Local Matters

Community Sponsors

Billie Owens's blog

August 5, 2020 - 5:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, scanner, Stafford.

A sheriff's deputy is responding to 5696 Main Road in Stafford for a report of a large tree down in the roadway blocking eastbound traffic.

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: The deputy is on scene and reports no portion of the tree is in the roadway blocking traffic; he will soon go back in service.

August 5, 2020 - 4:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, news.

Press release:

New Cases – As of 2 p.m. 

  • Genesee County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
    • The new positive case resides in Batavia.
    • The positive individual is in their 20s.
    • The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Sixteen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
  • Orleans County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
    • The new positive case resides in Murray.
    • The individuals are in their 50s.
    • The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • One of the previous positive individuals has recovered and has been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Eighteen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

None of the individuals is hospitalized.

August 5, 2020 - 4:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia.

In her second year of serving Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) as their Homeless Association of Western New York (HAWNY) Program Specialist, Amber M. Mesita has been promoted to be an Independent Living Specialist in the Rapid Rehousing Program.

She will be evaluating and training individuals with disabilities in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties in Independent Living Skills, determining eligibility for Rapid Rehousing and assisting with completing documentation. She will also be advising on public benefits, helping in the achievement of housing, employment and transportation goals, and provide other sorts of assistance.

Prior to her time at ILGR, Mesita was an Independent Living Advisor at the Iroquois Job Corps in Medina; and was a Peer Educator at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, with a minor in Psychology from the State University of New York College at Brockport, is an Honor’s College Graduate, and member of the National Service Fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, as well as having earned an associate degree in Science in Human Services from Genesee Community College (SUNY) in Batavia, and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

At ILGR, earlier this year, she introduced a different methodology to the Point-in-Time Report, (PIT, a national data collection of those experiencing homelessness on the street on a single day), of Project Homeless Connect in the GOW (Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming county) area. She holds a Certificate of Completion from the SSI (Supplemental Security Income)/SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) Course of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

We congratulate her as she has reached this new level in her career path.

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.

August 5, 2020 - 2:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GC 4-H, Market Animal Auction Program 2020.

Submitted photos and press release:

Congratulations to the Genesee County 4-H members who participated in the 2020 Genesee County 4-H Market Animal Auction Program.

Although the Genesee County Fair was cancelled this year, 4-H youth remained committed to raising high quality meat animal projects. The auction was held in an online-only format July 29-30 and featured poultry, goat, lamb, dairy steer, beef steer and hog projects raised by local 4-H youth.

The Genesee County 4-H Program would like to thank all of the friends and businesses who supported the 4-H Market Animal Auction by bidding on or purchasing a 4-H project animal.

The 4-H Program would also like to extend a huge thank you to the William Kent Family for providing their online auction services and to the Genesee County Agricultural Society for their dedication in providing a facility for our youth to showcase their project animals.

Above, Madison Harrington, Champion Live Placing Poultry.

4-H Market Poultry Results

  • Champion Project – Jillian Brewer
  • Champion Live Placing – Madison Harrington
  • Reserve Champion Project – Madison Harrington
  • Reserve Champion Live Placing – Chloe Lamb
  • Master Showman – Maggie Winspear
  • Reserve Master Showman – Jillian Brewer

Above, Campbell Riley, Champion Project and Champion Live Placing Goat.

4-H Market Goat Results 

  • Champion Project – Campbell Riley
  • Champion Live Placing – Campbell Riley
  • Reserve Champion Project – John Riley
  • Reserve Champion Live Placing – John Riley
  • Master Showman – Campbell Riley
  • Reserve Master Showman – Clare Mathes

Above, Chelsea Lippert, Champion Live Placing Lamb.

4-H Market Lamb Results

  • Champion Project – Madelynn Pimm
  • Champion Live Placing – Chelsea Lippert
  • Reserve Champion Project – Makayla Sugg
  • Reserve Champion Live Placing – Chelsea Lippert
  • Master Showman – Madelynn Pimm
  • Reserve Master Showman – Emily Ehrmentraut

 Above, Justin Deleo, Champion Project and Champion Live Placing Dairy Steer.

4-H Dairy Steer Results
  • Champion Project – Justin Deleo
  • Champion Live Placing – Justin Deleo
  • Master Showman – Justin Deleo
  • Rate of Gain – Justin Deleo

 Above, Caleb Carlson, Champion Project and Champion Live Placing Beef Steer.

4-H Beef Steer Results

  • Champion Project – Caleb Carlson
  • Champion Live Placing – Caleb Carlson
  • Reserve Champion Project – Shianne Foss
  • Reserve Champion Live Placing – Shianne Foss
  • Master Showman – Caleb Carlson
  • Reserve Master Showman – Audrey Dorman
  • Rate of Gain – Shianne Foss

Above, Ben Kron, Champion Live Placing Market Hog.

4-H Market Hog Results

  • Champion Project – Cody Carlson
  • Champion Live Placing – Ben Kron
  • Reserve Champion Project – Cody Carlson
  • Reserve Champion Live Placing – Cody Carlson
  • Master Showman – Ben Kron
  • Reserve Master Showman – Hudson Weber
August 5, 2020 - 1:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Stafford.

SYRACUSE -- Samantha Call, a junior Biology major from Stafford, has been named to the Le Moyne College Spring 2020 dean's list. To make the list, students must achieve a grade-point average of 3.5 or above.

Located in a suburban setting on a picturesque 160-acre campus in Syracuse, Le Moyne College is one of only 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States.

Offering more than 30 majors, Le Moyne provides a values-based education that helps students explore their potential through academics, experience and service. In 2019, for the seventh consecutive year, Le Moyne was ranked by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education, an honor achieved by only 15 percent of the colleges and universities in the nation.

A Le Moyne education provides students with the intellectual skills necessary to succeed in the world and the will to use their abilities to promote a more just society.

August 5, 2020 - 1:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, farmers, covid-19, USDA.

Press release:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced it will authorize Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) to extend deadlines for premium and administrative fee payments, defer the resulting interest accrual and allow other flexibilities to help farmers, ranchers, and insurance providers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“USDA recognizes farmers and ranchers have been severely affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic this year and to help ease the burden on these folks, we are continuing to extend flexibility for producers,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “The flexibilities announced today support health and safety while also ensuring the Federal crop insurance program continues to serve as a vital risk management tool.”


Specifically, USDA is authorizing AIPs to provide policyholders additional time to pay premium and administrative fees and to waive accrual of interest to the earlier of 60 days after their scheduled payment due date or the termination date on policies with premium billing dates between August 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020. In addition, USDA is authorizing AIPs to provide up to an additional 60 days for policyholders to make payment and waive additional interest for Written Payment Agreements due between Aug. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2020.

RMA is authorizing additional flexibilities due to coronavirus while continuing to support producers, working through AIPs to deliver services, including processing policies, claims and agreements. RMA staff are working with AIPs and other customers by phone, mail and electronically to continue supporting crop insurance coverage for producers. Farmers with crop insurance questions or needs should continue to contact their insurance agents about conducting business remotely (by telephone or email). More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private insurance agents. A list of insurance agents is available online using the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov.

August 5, 2020 - 1:44pm

From the Upstate New York Poison Center in Syracuse, Aug. 5:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently added more names to the list of hand sanitizers contaminated with methanol. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a toxic substance that is not approved for use in hand sanitizers.

Since mid-July alone, the Upstate New York Poison Center has received 49 calls about these products from our 54-county service area. Overall calls for information about hand sanitizers in general and for ingestions/exposures has more than doubled from last year.

Most hand sanitizers contain ethyl alcohol (ethanol). While dangerous if ingested, it is safe when used as directed for keeping hands clean from germs. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for any hand sanitizer.

Also known as wood alcohol, methanol is often used in pesticides, paint thinner and antifreeze. It can be toxic if absorbed through the skin (though this is rare) and deadly if ingested. Children especially are at high risk as they often explore their surroundings by taste.

“Unfortunately, with these products, there is no way for consumers to tell if the product contains methanol,” says Gail Banach, director of public education and communications at the Upstate New York Poison Center. “Methanol is not approved for use in hand sanitizers, so it will not be listed on the ingredient panel, even if it is inside, so we recommend everyone check the list from the FDA.”

The FDA has composed a list of the companies and products involved and posted a do-not-use list of dangerous hand sanitizer products. Some of the products on the FDA’s list have been recalled, others are recommended for recall are still on the market. The products all appear to have been produced in Mexico.

Consumers are asked to check the FDA’s list and compare the information with any hand sanitizer they may have in the home including: manufacturer name, product name and national drug code (NDC) number.

As the number of related calls to poison centers and health departments increases, the FDA is working with U.S. manufacturers to keep or remove these toxic products from the market. If any of the identifiers on a purchased product match those on the list, the FDA urges consumers to immediately stop using the hand sanitizer.

Call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 with any questions.

According to the FDA, methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Most of these poisonings occur when someone drinks this product.

Remember, dispose of the hand sanitizer as recommended by local waste management and recycling centers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain or mix with other liquids.

August 5, 2020 - 1:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, news, batavia.

By Samantha Stryker, Community and Adult Services librarian, Richmond Memorial Library:

What’s new at the library: Richmond Memorial Library is pleased to announce that the interlibrary loan system is once again available! Users can now place holds on items from other libraries in the NIOGA system.

To place holds, visit our online catalog at batavialibrary.org or call (585) 343-9550, ext. 3, with your card number.

Email notices are NOT currently being sent when holds are ready. You will receive a phone call if you have materials available.

The library is open regular hours for limited services, including browsing and borrowing materials, reference services, photocopying, faxing, and computer use limited to one hour session per day for essential tasks.

Also, you can make community room reservations for groups of up to 25 people wearing appropriate face coverings.

The shelves are full of new materials!

Appropriate face coverings must be worn for the entirety of your visit to the library.

Summer Reading continues for both children and adults. The programs end Sept. 1. Register at batavialibrary.org or at the library. Weekly take and make crafts and Little Scientists kits are available for children and teens – register via batavialibrary.org/calendar.

Upcoming Virtual Programs for adults -- registration is required for all virtual programsvia our website at batavialibrary.org. Attendees must have access to a computer and free Zoom account to participate.

The next series of Lunch Time Book Chats will take place at noon on Aug. 12, 19 and 26. Join Books Sandwiched In committee members and special guests for short reviews of fiction and nonfiction titles.

A few of the titles scheduled to be reviewed are: "My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton" by Stephanie Dray (historical fiction); "Highway of Tears" by Jessica McDiarmid (true crime); and "The Architectural Heritage of Genesee County, New York" by Catherine Roth (local history). 

Readers will meet to discuss "The Operator" by Gretchen Berg in our next Virtual Adult Book Discussion on Monday, Aug. 10 at 7 pm. “What if you could listen in on any phone conversation in town? With great humor and insight, "The Operator" "delivers a vivid look inside the heads and hearts of a group of housewives and pokes at the absurdities of 1950s America, a simpler time that was far from simple” (publisher description). The book is available as an eBook and audiobook on Hoopla. 

The next Virtual Reel Discussions will take place on Thursday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. Watch "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont" on Hoopla and join us on Zoom for a discussion! 

For questions about these and other programs, visit batavialibrary.org or call the reference desk at (585) 343-9550, ext. 3. Check us out on Facebook @richmondmemoriallibrary, on Instagram @batavialibrary and YouTube @richmondmemlibrary

August 4, 2020 - 6:02pm

BUFFALO -- The Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service is proud to announce that -- in addition to broadcasting over the air – its livestream and programs are now available online. The new service debuted July 31.

For people who can see, hold a book or newspaper, and turn a page, reading a printed publication is no big deal. But for thousands of people in Western New York, including Genesee County, who are blind, have low vision, or have other print disabilities, it is.

Over the last 30 years, hundreds of volunteers for the Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service have been reading local and national newspapers, magazines, books and other publication over a private radio transmission that was available to listeners who were loaned a special radio receiver.

While the broad range of reading material shared by the radio station with its listeners every day was great, the station always struggled to serve more people since every listener needed one of the radios.

And while the Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service will continue broadcasting over the air, adding an internet broadcast is a game-changer. Listeners will be able to access the programs they want, when they want them, wherever they are, on any internet-connected device – including smart phones and smart speakers, tablets, desktop and laptop computers.

And not only will listeners be able to catch the livestream just like they werelistening to the radio, they’ll be able to download and listen to many of the service’s most popular programs on their favorite podcast platform. Did they the miss the live reading of the morning paper? Pull down the podcast and catch up!

The new online functionality will also allow the organization to round out its reading list by adding new publications to its portfolio.

The Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service has served tens of thousands of listeners since it was founded in 1987. But that number has always been limited by the number of radios it had available to loan. No longer.

There are an estimated 20,000 people in WNY who are blind or have low vision. There are another 40,000 who have a cognitive impairment or a physical disability that makes reading difficult or impossible. Although its unlikely that every one of them will tune in, many now can.

The new online Podcasts & Streaming Initiative was made possible through a seed grant from the James H. Cummings Foundation that helped open the door to a major grant from the Facebook Journalism Project. Support from the Christos Foundation, the East Hill Foundation, the Erie-Niagara Sunshine Exchange Club, and Ingram Micro rounded out the funding.

Links, feeds and more information for the expanded service can be found on the Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service’s website at www.nfradioreading.org.

Among the station’s program schedule are live readings of the Buffalo News six days a week and USA Today five days a week. The station also airs the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Niagara Gazette, Dunkirk Observer, weekly newspapers like the local Bees and Business First, a variety of magazines, and books curated from the NY Times Best Seller list.

The broadcast is carried over a subcarrier frequency provided by Buffalo Toronto Public Media through WNED 94.5 FM.

Niagara Frontier Radio Reading is an affiliate of Western New York Independent Living, a community-based nonprofit organization that serves more than 7,000 people with disabilities annually through peer counseling, support for independent living, transitional services, advocacy and information & referrals.

The agency is primarily funded through philanthropic contributions and donations, grants, and special events. The organization currently receives no government funding. Major supporters include the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo, Nascentia Health, WNY Independent Living, the WNY Lions Clubs, and the United Ways of WNY.

August 4, 2020 - 5:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in 2020 U.S. Census, news, U.S. Census Bureau.

From Susan M. Perry, senior Partnership Specialist, New York Regional Census Center, Field Division, U.S. Census Bureau:

The U.S. Census Bureau continues to evaluate its operational plans to collect and process 2020 Census data. Today, we are announcing updates to our plan that will include enumerator awards and the hiring of more employees to accelerate the completion of data collection and apportionment counts by our statutory deadline of Dec. 31, as required by law and directed by the Secretary of Commerce.

The Census Bureau’s new plan reflects our continued commitment to conduct a complete count, provide accurate apportionment data, and protect the health and safety of the public and our workforce. 

  • Complete Count: A robust field data collection operation will ensure we receive responses from households that have not yet self-responded to the 2020 Census.
    • We will improve the speed of our count without sacrificing completeness. As part of our revised plan, we will conduct additional training sessions and provide awards to enumerators in recognition of those who maximize hours worked. We will also keep phone and tablet computer devices for enumeration in use for the maximum time possible.
    • We will end field data collection by Sept. 30. Self-response options will also close on that date to permit the commencement of data processing. Under this plan, the Census Bureau intends to meet a similar level of household responses as collected in prior censuses, including outreach to hard-to-count communities.
  • Accurate Data and Efficient Processing: Once we have the data from self-response and field data collection in our secure systems, we plan to review it for completeness and accuracy, streamline its processing, and prioritize apportionment counts to meet the statutory deadline. In addition, we plan to increase our staff to ensure operations are running at full capacity.
  • Flexible Design: Our operation remains adaptable and additional resources will help speed our work. The Census Bureau will continue to analyze data and key metrics from its field work to ensure that our operations are agile and on target for meeting our statutory delivery dates. Of course, we recognize that events can still occur that no one can control, such as additional complications from severe weather or other natural disasters. 
  • Health and Safety: We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our workforce and the public.  Our staff will continue to follow Federal, state, and local guidance, including providing appropriate safety trainings and personal protective equipment to field staff.

The Census Bureau continues its work on meeting the requirements of Executive Order 13880 issued July 11, 2019 and the Presidential Memorandum issued July 21, 2020. A team of experts are examining methodologies and options to be employed for this purpose. The collection and use of pertinent administrative data continues.

We are committed to a complete and accurate 2020 Census. To date, 93 million households, nearly 63 percent of all households in the Nation, have responded to the 2020 Census. Building on our successful and innovative internet response option, the dedicated women and men of the Census Bureau, including our temporary workforce deploying in communities across the country in upcoming weeks, will work diligently to achieve an accurate count.

We appreciate the support of our hundreds of thousands of community-based, business, state, local and tribal partners contributing to these efforts across our Nation. The 2020 Census belongs to us all.

If you know someone who has not yet responded, please encourage them to do so today online at 2020census.gov, over the phone, or by mail.

August 3, 2020 - 4:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, Oakfield.

Joanne Merica Pangrazio, 49, of South Street Road, Le Roy, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal mischief. On Aug. 2, Pangrazio was arrested and arraigned in Bergen Town Court. The charges stem from a domestic incident reported about 1:50 p.m. on Aug. 2 on South Street Road. She was arrested at the scene and transported to Genesee County Jail for processing and virtual arraignment. She was released on her own recognizance and is due in Genesee County Court at 10 a.m. on Sept. 15. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Judd Allen Farewell Jr., 29, of Maltby Road, Oakfield, is charged with criminal mischief -- intentionally damaging property. On Aug. 3, Farewell was arrested after he allegedly intentionally damaged the toilet in his jail cell at the Genesee County Jail. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court to answer the charge on Aug. 18. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen.

August 3, 2020 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, crime, news, batavia, notify, alexander, Le Roy, elba.

Nelson E. Figueroa Jr. is indicted for the crime of predatory sexual assault against a child, a Class A-II felony. It is alleged that on May 1 in the City of Batavia, the defendant -- who is 18 or older -- committed the crime of criminal sexual act in the first degree by engaging in oral sexual conduct with another person who was less that 13 years old. In count two, he is accused of the same crime. It is alleged that from Jan. 1 through April 30, he committed the crime of course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree by engaging in two or more acts of sexual conduct, which included at least one act of oral sexual conduct with a child under age 13, over a period of time not less that three months in duration. In count three, Figueroa is accused of the crime of first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged in count three that on May 1 Figueroa was age 21 or older and subjected a person less than 13 years old to sexual contact. In count four, he is accused of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count four that Figueroa, from Jan. 1 through April 30, knowingly acted in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years old.

Daniel J. Wolfe is indicted for the crime of first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 18 on Liberty Street in Batavia that he violated an order of protection by threatening to punch the protected party. In count two, he is accused of the same crime for allegedly punching the victim. In count three, he is accused of the same crime for allegedly threatening serious physical injury or death by displaying a dangerous instrument -- a sword. In count four, he is accused of second-degree harassment. It is alleged in count four that on Nov. 18 he intentionally harassed, annoyed or alarmed another person by striking, shoving, kicking or subjecting a person to physical contact, or attempting or threatening to do so. In count five, he is accused of second-degree menacing, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally placing a person in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death -- or attempting to do so -- by displaying a dangerous instrument -- a sword. In count six, Wolfe is accused of the crime of menacing a police officer, a Class D violent felony, for allegedly intentionally placing or attempting to place a police officer in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a knife when the officer was performing official duties. In count seven, Wolfe is accused of the same crime as in count six but is accused of displaying a BB rifle. In counts eight, nine and 10, Wolfe is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged in counts eight, nine and 10, respectively, that on Nov. 19 on Liberty Street in Batavia that he possessed dangerous instruments -- a knife, a samurai sword, and a BB rifle, with intent to use them unlawfully against a person. In count 10, Wolfe is accused of the crime of attempted killing of a police work dog, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count 10, that on Nov. 19, Wolfe attempted to kill Genesee County Sheriff's Office K-9 Frankie by swinging a knife at K-9 Frankie. In count 12, the defendant is accused of fourth-degree criminal mischief, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally damaging property belonging to another person in the City of Batavia; he is accused of breaking two windows. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Wolfe is accused of having been convicted of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, on Feb. 20, 2014 in the City of Batavia Court and that conviction forms the basis for elevating counts eight, nine and 10 in the current indictment to criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree -- class D felonies.

William T. Hughes is indicted for the crime of first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Feb. 25 at an address on South Spruce Street in the City of Batavia, Hughes violated an order of protection issued in February by striking, kicking or shoving a victim protected by the order, or he attempted or threatened to do so. In count two, Hughes is accused of first-degree criminal contempt, also a Class E felony, for placing a person with an order of protection against him in reasonable fear of death, imminent serious physical injury or physical injury. In count three, Hughes is accused of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count three that the defendant intended to impede normal breathing or blood circulation of the victim by applying pressure on their throat or neck. In count four, Hughes is accused of second-degree criminal contempt, also a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally disobeying a mandate of the court in violation of an order of protection by telephoning the victim July 20. In count five, Hughes is accused of a second count of second-degree criminal contempt for allegedly phoning the victim in February in violation of an order of protection. In count six, the defendant is accused of a second count of first-degree criminal contempt for violating an order of protection by failing to stay away from the protected person as required by the court.

Franklin D. Cook is indicted for the crime of first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Jan. 8 in the Town of Elba, Cook intentionally disobeyed a family offense stay away order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party. In count two, Cook is accused of the same crime on March 27. In count three, the defendant is accused of the same crime for a third time for allegedly harassing, annoying, threatening or alarming the protected party and subjecting the person to physical contact. In count four, Cook is accused of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly appying pressure on the throat or neck of the victim. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Cook is accused of having been convicted of second-degree criminal contempt, a Class A misdemeanor, on Dec. 19 in Town of Elba Court and that conviction is within five years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Roy L. Watson is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on May 4 in the City of Batavia that Watson knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug, cocaine, with intent to sell it. In count two, he is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a Class C felony, for allegedly knowingly and unlawfully possessing one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures of substances containing cocaine, and these had an aggregate weight of an eighth of an ounce or more.

David J. Reschke is indicted for the crime of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony. It is alleged in counts one through six that on Nov. 30 in the Town of Le Roy that Reschke stole, respectively per count: a Syrchony credit card; a Citi Simplicity credit card; a Chase credit card; Discover Business credit card; a Le Roy Sports Boosters debit card; and a Five Star Bank debit card. In count seven, the defendant is accused of a seventh count of fourth-degree grand larceny for allegedly stealing property having a value exceeding $1,000, in this case about $2,400 in U.S. currency. In count eight, he is accused of the crime of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly stealing a purse and its contents that day in the Town of Le Roy.

Judd A. Farewell is indicted for the crime of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. It is alleged that sometime between the late evening hours of Jan. 16 and the early morning hours of Jan. 17, that Farewell knowingly and unlawfully entered a building on Lake Street in the Town of Le Roy with the intent to commit a crime. In count two, Farewell is accused of second-degree criminal mischief. It is alleged in count two that he intentionally damaged the property of another person in an amount exceeding $1,500. The property consisted of various copper piping and a valve on a boiler system on Lake Street in the Town of Le Roy. In count three, Farewell is accused of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly stealing an Xbox, Xbox controller and 15 Xbox games. In count four, he is again accused of petit larceny for allegedly stealing two blue totes containing miscellaneous tools.

Mark R. Ogee is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Feb. 24 in the Village of Le Roy, that Ogee drove a 2001 Chevrolet on state routes 5 and 19 while in an intoxicated condition. In count two, Ogee is accused of DWI, per se, also a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent at the time, as shown by a chemical breath analysis. In count three, Ogee is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, another Class E felony, for knowing or having reason to know that his driver's license was revoked by authorities in New York at the time of this incident and while he was under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Ogee is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Oct. 15, 2018 in Town of Caledonia Court. The conviction forms the basis of count three in the current indictment.

Joshua L. Baltz is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, a Class E felony. it is alleged that on May 23 in the Town of Alexander, that Baltz drove a 2019 Ford on Route 98 while knowing or having reason to know that his driver's license was suspended or revoked by authorities and while he was under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In count two, Baltz is accused of driving while ability impaired by drugs at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Baltz is accused of having been convicted of DWI on March 3, 2008 in Town of Warsaw Court and that conviction forms the basis for the suspension or revocation referred to in count one. Furthermore, the District Attorney states that Baltz knew of the prior conviction and that his suspension or revocation was still in effect.

James J. Bartosik Jr. is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 15 that Bartosik drove a 2005 Dodge on the Genesee County Fairgrounds parking lot while he was intoxicated. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Bartosik is accused of having been convicted of DWI, per se, as a felony, on Nov. 24, 2014 in Orleans County Court. The conviction was within 10 years of the crime alleged in the current indictment.

David Vega is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 8 in the City of Batavia, that Vega drove a 2008 Chevrolet on Clinton Street while his driver's license was suspended or revoked. It is further alleged that he had 10 or more suspensions (14) imposed on at least 10 separate dates for failure to answer, appear in court or pay a fine: June 12, 1996 in the City of Canandaigua, Ontario County; March 10, 2009 in the Town of Ontario, Wayne County; April 14, May 19, June 2, July 28, Aug. 22, 2015, Rochester Administrative Adjudication Bureau, Monroe County; June 7 and July 8, 2015, Town of Gates, Monroe County; Nov. 18, 2015, Town of Irondequoit, Monroe County; Dec. 19, Dec. 25, 2015 and Feb. 11, 2016, and Aug. 5, 2018 -- City of Rochester, Monroe County.

August 3, 2020 - 11:34am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A car vs. pedestrian accident is reported at East Avenue and Clinton Street. Unknown injuries. City fire, Mercy medics and police are responding.

UPDATE 11:35 a.m.: A female patient is in the middle of the road. She has a possible shoulder injury, according to a first responder on scene, and traffic is tied up.

UPDATE 11:46 a.m.: The patient is a resident in the vicinity and was out getting some exercise. She was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital for evaluation of a complaint of shoulder pain. The city fire assignment is back in service.

August 2, 2020 - 11:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, National Grid, covid-19.

Press release:

National Grid is proposing up to $50 million in COVID-19 relief to support the company’s most economically vulnerable residential customers as well as businesses that are struggling because of the financial impact of the pandemic.

The company will work with New York Public Service Commission staff, customer advocates and other stakeholders to determine how best to allocate the assistance to those most in need across its upstate New York service area.

“From the onset of this pandemic we made the commitment to help our customers during these challenging times and we recognize that we have an important opportunity to provide additional customer assistance beyond what we currently offer through our COVID-19 programs and rate plans,” said John Bruckner, National Grid’s New York president.

He noted that the company will use deferral account credits to provide immediate COVID-19 financial assistance and will work with PSC staff and other parties to determine eligibility and program details. There also will be an opportunity for public input during the PSC comment period as the programs are being defined.

The company’s plan to provide additional customer assistance will be filed separately from its request to reset delivery rates beginning in July 2021 so that the customer financial support could be considered and implemented more quickly than the required 11-month rate proceeding process.

“We know our customers continue to struggle during this pandemic and this is a way for us to provide some near-term relief,” Bruckner said.

Enhanced Customer Support Programs Included in the 2021 Rate Filing

National Grid’s current three-year rate agreement expires March 31, 2021 and the company has submitted a request for new delivery prices beginning in July 2021. The new rates would cover the costs of providing service to upstate New York customers and includes enhanced energy affordability programs and services, continued deployment of economic development programs that grow the economy, and unprecedented investment in energy efficiency and demand response programs to help customers manage their energy usage and bills.

Under the proposal, residential electricity customers would see an average bill increase of 4 percent or $3.43 per month. Residential gas customers would see an average bill increase of 6 percent or $4.53 per month. The company originally planned to file a request for new rates in April but delayed that filing until July 31 due to COVID-19.

“We made the decision to delay this proposal so that we could use the time over the last few months to refine and reduce the amount of our request,” Bruckner said. “We worked hard to strike a balance between what is needed in the near term to maintain and improve reliability and further support our customers, and we postponed other initiatives to later years to lessen the financial impact on customers.”

While National Grid has filed a one-year plan, Bruckner noted the company hopes to work with PSC staff, customer advocates and other stakeholders to reach a multi-year agreement that would phase in new rates to further mitigate customer bill impacts. Reaching a settlement that spreads the increase over three years and includes deferral credits and other offsets, for example, could reduce the first-year delivery price impacts by more than half.

“We know we are not operating in a business-as-usual climate,” Bruckner said. “We will doeverything we can to work with PSC staff and other stakeholders to reach a multi-year settlement thatmaintains affordability, mitigates bill impacts and supports New York’s economic recovery. At thesame time, we need to adjust rates to cover the costs of providing service and we must remain financially healthy to attract the necessary capital to finance our operations, which will lower costs forcustomers in the long run.”

The company’s filing would impact only energy delivery prices. There are two components of an energy bill: delivery charges and supply charges. Delivery charges reflect the ongoing cost of operating and maintaining the natural gas and electricity networks – including investments to ensure a resilient grid in the face of more frequent and damaging storms and the integration of clean energy resources. Supply prices are set by the market, not National Grid, and the company does not profit from the sale of energy supply. Customers also have the option to buy their energy supply from a third-party provider.

Under New York public service law, rate cases are an 11-month process that will include a number of opportunities for public input.

National Grid’s upstate New York electricity business serves 1.6 million customers in more than 450 cities and towns across 24,000 square miles. The gas distribution business serves more than 600,000 customers across portions of Central, Northern and Eastern New York.

August 2, 2020 - 10:49pm

Photo: Driver Andy Miller with Love A Good Story.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

It was a big stake day at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 2) as an all-New York Sire Stake card of racing featured 2- and 3-year-old trotting fillies vying in four divisions for a total of $213,400 in purses.

The highlight of the day was Love A Good Story (Chapter Seven-Celebrity Lovin) who took the second $55,000 division for 3-year-olds in memorable style. 

Driver Andy Miller floated Love A Good Story off the gate and dropped in third while Without A Warning (Scott Zeron) got to the quarter in a quick :27.4. Positions remained unchanged in the throttled-down :30.2 second panel until Love A Good Story pulled first up as she made her way into the turn. 

Past the five eighths, Love A Good Story drew alongside Without A Warning and the two trotted side-by-side up the backstretch and to the three-quarters in 1:26.2. The match race continued around the last turn and down the lane when Love A Good Story got the edge with Miller urging her on and hit the wire in 1:55.1. 

The time was a new track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies, besting the standard of 1:55.4 set by Quincy Blue Chip just last year. 

It was the 10th win in 15 lifetime starts for Love A Good Story ($2.50) who has now earned $400,484 for owners the Pinske Stables, the Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Daniel Plouffe. Julie Miller trains the winner. 

Love A Good Story was bred by Celebrity Farms and was a $90,000 Lexington Selected yearling purchase. 

(Photo: Tom Jackson with Island Lily.)

The first $54,000 split had an abbreviated four-horse field that saw Island Lily (Chapter Seven-Up Front Hotsey) dominate. 

Tom Jackson put Island Lily on the front and then led at every station with Destiny Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) on her back. After fractions of :29, :58.4 and 1:28.2, Destiny Blue Chip pulled the pocket and took a run at the leader in the turn. But Island Lily headed for home and trotted away clear to an easy 4-1/2 length victory in 1:57.2

It was the first lifetime win for Island Lily ($4.90) who was unraced at two. Fred Grant both owns and trains the filly. 

Island Lily was bred by Noel Daley and Up Front Racing and sold for $70,000 at the Harrisburg yearling sale.

The freshman class saw the best performance come in the second $52,200 division from Destined To Dance (Chapter Seven-Go Go Dancer) who dropped in fourth from post seven as Eliza B (Scott Zeron) scooted to the quarter in :29 flat. With four horses breaking early, the field was now in two groups with the top quad playing follow the leader to the half. 

Past the five-eighths Just Joshing (Andy Miller) came from third and made a move for the lead while Destined To Dance was still a gapped fourth. But after they entered the final bend, Tyler Buter hit the gas and Destined To Dance responded in dynamic fashion. Still three lengths off the lead, Destined To Dance dug in hard and with a full head of steam, flew down the stretch with ease while reeling off a :28.1 quarter to win by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:59.1.

It was the third straight win, all in NYSS action, for Destined To Dance ($3.80) who is owned by Heritage Standardbreds, Crawford Farms Racing and Rich Prezzioti. John Butenshoen trains the winner. 

Destined To Dance was bred by Crawford Farms and sold for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected yearling sale.   

(Photo: Ake Svanstedt with Broad Strokes.)

The complexion of the final $52,200 division changed quickly as post time favorite No Pay No Way (Scott Zeron) broke going for the lead. But Ake Svanstedt was happy to take her place when he guided Broad Strokes (Chapter Seven-Lady Marian) to the front and then never looked back. Broad Strokes slowed the half down to 1:01.1 as no one challenged and Svanstedt continued to grab leather into the second circuit. 

Credit Income (John Stark Jr.) finally advanced on the outside and got within a length of Broad Strokes in the final turn and the two were on a breakaway. Broad Strokes and Credit Income traded leads all the way down to the wire where Broad Strokes got a slight advantage and won by 1/4 length in 2:01.2.

It was the first lifetime win and a lifetime mark for Broad Strokes ($6.80) who is owned by Little E, Joe Sbrocco, L. Berg Inc. and Triple Play Trotters. Ake Svanstedt also trains the winner. 

Broad Strokes was bred by Fair Winds Farm and was a $50,000 Harrisburg yearling sale acquisition. 

There were six $15,000 divisions of Excelsior A races held on Sunday as well with the following results.

3-year-old trotting filly Excel A winners:

  • Lady Jeter (Muscles Yankee-Salt Hill Brigid) 1:59.2, $22.40
  • Owner -- Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford IV and Donald Brenner
  • Trainer -- Dan Daley
  • Driver -- Dan Daley
  • Breeder -- Salt Hill Farm
  • Morrisville sale -- $22,000


  • Reciprocalbluechip (Chapter Seven-Fraction) 1:59, $5.90
  • Owner -- Carrie Norris, M T Pockets Stable, Acadia Farms and G and B Racing
  • Trainer -- Charlie Norris
  • Driver -- Charlie Norris
  • Breeder -- Diamond Creek Farm
  • Lexington Selected sale -- $65,000


  • Soprese (Conway Hall-Isabella Gal) 1:59, $8.30
  • Owner -- Crawford Farms, James Crawford IV and Ann-Mari Daley
  • Trainer -- Dan Daley
  • Driver -- Dan Daley
  • Breeder -- Crawford Farms
  • Lexington Selected sale -- $25,000

2-year-old trotting filly Excel A winners:

  • Lovely Belle (Chapter Seven-Somebody To Love) 2:02, $3.20
  • Owner -- Crawford Farms Racing
  • Trainer -- Tony Alagna
  • Driver -- Jason Bartlett
  • Breeder -- Crawford Farms
  • Lexington Selected sale -- $110,000


  • A Million Chuckles (Lucky Chucky-Win A Million) 2:04, $3.70
  • Owner -- Peter Peck
  • Trainer -- Jim Shupe
  • Driver -- Tyler Buter
  • Breeder -- Peter Peck
  • Homebred


  • Enchanting Woman (Deweycheatumnhowe-Enchantment) 2:04, $7.70
  • Owner -- Hossman
  • Trainer -- Robert Gale
  • Driver -- Jimmy Whittemore
  • Breeder -- Dunroven Stud
  • Lexington Selected sale -- $15,000
August 2, 2020 - 2:17pm

Attention treasure hunters, bargain seekers, supporters of worthy causes and lookie-loos, too -- the nonprofit Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship Inc. will hold a big charity sale next weekend.

The Purple Pony Treasure Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 8 and 9, at the home of Purple Pony, which is KD Ranch, located at 8321 Lake Street Road, Le Roy.

All proceeds will benefit Purple Pony. The Purple Pony horses will be around for visitors to see.

Practice social distancing; masks and sanitizer will be available for those who need them.

There will be on-site parking, food and beverages for purchase, and a chock-full 70’ by 120’ indoor arena filled with STUFF: 

  • Household items;
  • Collectibles;
  • Jewelry;
  • Sporting goods;
  • Books;
  • Infant care items;
  • Kids' toys;
  • Camping gear;
  • Tools;
  • Hardware;
  • Lamps;
  • Linens;
  • Crafts;
  • Holiday decor;
  • Artwork;
  • Furniture;
  • Needful and needless things.

About Purple Pony

It provides equine opportunities to persons with disabilities and diverse needs. On March 7, Purple Pony received the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Special Service Recognition of the Year award for 2019.

Here's a previous story about Purple Pony:

'Purple Pony' proves therapeutic for children with a range of disabilities

Here's a video from May about Purple Pony's drive-thru parade to benefit Crossroads House.

August 2, 2020 - 1:38pm

A fawn is stuck inside the fenced in play area at the NYS School for the Blind on Washington Avenue in the city, according to a caller to dispatch. City police are responding to free the fawn.

UPDATE 1:54 p.m.: The officer successfully removed the fawn from the play area.

August 2, 2020 - 1:28pm

Statement from Batavia-based attorney Thomas D. Williams:

"I am honored to announce that I have been selected by the Genesee County Republican Party as their candidate for Family Court Judge in the election to be held on Nov. 3.

"My extensive experience as an attorney in private practice for 35 years and as Batavia Town Court Justice since 2008 has prepared me for this important responsibility.

"Family Court addresses some of the most difficult problems our citizens face, including: custody and visitation rights of parents, grandparents and others; the abuse and neglect of children; juvenile delinquency; domestic violence; and myriad other matters critical to the well-being of our children, their families, and the community as a whole.

"In my career as an attorney and town justice, I have developed the skills needed to address these various issues. Much of my work has involved coordinating with the law enforcement and social services agencies in our community, and collaborating with the staff, fellow attorneys, and mediators that work within our Family Court System.

"It is my hope that my efforts will have a positive impact on people’s lives. I look forward to dedicating myself wholeheartedly to the challenges ahead and the hard work required to be the Family Court Judge the people of Genesee County deserve."

Thomas D. Williams
The Williams Law Firm
2 Court Street Plaza
August 2, 2020 - 1:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Blue Pearl Yoga, news, batavia.

Pearl Blue Yoga in Batavia has announced that starting Tuesday, Aug. 4, instructor Lisa Ingalsbe will conduct yoga outdoors in Centennial Park.

The live outdoor yoga class will be held from 7 to 8:15 p.m. on Tuesdays this month. Cost is $10 per class.

This will be an all-level, adult class; you can relax while stretching and strengthening. There will be active yoga poses, breath work and stillness practices.  

Centennial Park is located at 151 State St. in the city.

Register online before 4 p.m. -- absolutely no walk-ins.

Things to know:

  • Adults only;
  • Bring your own mat;
  • Bring your own optional yoga gear if you like, blocks, straps, blankets, water and sunscreen / bug spray might be good, too;
  • There are NO restroom facilities at Centennial Park;
  • Social distancing & face masks are required.

(If two or less people register, the teacher may opt to cancel. You will be notified through email by 5 p.m. and of course, fully reimbursed.)

Note that the in-person yoga studio at 301 Main St., third floor of the Masonic Temple building Downtown, will be reopening Saturday, Sept. 19.

The Fall Schedule is being developed and they are seeking input about days/times/types of classes people want. Any input would be appreciated. Email: [email protected]

August 1, 2020 - 2:16pm

Press release:

Batavia, N.Y. – Following recent reports that  a dog had to be rescued from a hot car in Batavia, PETA -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- is issuing an urgent warning about the importance of  never leaving animals in hot vehicles.

Twenty-four animals have  already  died  this year  from heat-related causes, and because COVID-19 is prolonging store wait times and errands, PETA is concerned that  this summer could see an unprecedented number of hot  weather–related animal deaths.

On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 109 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

Dogs, who don’t sweat and can cool themselves only by panting, can rapidly succumb to heatstroke, even if a vehicle is parked in the shade with the windows slightly open, which has little to no effect on lowering the temperature inside.

Anyone who leaves animals outside to suffer in severe weather may be  prosecuted for cruelty.

The following tips will help keep animal companions safe in hot weather:

  • Keep animals indoors, and leave them at home when it’s hot outside.  Unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads and cool themselves by panting, so even brief sun exposure can have life-threatening consequences. Anyone who sees animals in distress and is unable to help should note their locations and alert authorities immediately.
  • Never leave an animal inside a hot vehicle.  Temperatures can quickly soar in parked cars, and a dog trapped inside can die from heatstroke within minutes—even if the car is in the shade with the windows slightly open, which has little to no effect on lowering the temperature inside the car. PETA offers  an emergency window-breaking hammer  for help with intervening in life-or-death situations.
  • Avoid hot pavement. When outdoor temperatures reach the 80s, asphalt temperatures can climb to 140 degrees, causing pain, burns, and permanent damage to dogs’ paws after just a few minutes of contact. Walk dogs on grass whenever possible, and avoid walking in the middle of the day. 
  • Never run with dogs  in hot weather—they’ll collapse before giving up, at which point, it may be too late to save them.

PETA has released a hot-car public service announcement featuring Mckenna Grace. For more information, visit  PETA.org.




Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button