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February 25, 2021 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Grand Jury, batavia.

Thomas S. Rajea is indicted for the crime of first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on April 30 that Thomas, while at a residence on Thomas Avenue in the City of Batavia, violated an order of protection with the intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm a person protected by the order, by striking, shoving, kicking or otherwise subjecting the person to physical contact, or he threatened to do so. In count two, Rajea is accused of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, a Class A misdemeanor, by allegedly applying pressure to the neck or throat of the victim. In count three, the defendant is accused of attempted criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a Class B misdemeanor. It is alleged in count three that Rajea on that day prevented, or attempted to prevent, the victim from communicating a request for emergency assistance.

February 25, 2021 - 1:23pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in Bob Knipe, news, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, notify.

The loss of Bob Knipe is one which will be felt in nearly every corner of Genesee County.

Knipe, 73, died Saturday at home after a brief illness, with his family at his side.

Knipe came to Genesee County from the West Coast to work at Genesee Community College, where he spent 23 years before retiring as dean of Learning Technologies. 

“It wasn’t just the college Bob was passionate about,” said S. Shade Zajac, conductor of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra, in which Knipe played the French horn. “Rotary, GO ART!, United Way – he was involved in them all. He had a deep love of community. He touched so many people.”

Zajac recalls the first time he met Knipe at GO ART!, where he interviewed for the job as orchestra conductor. 

“I got there early because I was so nervous, and Bob met me at the door,” Zajac said. “He called me by my first name and that put me ease.”

He said Knipe was never one to shy away from a joke, corny or otherwise. He played in Zajac’s trial concert, and the first conversation they had after Zajac got the job was about all the different projects Knipe wanted to do with the orchestra. 

“Bob was a staunch supporter of this orchestra back before I was born,” said the 27-year-old conductor. “Performing and music – that was Bob. He loved to play with the orchestra and they loved him. Bob’s love and knowledge of the orchestra are undisputable. To say he was loved and respected throughout the entire orchestra is an understatement.”

Before Knipe’s death, the orchestra had been planning a virtual concert in his honor.

“We had sent the music we were going to play to Bob’s wife, Linda, and she played it for him,” Zajac said. “He was very touched.”

When the orchestra learned about the concert paying tribute to Knipe, Zajac said the response from the entire orchestra was overwhelming. 

“It is a tribute to how much he was loved and respected," Zajac said.

Even Patty Hume from GCC contacted Zajac and asked if they would like to use space at the college to perform. In addition, the college’s tech team will assist with the recording.

The music for the program is peaceful and quiet, because Knipe’s wife did not want the music to be sad.

The virtual concert is scheduled for March 26, and to watch the livestreamed concert from GCC's Stuart Steiner Theatre, folks should go to the orchestra’s website to find a live link to tune into at 7:30 that evening. 

There will be a donate button for those who wish and funds which come in will be given to Knipe’s family to establish a memorial as they wish, said Roxie Choate, president of the orchestra's Board of Directors.

The orchestra is suggesting the Knipe family consider setting up a college scholarship fund for a high school senior who will be entering the field of music.

Marjorie Fulmer shared her memories of playing flute with Bob in the GSO.

“I’m not sure how many years Bob has been a member of the GSO, but I’ve been a member for 35 years and he has been there most of that time," Fulmer said.  "We also spent many years on the board together, and we were co-presidents for a couple of those years. His boundless enthusiasm and true love and appreciation for the orchestra always came through loud and clear.

"He seemed to have endless energy for both the mental and physical aspects of running a community orchestra. He was constantly the one who schlepped around the music stands to various venues and set the stage up countless times so it would be ready for the other musicians at rehearsals and concerts. While many of the orchestra members are music teachers or have some kind of professional background related to music, Bob did not.

"So many times he told me that one of the goals of a community orchestra should be inclusiveness and he totally appreciated that the GSO included him. The arts in Genesee County have much to thank Bob Knipe for.”

Barb Meyer, a fellow hornist with Knipe, shared some of the light moments they enjoyed in the orchestra. Her memories are of the times they would get in trouble for playing too aggressively or missing their entrance and were chided for talking and not paying attention. 

Meyer said Knipe wore many hats in the orchestra, as operations manager, as well as president. He loved pranks, she said, and it was not unusual for the conductor to turn around after speaking to the audience only to see the horn section decked out in something on their heads. Knipe’s favorite was his big bag of reindeer antlers and Santa hats for the annual holiday concert.

“I will miss his sense of humor, dedication and love of music, in addition to the corny music jokes and pranks,” Meyer said.

She also noted a rare coincidence -- that her horn and Bob’s are both Conn 8D models, and were built within a short time of each other, as the serial numbers are close.

“What are the chances of that in the same orchestra?” she asked. 

Gregg McAllister became friends with Knipe through their involvement in Rotary 30 years ago.

“Bob was the kind who immediately put down roots and became involved in his community,” McAllister said. “He became involved because he wanted to better the community where he lived. Bob was involved in so many things and he was such a pleasure to work with. He was always willing to take on the job as board member or leader, but he wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, either.”

McAllister cited a recent gleaning project undertaken by Rotary, where Knipe was there with his pickup collecting beets. When they cleaned up Rotary Park and made repairs at the Domestic Violence Safe House, Knipe was there working. 

One day week, Knipe volunteered to drive military veterans to medical appointments.

McAllister said one very important program Knipe was involved in with him for 25 years was Rotary’s Youth Exchange Program, which provided life-changing experiences for youth from around the world. As a result, tributes and condolences have been coming in from all over the world.

“Bob loved to travel to other countries, but he loved Batavia, too,” McAllister said. 

Board President Choate was also a member of the Batavia First Presbyterian Church with Knipe. 

“He was very involved with the church, holding some of their decision-making positions,” she said. “Wherever Bob was, he held a strong leadership role. Bob was also a huge family man.”

Conductor Zajac added a comment about the orchestra’s holiday presentation of “Encore” at Christmas time.

“As a member of the GCC faculty, Knipe had tried for many years to make the holiday concert happen with the Genesee Symphony,” Zajac said. “The day I told him, he was ecstatic. To me it is incredibly fitting and heartwarming that Bob’s last concert should be ‘Encore.’ ” 

Knipe’s full obituary can be read here on The Batavian.

Top photo, by Howard Owens.

Photo below, courtesy of Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

Bottom photo, by Howard Owens.

February 25, 2021 - 12:26pm

By Kathy Zipkin, president, Friends of Richmond Memorial Library

The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library are pleased to announce that they have added an extra “Every Day Sale” space at the library!

Until normal book sales can resume, books can be purchased from the shelf by the elevator or from the table in the Reading Room any time the library is open.  

Selections include romance, mysteries, science fiction, history, young adult, cookbooks and so much more!

Please bring a bag if you need one. Sadly, the library still cannot accept donations. Books are priced according to stickers and signage and can be paid with by cash or check.

All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Library. The Friends of the Library exist to support the mission and goals of the library, including direct support of most library programs. New Friends are always welcome -- become a member at the library today!

The library is open regular hours for limited services, including browsing and checking out materials, limited computer use, photocopying, faxing and placing holds on materials.

Please observe all signage and policies when you enter the library. Information about virtual programs can be found on our website.

Richmond Memorial Library continually provides access to physical and virtual resources and services that meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its diverse community in a safe and comfortable environment.

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

February 25, 2021 - 12:07pm

Submitted photo and press release:

 

St. Paul Lutheran School in Batavia will hold an Open House for prospective families with students of 3-year-old preschoolers through fifth grade on Friday, March 26 from 4 to 6 p.m.

 

Registrations are now being accepted for the 2021-2022 school year.

Registration forms are available on the website or by calling the school office at (585) 343-0488.

The school is located at 31 Washington Ave. in the City of Batavia.

Why St. Paul?

  • Five days of in-class learning.
  • Outdoor recess every day.
  • Small class sizes that allow for individual attention.
  • Small school creates close family atmosphere.
  • Three or five day option for 3- and 4-year-old preschoolers.
  • Chapel Service each Monday and religion lessons daily in classrooms.

For more information, visit the school’s website at stpaulbatavia.org.

February 25, 2021 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in girls basketball, sports.

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Alexander pulling out a close victory Wednesday over Oakfield-Alabama, 51-48.

For the Trojans, Hailie Kramer scored 19 points and Allison Mileham scored 11.

For the Hornets, Danica Porter scored 15 points, Brooke Reding, 12, and Kelsy Schlagenhauf, 10.

In other girls basketball:

  • Elba beat Pembroke 62-35. Brynn Walczak scored 27 points for Elba and had 10 rebounds. Leah Bezon scored 10 points. For Pembroke, Serene Calderon scored 10 points. (Game pictures included below.)
  • Byron-Bergen beat Kendall 39-35
  • Notre Dame beat Lyndonville 53-33

In boys basketball:

  • Le Roy beat Haverling 54-51
  • Pavilion beat Keshequa 42-34

O-A v. Alexander photos by Kristin Smith (click here for more). Elba vs. Pembroke photos by Debra Reilly.

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February 25, 2021 - 10:54am

Directors of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. this morning authorized the purchase of the Hotel at Batavia Downs from ADK Hospitality LLC for $8 million.

The action, which was approved by a 13-1 margin with one abstention, provides WROTB with the opportunity to "expand our customer service to our patrons and to our guests who come here," said WROTB President/CEO Henry Wojtaszek following the public benefit company's board meeting.

"We had an opportunity to strike an agreement with the current owners and we believe that the price is appropriate and we believe it will help enhance what we have to offer to our guests."

Wojtaszek said WROTB has submitted a financing plan that he feels is "appropriate and reasonable, so now we're going to go ahead and try to complete the deal."

He said he anticipates a closing date sometime in April and is looking forward to be able the market the hotel more extensively.

"We will have a renewed focus on marketing," he said, noting the many tie-ins to the casino such as weddings, trade shows, movie nights and dinner/overnight packages. "Being able to be marketed by us will be a big advantage."

Wojtaszek said the plan is to continue contracting with Hart Hotels to manage the hotel on Park Road.

Chief Financial Officer Jacquelyne Leach reported that WROTB will be able to capitalize on historically low interest rates, utilizing 20-year tax exempt bonds to project a savings of $600,000 as it bundles the refinancing of a balloon payment due in October 2023 with the hotel purchase expenditure.

"Being a public benefit corporation, we have to publicly advertise this," she said, adding that she currently is negotiating with Key Bank and Tompkins Bank of Castile.

In November 2016, Batavia Downs Gaming and members of the hotel ownership team cut the ribbon on the 84-room, luxury hotel.

ADK Hospitality LLC is a Buffalo-based development team that purchased land from WROTB in March 2015 and invested $7.5 million to build the facility.

Stage Purchase May Lead to More Concerts

WROTB directors also approved a resolution, by a 14-1 vote, to purchase the stage and roof truss, along with crowd control barricades and two storage containers from Audio Images Sound & Lighting, a Batavia firm, for use at the corporation's Summer Concert Series at a cost of $129,460.

"This is certainly a good economic move for Batavia Downs. We believe that purchasing this equipment ... will pay for itself within the first two to three years of the purchase. We intend to have concerts for a long time," Wojtaszek said.

"The equipment that we are purchasing is in very good shape and we have a capable maintenance staff here on site that will be able to keep that in good shape for years to come. And we're looking to have more concerts than the six to eight that we've had."

The 2021 concert series has yet to be finalized but two performers have been announced -- Steve Augeri, formerly of Journey, on June 25, and Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles, on July 9.

Other concerts and their tentative dates are Skid Row, June 25; The Machine (Pink Floyd Tribute), Aug. 7

Wojtaszek said his leadership team is trying to set up more concerts, possibly starting in May. If necessary, they would take place in a "pod" setting, he said, with about 1,500 in attendance instead of 5,000.

Directors approved a related resolution to spend up to $274,000 to pay the Summer Concert Series musical acts.

In other developments, directors:

  • Approved the sale of the McKinley OTB branch in Buffalo to Alaskan Properties I LLC for $900,000.

Wojtaszek said the buyers are a retail business and hopes to close the transaction during the summer.

Leach reported that proceeds will go toward paying down two loans, a letter of credit pertaining to workers' compensation self-insurance and to the capital acquisition fund.

  • Approved an agreement with Cumulus Broadcasting (97 Rock FM) to become the title sponsor the the 97 Rock Tour Bus for April 2021 throught March 2023 at an annual cost of $20,000. 

Benefits to the corporation include hundreds of on-air promotional mentions, the sponsor log and link on the 97 Rock website, ability to distribute promotional coupons, a vinyl wrap of the logon the tour bus, three "remote location" broadcasts and four tickets to a suite at a Buffalo Bills game.

  • Received financial reports as follows:

-- WROTB distributed $55,455 in surcharge to the member municipalities for December and will distribut $69,342 for January. The corporation also generated operational earnings of $81,691 in January.

-- Batavia Bets, the company's interactive online wagering platform, saw a 67 percent increase in January, bringing in $581,000, and is up 43 percent in February at $317,000.

Previous: Hotel ribbon cutting officially marks 'transformation' at Batavia Downs Gaming

February 25, 2021 - 9:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
February 25, 2021 - 9:05am

Anyone who follows the activities of the Batavia City Council is fully aware of the fact that longtime Council member Rose Mary Christian – in her unique brusque and outspoken style – strongly advocates for her Sixth Ward (the southside), fully supports the city’s police and fire department and constantly looks out for the taxpayer.

On Wednesday, she contacted The Batavian to share her views on a few items currently on Council’s docket, starting with the management situation at the Batavia Ice Rink on Evans Street.

Christian said she is not on board with a recommendation before the city’s governing body to allow Firland Management, the company that operates the rink, to make a lease payment nine months after the original due date and to contribute a reduced amount to the rink’s capital improvement fund.

Council, at Monday night’s Conference Meeting, agreed to forward the proposal to its March 8th Business Meeting for a formal vote.

A memo from Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski to Council spells out a reworking and extension of the lease agreement with Firland, reducing and deferring the firm’s payments due to the impact of COVID-19 upon its bottom line in 2020. The rink was closed for most of the year and just recently has welcomed back youth league and high school hockey teams.

Christian said she doesn’t buy that reasoning.

“There are numerous businesses in the city of Batavia that are hurting,” she said. “Are we going to defer anything for them – property taxes, school taxes, anything? I don’t think so, and that’s why I’m not voting for the resolution coming in two weeks.”

Tabelski, through negotiations with Firland, introduced a plan to let Firland make its next lease payment of $25,000 on Jan. 1, 2022 instead of the current due date of March 1, 2021, and also to reduce its contribution to the rink’s capital fund for 2020-21 from $32,958.30 to $5,000.

She also is proposing to extend the contract from its current ending date of March 31, 2021 for two years through March 2023.

Therefore, Firland’s lease payments will be $20,000 annually for 2021-22 and 2022-23 and its capital fund contribution will be $5,000 annually for the next two fiscal years.

Christian said the city has seen its revenue decline and, noting the costs involved with maintaining the rink, feels it would be unwise to go this route.

“Rachael sent me an email stating that the annual cost for keeping the refrigeration system at the rink is $11,500, and the city pays for that,” Christian said. “So, in reality, taxpayer money is used to cover that expense.”

Tabelski explained that the intent of the lease and capital payments (paid to the city by Firland) covers the costs of maintenance at the facility and contributes to the Ice Rink Reserve for Capital Improvements.

The city currently has $370,000 in ice rink reserves. If the refrigeration system was to fail, it could cost up to $750,000 to purchase and install a new one.

“That’s a far cry if it comes to $700,000 and we have to replace it,” Christian said. “And that becomes another burden upon city taxpayers.”

In a story posted on The Batavian on Tuesday, Tabelski suggested the manager’s office – within a year or so -- conduct an analysis and study, and present a strategy to Council “with the goal of bringing it back to full capacity and to potentially attract a buyer.”

Christian said she hopes someone or an organization would purchase the facility.

“We do not belong in business. I, myself, would like to privatize that all the way so someone can own it and take care of the responsibility,” she said. “Not every child in Batavia is afforded that ice rink. They can’t afford the fees charged to play hockey; it’s just the elite.”

Christian sounded off on a couple of other recent City Council agenda items:

-- On having vacant public safety positions in the 2021-22 budget:

“I’m sorry that we have to not fill a couple positions with the police department and the fire department. Safety is my No. 1 concern,” she said.

Christian said city funds used to support the Batavia Development Corp. should go back into the general fund, and potentially could be used to hire public safety personnel.

Tabelski, in response to an email from The Batavian, stated that the city is paying $95,000 to the BDC this year – down from the usual amount of $110,000 -- “via an agreement that was established years ago to provide economic development services in the City.”

She explained that the BDC is a public authority and has its own budget and operating costs, and can bring in its own revenue at times from grants, project fees or real estate sales. Recently, the entity has been successful in obtaining New York Main Street grants and money from the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative for several building renovation projects in the city.

The BDC employs a full-time director of economic development at a current salary of $65,000.

Christian said the corporation should be at a point where it can sustain itself.

“Do you know where that salary belongs? It belongs with the BDC. They should be paying for it,” she said.

-- On the strong possibility that the city will contract with the Genesee Area Family YMCA for its afterschool and summer recreation programs:

“I’m happy that (District Executive Director) Jeff Townsend is going to be in charge of it for the YMCA. I think they are going to do an outstanding job for the kids,” she said.

Christian said the $1,100 rent payment to City Church for the use of the Liberty Center for Youth (the former St. Anthony’s School building) on Liberty Street is fair.

“It’s a good fee for that building. It will serve the kids well and also it will be used on Tuesday nights for their open gymnasium.”

February 25, 2021 - 7:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A car stuck a utility pole in the area of 3624 Batavia Oakfield Townline Road at 6:30 a.m.

There are no injuries.

A second car also reportedly hit the pole after it was down.

There are wires across the roadway so the Batavia Oakfield Townline Road is closed to through traffic until National Grid can respond and shut off power to the line.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS on scene.

February 24, 2021 - 7:51pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, genesee county legislature.

Genesee County Manager Matt Landers today said he is hopeful that an urgent request to the governor’s office to designate Genesee Community College as a COVID-19 mass vaccination will become a reality.

Legislative leaders and public health directors in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties last week sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to authorize the use of the GCC campus as a regional location to administer the vaccine.

“We remain optimistic at this point that our request will be heard,” Landers said during a Genesee County Legislature meeting at the Old County Courthouse. “There is some hope and optimism through discussions with the Finger Lakes (Region) control room.”

The letter stated that the three counties have experienced delays in testing supplies and now have not received enough vaccine, adding that “having a regional clinic with less than a half hour commute would benefit these communities."

Genesee County lawmakers are confident that they have enough staff and volunteers to vaccinate 2,000 or more people per day.

Copies of the letter were also sent to Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties state representatives, Assemblyman David DiPietro, Senator Patrick Gallivan, Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, Assemblyman Michael Norris, Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt, and Senator Edward Rath III.

On another front, Landers said that he and John Welch Jr., Orleans County chief administrative officer, were on a call with New York Association of Counties officials to talk about the two counties’ plan to build a joint jail on West Main Street Road in Batavia.

“We are focused on our joint jail and we talked about the history of the Genesee County Jail. And because of the governor’s budget wording, there is new, revised hope that there will be an opportunity (for it),” he said. “Obviously, we have a close partnership and a history of sharing with Orleans County – a willingness of two administrative bodies to do what is right for the taxpayers in the least costly manner.”

Landers said Genesee is moving forward with the project as it has asked a design firm to update its jail study to determine the proper number of beds.

“If they (Orleans County legislators) aren’t able to decide or meet the timeline we have … they could always jump in down the road (through) future expansion,” he said.

He also shared that in Albany County, excess jail beds were used to create a homeless shelter.

A report by Legislator Gary Maha indicated that if a federal stimulus plan passes in mid-March, counties who certify their COVID-related financial losses would be able to be reimbursed in 60 to 90 days.

In legislative action, Wade Schab of Alexander, a longtime parademic, was approved as a Genesee County coroner, replacing Jeff McIntire, who relocated to Florida.

Previous: Ways & Means supports resolution appointing Wade Schwab to fill vacant county coroner post​.

February 24, 2021 - 5:14pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in news, lifestyles, Outdoor Activity, snow, winter.

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The George family siblings worked on building some snowmen with their grandmother yesterday afternoon before the warmer temperatures came in today. It was good packing snow and they wanted to take advantage of having some outdoor fun while we still had some snow.

February 24, 2021 - 4:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, fundraiser, news, pembroke, notify, covid-19, Racing to Recovery.

Jessica Newton -- wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and nurse -- needs the community's help as she struggles to regain her health and her strength.

After being diagnosed with COVID-19 and spending six days in the hospital, she returned home only to suffer a stroke a day later. She went back in the hospital and remains there awaiting the right treatment.

"One thing she isn't is a quitter. ... Jess...is staying strong so she can come home to her husband TJ and her two sons, Maverick and Emmett," according to a note sent to The Batavian by the Newton and Johnson families.

They are holding a drive-thru chicken BBQ for her from 12 p.m. until sold out on Saturday, March 6, at St. Maximilian Kolbe Roman Catholic Parish, located at 8656 Church St. in East Pembroke.

Tickets for "Racing to Recovery" are $12 each. There will also be a walk-thru basket raffle at the church that day.

Money raised will help the Newton family offset their medical expenses and help them now that Jessica, for the time being, is unable to work.

You can buy tickets, and/or drop off monetary donations or a raffle basket at:

Jess's friends and family say they appreciate the outpouring of love and support given to the frontline healthcare worker and her family.

The note continues: "This road the family is about to go down is unpredictable and may have bumps and turns, but one thing is for sure -- it will never be a road they travel alone."

February 24, 2021 - 4:08pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, news, coronavirus.

Data Update – 

  • Genesee County received 14 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in the:
      • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield) 
      • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. 
  • Twenty-three of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.  
  • Fourteen of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.

 

Orleans County received 19 new positive cases of COVID-19.  

  • The positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
    • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s,30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.
  • Three of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Two of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Correction for the West Region, an individual was removed as they were not an Orleans County resident, the correct number of positives for Tuesday is one less (2,381)
February 24, 2021 - 3:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Bethany, news, notify.
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     Timothy Tundo

Timothy M. Tundo, 57, of Linden Road, Bethany, was arrested Tuesday after an execution of a search warrant by the Local Drug Task Force that allegedly uncovered machine guns, LSD, and money.

The Sheriff's Office reports that besides the LSD, in an amount that suggests it was being sold, they also found marijuana.  

Weapons recovered include an AR-15 style pistol, declared a "ghost gun" (unmarked and unregistered), two fully automatic machine guns, and five assault-style weapons. They also recovered 10 high-capacity magazines, an ammo belt, and brass knuckles.

Tundo is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, 12 counts of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, criminal possession of an assault weapon, 3rd, criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, and criminal possession of marijuana, 2nd.

The suspect is being held in the Genesee County Jail in lieu of bail (unspecified).

The task force was assisted by uniformed deputies, State Police VGNET, State Police SORT, State Police CCERT, and the District Attorney's Office.

February 24, 2021 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, accident.

A semi-truck has reportedly overturned at 5140 W. Ag Park Drive, Batavia.

Unknown injuries.

Town of Batavia fire is responding.

February 24, 2021 - 2:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Oakfield, byron, bergen.

Johnathan Falk, 22, of Batavia (no address provided) (inset photo right), was arrested Feb. 17 by Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies on two warrants stemming from previous arrests. In January 2020 he was arrested for petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, in the Town of Warsaw then released as the charge did not qualify for bail reform. He was arrested later that month for criminal possession of a controlled subject in the fifth degree, a Class D felony, and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a Class C felony. Again he was released since the offenses did not qualify for bail. In June, Falk was arrested for two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree, both Class A-II felonies. He was released from custody again. The defendant was indicted on the felony charges in August; he never appeared in court and warrants were issued out of Wyoming County Court and Town of Warsaw Court. When he was arrested earlier this month, he was additionally charged with third-degree bail jumping, a Class A misdemeanor. Falk was arraigned in Warsaw Town Court and put in Wyoming County Jail in lieu of bail (unspecified). Falk is due back in Wyoming County Court at a later date. Genesee County Sheriff's Office assisted with locating and arresting Falk. The case was handled by Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputy Bradley McGinnis, assisted by Deputy Aaron Chase.

Steven Luigi Maltese, 51, of Clinton Street Road, Bergen, is charged with third-degree menacing and endangering the welfare of a child. At 4:05 p.m. on Feb. 19, deputies responded to the 4000 block of South Main Street in the Town of Batavia for a reported domestic incident. After an investigation, Maltese was arrested for allegedly threatening a female victim in the presence of a juvenile during a domestic dispute. He was arraigned in Genesee County Court and is due back there on April 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Andre.

Benjamin J. Lathan, 20, and Brandon C. Lewis, 20, both of Bergen (no addresses provided) were arrested Feb. 21 by State Police out of the Amity Barracks and charged with petit larceny and trespass. Troopers investigating the January theft of three trail cameras from a property on Streeter Brook Road in the Town of Genesee allegedly determined both men were involved in the theft of the cameras. Both were arrested and released with appearance tickets for Genesee Town Court, where they are due to appear in March.

Will R. Thompson, 21, of Byron (no address provided), was arrested on Feb. 14 by a Wyoming County Sheriff's deputy and charged with having an uninspected motor vehicle and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree. At 3:22 p.m. that day Deputy Austin Harding was patrolling northbound on South Main Street in the Village of Perry, when he observed a gray pickup truck southbound with a 2020 inspection sticker on the front windshield. Harding conducted a traffic stop near Camp Road and a DMV data check found the inspection sticker expired Nov. 30 and that Thompson's license was suspended twice for failure to answer a summons in the Town of Hastings Court on Feb. 8. Thompson was proceseed roadside, then released with an appearance ticket to appear in Village of Perry Court at a later date.

Antonio Diego Dames, 45, of Farnsworth Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon marijuana in the fourth degree. At 2:29 p.m. on Feb. 22, Genesee County Sheriffs deputies responded to a residence on Farnsworth Avenue in the Village of Oakfield to assist the county Probatation Department. After an investigation, Dames was arrested for allegedly possessing more than two ounces of marijuana. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Oakfield Town Court on April 5. The case was handled by Deputy Erik Andre. CORRECTION: This item initially, and mistakenly, used the word "weapon" instead of "marijuana" in the criminal charge. The Batavian regrets the error.

February 24, 2021 - 1:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stefano Napolitano, livestream, video, City Fire, batavia.
Video Sponsor

 Interview with City Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano

February 24, 2021 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Le Roy.

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On Senior Night, Le Roy beat Letchworth 61-30.

Jillian Curtis scored 22 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and knocked back five shots. Bryn Luckey scored 25 points and snatched four steals. Zharia Newton scored eight points and had seven rebounds. Jen Pullyblank scored 10 points.

Also in girls basketball, Pavilion beat Cal-Mum 50 to 18.

Photos by Tim McArdle.

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