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July 4, 2021 - 9:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, alexander.

An accident with injuries that is blocking traffic is reported on Route 20 and Main Road in Alexander.

Alexander fire and ambulance responding.

UPDATE 9:24 p.m.: Only one minor injury. Mercy EMS can cancel.

July 4, 2021 - 2:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in Little Free Pantries, food insecurity, batavia, news.

Press release:

The Little Free Pantry in Batavia is looking to spread our reach further into our community to assist more in need, and we need your help to do so. 

By the end of summer we are hoping to erect six mini pantries in Batavia to help more of our neighbors in need. Fresh veggies are in season, and we are looking for people to help reduce food waste and promote food security by sharing with our neighbors. Visit lfpbatavia.org for full details, and to sign up.

There are five different ways you can help us reach this goal:

  1. Host a Mini Pantry -- hosts will make sure the area is clean and maintained along with the help of volunteers. In order to be a host you will need to own your home, or have your landlord's permission to operate one in your front yard.
  2. Host a Little Free Farm Stand this summer -- to help distribute farm fresh produce in your neighborhood, similar to Mini Pantries but without the commitment over the winter.
  3. Volunteers needed to help restock the Mini Panties and Little Farm Stands -- this can include picking up from our drop off locations, or the Farm and delivering to one or more mini LFP’s.
  4. Materials needed -- plexiglass, screws, paint, wood glue, door hinges, and plywood to make the mini LFP’s -- these can be donated directly, or we would be happy to accept cash or gift card donations to be used at Home Depot sent to 124 State St., Batavia NY 14020
  5. Assemblers needed -- We need assistance in assembling them, once we have the materials. For those looking to build their own LFP, to donate, or to host themselves, the construction plans can be found here.

Give What You Can, Take What You Need

Little Free Pantries are a national grassroots, crowdsourced solution to immediate and local need. Batavia’s Little Free Pantry was created last summer to address food insecurity in our neighborhoods, and its refrigerator and pantry are located at 180 Washington Ave.

The Pantry is a place and a way for people to share what they have, and to take what they need, with dignity, without income guidelines, and without judgement. Everyone is encouraged to give and take. Whether a need for food or a need to give, mini pantries help feed neighbors, nourishing neighborhoods.

With your help we can make sure more of our neighbors have access to fresh organic produce over the summer at the Little Free Farm Stands. The Mini-Pantries help in neighborhoods so people without transportation have to walk less during the winter in order to reach the main LFP.

To donate, host, or volunteer, visit:   lfpbatavia.org

July 4, 2021 - 2:01pm
posted by Press Release in gc park and forest, All-Weather Gang, news, art.

Press release:

Take in the unique and peaceful beauty of our local landscapes with a free art exhibition at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center!

The All-Weather Gang, a group of local artists, is sharing an exhibit of 20 paintings at the park starting this summer on July 10th through Oct. 27th. Artists will be hosting the opening reception on Saturday July 10th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center, located at 11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

The collection of vistas will be displayed in the Discovery Zone. Art lovers and scenery lovers can visit the show during open interpretive center hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays – Saturdays and 12 to 4 p.m. Sundays. After Oct. 3rd, the center opens at noon on Saturdays.

Since the mid-1980s, every Saturday of the year is reserved to "paint the scenes that everyone looks at, but no one sees" for the All-Weather Gang. That leaves the suspicion that the invited group of painters is either immune to heat, cold, rain, snow, and insects or, perhaps, simply flirting with lunacy.

During a normal year, an outing begins with coffee and conversation at a local diner before setting out to find the scene. However, over the past year, a number of outings began by meeting at the Genesee County Park & Forest. This exhibition, "The All-Weather Gang Paints the Park," is the collective result of those pursuits.

On Facebook, find the All-Weather Gang here.

For more information visit the Park & Forest website, or contact Shannon Lyaski at:   [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

July 4, 2021 - 1:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in KISS THIS, arts, music, entertainment, The Ridge NY, Le Roy, video.
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July 4, 2021 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, pembroke, news.
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A fire inside a box truck carrying fireworks was "roaring pretty good" on South Lake Road in Pembroke when firefighters arrived on scene, said Indian Falls Assistant Chief Ed Mileham.

The call initially came in as a firework striking a vehicle and starting a fire but as it turned out the fire started inside a truck that was returning to Genesee County from a fireworks show last night in Akron.

The driver is unsure how the fire started, Mileham said.

The truck was loaded with launch canisters stacked in the front of the truck and unused fireworks in the back of the truck.

Exploding fireworks lit up the neighborhood and blew out the passenger side panel of the truck, the back roll-up door, and the roof. The cab was undamaged, probably because of the stacked canisters in the box stacked between the fireworks and the cab, Mileham said.

The driver was rolling on Route 5 through Pembroke when he spotted some sparks in his rearview mirror. He stopped to inspect, heard some bangs, and thought "I need to get out of here," Mileham said. He started yelling for residents to call 9-1-1.

Pembroke fire was first on scene with a truck that had a deck gun, which allowed firefighters to spray water on the fire from a distance.  

"The flames just roaring out of the back of the truck, almost hitting the power lines in the area," Mileham said.

National Grid was called to the scene and the power lines and a transformer about 20 feet away appeared to be undamaged.

"It was not a normal truck fire or car fire where you go up, put some water on it, put it out, and that's hit," Mileham said.

There was smoking debris up and down the roadway for dozens of feet, Mileham said, as well as in residential yards. No secondary fire was started by the fireworks, however.

Pembroke and Indian Falls were assisted at the scene by Corfu, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, and Dadswell, which towed the truck and cleaned up the debris.

Video taken with a home security camera submitted by a reader.

UPDATE: Here's another video from James Garrett.

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July 3, 2021 - 11:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, pembroke.

A vehicle fire is reported in the area of 8783 S. Lake Road, Pembroke.

A firework reportedly hit the vehicle.

Pembroke fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 11:56 p.m.: Corfu Fire Police requested to shut off traffic at Cohocton on South Lake. A responding unit is standing back because "it's still exploding." National Grid requested to the scene.

UPDATE 11:57 p.m.: A neighbor told a chief that the vehicle was full of fireworks. "Until about 60 seconds ago it was still exploding," the chief informs dispatchers. (If any Pembroke residents took photos or video, please email to [email protected])

UPDATE 12:38 a.m.: A box truck is apparently involved. It will require "massive cleanup."

UPDATE 1:30 a.m.: Pembroke, Indian Falls, Corfu, back in service.

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July 3, 2021 - 10:00am


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Semiprivate owner’s suite, beautifully remodeled kitchen, Anderson Windows, oak floors, workshop, outbuilding, 2 garden sheds, concrete driveway, 2 working fireplaces, attached garage, partially finished basement, mudroom, deck, patio, and central air.

This house has it all! $224,900. Negotiations begin @ 10 a.m. on July 6th. Click here to view my listings.

July 2, 2021 - 11:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Stafford.

A mailbox is reportedly on fire in the area of 5976 Clinton Street Road, Stafford.

The caller was a passerby and said the location was between Westbrook Road and Mill Road.

Stafford fire is dispatched.

UPDATE 11:10 p.m.: A second caller reports the location is at former Oderkirk Farm. A chief just arriving on scene confirms a mailbox on fire.

UPDATE 11:13 p.m.: The fire is out.

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July 2, 2021 - 6:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, schools, education, news.

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Among the highlights of Elba's graduation, this past weekend were four fathers from the Class of 1991 (that's 30 years ago for those of you counting) who shared in watching their daughters graduate with the rest of the Class of 2021.

Michael Augello, school board president, handed a diploma to his daughter Taylor.

Pictured from left: Madison Harrington and her father Aaron. Miah Werth and her father Steve. Leah Bezon and her dad Steven, and Taylor Augello and her dad Michael.

Photo by Laura Luft.

July 2, 2021 - 5:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Stafford.

An Amazon van and another vehicle are reportedly involved in a collision at Griswold Road and Caswell Road in Stafford.

One person is complaining of head pain.

The vehicles are not blocking traffic. One is in a ditch.

Stafford fire and Mercy EMS responding.

July 2, 2021 - 4:04pm

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Village of Le Roy leaders bid farewell to their longtime “go-to person” in grand fashion this afternoon with a surprise gathering of about 75 family, friends, colleagues and civic leaders at the Village Hall, followed by a police-led parade down Main Street to a reception featuring an appearance by Sen. Edward Rath at the Le Roy Country Club restaurant.

Coordinated by Village Mayor Greg Rogers with help from staff and volunteers, the community celebrated the career of Sharon Jeary, who worked for the village for 44 years, including the last 19 as clerk-treasurer.

Jeary, a Le Roy native (maiden name: O’Geen) and Notre Dame High School graduate, walked out of the front door of the office building shortly after noon and was greeted by Rogers, who showed her the Rose of Sharon tree that has been planted in her honor.

As she turned the corner toward the parking lot, that’s where she encountered a long line of well-wishers applauding loudly and ready to show their appreciation. As would be expected, her reaction was one of astonishment.

“I’m absolutely flabbergasted and so humbled by how wonderful everybody is. I love my village,” she said.

Jeary’s first day on the job – as an office assistant – was Nov. 28, 1977. She advanced to full time two years later and became the clerk-treasurer in 2002, following a 15-year stint as deputy village clerk.

After Jeary accepted hugs from everyone, the Rev. Jack Hempfling of Living Waters Church led a group prayer of blessing. Then everybody got into their cars and followed Police Chief Greg Kellogg's vehicle, other patrol cars, and fire department and emergency vehicles – with sirens and lights engaged -- to Le Roy Country Club for part two of the tribute.

It was there that Rath, representing the 61st Senate District, congratulated Jeary and presented her with a proclamation from the New York State Senate.

“In 1977, a gallon of gas was 62 cents and a gallon of milk was 13 cents,” Rath said. “So, ladies and gentlemen, a lot has changed since 1977 -- but not the commitment and the resolve and the hard work that Sharon Jeary had for the people of this wonderful community.”

Rath, reading from the proclamation, said that Jeary “rendered faithful and conscientious and valuable service to the community.”

“During her tenure as clerk-treasurer, Sharon earned the esteem and affection of her colleagues. She has demonstrated outstanding service and leadership in her beloved community. Throughout the years, she has had the love and support of her husband, David, and her two children, David and Mark.”

Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein, a Le Roy resident, said Jeary made quite an impact “as evidenced today here by your friends, your family and your coworkers who have come to understand your commitment, your conscientious care of every single member of the boards that you’ve served, and more importantly, your community.”

She then presented Jeary with proclamations from Assemblyman Steven Hawley and the count legislature.

Then, jokingly, she added: “We will miss the work that you do, lovingly, on behalf of all of us, and wish you the absolute best in your retirement – and don’t stay home every day with David.”

Village Historian Lynne Belluscio used the occasion to have some fun with Jeary, bringing gifts from Historic Le Roy House, home of the Jell-O Gallery and Museum Shop.

After extending an invitation for Jeary to volunteer at the gallery – teaching visitors how to correctly pronounce Le Roy (leh-roy), she gave her boxes of the four original Jell-O flavors (strawberry, orange, lemon and raspberry), a T-shirt, license plate holders proclaiming, “Le Roy, NY – Birthplace of Jell-O” and two lemonade cans attached by a string.

“It’s always, 'call Sharon,' ” Belluscio said. “You got a question? 'Call Sharon.' 'I need a permit.' 'Call Sharon.' 'She’s at lunch; when can I get a hold of her?' 'Call Sharon.' So, I’m kind of concerned that you’re not up there … So, you and I are going to stay in contact …”

LeRoyan Kay “Pudge” Steen, clerk-treasurer prior to Jeary taking that position, related that in Jeary “I not only had a coworker, I had one of the best friends I have ever had.”

“I wish you nothing but lots of happiness and good health, and I love you.”

Rogers then presented Jeary with the “Key to the Village” plaque, and afforded the guest of honor a chance to address her fans before inviting everyone to the privately funded hors d’oeuvres and refreshments under a big tent.

“I couldn’t have done my job without the support of my family and my friends. Everybody was always there for me and I really appreciate it,” she said. "We have a wonderful village. I love my village; I truly do. Thank you all so much for coming.”

“To my mayors and boards of trustees, you we’re all great and I enjoyed working with them all. It never seemed like a job to me. I always enjoyed what I did. It has been great over these years.”

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Photos at top: Sharon Jeary and Greg Rogers standing next to the Rose of Sharon tree that was planted in her honor; a sign at Le Roy Country Club restaurant recognizing Jeary's career. Photos at bottom: Rev. Jack Hempfling offering a prayer of blessing upon Jeary's retirement; Police Chief Greg Kellogg leads the parade to the golf course restaurant; Sen. Edward Rath presents a proclamation to the longtime village clerk-treasurer; Jeary holds the "Key to the Village" as Rogers looks on. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

July 2, 2021 - 2:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, pembroke, news.

A two-vehicle head-on collision is reported just north of the Thruway at 8331 Alleghany Road in Pembroke. There is air bag deployment and one of the vehicles is blocking southbound traffic. The second vehicle is off the roadway.

Indian Falls and Pembroke fire departments are responding. Corfu Fire Police are called to reroute traffic at the Thruway entrance.

UPDATE 2:09 p.m.: Command asks for Speedy Dry to soak up liquids leaking from the vehicle in the roadway.

UPDATE 2:11 p.m.: Injuries are mostly minor. One man with a cardiac history is being assisted by medics on scene.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: Two patients are being transported by medics to ECMC. Two wreckers are called to tow the disabled vehicles.

July 2, 2021 - 1:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Stafford, batavia.

Kaleb James Bobzien, 23, of Alexander Road, Batavia, is charged with: second-degree strangulation; two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing; and endangering the welfare of a child under age 17. Bobzien was arrested at 8 p.m. June 24 on Alexander Road in Batavia after an incident in which he allegedly obstructed the breathing of two victims, including one juvenile. During an altercation with the two victms, Bobzien is alleged to have placed a blanket over the face of one victim while choking the second victim with his arm. One victim reported an injury to her neck as a result of the choking. Following an investigation, Bobzien was arrested and put in Genesee County Jail with no bail. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Deputy Jacob Gauthier, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale.

David Thomas Gay, 40, of Ellicott Street, Batavia is charged with: driving while intoxicated -- first offense; unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the third degree; second-degree obstruction of governmental administration; resisting arrest; and speeding -- exceeding 55 mph; and refusal to take a breath test. On June 30 at 8:36 p.m., Gay was arrested on Byron Road in Stafford after Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush tried to stop Gay's vehicle on Route 33 for allegedly violating NYS vehicle and traffic law. Gay eventually stopped a few miles away on Byron Road. It is alleged that Gay was intoxicated and that he resisted arrest. Gay was transported to GC Jail, where he allegedly fought with officers. He was released with appearance tickets and is due in Stafford Town Court on July 9. Quackenbush was assisted by Deputy Jacob Gauthier in this case.

July 2, 2021 - 12:47pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) returned yesterday from a trip to McAllen, Texas with Former President Trump to observe the crisis at our Southern Border.

“The was my third trip to the Southern Border, and my second time touring the Rio Grande Valley section. When I was here in 2019, the successful policies implemented by President Trump were working effectively to deter illegal immigration, and Border Patrol was supported and given the resources needed to protect our border,” Jacobs said.

“Now it is a completely different story. The Biden Administration’s decision to end ‘Remain in Mexico,’ reinstate catch and release, and halt border wall construction have sent a message to the cartels that our border is open season, and they are taking advantage of it.”

President Biden first paused the Migrant Protection Protocols (Remain in Mexico) in early January and later terminated the program entirely. Similarly, using an executive order, President Biden halted construction of the Southern Border wall despite congressional funds already being appropriated toward construction.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reported three consecutive months of 170,000+ apprehensions of illegal immigrants. In May alone there were more than 180,000 encounters, representing a new 20-year record. Last week it was also reported that in the Rio Grande Valley alone, Border Patrol had already encountered more large groups in FY21 than the previous two years combined.

On the trip Jacobs, members of the Republican Study Committee, Texas Governor Abbott, and President Trump met with Border Patrol agents and toured unfinished sections of the wall. In addition, Jacobs and other members were taken on a nighttime excursion of the border where they encountered numerous migrant groups, including many unaccompanied minors, trafficked by the cartels, being picked up by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).

“The most disturbing observation from this entire trip is how the cartels are taking advantage of the Biden Administration’s weakened policies at the Southern Border and exploiting thousands of children,” Jacobs said. “CBP agents described how it has become common practice in this region for the cartel to traffic and abandon a large group of children at one gap in the wall to occupy Border Patrol agents while they then move to another gap to smuggle drugs and dangerous criminals across the border.

"It is truly a disturbing humanitarian and national security crisis that Border Patrol is working tirelessly to confront under strenuous circumstances. Without engagement and support starting at the top, they are limited on what they can do.”

“The Biden-Harris Administration needs to get serious about fixing the crisis they created and continue to ignore. Finishing the wall, giving more resources to Border Patrol agents on the ground, and reinstating successful Trump policies will have a profound effect on stemming this crisis and securing our Southern Border,” Jacobs said.

July 2, 2021 - 11:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, notify.

Brenda Good, elected to a City Schools Board of Trustees seat in May would rather be a candidate for an administrator's position in the district than a member of the board, according to a letter of resignation she sent to Superintendent Anibal Soler on June 14.

The board voted unanimously to accept her resignation last night.

Good's resignation comes after last month's resignation by Peter Cecere, so there are now two vacant positions on the board. 

In her resignation email to Soler, Good acknowledged a prior phone call and said, "After much thought, I have decided to resign my anticipated seat on the Batavia City School Board. I am very invested in the youth and community of Batavia as my goal is to help all of our students become successful adults. With that said, I'm highly interested in becoming an administrator within the Batavia City School District. I'd like to be given the opportunity to interview for anticipated openings."

It will be up to the remaining trustees to fill the vacancies and the district has posted a call for candidates.

John Reigle, who won re-election in May, and Jennifer Lendvay, elected to her first term, took their oaths of office last night.

July 2, 2021 - 11:52am

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved an initial application for incentives and final incentives for projects proposing to invest $18.5 million at its July 1 board meeting.

Gateway GS LLC (Gallina Development) plans to build the third phase of its flex campus at the GCEDC’s Gateway II Corporate Park in the Town of Batavia. The $2.36 million investment will create a 27,000-square-foot facility that would be completed in 2022 for a single logistics-distribution tenant. The future tenant is estimated to create 21 new jobs at an average annual salary of $42,000. 

“This investment and the interest generated for the high-quality facilities Gallina Development is constructing at the Gateway II Corporate Park continue the success of Genesee County’s shovel-ready business park development strategy,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC.

The GCEDC Board of Directors accepted an initial application for the project. Gallina Development is seeking approximately $386,891 in sales, mortgage, and property tax incentives. The project is estimated to generate $28 in economic activity for every $1 of public investment.

The GCEDC Board of Directors also approved a final resolution for Just Chez Realty LLC. After making improvements to the first floor of 206 E. Main St. in the City of Batavia, Chez Realty LLC is proposing to invest $450,000 to construct two market-rate apartments on the second floor.

The redevelopment of the 13,324-square-foot building is part of the City of Batavia’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). Just Chez Realty will receive approximately $21,000 in sales tax exemptions.

The GCEDC Board of Directors also accepted an application for two community solar projects on Ellicott Street Road in the Town of Batavia. Trousdale Solar LLC and Trousdale Solar II LLC are proposing projects that would generate 5 MW and 4 MW of electricity.

The PILOTs (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) would result in payments of approximately $930,000 to the Batavia City School District and Genesee County over 15 years. The proposed project agreement is estimated to provide $2.5 million in property and sales tax incentives between the two projects.

With the acceptance of the applications from Gateway GS and Trousdale Solar LLC and Trousdale Solar II LLC, public hearings on the proposed projects will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

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