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October 6, 2021 - 8:55am
posted by Press Release in oakfield-alabama, news.

Press release:

The OACS Alumni Hall of Fame Committee will be honoring the Alumni Hall of Fame Class of 2021 during an Alumni Hall of Fame weekend.

This year's honorees are: Lawrence Bartholf ('59), Leanne Skelton (‘79), Mark Will ('85) and Gary Patnode (’95).

On the evening of Saturday, Oct. 16th, there will be a community dinner and ceremony to induct our newest members. The dinner will be held at the OACS High School cafeteria. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event begins at 6 o'clock.

Tickets are on sale only through Oct.9th and are available at the Oakfield-Alabama High School, Oakfield Family Pharmacy on Main Street in Oakfield, or by contacting committee member Lynette Crawford through email at [email protected]. Tickets are $25 each for adults and children ages 11 and up, $12 each for children ages 4 to 10 and no charge for children 3 and under.

The Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding OACS alumni who have achieved distinction in their lives and chosen field after high school through significant contributions to their career, community or through personal achievements. 

We hope to see you there!

For bios of this year's honorees, click here.

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October 5, 2021 - 4:27pm
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October 5, 2021 - 12:51pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, genesee county department of social services.

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Genesee County is on track to spend more than $9 million on Medicaid this year and New York State is doing very little to help alleviate this local obligation, according to the director of the county’s Department of Social Services.

Presenting his departmental review at Monday’s Genesee County Legislature Human Services Committee meeting, David Rumsey (photo above) said the county has little input over the government-financed health insurance program for eligible people.

Approximately 3,000 county residents are on Medicaid, he said, and that number continues to increase.

“The transition of Medicaid administrative functions from the county to the state remains unchanged. There has been no additional movement by the state to take over the Medicaid administrative functions,” he said.

Rumsey also mentioned the inordinate amount of time spent on determining people’s eligibility in light of the required five-year lookback period for chronic care (nursing home) cases.

“The Medicaid assistance programs have the greatest burden to the county, but for which we have little control,” he added, reporting that projected spending by the county for Medicaid in 2021 is $9,052,134.

In his report, Rumsey touched upon other programs and services offered by DSS as well as its budget status.

2021 BUDGET STATUS

Anticipated 20 percent cuts in state aid did not occur, he said, keeping the DSS budget on track for 2021.

“The pandemic continued to bring uncertainty about the projected funding streams and allocations, and it still does,” he said.

Rumsey said he is monitoring state training school expenses since the number of youths currently in detention will need to be budgeted for in 2023 (two-year billing cycle). 

He also reported that required training for new employees hired over the last year was put on hold at the state level.

“The state is currently formulating a plan to move the virtual training back to in-person, but this plan is reliant on the continued safety for the trainees that attend,” he said.

PROGRAMMING

-- Temporary Assistance (Public Assistance): This unit provides cash assistance to individuals or families, with benefits provided based on eligibility and on-going case monitoring.

“The overall monthly caseload is trending downward with a decrease in both Family Assistance and Safety Net,” he said. “There has not been a significant increase in homelessness noted yet.  The eviction moratorium is extended through January 15, 2022 which may change this trend.”

-- Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP):  This was rolled out by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to assist renters and landlords, but the start was “slow and not successful,” Rumsey said.

He said most of the funds went to renters, while assistance to landlords lagged behind.

“A lot of landlords had property damaged,” he said. “Now, they are getting a few more rights.”

-- Fraud: The DSS Fraud Department has been very busy, Rumsey said, with its two investigators following up on Font End Detection System referrals, Intentional Program Violations, prison matches, and allegations of welfare fraud.

-- Child Support: Federal guidelines strive for a minimum collection rate of 80 percent; DSS is at 78.94 percent, well above the state average of 67.20 percent, Rumsey said.

“This unit continues to work to ensure right sized orders are established and appropriate modifications to existing orders is occurring,” he said. “The COVID-19 pandemic caused delays in the operations of this unit as the Child Support Court was temporarily closed.”

Other programs include Home Energy Assistance and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance.

SERVICES

-- Family First: In a move that will save the county money, the state is requiring the local DSS offices to reduce the number of residential placements by 12 percent.

“The Family First initiative is also requiring us to have at least 30 percent of our total foster care population in a certified Kinship (relative) foster home, and we are currently meeting both requirements,” Rumsey reported.

He also said that the Family First Prevention Act reforms federal financing to prioritize family-based foster care, preferably with kin, over residential care by limiting federal reimbursement for certain residential placements.

-- Foster Care: The DSS foster care unit has certified nine new foster homes this year, with three more pending by the end of the year, Rumsey said. Of the nine, three were “kinship” and six were regular foster care. DSS also was able to certify one new cluster foster home, increasing that number to four.

Rumsey said the county saved money this year through a reduction in voluntary agency therapeutic foster care placements and utilizing certified county foster homes.   

-- Preventive Services: Mandated preventive services are provided to assist families and children in meeting their needs and keeping the youth out of foster care placements. Rumsey said that through August, DSS has worked with 222 children with only five being placed outside of the home.

-- Child Protective Services: Through August, DSS has handled 646 cases of suspected child abuse and maltreatment, he said, with investigations taking place within 60 days as mandated by New York State. For September, there were 32 more CPS cases compared to September 2020.

“Moving forward these cases will be harder to determine because there is the movement from needing just credible evidence to having a preponderance of the evidence, which is a higher standard that must be met,” Rumsey advised.

-- Adoptions: DSS assisted in the adoption of four children with expectations that another three will be finalized by the end of the year.  Of the 54 youth in foster care, 10 are freed for adoption, he said.

Rumsey said that 115 children are currently receiving adoption subsidy payments.

The current annual adoption subsidy rates are basic $7,800, special $9,358 and exceptional $12,453.

“The other concern is that once a foster family adopts children, they rarely continue as foster parent resources for other children who are placed,” he said. “Permanency for children often results in shortages of foster parents.”

-- Adult Services: Currently, DSS has 155 Adult Preventive and Protective Services for Adults cases, with 33 of those personal care cases being monitored.

“DSS continues to partner with the Office for the Aging, the District Attorney, the Sheriff and Lifespan in a coordinated Enhanced Multi-Disciplinary Team to work together to assist our elderly Genesee County residents in combating elder abuse and financial exploitation,” he reported.

-- Detention: In 2021, five youths were placed into OCFS State Training Schools, which are very costly to the county, Rumsey said. The current detention rate is $468.17/day.

Photo by Mike Pettinella.

October 5, 2021 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, byron, Pavilion, alexander, pembroke, news, notify.

Carrie Anne Clay, 27, of Albion, is charged with burglary 2nd, assault 2nd, criminal mischief 4th. Clay was arrested on a warrant stemming from an incident reported in Byron at 7:28  a.m., Sept. 25, by Deputy Kevin Forsyth and Deputy Rachel Diehl.  It is alleged that Clay attacked another person with a hammer. She was reportedly thrown out of the residence and broke back in and attempted to attack the same person again. The victim sustained minor injuries and declined EMS assistance. Clay was arraigned in Stafford Town Court and held on $5,000 cash bail.

Tamaneeka T. Perez-Smith, 42, of Britton Road, Rochester, is charged with felony driving while impaired by drugs, felony  DWI, resisting arrest, driving without an interlock device, leaving the scene of a property damage accident,  failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, failure to move over for an emergency vehicle, insufficient turn signal, failure to stop at a stop sign, moved from lane unsafely, unlicensed operator. Perez-Smith was allegedly driving erratically on Park Road in the Town of Batavia and fled from a patrol attempting a traffic stop. She was taken into custody by Deputy Nicholas Chamon and issued an appearance ticket.

Mary Grace Vaughan, 25, of Charlesgate Circle, East Amherst, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and moving from lane unsafely.  Vaughan was arrested by Deputy Zachary Hoy after a report at 12:58 a.m., Oct. 2,  that a vehicle had struck a  guard rail on Main Road in Pembroke.

Colleen Beth Gill, 51, of Spring Road, Alexander, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving without an interlock device, aggravated unlicensed operation 2nd, driving to left of pavement markings. Gill was stopped at 6 p.m., Monday, on Main  Street, Alexander, by Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Daniel W. Knauss, 52, Pavilion, is charged with assault 2nd, obstruction governmental administration 2nd, resisting arrest, and criminal contempt 2nd. Knauss was arrested by State Police in connection with an incident reported at 3:06 p.m., Sept. 29, in the Town of Pavilion. Knauss was ordered held in jail. No further information about the case was released.

 

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October 5, 2021 - 11:25am
posted by Press Release in 2nd Amendment, Chris Jacobs, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) cosponsored the Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act (H.R. 1680).

“American’s constitutional rights are not confined to state lines – this most definitely applies to Second Amendment rights and American’s rights to travel with their firearm,” Jacobs said. “This legislation implements and strengthens simple but needed protections for traveling gun owners to prevent the prosecution from states or municipalities seeking to erode the rights of law-abiding Americans."

The Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act (H.R. 1680) expands the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) transport definition. Under this legislation, the expanded definition would include staying in temporary lodging, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, emergencies, medical treatment, and any other activity incidental to travel. In addition, H.R. 1680 clarifies that transporting a firearm includes ammunition and detachable magazines.

“Lawful gun owners should be able to make stops incidental to their travel, in the possession of a lawfully-stowed firearm, without concerns that they may face prosecution for making those necessary stops,” Jacobs said. “I am proud to stand for the Second Amendment and the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, and I will keep fighting to uphold them in Congress.”
 

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October 5, 2021 - 10:17am

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The Batavia businessman proposing the development of a 60-unit senior housing complex and eight single-family home building lots in the Village of Le Roy on Monday night offered to pay the lion’s share of the cost to extend East Avenue to make room for those lots.

Toward the end of what turned into a 2 hour and 43 minute public hearing at Memorial Auditorium, Eric Biscaro addressed the need to extend the road – something that Village Mayor Greg Rogers previously had said the village would consider doing.

About 50 people, most of them residents of the East Avenue, Poplar Lane and Orchard Drive area, attended.

Biscaro said he could extend East Avenue by about 1,000 feet to the south for considerably less than the $1 million estimate the village had received, comparing the work to the road he put in at his Clinton Crossings Adult Community development in the Town of Batavia.

Holding a photograph of the road (pictured above), Biscaro said, “The road is perfect and that was put in 15 years ago.”

He pitched the idea of the village contributing $26,000 for stone and gravel plus the time involved in trucking the material toward the construction of the road, which he said would be 24 feet wide. It would extend south to a point where an access road or emergency exit could be carved out on South Avenue, connecting to South Street.

The village board did not make any commitments last night and tabled a couple resolutions on the State Environmental Quality Review that is part of the requirements before the project can progress.

When asked about the village’s stance on paying for the East Avenue extension, Rogers said that news of a potential Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement between Biscaro and the Genesee County Economic Development Center changes things.

“(With the PILOT) our recapture (of taxes) is a lot less now,” Rogers said. “That one million (dollars) is not on the table at this point.”

Rogers said that no voting on the project – including the rezoning of the 20-acre parcel to the east of East Avenue designated for the senior housing complex – would take place until an agreement on the road extension is reached.

After Biscaro said that “the project can be done without the road,” Rogers countered by restating the village’s position that it wants single-family homes (as well as the rental properties for those 50 and over).

Mark Masse, GCEDC vice president of operations, spoke first at the public hearing to give details about Biscaro’s application for incentives.

He also reported that the county has a need for 1,400 new single-family homes and market rate apartments over the next 20 years “to keep up with the (projected) growth.”

Concerning the tax abatements, Masse said the project qualifies for sales tax (materials) and mortgage tax breaks as well as a PILOT, which would reduce Biscaro’s tax bill on a sliding scale over 20 years.

Specifically, Masse said, Biscaro would be responsible for 10 percent of total taxes (county, village and school) for the first four years, 15 percent for the next three years, 20 percent for the next three years, 50 percent for the next five years and 75 percent for the final five years. The PILOT does not cover taxes and fees for any special districts, such as water and sewer.

When a resident mentioned that the village would be losing out on tax revenue, Masse said completion of the project would bring in more than what the village is receiving now on the vacant land. He also noted that tenants would pay their own water and sewer bills.

Masse said the GCEDC has approved incentives for similar projects, mentioning The Manor House and DePaul Properties in Batavia, with a difference being that those projects did not have to be rezoned.

The Village Board would have to approve rezoning of the land earmarked for the senior apartments from Residential to Planned Unit Development. The single-family home building lots on East Avenue would continue to be zoned Residential, however, Rogers said.

Residents asked questions and offered opinions on several other pressing issues, most notably the project’s impact on traffic, stormwater runoff, property values, tax implications and housing opportunities – basically the same concerns that were expressed during a public hearing on Aug. 18 at Memorial Auditorium.

TRAFFIC IMPLICATIONS

Andrew Kosa, engineer with CPL (Clark Patterson Lee), reported that by using numbers provided through a traffic study conducted by the Le Roy Police Department, that the project would result in twice the number of vehicles on East Avenue and East Main Street during peak morning and afternoon times.

Still, Kosa said, that would not significantly impact traffic flow, stating that East Avenue traffic would continue to be at a satisfactory level.

This prompted a resident to bring up the “dangerous” situation where motorists are unable to see clearly as they move from East Avenue onto East Main Street, and asked if the Village Board could look into this.

STORMWATER RETENTION

A major topic of discussion, Kosa said CPL’s role “is to ensure compliance,” adding that any water discharge from the project has to be equal or less than what is running off now.

Biscaro’s plan includes a retention pond in the northwest quadrant of the 30-duplex layout (see photo below).

LeRoyan James Gomborone, who owns nearby Mercy Grove and Le Roy Country Club, said his property gets considerable runoff now – and frequent flooding when it rains heavily – and said he wasn’t convinced of the stormwater plan’s effectiveness.

Biscaro responded by saying the water will flow to the north “and be considerably less than it is now or the same when it leaves the property.”

“My responsibility (under the law) is for it to come out the same or less (than it is now),” he said.

Kosa also responded to a question about the East Avenue extension, noting that CPL would have to mitigate any water issues or be subject to being fined by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Biscaro reported that only 18 percent of the 20-acre apartment complex would be comprised of impervious cover, such as pavement, roofing, etc.

It was mentioned that Biscaro would be open to developing additional building lots on the west side of East Avenue. If so, a separate stormwater plan would have to be devised.

ZONING CHANGE

Resident Tom Condidorio contended that any zoning changes would affect home values, and called out the village board for not listening to its taxpayers.

Rogers responded by saying the overarching plan is to “try to grow the tax base so your property values don’t go down.”

It then was mentioned that another resident put in a retention pond in a different part of the village with duplexes and the average sale of homes in that area increased by 28 percent over assessed values.

TAX IMPLICATIONS

Biscaro read from a spreadsheet that breaks down the tax revenue starting with 2022 and going out to 2047.

He said the village is collecting $400 a year and the Le Roy Central School District is collecting $960 a year on the property as it currently stands, but each entity would collect six times that amount in the first year.

In year 10, with the completion of the apartment complex and new home builds, he said the village would receive $61,500 in tax revenue and Le Roy Central School District would earn $147,600.

All told, Biscaro’s projections show the village receiving $1.5 million in taxes and the school district capturing $3.7 million in taxes over the 25 years.

HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES

A LeRoyan said she was in favor of creating residences for those people 50 and over, noting that “Le Roy residents have no place to go.”

She said her father is 76 and “this would be the perfect place for him.”

“This is designed to be for rentals,” she said. “Some people don’t want to own (their homes any longer).”

Biscaro, responding to calls for the project to be moved outside the village, said, “This is a fabulous location. We want to be in a good place.”

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Moving forward, Rogers said the village board will evaluate Biscaro’s proposal to construct the road, with an eye on possibly making a decision at its Oct. 20 meeting.

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Drawing of the 60-unit senior apartment complex, showing the oval-shaped retention pond at upper left, as well as the proposed extention of East Avenue along the left side with eight building lots.

Previously: East Avenue area residents defend their 'jewel' of a neighborhood at public hearing on Le Roy development

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October 4, 2021 - 11:27pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Genesee County Veterans Service Agency.

joyce_1.jpgOver the past nine years, William Joyce has built a reputation as the go-to guy – the person with the knowledge and skill to provide answers and direction to former armed forces members in his role as director of the Genesee County Veterans Service Agency.

Joyce, (photo at right), who served in the Army for 40 years, retiring as a sergeant major following tours of duty in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, not only assists county residents, but on a regular basis is called upon to help those across New York and in neighboring states.

While he said he’s not retiring as the GCVSA leader in the next few months, Joyce said he is thinking about it and desires to impart some of his wisdom and know-how to a veteran willing to serve the agency in a part-time role.

“I want to teach what I have done – the broadcasting and the networking that I’ve done – to teach he or she what I do,” he said.

Unfortunately, he told the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee this afternoon that he hasn’t been able to find someone eligible and qualified yet to be his right-hand man or woman.

Joyce, responding to a request for an update on the part-time position from Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein, said he had two applicants but they didn’t meet the qualifications, and he hasn’t had any more applicants since.

“It’s still being advertised, but they’re not knocking down the door to get in,” he said.

The county has put out the call for an assistant since June, County Manager Matt Landers said, adding that the prospective employee must be a veteran and meet other criteria. The 19 ½-hour per week job is in the county’s budget.

“We have a succession plan in place but so far, no luck,” Landers said.

Recently, Joyce was elected president of the Western New York National Cemetery Memorial Council, which is set up to raise funds and solicit donations in support of the cemetery, which is located at Route 77 and Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke.

Joyce said that 638 burials have been performed since the cemetery’s opening last December.

He reported that the council, a nonprofit organization, established the “Avenue of Flags” in which families donate their burial flag of a veteran to be flown at the entrance driveway on 26 flag poles (also donated) from May through Veterans Day each year.

The WNYNC is one of only three VA National Cemeteries authorized for this display, Joyce noted.

“What better honor can you give veterans who are coming in for their last services to have their interment flags of veterans that passed and are buried there?” he said. “It’s an awesome sight and pictures don’t do it justice.”

Joyce reported that the Veterans Service Agency office had 4,464 contacts and provided 5,521 client services over the past year, and completed 136 veterans’ property tax exemptions. He said the latter number is bound to increase due to the returning active duty reservists/guardsmen.

He said the agency’s relationship with the county’s Department of Social Services is working out as DSS referred 58 people to the agency, resulting in 25 veterans and/or widows gaining access to federal benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“This results in a greater reduction in the cost of local Medicare benefits,” he advised.

In another development, he reported that 48 veterans have graduated from the Veterans Mentorship Program, a restorative justice program for those who have been in trouble with the law.

“If there’s a veteran that has been arrested for drugs, alcohol or driving while intoxicated, they have a choice to attend a special treatment court and they have to go through a program (which lasts up to a year),” he said. “If they graduate successfully, they can come out with a lesser charge than what they originally were charged with.”

He said the program has been very successful as indicated by a large number of graduates who now have become mentors to others.

The agency’s office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For an appointment or more information, call 585-815-7905.

October 4, 2021 - 4:14pm

As would be expected, the superintendent of the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District is keeping a close eye on the fire protection dispute between the Village and Town of Oakfield.

“I’m hesitant to throw the District into the mix of this debate. However, I am very concerned about the suggestion of not responding to an emergency call here if it was on our campus,” John Fisgus said today in response to an email from The Batavian.

As reported as part of an update to a story on Sept. 28, Sean Downing, chief of the Oakfield Volunteer Fire Department, indicated that the fire company has been in contact with its attorney regarding the situation.

Downing said that if the disagreement over money that Village Mayor David Boyle said is owed by the town isn’t settled by a Nov. 30 deadline, the fire department, “by written order of the mayor or the board of trustees of the Village of Oakfield, we will not be able to respond into the town, which includes the elementary and the high school.”

Contacted today by telephone, Boyle said he has not heard recently from anyone representing the Town of Oakfield – neither Supervisor Matt Martin or the town’s attorney. Martin has indicated that the matter has been turned over to the town’s lawyer.

Previously, Boyle said the village is suing the town in an attempt to secure $78,648 that was charged to the town for fire protection provided by the village during the 2020-21 fiscal year. The village also said it would withhold fire protection from the town if the bill isn’t paid by Nov. 30.

The village owns fire trucks and equipment, and runs the fire service through the Oakfield Volunteer Fire Department, which owns the building on Albert Street, Boyle said.

Fisgus concluded his brief statement with words that likely mirror what Oakfield village and town residents are thinking:

“I hope there is a resolution soon and both the town and village can come to an agreement,” he said.

Previously: Village of Oakfield threatens lawsuit, withholding fire protection over payment dispute with Town of Oakfield

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October 4, 2021 - 3:42pm

Genesee County could receive around $1 million to battle the opioid epidemic in funding from New York State’s legal settlement with various manufacturers and distributors which have been deemed responsible for perpetuating the opioid crisis.

Attorney General Letitia James announced today that she will be embarking upon a “HealNY’ tour to dole out up to $1.5 billion to all regions of the state. All 62 counties in New York will receive funds from the settlements.

CLICK HERE for today’s press release from James’ office.

Genesee County Manager Matt Landers reacted to the news that the county is in line to get anywhere from $597,359.78 to $1,043,594.62.

“We will be meeting internally and with related agencies to better understand where we should put those monies and what limitations there are to those monies, so hopefully we will have a plan relatively soon,” he said. “It’s quite a large range so, until we know better what the exact amount is, that is going to drive what we want to fund.”

Landers said he will set up meetings with stakeholders such as Genesee County Mental Health and Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Genesee & Orleans Public Health and law enforcement “to set up a game plan where we can get the most bang for the buck.”

He also noted that the Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Opioid Task Force already is receiving some grant money but suggested that this new influx of funding could be used to keep that initiative going for a longer period of time.

Per James’ press release, the Finger Lakes Region is expected to receive between $28,886,077.70 and $52,744,110.35 with other GLOW Region counties set to receive as follows:

  • Livingston County: $570,600.77-$996,846.31;
  • Orleans County: $347,049.64–$606,299.83;
  • Wyoming County: $346,041.37–$604,538.38.
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October 4, 2021 - 11:08am
posted by Press Release in 4-H, agriculture, news.

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Press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Program celebrated the completion of the 2020-2021 4-H Program Year by announcing its 4-H Year-End Award Recipients.  Year-End Awards recognize 4-H members who have excelled in a certain project area and show leadership during the 4-H program year.     

Congratulations to all of the 4-H members and volunteers who received an award.  Highlights include: 

  • Achievement Award: Alexandria Tarbell
  • Leadership Award: Amelia Brewer, Morgan Harrington, Maggie Winspear, Tyler Jirovec, Ben Kron
  • Outstanding 1st Year Member Award: Raegan Bessey, Alicia McCarthy
  • 4-H Member of the Year: Eva Rhoads
  • 4-H Spirit Award: Cody Carlson, Brooke Frega, Morgan Harrington, Madison Paddock, Brook Pagels, Kasey Pagels, Ty Reilly, Makayla Sugg, Bing Zuber
  • Arts & Crafts: Layla Baker, Clare Mathes, Bing Zuber
  • Beef Cattle: Kaden Cusmano, Kameron Cusmano
  • Dairy Cattle: Amelia Brewer, Carolyn Sybertz, Tate Zuber
  • Clothing & Textiles: Alexandria Tarbell
  • Food & Nutrition: Alex Boldt, Emma Tanner
  • Goat: Layla Baker, Lily Haacke, Riley Henning, Tyler Jirovec, Clare Mathes, Campbell Riley, John Riley, Gabe Winn
  • Horticulture: June Dorman, Mae Grimes
  • Livestock Master: Ben Kron
  • Photography: Caroline Luft, Colton Tarbell, Alexandria Tarbell
  • Poultry: Madison Harrington, Morgan Harrington, Hudson Luft, Clare Mathes, Teagan Mathes, Kasey Pagels
  • Rabbit: Amelia Brewer, Madison Harrington, Morgan Harrington, Brook Pagels
  • Sheep: Mya Grant, Chelsea Lippert, Colten Sugg
  • Swine: Bentley Lowe, Emmalee Lehman, Tate Zuber
  • Outstanding 4-H Volunteer Recognition: Cindy Bovier, Joy Brewer, Cole Carlson, Sue Johnson, Joanna Miller, Jamey Pagels, Taylor Schofield, Kathy Winspear

The Genesee County 4-H Program is a youth development program for youth ages 5-18.  New 4-H youth members, adult volunteers, and clubs are always welcome.  For information about how to join the Genesee County 4-H Program, please contact the 4-H Office at [email protected] or (585) 343-3040 ext. 131.  Enrollment information is available on our website at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/4-h-youth-development/how-to-join-4-h

Submitted photo: Genesee County 4-H Member of the Year Eva Rhoads.

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October 4, 2021 - 10:52am
posted by Press Release in GCEDC, pembroke, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider a final resolution supporting a mixed-use development adding six market-rate units in the town of Pembroke at its board meeting on Thursday, October 7, 2021.

The proposed $1.7 million investment by J&R Fancher Property Holdings LLC would construct a 14,000 sq. ft. two-story building on 2.6 acres at the 67-acre Buffalo East Technology Park. The project would be located adjacent to Yancey’s Fancy’s facilities on Brickhouse Drive.

The 14,000 sq. ft. project includes a 7,000 sq. ft. flexible layout for commercial tenants on the first floor and six 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments on the second floor.

The project has requested $254,336 of sales, mortgage, and property tax assistance. The project is estimated to create a 4-to-1 return on investment for Genesee County in addition to increased commercial and residential benefits in the town of Pembroke.

A public hearing on the proposed agreement will be held at 4 p.m., October 5 at the town of Pembroke offices, 1145 Main Road.

October 7, 2021, the GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. at 99 Med-Tech Drive.  A livestream and on-demand recording of the meeting also will be available at www.gcedc.com.

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October 4, 2021 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, news.

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Photos by Phillip Casper.

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October 4, 2021 - 10:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA: 

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.20, up one cent from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.19. The New York State average is $3.28 – no change from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.26. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia - $3.26 (down one cent since last week)
  • Buffalo - $3.23 (no change since last week)
  • Ithaca - $3.28 (no change since last week)
  • Rochester - $3.27 (down one cent since last week)
  • Rome - $3.30 (no change since last week)
  • Syracuse - $3.23 (no change since last week)
  • Watertown - $3.27 (up one cent since last week)

After holding steady for more than a week, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose by a penny as oil prices continue to increase. The latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that gasoline demand increased. Locally, drivers are finding mostly stable pump prices this week. However, high crude prices (above $75 per barrel) will help keep pump prices elevated.

 

October 4, 2021 - 10:23am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

After taking last season off, Batavian Roger Stone is back in action on the lanes as a member of the newly-formed County Line Stone Trios League at Mancuso Bowling Center.

The retired Genesee County Sheriff's investigator made up for lost time on Friday by registering his first United States Bowling Congress-certified 300 game en route to a 718 series.

The 66-year-old right-hander said every ball was solid in the 1-3 pocket on lanes 17-18.

"They all were right there," he said. "When I had nine in a row, I just thought, 'Hit my mark.'"

Among those to congratulate him was his wife and teammate, Mary Ann. He also bowls with Bruce Kraus, while his brother-in-law, Fred Gravanda, was bowling on the pair next to him.

Stone's previous high game was 299 and he also had 298 and a couple 290 games.

Jason Quilliam, also of Batavia, flirted with an 800 series, posting 278-268-244--790, while Tom Baker rolled 717 and Alex Van Scooter 701.

At Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Batavian Rich Wagner spun 280--764 to lead the way in the Wednesday Men's Handicap League.

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

Comments
October 4, 2021 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

We are now using a comment system from a company called Disqus for commenting on stories on The Batavian.

Disqus will allow you to use your favorite social media platform as a sign-in tool, or you can create an account with Disqus.  You will no longer need to have a Facebook account to comment.

Since we are no longer using the Facebook comment plug-in, comments will no longer appear on the home page.  On the bottom of stories is a comment link with a count of how many comments so far on the story.  To comment, you will need to click that link (or the headline).  

Disqus doesn't support multiple comment modules on a single page.

Disqus, we hope, will help us better block and control spam.  The prevalence of spam was the great shortcoming of the Facebook system. Disqus will still give us the tools we need to remove inappropriate comments, any spam that does get through, and enforce the comment rules of The Batavian.  

The rules remain the same:

  • You must post using a real name (no business names, no alias).
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  • No profanity.
  • No comments ridiculing, mocking, or insulting other people because of who they are.
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We expect community conversations to be productive and respectful.  If you want to spout invective and "alternate facts," that's why Facebook exists (though we also police comments on The Batavian's Facebook page).

October 4, 2021 - 10:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Howard Owens:   [email protected]
Comments
October 3, 2021 - 9:23am
posted by Anne Marie Starowitz in catholic church, Catholic schools, schools, education, news, batavia.

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Several articles have been written on the early public schools from this area, including those still in use today.  When the very first schools were built, Catholic schools were also built alongside their churches.

Rev. Thomas Cunningham established the first Catholic school in 1873. He became the first priest to settle permanently in the village. With him came six Sisters of Mercy.  The sisters lived in the Davis Building on Jackson Street that served as their convent until 1873.  The sisters started a school in a barn next to the convent.  Due to a fire, the sisters had to move the school to a large stone building on Jackson Street that became Marshall News Store many years later.

In 1882 St. Joseph’s Parish began to build a new school and convent on Summit and East Main Street.  It was a solid unadorned building with a small turret over the front door and little towers on the front corners.  It had four rooms on the first floor for the younger students and three rooms above for the older children.  High school students were enrolled at the school until 1912.  Music lessons were taught in small spaces in the corridors.

St. Joseph’s School served as a parochial elementary school until 1959.  The building was listed as unsafe for young children, so in the fall of 1959, a new school with twelve classrooms and a cafeteria was built.  The old school was razed.  In 1973 office space and a new gymnasium and assembly hall were added to the eastern side of the new school.

Rev. Peter Pitass started Sacred Heart School in 1904 when he organized Sacred Heart Parish.  The school’s classrooms were ready for pupils by 1918.  Those classrooms served the Polish community until the flood of 1942. The school and church were located at the foot of Jackson Street.   By 1954 the school was also deemed a fire hazard, and plans were drawn up for a new school and church.  The new school would be located east of the church facing Sumner Street.  By the end of the year, a new fireproofed school building was built for $8,000.00.

In 1904 approximately 20 students were enrolled at Sacred Heart School.  By 1934 the number had increased to about 60 students, and registration remained at about that level until the ‘60s. Then, in the ‘60s, enrollment began to decrease. Finally, in 1974 enrollment was so small that Sacred Heart School merged with St. Anthony’s. Thus, after 70 years, there was no longer a school in the Sacred Heart Parish.

In 1908 Rev. Hyacinthe Ciabbatoni brought two Sisters of Mercy to Batavia to organize a school.  In 1909 property was bought on Liberty Street at Central Avenue; members of the parish put together two old houses to serve as a school and a parish hall.  In 1930 a new school was built by Frank Homelius, one of Batavia’s native architects.  He designed a school building with two floors, a social hall, and a gymnasium behind it.  It was dedicated as St. Anthony’s Community Center.  It was the most prominent meeting place in the city.  The school had nine classrooms on two floors along central corridors, with offices on either main entrance.  The basement had a nursery room, kitchen, and lavatories.  It was a T-shaped building with a gymnasium used for athletics and as a meeting hall or a dining room.  This community center was used for political rallies, union meetings, Grange meetings, fundraising, and Bingo. Many a bride will remember having her wedding reception at the Community Center with dinner on one floor and dancing on another.  

By 1908 there were between 200 and 250 students enrolled at St. Anthony’s School.  By 1970, 7th and 8th-grade students attended St. Mary’s, where junior high classes were offered.   In June 2006, St. Anthony’s School closed its doors after 95 years as an educational and social activity center on Batavia’s south side. 

Rev. Edward J. Ferger established St. Mary’s Elementary School when he organized the building of a Catholic High School, Notre Dame High School, in 1951.  The school opened before the buildings were complete.  The first-year students met at St. Anthony’s Community Center for classes until the school was finished.  In 1952 St. Mary’s school was built and faced Woodrow Road. St. Mary’s had eight classrooms and a small gym in a separate building.  Sisters of the Holy Cross were the first teachers at St. Mary’s, and then the school was run by the Felician Sisters.   At the end of the 2003-2004 academic year, St. Mary’s Elementary School closed its doors due to limited financial resources and fewer students.

In 1951 Notre Dame High School welcomed its first class of 58 boys and girls to temporary quarters at St. Anthony’s School.  Notre Dame High School was dedicated on September 6, 1952.  The school has two floors with classrooms along Union Street and a large gymnasium in the rear.  A cafeteria is below the gym.  A small chapel and library are on the second floor.   In the early years, Notre Dame’s faculty consisted of nuns and priests.  There were times when up to 500 students walked the halls between classes with one-way traffic jamming corridors. Over the years, Notre Dame’s enrollment has fluctuated, but today it remains an alternative to public school education.    

All students will remember the attractive uniforms the girls had to wear.  Sacred Heart had a plaid jumper, St. Anthony’s a brown uniform, St. Joseph’s a blue uniform, and St. Mary’s girls wore a blue jumper crossed in the front and the back.        The actual everyday uniform at Notre Dame HS was a pleated skirt and a long-sleeved blouse buttoned to the neck, and to add to the uniform’s lovely appearance was a bolero. If you rolled over the waistband of the skirt to make it shorter, you would get detention.  Besides the unattractive uniforms, some might remember the classrooms overflowing with students, singing Gregorian chant at Mass, attending a High Mass on Sunday, and no meat on Friday. 

One could also not forget the Notre Dame Girls’ Basketball uniform the girls had to wear in the ‘50s and ‘60s.   The uniform was a royal blue, pleated, heavy cotton jumper that had to touch your knees, a long-sleeved white blouse that had to be buttoned at the top, and bloomers. The inspiring girls’ basketball team had only two girls who could run down the court, and the rest could take three steps and pass the ball.  It made for a very “fast-moving” game.  The windows had to be covered when the girls were playing just in case a “boy” might try to look in the window.    

Over the last century, schools were established, moved, burned down, and closed.  Many of these schools closed due to low enrollment, but the memories these students hold in their hearts remain. A young girl remembers living next to old St. Joseph’s School, sneaking over to the old school, and peeking in the windows.  A nun would let her come in and sit and color.  Her older siblings all attended the school.  In the early days at St. Joseph’s School, there was not a gymnasium. Instead, students would gather every day on the blacktop in the parking lot and jump rope or shoot baskets on the outdoor basketball court.

Grade school, high school, it didn’t matter if it was a public or private school; the memories would be the same. So many will still be in touch with that special friend they hung around with in grade school and possibly high school.  Stories get better with age as they are told over and over again. 

Today St. Joseph Regional School is the only Catholic elementary school left in Batavia. Yet, it offers everything the public schools provide.  Notre Dame High School still proudly stands on Union Street, graduating boys and girls on the same grounds their parents and grandparents stood many years ago.

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Comments
October 3, 2021 - 9:14am
posted by Joanne Beck in batavia, sports cards, business.

 

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When Timothy "TJ" Woodward realized that sports cards were becoming more popular, he reached out to friend Doug Sicari, an avid collector over the years. It just so happened that Sicari was thinking of opening a shop and asked if Woodward wanted to join the venture.

“I said absolutely,” Woodward said Thursday at the newly opened Batavia Sports Cards in Batavia. “I’d say 99.9% of our cards are here.”

Remember when kids collected baseball cards, and they even got a bonus piece of bubble gum in a pack? That practice, which began in the 1930s, has grown up, to say the least. Sports cards have had their hot moments, including last year when people were stuck home due to Covid, Woodward said. That drew the off-and-on card collector back to the hobby.

“The attention it was getting; it was all over social media and all over the Internet. I think it was to a boiling point, and when COVID hit, it just erupted,” he said. “It’s a little bit different now than just a hobby.”

Sports cards were introduced in the 1860s, and they have ebbed and flowed throughout time, growing stagnant in the 1990s when originality went out the window and they were mass-produced, Sicari said. Some 20 years ago they took hold again, and the last decade has brought about creative — and increasingly valuable — cards with pieces of memorabilia, he said.

“Over the past five years they’ve gone up dramatically,” Sicari said. “To get distributors, you have to have the brick and mortar store. Location was the most important.”

Batavia Sports Cards had a quiet opening at the 220 East Main St. site in May, and the foot traffic has steadily increased since the owners said. All of the major sports, plus portions of others, are represented, including football, baseball, basketball and hockey, soccer, wrestling, and NASCAR racing. While many adults are scoping out the valuable cards, kids will find something too with Pokémon, base cards, and boxed collections that start at $20.

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Sicari gave Woodward a crash course in the business, his partner said, as there’s a lot to learn. Rookie cards draw the most interest, and cards are numbered in various sequences, such as 1 to 10 versus up to 499 or 2500. Snatching up the first card in a series is a coup for a collector, and also when the number matches the player’s jersey number, such as the card numbered eight matching the jersey number of Russian ice hockey star Alexander Ovechkin. Add his autograph for another notch up the value scale. 

Other details to look out for are the production dates, extras, such as the Babe Ruth card encased with a piece of his game-used bat, and a grade, performed by the biggest grading service companies PSA and Beckett. A PSA rated 10 means “the card is perfect,” Sicari said, versus a PSA 1 being poor. 

Then there are Super and Ultra Rare cards depicting a cool-looking foil and holographic finish on the card name and artwork. These shinier cards are aesthetically classier looking and come with higher values.

Don’t worry if you’re not up to snuff in the sports card industry, because Woodward and Sicari want to help educate people interested in it. More seasoned collectors won’t be disappointed with the selection of “thousands and thousands” of cards, with more being added continuously, the owners said. They have enjoyed talking to customers, many of which want to “trade or sell,” Woodward said. 

“You get to see a lot of neat stuff walk in,” he said. "I told Doug I'd never see a Jordan ... and we had three in here."

No, you won't find those coveted Michael Jordan cards at their shop just yet; the sellers didn't end up parting with their merchandise. The owners have already had out-of-town patrons, from Williamsport and Erie, Pennsylvania, to Chicago and Texas, find the shop online while visiting this area. Despite the enormous inventory, the owners purposely mapped out the room to be user-friendly, they said. 

“We try to keep something for everybody,” Sicari said. “The idea for the shop was to keep it condensed and easy to look at everything.”

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Woodward noted that this is the only sports card business in Genesee County, and the owners have no intention of going small with the operation. In fact, as they tweak the shop to expand its offerings (a website that’s in progress and more permanent hours later this month), they want to see the business boom. It has been a juggling act for Woodward, who owns and operates three funeral homes, and Sicari, who works in construction, to actually man the shop for substantial hours. They are looking to hire a full-time person, but it’s got to be “the right person,” Sicari said.

“You have to have someone who knows it like the back of your hand,” he said. 

Anyone interested in applying for the position or in buying, browsing, or trading sports cards can call (585) 483-3090, check out https://www.facebook.com/bataviasportscards or visit 220 East Main St., Batavia 4-8 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, or noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. 

Top photo TJ Woodward and Doug Sicari have turned the hobby of collecting sports cards into a business at their new shop Batavia Sports Cards.

Photos by Philip Casper

 

Comments
October 3, 2021 - 9:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, sports, soccer.

img_2730pembrokesoc.jpg

The Pembroke Dragons won their homecoming game in soccer on Saturday night, 3-2 over Akron in double overtime. Jonathan Suro scored the winning goal.

Photo and info submitted by Mary Friedmann

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