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September 5, 2018 - 5:52pm

Colin R. Wickings is indicted for first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged in count one that in late June or early July, 2016, in the Town of Bergen, that Wickings subjected a 9-year-old female to sexual contact. In count two, he is accused of the same crime for allegedly subjecting the girl to sexual contact by forcible compulsion. In count three, he is accused of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, for acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17. In count four, he is accused of first-degree sexual abuse for allegedly subjecting a 6-year-old male to sexual contact on Sept. 16 in the Town of Stafford. In count five, Wickings is accused of endangering the welfare of a child for acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the 6-year-old male.

Walter B. Hale Jr. is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class D felony. It is alleged that on May 15 in the City of Batavia that Hale rode a 1984 Kawasaki on various public highways while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony, for allegedly doing so while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count three, the defendant is accused of the crime of circumvention of an interlock device, a Class A misdemeanor, for operating a motorcycle not equipped with an ignition interlock device, which he was court-ordered to have. In count four, he is accused of reckless driving, as a misdemeanor. It is alleged in count four that he rode the Kawasaki in a manner that unreasonably interfered with the free and proper use of a public highway -- while intoxicated, traveling at a high rate of speed, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, failing to stop at a number of stop signs, all while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count five, he is accused of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17. In count six, Hale is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony, for riding the motorcycle when he knew or should have known that his driver's license was suspended, revoke or otherwise withdrawn by authorities. In count seven, Hale is accused of the offense of speeding, for riding on Washington Avenue in the City of Batavia May 15 in excess of the maximum speed of 30 mph. In count eight, the defendant is accused of failing to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Washington Avenue and State Street. In count nine, he is accused of failing to stop at the stop sign at Washington Avenue and Summit Street. In count 10, he is accused of failing to stop at the stop sign at Summit Street and North Street. In count 11, he is accused of failing to stop at the stop sign at Ross Street and North Street. In count 12, he is accused of failing to stop at the stop sign at North Street and Vine Street. In count 13, Hale is accused of failing to stop at the stop sign at Vine Street and East Avenue. In count 14, he is accused of failure to stop for an emergency vehicle. It is alleged in count 14, that while operating the 1984 Kawasaki on May 15, that Hale failure to yield the right of way to a City of Batavia police vehicle blaring its siren. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Hale is accused of having been convicted of the crime of aggravated DWI, as a Class E felony, on Nov. 28, 2012 in Genesee County Court; and DWI, as a Class E felony, on Sept. 18, 2008, and those convictions were within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Jacob J. Szumigala is indicted for the crime of aggravated vehicular assault, a Class C felony. It is alleged that on April 18 on West Main Street in the Village of Corfu that Szumigala committed reckless driving by operating a 2008 Hyundai Sonata with North Carolina plates in a reckless manner. In so doing, he allegedly caused serious physical injury to another person. It is further alleged that he was intoxicated and had a BAC of .18 or more at the time. In count two, he is accused of first-degree vehicular assault, a Class D felony. It is alleged in count two that Szumigala caused serious physical injury to a person on West Main Street while having a BAC of .18 percent or more at the time. In count three, he is accused of second-degree assault, a Class D felony, for recklessly causing serious physical injury to a person by means of a dangerous instrument -- a motor vehicle. In count four, he is accused of aggravated DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor for allegedly driving the Sonata while having a BAC of .18 percent or more. In count five, he is accused of misdemeanor DWI, for allegedly driving while intoxicated on April 18. In count six, the defendant is accused of first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count six that Szumigala drove while his driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities, and he did so while under the influence of alcohol. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, the defendant is accused of having been charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, per se, as a misdemeanor, in Oakfield Town Court. The suspension referred to in count six was mandatory pending prosecution April 9, 2018, for the violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law in Oakfield and was still in effect when he drove without a license on April 18 in Corfu.

Domingo Gomez-Gomez is indicted for the crime of first-degree rape, a Class B violent felony. It is alleged that in the Town of Alexander on April 28 that Gomez-Gomez engaged in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion. In count two, he is accused of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged in count two that on May 4 in the Town of Alexander that he possessed a forged Social Security card with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another.

Jennifer A. Roskey is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on July 14 in the Town of Oakfield that Roskey possessed a dangerus knife or instrument -- a kitchen knife with an eight-inch blade, with intent to use it against another person. In count two, she is accused of second-degree menacing, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally placing a person in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. In count three, she is accused of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, for knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years old. In count five, Roskey is accused of second-degree reckless endangerment, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count four that on July 5 while in a private vehicle on the Thruway in Erie County, that she engaged in conduct which created a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. In counts five, six and seven, respectively, the defendant is accused of three more counts of endangering the welfare of a child, for acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of three children less than 17 while traveling on the Thruway July 5 from Genesee County to Erie County in a private vehicle. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Roskey is accused of having been convicted of aggravated DWI with a child passenger, a Class E felony, on Sept. 23, 2015 in Erie County Supreme Court, and this conviction forms the basis for count one in the current indictment.

Raymond J. Radley is indicted for the crime of first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony. It is alleged on in the first week of March in the City of Batavia that Radley violated a duly served Order of Protection by intentionally being in the presence of the protected party. In counts two through 10, he is accused of second-degree criminal contempt, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in counts two through 10, respectively, that he contacted the protected party in violation of the court's Order of Protection, all in the Town of Le Roy: April 16 by telephone; April 16 by phone; May 8 by phone; May 9 by phone; May 14 by phone; May 16 by phone; May 7 via the website Plenty of Fish --- www. pof.com; first week of March, via Facebook Messenger/Video Chat; and last week of March, via Facebook Messenger/Video Chat. In Special Infomation filed by the District Attorney, Radley is accused of having been convicted of criminal contempt in the first degree, a Class E felony, on July 26, 2016, in Livingston County Court, and that conviction was for a violation of a stay away family offense order of protection and it was within five year previous to commission of the crime alleged in the current indictment,

Antonio M. McKinney is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on April 7 in the City of Batavia that McKinney drove a 2002 Mercedes-Benz in the Speedway parking lot at the intersection of routes 5 and 98 while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, also a Class E felony, for driving while his license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, McKinney is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Oct. 12, 2016 in the Buffalo City Court, Erie County, and the conviction was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Melanie M. Matesz is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged in counts one and two that on April 19 in the area of the Batavia City Court offices, located in the Genesee County Courts Facility, that she possessed a forged, fraudulent Order of Protection.

Jonathan E. Seiger is indicted for the crime of second-degree bail jumping, a Class E felony. It is alleged that Seiger was released from custody or allowed to remain at liberty, upon the condition that he would subsequently appear personally in Genesee County Court connection with a felony charge against him and that he failed to appear in court on Oct. 12 or voluntarily within 30 days thereafter.

September 2, 2018 - 12:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, accidents, news.

Three people are injured following a two-car accident at Dry Bridge Road and Sand Pit Road, Alexander. Alexander Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medic #1.

UPDATE 12:17 p.m.: A first responder at the scene canceled the medics, which are back in service.

August 20, 2018 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stroh Road, news, alexander.

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It took a giant crane this morning to hoist into place giant beams for the new bridge being built over the Tonawanda Creek in Alexander.

The new span is on Stroh Road.

Photos by Kayte Fix.

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July 27, 2018 - 12:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Le Roy, alexander, Oakfield, bergen.

John M. Brabowski, 40, of Fisher Road, Oakfield, is charged with third-degree rape. He was arrested on July 24 and arraigned at 9:11 p.m. in Batavia Town Court. It is alleged that he engaged in sexual intercourse with a female victim under the age of 17 on July 23 at a location on Fisher Road in Oakfield. He was jailed on $100,000 bail and is due in Oakfield Town Court on Aug. 6 to answer the charge. Additional charges are pending. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Investigator Joseph Loftus, Youth Officer Howard Carlson and Sgt. Bradley Mazur.

Anthony D. Micucci, 24, of Main Street, Alexander, is charged with third-degree assault, third-degree menacing, and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested at 3:25 p.m. on July 25 on Main Street in Alexander following a domestic incident in the village. He is due in Town of Alexander Court on Aug. 8. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon.

Joshua M. Gaudioso, 29, of Genesee Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon because he is a convicted felon. He was arrested and arraigned in Bergen Town Court at 9 p.m. on July 26. He was jailed in lieu of $10,000 cash or bond. He is accused of possessing a shotgun on July 20 at a location on North Bergen Road, Bergen. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Chad Minuto.

Kevin Wayne Howard, 18, Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle in the third degree. He was arrested at 4 a.m. July 26 on Griswold Road in Le Roy following a complaint. It is alleged that the defendant took a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Le Roy Court and is due there Sept. 3. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by Batavia Police Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Damien Anthony Weir, 37, of Branch Lane, East Stroudsburg, Pa., is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The defendant was charged after a traffic stop on Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia at 10:28 a.m. on July 24. He was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court and is due there on Aug. 14. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Lonnie Nati, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

July 24, 2018 - 4:42pm

Press release: 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is pleased to announce several town hall meetings on Saturday, Aug. 4. All are welcome to attend to discuss local issues and express any questions or concerns they might have.

“I always try to stay as aware as possible about the concerns and issues important to my neighbors, and to achieve this, I’m going to be hosting several town hall meetings in the near future,” Hawley said. “I encourage everyone to attend at least one of the meetings in Alexander, Oakfield, Byron or Elba. I’m looking forward to seeing you all there.” 

TOWN HALL MEETING SCHEDULE

  • Town of Alexander/Village of Alexander: 9:30 - 10:15 a.m., Village of Alexander Hall, 3350 Church St., Alexander
  • Town of Oakfield/Village of Oakfield: 10:45 - 11:30 a.m., Oakfield Town Hall, 3219 Drake St., Oakfield
  • Town of Byron: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Byron Town Hall, 7028 Byron Holley Road, Byron
  • Town of Elba/Village of Elba: 12:45 - 1:30 p.m., Elba Town Hall, 7 Maple Ave., Elba
July 16, 2018 - 10:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, alexander, news.

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A car fire was reported in the Village of Alexander this evening at a residence next to the cobblestone village hall on Buffalo Avenue.

We don't have any other details on the fire at this time.

Photos submitted by Heather Jackson.

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July 16, 2018 - 3:54pm

Press release:

Fifteen students successfully completed the Apparatus Operator – Pump program on June 23. It was held at the Genesee County Fire Training Center.

Building on the knowledge and skills obtained through the Basic Exterior Firefighter Operations (BEFO) program, the 24 hour Apparatus Operator – Pump course offers fire service personnel the knowledge and skills essential to pump operations.

These include: hydraulics and friction loss, pump control and accessories, fire streams, pumper practices, pumping from draft and pump evolutions and using the fire pump at the fire hydrant.

Participants included: 

Alabama

  • Ryan M. Thompson

Alexander

  • Anthony R. Johnston
  • Jennifer R. Merle

Elba

  • Nicholas Guarino
  • Timothy J. Hoffarth
  • Michael J. Pfendler
  • Oliver R. Shuknecht

Oakfield

  • Joshua M. Finn
  • Jeffery W. McIntire

Pavilion

  • Nicholas P. Saravullo
  • Sean Vogt Jr.

South Byron

  • Nicole M. Boldt
  • Mathew T. Dougherty
  • Vito J. Muoio

Indian Falls

  • Colby Sanner
July 16, 2018 - 3:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Milestones, corfu, byron, bergen, batavia, alexander, Alabama, BEFO.

Submitted photos and press release:

A 2018 Tri-County BEFO program, sponsored by Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties concluded on Friday, July 13. Eighteen students completed the 79-hour program from 13 departments across the region.

The Basic Exterior Firefighter Operations (BEFO) program is an entry-level program for the volunteer fire service designed to prepare students to respond to emergencies as exterior firefighters.

Students are instructed in fire extinguishers, building construction, forcible entry, ladder deployment, incident command, drafting operations and hazardous materials operations level. In addition, students are trained in ropes and knots, and first aid/CPR.

A Basic Exterior Firefighter Operations (BEFO) program, sponsored by Genesee County, is scheduled to begin in August. Anyone interested is encouraged to contact your community volunteer fire department or the Genesee County Fire Training Center (585-344-0078).

Participants last Friday included: 

Alabama

  • Rebekah J. Allen

Alexander

  • Daniel Harris

Attica

  • Kaylee Sumeriski

Town of Batavia

  • Bryan Moscicki  
  • Ian Sanfratello
  • Tyler Stewart

Bennington

  • Jordon McKinsey
  • Grace Schmidt

Bergen

  • Tina M. Carson          
  • Harrison T. Dodson

Byron

  • Paige E. Johnston

Carlton

  • Matthew Edick

Castle

  • Zachary Dake

Corfu

  • Justin Rodland

East Avon

  • Jefferson Moon

North Java

  • Taylor Guizzotti
  • Tyler Shaver

Strykerville

  • Matthew Solly
July 13, 2018 - 2:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, alexander, Milestones.

SALT LAKE CITY (Grassroots Newswire) July 12, 2018 – The following local residents have received their degree from Western Governors University (WGU). The online, nonprofit university held its 64th (Orlando, Florida); 65th (Seattle, Washington); and 66th (Las Vegas, Nevada) commencement ceremonies earlier this year to celebrate the recent graduation of more than 15,000 students from across the country.

* Sarah Kohl, of Alexander, has received her MBA in IT Management.
* Tiffany Harrington, of Batavia, has received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

WGU has recognized 8,938 undergraduate and 6,734 graduate degree recipients, who have completed their degrees since Jan. 1, 2018. Their areas of study include business, K-12 education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. The average time to graduation for those earning a bachelor’s degree was 2 years, 4 months, while the average time to degree for graduate programs was 1 year, 7 months. The average age for those who graduated is 38 years old.

WGU pioneered competency-based education, which measures learning rather than time spent in class. Designed to meet the needs of working adults, students study and learn on their own schedules with individualized, one-to-one faculty support. They complete courses as soon as they demonstrate that they have mastered the subject matter, enabling them to move quickly through material they already know and spend more time on what they still need to learn. As a result, many WGU students are able to accelerate their studies, saving both time and money.

About WGU
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves 98,000 students nationwide and has 110,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education.

In just 21 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and was featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at www.wgu.edu.

July 12, 2018 - 2:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, news, Alexander Fire Department, Tractor Pull.
Press release:
 
The Alexander FD Tractor Pull will be this weekend -- Friday July 13th and Saturday, July 14th -- at the Alexander Recreation Hall grounds, Route 98, Alexander. Five classes of pulls begin both nights at 7 o'clock.
 
Friday begins with a huge Basket Raffle in the Recreation Hall from 2 to 7 p.m. -- along with a gun raffle at 7 p.m. The Ladies Auxiliary is hosting a Chicken Barbeque starting at 5 p.m.
 
Entertainment by the Alexander Firemen's Band begins at 6 p.m. The beer tent will be open with live music by "Radio Relapse" at 9 p.m - 2 a.m.
 
Saturday begins with the grounds opening at 5 p.m. Tractor Pull will begin at 7 p.m. The beer tent will be open with live entertainment by a favorite local band "Red Creek" -- 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
 
The food tent will be open throughout the event and will include: hamburgers, hotdogs, Italian sausage, beef on weck, chicken fingers, French fries, pizza, nachos and ice cream. Also, the clam stand will be open with clams, sweet corn and salt potatoes.
July 4, 2018 - 2:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, corfu, alexander, Oakfield, batavia.

Buffalo State College is pleased to recognize the following students who have been named to the Spring 2018 dean's list. To qualify, students must earn a GPA of 3.5 or higher and complete a minimum of 12 credit hours.

  • Kaylee Cassidy, of Batavia (Anthropology)
  • Hannah Dunlap, of Batavia (Business Administration)
  • Matthew Stroka, of Corfu (Communication Design)
  • Joelle Fugle, of Corfu (English)
  • Megan Schmieder, of Alexander (English)
  • Katie Manges, of Oakfield (Family and Consumer Science Education)
  • Alissa Rodriguez, of Corfu (Health/Wellness)
  • Raelynn Moskal, of Alexander (Hospitality Administration)
  • John Przybysz, of Corfu (Psychology)

Buffalo State is a State University of New York (SUNY) college located in Buffalo, New York. The college offers 79 undergraduate majors as well as many minors and certificate programs. Every year, thousands of students benefit from Buffalo State's community engagement, hands-on learning opportunities, and affordable SUNY tuition.

July 3, 2018 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, pembroke, corfu, Pavilion, notify, Darien, Stafford, alexander.

Jacob John Sponaugle, 19, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with menacing, 2nd, and criminal possession of a weapon,4th. Sponaugle allegedly pointed a shotgun at another person during a road rage incident reported at 2:52 p.m. Friday at Main and Bank streets in Downtown Batavia.

Jeremiah Lamar Gregory Burt, 23, of Victoria Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Burt was stopped at 6:45 p.m. Saturday on Main Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Jacob Lee Jasinski, 20, of Akron Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, moving from lane unsafely, and unsafe tires. Jasinski was reportedly involved in a one-car accident at 3:55 a.m. Sunday on Main Road, Pembroke. A utility pole was broken in the accident. The accident was investigated by Deputy Ryan Young.

Stephen Michael Milroy, 23, of Junction Road, Pavilion, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Milroy was arrested on a warrant and jailed on $500 bail or $2,000 bond.

Matthew Richard Jackson, 27, of Vernon Avenue, of Batavia, is charged with: DWI; driving with a BAC of .08 or greater; leaving the scene of a property damage accident; driving left of pavement markings; and moving from lane unsafely. Jackson was stopped at 3:14 p.m. Sunday on Main Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Mathew Clor.

John Kelly, 27, of Parkway, Rochester, is charged with criminal trespass, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, and harassment, 2nd. Kelly was charged following an investigation into an incident reported at 10 p.m. June 17 at a residence on Bethany Le Roy Road, Stafford, by Deputy Rachel Diehl.

Cherie M. Oddo, 57, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Oddo is accused of stealing $7.69 worth of merchandise from Tops Friendly Market.

Joseph Thomas Burr, 24, of North Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with robbery, 3rd, two counts of grand larceny, 4th, and endangering the welfare of a child. Burr is accused of stealing another person's wallet during an argument reported at 3:30 p.m., Friday.

Danny D. Williams, 29, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal mischief, 4th. Williams was allegedly involved in an incident on Central Avenue reported at 8:45 p.m. June 11. Williams was also charged with petit larceny for allegedly shoplifting at Tops Friendly Market on June 17. He was also arrested on a warrant out of City Court.

John A. Snook, 30, of Oak Orchard Road, Albion, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to comply with a court-ordered program. 

Joseph W. Freeman, 34, of Platten Road, Lyndonville, was arrested on a warrant and ordered held on $1,000 bail. No further details about the charges released.

Christine Marie Wagner, 37, of East Main Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Wagner was charged following an investigation into possible employee theft at a local business. Also charged with petit larceny, Irisa M. Hill, 22, of Wood Street, Batavia. 

John D. Radley, 57, of Route 20A, Warsaw, is charged with DWI and driving while impaired by alcohol. At 4:37 p.m. on June 22, police were alerted to a person reportedly drinking alcohol in a running motor vehicle in the parking lot of Tops Friendly Market. Upon arrival, police allegedly found Radley slumped over the wheel, asleep.

A 16-year-old resident of Batavia is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property. 

Joshua P. Fields, 21, of Batavia Bethany Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and unsafe backing. Fields was arrested on a warrant. He posted bail and was released.

Thomas Andrew Woldford, 42, of Ringquist Street, Las Vegas, is charged with DWI and failure to dim headlights. Woldford was stopped at 1:19 a.m. Monday on Route 33, Stafford, by Deputy Jeremy McClellan after Woldford allegedly failed to dim his headlights for oncoming traffic.

Brittany A. Young, 23, of Buffalo, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, unlawful possession of marijuana, unlicensed operation, 3rd, and speeding. Young was stopped by State Police on Route 77 in Darien at 3:45 p.m. on June 25. While interviewing the driver, troopers detected the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Young was allegedly found to be driving on a suspended license and was also found to be in possession of marijuana and a controlled substance. Young posted $500 bail and was released from jail pending her next court appearance in Darien Town Court.

Vikki L. Sullivan, 32, of Norfolk, Va., is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. State Police came into contact with Sullivan at 2:39 a.m. Sunday at an undisclosed location in the Town of Darien.

Shawn R. Bowick, 32, of Leicester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and a license plate violation. Bowick was stopped by State Police at 6:15 p.m. Friday on Route 63, Batavia.

Rahiim J. Collazo, 40, of Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, speeding, obstructed vision, license plate violation, and no license. Tiffany M. Santos, 35, of Rochester, is charged with permitting unlicensed operation and facilitating aggravated unlicensed operation. Callazo was stopped by State Police at 7:40 p.m. Friday on Batavia Elba Townline Road, Batavia.

A 17-year-old resident of Attica was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana by State Police during a traffic stop on Route 98 in Alexander at 1:54 a.m. on Sunday.

July 2, 2018 - 1:24pm

BATAVIA, NY (06/20/2018)-- A total of 280 students from Genesee Community College are named to the President's List for the Spring 2018 semester. Students honored on the President's List have maintained full-time enrollment and earned a quality point index of 3.75 (roughly equivalent to an A) or better.

Miranda Schiller of Alexander, NY

Alexis Hackmer of Alexander, NY

Haley Wasikowski of Alexander, NY

Nathan Henry of Alexander, NY

Mary Guarino of Alexander, NY

Trey Nadolinski of Basom, NY

Cassidy Miller of Batavia, NY

Quinten Weis of Batavia, NY

Marissa Jacques of Batavia, NY

Gregory Mruczek of Batavia, NY

Joshua Barton of Batavia, NY

Tessa Lynn of Batavia, NY

Alexander Rigerman of Batavia, NY

Abby Stendts of Batavia, NY

Cory Feary of Batavia, NY

Samuel Lang of Batavia, NY

Daisy Cervantes of Batavia, NY

Sabrina Walton of Batavia, NY

Neve Georgia of Batavia, NY

Jessica Caryl of Batavia, NY

Angelina Miconi of Batavia, NY

Alexis DeLong of Batavia, NY

Danielle Shaffer of Batavia, NY

Nicholas Callisher-Pucillo of Batavia, NY

Lisa Heath of Batavia, NY

Matthew Fouquet of Batavia, NY

William Rippel of Batavia, NY

Lydia Aquina of Batavia, NY

Ashlee Ohlson of Batavia, NY

Jessica Accardi of Batavia, NY

Shelby Hill of Batavia, NY

Audra Davis of Batavia, NY

Emily Lontkowski of Batavia, NY

Leighann Howland of Batavia, NY

Samantha Hyback of Batavia, NY

Megan West of Batavia, NY

Katelyn Brown of Corfu, NY

Shaunna Conti of Corfu, NY

Alex Bookmiller of Corfu, NY

Kaylee Schaber of Corfu, NY

Lynne Blake of Corfu, NY

Morgan Miller of Corfu, NY

Spencer Graff of Corfu, NY

Rachel Miller of Corfu, NY

Katharine Smallwood of Corfu, NY

Kiara Santiago of Corfu, NY

Melinda Neal of Corfu, NY

Alexander Breissinger of Darien Center, NY

Zachary Paris of East Bethany, NY

Brian Wlazlak of East Bethany, NY

Jenna Huntington of Elba, NY

Susan Boula of Elba, NY

Henry Stratton of Elba, NY

Laura Lundmark of Oakfield, NY

Jessica Waite of Oakfield, NY

Stephanie Halat of Oakfield, NY

Kasey Edgerton of Oakfield, NY

Lauren Graney of Stafford, NY

James Berggren of Bergen, NY

Thomas Berggren of Bergen, NY

Kristen Hale of Bergen, NY

David Mackey of Bergen, NY

Paul Elliott of Bergen, NY

Taylor McPherson of Bergen, NY

Alexandria Loewke of Bergen, NY

Amber Salway of Bergen, NY

Taylor Dimmig of Bergen, NY

Margaret-Mary Gabalski of Byron, NY

Colin Noeth of Byron, NY

Grace Campbell of Byron, NY

Kitana Maher of Byron, NY

Marissa Conte of Le Roy, NY

Haley Steen of Le Roy, NY

Dominic Filio of Le Roy, NY

Riley DeBellis of Le Roy, NY

Mary Ross of Le Roy, NY

Lauren Hull of Le Roy, NY

Valaurie Zweigle of Le Roy, NY

Megan Furr of Le Roy, NY

Ceciely Palmer of Le Roy, NY

Jamie Englerth of Le Roy, NY

Nicholas Chamoun of Le Roy, NY

Rebekah Spicer of Pavilion, NY

Maelee Sanford of Pavilion, NY

Benjamin Werner of Pavilion, NY

Genesee Community College serves more than 6,000 students per semester through more than 70 academic programs and certificates, including the new Marketing and Social Media concentration within the Business Administration program, and the new Nanotechnology degree with ECC. On a microscopic scale, nanotech focuses on careers in biology, chemistry, electrical engineering, medicine and photovoltaics. 

GCC's new Student Success Center makes admissions, financial aid and enrollment a simple and efficient process. The college has earned three national sports titles; most recently, the Men's Soccer team brought home the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association D-III title. The athletics program, housed in the brand new, state-of-the-art Richard C. Call Arena hosts more than a dozen intercollegiate men's and women's teams.

Highly convenient, GCC operates seven campus locations throughout Western New York, as well as a significant online learning program. College housing is available at College Village, just a three minute walk from the Batavia Campus. With small class sizes and state-of-the-art technology both inside and out of the classroom, Genesee Community College is known for being "high tech" and "high touch."

June 27, 2018 - 3:37pm

ROCHESTER (06/26/2018)-- Degree-seeking undergraduate students are eligible for Rochester Institute of Technology's dean's list if their term GPA is greater than or equal to 3.400; they do not have any grades of "Incomplete", "D" or "F"; and they have registered for, and completed, at least 12 credit hours.

Mikayla Johnson of Le Roy (14482), who is in the biology program.

Marissa Scharlau of Alexander (14005), who is in the biomedical engineering program.

Matthew Pencille of Le Roy (14482), who is in the biomedical engineering program.

Rebekah Allen of Basom (14013), who is in the biomedical sciences program.

Rebecca Schwan of Le Roy (14482), who is in the business administration-marketing program.

Jennifer Crossen of Basom (14013), who is in the chemical engineering program.

Rachel Henrici of Batavia (14020), who is in the chemical engineering program.

Benjamin Ezard of Byron (14422), who is in the chemical engineering program.

Peter Madau of Le Roy (14482), who is in the chemical engineering program.

Kiera Gross of East Bethany (14054), who is in the computational mathematics program.

Steven Cacner of Stafford (14143), who is in the computer engineering program.

Robert Kubiniec of Batavia (14020), who is in the computer science program.

Ryan Missel of Oakfield (14125), who is in the computer science program.

Kyle Carretto of Corfu (14036), who is in the computing security program.

Jessica DeAngelo of Batavia (14020), who is in the diagnostic medical sonography program.

Maggie Callan of Le Roy (14482), who is in the diagnostic medical sonography program.

Montana Vescovi of Le Roy (14482), who is in the dietetics and nutrition program.

Kit Yates of Bergen (14416), who is in the fine arts studio program.

Eliza Harvey of Le Roy (14482), who is in the fine arts studio program.

Michelle Miller of East Bethany (14054), who is in the industrial design program.

Melissa Mountain of Batavia (14020), who is in the interior design program.

Eric Bow of Stafford (14143), who is in the mechanical engineering technology program.

Elisha Muir of Corfu (14036), who is in the museum studies program.

Erica Parker of Le Roy (14482), who is in the networking and systems administration program.

Kathleen Hagelberger of Darien Center (14040), who is in the new media marketing program.

Emma Riggi of Le Roy (14482), who is in the new media marketing program.

Devin Sherman of Le Roy (14482), who is in the packaging science program.

Danielle Del Plato of Batavia (14020), who is in the photographic and imaging arts program.

Celia Mercovich of Bergen (14416), who is in the physics program.

Samantha Porter of Le Roy (14482), who is in the psychology program.

Rochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls about 19,000 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the U.S.

The university is internationally recognized and ranked for academic leadership in business, computing, engineering, imaging science, liberal arts, sustainability, and fine and applied arts. RIT also offers unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. Global partnerships include campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo.

For news, photos and videos, go to www.rit.edu/news.

June 27, 2018 - 1:48pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in The Magic Sandbox, news, alexander, online magazine.

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(Submitted graphic and photo.)

Kids all across the country can be part of "The Magic Sandbox," an interactive online magazine for kids, which encourages community involvement, providing a positive and safe environment for kids ages 4 to 14.

Kids can submit images of creative projects, videos of talents, short stories and become a junior reporter.

“We wanted to have children be the ones to submit material, with parent approval, about things they are excited about,” co-creator Sarah Wessel said.

Co-creators Wessel and Kim Whitehead went to high school together and have been friends since. They launched "The Magic Sandbox" on June 15.

The idea for magazine started in Alexander, after Wessel’s daughters brought home magazines to sell as a fundraiser for school. Wessel and Whitehead were unimpressed with the "fun and educational" options and their lack quality content.

“We thought we could do better and it sparked something in us,” Wessel said.

Whitehead is the creative side of the online publishing enterprise, making graphics and doing Web design, and Wessel does the marketing and editing.

“We make a really good partnership because we balance each other out,” Wessel said.

They had also discussed creating a hard copy of the magazine, but ultimately decided Internet-only was the way to go.

“Kids love electronics,” Wessel said. “Instead of putting another site on there where they are exposed to danger, we wanted to make a safe environment.”

Users are not able to contact each other directly but can send a message to "The Magic Sandbox" email, and they will pass the message along.

"The Magic Sandbox" has received submissions from kids in New York, Florida and Maryland. Wessel is hoping one day they have submissions from every state.

“We’re hoping to expand in the future as far as our exposure,” Wessel said.

Currently, there are three junior reporters in Genesee County and Wessel said they are always looking for more. The junior reporters, Noah, 6, Anabelle, 9, and Jasmine, 13, get a press pass sent from "The Magic Sandbox" and cover an event.  

One day, Wessel hopes there will be junior reporters across the country.

Wessel hopes kids will go on backyard field trips and share their experiences.

“Simply going on a backyard field trip wherever they may live is going to give kids who can’t travel or get across the states, (a chance) to see new things,” Wessel said.

UPDATED July 2: We neglected to include contact information about this children's opportunity. Here it is: Please check out the website at themagicsandbox.com and email any submissions or questions to [email protected]

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Junior reporter Anabelle, 9, attended a local cheerleading competition to find out what it takes to be a cheerleader.

June 26, 2018 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, alexander.

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The Tri-Town Trojans beat Letchworth for the 10-U Cal Ripken Championship (District 3) on Monday by a score of 6-5. The team will play in the state championship July 5 in Canandaigua, which is the first time in more than 30 years the team has reached that stage of postseason play.

The team was escorted back to Alexander from Pavilion by fire trucks from Bethany and Alexander.

Submitted photos.

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June 24, 2018 - 2:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, alexander hs, schools, education, news.

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Brian West Jr., who would have graduated Saturday from Alexander High School if not for an automobile accident in July 2017 that took his life, was not far from anybody's heart in the school's auditorium as the members of the Class of 2018 finished their high school careers.

Each speaker mentioned West. His jersey sat on a chair in the first row of graduating classmates, and his father, Brian West Sr. (top photo), walked on stage to accept his diploma.

"The passing of Brian West was a tragedy that touched all of our hearts," said valedictorian Cassidy Graham. "Many of us had a hard time understanding how such a horrible thing can happen to our little town. None of us wanted to believe that we had seen Brian’s smiling face or heard his hearty laughter for the last time; however, in Brian’s absence, we found the best possible outcome from such a loss. In mourning, we came together as a class, closer than ever before."

Principal Shannon Whitcome said, "Although Brian isn’t here with us physically, he is here with us. He is here with your memories of Brian and love we all have for him and his family. Those things will ensure he lives on long after we leave here today. His legacy is going to last through each one of you and your accomplishments in the future."

Steve Dodoszak, former assistant principal, selected by the class for the commencement speech, also recalled Brian as a special person.

"I believe Brian’s presence is with us today," Dodoszak said. "When I reflect on some of the memories of this class, know that Brian is part of it. There are no words to ease the pain but know that he and you are in our thoughts and prayers. We miss him and we will always love him."

Alexander celebrated the graduation of 68 seniors during the ceremony.

Graham noted the accomplishments and promise of her classmates.

"On this stage, we have football players who took our team to sectionals two years in a row," Graham said. "On this stage, we have record-setting swimmers and state champion wrestlers. We have talented artists, incredible singers, a great actor, a brilliant dancer.

"We have three future members of the military. We have individuals who maintained their grades while working part time, not an easy task. What this tells me is that the Class of 2018 is a group of motivated individuals who are willing to work hard to get what they want in life. All I can say is never, ever, lose that drive that is within each of you."

Previously:

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Cassidy Graham

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Salutatorian Benjamin Slenker

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June 22, 2018 - 6:29pm

This past February, members of the Alexander Central School District Board of Directors traveled outside of the district, driving to East Aurora, for a retreat where, according to the school district's attorney, the board members learned about how to work together better.

If that's all the retreat was, it's perfectly legal.

However, in a May 15 interview with The Batavian, Superintendent Catherine Huber said that at the retreat the board developed a policy called the "Norms."

If that's true, and if you interpret the "Norms" as a work product unique to the Alexander CSD, the retreat may have violated the state's Open Meetings Law, according to Robert Freeman, executive director of the NYS Committee on Open Government.

It would take a citizen filing a legal challenge to the meeting/retreat to determine if it really were a violation of the law. Freeman's statements to a reporter is not a legal determination.

"If they came back with a policy that is clear, then the purpose of the retreat was not general in nature," Freeman said. "Policy can only be established and discussed in a meeting in accordance with the Open Meetings Law. The facts, in this case, differ from the analysis offered by the school district attorney."

The "Norms" for the school board, as published in a district newsletter earlier this year, are:

  • We represent all students and District residents;
  • We speak with one voice;
  • We consider all matters brought to the Board as confidential;
  • We are active listeners;
  • We agree to the practice of tell one, tell all;
  • We are visible in our schools and at school functions;
  • We are respectful to all.

It is the "one voice" policy that brought the retreat and the "Norms" to the attention of The BatavianAs reported earlier, Huber, school members, and a school board candidate have used this policy as a reason that board members cannot answer questions from reporters.

After the May 15 interview, The Batavian filed a request under Freedom of Information Law for all documents, including emails, related to the retreat including an agenda, minutes, meeting notices, notes, memos, and emails created in the planning of the retreat, and any documents produced after the retreat.

The Batavian received back two documents, receipts from the Roycroft Inn for a meeting room rental and food totaling $496.80.

In response to receiving only the receipts, The Batavian emailed the school district's attorney, who responded to the FOIL request, and asked: "No agendas? Minutes? Meeting notices? Dr. Huber went into this meeting with no preparation? There was no prior planning? The board members didn't have hotel rooms? No travel expenses?"

Schwartzott responded, "Yes, that is correct – the District did not prepare agendas or take minutes. Additionally, there were no hotel expenses because no one stayed at a hotel. There were no travel expenses because there wasn’t any travel involved – the Roycroft Inn is in East Aurora."

She didn't address the question about missing meeting preparation documents.

In subsequent emails, Schwartzott denied the board held a meeting. We asked her to explain how the retreat didn't violate the OML.

Her response:

District policy was not discussed or created at the Board retreat. As Dr. Huber explained and your publication clearly states (“Recently we did a board retreat and the board established norms, which you also probably saw on our website, and one of the norms that the board established was that they would speak with one voice”), the discussion centered around communication strategies (i.e., “norms”), which the State’s Committee on Open Government (COOG) has determined is a permissible topic for Boards of Education to discuss privately in a retreat setting (see OML-AO-3709).

Moreover, COOG has also long held that a meeting of members of a Board of Education at which “public business” is not being discussed is not a Board meeting, and, therefore, is not a public event and does not follow the requirements in the Open Meetings Law (see Open Meetings Law Section 102(1); see also OML-AO-4762).

While Schwartzott did not explicitly quote from OML-AO-3709, which was written by Freeman, for example, does state:

... if there is no intent that a majority of public body will gather for purpose of conducting public business, but rather for the purpose of gaining education, training, to develop or improve team building or communication skills, or to consider interpersonal relations, I do not believe that the Open Meetings Law would be applicable.

In that event, if the gathering is to be held solely for those purposes, and not to conduct or discuss matters of public business, and if the members in fact do not conduct or intend to conduct public business collectively as a body, the activities occurring during that event would not in my view constitute a meeting of a public body subject to the Open Meetings Law.

In other words, school boards can have retreats for the sole purpose of education and training without violating the Open Meetings Law.

However, the next paragraph states:

"...if indeed the retreat involved 'District goals' and consideration of the policies and procedures referenced earlier, I believe that it constituted a 'meeting' that fell within the requirements of the Open Meetings Law."

In The Batavian's discussion with Freeman about these official, written opinions, he expressed the opinion that a retreat that produces "Norms" would mean that discussions were held and decisions made that were unique to the district, sets policy for the board, and is not general in nature, then the gathering is covered by the Open Meeting Law.

"This clearly involves school district business that is unique to the school district and is not general in nature," Freeman said.

We provided these Freeman's quotes to Schwartzott and she called Freeman and then sent The Batavian an email that began, "It turns out he and I don’t disagree about these issues at all. Mr. Freeman said you didn’t provide him with all of the relevant information when you spoke."

She added, "To confirm, now for the third time, the District’s position remains that a discussion about how to develop strong communication skills at the Board retreat did not violate the Open Meetings Law. In closing, this is my last comment about this; I will not engage with you on this issue anymore."

We asked Schwartzott to provide the "relevant" information The Batavian did not provide to Freeman. She did not respond. When we spoke to Freeman today, he mentioned no missing relevant information and confirmed his prior opinion the "Norms" look like something that is unique to the district, sets policy, and should have been handled in a public meeting.

By this time, we had provided Freeman with the full May 15 quote from Huber and a copy of the "Norms."

"Again," Freeman said, "it seems to me what is described here would essentially be a policy of the board of education and the school district, which, again, should have been discussed in an open meeting."

See also: Analysis: It's still not clear what Alexander attorney and superintendent believe about free speech for board members

June 22, 2018 - 6:18pm

Since April, The Batavian has been trying to understand the Alexander Central School District's policy related to free speech for members of the Board of Education.

After all this time, the district's attorney, Jennifer Schwartzott, told Robert Freeman yesterday, that the "one voice" policy or "Norm" does not prohibit school board members from expressing their personal views on matters of public interest. He is the executive director of the NYS Committee on Open Government.

How a policy that says board members must speak with one voice doesn't inhibit free speech for board members still isn't clear to us. We do know the policy has been used to shut down board members from answering questions from a reporter (see April 25 story) and that is has had a speech-chilling effect on school board candidates (see May 4 story).

Whatever fuller statement Schwartzott made to Freeman, she has never been willing to articulate clearly to The Batavian what her position is and how it differs from how "one voice" is being interpreted by Huber, the board, board candidates, and reporters. She wouldn't even make such a clear statement after being asked to do so in light of what Freeman shared with The Batavian.

When asked about it, she said, "Mr. Freeman correctly conveyed to you my opinion and the District’s opinion regarding speaking with 'one voice.' As for why you didn’t know that before having a conversation with him, I can’t speak for you or your understanding of my or Dr. Huber’s previous statements."

Here is Huber's May 15 statement:

The board should speak with one voice for several different reasons. The board by policy designates a spokesperson for the school district. We have that policy for you and I know that you've gathered those policies from other school districts as well and the board by policy has designated the superintendent as the spokesperson.

Our board has also gone a step further. Recently we did a board retreat and the board established norms, which you also probably saw on our website, and one of the norms that the board established was that they would speak with one voice. They would speak with one voice on matters related to the school district. Board members individually don't have power on their own. They have power and they come together around the board table.

That is not the same as their inability to express an opinion. Anybody has the ability to express an opinion. But in terms of commenting on district business, the board members only can speak with that same one voice as a board and not as individuals and they've designated the superintendent, as they probably have in most school districts, as the spokesperson for the district.

So Huber states that district has a designated spokesperson but the board has "gone a step further," explaining the board agreed it would speak with "one voice." In fact, she states, "They would speak with one voice on matters related to the school district." Then she said that's not the same as the inability to express an opinion, but immediately walks back that statement by stating, "But in terms of commenting on district business, the board members only can speak with that same one voice as a board and not as individuals."

As with Schwartzott, we have repeatedly asked Huber to make a plain, clear statement about individual board speech. She hasn't even acknowledged the emails.

We started asking Schwartzott to make a clear, unambiguous statement after she objected to our May 14 story, "Five school districts in Genesee County restrict speech for board members," stating that The Batavian misrepresented her views. Even in the comment she left on the story, however, she doesn't state clearly what her views are on the topic.

In emails about that article, she said it wasn't clear to her that the story we were working on was about the rights of individual members to express their personal views, yet in the response to our initial set of questions, she said, "Community members who are interested in what the local board members have to say can attend board meetings where the members discuss issues, share their opinions, and make decisions."

In other words, the only place the public can count on to find out what board members think is at meetings.

So, we're still waiting for a clear statement from Huber and Schwartzott about the ability of school board members to not "speak with one voice" but to speak individually as they see fit.

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