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January 16, 2021 - 12:12pm

The Batavia City School District is asking families to make a final selection of which learning model — in-person hybrid or 100-percent remote — they want for their children in preparation for the start of the second semester of the 2020–21 academic year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Jan. 13 statement from the district, Superintendent of Schools Anibal Soler Jr. requested that families submit changes to their students’ learning modalities by Jan. 22. He said that this deadline will afford the district enough time to make adjustments to academic programming and transportation services before the semester begins Feb. 1.

“It may not change our numbers a lot, but at least we know moving forward that that is the final in-person hybrid and the final remote rosters that principals could use to kind of lock in the rest of their year,” Soler said at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.

Families that would like to select a different learning method for the semester should complete the second semester Learning Model Form for each child in their household who seeks the change. Requests for changes can also be made via phone call to students’ respective schools. Those who do not want to modify their students’ academic format do not need to take action.

This survey process aims to strengthen the teacher-student experience for both in-person hybrid learners and remote learning students. The statement said that this learning model selection will allow teachers and administrators to plan more effectively for a stable end to “a difficult and fluid” school year.

“We don't want to burn out our teachers because they've already flip-flopped so much in the way that they teach,” Board Member Tanni Bromley said. “So if they can have a consistent roster, it would be easier for them to decide how they're going to move forward.”

The district’s in-person hybrid students shift between receiving face-to-face and at-home online instruction based on the cohort they are in. All remote-only learners complete their classes entirely in a virtual setting. Board members said at Monday’s meeting that some families have switched between these models multiple times throughout the first semester.

“Consistency for the student is probably best, too, in that if a parent chooses one, then it would be best to kind of ride that out,” Board Member Shawna Murphy said. “Get them through this year and hopefully we won't even be dealing with this next year. But the flip-flopping for the kid isn't good either.”

As of Jan. 15, BCSD reported that 92 individuals, on or off campus, among its students, teachers and staff members are currently testing positive for COVID-19. The district’s statement noted that it may need to transition to 100-percent virtual instruction for all students if an issue related to COVID-19 arises during the second semester. 

BCSD previously switched to fully remote instruction from Dec. 7, 2020 to Jan. 4, 2021 because of staffing shortages related to a rise in positive COVID-19 cases among its students, teachers and staff, and throughout Genesee County. An influx of family requests to move children from hybrid to remote learning was cited as a challenge the district faced in the days leading up to this switch.

“All of our teachers are feeling burned out,” Soler said. “I mean it is tough to navigate this virtual and remote, and it's just a harder year. So our teachers are working like maniacs. They're planning. They're trying to prepare.”

Changes to instruction methods will take effect Feb. 1 and remain in place for the duration of the school year. However, according to the statement, a student’s school may contact parents and guardians at any time during the semester to suggest a modification to the child’s learning format to accommodate their academic needs.

In terms of exceptions to learning model commitments, Soler said he wants families to understand “that if there's a situation that comes about, that they would need to go through their principal first, prior to seeking approval to change, but that only extreme extenuating circumstances would be considered.”

A mandatory quarantine period does not alter the second semester learning method of an in-person hybrid student who tests positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone who receives a positive test result.

“If that child is quarantined, then he has to go out,” Board Member John Reigle said. “If they test positive, they're out for a certain period. But that person committed to in-person [instruction]. Once they're cleared, they can come back.”

Board members expressed optimism at Monday’s meeting about the sense of normalcy and ease of mind that the second semester learning model selection can potentially bring to everyone.

“To kind of know what's going to be happening for the rest of the school year in February, I think that's a good thing because it's kind of getting back to normal,” Murphy said. “Regardless of what you choose, it's going to stay the same.”

The next board meeting will be livestreamed at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 on the school district’s Board of Education YouTube channel.

January 16, 2021 - 11:55am
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, Batavia City Council, news, notify.

In the coming weeks, Batavia City Council members will engage in a review process to finalize the city’s 2021–22 budget based on Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski’s recommended cutbacks to municipal services amid COVID-19 financial challenges.

At Monday night’s City Council business meeting, Tabelski presented a proposed pathway to economic recovery that summarized city revenues and expenses. She said that despite her pride in generating a financially sound budget, it was difficult to put together a fiscal plan because of income losses related to pandemic shutdowns and the subsequent economic downturn.

“I can honestly say that none of us like this budget,” she said. “The restraints and restrictions forced upon us by reduced revenue and state aid will not allow the city to operate as business as usual. There are services that will need to be reduced or cut altogether if we are to achieve a budget within the tax cap.”

She said city budget shortfalls have been compounded by a projected 20-percent decrease -- $350,000 -- in aid and incentives for municipalities. State and federal relief measures have focused on providing businesses with loans and grants, and individuals with stimulus checks, unemployment benefits and eviction and foreclosure moratoriums.

“Within the latest stimulus bill that was passed, there was yet no aid to local governments,” she said. “There is potential for local government funding relief with the new administration, but at this time there are no guarantees and it is not reflected in the fiscal ’21–’22 budget.”

Resident service scalebacks include reduced staffing levels at the local police and fire departments, community policing, arts funding, academic development, special police details and community events. Administrative services, public works and government personnel expenditures will also experience significant cost reductions.

“Restorations of these services will ultimately depend on the economic recovery of the nation as a whole or re-examining priority services for the city,” Tabelski said.

Though cuts and hiring freezes have occurred across departments, increases in city employee wages and expenses, like Social Security and retirement costs, will leave a $1.2 million gap between revenue and expenditures in comparison to the previous fiscal year.

The prospective budget includes the layoff of an ordinance enforcement officer, a retirement incentive for a police officer and several unfilled jobs. Tabelski said the city remains committed to investment in workers compensation and health insurance, budgeted at $294,000 and $2.6 million, respectively.

The property tax rate increase is slated to be 1.38 percent, which would change the rate from $9.59 to $9.73 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value. This year, the city saw a $175,000 decrease in sales tax — its largest single source of annual revenue — and a general fund decline of approximately $800,000.

“The current conditions in the general fund are unsustainable,” Tabelski said. “Future budgets will depend on the ability of the economy ... to recover lost state aid, for us to find sources of revenue.”

Tabelski said the city should become less dependent on the fund balance, reserves and water fund revenue in budgets going forward. She suggested to council members that renovations to commercial and residential properties throughout the community could serve as valuable income streams.

“Despite these difficult economic times, the City of Batavia continues to see investment and economic development in terms of construction and building improvements,” she said. “There are many active developers looking at our city for market-rate housing projects that will draw new small businesses downtown.”

The interim city manager praised Batavia government leaders for their efforts and expressed confidence in their planning to deliver the services that city residents and employees require.

“I anticipate that our budget work sessions to follow will be extremely detailed and filled with proactive conversations so the city can achieve the budget that meets the needs of the organization, the employees and our residents,” she said.

In other action, City Council:

  • Endorsed a Batavia Business Improvement District application to the 2020 New York Main Street Anchor Grant for a multipurpose events and entertainment space. If awarded the state grant for up to $500,000, the funding would be used to renovate the external façade and interior of the Batavia Showtime movie theater at 6 Alva Place.

  • Approved a resolution that authorized Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. to sign the amended Dwyer Stadium leasing agreement. This is a five-year agreement in which the Batavia Regional Recreation Corporation will lease the stadium to CAN-USA Sports LLC. 

  • Heard from City Attorney George Van Nest that local code enforcement deadlines are being delayed by the state legislature’s COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act. The act extends New York’s eviction moratorium until May 1 for tenants who have endured pandemic-related hardship.

The first budget work session will be held after the council’s next conference meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 25 in the Council Board Room on the second floor of City Hall, followed by a second session Feb. 1.

January 15, 2021 - 7:00pm


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There is an extra deep attached garage which leads out to fully fenced back yard with an additional fenced in area and large utility shed! Outside is landscaped with loads of perennials so you can ease right into sunny weather -- make an appointment today! Call Lynn Bezon 585-344-HOME (4663). Click here to view this listing.

January 15, 2021 - 4:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, crime, batavia, Le Roy, Stafford, news, notify.

Donna Hartman is indicted for the crime of second-degree identity theft, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on July 6 in the Town of Dalton, Livingston County, that Hartman knowingly and intentionally assumed the identity of another person in order to benefit herself monetarily in an amount exceeding $500. It is alleged in the first count that she presented herself to Livingston County Ambulance staff as a person residing on Fargo Road in Stafford, resulting in an ambulance bill for $835 to be sent to the victim. In count two, she is accused of the same crime at Noyes Memorial Hospital, resulting in a bill for hospital service to be sent to the same victim for $732.65. In counts three and four, Hartman is accused of falsifying business records in the first degree, also a Class E felony, for her actions to cause ambulance service records and also hospital business records to reflect false information regarding her name and address.

Jorge L. Rodriguez is indicted for the crime of second-degree criminal mischief, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 22 on the Thruway that he intentionally damaged property belonging to another person -- a 2017 Chevrolet -- in an amount exceeding $1,500. In count two, Rodriguez is accused of second-degree reckless endangerment. It is alleged that he drove recklessly that day, in a manner that created substantial risk of serious physical injury. He is accused in count two of purposely ramming his vehicle into the victim's vehicle while another victim was standing between the two vehicles.

Amanda M. Webb is indicted for the crime of criminal mischief in the third degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 1 in the City of Batavia that Webb intentionally damaged property belonging to another person -- a 2009 Chevrolet -- in an amount exceeding $250. In count two she is accused of second-degree harassment. It is alleged in count two that Webb, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person, struck, shoved, kicked or otherwise subjected a victim to physical contact or threatened to do so.

Lawrence D. Williams is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree, a Class C felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 4 while at Walmart in Batavia that he passed a counterfeit $100, knowing it was not real, with the intent to defraud.

Joshua G. Bachorski is indicted for second-degree burglary, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 9 Bachorski knowingly entered or remained unlawfully in a dwelling on Pearl Street in the City of Batavia with the intent to commit a crime. In count two, he is accused of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony, for likewise entering an outbuilding at the same address on that date with the same intention. In count three, he is accused of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly stealing a lawnmower owned by the victim.

Taylor K. Laird is indicted for the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, per se, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on May 28 in the City of Batavia that she drove a 2002 Dodge on Pearl Street while having a BAC of .08 percent or more, and while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count two, Laird is accused of aggravated DWI, a Class E felony, while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count three, Laird is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, another Class E felony, for driving that day while her license was suspended or revoked by authorities, and while she was under the influence of alcohol or a drug.

Chad M. Putney is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a misdemeanor. It is alleged that on March 30 in the Town of Le Roy that Putney drove a 2008 Ford on Route 5 while he was intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor, for having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count three, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony, for having in effect three or more suspensions at the the time, imposed on at least three separate dates: Feb. 3, 2018; Dec. 8, 2018; and July 15, 2019 for failure to answer, appear or pay a fine.

January 15, 2021 - 3:03pm

Members of Batavia Police Advisory Collaboration Stakeholder Group are ready to keep the momentum going.

Their Gov. Andrew Cuomo-assigned task completed, members last night said they felt like some good things had been accomplished for the community and they want to keep going, if not in the group's current form, at least in focus groups and through its participation in police-related committees.

"I don't think the conversation ends here," said Victor Thomas, a member of the group and a member of the Just Kings Social Club. "Like I said earlier, with the chief and assistant chief, these are both people that want to have this conversation with or without this group. They went above and beyond, like I said, to form other groups and actually hear the community's voice. So I don't think this is something that's just going to stop here because Cuomo said we had to do this. We actually have a police chief and assistant9 chief that care about their community. So that's huge."

Chief Shawn Heubush said there is no plan for the conversation to stop.

"One of the things that we talked about is actually inviting the community to our policing community policing meeting because it's usually an internal-facing meeting where we try to come up with ways to integrate ourselves into the community," Heubusch said. "We realized, as Detective (Matthew) Wojtaszek had mentioned that we don't have any citizens on this committee. Why don't we have a citizen or two on this committee to help us in getting into the areas that we need to get into and focusing on those areas? So that would be something that I would see to try to keep this conversation going, inviting more people to talk to those types of functions.

"I really look forward to a citizens' police academy. I certainly hope we can make that happen because I think that is a perfect opportunity. You know, just looking at other communities that have done it, a perfect opportunity for us to really serve the public a lot better and have that educational piece that I think we need so, so very badly with our community, the back and forth conversation as well. And the focus group, as Victor mentioned, we're going to keep going with that. I think that's extremely important."

Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski said she expects the city to make community and police relations part of its regular focus in the future, perhaps adding a review process as part of the budget process.

"It is up to myself and the chief to follow up with counsel on an annual basis to see how this is going and how it's evolved," Tabelski said. "The plan doesn't get finished and put on the shelf, is what I'm trying to say. I think both the chief and I are committed to making sure that we are reviewing this and trying to make this into our strategic priorities that come forward to counsel every single year at budget time as well."

The stakeholder's group was charged, by executive order, by reviewing all relevant police policies and procedures and make recommendations for changes. There were no recommended changes in the area of things like arrest procedures and use of force but committee members expressed a strong interest in improving mental health intervention as well as community-police relationships.

The written plan produced by the committee will be presented to the City Council on Jan. 25 and become available for public review at that time. There will be a public comment period and the council will be asked to approve it and send it to the governor's office, to comply with the executive order, on March 8.

Near the top of the meeting, Pastor Marty Macdonald of City Church started the discussion about how far the city has come in the area of community and police relations, especially in regards to people of color.

"Ten years ago, this meeting would have never happened," Macdonald said. "Not with the people that we have on (the committee). I am so grateful for Victor being in this group. Victor, what would you have thought five years ago if you were to be invited to this?

"I'm on the CJAC (Criminal Justice Advisory Council) committee, too," he added. "They approved Greg Monroe to be a part of the CJAC. To me, this is the essence of what this whole thing is about, that to a degree, our community has been, I'm not certain that it's been deliberate, but it's just been there's been no attention to it and we have put attention to it now. And I think we've moved in an incredibly positive way."

Victor Thomas said he was grateful to see progress made.

"I applaud the chief because, from the beginning, before the march, before any of this came down, he was there," Thomas said. "He was willing to hear concerns. He was there the day of the march and he was willing to hear his community's cry. I think that showed even more, like you saying, like this conversation needs to happen even without the governor. Yeah, the governor passed (this order) down, but we took that and we created another focus group to look deeper in once we didn't get the results that we wanted from a survey.

"It shows what's manifesting," he added. "It shows the growth in Batavia, and I'm just happy to be a part of it. I'm happy to have my thoughts and Greg's thoughts and other minority thoughts actually taken it into consideration and actually put down in this plan. Like my friend was saying in the beginning, yeah, it should stand for everybody, but I'm glad that the focus remained where the focus needed to be. And I'm happy to be a part of that. And I'm happy to continue the focus group."

January 14, 2021 - 12:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Margaret R. Cecere, of Batavia, was among more than 2,325 students named to the Fall 2020 dean's list at Kutztown University.

To be eligible for the dean's list, an undergraduate student must be registered for at least 12 credits and have a minimum grade-point average of 3.60. 

About Kutztown University of Pennsylvania 

Founded in 1866, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is a proud member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education located on 289 acres nestled in the beautiful East Penn Valley in Berks County, between Reading and Allentown, Pa. KU is just two hours from New York City; 90 minutes from Philadelphia. 

As the region's center for excellence in academics, culture and public engagement, KU's programs and reputation for quality offer students the opportunity to discover lifelong avenues of learning and discovery. KU students select from more than 100 areas of study within four colleges in a diverse liberal arts academic environment. To complement their studies, KU's NCAA Division II athletics program with 21 varsity sports joins the more than 160 student clubs and organizations providing students with a variety of activities for learning and discovery.

January 14, 2021 - 11:29am
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, batavia, notify.

Chad Michael Johnston, 34, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree -- a stimulant. At 1:07 a.m. on Jan. 14 Johnston was arrested. He was observed by Genesee County Emergency dispatchers in the vestibule of the Sheriff's Office on Park Road in Batavia. While there, he was allegedly observed on video footage using a lighter in the corner. Upon further investigation, he was allegedly found in possession of seven baggies of crack cocaine. It was also found that Johnston allegedly used the lighter to light a glass pipe to smoke the crack cocaine while inside the vestibule. He was held in county jail and arraigned at 9 o'clock the same morning in Batavia City Court. Bail, if any, or status not provided. The case was handled by Deputy Jacob Gauthier, assisted by Sheriff James Stack.

Tawnya L. Muscato, 30, no address provided, of Batavia, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree; and speeding. She was arrested by the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office after a traffic stop on Route 98 at School Street in the Town of Sheldon on Dec. 27. Moscato was stopped for allegedly speeding -- driving at 56 mph in a 35-mph zone -- on Route 20A. During the traffic stop she was allegedly found to possess five bags of suspected fentanyl and multiple pieces of drug use and packaging paraphernalia. In addition, she allegedly performed poorly on roadside sobriety testing and was taken to the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office for processing. While there, a Drug Recognition Expert from Warsaw Police Department evaluated her and allegedly determined Moscato was impaired by drugs and unable to drive a vehicle safely. She was released to a sober third party after being issued appearance tickets to be in Town of Sheldon Court Jan. 11. The case was handled by Sgt. Colin Reagan.

January 13, 2021 - 2:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in girl scouts, news, batavia.

img_3446girlscouts.jpg

The Girl Scouts branch office on Jackson Street in Batavia closed its doors at the start of the coronavirus pandemic with services to members being provided virtually, by mail, and by other service center locations.

Now that location is closing, said Callie Johnson, VP of Marketing for Girl Scouts in WNY, but the organization hopes to find another service center site in Batavia once it's safe to reopen.

"Our Batavia office lease expires February 1, 2021," Johnson said. "We had originally planned to identify a new location and relocate to a new space in Batavia that better fit our needs, but due to COVID-19, we are postponing the move.

"To use our resources wisely, we will not renew our lease at this time, and we will wait to move to a new location until after the pandemic and at a time when we can safely reopen. Our goal is to maintain a physical presence in Batavia. In the meantime, we are surveying our members on their input on a new Batavia Office space."

January 12, 2021 - 8:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs, batavia.
Video Sponsor

The Muckdogs will bark again.

True, no longer will the team be comprised of players affiliated with a Major League Baseball team but the majority of players in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League are legitimate professional baseball prospects.

As many as 30 current major league players have passed through the league previously, said Robbie Nichols, the former professional hockey player who already owns a PGCBL team in Elmira and will own the expansion PGCBL Muckdogs in Batavia.

The Genesee County Community Baseball Club, which owns the Muckdogs trademark, has agreed to let Nichols use the team name.

PGCBL is a "wooden bat league" -- a league comprised of amateur players who play or will play Division I or Division II college baseball.

A couple of advantages of collegiate ball over low-level minor league ball, Nichols said, is that the players with a team tend to spend the entire season with a team, so fans get to know them and Nichols said his organization -- CAN-USA Sports -- is committed to fielding a team with about four players from the local area.

The PGCBL regular season consists of 60 games from late May until the end of July. The playoffs and championship are in the first week of August.

Season tickets are on sale now and start at $99. There is also a VP ticket package for $199. Existing Muckdogs season ticket holders will have priority to retain the seats they had in previous seasons.

January 12, 2021 - 1:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

bathrjan2021_1.jpg

Police are looking for a vehicle and driver involved in a hit-and-run accident on Holmes Avenue in Batavia yesterday.

The incident was reported at about 11 a.m. Monday.

A resident described the suspect vehicle as a gray Jeep Cherokee that will be missing a front headlight.  

The vehicle struck a parked car and hit a mailbox.

Anyone with information that may assist in the investigation can contact Batavia PD at (585) 343-5000.

bathrjan2021_2.jpg

January 11, 2021 - 2:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Oakfield, Pavilion.

Judy Kaye Ward, 69, of East Park Road, Albion, is charged with criminal trespass. On Jan. 5 at 7:50 p.m. Genesee County Sheriff's Office was called to an address in the first block of Sunset Parkway in Oakfield for the report of a burglary. After an investigation, it was allegedly determined that the landlord of the property -- Ward -- entered the residence of the victim through a side door and remained unlawfully on the premises. She was arrested then released with an appearance ticket to be in Oakfield Town Court on Feb. 8. The case was handled by Deputy Kyle Tower, assisted by Deputy Erik Andre.

Walter Bernard Hale Jr., 43, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with: felony driving while intoxicated -- with two previous convictions within 10 years; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; use of a motor vehicle with an ignition interlock device; refusal to take a breath test; drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle while on a public highway; and having no front license plate. At 5:29 p.m. Jan. 9, Hale was arrested after a traffic stop on Ellicott Street Road in the Town of Pavilion. It is alleged that Hale drove a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and while his driver's license was revoked. He was jailed without bail after arraignment in Pavilion Town Court and is due in Genesee County Court on Feb. 8. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jordan Alejandro, assisted by Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush.

Mark L. Farley, 52, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: unlawful imprisonment; criminal obstruction of breathing; and criminal contempt in the first degree. He was arrested after a domestic incident at noon Dec. 31 on Harvester Avenue, arraigned in Batavia City Court, then put in Genesee County Jail with bail set at $1,000 cash or $2,500 bond or $5,000 partially secured bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

David N. Hanna, 44, no permanent address, Batavia, is charged with obstructing a government official and failure to obey a police officer. On Jan. 6 at about 2 a.m., Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis noticed a vehicle in the area of Jackson and Center streets driven by a person allegedly exhibiting suspicious behavior. After some time, McGinnis approached the driver to investigate the possiblity of intoxication. Hanna reportedly immediately attempted to flee in his vehicle from the officer, but was stopped short of doing so when other officers arrived on scene. "Hanna was highly uncooperative with officers and refused to get out of his vehicle." Hanna was arrested, arraigned in Batavia City Court, then released on his own recognizance. He is due back in city court on Feb. 16. McGinnis was assisted by Officer Arick Perkins in the case.

John A. Cabrera, 53, of Mill Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass and harassment. Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Cabrera on Jan. 6 after the defendant allegedly pushed a person during an argument at 4:21 p.m. that day at a rooming house on Mill Street in Batavia. Cabrera was arraigned in Batavia City Court then released on his own recognizance. He is due back in city court on Feb. 25. Post was assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Linda A. Styer, 34, of Clay Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested on Jan. 5 after she allegedly pushed a shopping cart into another person after an argument at 4:58 p.m. at a business on East Main Street in Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket for Feb. 23 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson.

Kyle A. Scheuerlein, 28, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested on Jan. 1 at a lower apartment on Washington Avenue in the City of Batavia after being observed at 3:50 p.m. New Year's Day at the residence of a person who has a stay away order of protection. The officers were investigating another incident at the time when they spotted Scheuerlein. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail on $7,000 cash bail or $15,000 bond or $25,000 partially secured bond. He is due back in court Feb. 4. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Samuel Freeman. 

Kyle A. Scheuerlein, 28, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested on Jan. 1 at a lower apartment on Washington Avenue in the City of Batavia. It is alleged that on Dec. 18 he spit on a person during an argument at 10:55 p.m. He was processed, arraigned in Batavia City Court, released on his own recognizance but held on charges relating to a separate incident. He is due back in court on Feb. 4. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Samuel Freeman.

Kyle A. Scheuerlein, 28, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt and second-degree burglary. He was arrested on Jan. 1 at a lower apartment on Washington Avenue in the City of Batavia. It is alleged that on Dec. 19 at 12:25 a.m. that he was observed at the residence of a person who has a stay away order of protection. The officers were investigating another incident at the time. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail on $7,000 cash bail or $15,000 bond or $25,000 partially secured bond. He is due back in court Feb. 4. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Samuel Freeman. 

Jason William Whitehead, 23, of Shady Lane, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested on Dec. 31 after an incident that occurred at 2:42 p.n. Dec. 30 on East Main Street in Batavia. It is alleged that Whitehead damaged another person's vehicle during an argument. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Samuel Freeman.

Randy K. Wilmet, 44, of Bank Street, Batavia, was arrested Jan. 1 on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court for allegedly failing to appear in court Nov. 10 on a charge(s) from a previous arrest (unspecified). He was put in jail after arraignment and bail set at $5,000 cash, $10,000 bond or $20,000 partially secured bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Cassandra  M. D'arconte, 22, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. She was arrested after the investigation of a violation of an order of protection that occurred at 2:14 a.m. on Dec. 31 on North Street in the City of Batavia. She was issued at appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson.

Justin Thomas Stimson, 33, Hartshorn Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. On Jan. 8, after an investigation into the alleged fraudulent placement of several firearms on a pistol permit, Stimson was arrested. The incident allegedly occurred on Main Street in Batavia on June 22. Stimson was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released on his own recognizance. He is due back in city court March 4. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Nicole Lee Cramer, 31, of Albany Street, Buffalo, is charged with petit larceny. At 10:02 a.m. on Jan. 6, Cramer was arrested on a warrant out of Town of Batavia Court for an incident reported at April 16 on Clinton Street in Batavia. She was taken to jail then arraigned in Genesee County Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings.

David Paul Haka, 57, of Bowerman Avenue, Scottsville, is charged with petit larceny. Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Haka on a warrant out of Batavia City Court for an incident reported at 2:21 p.m. Sept. 28 on East Main Street in Batavia. Haka was arraigned in Batavia City Court then released on his own recognizance. He is due back in city court Feb. 24.

Frank James Morrocco, 64, of Grant Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested Jan. 4 on a warrant out of Batavia City Court. It is alleged that on March 14 that Morrocco stole merchandise from a business on West Main Street in the City of Batavia. He was arraigned in city court then released under supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due back in court on Feb. 25. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

January 10, 2021 - 1:24pm

The Batavia Police Collaboration Advisory Stakeholders Group, formed in response to an executive order from the governor, is nearing the completion of its official task but that won't mean the end of an effort to improve relations between police officers and local residents.

A draft resolution and draft report expected to go to the City Council in a few weeks for approval says the city meets all of the state's requirements on a variety of areas the group needed to review, but it also says there will be efforts to increase communication between the Police Department and residents both broadly and individually.

That outcome wasn't explicitly called for in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order, which was intended to bring community members, local leaders and police officials together to discuss and review policies related to use of force, arrest, de-escalation, dealing with mental health issues, and how police officers are hired and fired.

Interim City Manager Rachel Tabelski said at Thursday's group meeting that she was impressed with how the group conducted its business.

"We came together because there was an executive order passed but I think and I'm really proud of this group," Tabelski said. "We've taken it beyond the executive order that we've looked at, the part we got through, all the policies we've got through, all the procedures that we felt that those were up to date, in my opinion, and that they were kept up to date and then we talked about the community and engagement. So the plan really moves us into strategies of community engagement and strategies of increased interaction with our community."

There's already been one focus group meeting -- members of the stakeholders' group, some other community members, and police leaders -- focused on issues related to interactions between police officers and people of color in the community. It's expected there will be other similar meetings. 

Chief Shawn Heubusch shared a preview of an app and a website he said will help the department communicate with the public.

There's strong support, too, for increased foot patrols, community events, and the development of personal relationships between officers and community members.

Thursday's meeting started with a review of a recent survey of residents about community and police relations.

Survey respondents seemed to generally have a favorable view of Batavia PD.  

About a third of the respondents indicated that their last interaction with the department was at a community event. Almost 80 percent rated their interaction with police officers as being professional or very professional, and only 8 percent deemed the interaction was unprofessional and or very unprofessional. 

"Interestingly enough, I was able to dive into that question a little bit," Heubusch said. "As you can see, the respondents who indicated that they were arrested by the department, every single one of those respondents stated that the officers treated them very professionally. I was very proud of that fact just to see, even though it's somebody that we dealt with, unfortunately, in a negative light or had a bad day for them, they still rated the department as very professional."

Respondents said the presence of police officers in their neighborhoods makes them feel safer and said the top three priorities for police should be engaging with the community, assigning more officers to work with youth, and assigning more resources to help people with substance abuse issues.

"I kind of alluded to the fact that the people responding to this survey want to see the officers out of the cars walking the beat, more bicycle patrols," Heubusch said. "They want to see their faces more. They want to have more personal interactions. And that's something that we talked about at the focus group, as well as having those personal interactions with the officers, aside from just the response to a call."

There is a lot of interest among group members for officers to be better equipped to deal with mental health issues, either their training, the ready availability of specialists, or officers on duty with that specific responsibility. 

There are officers who currently specialize in responding to mental health situations, Heubusch said, and there is also a group of civilians who are mental health specialists who assist in mental health situations. There is an effort underway in both areas to expand these programs.

"This (program) gives (officers) that added training to de-escalate and really intervene in those crisis mental health crisis situations," Heubusch said. "There's curriculum in the state right now that will certify you as a crisis intervention officer if you go through a certain number of hours of the training. It's a very competitive process. We were lucky enough to put three officers through that training a few years back with a grant that the county received."

The draft resolution and report have not been released to the public yet, but the video below contains a discussion of it and much of it is displayed on the computer screen used during the Zoom call.

January 9, 2021 - 1:49pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Chiropractor Noah Hoy is excited to start working with "Dr. Tom" at Mazurkiewicz Family Chiropractic in Batavia along with Hoy’s Natural Pain Relief company in offering patients the best care possible.

He plans to start accepting patient appointments on Feb. 1st.

Hoy grew up in Batavia, where he started his academic career at Notre Dame High School graduating in 2013 with 28 college credits. He then attended Canisius College of Buffalo, graduating a semester early magna cum laude as a Biology Pre-medicine major.

From there he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, Fla.

During his time at Palmer, Hoy was chosen for the “Most Outstanding Future Alumni Award” by his class. He currently specializes in flexion distraction, instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization technique, soft-tissue therapy, trigger-point therapy and rehab.

He is working toward completing his postdoctorate in Electrodiagnostic Medicine this year.

Mazurkiewicz Family Chiropractic is located at 184 Washington Ave. Phone is (585) 343-9316.

January 9, 2021 - 1:22pm
posted by Press Release in news, Alabama, batavia, corfu, Darien, east pembroke, garage fire.

From Brittany Urban:

Our family wants to express our sincere gratitude and thanks to our friends, family, coworkers, neighbors and community. A couple of weeks (Dec. 15) ago we lost so many of our personal belongings that were stored in our garage to a fire.

We never would have imagined in a million years this would happen to us and were completely shocked, heartbroken and devastated.

After the incident, so many people reached out to us to provide comfort, support, kind words, prayers, donations, their time, and to check in on us.

We found so much comfort in knowing we weren't going through this experience alone and we cannot express in words how much we appreciate each and every one of you.

We also would like to specifically thank the following: Pembroke & Indian Falls fire departments, Alabama, Town & City of Batavia fire departments, Corfu, Darien & East Pembroke fire departments, along with Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young, who was the law enforcement officer on scene.

The hard work of all these firefighters prevented us from losing our house in the fire as well. We are so thankful that didn't happen and that our family was not hurt.

Also, a special thanks to Officer Young who stayed by our side the entire time and helped us stay as calm as possible and went above and beyond for us.

Thank you to each and every one of you who risk your lives every day to help others and do everything you can to keep them safe.

In such a dark, uncertain, negative world these days it's nice to know that there are still good, kind people out there who are willing to come together and support one another in times of tragedy.

We wish each and every one of you a very happy and healthy new year.

Warmest regards,

-- The Urban Family

January 8, 2021 - 1:05pm
posted by Press Release in Gardening, batavia, Cornell Cooperative Extension, news.

Press release:

Start 2021 by joining the Genesee County Master Gardeners for another year of Garden Talk!

On Jan. 21 at noon, we will kick off the series with “DIY Teacup Garden Art.” Master Gardener Bonnie B will share with us her tips for repurposing glassware. This is a fun, easy DIY project to combat the long winter days and create some garden art for a garden enthusiast or yourself!

Feb. 4 – “Sunflowers!” with Master Gardener Brandie W. Sunflowers are a bright and cheerful addition to any garden. They are easy to grow from seed in almost any type of soil and can be sown in succession for a season full of colorful blooms. Sunflowers can be grown for cut flowers, a colorful garden display or even for edible seed; for you or the birds.  Whether you want short, medium, or tall; yellow, burgundy or orange, there’s a sunflower for you.

March 4 –  “No Mow Yards” Manicured lawns are a staple for most front yards. They require a great deal of money and work to keep lush and provide little to no support of a diverse ecosystem. Master Gardener Connie B will explore alternatives to the front lawn that are biodiverse, nature friendly and low maintenance.

For the foreseeable future all Garden Talk programs will be via Zoom. Garden Talk runs from noon to 12:45 p.m. This free series is open to all.  Registration is required. A Zoom link will be sent to your email with your personal link to the event.

Please visit our events page at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County website.

Master Gardener events will be posted on the CCE Genesee County website and on our Facebook page. Check out our YouTube page for previously recorded gardening programs.

January 7, 2021 - 5:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A vehicle is off the road and down an embankment in the area of 9166 Batavia Stafford Townline Road, Batavia.

A first responder reports a subject is complaining of a possible broken arm and extrication will be required.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 5:08 a.m.: A responder on scene says extrication may not be needed.

January 6, 2021 - 5:40pm
posted by Press Release in news, batavia, Washington, D.C., violence.

Statement from Batavia City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr.:

“I fully support peaceful protest as allowed by our constitution and condemn any form of unlawful violence or destruction of property. I understand that many in the country are frustrated, but there are safe and legal ways to address a grievance in our system and government.

"Forcing your way into the Capitol building is the wrong way to go about it. We don’t always have to agree with each other but we should learn to get along with and respect each other. Hopefully as a nation we can learn from this and strive to do better.”

January 6, 2021 - 5:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, scanner, accidents, batavia.

A car vs. pedestrian accident is reported at 26 Harvester Ave. in the city. Possible minor injuries; the pedestrian is up and walking around. City fire is on scene with police and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 5:29 p.m.: The pedestrian was treated at the scene for a cut on the wrist. The assignment is back in service.

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