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Byron National Guard soldier receives new rank, new responsibilities

By Press Release

Press Release:

Major General Ray Shields, the adjutant general for the state of New York, announces the recent promotion of members of the New York Army National Guard in recognition of their capability for additional responsibility and leadership.

Travis Herold from Byron, assigned to the Company A, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment, received a promotion July 10 to the rank of specialist.

Army National Guard promotions are based on a Soldier's overall performance, demonstrated leadership abilities, professionalism, and future development potential.

These promotions recognize the best-qualified Soldiers for a career in the New York Army National Guard.

Army National Guard Citizen Soldiers who serve our state and nation are eligible for monthly pay, educational benefits (from the state and federal government), travel across the globe, technical and leadership training, health and dental insurance, and contributions towards retirement programs similar to a 401(k).

For more information about the New York Army National Guard, visit or

Elmira College recognizes annual key award recipients

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Press Release:

Elmira College recently announced this year's recipients of its annual Key Award. This year's award was given to 783 students in 16 states. A tradition that goes back to 1935, the Key Award is presented to outstanding students in their junior year of high school or preparatory school.

This year's recipients included:

  • Bethany Gracie of Bergen
  • Brennan Royce of Pavilion
  • Isabella Walsh of Batavia
  • Loretta Sorochty of Batavia
  • Kaidance Kimble of Byron
  • Riannon Newbould of Oakfield
  • Austin Pangrazio of Oakfield
  • Ava Chatt of Oakfield
  • Corina Dunn of Le Roy
  • Ella Radley of Batavia

"This award is given to students with the potential to excel academically, serve as leaders, and go on to enjoy success in life," said Charles Lindsay, president of Elmira College. "We hope they will choose to make Elmira College their place."

Gaige Armbrewster named to the 2022-23 SUNYAC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll

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Press Release:

The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) recognized SUNY Cortland's Gaige Armbrewster of Batavia on its statewide 2022-23 Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll. Earning a place on the list required a minimum a 3.3 cumulative grade point average through the spring semester.

GC Master Gardeners announce fall plant sale

By Press Release
master gardner fall gala 2016
File photo, Fall Master Gardner Gala in 2016.
Photo by Howard Owens

Press Release:

Save the date!  Saturday, September 16, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., the Genesee County Master Gardeners will be hosting their annual Fall Garden Gala and Plant Sale at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, 420 East Main Street in Batavia.

This plant sale features hardy garden perennials, most of which are grown by Master Gardeners.  Fall is a good time to plant many perennials as there is still time for them to grow a strong root system before winter. A wide variety of house plants will also be available for sale.

Learn how to artfully arrange flowers fresh from the garden, as talented Master Gardeners create arrangements and bouquets right before your eyes! These beautiful flower arrangements will be available for sale.

Don’t forget to stop inside for the Basket Auction. You never know what treasures may appear. The Basket Auction drawing will begin at 12:30 p.m.

The Master Gardener Helpline will be open to answer your gardening questions.  Not sure what your garden soil pH is? Bring in a soil sample for FREE pH testing.

Don’t miss your chance to pick up some great plants at great prices. Arrive at 10 a.m. for the best plant selection.  No early birds, please.

Proceeds from the sale benefit the educational outreach of the Genesee County Master Gardener Program.

For more information contact Jan Beglinger at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, (585) 343-3040, ext. 132, or stop by the Extension office at 420 East Main Street in Batavia.  Visit our website at: for more information.  Like us on our Facebook page for Gala and other Master Gardener program updates

GCC announces Stephanie Ortel as new director of veterinary technology

By Press Release

Press Release:

Photo of Stephanie Ortel,
courtesy of Genesee Community College

Genesee Community College is excited to announce the appointment of Stephanie Ortel, LVT as the new director of Veterinary Technology. With a proven track record of leadership and expertise in the field, Stephanie brings a wealth of experience that will contribute to the continued growth and success of the college's Veterinary Technology program.

Stephanie is a Western New York native. She graduated from Medaille College with an AS in Veterinary Technology in 1999 and a BS in Veterinary Technology in 2005. Throughout her career her area of veterinary medicine has focused on pain management and physical rehab therapy for dogs and cats. 

Stephanie earned a MS in Adult Education from Buffalo State College in 2018. She started as an adjunct instructor at GCC in 2016 and then became a full-time instructor in 2021.

Stephanie expressed her excitement about joining Genesee Community College,stating, "As program director, I hope to continue the tradition passed from Dr. Carrie Caccamise of a highly regarded vet tech program. The Vet Tech department is committed to producing quality graduates ready to enter the workforce."

GC Sheriff's Office celebrates 4th annual teen academy graduates

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Press Release:

“The Fourth Annual Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy was another great success. The academy was held July 17 – 21 at Genesee Community College. This academy was made possible with the support of Genesee County STOP DWI, the Genesee County Legislature, and Genesee Community College. The students were provided with the opportunity to experience the various roles of law enforcement in our community, and they eagerly embraced all aspects of the curriculum. I want to thank the students for their hard work and dedication and all those that provided instruction throughout this week-long program. A special thank you to the Academy Director, Deputy/SRO Joshua A. Brabon, and all the Deputies, School Resource Officers, and Investigators for their assistance and efforts in coordinating such a unique, one-of-a-kind experience for the students. We look forward to continuing this annual event for students throughout Genesee County for many more years to come,” stated Sheriff Sheron.

The following participants are graduates of the Fourth Annual Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy:

  • Robert Villano - Squad Leader
  • Michael Ehrmentraut
  • Derryk Gacek 
  • Kayden Crocker
  • Anna McLaughlin 
  • Macie Parton

Submitted photos courtesy of Genesee County Sheriff Office.

SUNY GCC announces Spring 2023 dean's list

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Press Release:

176 students from Genesee Community College were named to Dean's List. Students honored on the Dean's List have maintained full or part-time enrollment and earned a quality point index of 3.50 to 3.74.

  • Makayla Andolora of Batavia 
  • Kaleb Berl of Le Roy
  • Zachary Blew of Basom
  • Carly Burgess of Batavia
  • Stephen Burton of Corfu
  • Aidan Clark of Batavia 
  • Tonya Craig of Bergen 
  • Meredith Cutro of Batavia 
  • Kenneth Fischer of East Bethany
  • Joy Gayhart of Le Roy 
  • Nathan Hinze of Batavia 
  • Maria Linares of Batavia 
  • Andrew Marrocco of Batavia
  • Trinity Maskell of Batavia
  • Teagan Mathes of Batavia
  • Nicholas Mirabal of Batavia 
  • Riley Pankow of Le Roy 
  • Brilyn Rebisz of Bergen 
  • Kyle Sage of Basom 
  • Julienne Bianca Salvacion of Batavia
  • Luke Schalk of Le Roy 
  • Erica Scott of Stafford
  • Benjamin Starkweather of Bergen
  • Kyle Stefan of East Bethany
  • Tia Stone of Batavia 
  • Madalyn Walton of Batavia
  • Miah Werth of Elba
  • David Williams of Le Roy
  • Tyhler Wood of Oakfield 
  • Courtney Bald of Batavia 
  • Aaron Birkby of Corfu 
  • Lauren Carli of East Bethany 
  • Andrew Clark of Batavia 
  • Gavin Cunningham of Oakfield
  • Katrina Foeller of Darien Center 
  • Ariana Hackett of Darien Center
  • Michael Malecki of Bergen 
  • Clare Mathes of Byron
  • Kiana Perry of Alexander
  • Marshall Schultz of Le Roy 
  • Kara Tobolski of Oakfield

SUNY GCC announces spring 2023 president's list

By Press Release

Press Release:

205 students from Genesee Community College named to President's List. 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.

  • Jennamarie Schiller of Alexander
  • Christian Haller of Alexander 
  • Hiroto Mori of Batavia
  • Alexandra Christopher of Batavia
  • Paige Derisley of Batavia
  • Benjamin Streeter of Batavia 
  • Jessie Leone of Batavia 
  • Joshua Jacobs of Batavia
  • Unai Cruz Prieto of Batavia
  • Benjamin Frongetta of Batavia
  • Angelo Boncore of Batavia
  • Donato Fiorentino of Batavia
  • Kurstin Smith of Batavia 
  • Michael Lepkowski of Batavia 
  • Julie Busch of Batavia 
  • Allison Dent of Batavia 
  • Scott Dorchak of Batavia
  • Lydia Evans of Batavia
  • Andrew Atwood of Batavia
  • Andresha Richardson of Batavia
  • James Weicher of Batavia 
  • Xandria Jackson of Batavia
  • Jocelyn Coburn of Batavia 
  • Cameron Heineman of Batavia 
  • Trent Ryan of Batavia 
  • Tamara DePalmo of Batavia 
  • Margaret DeMare of Batavia
  • Vincent Sotir of Batavia 
  • Gabriella Rindell of Batavia
  • Jonah Luplow of Batavia
  • Joseph Perl of Batavia
  • Melissa Mullen of Batavia
  • Blake Pahuta of Corfu
  • Henry Richley of Corfu
  • Alec Skeet of Corfu
  • Megan Stiles of Corfu 
  • Jill Paxon of Corfu
  • Megan Miller of Corfu 
  • Amarri Watts of Corfu
  • Isabella Wheeler of Darien Center
  • Dominic Nicastro of Darien Center
  • Leah Bezon of Elba
  • Heidi Burdick of Oakfield 
  • Kenneth Kline of Oakfield
  • Natalie Utz of Bergen 
  • Emily Johnson of Bergen
  • Kaitlyn Windhauser of Bergen 
  • Joan-Marie Gabalski of Byron
  • Bryanne Puma of Byron
  • Sean Whiting of Le Roy
  • Brock Flint of Le Roy
  • Amy Kaplun of Le Roy
  • Makayla Grant of Le Roy 
  • Willard Prevost of Le Roy 
  • Maille Martin of Le Roy
  • Lauren Russell of Pavilion 

SUNY GCC announces spring 2023 provost's list

By Press Release

Press Release:

243 students from Genesee Community College named to Provost's List. Students honored on the Provost's List have maintained part-time enrollment and earned a quality point index of 3.75 (roughly equivalent to an A) or better.

  • Melanie Pohl of Alexander 
  • Phyllissa Mitzel of Alexander 
  • Ian Edmonds of Alexander
  • Alan Riggi of Alexander 
  • Kevin Neureuter of Batavia
  • Carrie Lathan of Batavia
  • Jill Kratz of Batavia 
  • Maranda Vanelli of Batavia
  • Michelle Witherow of Batavia 
  • Jennifer Kula of Batavia
  • Naomi Peck of Batavia 
  • Lauren Reimer of Batavia
  • Anthony Haitz of Batavia
  • Brandon Delaporte of Batavia
  • Amanda Woodrich of Batavia
  • Stephanie Gordon of Batavia
  • Shamiqua Hickman of Batavia
  • David Boyce of Batavia 
  • Kelly Smith of Batavia
  • Catherine Richardson of Batavia
  • Kingsley Antwi Darkwa of Batavia
  • Alexander Frank of Batavia
  • Seth Coburn of Batavia
  • James Pulliam of Batavia
  • Don Buckel of Batavia
  • Leah Buckel of Batavia
  • Katie Abaire of Batavia
  • Theresa Tesch of Batavia 
  • Elizabeth Rindell of Batavia 
  • Jessica Barone of Batavia 
  • Maia Hoffman-Miller of Batavia
  • Sara Smith of Batavia
  • Samantha Conibear of Batavia 
  • Mikhail Saxton of Corfu
  • Neve Tilley of Corfu 
  • Colton Tarbell of Corfu 
  • Raymond Vanelli of Corfu 
  • Autumn Korytkowski of Corfu
  • Trenton Woods of East Bethany 
  • Aidan McClurg of Elba
  • Elizabeth Verratti of Elba
  • Genevieve Roman of Oakfield
  • Cierra Tiede of Oakfield 
  • Melinda Osborn of Oakfield 
  • Jacob Cone of Stafford
  • Amara Condidorio of Le Roy
  • Matthew Bolton of Le Roy
  • Dylan Dziekan of Pavilion

RIT announce local graduates for the 2022-2023 academic year

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Press Release:

Rochester Institute of Technology(RIT) conferred more than 4,800 degrees at all of its campuses in the 2022-2023 academic year. RIT's academic convocation celebration was held in May and featured remarks by Thomas Zurbuchen, astrophysicist and the longest continually serving associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate in NASA's history.

The following local residents received degrees:

  • Nicholas Kelly of Byron received a degree in software engineering (BS)
  • Andrew Pickard of Batavia received a degree in software engineering (BS)
  • Sophia Zwolinski of Corfu received a degree in mechanical engineering (BS)
  • Maddi Howard of Elba received a degree in psychology (BS)
  • Megan Conibear of Corfu received a degree in global business management (BS)
  • Jacob Gualtieri of Le Roy received a degree in computer engineering (BS)
  • Kyle Tezanos of Batavia received a degree in materials science and engineering (MS)
  • Rachel Schauf of Batavia received a degree in secondary education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing (MS)
  • Ella Llewellyn of Batavia received a degree in medical illustration (BFA)
  • Will Palmer of Batavia received a degree in new media design (BFA)
  • Callee Norton of Elba received a degree in biomedical sciences (BS)
  • Chase Roth of Alexander received a degree in web and mobile computing (BS)
  • Colin Hunt of Batavia received a degree in packaging science (BS)
  • Michaela Mesiti of Le Roy received a degree in science, technology and public policy (MS)

SUNY Cortland announces spring 2023 president's list

By Press Release

Press Release:

A total of 696 SUNY Cortland students earned President's List honors for the Spring 2023 semester. To qualify for the President's List, students must earn a grade of A- or better in each of their classes while carrying a course load of 12 hours or more.

  • Emma Efing of Le Roy (Adoles Educ-Social Studies)
  • Emma Gutowski of Corfu (Professional Writing)

Brady Fix earns a spot on the dean's list at Coastal Carolina university

By Press Release

Press Release:

More than 2,400 undergraduate students at Coastal Carolina University were named to the Dean's List for the Spring 2023 semester, including Brady Fix, from Le Roy. Students who make the Dean's List have achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher (3.25 for freshmen) for the semester.

Byron-Bergen Teacher Joins Great Lakes Research Voyage

By Press Release
Participants on Lake Guardian research voyage.
Pete Spence is 5th from right.

Press Release:

On July 6, Byron-Bergen Secondary Science Teacher Pete Spence boarded the U.S. EPA Lake Guardian for a seven-day voyage to conduct research on Lake Ontario. Spence was one of 15 participating teachers taking part in the annual expedition which collected data in several locations looking at algae, zooplankton, and benthic organisms.

“I was interested in doing research on the Great Lakes, so I applied and was accepted,” said Spence. He requested and was assigned to the team examining differences in zooplankton populations from the east to the west end of the lake. “We also used acoustic (sonar) techniques to locate migratory shrimp species that stay on the bottom of the lake during the day and move toward the surface at night.”

Spence also assisted in research teams collecting blue-green algae levels at depths up to 40 meters and quagga mussel populations from 60 to 120 meters deep. The Lake Guardian docked in Youngstown and the participants toured the Niagara Falls gorge, an experience which many of the out-of-state teachers had never had. They then set out to collect a series of samples starting from the Welland Canal and crossing the lake to Toronto.

During one memorable experiment, the crew submerged Styrofoam cups in one of the deepest parts of Lake Ontario to observe how pressure impacts volume. The water pressure compressed them to approximately half of their original size. “I plan to have my students write their names on Styrofoam cups which I will send to the EPA for this experiment,” said Spence. “After they have been submerged in Lake Superior and returned to us, the students can measure the changes.”

Seven days after setting out on Lake Ontario, the crew disembarked at Port Rochester on July 12. “One of the things that I’m bringing back to Byron-Bergen is using the Great Lakes in my Environmental AP class,” said Spence. “The Great Lakes have always been of interest to me, being that we live so near them, I think it’s a great opportunity for students to see the bigger picture.”

Spence examines map with researchers
Spence and colleagues collect samples, Pete Spence is on right.
Lake Guardian research participants, Pete Spence is back right 

Hartwick College recognizes Alayna Streeter for academic distinction

By Press Release

Press Release:

During Hartwick College's Athletics Award Ceremony held in late spring, Alayna Streeter of Le Roy, received the Philip S. Wilder Jr. Award for Academic Distinction.

Streeter, who is majoring in Nursing, was among a group of student-athletes and/or managers of teams recognized for attaining a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Carli Kirkwood of Byron earns dean's list honors at UT

By Press Release

Press Release:

Carli Kirkwood, of Byron, earned dean's list honors at The University of Tampa for the Spring 2023 semester. Kirkwood is a Junior majoring in International Business and Marketing BS. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.75 or higher to be eligible for the dean's list.

Dr. Heddy joins Advanced Podiatry Associates

By Press Release

Press Release:

Submitted photo of 
Dr. Ben Heddy

Advanced Podiatry Associates is excited to announce the addition of Dr. Ben Heddy to the practice. Dr. Heddy is board qualified in foot surgery by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. 

He specializes in all aspects of foot and ankle problems including diabetic foot and wound care, heel pain/plantar fasciitis, reconstruction and correction of foot deformities including bunions/hammertoes/flat foot, excision of ganglions and neuromas, tarsal tunnel release, treatment of foot and ankle tendonitis, ankle sprains, foot and ankle arthritis, ingrown toenails, warts and a multitude of skin conditions of the foot an ankle.

“Dr Ben” was born in California and raised in New Jersey where he later earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma, completed a two year mission in Buenos Aires Argentina, and earned his medical degree at Arizona College of Podiatric Medicine. 

He completed his 3-year surgical residency at Rochester General Hospital where he served as “Chief Resident” and, like most residents, perform nearly 900 surgeries involving the foot and ankle including CO2 laser certification. 

He has attended many courses on advanced foot and ankle reconstruction. During his graduation, his fellow residents and attending physicians resonated that Dr. Ben was one of the kindest and most passionate residents to graduate always willing to go the extra mile for his patients and his colleagues.

Dr. Ben will reside in Batavia with his wife and three children, helping provide immediate care to patients in emergent situations involving foot and ankle problems. Dr. Ben also is fluent in Spanish and enjoys volunteering at his church, road trips, hiking, swimming cooking, and reading.

We look forward to adding his expertise to Advanced Podiatry Associates and helping provide the community with much quicker access to appointments and emergent podiatric care. He will be on staff at United Memorial Medical Center and Orleans Community Hospital.

Le Roy Auxiliary member Klaiber guest speaker at Empire Girls State

By Press Release
Submitted photo of Kathleen McCann Klaiber speaking at opening ceremonies at Empire Girls State.

Press Release:

On July 2 Kathleen McCann Klaiber served as a guest speaker during the opening ceremonies at this year's Empire Girls State hosted at Brockport College. Klaiber also trained staff on the subject of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Approximately 300 people attended the ceremonies.

Klaiber is an American Legion Auxiliary Botts-Fiorito Unit 576 of LeRoy member and a professor at GCC. Klaiber is also an alumna of Girls State along with her daughter Maureen. 

Castle named to the spring 2023 president's list at HVCC

By Press Release

Press Release:

Natalie Castle, of Basom, was named to the Spring 2023 President's List at Hudson Valley Community College. Castle is studying in the Individual Studies academic program.

Each fall and spring term, the college's President's List names those full-time students and part-time students registered for at least six college credits who have a term average of between 3.5 and 4.0 and who received no grade of "D," "F," "I," "Z," or "W" on their record for that term. Students must have completed at least 12 college credits successfully.

Morasco honored for over a decade of service

By Press Release
Pictured: (left to right) Captain Rachel Moore, Michael Morasco, Kathryn Moore, and Captain Bradley Moore
Photo submitted by Todd Rapp.

Press Release:

Michael Morasco was presented with a plaque honoring him for 13 years of service to The Salvation Army in Batavia as a Social Services Caseworker. Mike came to The Salvation Army after retiring from a career at DSS. “Mike was a valuable asset and will be missed” stated Operations Manager Todd Rapp.

HLOM announces Garth Swanson Memorial scholarship recipient

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the winner of the Inaugural Garth Swanson Memorial Scholarship. 

Dawson Young of Batavia has been selected as the recipient of our $500 scholarship in memory of Garth Swanson, a former board member of the museum and beloved professor at Genesee Community College.

Dawson Young is a 2023 graduate of Batavia High School. Dawson was a member of the Link Crew, Model UN Club, National Art Honor Society, and CloseUp while in High School. He also has volunteered with Care-A-Van Ministries and City Church. Dawson also worked through the Summer Youth Employment Program at Genesee Regional Arts Council (GoART!) and at the museum. 

Dawson will be attending GCC in the Fall to study History Education. There will be a recognition ceremony on Wednesday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.

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