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August 6, 2019 - 9:32am

Submitted photos and press release:

The sounds of laughter, music, and Shakespeare echo inside an old general store building on Main Street in Perry. When the door is opened, the company members of Shake on the Lake – the oldest-running professional Shakespeare Company in Wyoming County – are revealed.

This is their eighth summer season. Shake on the Lake began its 2019 tour in July, traveling to eight counties in Western New York and the Finger Lakes.

Artists from throughout the country are staging Shakespeare’s most musical show, the pastoral comedy, "As You Like It." The resident company rehearses the show on site in Perry, specializing in “fast, fun, and physical” performances, which bring the arts to public spaces in rural communities.

The play will be performed in Batavia starting at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday, Aug. 8, in the city's Centennial Park.

No tickets required (show is free). Show is 90 minutes without an intermission. Bringing lawn chairs and blankets is recommended. All ages welcome.

Theater artist Josh Rice, who grew up in Perry and graduated from Perry Central School, cofounded Shake on the Lake. Eight seasons later, he returns every summer to produce Shakespeare with a company of professional actors from around the nation.

“We started Shake on the Lake with the intention to create a company based around play and trying to inject that spirit of play into our process, as well as our product," Rice said. "From day one, we focus on play-driven play-making where everyone – from company interns to our senior theater artists – can make a creative impact on the play.

"Giving artists ownership in the creation of a work, as well as the company itself, makes for a much-more rewarding and productive process.”

This summer the Artistic Team chose to tackle Shakespeare’s "As You Like It." The company went from script to show in two and a half weeks, during which time they also present young artist educational programming, community workshops, and outreach to Groveland Correctional Facility through their Voices UnCaged program, which recently received national recognition at the Arts in Corrections national conference in California. Actors live in the community for the summer, many of whom return year after year to work and eventually become seasonal residents.

One of those artists is Chad Bradford, who is associate artistic director for Shake on the Lake and is a founding company member. This summer’s tour is the fifth Shake on the Lake show Bradford has directed as he returns to Western New York after performing with Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

“When I think about presenting Shakespeare in 90 minutes or less like we do at Shake on the Lake, it means we have to listen to each other and use collaboration to create our fun, fast, and physical shows,” Bradford said. “Our spectacle is original music, improvisation, and in having our actors having fun devising and performing.”

Shake on the Lake first began performing at its home stage, Silver Lake, where it continues to have a four-show residency during the first weekend in August. The company has transformed from a single venue to a region-wide tour with 18 shows.

“In the Elizabethan era, companies of performers would travel to the outskirts of the rural British countryside, set up shop, and perform these same Shakespearean plays,” Rice said. “Shake on the Lake echoes this history, and we thrive in communities that have similar rural sensibilities to those 400 years ago. Shakespeare has been performed everywhere, for everyone, and we’re proving that all communities deserve great theater --especially these rural ones.”

“We regularly have audiences in triple-figures," said Managing Director Pilar McKay. “To me, this shows that we are fulfilling our mission to create art that people want to be part of. Shake on the Lake is special because we live, work, and believe in our rural communities.”

Catch Shake on the Lake on tour this year in Wyoming County (Silver Lake – Perry/Castile, Letchworth St. Park, Arcade, and Attica), Genesee (Batavia), Orleans (Point Breeze and Lyndonville), Livingston (Geneseo and Linwood Gardens), Erie (Springville), Monroe (Brockport), Ontario (Cumming Nature Center), and Allegany (Angelica and Wellsville).

For more information about Shake on the Lake, click here.


Shake on the Lake is a live theater festival located in Silver Lake. Founded in 2012, as the only professional theater company in five adjacent counties in Western New York, the mission of the festival is to “entertain, engage, and enrich those in the community by creating theater productions in a natural outdoor setting.”

Show Synopsis:

"As You Like It" follows the story of Rosalind, who faces an uncertain future after the exile of her royal father by her uncle, the newly installed Duke Frederick. Buoyed by her loving cousin, Celia, and the rascally clown, Touchstone, Rosalind makes the best of her lot, and by chance, entrances the eyes of a brave young man, Orlando. After Orlando’s successful wrestling match against the Duke’s champion, both Orlando and Rosalind must secretly flee to uncertain lands to escape the eyre of the new duke as well as Orlando’s jealous brother, Oliver. They run separately to the Forest of Arden, fearing they will never see one another again, not knowing the magic and romance that awaits them in the forest.

Alternative Synopsis:

“All the world’s a stage,” and Shake on the Lake is poised to bring the “players with exits and entrances,” playing “many parts,” as they bring Shakespeare’s most musical comedy, "As You Like It," on tour across Western New York this summer. Join Rosalind, one of Shakespeare’s most savvy and strong heroines as she flees to the Forest of Arden with her comedic sidekicks to find her exiled father, Duke Senior. But what fate awaits her in the woods? Come find out as Shake on the Lake puts its fast, fun, and physical-style on display in this comedy about love, longing, and the beauty of the natural world, incorporating classic Shakespearean tropes like cross-dressing, mistaken identity, live music and songs, and...wrestling. All of Western New York is our stage in this 90-minute musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s "As You Like It," on tour now through Aug. 11.

August 6, 2019 - 6:55am
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, National Night Out.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department is proud to announce, in partnership with City Church, National Night Out 2019.

The event is tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at the St. Anthony's facility at 114 Liberty St..

Liberty Street and Central Avenue in the area of St. Anthony's will be closed starting at 4 p.m.

There will be many displays by first responders, including: the Wyoming County Sheriff's Posse Mounted Patrol; City of Batavia Fire Department; the NY State Park Police, who will demo high-angle rope rescue; and the NY State Police, who will demo the Seat Belt Enforcer.

Car seat installation and safety checks will be provided by the city fire department. There will be a K-9 demonstration and much more.

There will also be face painting, balloon animals, a dunk tank and a live band.

The event is free and City Church will be cooking for those who attend.

Raffles and giveaways will take place throughout the evening.

National Night Out will also serve as a fundraiser to bring back the Police K-9 Program to the City of Batavia Police Department and any donations will go directly for that purpose.

Please come join us for a night of fun and get to know your first responders.

Thanks to the following sponsors for their generous donations to make this event happen:

  • Ken Barrett Chevrolet
  • Chapin International
  • Batavia P.B.A.
  • Graham Corp.
  • Sheriff's Association
  • Target
  • Brian Kemp, T-Shirts Etc.
  • Batavia Family Dental
  • Blondie's Sip-n-Dip
  • Human Energies
  • CSEA
  • Carquest Auto Supply
  • WNY Chiefs of Police
  • Hillside Children's Center
  • Bill's Auto
  • Batavia's Original
  • Salmon Orthodontics
  • City Church
  • Southside Deli
  • The Radley Family
  • O'Lacy's Irish Pub
  • The Benedict Family
  • Red Osier Landmark Restaurant
  • Tompkins Bank of Castile
  • T.Y. Lin International
  • Kiwanis Club of Batavia
  • Artic Refrigeration
  • Dunkin' Donuts
  • Extended Sound, DJ & Event Rentals
  • Toyota of Batavia
  • Northside Deli
  • Batavia Tailor & Cleaners
  • Bohm-Calarco-Smith Funeral Home
  • 7-11
August 5, 2019 - 5:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, antwan odom, ray leach, news, notify.

The stenographer whose Grand Jury work has been called into question in a few criminal cases in Genesee County testified in open court today in a hearing on motions brought by the attorney for Antwan Odom.

Odom is charged with attempted assault, 1st, and criminal possession of a weapon in a case stemming from an altercation with a high school teammate a year ago yesterday.

Susan Ryckman, who is contracted with the county for Grand Jury transcription through Forbes Court Reporting Service, testified today about the equipment used to make transcriptions of proceedings and how that was tied into an automatic audio recording feature on her transcription device.

In 22 years of transcribing grand jury proceedings neither her employer nor any staff member with the District Attorney's Office ever informed her it was against state law to make an audio recording of a grand jury proceeding, Ryckman testified.

While Ryckman said she started handling grand jury work for the county in 1997, she wasn't asked nor did she say in what year she started using a transcription machine that enabled audio recordings of proceedings.

While motions have been made in other criminal cases, and there has been at least one prior hearing on the topic, and in each case, Judge Charles Zambito denied defense motions related to the audio recordings. Odom's attorney, Frank Housh of Buffalo, elected to require another hearing on the issue.

Housh is seeking disclosure of the grand jury minutes -- typically kept confidential and not disclosed to the defense attorney until the start of a trial -- to see if the audio recording resulted in anything prejudicial against his client. An example might be the stenographer asking somebody to speak up so the audio recorder would pick up the sound of the reporter not asking an inaudible word to be repeated.

If Housh could prove to Zambito that the grand jury proceedings were improperly influenced by the audio recording, then Housh would have a basis for dismissal of the charges against his client.

Zambito indicated he is skeptical that the actual substance of the grand jury testimony was changed because of the audio recording.

On another front, Housh is asking the case against Odom be dismissed because of "prosecutorial misconduct," which he said stemmed from the failure of the DA's office to ensure Ryckman knew she couldn't audio record grand jury proceedings.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman called the accusation "ridiculous."

As for the audio recording material affecting the case, Housh noted that based on Zambito's prior ruling, the burden of proof falls on the defense, which he said he found unusual but that he was in a no-win situation if he couldn't review the transcript to prove there was an issue material to the case.

Zambito said he first had to be convinced that it would be possible there would be something in the transcript revealing the audio recording impacted the integrity of the grand jury proceeding.

Ryckman testified that with her present transcription setup she can record audio in one of two ways -- directly into her transcription machine or onto her laptop computer when it is connected to the machine. She said she doesn't always use her laptop during grand jury proceedings.

The recording is only activated when she touches a key on her transcription machine keypad. When she's not typing, if she pauses for any reason, there is no recording.

The quality of the audio is not good, she said, and doesn't necessarily pick up everything that is said. It can be affected by the position of the speaker, other room noise, or even a piece of paper left sitting on the internal mic of the laptop.

She said she doesn't rely on the audio recording for making the official transcript. She has used it to spot check her notes if she thinks something is unclear but she never listens to the audio recording from beginning to end. Her software allows her to highlight a questionable word or phrase and it will open that section of audio recording for her to check if the recording can help her clarify what was said.

The audio recordings only came up as an issue because Assistant District Attorney Shirley Gorman called Ryckman about a case citation contained in a completed transcript. Ryckman said she checked her notes and her transcript and then mentioned to Gorman that she also checked her audio recording. That was a red flag for Gorman.

And that was the first time Ryckman -- who is also a court reporter in a variety of other kinds of court cases, not just grand juries, throughout Western New York -- learned that she couldn't audio record grand jury proceedings.

Ryckman said she did not retain the recording from the Odom proceeding. She had deleted the recording by the time of Gorman's call per her standard procedure. She said once a transcript is done, she backs up the transcript and her notes to an external hard drive. The software she uses asks her if she would like to save the audio recording as well and she always checks "no" in the box. She then deletes the original files from her laptop.

She said she doesn't save the audio recordings because they are no longer needed once the official transcript is done and they take up too much storage space.

She did have audio recordings for Nov. 7 and Jan. 15 (Odom's hearing was in early December) when Gorman called. She had the Jan. 15 recordings because she hadn't finished the official transcript yet for that proceeding. She had no explanation for why she still had Nov. 7 recordings on her computer at the time of Gorman's call.

"I don't know how I missed the backup for Nov. 7," Ryckman told Housh during cross-examination. "I don't know why for some reason it was still on my computer."

Under questioning from Zambito, Ryckman said there is nothing in the final transcript that would indicate an audio recording had been made during the proceedings.

Earlier she testified that she didn't always use the audio recording feature and that she couldn't remember if she used it specifically during the Odom proceeding, and if she did, if she referred to it at all while preparing the final transcript. And if she did make a recording, she couldn't recall specifically deleting it, but if she did make it she deleted it according to standard procedure.

Zambito said he will make a decision on Housh's motions within a couple of weeks.

Friedman noted that Housh has said he is going to file a motion to make raise the character and background of Ray Leach at trial and that no such motion has been filed. In the interest of judicial expediency, Friedman asked that a deadline be set for the motion.

Housh countered that if judicial expediency was at issue, he should be given access to the grand jury transcript prior to the trial. He argued that if standard procedure is followed and he doesn't receive a copy until the first witness takes the stand, then the trial will need to take a recess while he reads the transcript and reviews it with his client.

Zambito ordered Friedman to turn the transcript over to Housh 30 days before the Sept. 30 trial date.

So, one way or another, Housh will soon get the transcript -- either 30 days before the trial, or sooner, if Zambito rules to his favor on his motion regarding the stenographer issue.

August 5, 2019 - 3:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, crime, scanner.

A fight in progress is reported at Dwyer Stadium. Several juveniles are involved. City police are responding.

August 5, 2019 - 3:00pm

You’re invited to Whole Life Fitness grand opening, located at 624 E. Main St., Batavia.

Check out the new fitness facility in Batavia, join us Saturday, Aug. 10th from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. – featuring raffles, giveaways, demonstrations, sign-up specials, competitions, and meet our staff!

For more information, click here.

August 5, 2019 - 2:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, city government.

Submitted photo and press release:

Martin D. Moore, Ph.D., Batavia’s city manager, announces his appointment of Rachael Tabelski (inset photo, right) to the position of assistant city manager. Tabelski was selected following an extensive candidate search.

“I believe that Rachael has the unique skills and leadership qualities we need in the City of Batavia to advance our mission and strategic priorities," Moore said.

"She will be responsible for different projects and issue areas in the City including: administrative services; organizational risk management; organizational values; community and neighborhood development; public relations; information technology; and implementation of the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. She will also be assisting with the annual budgeting preparation."

The Director of Economic Development for the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) for the past year, Rachael Tabelski has held executive government positions in Genesee County since obtaining her master’s degree in Public Administration from SUNY Brockport in 2008.

Her professional roles have included legislative assistant to Assemblyman Steve Hawley, elected councilwoman in the Town of Bergen, director of Marketing & Communications for the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), as well as her current position with the BDC. 

“Rachael has a thorough knowledge of the principles, methods and techniques used in government, economic development, community development, planning, marketing and communications,” added Moore. “She has experience in municipal budgeting, grants, organizational culture and policy development — all of which will be extremely helpful as we work together to move Batavia forward.”

Tabelski has volunteered for multiple local community boards and various fundraisers over the years including Genesee County Cancer Assistance, Vibrant Batavia, City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee, City of Batavia Comprehensive Plan Committee, the Batavia Business Improvement Business Development Committee and Batavia Kiwanis Club. She is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Genesee. She has received numerous awards for her work at the GCEDC for her efforts in marketing and communication.  

Tabelski lives in the City of Batavia with her husband, Adam, and their two children, Adrian and Anna. When Rachael steps into the role of assistant city manager on Monday, Aug. 12, Adam will step down from his position as an at-large member of City Council.

August 5, 2019 - 2:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Stafford, Oakfield, Darien, darien center.

Nathan Lyle Rogers, 35, (inset photo, right) of Sky Hi Drive, West Seneca, is charged with second-degree unlawful surveillance and endangering the welfare of a child. At 5:15 p.m. on July 31, Rogers was arrested after he allegedly used two of his cell phones to record a juvenile female changing clothes in his camper while attending the Kingdom Bound Festival at Six Flags Darien Lake, Darien Center. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Darien Town Court at 4 p.m. on Aug. 13. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Investigator Christopher Parker.

Jason H. Freeman, 37, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment -- physical contact, and criminal obstruction of breathing -- application of pressure. Freeman was arrested on Hutchins Street at 9 a.m. on July 31 following a complaint that he choked, then threw a bicycle at one of his tenants. He was issued an appearance ticket for Aug. 6 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Candice Sue Tortorice, 35, of Route 20, Darien, is charged with: aggravated driving while intoxicated -- a BAC of .18 percent or higher; DWI; reckless driving; failure to use designated lane; and driving with an obstructed view. On Aug. 3 at 4:25 p.m., following a traffic complaint on Route 20 in Pavilion, Torortice was arrested. She was issued appearance tickets and is due in Pavilion Town Court on Sept. 10. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon.

Emily D. Schramm, 33, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with aggravated family offense -- more than one offense within five years (five counts). On July 17, the GC Emergency Dispatch Center received a report at 10:29 p.m. from a third party of a possible violation of an order of protection. Following an investigation, Schramm was identified and is alleged to have committed second-degree criminal contempt by knowingly violating an order of protection by accepting phone calls from a protected party. Due to her previous conviction for second-degree criminal contempt, the charge was elevated to a Class E felony. She was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Stafford Court and is due there Aug. 6. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by correctional officers at the GC Jail, including Senior Correctional Officer J.A. Smart.

Tonya M. Weber-Jackson, 35, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with second-degree obstruction of governmental administration. She was arrested at 1:54 Aug. 4 following an investigation into an unrelated matter outside a Batavia dance studio. She was issued an appearance ticket for Aug. 20 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Tonya M. Weber-Jackson, 35, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second degree. She was arrested at 1:54 a.m. on Aug. 4 following an investigation into an unrelated matter. She was issued an appearance ticket for Aug. 20 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Robert Lewis Villano, 37, of Oak Street, Oakfield, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. At 9:17 a.m. on June 17, the GC Emergency Dispatch Center received a report of a suspected overose on Oak Street. Medics on scene requested law enforcement to the scene following their arrival. It is alleged that Villano endangered the welfare of a child due to narcotics in plain view, which was likely to be injurious to the mental, moral and physical welfare of a child in the residence. He was issued an appearance ticket for Oakfield Town Court and is due there Sept. 2. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Kevin J. Weber, 48, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at 6:48 p.m. on July 28 on Columbia Avenue after allegedly violating a stay away order of protection by contacting the protected party. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Aug. 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Jesse D. Bowman, 26, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia. Following a traffic stop on Ellicott Street at 5:05 p.m. on Aug. 3, Bowman was allegedly found to possess a crack pipe. He was issued an appearance ticket for Aug. 6 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Tony M. Peebles, 52, of Riley Street, Buffalo, is charged with driving while intoxicated -- common law, and aggravated DWI -- a BAC of .18 percent or higher. Peebles was arrested on School Street in Batavia at 12:30 a.m. on July 26. Batavia police were investigating a 9-1-1 hang-up call in the area when Peebles was located and allegedly found to be operating his vehicle while intoxicated. He was processed at the jail and is due in Batavia City Court on Aug. 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Cowen Mitchell.

Jonathan Patrick Little, 29, of Drake Street, Oakfield, is charged with second-degree forgery and second-degree criminal impersonation. He was arrested on Aug. 3 for allegedly impersonating another person and completing a written instrument by forging another person's name while being processed at the Genesee County Jail at 4:20 p.m. on July 10. He is due in Batavia City Court on Aug. 20. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack.

Patricia A. Herzog, 52, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested at 1 p.m. on Aug. 1 after allegedly stealing property from a grocery store in Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Aug. 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

August 5, 2019 - 2:07pm

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $781,313 in federal funding for the Early Head Start program at Community Action of Orleans and Genesee Inc.

The federal funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and will be used to support child care services for low-income families in Orleans and Genesee counties.

“Study after study shows that the better we prepare our young children, through programs like Early Head Start, the better they perform in school later in life,” Senator Schumer said.

“This federal funding for Community Action of Orleans and Genesee will bring real results to young students in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region by providing them with the resources they need to succeed both in and out of the classroom. I am proud to support this essential funding and I will continue to fight to see that early childhood education remains a priority.”

“The Early Head Start Program gives children opportunities to reach their full potential by making high-quality early childhood education and care more accessible,” Senator Gillibrand said.

“This federal funding will support Community Action of Orleans and Genesee as it works to provide young children with the tools they need to get a strong start in life. I will continue fighting in the Senate for the resources that help prepare our children for success.”

Early Head Start provides comprehensive child development programs for low-income children from birth to age five, as well as support and services for their families. Early Head Start programs primarily serve pregnant women, infants and toddlers.

The comprehensive services these programs offer include early education, health screenings, social and emotional health, nutrition, social services, and services for children with disabilities.

August 5, 2019 - 8:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, UMMC, news.

The Batavia Police Department is looking for the public's assistance with identifying the suspects in the attached picture.

The suspects were involved in an alleged hit-and-run property damage accident at UMMC on July 29.

UPDATE 11:46 a.m.: The people in the photo have been identified.

Police say, "They have been contacted and rectified the situation."



August 4, 2019 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Upton Monument, batavia, veterans, video.
Video Sponsor

One hundred years ago, in August 1919, the folks of Genesee County dedicated the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, better known as the Upton Monument. To commemorate the centennial of the monument, the Veterans Council and the American Legion conducted a rededication ceremony on Saturday.

August 3, 2019 - 12:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal abuse, animal rescue, pets, news, scanner, batavia.

A dog is locked in a vehicle in the Aldi parking lot on East Main Street in Batavia. It's a white car near the end of the lot, says the dispatcher. The window is down one inch. It's 77 degrees outside now. An animal control officer is responding.

UPDATE 12:14 p.m.: The vehicle has Florida license plates.

August 3, 2019 - 1:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in YWCA, my sister's closet, video, batavia.
Video Sponsor

The staff at the YWCA of Genesee County in Batavia has taken what was once a kind of drab thrift store and turned it into a hip, modern boutique.

In this video, Executive Director Millie Tomidy-Pepper explains the transformation and gives us an update on how the YWCA is doing following its financial troubles a year ago.

August 2, 2019 - 3:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in mindfulness, CEUs, mental health, recovery, batavia, ILGR, news.

Press release:

While "mindfulness" as an avenue to better health, is a concept that's been spreading, so have the misunderstandings about how you can benefit from it.

Batavia’s premier consumer-run human service and advocacy agency for people with disabilities, Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR), will provide much needed perspective with a seminar that's FREE to the public, "Healing through Mindfulness: Incorporating Mindful Strategies into Practice."

With the support of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services Inc. (NYAPRS) and Recovery WOW -- a program of GCASA, the event will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13, at the ILGR office, 319 W. Main St., Batavia.

The presenter is Robert Statham, CESP, training and technical asistance facilitator for the Western & Central New York Region of NYAPRS.

While mindfulness has gained widespread attention and popularity for its extensive health benefits, there continues to be much confusion around what it really means and how to “do it!”

This workshop will address what mindfulness really is, what the current research has to say about its ability to help people recover from a diverse range of physical, emotional, and psychological challenges, and its potential for achieving overall wellness.

It's of particular interest to social workers and licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs), as they can earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for this training.

For more information or to register, please contact: Donna Becker at (585) 815-8501, ext. 411, or [email protected]

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services Inc. (NYAPRS) is a statewide coalition of people who use and/or provide recovery-oriented, community-based mental health services, dedicated to improving services and social conditions for people with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses, and those with trauma-related conditions by promoting their recovery, rehabilitation and rights so that all people can participate freely in the opportunities of society.

Recovery WOW (WithOut Walls) is a program of GCASA that offers a variety of safe, sober opportunities and activities for individuals in recovery and their families to enjoy.

August 2, 2019 - 3:27pm

(File photo.)

Led by the Joint Veterans Council of Genesee County, local veterans will host a rededication ceremony Saturday morning marking the centennial of the city's gateway monument at the junction of routes 5 and 63 that pays tribute to the Union Army's Emory Upton, the military service of men and women of Genesee County, and its war dead.

It starts at 10:30 a.m. and everyone is welcome.

Commonly referred to as the Upton Monument, for the statue of the colonel of the Fourth Regiment of Artillery, Army Brevit Major General Upton, it is officially known as The Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The actual marker at the base of the bald-eagle-topped pillar is engraved: In Memory of The Soldiers, Sailors and Marines of Genesee County.

Doug Doktor, chairman of the Joint Veterans Council, said that James Neider, of the Glenn S. Loomis American Legion Post 332 in Batavia, will provide a brief historical overview of Upton, one of the nation's foremost military strategists of the 19th century. Then Elijah Monroe, of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln Camp 6 in Rochester, will speak on that organization's instrumental role in fundraising and getting the monument constructed.

There will also be a rifle salute.

The dedication held a hundred years ago took place on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 1919.

According to City of Batavia Historian Larry Barnes, there was a morning footrace from Le Roy to Batavia, followed by the dedication ceremony at which a relation of the Upton family, Col. Upton, served as the keynote speaker. The special occasion was capped off by a grand display of fireworks at the old Genesee County Fairgrounds, where Tops Friendly Market is now on West Main Street.

Proposals for the monument were bandied about as early as the 1870s. But getting it funded and built was not a given. Its price tag of about $15,000 was considered steep. Funds were sought from the county, the city and fundraising campaigns were launched by Batavia City School District Superintendent John Kennedy and Sarah Upton Edwards, sister of Emory Upton.

In 1907, city voters nixed spending $5,000 as their share of the monument's cost. It was not until World War I that action was taken that would finally pave the way for the planned monument to become reality.

In 1917, city fathers managed to get the city's funding share approved by a bit of political maneuvering -- slipping language for the monument expense into a sewer and water appropriations bill.

The architect chosen to design the monument was C. A. Worden, a local company responsible for many monuments at Gettysburg.

Once built, there was controversy as to whether the statue of Emory Upton was based on the actual likeness of the man himself. And the question, some local historians say, has never been wholly resolved.

To read more about Emory Upton from an 1885 biography, click here.

Also, previously: 

(Editor's Note: Publisher Howard Owens had planned to complete a video of the history of the monument in time for tomorrow's rededication. That is no longer possible, but he does hope to finish it very soon.)

August 2, 2019 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal rescue, animal abuse, batavia, pets, news.

Photos and information from reader Roberta White:

This dog was in a truck in the Walmart parking lot in Batavia for 20-25 minutes minimum before dispatch was contacted and law enforcment officers arrived at about 2 p.m.

An animal control officer said the dog was definitely uncomfortable. She said if it was an older dog, it would have been in serious trouble.

She also said it was her third call to Walmart today. She's had made four or five trips in Genesee County today for dogs locked inside hot vehicles.

The truck owner was paged in the store while officers tried to unlock the vehicle. Surface temperature inside was 102 degrees. It's 80 degrees outside.

August 2, 2019 - 11:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GLOW Corporate Cup, batavia, YMCA, video.
Video Sponsor

John Schnitter, of Geneseo, with a time of 16:32, won the GLOW Corporate Cup 5K in Batavia on Thursday.

Kimberly Tomasik, of Orchard Park, was the top female with a time of 18:36 and a fourth overall finish.

In second place, William Buckenmeyer, of Batavia, with a time of 17:40. In third place, and first in the 18-29 division, Collin Mulcahy, of Batavia, with a time of 18:07.

The second- and third-place women were Liz Bender, of North Chili, 19:04, and Kimberly Mills, of Oakfield, 19:38.

For full race results, click here.

August 2, 2019 - 8:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, batavia, Graham Manufacturing.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved incentives for Graham Manufacturing at the board’s Aug. 1st meeting. The GCEDC board also accepted an application for incentives from Wendt Propane.

Graham Manufacturing is investing $1.075 million for capital improvements to expand various properties at its campus in the City of Batavia. The company will renovate an existing 8,000 square feet of buildings, including an expansion and renovation of its 4,000-square-foot welding school to meet market demand for welders.

An existing 4,000-square-foot manufacturing building also will be repurposed and the company will build a new 5,000-square-foot warehouse for storage needs. A supplemental application from Graham Manufacturing was accepted at the meeting, with a public hearing to be held.

“Graham Manufacturing has a very long history in our community and once again the company is demonstrating its commitment to our community by making capital investments in its infrastructure,” said GCEDC Board Chair Paul Battaglia. “When companies are making these types of investments, it means they intend to stay and grow which is always a positive sign.”

Wendt Propane, based in Sanborn in Niagara County, is seeking sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions of approximately $125,000 to build a new 9,600-square-foot facility in the Town of Le Roy.

The $1.3 million project consists of $800,000 is construction costs, $410,000 is equipment costs, and $90,000 in real estate costs. Construction of the new facility would result in the creation of four new jobs.

August 1, 2019 - 11:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, batavia.

A flower box fire is reported at 335 Northside Meadows, Batavia.

City fire responding.

August 1, 2019 - 11:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
       Brandon Fogg

A 32-year-old Batavia man went into County Court today facing a certain prison sentence for menacing a police officer with a BB gun but left with a second chance.

The attorney for Brandon Fogg told Judge Charles Zambito that his client had secured a bed-to-bed substance abuse treatment program and asked that he be allowed to enter the program Friday morning for 21 days of treatment. 

Expressing a bit of reluctance, the judge agreed to let Fogg enter treatment, with his mother providing transportation from the Genesee County Jail to the Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment.

"I'll give you an opportunity to convince me that I shouldn't send you to prison," Zambito said. "That doesn't mean you won't do further jail time and time on probation."

Absent a chance at treatment, Fogg could have reasonably expected to be sent to prison today for one and a half to four years.

"One of the conditions is that you stay in bed-to-bed treatment and follow any recommendations of the program," Zambito said. "If you violate any of the terms of the program you will be brought back here and sentenced and you will be going to prison."

Batavia police officers encountered Fogg on Cedar Street in early June after he trespassed at a location on Ellicott Street. Due to an illegal tire on Fogg’s vehicle as he drove away from the location, officers initiated a traffic stop.

According to police, Fogg attempted to flee the vehicle, but he was taken to the ground by Officer Darryle Streeter. Fogg then removed from his pocket what appeared to be a handgun during the struggle between himself and Streeter.  

An employee of a nearby business came to the aid of Streeter by stepping on Fogg’s wrist, which caused him to drop the BB gun from his grasp. Streeter took Fogg into custody shortly afterward.

Fogg's next scheduled court appearance is Aug. 26 when Zambito will decide whether a prison term is still appropriate or if he should receive less time in the local jail.

August 1, 2019 - 5:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.
       TeeSean Ayala

A former high school basketball star who got caught with a gun outside the county manager's home on Washington Avenue in November is being released from jail before being sent to prison so he can be at the hospital later this month for the birth of his child.

Judge Charles Zambito granted the unusual request because he promised TeeSean Ayala, 19, the opportunity to be around for the birth of his baby if he cooperated with prosecutors. Today Zambito acknowledge that Ayala kept his promise.

"I'm doing all of this because you did cooperate," Zambito said. "That's part of the bargain."

In May, Ayala entered a guilty plea to a charge of criminal possession 2nd, which carries a mandatory prison sentence with a maximum possible term of 15 years.

The plea also satisfied several charges related to local burglaries.

"If you flee, you will eventually be caught and then you're going to be sentenced to the 15 years," Zambito told Ayala. "If you commit any crimes while you're out, you will be sentenced to 15 years and face enhanced sentencing on those charges."

Ayala said he understood.

When the case was first called a little after 1:30 p.m., there was some discussion between Zambito and the attorneys about whether to adjourn the sentencing of Ayala. Ayala's attorney Richard Shaw started whispering to Ayala and at one point, Ayala became visibly emotional and said loudly, "but it's my first one."  

Shaw continued whispering to Ayala and Zambito asked if he and his client needed to discuss the matter privately. They did so Zambito ordered the case recalled later in the afternoon.

When Ayala came back into court, Zambito said he had been reminded of the promise to allow Ayala to be present for the birth of his child if he kept up his end of the bargain.

Zambito said Ayala isn't to leave his residence for any reason other than going to court or to go to the hospital for the delivery of his child when his fiancée goes into labor.

Ayala is allowed to have visitors but cannot be in contact with Malik Ayala, his brother who is a co-defendant.

Sentencing on the weapon charge is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Aug. 21.

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