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Police search for suspect of smash and grab at Walmart

By Howard B. Owens
Feb 5, 2023, 8:35pm

A man who stole Nintendo Switch game consoles from Walmart and told employees he had a gun managed to evade law enforcement before officers arrived on scene on Saturday night.

The man smashed the glass of a display case at about 10:26 p.m., according to the Sheriff's Office.

He did not display a weapon while in the store.

The store was evacuated until officers determined the area was safe for customers and employees.

The robber fled in a vehicle. No description was provided of the man or the vehicle.

Deputies, State Police, and Batavia PD conducted a search of the area to try and locate the suspect.  He was not apprehended.

Anyone with information that may assist in the investigation is asked to call (585) 343-5000.


Baker 823; Gray Jr., Culp, Iresabal 300 in GRUSBC action

By Mike Pettinella
Feb 5, 2023, 7:06pm

This week in Genesee Region USBC league bowling produced the high three-game series at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, an "out of the box" 300 game at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, another honor score and huge series by the reigning GRUSBC Scratch Memorial Tournament champion and the first perfect game of the season at Perry Bowling Center.

Tom Baker of Pavilion was a model of consistency on Thursday night as he spun games of 279, 278 and 266 for an 823 series on lanes 15-16 at the 24-lane center in Batavia. 

The 46-year-old left-hander recorded 32 out of a possible 36 strikes -- 10 in the first game (including the first nine) and 11 each in the second and third games.

He overcame an open in the sixth frame of game three by finishing with six strikes for his third United States Bowling Congress-certified 800 series. He also has a trio of 300 games.

The big set raised his average to 219.

In other action:

  • Warsaw lefty Kevin Gray Jr. used a new ball -- the Ebonite Envision Pearl -- for the first time in the Thursday Owls League at Rose Garden Bowl and the result was 300-236-233--769 on lanes 3-4.

Gray, 42, now has at least a dozen certified 300 games, including two in Bergen and three at Perry Bowling Center. The 769 raised his league-high average to 223.

  • Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls, who won the Scratch Memorial last month for the fourth time, fired 215-300-257--772 in the Mancuso Real Estate Doubles League at Mancuso's. 

The 44-year-old righty raised his center-leading average to 236 with his second straight 772 series. 

  • Jacob Iresabal of Castile became the first league bowler at Perry Bowling Center to string 12 consecutive strikes in one game as he rolled 300 in the Thursday Night League on lanes 5-6. 

The 37-year-old righty averages in the 190s.

  • Also, in the Wednesday Night Ladies League at Mancuso's, Mary Ann Stone of Batavia finished with a 277 game for a 597 series.

For a list of high scores for the week, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of the home page.

Batavia’s fourth quarter deficit overcame Eastridge in final minutes to claim league title

By Howard B. Owens
Feb 4, 2023, 6:44pm

The Batavia Blue Devils clinched the Monroe County Division IV title with a come-from-behind win over Eastridge on Friday night.

With three games left in the season, the Blue Devils are 7-0 in the division, and 13-4 overall, good enough for third place in Section V Class B1.

Batavia trailed for most of the first three quarters on Friday, before taking a brief two-point lead late in the third quarter.

The Blue Devils scored 12 points, including a pair of three-point buckets from Ja'vin McFollins, in the fourth quarter to claim a 60-55 win.

McFollins finished with 30 points on the night.

Sawyer Siverling and Carter McFollins scored eight points each.

"We struggled to score most of the game," Coach Buddy Brasky said after the game. "Eastridge took a 12-point lead with 3:50 left. It stayed that way until the 1:45 mark. Ja'vin came up big with two straight threes to cut it to six. We upped the pressure and caused three straight turnovers. Ja'vin iced the game with 6 straight free throws."

Batavia’s next game is next Wednesday at Greece Athena

In Boys Basketball on Friday:

  • Le Roy beats Letchworth 61-40
  • Attica beat Alexander, 52-49
  • Oakfield-Alabama beat Holly, 95-22
  • Byron-Bergen beat Elba, 72-29.  Gianni Ferrara scored 20 points and had four assists, five rebounds and five steals. Braedyn Chambry scored 17 and had nine rebounds. David Brumstead scored 13 and had seven rebounds.

In Girls Basketball:

  • Eastridge beat Batavia, 56-32
  • Oakfield-Alabama beat Pembroke, 42-28. Caitlin Ryan scored 16 points and had six rebounds and five steals. Emma Ray scored eight.  For Pembroke, Isabel Breeden scored 11. Karli Housenecht scored nine and had five rebounds. Onolee Easterbrook scored five and had six steals.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

Batavia's JV team also won its Monroe County Division IV title.  Photo courtesy Coach Dave Pero.

Le Roy beats Letchworth 61-40

By Howard B. Owens
Feb 4, 2023, 6:08pm

Le Roy beat Letchworth in Boys Basketball on Friday night, 61-40.

Merritt Holly scored 22 points.  Jean Agusto scored 17.

Holly now has 440 points on the season and has averagedt 24.4 points per game.

Photo by Jason Coniber.

Getting real about the dangers of social media and kids

By Joanne Beck
Feb 4, 2023, 8:00am

Editor's Note: This is part of a series about social media use and its effects on children. 

Thoughts and attempts of suicide, self-mutilation, depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, a lack of motivation, shame, or being the giver or receiver of bullying.

It’s a tough world out there, and children are being subjected to these things more and more, especially when social media is involved,  Daniel DePasquale says.

An unhealthy trend
"I'm seeing a lot of things that seem to track with a lot of the trends that have shown up in the research. So teenagers became daily users of social media, between about 2009 and 2012. And there's been a lot of research done since then, tracking different metrics of teen mental health. And what it shows pretty unequivocally is a significant increase in depression, mood disorders, anxiety, self-harm, and especially hospital visits, and ER visits for suicidality and self-harm. So that's obviously very concerning," he said. 

"There’s a huge spike in 2012," DePasquale said during an interview with The Batavian Thursday. "Their lives are very online. That’s not all bad; it does foster some connections, especially for districts in smaller, rural areas. Where it goes wrong are the amounts of time spent, more than two hours a day. Most of the kids I see here are spending significantly more than that. This is stunting, certainly, really important aspects of adolescent development, especially emotional development, and social development. There's a lot of that that really needs to happen in person. And these online platforms really don't, they don't replicate what that real-life interaction is."

DePasquale is a licensed social worker at Genesee County Mental Health Services in Batavia. He and colleagues Christine Faust, a licensed mental health counselor, and Deputy Mental Health Director Peter Mittiga shared their observations and experiences on why social media use reached the extent necessary to drive families to seek counseling.

For one thing, online platforms don’t represent real life, DePasquale said. Yet, when other kids post tiny snippets of their lives, it appears as though that is their world, and it can create a false comparison.

“These are middle schools and high schools, these are where kids are kind of figuring out who they are, they're grappling with their identity for learning how to read other people's emotions, and learning how to resolve conflicts," he said. "And social media really does not provide a good healthy way to learn those things. Humans are wired to compare ourselves. Kids are posting very selective parts of their lives … very curated versions.”

Of course, that also happens amongst many adults, he said; however, kids are at an already “very fraught time in their lives” and don’t need the added pressure of having to live up to an unrealistic ideal on the Internet.

Kids are mostly gravitating towards Tik Tok and Snap Chat, while Facebook is less popular with the younger crowd, he said. Another “big issue” is cyberbullying. It has become bullying of a “very different quality than what happens in person,” DePasquale said. Once it becomes posted online for all to see, it makes it hard for kids to escape it, he said, even once they leave school and go home.

More than a fun distraction
Think social media is just an innocent extracurricular, maybe a time suck but an otherwise harmless distraction for kids? They’re being referred to therapy after being sent to the hospital for a “self-harming” incident. That could mean cutting themselves or something even more lethal. Or their issues may manifest as seemingly having no motivation to do anything and depression.

In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Technology in May 2022, Ethical Leadership Professor Jonathan Haidt reported that social media is a “substantial contributor to the crisis” of increased loneliness at schools in all regions of the world.

“Correlational studies consistently show a link between heavy social media use and mood disorders, but the size of the relationship is disputed,” Haidt said. “Nearly all studies find a correlation, and it is usually curvilinear. That is, moving from no social media use to one or two hours a day is often not associated with an increase in poor mental health, but as usage rises to three or four hours a day, the increases in mental illness often become quite sharp.”

DePasquale believes that two hours a day is the maximum goal for usage, and it’s what he recommends to families. Beyond the emotional and mental health aspects of social media are other measurable effects, he said, including the lessening of kids’ coping skills and quality of sleep.

Social media requires “a level of sustained attention, a lot of rapid switching from different things,” he said.

Learning mindfulness skills to become more aware of their own thoughts will require new learning, such as being able to put the phone down, he said. All of that social media scrolling encourages the opposite.

"So they don't really facilitate, you know, the kind of sustained attention that you would need to, say, sit down and read a chapter of a book. And a lot of the skills that we want to teach our kids involve becoming aware of your thoughts, becoming aware of the negative thought patterns that tend to reinforce your depression or your anxiety," he said. "They also involve learning how to become more present, kind of mindfulness skills that we try to teach people, kids and adults, that also requires kind of a singular focus, being able to put the phone down, and become aware of your thoughts and feelings so that you can learn new ways of responding to them.

"And I'm finding it harder to teach some of those skills to kids, just because they don't have as much experience with that kind of sustained focus," he said.

Again, that addictive quality is not present just within the younger generation. Just look around, and there are many adults scrolling with their eyes fixed on the phone screen throughout the day and night. There is no actual addiction diagnosis for social media use, Mittiga said, but it certainly does have addictive properties.

Faust added that a committee in charge of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses, more commonly known as the DSM-5, will be discussing potential additions, including gaming and social media addictions. The American Psychiatric Association writes, edits, reviews and publishes the book as necessary. It was first published in 1952 and has been revised seven times since.

What does it take to get into this manual? The general consensus, Faust said, is that something falls into the addiction category when it has a drastically negative impact on someone’s life.

Faust works with all ages and specializes in children ages three and older. Even at that tender age of pre-schoolers, devices become the norm, whether it’s by watching YouTube videos, playing games on a tablet or a phone, or using the program Roblox, which allows younger kids to play a variety of games, she said.

Elementary-aged children are into Tik Tok, because “it’s silly and fun,” and Faust knows of a fourth-grader who routinely posts videos of herself on the site. A fourth-grader. Unfortunately, she gets a lot of  “bullying and shaming,” as a result, Faust said.

“There are supposed to be age restrictions on these platforms,” she said. “A lot of parents are just turning a blind eye to this, or they don’t think it’s really a problem. I think a lot of kids have free rein, or even parents try to restrict them. Kids find a way around it.”

One boy was being shamed on the school bus for not owning a phone, so he took one from home to save face.

The 'dark side' of social media use
“But the other part of it is that what I see is that it's taking this group of kids who are sort of at risk, who could kind of go either way, like, they could be healthy, or they could be drawn into, you know, more risky behaviors," she said. "So it's taking those kids that are kind of on the line, and drawing them to the, quote, unquote, dark side.”

Sites like Snap Chat suck kids in like a magnet, and they get involved in group chats, teenage girls bully and shame others, and those victims are driven into serious depression, the ones “who would never think about suicide, start to contemplate suicide,” she said.

“When kids are stressed out, they’re turning to self-harm,” DePasquale said, as he and Faust filled in the lines for each other.

“And then, like Dan said, there's definitely an increase in visits to hospitals for kids who are suicidal. Or, self-harming, cutting, like it's become normalized ... when they're stressed out, and overwhelmed," Faust said.

"They're automatically thinking about suicide as a viable option,” he added.

Behaviors seem to focus more on cutting, and for girls, it can also go towards body image issues and disordered eating, Faust said, and not so much on alcohol or drug use in younger kids. DePasquale agreed that there has been a "significant shift" associated with social media use being connected to self-harm and suicidality versus substance abuse. 

To the extent, they said, that "it's almost become normalized," Faust said.

"I hear kids that I work with talk about watching videos of people cutting themselves. Yeah. And posting it. They're cutting themselves and posting it," she said. "Whether it's to get attention or a cry for help. But yeah, it's definitely creating this sort of culture that is desensitizing."

By now, The Batavian has spoken to several school counselors and administrators for their thoughts on this topic, and these licensed mental health professionals concur that there are problems attached to the heavy use of social media by children.   

Shining some light on the subject
Some of those districts are infusing students and staff with encouragement to form committees and teams to extract the positive out of this situation and teach about/use social media for good and/or monitor its use to be at a healthy level.

Case in point: Just this week Byron-Bergen Elementary School announced that the Genesee Valley School Board Association awarded the district with the Excellence in Student Services Award for the 3rd Grade Digital Citizenship Program. This program, which is led by third-grade teacher Colleen Hardenbrook, is a year-long initiative to develop online and computer skills in the areas of digital citizenship, digital literacy, and keyboarding. All 59 third-grade students from three classrooms participate in the Digital Citizenship Program.

Each class receives 40 to 80 minutes of Digital Citizenship per week. The curriculum is provided by Common Sense Media and focuses on safety, accountability, responsibility, and respectful use of digital media. This is broken down into themes, including media balance, privacy and security, digital footprint, relationships and communication, and media literacy.

The Batavian will be publishing stories on additional measures being taken by school districts in future articles of this series.

Imposing limits is not a bad thing
As for right now, DePasquale emphasized the time limitation to no more than two hours a day as a good rule of thumb. Faust also sees a real need for limits and boundaries, she said.

“Whatever form that comes in,” she said. “Social media is not going to go away. The trick is teaching parents about limiting what platforms they’re using. What kind of parental controls do they want to use on devices,” she said. “Parents weren’t prepared. We need to backtrack. Parents need to teach their kids at three what’s appropriate.”

DePasquale also suggests providing recommendations in layers, beginning with some fundamentals, such as using the settings in your child’s smartphone and defining a limit for only two hours of use, "right at the start."

“That also needs to be coupled with close monitoring,” he said. “And kids don’t get on social media until 16.”

Other suggestions? Parents, remove all screens from your child’s bedroom, take the phone away one hour before bedtime, and be prepared to have a list of replacement activities for that time you’ve now freed up for your child by limiting the phone.

“A lot of kids are struggling, they don’t have healthy limits. They are willing to backtrack, and are welcoming those boundaries,” Faust said. “And parents have to take more action. Some kids are learning what a good friend is, and self-esteem, confidence and getting involved in healthy activities.”

If you suspect your child is struggling with a mental health issue, check in with your school counselor or call Genesee County Mental Health Services at 585-344-1421.

For more information for parents and educators, read THIS from the Center for Humane Technology.  

Top Photo Illustration. Stock photo.

Goose Center expands offerings with market, exercise, art, and CPR

By Joanne Beck
Feb 3, 2023, 6:39pm

Temperatures are plummeting, so perhaps it’s the perfect weekend to do some shopping inside during the debut of The Goose Community Center’s weekend Farmers Market, organizer Susan Zeliff says.

The market runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 33 South Main St., Oakfield.

Vendors include Zeliff Farms with beef; R & J Brewer with honey; Maple Moon Farms with maple syrup; Fresh from the L'Oven baked goods; and Papa Thom’s Rockin’ Bagels. More vendors will join in as the produce season arrives, Zeliff said.

“We will have breakfast sandwiches and coffee for sale,” she said. “If anyone is interested in being a part of this, they can call Nicole at (585) 813-2825.”

The Community Center has been ratcheting up its busy-ness level, and will also be hosting a “Groove” exercise class at 9 a.m. Tuesdays for $5 a class, she said. Taught by Shanda Spink, it is a higher-intensity program that will definitely “get your heart rate up,” Zeliff said.

“She offered January free to see the interests. This class was sparked by community members asking for this type of class,” Zeliff said. “We are hoping these classes will become a staple in our community, along with adding any others that are of interest to other members of our community.  Being able to provide healthy activities closer to home for our community is our goal.”

Another offering that was prompted by the collapse of Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin is an adult/child CPR and automated external defibrillator certification class from 9 to 11 a.m. Feb. 11. Cost is $50 and participants will be certified during this session taught by Kadi Hilchey, Zeliff said.

A training-only session will also be offered from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on March 9 for $25.

Scholarships are available for this course, and organizers hope to continue offering similar courses throughout the year, Zeliff said. For more information or to register, call (315) 730-0606 or go to the Center’s website.  

Every Sunday, beginning Feb. 19 through April 2, the Center will be hosting activities through its Learning Through Art Program, funded through a GO ART! grant.  There will be no charge to participants, but registration is required online beginning Feb. 10.

“Anyone who has a talent and would like to share it with the community, we welcome them to do so in our community center.  Currently, we have Beck O'Donnel, who does open card stamping the second Tuesday of each month from 1 to 8 p.m.,” Zeliff said, adding that classes are open to anyone. “They can stay the whole time or pop in for a little bit and then leave. We are hoping now that our community center is finished that, we keep it active.  Whether through renting out for meetings, showers, birthday parties, whatever the occasion, if someone needs more space than their home allows.”  

This (Learning Through Art) project 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 GO ART!

Photo of the Goose Community Center's market cooler packed and ready for Saturday, from its online site.

Accident reported in Pavilion

By Howard B. Owens
Feb 3, 2023, 4:25pm

A car and tractor-trailer have reportedly collided a car and injuries are reported on Big Tree Road in Pavilion.

Pavilion Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 4:24 p.m.:  Law enforcement requested to shut down routes 246 and 63.  Perry Ambulance is responding. 

BSA kicks off 2023 with 'Intuitive Painting' exhibit

By Press Release
Feb 3, 2023, 4:11pm

Press Release:

The Batavia Society of Artists are kicking off the New Year with a demonstration by artist David Burke on Tuesday February 7th at Go-Art!/Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia at 7pm.  The Tavern 2.0.1. will be open for cash purchased that evening.  Membership for 2023 is open to all for $30 single, $50 couple, and $10 for student or Veteran.  Non-members welcome for a $5 fee.

Intuitive Painting With David F. Burke happens when you truly have no preconceived image in your head about how your finished artwork will look, and you just let your blank paper or canvas lead you each step of the way.

It’s an exciting way to paint because there are so many possibilities and ideas for every painting! It is liberating because there are no rules, there are no restraints, you just allow for each paint stroke or mark that you have made to speak to you about the next one.

You are completely freed up from needless self-analyzing or overly scrutinizing your work. And it can be very meditative and self-reflective as you explore all the possible combinations of color, value, shape, visual texture that show up through your own personal style of mark-making.

What you paint will be your very own intuitive style, generated from all that is within you…yet very much inspired by how you see the world.

About David: "I’ve been an artist all my life, but in the last 7 years I began painting full time, have participated in many art shows and done numerous murals around the area. I received a BFA from SUNY Brockport in 1999, he says.

"My artwork has been primarily inspired by nature, and my connection to the life of the earth and that greater Mystery beneath the manifest world. I love how the effects of light and shadow, color and composition evoke subtle emotions and unconscious memories. In the last couple years I began playing with Abstract Expressionism and Intuitive Painting. It’s very liberating!"

Artist David Burke's works.

Tenney backs three bills aimed at combating Chinese Communist Party

By Press Release
Feb 3, 2023, 3:52pm

Press release:

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) introduced three bills to combat the China Communist Party (CCP) amid China’s deployment of a surveillance balloon over the United States. These three bills will increase transparency and stop federal funds from going to the CCP and CCP-affiliated entities.

First, Congresswoman Tenney led H.R. 748, or the Stop CCP Infrastructure Act, alongside Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (VA-7), which prohibits federally funded public works projects from granting contracts to entities affiliated with the Chinese government, the CCP, or those headquartered in China. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passed last Congress appropriated almost $1.2 trillion for infrastructure spending, but it did not include necessary safeguards to ensure these funds do not go to the CCP or CCP-affiliated entities. This bill will remedy this omission for IIJA funds and other public works spending.

Next, H.R. 747, or the No Chinese Communist Subterfuge via Unregistered Regime Presence Rendered Indivisible to Shareholders and Equivalent (SURPRISE) Parties Act, was introduced by Congresswoman Tenney alongside Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Congressman Max Miller (OH-7). This bill requires publicly traded companies to disclose their ties to the CCP. Many companies that have divisions that operate in China have CCP cells and CCP members on their corporate boards. Americans should be entitled to know which companies are under the malign influence of the CCP when making investment and purchasing decisions.

Finally, H.R. 749, or the Turn Off Federal Funding of Threatening Entities that Thwart American Prosperity (Turn OFF THE TAP) Act, was led by Congresswoman Tenney and Senator Rubio. This bill will explicitly prohibit any federal funds from going to entities on federal trade blacklists and sanctions lists directly or through third parties. Under current federal law, there is no central ban on contracts with foreign firms that are on U.S. government blacklists or from contracting with companies that do business with blacklisted firms. This bill will fix this gap and ensure the federal blacklists work the way they are intended.

“Time and again, the CCP has refused to play by the rules and has engaged in exploitative trade policies, corrupt business deals, and severe human rights abuses,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “Today, China is operating a surveillance balloon over American soil. China is emboldened by President Biden’s weak policies, and it continues to threaten both our economic and national security. We must begin taking China’s threat seriously and end their abuse of hardworking Americans. These pieces of legislation are critical first steps in combatting the malign influence of the CCP in our economy and their exploitation of U.S. public and private investment funds.”

GCEDC board approves financial agreements with Edwards Vacuum at STAMP

By Press Release
Feb 3, 2023, 3:50pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board approved financial agreements to support Edwards Vacuum, part of the Atlas Copco Group, for the first phase of the company’s $209 million semiconductor dry pump manufacturing facility at the Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the town of Alabama, NY at its February 2, 2023 meeting. 

Edwards Vacuum’s “factory of the future” will serve the semiconductor industry and advanced manufacturing sectors and create approximately 343 new high-paying jobs. The facility is projected to generate more than $13.4 million in future revenues to the Town of Alabama, Genesee County, Oakfield-Alabama School District, and the Alabama Fire Department over 20 years.

Atlas Copco USA Holdings Inc. & Subsidiaries (Edwards Vacuum) has requested sales tax exemptions of approximately $4.34 million and a 20-year property tax abatement of approximately $12.85 million. The project is estimated to generate $644 million in payroll and projected future municipal revenues, and a $39 benefit to the local economy for every $1 of public investment.

Hawley knocks Hochul proposed increase spending in budget

By Press Release
Feb 3, 2023, 3:44pm

Press release:

“For too long, New York taxpayers have been on the hook for bloated and wasteful state budgets. Gov. Hochul has proposed a whopping $7 billion increase from $220 billion to $227 billion. The Operating Budget increases the Medicaid portion by 9.3 percent, continuing the most bloated program of any state in the nation. This will increase the burden on local taxpayers diminishing the Medicaid freeze. It is heartening to see education & mental health programs will see increased state assistance. Educating the minds of our future generations is extremely important. With more bipartisan collaboration, we could focus on the needs of the taxpayers while cutting down on spending.”

Batavia Professional Women seek applications for scholarships

By Press Release
Feb 3, 2023, 3:36pm

Press release:

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club is announcing their Annual Scholarship and Community Service Awards and calling for applications.

Scholarships are open to all Graduating Seniors (male or female) in Genesee County High Schools and the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP). The students need to have maintained an 85% average and must complete the application process available through the Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Website or via Facebook. Deadline: April 7, 2023.

All schools in Genesee County and GVEP have been emailed information on this program which includes eligibility requirements, guidelines, and the scholarship application. Parents and students are advised to seek out their school’s guidance counselor/department to receive the needed information.

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club has provided scholarships since 1961. The number and dollar amount of scholarships awarded are dependent on the club’s annual fundraisers. Local community support is greatly appreciated; watch for upcoming event announcements.

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club will also offer monetary Awards for Service Groups in June 2023. Any Service Group in Genesee County may apply for this by sending a letter of request on your organization’s letterhead.

Deadlines for both the Scholarship Applications and the Community Service Awards letters are to be postmarked by Friday, April 7, 2023.

Batavia Business and Professional Women’s’ Club
PO Box 1778
Batavia, New York 14021

Contact Barbara Matarazzo, [email protected], (585) 345-6070 or Katie Rhoads, [email protected], (585) 749-6915, with any questions.

Hope Center in Le Roy starting grief support group

By Press Release
Feb 3, 2023, 3:30pm

Press release:

The Hope Center of LeRoy, located at 42 Main St., will be starting up another GriefShare Support Group. It will take place every Thursday afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. beginning on March 2, and running through May 25. The group is designed to offer help and encouragement after the death of a spouse, child, family member, or friend. The three key parts of the program are the use of a personal workbook, a video seminar, and group discussion. The cost is $20. For more information or to register, please call the Facilitator, Mari-Lee Ruddy, at (716) 861-5645. You don't have to bear your grief alone.

GO Health announces free anti-rabies clinic on Feb. 9 at Town of Batavia highway garage

By Press Release
Feb 3, 2023, 3:28pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Health Department will be hosting a FREE anti-rabies immunization clinic on Thursday, February 9th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Batavia Town Highway Garage (3833 West Main Street Road, Batavia). 

“We encourage residents to take advantage of this opportunity to make sure that their animals are immunized against rabies and that the vaccinations are kept up to date,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “Rabies continues to be a serious public health concern in Genesee and Orleans Counties and is a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Please leave wildlife alone and do not feed, touch, or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or cats.”

Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least 3 months old. Each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Limit 4 pets per car maximum.

To save time, please click here to fill out your registration form in advance. Be sure to print out two copies for each pet to be vaccinated and bring them with you to the clinic.

The next anti-rabies immunization clinics are as follows:

  • Genesee County Clinics at the Genesee County Fairgrounds (5056 East Main Street, Batavia, NY)
    • Thursday, May 18th, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, August 10th, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, October 12th, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Orleans County Clinics at the Orleans County Fairgrounds (12690 State Route 31, Albion, NY)  
    • Saturday, April 15th, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    • Wednesday, June 7th, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, August 26th, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    • Saturday, October 21st, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

For more information on Health Department services, visit or call 589-3278 for Orleans County or (585) 344-2580 ext. 5555 for Genesee County.

GLOW With Your Hands plans leading sponsors for health care career event at GCC

By Press Release
Feb 3, 2023, 3:24pm

Press release:

GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare is beginning to build momentum for the inaugural hands-on career exploration event as organizers announced Platinum Level sponsors, including Livingston County Area Chamber Education to Employment, Wyoming County Community Health Services, and United Memorial Medical Center.

It is anticipated that approximately 550 GLOW region students will attend Genesee Community College on March 24, 2023, where they will be able to learn first-hand about exciting career opportunities in the healthcare sector by meeting representatives and professionals from various healthcare organizations.

“We greatly appreciate the support of our sponsors to date as they are integral in making these types of events successful,” said Angela Grouse, Co-Chair, GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare.  “We hope that the commitment of these sponsors will encourage other healthcare organizations to consider participating and supporting an event that can help them address their workforce needs.”

“Business and educational organizations and economic development agencies from across the region are once again collaborating to provide an incredible opportunity for GLOW region students to learn about good-paying careers right in their own backyard,” said Karyn Winters, Co-Chair, GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare.

Sponsorships for the March 24th event are available at the Platinum ($5,000), Gold ($2,500), Silver ($1,000), and Bronze ($500) levels.

Le Roy GOP looking for candidates to run for office

By Press Release
Feb 3, 2023, 3:10pm

Press release:

The Town of LeRoy Republican Committee is seeking candidates interested in being selected as the endorsed Republican candidate for the following offices in the November General Election.  If  interested, please contact Randa Williams   (585) 356-5333

  • Town Supervisor
  • Town Justice 
  • Town Highway Superintendent
  • Town Council – (2)
  • Town Clerk

County's unemployment rate ticks up slightly in December

By Howard B. Owens
Feb 3, 2023, 2:50pm

For the first time in more than a year, Genesee County's unemployment rate was higher than the same period a year earlier in December.

The December rate was 2.9 percent, according to Department of Labor statistics.  The prior December it was 2.7 percent.  It was 5.7 percent in December 2020.

In Genesee County in December, there were 29,300 local residents in the labor force, with 900 of those people looking for work, compared to 29,000 workers in December 2021, with 800 of them looking for work.

The number of non-farm jobs in Genesee County reported in December was 22,400, up 200 jobs from 2021 but 100 lower than in November, which was 400 lower than October.

The nation's job market remains strong, according to news reports. The economy grew by 517,000 jobs when economists projected more modest growth, about 188,000 jobs.

Genesee County's January numbers won't be available for at least another three weeks.

Meanwhile, economists remain concerned about the declining participation in the labor force of men of prime working age, a trend that started in the 1960s.

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FULL TIME POSITION The Town of Elba is seeking a Motor Equipment Operator (MEO), truck driver and equipment operator with a clean class B license. The applicant must have some mechanical skills for truck and various equipment repair. Applicant must be available for winter hours from November – April for plowing of roads. Pre and random drug/alcohol testing per requirements. MAIL resume to - Town of Elba, 7133 Oak Orchard Road, Elba NY 14058 NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE
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Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying, located in Batavia NY, and is looking for a compassionate caregiver to provide personal care and emotional support to our dying residents, consistent with Comfort Care Philosophy. Must have prior caregiving experience. Licenses or certifications are not required. Must be able to work weekends, overnight shift is required. (11pm-8AM) Day and evening shifts are also available on weekdays and weekends. Must be able to work as a team member and independently. If interested, or have any questions, apply online at or email [email protected]
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Petschke Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is hiring Technicians for residential and small commercial service. As a family-owned company that has been in business for over 25 years and still growing. We’re looking for Technicians who are looking for a place to make a strong and lasting career. Requirements: • Willingness to learn, grow and expand skill set • Maintain a clean and professional appearance • Strong verbal/ written communication skills • Clean driving/drug record • Join the On-Call Team Benefits: • Full time Hours with potential overtime - Paid Time Off • Life-Insurance policy • Health Insurance/401K Enrollment Petschke Plumbing & Heating is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying. We are a non-for-profit organization that provides its services free of charge. We run on a supportive community and selfless volunteers. With out both of those we would not be able to serve our community. If you have a caregiver's heart and 2 to 4 hours a week, we would love for you to become a part of our Crossroads House family! No experience required, we will train you and provide mentors and experienced volunteers to guide you. Please go to to apply, click on volunteer tab to complete application or email [email protected]
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