youth safe,” she said.

In a related development, Elliott reported that the Genesee County Youth Bureau is on track to allocate financial support to six youth recreation programs and six other entities geared toward youth.

Other than the three programs run by the county youth bureau (Youth Court, Safe Harbour and Genesee Youth Lead), Genesee provides partial funding – anywhere from 5 to 50 percent of a program’s total budget – to organizations who apply for assistance.

“Genesee County is supported by OCFS, and from there our youth board decides how much to allocate to the various programs who request financial support,” said Elliott, who has coordinated Genesee County Youth Court for several years.

Recreation programs set to receive county funding through the OCFS for 2021 are Alexander, $3,414; City of Batavia, $12,000; Bergen, $1,200; Byron, $1,280; Gillam Grant, $2,650, and Pavilion, $1,000.

Elliott said Genesee County is continuing to support the Liberty Center for Youth afterschool and the summer recreation programs in the City of Batavia even though those services will be provided by the YMCA through its contract with the city.

“We have done that for a long time, and we will still do that as long as they apply for funding from us, and we have the money to allocate,” she said. “In the future, the Y will probably apply for funding.”

A chart of county youth funding to the various programs shows that the City of Batavia’s youth budget for 2021-22 is $197,136.

City Manager Rachael Tabelski said the $12,000 from the county (through OCFS) goes into the city’s general fund and indirectly goes toward youth programming.

“We’re happy to be able to continue to provide direct youth services to the youth of our community and we certainly appreciate the support of the Genesee County Youth Bureau and the Office of Children and Family Services,” Tabelski said.

In February, City Council voted to terminate the youth agreement with the county, a move that Tabelski said will save the city around $21,000 for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

On Wednesday, the county’s Ways & Means Committee voted to terminate it as well – sending the measure for a final vote by the full legislature at next Wednesday’s meeting.

Other activities to be funded by the county youth bureau through the OCFS are Genesee Youth Lead, $2,950; Genesee County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), $2,000; Genesee County Park, $6,550; Youth Bureau Outreach, $8,000; R2R (Ride to Recovery) Ministries, Inc., $2,500; United Way Backpack, $6,000.

In a related development, Kelly March of Batavia was appointed and Erin Martin, representing Darien, Corfu and Pembroke, was reappointed to the Genesee County Youth Board. Their terms will run through March 31, 2024.

Elliott said there is an opening for a youth representative on the 20-member panel.

April 8, 2021 - 3:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, byron, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

Tricia Mae Blatt, 34, of East Main Street, Byron, is charged with: fourth-degree grand larceny; aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree; unlicensed operation; and operating an unregistered motor vehicle. At 3:47 p.m. on April 3, Genesee County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a larceny on East Main Street in the Town of Byron. After an investigation, Blatt was arrested. It is alleged she took a cell phone valued at more than $1,000 from a person, then left the scene operating an unregistered vehicle while her license was revoked. Blatt was issued appearance tickets and is due in Town of Byron Court on May 3. The case was handled by Deputy Erik Andre, assisted by Deputy Kyle Tower.

James Joseph Gabrys, 29, of Gasport, is charged with: possession of a hypodermic needle; criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second degree; and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Gabrys was arrested at 3:39 p.m. April 8 on Bloomingdale Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation for an incident at 2:47 a.m. that morning. He was transported to Genesee County Jail and issued an appearance ticket to be in Alabama Town Court on May 4. The case was handled by Austin Heberlein, assisted by Sgt. Michael Lute.

Mark Frederick Kurzanski, 58, of Olde Stone Lane, Lancaster, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt. At 7:24 p.m. on April 5, Kurzanski was arrested for an incident that occurred at 7:08 p.m. on West Main Street Road in Batavia. He was subsequently arraigned in Batavia Town Court and is due in Genesee County Court on June 2. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jonathan Dimmig, assisted by Deputy Zachary Hoy.

April 8, 2021 - 2:45pm


The Batavia Society of Artists held its first -- and they hope it will become an annual event -- Tabletop People's Choice Awards at Eli Fish Brewing Co. in March.  

More than 400 people voted.

The winners and prizes: 

  • 1st Place $100:  Joan D'Alba
  • 2nd Place $50:  Bethany Zimmerman
  • 3rd Place $25:  Brian Kemp

Photos of winning pictures posted in order. Submitted photos.




April 8, 2021 - 2:38pm

Submitted photos and press release:

The NAMM Foundation has designated Le Roy Central School District as one of the 2021 Best Communities for Music Education in the country.

This national designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Le Roy is one of 686 districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2021.

Congratulations to the Le Roy music teachers, administrators, students, parents, and community leaders on this distinguished designation!

Le Roy has received this designation 15 out of the last 16 years and continues to thrive in providing music education through many opportunities throughout the district.

The program supports 300+ students in chorus and 200+ students in band throughout our district offering vocal and instrumental performance ensembles for students in grades 4-12 as well as a competitive marching band.

Annually, the program produces a sixth-grade musical and a Jr.-Sr. High musical. In the classroom, general music and a variety of Sr. High electives are also offered each year. 


“Just being around people that share the same interest as you is comforting and creates a family! -- Aubrey Puccio, eighth grade

"Music releases tension and is fun! I like being with my friends and playing percussion with my siblings at home." -- Robert Dunn, fifth grade

"On behalf of the Board of Education and the entire Le Roy Central School District, we are all extremely proud to be recognized again as a 2021 Best Communities for Music Education. During this global pandemic, our music teachers provided their students with innovative and creative instructional opportunities for both in-person and virtually learning. This prestigious honor signifies the continued dedication and passion our teachers and students have each day to excel in music education. Congratulations to our administrators, teachers, students, parents, and community for setting high expectations in order to achieve this tremendous accomplishment!" -- Merritt Holly, Le Roy superintendent 

“For me it is about finding my people in high school. It helped me find my circle of people that I wanted to spend my time with in high school. I think it is a wonderful thing to create music for an audience all together because we all want to be here and create something beautiful.” -- Catie Long, 12th grade

"Music is fun! It makes you more engaged with the school than you already are and you get to go on trips and make fun memories with your group." --Halie Hassell, sixth grade

"The families, teachers, staff, administration and Board of Education of Le Roy have always prioritized music education in our community. In this challenging school year, the music teachers have been able to make lemonade out of lemons mostly due to this support. This award illustrates the important role our community plays in what we teach on a daily basis! Thank you to the NAMM Foundation for this recognition and thank you to the Le Roy community for your continuous support!" -- Jessa Dechant, Le Roy Music Department chair  


For more information visit the NAMM Foundation.

April 8, 2021 - 1:04pm

Submitted photo and press release:

The American Legion Auxiliary Unit #576 of Le Roy has selected four girls who are local high school juniors to attend this year's New York Girls State Week, held virtually the week of June 28th.

Evelyn Babcock and Allison Privatera, both of Le Roy High School, have been selected to attend American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) New York Girls State. Selected as alternates are Samantha Sikora and Alexa Wolcott, both of Pavilion High School.

As part of the premier ALA program, the girls will study local, county and state government processes during this five-day nonpartisan political learning experience. 

The girls were selected to attend Girls State based on selection criteria through Auxiliary unit and/or high school, which includes being in the top third of her class, along with consideration given to scholastic achievements, leadership, character, honesty and physical fitness.  

Representing Genesee County

Allison Privatera is the daughter of Patrick and Maureen Privatera, of Le Roy. Allison is involved in the National Honor Society, Scholastic Bowl, school musicals, Marching Band, Bioinformatics, DECA, Mock Trial, National Flight Academy, and the tennis team. She participates in many clubs, helped multiple times doing community service, and assists at the New Start Kitty Shelter.

Representing Le Roy Unit #576

Evelyn Babcock, of Le Roy High School, is the daughter of Sue Babcock Collier and Mark Babcock. She participates in National Honor Society, Scholastic Bowl, Mathletes, Student Council, Sports Med, Pride and Allies, DECA, Cross County, Volleyball, Indoor & Outdoor Track, Swimming, school musicals, Chorus, and, along with her twin brother, created Knights Academic Access Program. She also participates in Spanish Club and Chess Club as well as helping multiple times doing community service projects.

ALA Girls State attendees, known as “citizens,” receive special instruction in parliamentary procedure and organize themselves into two mock political parties. The young women then campaign, hold rallies, debate, and ultimately vote to elect city, county, and state officials. Once elected to office, delegates are sworn in and perform their prescribed duties. Attendees not elected to office are given appointments and visit the offices of those elected to share their viewpoints as citizens.

Every spring, approximately 25,000 young women across the country are selected to attend ALA Girls State programs in their respective states. Two outstanding citizens from each of the 50 ALA Girls State programs are then chosen to represent their state as “senators” at ALA Girls Nation held in Washington, D.C., in July.

Congratulations Girls!

Photo, from left: Samantha Sikora, of Pavilion High School -- alternate selection; Alexa Wolcott, of Pavilion High School -- alternate selection; Allison Privatera, of Le Roy High School --representing Genesee County; and Evelyn Babcock, of Le Roy High School, representing Le Roy American Legion Auxiliary Unit #576.

April 8, 2021 - 12:43pm
posted by Press Release in news, Town of Bergen, history, geneology, archivist.

Submitted photo and press release:

Bergen Town Historian Thomas M. Tiefel recently welcomed Jodi L. Fisher as the town’s newly appointed genealogist/archivist after a recommendation to the Bergen Town Board by the town historian.

Fisher holds a master's degree in Geology from the University at Buffalo along with a Professional Business Management Certificate.

She has worked at local well-known organizations such as GO ART!, as the DEC Grant coordinator, and most recently, the Holland Land Office Museum, where she was the director of marketin.

From a very young age, Fisher has had an interest and love of history.

As a teenager, she had the opportunity to live in France for a year with her family. While she was there, she got a chance to not only travel around Europe and emerse herself in history. But she met up with family in Belgium and soon learned they had compiled a complete genealogical research on her family’s ancestry.

Genealogy is literally in her blood, and she will undoubtedly bring this same enthusiasm to the Bergen Historian’s Office.

Although her higher eduation is not directly related to museum studies, she has accumulated a great deal of experience on how to properly conduct research, and archival and promotional techniques, which will help greatly in her new role.

In addition, she is currently continuing her educational studies in genealogy and research. Bergen welcomes Fisher to the community, and she says she is looking forward to meeting the residents who may need her assistance.

April 8, 2021 - 12:28pm

Press release:

As of April 6, individuals 16 years and older can now receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Genesee County health officials pointed out that the Pfizer vaccine is currently the only shot authorized for those 16 and 17 years old. Pfizer is a two-series dose, 21 days apart (three weeks). The Moderna vaccination also is a two-series dose, 28 days apart (four weeks), and is recommended for people aged 18 and older. It also is important to remember that youth under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

“Following the announcement from last week that anyone 30 years and older is eligible for a vaccination with this announcement is an extremely positive development as it means we are starting to see a steady supply of the vaccine,” said Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein.

“The County is going to be utilizing various ways to get the word out to these age groups about the importance of getting vaccinated, including our social media channels. We also encourage parents and guardians and others in the community to not only get their vaccination, but also encourage those in these younger age groups to get their shots.”

Genesee County health officials also reminded residents that if they get a vaccine, then the person must be able to return for the second dose for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccination after the first dose. That appointment is scheduled immediately after vaccination and the shot will be administered at the same location of the initial vaccination.

To see a list of vaccination clinics and availabilities in Genesee and Orleans Counties please visit this website.

It’s important that residents in these age groups get vaccinated as they are currently comprising a higher percentage of our current infection rates,” said Genesee County Public Health Director Paul Pettit.

“These age groups also are more socially active and as we begin to see restrictions on gatherings becoming more relaxed, the likelihood that infection rates among these age groups will continue to increase. That is why we must continue to be vigilant in preventing the spread by wearing a mask, adhering to social distancing and practicing good hygiene.”

April 8, 2021 - 12:10pm

From Lisa Wittmeyer:

Community Action of Orleans & Genesee is Spring Cleaning! 

We’re hosting a FREE Clothing Give-a-way on from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5, in front of our building, located at 5073 Clinton Street Road, Batavia.

We’ll have other household items available as well.

Please wear your mask and social distance.

April 8, 2021 - 11:53am
posted by Press Release in Sen. Charles Schumer, news, wny stamp, Alabama.

Press release:

After fighting for and securing Plug Power’s new hydrogen fuel cell "gigafactory" in Rochester, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today (April 8) announced his support to secure a $520 million federal loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to be used in constructing a network of green hydrogen facilities.

This includes the planned 68-job green hydrogen production facility at the Western New York Science, Technology, Advanced Manufacturing Park -- STAMP -- site in Genesee County between Rochester and Buffalo.

Schumer first wrote to the DOE in November 2020 to advocate for the DOE to approve a loan guarantee through its Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program. Last month he doubled down in urging the new Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to provide support and resources to help make Plug Power’s plans to build its hydrogen fuel production facility in Genesee County's Town of Alabama a reality.

The DOE has since approved Plug Power, which initially submitted its Part I application in November 2020, to submit a Part II Application for a loan guarantee under the Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program which is the next step in the multistep process to ultimately secure a DOE conditional commitment and final loan guarantee agreement.  

Senator Schumer said, “Securing this federal loan guarantee will be a win-win to supercharge Plug Power to new heights by supporting its planned 68-job hydrogen fuel production facility at the WNY STAMP site in Genesee County while also creating the nation’s first U.S.-wide network of green hydrogen production facilities to produce carbon-free fuel-cell power.

"I’m glad the DOE has now given Plug Power the green light to pursue a federal loan guarantee. I’ll continue to support Plug Power to the fullest in securing this loan guarantee and creating North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility right here in the heart of Western New York. “

The $520 million loan guarantee will support Plug Power’s construction of five new green hydrogen production facilities to create the nation's first green hydrogen production network. The facilities will vary in size, producing between 10 to 60 tons of green hydrogen fuel per day up, totaling approximately 180 tons per day of liquid hydrogen production capacity.

Plug Power plans on starting with the construction of a $290 million production facility at the WNY STAMP site, which will produce 45 tons of green hydrogen daily, create 68 new jobs, and rank as North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility.

Schumer previously noted this new network of green hydrogen fuel production facilities, including the facility at STAMP, can be a national model in efforts to achieve the Biden Administration’s goal to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create quality clean-energy jobs.

Plug Power’s new production facility at STAMP would produce green hydrogen to supply fuel-cell-powered equipment and vehicles such as freight transportation and logistics handling equipment – some powered by fuel cells that will be manufactured at the upcoming Plug Power "gigafactory" slated to open in Rochester this summer.

Schumer said Plug Power can lead the charge in dramatically reducing our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions with the construction of its first green hydrogen production facility at the STAMP campus.

Plug Power, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Latham, NY, currently employs more than 400 workers in New York to innovate, manufacture and assemble hydrogen fuel cells including about 300 workers in the Capital Region at its headquarters and Capital Region manufacturing sites in Latham and Clifton Park, and about 70 workers at its Rochester manufacturing site.

In 2020, Schumer successfully fought for Plug Power to build their new "gigafactory" in Rochester, which will manufacture hydrogen electrolyzers, used for the production of hydrogen fuel, and hydrogen PEM fuel cells used to produce electricity to power transportation equipment. Slated to open in the middle of next year, the "gigafactory" will add another 375 employees to Plug Power’s New York workforce.

April 7, 2021 - 8:17pm

Resolutions to keep a security guard at the Department of Motor Vehicles and forge a secure arrangement with Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden are on their way to the full Genesee County Legislature.

The board’s Ways & Means Committee today voted in favor of amending a contract with Securemedy Inc., of Waldorf, Md., to continue funding a security guard position at the DMV at County Building I on West Main Street in the city.

Cost of the added expense of $28,800 is expected to be covered by Federal Emergency Management Agency/disaster assist funding connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

County Clerk Michael Cianfrini, speaking at the committee meeting at the Old County Courthouse (and via Zoom videoconferencing), said having a security guard “has been basically invaluable to us down at the DMV, especially since we reopened.”

Cianfrini said that on a daily basis, between 10 and 50 people come to the office from either outside Genesee County or without an appointment.

“The security guard is able to stop them before they get into the DMV,” he said. “He has actually been there long enough now that he familiar with some of the documents and can answer questions for us. He’ll get the documents for people.”

The clerk said that the presence of the armed guard – his first name is Rich – provides much-needed protection.

“From our perspective, I’d love to see him there permanently. Looking down the road, at some point, the governor is going to lift restrictions. At some point, we’re going to have to go back to being open to the public,” he said.

When that happens, Cianfrini said he expects to be “inundated with out-of-county people coming in. Buffalo and Rochester – just hearing how far behind they (the DMV offices there) are.”

“They’re scheduling appointments – and in some cases, other counties are a month or two out, or more. They’re all going to come here,” he said. “I’s going to be … I won’t say a mess – but it’s going to be very hectic, and the presence of a guard would certainly help keep some order.”

Ways & Means Chair Marianne Clattenburg said the DMV staff has the backing of the legislature.

“You have our total support,” she said. “It will continue even if we have to fund it from our own budget.”

Keeping the ‘Peace’ (Garden)

The committee also voted in favor of a defined memorandum of understanding between the county and the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden -- the volunteer group that services and supports the approximately 11,000 square feet of county property on West Main Street, adjacent to the Holland Land Office Museum.

Barb Toal, FBPG vice president, said she is on board with the MOU’s stipulations and looks forward to continue working with the county to enhance the area that commemorates the peace between the United States and Canada since the War of 1812.

“We’re really thankful for all that the county does for us, and works with us on this project,” Toal said. “We’re just here to help beautify Batavia and make use of that area along the creek. I guess I just want to make sure that you people realize how much we enjoy working with you …”

Clattenburg promptly returned the compliment.

“You do a wonderful job of beautifying that area,” Clattenburg said. “It really does fit well within the property of the Holland Land Office and it is a tourist attraction.”

Toal said the original purpose of the peace garden was to “promote the Holland Land Office, and to try to keep the doors open of that building.”

In related action, the committee approved a contract with the FBPG Foundation to lease 682 square feet of space at the Engine House, 3 W. Main St., for administrative purposes from May 1, 2021 through April 30, 2022 at $100 annually.

April 7, 2021 - 7:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal rescue, lost pets, batavia, news.

A skittish female shih tzu who lives at 66 Tracy Ave. in the City of Batavia is missing and owner Nikkie Stronge is beside herself with worry and anxiety about it.

The tiny black and white dog, named "Oreo," managed to bolt out her front door somehow after being chased by a cat she shares the home with.

This happended at about 11:30 a.m. yesterday. She was last seen running northbound, then she darted off and a friend lost sight of her.

There's some history with this feline housemate of hers. In her photo here, she's wearing a protective collar while her eye socket heals -- the cat literally scratched her left eye out and it could not be saved.

"It's not noticable right away because she has black fur around her eyes," Stronge said.

Oreo went back to the vet Friday for a check up and all was good. With some warm weather approaching, Strong decided to bath her a couple days ago and shear off her fur. She removed the 15-month-old pup's collar with tags for the grooming session.

Alas, Oreo is out in the wild world without ID, but she's readily identifiable. Plus, she's wearing Pokémon "Pikachu" character pajamas that are striped black and yellow like a bumble bee. Adorable!

"I'm holding her collar in my hands now," laments mom.

There's another little doggie in the household and the cat chases it, too. So for now the cat she rescued is in a cage and Strong is looking to rehome it.

"The cat is good with other cats and people, but not dogs," Stronge says.

When the canine -- known historically as "the little lion dog" and also the "chrysanthemum dog" skittered away from home, Strong was in Rochester and she returned to learn of the bad news an hour later.

She did everything she could think of: called the animal shelter in three different communities; contacted law enforcement; put up a notice on a lost pet website; scoured parks; looked around wooded areas in the vicinity; and even drove to Alexander on a sighting tip that didn't pan out.

Let's all keep our eyes peeled for Oreo.

If you spot her, give Nikkie Stronge a buzz or text her at (347) 702-1222.

UPDATED 11:28 a.m. April 8: Below, photo of Oreo in her Pokémon "Pikachu" character pajamas.



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