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March 25, 2021 - 12:48pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Youth Bureau will host the 18th annual Family Game Night in celebration of National County Government Month. The event will take place on Thursday, April 29th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at County Building 2, 3837 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Family Game Night will be a “Grab 'n' Go” style event. Families will drive up to the main entrance of County Building 2 and staff will greet them with a family tote that will consist of information about the services provided by the Genesee County Departments as well as prizes and activities.

Each bag will also have snacks, beverages and of course a brand new board game for families to start their own “Family Game Night” at home.

The theme for this year’s County Government Month is “Counties Matter.” Many county residents aren’t aware of the many important services provided by County Government. Each County department will provide information that showcases their roles and responsibilities to our residents.

As we know, counties are on the front lines protecting our communities. Now more than ever, Genesee County residents are seeing firsthand the essential functions counties perform. The County provides critical services to all our residents, beginning at birth and spanning throughout their entire lives.

There is no cost for this event. Adults must be accompanied by a child to receive the board game. Please call the Youth Bureau for more information or to register at 344-3960. Registration is required by April 9th and is only open for the first 30 families to RSVP.

March 25, 2021 - 12:35pm
From Genesee RiverWatch:
 
The free, virtual 2021 Genesee River Basin Summit is open for registration. Much of Genesee County is in the Genesee River Watershed.
 
This year, they are organizing our “Summit” as a series of online workshops to be held in April and May.
 
The topics will be:
  • We Need Trees – April 7th / 8:30 to 10 a.m. A look at the growing need for trees for conservation projects and what can be done to satisfy that need. Additionally, the carbon sequestration implications will be discussed.
  • What’s Going On? – April 14th / 8:30 to 10 a.m. A review of past, present and future water quality improvement projects developed and implemented by Genesee RiverWatch in partnership with various basin stakeholders.
  • Got Access? – May 5th / 8:30 to 10 a.m. Presenters will discuss current improvement plans for car-top boat access to the Genesee River basin followed by questions and answers with a panel.
  • Let’s Plan a Canoe/Kayak Trip - May 12th / 8:30 to 10 a.m. Basin outfitters and stakeholder groups will provide guidance and tips on how to plan your next trip on the river.

To register, click here.

March 25, 2021 - 12:23pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, Pfizer vaccine clinics.

Press release:

The Genesee and Orleans County Health departments have two Pfizer vaccination clinics with appointments available for residents in Genesee and Orleans counties. 

Whichever COVID-19 vaccine is available is the right vaccine to get now! All approved vaccines are effective and saves lives. We encourage anyone that is currently eligible to register for an upcoming clinic.

Vaccine is now available for people age 50 and older along with the existing priority groups (http://bit.ly/NYSPriorityGroups). Pfizer is a two-series dose series, 21 days apart (three weeks), and is recommended for people aged 16 and older.

It is important to note that you must be able to return for the second dose 21 days after the first dose at the location you received your initial vaccination. You will be making that appointment after you are vaccinated. If you cannot make that date, please do not make an appointment for a two-dose series until you can make both appointments.  

Visit the vaccination web page at: https://bit.ly/GOHealthVaccine

Direct links to the first-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination clinics are:

Genesee clinic at Genesee Community College, Batavia: https://bit.ly/GCCPfizer

Orleans clinic at Ridgeway Fire Hall, Medina: http://bit.ly/OrleansPfizer

Orleans Community Health – Medina Memorial Hospital also has three clinics planned at 200 Ohio St., Medina:

If you are interested in making an appointment to get your COVID-19 vaccination, now is the time to do it locally!

March 25, 2021 - 12:14pm

Press release:

The Batavia Development Corp. is pleased to announce a New York Street Anchor Grant for $417,000 for the Batavia Players Inc. Main Street Theater 56 project.

The Batavia Development Corporation and Batavia Players Inc. were successful in being awarded a New York Main Street Anchor Grant through the Housing Trust Fund Corporation and the Office of Community Renewal to assist the Main Street 56 Theater project.

Batavia Players, a not-for-profit organization for more than 80 years is the longest continuing regional theater company in New York State. The mission of the Batavia Players Inc. is to bring affordable theater to the community by making theater accessible to everyone with a variety o fquality productions that enhance artistic growth of participants and encourage audiences to think, feel and develop an appreciation for theater.

“The new Main Street 56 Theater project and our Board of Directors are humbled and very appreciative of this grant," said Patrick Burk, president and executive director of the Batavia Players. "We have all been heartened by the continued support for this project, which will genuinely affect our downtown community and the City Centre property in such a positive manner.

"This will allow us to build a beautiful, state of the art facility in our city as well as continue to bring many visitors and theater patrons to see our performances and support other downtown businesses. We could not be more excited with this new development. Our project has been blessed by the support of a lot of people who genuinely care and have been with us from the start. I would like to thank City Manager Rachael Tabelski, the City of Batavia, the Batavia Development Corporation and all of our partners for their ongoing dedication to our project." 

The Main Street 56 Theater and the Main Street 56 Dance Company will occupy a vacant and underutilized space in the City Centre. The City of Batavia and the Batavia Players will rehabilitate approximately 14,000 square feet of tiered space into the state-of-the-art performing arts center, educational facilities, dance, and set development with a Main Street entrance at 35 Batavia City Centre.

This project will leverage grant funding from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Grant program and the New York Main Street Anchor Grant program.  

“The BDC has proven successful in obtaining grant funds to continue to revitalize the City’s commercial hub," said Eugene Jankowski Jr. City of Batavia Council president. "Delivering the Main Street Anchor Grant for the Main Street 56 Theater project is another example of City and BDC working together to deliver on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) goals of arts and culture for the City."

In alignment with the Batavia Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) Investment Strategy the Batavia Players will foster and promote more arts, culture, entertainment, healthy living, wellness and prosperity. Filling vacant and underutilized structures has been a common goal across many of Batavia’s planning efforts as identified by the Brownfield Opportunity Area and The City’s Comprehensive Plan. 

“There are many catalytic and complimentary projects happening in our Downtown and this is one of the many," said Andrew Maguire, director of Economic Development for the Batavia Development Corporation. "Projects like Main Street 56 Theater will create more vibrancy, help increase commerce overall, and will deliver a better quality of life.

"We are thankful to New York State, the Office of Community Renewal and Homes and Community Renewal, along with all the other New York State agencies that continue to invest in the revitalization of Batavia.” 

The Batavia Development Corporation excited to be awarded this New York Main Street Grant," said Lori Aratari, president of the Board of Directors for the Batavia Development Corporation. "The New York Main Street Grant program is very competitive and the Batavia Development Corporation continues to be successful in identifying and executing grant opportunities that help projects, like the Batavia Player’s, for the betterment of our community."

The Batavia Players Inc. and Main Street 56 Theater consists of a dedicated group of professionals and community members whom have brought theater and the performing arts to our community. They are unique in New York State with their ambitious schedule of performances while maintaining a high level of quality and diverse productions.

For more information regarding the Batavia Players Inc., Main Street 56 Theater, and Main Street 56 Dance Studio, please visit www.bataviaplayers.org.

March 25, 2021 - 12:05pm

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Directors of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. this morning voted in favor of paying the Town of Batavia up to $395,000 for property enhancements as part of the Park Road Reconstruction Project that is scheduled to commence construction this fall.

Following the approval at the board’s monthly meeting at Batavia Downs Gaming, WROTB President/CEO Henry Wojtaszek said he was impressed with Town officials’ diligence in making the $3 million street reconstruction a reality and is eager to see the finished product.

“This will be a beautiful entry to our facility,” Wojtaszek said. “We’re talking about sidewalks, a promenade, tree-lined area, street and parking lot lighting, landscaping, road work, valet improvements for hotel purposes and some infrastructure work.

“We had a great meeting with them (town officials). They were very well prepared and they had excellent documents.”

Wojtaszek said that “every bit of the project is very well thought out,” noting that work will be done on one side of the street at a time to keep traffic moving – although at a slower pace. “The town is going to improve the speed bumps that we have, and that will help, also.”

Last June, WROTB granted the town three easements – small parcels to help facilitate drainage, utilities and sidewalk installation.

The major rehabilitation of the road will take place from Lewiston Road (Route 63) to Oak Street (Route 98).

Work will include new pavement, curbs and curbing from Lewiston Road to Richmond Avenue with sidewalks on both sides of Park Road, while pavement will be overlaid and sidewalks installed on one side of the road from Richmond Avenue to Route 98. The project also calls for new water lines and street lights on Park Road between Route 63 and Richmond Avenue.

Town Engineer Steve Mountain said WROTB’s request for “betterments” is typical of road projects in urban areas.

“If somebody wants additional streetscape and improvements to enhance the functionality of their facility – such as Batavia Downs – than oftentimes betterment improvements are performed,” Mountain said. “Things like additional lighting, surface treatments, walkways, landscaping and trees. They’re kind of above and beyond what we would normally do.”

Mountain said that the state-funded project is in its design phase and that the town is hoping to solicit bids in August.

“We’re waiting on our grant application for the water main,” he said. “Depending upon the results of that, replacement of the water main is out ahead of the road project.”

Last month, the Batavia Town Board approved a resolution to apply for a state Community Development Block Grant for around $900,000 to replace a 5,300-foot stretch of water main on Park Road.

Mountain said the plan is to remove the 50-year-old asbestos water main under the roadway that serves Batavia Downs Gaming and other commercial enterprises. The pipe runs along the length of Park Road from Route 63 to the gas station on Park Road, not far from Route 98.

In other developments:

  • Chief Financial Officer Jacquelyne Leach reported that the corporation will distribute $66,500 in surcharge to member municipalities for February, despite an operating loss of about $115,000 for the month.

Branch operations declined by about $73,000 in February. As of March 16, however, revenue was up by more than $900,000 compared to that time in 2020, which happened to be the first week of the COVID-19 shutdown.

Batavia Bets, the corporation’s interactive online platform, had a handle of $1.4 million in February, up $354,000, and through March 21, revenue is up by $383,000. Year to date, Batavia Bets’ proceeds are $4 million, a 50 percent increase.

  • Directors approved four other spending measures:

$400,000 to Bally’s Casino Marketplace for the installation of a video lottery gaming player tracker and update of related hardware and software;

$55,000 to Kim Crawford for consulting services in respect to the resurfacing and maintenance of the harness horse racing track;

$16,500 to the William Ryan Group, Inc., for an application (app) that will alert gaming personnel when a machine or patron needs assistance;

$21,350 to United Tote Company for a horse racing ticket cashing kiosk.

  • Marketing Director Ryan Hasenauer announced that Batavia Downs Gaming is attempting to bring in two more concerts outside of the nine-concert Rockin’ the Downs series. Hasenauer said a first-rate tribute band is likely to perform on May 22, followed by a nationally-known artist sometime in July.

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March 25, 2021 - 12:00pm


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Culinary enthusiasts drool over the chef's kitchen, with a built-in fridge, spacious island, microwave-oven built-in, and dishwasher. Enjoy a master suite with walk-in closet, an en-suite master bath. The luxuries keep coming with three full bathrooms, a spacious laundry room, and natural sunlight.

Your extensive outdoor living area has privacy surrounding the beautiful in-ground pool and plenty of social distancing space for grilling and gathering evenings. Your storage needs are met with a full basement along with both attached and detached garage spaces. Click here to view the full listing. Call Sunny Rathod today! Call (585) 813-2445

March 25, 2021 - 11:58am
posted by Press Release in city of batavia, Law Street Yard Waste Station, news.

Press release:

The Law Street Yard Waste Station will open for the season on Monday, April 5th for City of Batavia residents.

The station will be open from 12 to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday until November, when time changes to 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The station will also be closed on May 31st for Memorial Day, July 5th for Independence Day, Sept. 6th for Labor Day, and Nov. 25th for Thanksgiving. The station will close for the season in early December.

City residents may bring yard waste material (grass, leaves and limbs) to the Law Street Yard Waste Station as there is no spring curbside pickup of these materials.

The following items CANNOT be accepted at the station:

  • Tree stumps;
  • Building materials;
  • Rock;
  • Fill (soil and stone) other debris.

Yard waste shall be free of trash (paper, plastic, bottles, cans, etc.), as this material cannot be processed.

Use Law Street entrance to enter and exit the City Yard Waste Station only.

March 25, 2021 - 10:11am
posted by Press Release in oakfield-alabama, musical, arts, entertainment, news.

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Press release:

As with all things this year, everything is different because of COVID-19. Some activities cannot currently run and those that can happen look much different than in past years.

Although many aspects of a live stage performance had to be adjusted, we were very excited to still be able to provide this opportunity for our students. In an attempt to remain as healthy and safe as possible, while also following the regulations, we were able to get our students on stage (and on screen) using masks and as much social distancing as possible while interacting with each other.

We, unfortunately, had to make decisions to have a smaller cast, have our ensemble prerecorded, and scale down much of our sets and props to less than normal. However, it allowed our actors and actresses to focus more on their emotions and character portrayal in order to bring this touching musical to both our live audience and our supporters online.

It has been amazing to work with our students this year – to see their passion and joy, to take them beyond what they thought was possible, and to have them shine on stage. It is truly wonderful to still be able to create opportunities and live performances with our talented students.

Our cast and crew put on three amazing performances. And although most of the general public could not attend the performances in person, there is still an opportunity to catch these outstanding performers.

The performance has been uploaded online and is available to watch through April 18th. You can purchase access to the performance by going to www.OACSDramaClub.weebly.com and following the link on our homepage. From there you can either purchase single viewer access for $10 or access for the entire household for $25.

All money helps to offset the cost of rentals and royalties for producing the musical. You can purchase the access at any time before April 18th, an email link will be sent to you, and once you hit play you will have 48 hours to view the entire performance before your access runs out. Please sit back and enjoy the show from the comfort of your home.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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March 25, 2021 - 9:42am
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) was joined by Congressmembers Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Lee Zeldin (NY-01), and Andrew Garbarino (NY-02) in calling on New York State Assembly Speaker Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins to eliminate proposals to raise state taxes for the new fiscal year.  

“Our state has suffered from decades of irresponsible and self-serving public policies, laws and regulations that have made living, working and running a business in New York incredibly expensive. The exodus from our state due to these flawed policies has only been exacerbated during the COVID crisis. Many of those individuals and businesses that are being taxed at high rates have a greater ability than ever before to move from New York and are doing so. Increasing taxes in the midst of our recovery from the pandemic would only accelerate that trend,” representatives Jacobs, Stefanik, Tenney, Zeldin and Garbarino wrote. 

Last week, both the NYS Senate and Assembly passed budget proposals that would increase taxes in New York State by roughly $6.5 billion – this through raising income and corporate franchise tax rates, as well as a new surcharge on income derived from capital gains.  

In addition to the $12 billion New York State received from the recently passed American Rescue Plan, New York has also received more than $7.5 billion in direct funding to the state and certain local governments, more than $50 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans to New York small businesses, and $8 billion to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority from previous COVID-19 packages, among other additional funds. 

“Congress recently provided over $12 billion to New York State to relieve the financial burdens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding, along with other provisions, should be more than enough to balance the state’s budget without burdening New Yorkers with more tax increases,” the representatives wrote. “Instead of increasing taxes, New York State can improve its fiscal standing by undertaking meaningful reforms to improve the functioning of the state government and our economy.”  

Yesterday, 250 New York business executives also sent a letter regarding this proposal, stating that such increases would harm our economic recovery and force companies and residents out of the state in search of a lower cost of operating and living.

Full text of the letter can be found here:

Dear Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins 

We write to urge you to resist increasing taxes on New Yorkers in the upcoming fiscal year. As you know, Congress recently provided over $12 billion to New York State to relieve the financial burdens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding, along with other provisions, should be more than enough to balance the State’s budget without burdening New Yorkers with more tax increases. 

While some of us were not members of the U.S. House of Representatives during the last Congress, Congress appropriated billions of dollars to New York last year through the passage of five bipartisan bills. Those laws included over $7.5 billion in direct funding to the state and certain local governments in New York, over $50 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans to New York small businesses, and $8 billion to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, among other important executive and legislative assistance from the federal government.  

Though we opposed the passage of the American Rescue Plan, many of us are on record supporting measured and targeted relief funding for New York State and local governments. We believe such funding is necessary given the challenges of the pandemic. We must also acknowledge, however, that our state has suffered from decades of irresponsible and self-serving public policies, laws, and regulations that have made living, working, and running a business in New York incredibly expensive. The exodus from our state due to these flawed policies has only been exacerbated during the COVID crisis. Many of those individuals and businesses that are being taxed at high rates have a greater ability than ever before to move from New York and are doing so. Increasing taxes in the midst of our recovery from the pandemic would only accelerate that trend.

Instead of increasing taxes, New York State can improve its fiscal standing by undertaking meaningful reforms to improve the functioning of the state government and our economy. This would be far more preferable than punishing New Yorkers for the state’s mismanagement.  

We appreciate your leadership and are always willing to work with you on the many challenges facing our state.

March 25, 2021 - 9:37am
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]
March 24, 2021 - 9:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Le Roy.

A caller reports hearing an explosion and seeing flames at a residence, or behind a residence, on Stanley Place near Wolcott Street in Le Roy.

A first responder reports seeing a lot of smoke but no flames.

Le Roy fire dispatched along with law enforcement.

UPDATE 9:42 p.m.: The assignment is being held to Le Roy Ladder 65, which can proceed nonemergency.

UPDATE 9:44 p.m.: Le Roy 65 can go back in service.

March 24, 2021 - 7:03pm

The Genesee County Legislature this afternoon revisited the possibility of adopting rules to cover videoconferencing of its meetings and -- while not coming to any binding decision – is on board with in-person attendance for the purposes of a committee quorum and voting, and allowing remote access for non-committee members to participate.

During a 38-minute Committee of the Whole discussion at the Old County Courthouse and via Zoom, legislators agreed to a “hybrid” approach to videoconferencing as proposed by Chair Rochelle Stein.

The debate followed up on a proposed resolution drafted last August that sought to place guidelines on videoconferencing, a practice necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent executive orders by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which suspended the Open Meetings Law to provide for remote participation in legislative and committee meetings.

That executive order continues in place, although it was reported during today’s meeting that it is set to expire in two days. Stein said Committee of the Whole discussion was called now “to be somewhat ahead of the game.”

County Attorney Kevin Earl emphasized that the “major issue” to achieve a quorum and to facilitate legal voting when videoconferencing is that “you can’t do it by telephone … the legislator has to be available to be seen and be seen by the other legislators to participate formally.”

Earl, with input from Legislature Clerk Pamela LaGrou and County Manager Matt Landers, wrote a seven-point amendment to the original resolution (which was not acted upon), with a key stipulation as follows:

“The videoconference shall be conducted in compliance with state law and ensure that all legislators and members of the public have the opportunity to see and hear a legislator videoconferencing and such videoconferencing legislator can see and hear the other members of the legislature.”

Earl said there aren’t a lot of cases concerning this matter but there are many opinions, including those of the attorneys connected to the Committee on Open Government, an organization that holds a lot of weight with judges.

The attorney also noted that if videoconferencing is used, the public notice of the meeting must inform the public as such, identify the locations for the meeting and state that the public has the right to attend the meeting at any of those locations.

Genesee County has been able to acquire the technology – legislators call it “the owl” – to be able to show all meeting participants on the Zoom call. This prompted Earl to say that he would support having legislators not on a particular committee to be able to call in and participate via Zoom as long as they weren’t going to vote or had no bearing on the required quorum.

Earl also proposed that the legislature could adopt a rule limiting the number of times a legislator could “attend” a meeting through videoconferencing, specifically three times in a calendar year.

Stein then said she understood that most of the legislators “would like to have the meetings in person for those that serve on the committees themselves and (for those not on the committee) to be able to participate through Zoom, and have that kind of hybrid opportunity."

“That’s where I come down on this question but right now our rules don’t allow even that to happen.”

At that point, the individual legislators gave their thoughts. They all stated that it was the responsibility of the committee member to be in the room unless it was an emergency, and also were open to permitting legislators not on the committee to follow along via Zoom.

“I would like to see everybody show up, except for some extreme situation … but I really think you have the responsibility to be here,” Gordon Dibble said, adding that he would support those not on the committee signing in remotely.

Christian Yunker said he was in favor of the hybrid model, noting that the opportunity for others to listen in and participate “probably is valuable enough that the rest of us should do that at least for the foreseeable future.”

Brooks Hawley said “if you’re on the committee, you should be here, but if you want to see what is going on and you have a prior engagement, such as work, family commitment or something like that, I think you should be able to do that (participate remotely).”

Earl advised that the legislature can’t prohibit videoconferencing but also isn’t required to implement guidelines on videoconferencing.

Gary Maha said he was OK with the hybrid approach, but added that “we’re elected to represent our constituents and if you could be here, you should be here."

Chad Klotzbach agreed, stating that videoconferencing “has created a platform for people to actually see what we’re doing.”

Marianne Clattenburg suggested postponing any formal vote until after the coronavirus pandemic.

“I have no problem with having people listening to the discussion remotely, but I think voting remotely, I’m against that and would hate to see that become a precedent,” Clattenburg said.

In closing, Stein summarized the points brought out through the discussion – in-person for a quorum and voting, remote participation for others, expanding the technology to include a laptop at the podium for public speakers, and providing additional technical support for the legislative clerk.

When the legislature does decide to act upon formalizing the rules and adopting the amended resolution, the matter would go to the Ways & Means Committee for further discussion and a vote.

Legislators agreed to wait until after the pandemic, with Maha suggesting “the simpler the better.”

With that, Stein said, “I hope the executive order is extended” and adjourned the meeting.

Grant Would Assess Broadband Situation

In another development, the legislature during its regular meeting approved applying for a $95,000 grant from the Northern Borders Regional Commission’s State Economic & Infrastructure Development Investment Program to subsidize a countywide broadband inventory/availability study and develop a subsequent business plan.

Landers said the county was informed of the grant by the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, which is currently being led by former Genesee County Manager Jay Gsell.

“This grant would provide a pretty comprehensive broadband study throughout the county,” Landers said. “The G/FLRPC is submitting this on our behalf and it’s a $95,000 grant with a 20-percent local match ($19,000). If we get it, we could find what our gaps are in broadband access in our community and it would also fund a survey of the homes to get a better understanding of where the gaps are and the level of residents’ desire for broadband access.”

Landers said two other counties may partner with Genesee to increase the odds of getting the grant.

“Federal funds are out there to help alleviate this, but we need to understand what our gaps really are before we can go after those bigger grants,” Landers said.

Landers Warns of 'Cluster Pop-up'

Landers reported that the COVID-19 positivity rate is down, the number of people receiving the vaccine is up and many restrictions have been lifted, but urges citizens to remain vigilant.

"It's easy to get cluster pop-ups," he said. "We had 20 to 25 cases (recently) that were linked to a few events -- a birthday party here and a couple of other events there."

March 24, 2021 - 4:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in solar farms, cider soler farm, livestream, video.
Video Sponsor

Cider Solar Project - Virtual Open House presented by Hecate Energy

Or the meeting can be accessed directly through Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/98566949504

March 24, 2021 - 4:50pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Data Update – 

  • Genesee County reporting 12 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, 60s and 80s. 
  • Nine of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.  
  • Four of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. 
  • Five of the new positive individuals are inmates at the Genesee County Jail. 

 

Orleans County reporting seven 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, 50s and 60s.
  • One of the previous positive individuals has recovered and has been removed from the isolation list.
  • One of the new positive individuals is an inmate at Albion Correctional Facility.
  • Zero of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
March 24, 2021 - 4:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, thruway.

A car vs. tractor-trailer accident is reported in the eastbound lane of the Thruway in the area of mile marker 400.9.

One minor injury reported.

Pembroke Fire and East Pembroke fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 4:49 p.m.: East Pembroke fire is back in service.

UPDATE 4:59 p.m.: State Police are also pursuing a fleeing subject in the westbound lane at about 60 mph. The pursuit just passed the accident scene.

March 24, 2021 - 3:22pm
posted by Press Release in muckdogs, baseball, sports.
Video Sponsor

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs are excited to announce the addition of Batavia native and Class of 2019 graduate Griffin Della Penna as their play-by-play broadcaster for the upcoming 2021 season.

Della Penna is no stranger to baseball in this community, from his early days playing at nearby MacArthur Park with the Little League Red Sox to being a batboy for the Muckdogs in 2017. He then went on to be a three-year starter, captain, and Honorable Mention AGR selection with the Batavia Blue Devils baseball team, helping lead them to their first Section V Championship in 21 years.

He currently studies at Canisius College, where he is a double major in Journalism with a concentration in Sports Broadcasting and Strategic Communication with a 3.84 GPA. Throughout his two years in Buffalo, Della Penna writes for “The Griffin” school newspaper, covering Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Soccer, along with being a contributing writer for Pickin’ Splinters, an independent high school sports blog. He also operates the camera for Canisius ESPN-3 broadcasts with plans to work his way up to the broadcast booth soon.

After contemplating a walk-on spot with the Division 1 Golden Griffin baseball team, Griffin made a career-oriented decision instead to accept a position as the director of Scouting & Analytics with the team using his baseball knowledge in hopes to win a MAAC Championship.

By joining the Muckdogs organization, Della Penna’s goal is to provide fans with a personable and interactive experience during the broadcasts in addition to adding content that will give fans an in-depth look to get to know the players and coaching staff in weekly shows like “Meet the Muckdogs.”

“As a 19-year-old college sophomore, not many aspiring broadcasters are given such an amazing opportunity like this," Della Penna said. "I am honored to be chosen and appreciate the flexibility to gain valuable hands-on experience in the field while producing a broadcast that fans will enjoy."

Della Penna will be the first voice of the Muckdogs as they transition to the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL). The Batavia Muckdogs are comprised of collegiate athletes with NCAA eligibility from around the country. The club will join the Auburn Doubledays, Niagara Power, and Jamestown Tarp Skunks as the newest additions to the PGCBL, joining 16 other organizations all across New York since the league’s inception in 2010.

"We are excited to add someone like Griffin to our team with great experience and passion for the game of baseball. Since taking over the team we have met many local community leaders, businesses, and fans and know how amazing this community is at supporting locally. With Griffin growing up in the area and his love for baseball we knew this was a perfect fit. Griffin is excited to get to work and we are excited to start playing baseball at Dwyer stadium this summer. Congratulations Griffin and Go Muckdogs!" - Owners Robbie & Nellie Nichols.

Submitted video.

March 24, 2021 - 2:51pm

Press release:

Albany – The Senate One-house Budget Resolution was passed on March 15th. The budget resolution amounts to $209.98 billion in spending, however important municipal aid to Genesee County is noticeably missing. The cut to Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) aid would amount to an $800,000 cut to Genesee County.

“The cut is extremely troubling but even more troubling, the aid is maintained statewide, except for two counties represented by Republican senators," said Senator Ed Rath. "This decision smells like partisan politics that will have detrimental effects to the residents of Batavia and Genesee County.

"I am hopeful that as budget negations continue this aid will be restored.  Many communities are struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic and to play political games with their aid is appalling."

“VLT aid is critical to the City of Batavia’s continued efforts to revitalize the City and provide critical services to the residents and businesses the City Serves," said Eugene Jankowski, Batavia City Council president. "We appreciate Senator Rath’s advocacy for communities in Western New York to ensue that we can weather the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and prosper once more.

“Genesee County, Town and City of Batavia provide full public safety to Batavia Downs and patrons," said Shelley Stein, chair of the Genesee County Legislature. "Locally owned and maintained roads are necessary to carry patrons to Batavia Downs. VLT dollars support these public benefits easing the burden on local property taxpayers.

"Our request is to fully restore the VLT dollars of support to Genesee County, Town and City of Batavia in the 2021-22 budget.” 

Senator Rath recently wrote a letter to Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins requesting for the aid to be restored. The Governor proposed eliminating all aid for host communities. The Assembly One-house Budget restored aid to all host communities.

March 24, 2021 - 2:40pm

A webinar focusing on teenagers' abuse of prescription medication will be offered via Zoom videoconference from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 25.

It is sponsored by the Upstate New York Poison Center and is the third webinar in their Health Educator Series. Anyone interested in the topic is welcome to register for it.

Mary Beth Dreyer, MS, will conduct the webinar.

Participants will discover:

  • What meds teens are abusing;
  • How they are accessing medication;
  • What unusual behaviors to look for;
  • How to properly dispose of medication.
March 24, 2021 - 2:23pm

Submitted photos and press release:

Throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic, the community has found unique ways to thank the healthcare heroes at United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) through food deliveries, donations and letters.

An ongoing fundraiser spearheaded by the St. Jerome Guild’s Hometown Hero's Star Program honors the staff at UMMC and it also recently led to the donation of a freezer to store the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“Even during the pandemic, the Guild has worked to support our hospital and employees,” said Dan Ireland, president of UMMC. “We’re grateful they were able to pull the community together to remind our healthcare heroes that they’re appreciated.”

COVID-19 vaccines are now stored in the freezer as supplies arrive at UMMC. In addition, the fundraiser provides certificates of recognition to honor health care heroes. To date, nearly 1,000 certificates have been distributed to UMMC employees thanking them for their tireless efforts over the past year.

“We wanted the community to participate,” said Annette LaBarbera, president of the St. Jerome Guild. “Our goal was and continues to be raising enough money to support our healthcare workers and the exceptional care they deliver, as well as, our community.”

To celebrate an UMMC healthcare worker of your choosing by participating in the fundraiser, please email [email protected].

Visit the UMMC Auxiliaries website for more information.

Top photo, from left: UMMC staff members in front of the newly donated freezer -- Michael Harasimowicz, Lindsay Starkweather, Korey Brauen and Meagan Stringham.

Below left, Annette LaBarbera, president of the St. Jerome Guild, stands with Kathleen Storch holding her Certificate of Recognition from the St. Jerome Guild’s Hometown Hero’s Star Program​.

Below, a ceremonial check for $7,500 for the UMMC Foundation held by UMMC President Dan Ireland and Annette LaBarbera, president of the St. Jerome Guild.

March 24, 2021 - 2:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, bergen, batavia, Stafford.

Anthony J. Welch aka "Science," 40, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony, and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, also a Class B felony. It is alleged that Welch sold a quantity of crack cocaine to an agent of the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force, comprised of officers from the GC Sheriff's Office and Batavia Police Department. Welch was taken into custody during a traffic stop on Clinton Street Road in the Town of Stafford (date and time not provided). He also had a bench warrant out of Genesee County Court for pending drug charges from last May. He was arraigned in county court, then released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The task force was assisted by uniformed deputies, a NYS officer from the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the DA's office.

Stephen Richard Hart, 34, of Cedar Street, Batavia, is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree -- with intent to sell; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree; speeding in excess of 55 mph. At 10:46 a.m. on March 21, Hart was arrested after a traffic stop on Route 33 in the Town of Bergen. It is alleged that he possessed one or more preparations of a narcotic drug with an aggregate weight of one-eighth ounce or more, with intent to sell it. He was arraigned in Bergen Town Court and released on his own recognizance. He is due in Genesee County Court on May 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth.

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