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May 2, 2021 - 12:00pm


KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! You have the right to a safe workplace. Federal laws state that your employer must provide a work area with no known health or safety hazards. You also have the right to: 

  • Be protected from toxic chemicals;
  • Request an OSHA inspection, and talk with the inspector;
  • Be trained in a language you understand;
  • Work on machines that meet safety regulations;
  • See copies of the workplace injury and illness log;
  • Get copies of test results done to find hazards in the workplace;
  • Be provided required safety gear, including but not limited to: hard hat, gloves and harness;
  • Report an injury or illness, and get copies of your medical records If you or someone you know has been injured or fallen ill due to unsafe work conditions. 

Call Dolce Panepinto at (716) 852-1888 immediately. We understand how life altering a work injury can be, and we are here to help. Click here to visit us online.

May 1, 2021 - 6:10pm
posted by Press Release in St. Mary's church, news, batavia.

Photos and information from Jason Smith:

Congratulations to our young parishioners who made their First Reconciliation* today at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Batavia. 

Thanks to teacher Jane Balbick, Deacon Henry Moscicki and Father Ivan Trujillo, pastor.

*Also commonly called the Sacrament of Penance or Confession.

May 1, 2021 - 12:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Grand Jury, batavia, Le Roy, Stafford, bergen, elba, alexander.

Qumane J. Santiago is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 23 in the City of Batavia that Santiago intentionally tried to prevent a police officer from perfoming his lawful duty and caused physical injury to the police officer. In count two, he is accused of the same crime involving another person. In count three, Santiago is accused of resisting arrest, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally attempting to prevent a police officer from making an arrest. In count four, the defendant is accused of obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, another Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally obstructing a public servant from performing an official function by means of intimidation, physical force, interference or any independently unlawful act. In count five, he is accused of fourth-degree criminal mischief, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally damaging another person's property -- a flat screen television, lights, lamps and picture frames.

Colleen L. Nelson is indicted for the crime of attempted murder in the second degree, a Class B violent felony. It is alleged that on July 29 in the Town of Elba that Nelson acted intentionally to cause the death of another person by engaging in criminal conduct to cause death. In count two, Nelson is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly possessing a dagger, dangerous knife, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol or other dangerous instrument that day to use intentionally and unlawfully against a person.

Derek Melendez is indicted for the crime of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 29 in the Town of Bergen that he stole a credit card belonging to another person. In count two, Melendez is accused of second-degree burglary -- illegal entry into a building, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged in count two that on that day he entered a dwelling on West Bergen Road with the intent to commit a crime. In count three, Melendez is accused of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, a Class D felony, for allegedly knowingly possessing stolen property valued at more than $3,000. In count four, the defendant is accused of driving while ability impaired by drugs for allegedly driving a 2020 Nissan Altima with Maryland license plates while his ability was impaired by drugs.

Greg R. Solomonidis is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on July 22 in the Town of Alexander that the defendant intentionally injured another person.

Madalyn R. Muntz is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 12 in the City of Batavia that Muntz knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- cocaine -- with intent to sell it. In count two, Muntz is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a Class C felony. It is alleged in count two that on that day she knowingly and intentionally possessed one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic drug -- cocaine, which had an aggregate weight of one-eighth ounce or more. In count three, Muntz is accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. It is alleged in count three that on that day she knowingly and unlawfully possessed a controlled substance -- buprenorphine and Naloxone.

Jose A. Rivera is indicted for the crime of second-degree burglary, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that on Jan. 10 in the City of Batavia Rivera unlawfully entered a building on Swan Street intending to commit a crime. In count two, Rivera is accused of second-degree criminal contempt for allegedly intentionally disobeying a court order of protection. 

James D. Weathers and Ayeola N. Williams are indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 31 in the Town of Stafford that they knowingly possessed a loaded firearm -- a Glock 19 handgun. In count two, only Williams is accused of driving while ability impaired by alcohol, in a 2019 Volkswagon Jetta on Clinton Street Road.

Mark D. Tooley is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony, for allegedly operating a 2007 Honda Nov. 19 on West Main Street Road, Town of Batavia, while he was intoxicated. In count two, Tooley is accused of DWI, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count three, Tooley is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, also a Class E felony, for allegedly driving that day while knowing his driver's license was suspended or revoked by authorities and while he was under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In count four, Tooley is accused of false personation, a Class B misdemeanor, for allegedly knowingly and intentionally misrepresenting his name, birth day or address to a police officer, after being informed of the consquences of doing so. In count five, the defendant is accused of unlawfully fleeing from a police officer, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged that on that day, when he was directed to stop his vehicle by a marked police vehicle, he allegedly attempted to flee, driving at speeds of 25 mph or more above the speed limit. In count six, the defendant is accused of speeding, a violation, for allegedly driving at speeds in excess of 55 mph -- to wit, 100 mph. In Special Information filed by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Tooley is accused of having been convicted of driving while ability impaired by drugs, as a Class D felony, on Nov. 29, 2011 in Genesee County Court and that conviction forms the basis for the license suspension or revocation, which remains in effect, and is referred to in count three of the current indictment.

Sharada M. Crumpler is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 21 Crumpler drove a 2020 Nissan with Tennessee license plates on I-90 in the Town of Le Roy while in an intoxicated condition. In count two she is accused of DWI, per se, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count three, Crumpler is accused of speeding, a violation, for driving that day at a speed greater than was reasonable and prudent under the existing conditions. In count four, she is accused of the same violation for driving in excess of the maximum established speed limit for that public highway -- 118 mph in a 65-mph zone. In Special Information filed by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Crumpler is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Sept. 30, 2015 in City of Rochester Court, and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Jeremiah N. Walker and Samid P. Graves are indicted for the crime of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 28 at Tops Friendly Market on Main Street in Le Roy that they stole property with a value exceeding $1,000, to wit: $1,058.35 worth of property.

May 1, 2021 - 10:37am
posted by Press Release in Bowling, sports, Genesee Region USBC.

Press release from Genesee Region USBC:

Genesee Region USBC’s Association Banquet and Hall of Fame Dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m. next Saturday (May 8) at Batavia Downs Gaming and will by highlighted by the induction of three longtime accomplished members – Matt Balduf of South Byron and Brian Weber of Perry in the Achievement Regular category and Mark Brown of Attica in the Meritorious Service category.

Attendance is limited to 100 persons due to COVID-19 restrictions and openings are available. Cost of the buffet dinner is $30. Those wishing to attend are asked to send an email to [email protected] no later than noon Monday.

Balduf has made his mark in local tournament and league competition over the past 15 years, capturing the association tournament team title in 2019 as a member of Team Johnson and teaming with Mike Johnson to win the doubles crown in 2018 with a 1,506 score. In this year’s tournament, he placed fifth in the doubles with a 741 series – 736 scratch -- at Le Roy Legion Lanes.

The 53-year-old right-hander has 10 USBC-certified 300 games – six at Mancuso Bowling Center, three at Clarence Bowling Academy and one at Legion Lanes. The 300 game at Legion Lanes came during an 815 series, which is the best ever at the Le Roy hall.

He also had a 300 game in the PBA League at Mancuso’s in 2009, bowling on a more difficult “Sport” condition.

Balduf registered three other 800 series, with an 836 in December 2018 at Mancuso’s as his best. He has averaged better than 200 in league play every year since 2001, topped by a 223 mark in 2014-15 and 2019-20.

Other tournament titles include the Ron Riggi Memorial in Le Roy, Frank Velletta Memorial Triples in Oakfield, and Johnson-Ianni Doubles in Corfu. He rolled an 814 series in tournament play at Roseland Bowl in Canandaigua and, this year, placed second in the GRUSBC Scratch Memorial Tournament at Perry Bowling Center.

Weber, a 48-year-old righty, has compiled numerous tournament victories during a prolific amateur career. He has won 10 association tourney titles (team, doubles, singles) and the GRUSBC Scratch Eliminator (and placed second three times) and placed second in the Batavia Masters.

Additional tournament titles include the Valley View Open (Warsaw), Mancuso’s Scratch Open, Mancuso’s King & Queen, Lilac City in Rochester, Wild Irish Rose in Canandaigua, Domm’s Christmas Eve in Rochester and Riggi Memorial.

Weber also is a four-time Amateur Bowling Tour champion, and placed in the top 24 in the True Amateur Tournament in Las Vegas and in the top 10 in doubles at the Hoinke Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He also has more than 20 perfect games and two 800 series – one of them on a “Sport” shot during the MR Eliminator Tournament in Rochester. All told, he has rolled honor scores in six different GRUSBC bowling centers.

Bowling predominately in leagues at Perry Bowling Center, which features a more challenging “house” shot, Weber averaged 217 in 2005-06.

Brown has established himself as the director of several tournaments each season, many of them conducted to raise money for a charitable cause and/or in memory of a deceased Genesee County bowler.

The co-owner of the former Attica Lanes with his parents, Jerry and Donna Davis, Brown’s service to bowling has touched the lives of many people. Most recently, he ran the tournament portion of a fundraiser that generated more than $8,000 to help Batavian Tanya Harmon with her medical bills as she battles cancer.

Brown, 50, created the Curt Haight Memorial Tournament at Mancuso’s several years ago and continues to run a half-dozen events each year at Mancuso’s or Legion Lanes. He also created the Ron Riggi Memorial in Le Roy, which just completed its 18th year – and has raised close to $10,000 in scholarships for youth bowlers.

A past GRUSBC director, Brown coordinates the King & Queen Mixed Doubles Tournament at Mancuso’s each year, usually filling it with bowlers from throughout Western New York. He also created and runs the Brian Morasco Memorial Tournament to benefit Genesee Cancer Assistance and the Genesee County Arthritis Foundation.

He also has codirected the NYS American Legion Tournament at Legion Lanes and, with hall manager Scott O’Neill, has submitted a bid to host it again.

While Brown, with help from his wife, Penny, has dedicated himself to running fair and enjoyable events, he also is an avid bowler, competing in several leagues over the years. Among his achievements on the lanes are 300 games at Brockport Bowl and Mancuso Bowling Center.

Next Saturday’s banquet also will honor seasonal league leaders and tournament champions and GRUSBC scholarship recipients, and will be capped by the association’s “grand prize” drawing where $1,600 will be given away.

Tommy Kress of Rochester, a New York State USBC Hall of Famer and former Professional Bowlers Association Tour member, will be the guest speaker.

April 30, 2021 - 4:33pm
posted by Press Release in business, tompkins financial corp..

Press releases:

ITHACA -- Tompkins Financial Corporation (NYSE American:TMP)

Tompkins Financial Corporation reports cash dividend

Tompkins Financial Corporation announced today that its Board of Directors approved payment of a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.54 per share, payable on May 17, 2021, to common shareholders of record on May 11, 2021.

Tompkins Financial Corporation is a financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Ithaca, NY, Tompkins Financial is parent to Tompkins Trust Company, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, Tompkins VIST Bank, and Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., and offers wealth management services through Tompkins Financial Advisors. For more information on Tompkins Financial, visit www.tompkinsfinancial.com.

*********************************************************

Tompkins Financial Corporation reports record first quarter earnings

Tompkins Financial Corporation reported diluted earnings per share of $1.72 for the first quarter of 2021, 224.5 percent over the first quarter of 2020. Net income was $25.6 million for the first quarter of 2021, an increase of 222.4 percent from the $7.9 million reported for the same period in 2020.

President and CEO Stephen Romaine said, "We are extremely pleased to start off 2021 with record quarterly earnings. Results for the quarter, when compared to the same period last year, reflected favorable revenue trends for all three business lines, including increased net interest income, increased insurance commissions, and increased investment services fees. At the same time, expenses for the quarter were down from the same quarter last year.

"Growth comparisons to the previous year are significantly impacted by the change in provision for credit losses from a $16.3 million expense in the first quarter of 2020, compared to a $2.5 million credit in the first quarter of 2021. The provision for the first quarter of 2020 reflected the highly uncertain economic conditions related to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic forecasts and other model assumptions relied upon by management in determining the allowance.”

SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER:

  • Diluted earnings per share of $1.72 represents the best quarter in the Company's history, and is up 224.5 percent over the same period in 2020.

  • Provision for credit losses was a $2.5 million credit for the first quarter of 2021, compared to an expense of $16.3 million for the same period last year.

  • Total loans of $5.3 billion at March 31, 2021 were up $355.0 million, or 7.2 percent over March 31, 2020. Loan growth over the prior period includes a $370.0 million increase related to loans originated under the Small Business Association (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

  • Total deposits of $6.9 billion at March 31, 2021, an increase of $1.5 billion, or 28.4 percent over March 31,

2020

NET INTEREST INCOME
Net interest income was $55 million for the first quarter of 2021, up from $53.0 million for the same period in 2020, and down from $57.8 million for the most recent prior quarter. Net interest income for the current quarter included $2.8 million of net deferred loan fees associated with PPP loans, compared to net deferred loan fees of $4.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. There were no net deferred loan fees related to PPP loans in the first quarter of 2020. Net interest income in the first quarter of 2021 also benefited from lower rates paid on deposit products due to lower market interest rates.

Average loans for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 were up $377.3 million, or 7.7 percent compared to the same period in 2020. The increase in average loans was mainly in commercial loans, driven largely by PPP loans and commercial real estate loans. Asset yields for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, were down 84 basis points compared to the quarter ended March 31, 2020, which reflects the impact of reductions in market interest rates over the past 12 months as well as the increase in average securities and average interest bearing balances due from banks. While PPP loans were a significant contributor to average loan growth, increases in commercial real estate and residential loans were up 5.6 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, over the same period in the prior year.

Average total deposits for the first quarter of 2021 were up $1.3 billion, or 25.4 percent compared to the same period in 2020. Average noninterest bearing deposits for the three months ended March 31, 2021 were up $540 million or 38.3 percent compared to the three months ended March 31, 2020. Average deposit balances during the first quarter of 2021 benefited from PPP loan originations, the majority of which were deposited in Tompkins checking accounts. For the first quarter of 2021, the average rate paid on interest-bearing deposit products decreased by 47 basis points from the same period in 2020 due to the overall decline in market interest rates. The total cost of interest-bearing liabilities was 0.38 percent at March 31, 2021, a decline of 54 basis points from March 31, 2020.

Net interest margin was 3.01 percent for the first quarter of 2021, compared to 3.44 percent reported for the same period in 2020, and 3.12 percent for the fourth quarter of 2020.

NONINTEREST INCOME
Noninterest income of $20.0 million was up 5.4 percent compared to the same period in 2020. Growth over the same quarter last year was supported by a 13.9-percent increase in insurance commissions and fees, an 11.2-percent increase in investment services income, and a 9.2-percent increase in card services income. These increases were partially offset by lower deposit fees and lower gains on securities transactions. Noninterest income represented 26.6 percent of total revenues for the first quarter of 2021.

NONINTEREST EXPENSE
Noninterest expense was $45.2 million for the first quarter of 2021, down $549,000, or 1.2 percent, from the first quarter of 2020. Salaries and employee benefits were relatively flat when compared to the same quarter last

year. The decrease in noninterest expense for the first quarter of 2021 was primarily attributable to lower marketing expenses, which were down $447,000 from the first quarter of 2020.

INCOME TAX EXPENSE
The Company's effective tax rate was 20.7 percent for the first quarter of 2021, compared to 19.4 percent for the same period in 2020.

ASSET QUALITY
Provision for credit losses for the first quarter of 2021 was a credit of $2.5 million compared to an expense of $16.3 million for the same period in 2020. Net recoveries for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 were $180,000 compared to charge-offs of $1.2 million reported for the same period in 2020.

The allowance for credit losses represented 0.93 percent of total loans and leases at March 31, 2021, down from 1.06 percent at March 31, 2020, and 0.98 percent at Dec. 31, 2020. Nonperforming loans and leases totaled $47.7 million at March 31, 2021, compared to $30.7 million at March 31, 2020, and $45.8 million at Dec. 31, 2020. The ratio of the allowance to total nonperforming loans and leases was 103.38 percent at March 31, 2021, down compared to 170.74 percent at March 31, 2020, and 112.87 percent at Dec. 31, 2020. Nonperforming assets represented 0.59 percent of total assets at March 31, 2021, up from 0.46 percent at March 31, 2020, and down from 0.60 percent at Dec. 31, 2020.

Special Mention and Substandard loans and leases totaled $185.2 million at March 31, 2021, up compared to the $90.0 million at March 31, 2020, and down compared to the $189.9 million reported at Dec. 31, 2020. Total Substandard loans and leases of $68.5 million at March 31, 2021, were in line with Dec. 31, 2020, and up compared to the $52.9 million reported at March 31, 2020. The increases in nonperforming loans and leases and Substandard loans compared to prior year, were mainly related to the downgrades of credits in the loan portfolio related to the hospitality industry, which was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in the nonperforming loans and leases and Substandard loans and leases are 12 loans totaling $35.5 million that are currently in deferral status.

During 2020 and 2021, overall credit quality has been supported by several plans initiated by the Company in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As previously announced, Tompkins initiated and participated in a number of credit initiatives to support customers who have been impacted by the economic conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company implemented a payment deferral program to assist both consumer and business borrowers that may be experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. As of March 31, 2021, total loans that continued in a deferral status amounted to approximately $195.6 million, representing 3.7 percent of total loans.

As previously noted, the Company participated in the PPP, which provides SBA borrower guarantees for lenders, as well as loan forgiveness incentives for borrowers that utilize the loan proceeds to cover employee compensation-related expenses and certain other eligible business operating costs, all in accordance with the

rules and regulations established by the SBA. The Company began accepting applications for PPP loans on April 3, 2020, and had funded 2,998 loans totaling approximately $465.6 million when the initial program ended. As of April 10, 2021, approximately 2,314 of these PPP loans totaling $300.8 million had been forgiven by the SBA under the terms of the PPP program.

In addition, on Jan. 19, 2021, the Company began accepting both first draw and second draw applications for the reopening of the PPP program. As of April 10, 2021, the Company had submitted 2,013 applications totaling $223.4 million to the SBA, of which 1,919 applications totaling $215.9 million had been approved by the SBA and disbursed to customers.

CAPITAL POSITION
Capital ratios at March 31, 2021 remained well above the regulatory minimums for well-capitalized institutions. The ratio of Total Capital to Risk-Weighted Assets improved to 14.62 percent at March 31, 2021, up from 13.62 percent at March 31, 2020, and 14.39 percent at Dec. 31, 2020. The ratio of Tier 1 capital to average assets was 8.89 percent at March 31, 2021, compared to 9.53 percent at March 31, 2020, and 8.75 percent at Dec. 31, 2020.

April 30, 2021 - 4:09pm
posted by Press Release in coronavirus, news, covid-19.

Press release:

Genesee County reporting seven 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, 40s, 50s and 60s. 
  • Fifteen of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.  
  • Nine of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. 

Orleans County reporting 11 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, 60s and 70s.
  • Five of the new positive individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Fifteen of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Three of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • One of the newly positive individuals is an inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility.
April 30, 2021 - 4:07pm
posted by Press Release in Arc of Genesee Orleans, news.

Submitted photo and press release:

Retirement is on the horizon for Arc of Genesee Orleans Executive Director Donna Saskowski.

Her retirement this summer will cap off a successful 32-year career at the local nonprofit that serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

Saskowski’s first position at Arc of Genesee Orleans was part-time Residential Training instructor, working in the Supportive Apartment program 23 hours/week.

She didn’t have a lot of experience working with people with disabilities and admits she didn’t know what to expect.

“It only took a day or two to realize this was going to be my life’s work,” the Executive Director said. 

Over the years, Saskowski has held several positions at Arc including rehab counselor, residential coordinator, social worker and Day Habilitation Program coordinator. She became Executive Director in April 2004 and has overseen substantial growth in the residential and day habilitation programs, the privatization of Arc Collection Services and the successful merger with the Orleans Chapter in 2016.

One of her career highlights was the purchase and remodeling of the former St. Mary’s School, transforming it into the Arc of Genesee Orleans Community Center.

“The successful capital campaign to fund the project really hit home the generosity and love people have for our community, agency and especially, the people we support and their families,” she said.

In addition to her work at Arc of Genesee Orleans, Saskowski is very active in the community as a member of the Batavia Rotary Club and is Assistant Governor for Rotary District 7090. She is a member of the United Way Board of Directors, Collaborative of the Finger Lakes, Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York, and the Executive Directors Association of The Arc New York.

Saskowski received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from the University of Buffalo. She is a member of the Leadership Genesee Class of 2005; was named a 2006 Leadership Fellow of the Community Health Foundation of Western New York; and was awarded Social Worker of the Year in 2010 by the Western Division NYS Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

In 2011 she was named Geneseean of the Year by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

When asked what’s next, Saskowski thoughtfully replied, “tending my gardens and canning fruits and vegetables – two things I love to do," adding, “I will also continue my community involvement through volunteering.”  

Saskowski and her husband, Paul, live in Darien, just down the road from the family farm where she grew up. They have two daughters, Tracey and Karen.

In response to the retirement announcement, Arc of Genesee Orleans Board President Debbie Fischer said Saskowski has been a strong advocate for Arc of Genesee Orleans, its programs, people served, employees, and the community.

“She has positioned this agency for the future and we will continue to deliver excellent services to individuals and their families,” Fischer said. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, we wish Donna all the best in her upcoming retirement and look forward to working with her as a community volunteer."

LOOKING AHEAD 

It was announced earlier this week that following several months of meeting, negotiating, and work with The Arc New York, “conditional approval” has been granted for the Genesee Orleans and Livingston-Wyoming chapters to merge. This is the first step to move more formally to a fully integrated organization.

Although this process may take several more months, the end product will be a four-countywide organization. The new agency will use consolidated resources to ensure quality services to all people with I/DD and their families from the GLOW region.

April 30, 2021 - 4:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in coronavirus, covid-19, news, notify, Pavilion, schools, education.

Wearing masks all day while at school is a drag for kids, and some parents in Pavilion brought their concerns to this week's meeting of the Pavilion Central School District Board of Trustees.

Amanda Holley started an online petition that, at the time of the meeting, had been signed by 183 people (it's now at 200) stating that with Pavilion maintaining a six-feet social distancing rule, all-day masking shouldn't be necessary.

The all-day masking rule is in compliance with recently implemented guidance from the NYS Department of Health. The guidance doesn't draw a distinction from schools maintaining six-feet social distancing and three-feet social distancing.

Superintendent Mary Kate Hoffman said area superintendents all share the same concern, they've discussed it in meetings and have raised the issue with the local health department, but the word back from local health officials is that the state is showing little interest in addressing the issue.

 Hoffman suggested that parents concerned about the issue might do better to contact state leaders.

"I would love to see 183 letters go out to our local senators, our representatives, to share those points of view because you're not alone," Hoffman said. "All of the districts in New York State are feeling the same."

The first speaker, of two, at Tuesday's meeting (whose name wasn't clear on the recording), said on that day her eighth-grader had been required to wear a mask for 10-straight hours, including his time on a bus, except for a lunch break.

"That seems like a long time," she said. "These kids are getting no break."

Holley said she was representing parents who shared a similar concern and questioned why the all-day mask mandate was necessary. She noted that Pavilion has been doing a great job of protecting the kids during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I can't speak for everyone's kids but my kids have been the healthiest -- they haven't been sick, not a sniffle, not a cough," she said.  "I attribute that to Pavilion School. I think the school has done an amazing job. I don't see why we have to fix something that isn't broken."

One trustee, who can't be identified from the recording, sympathized with the parents but said there isn't anything the district can do on its own to change the policy.

"We all wish we could do something," she said. "We have to obey the rules or we face financial penalties or a financial punishment, plus we don't want anybody to get stick. We've been super lucky to keep our school open."

Another trustee noted that the teachers don't like the mask policy, either. It's hard to talk all day in a mask. It's hard to hear students.

Another speaker mentioned that teachers have the discretion to allow mask breaks but many teachers are not providing for mask breaks.

Hoffman said more mask breaks would be encouraged.

"It's pretty easy for us to say for teachers to offer a mask break each period," she said.

April 30, 2021 - 3:19pm
posted by Press Release in vaccine, covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health) have single dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen (J&J) vaccination clinics with appointments available targeting those who are 18 and older and open for any New York State individuals, who reside, work or study in the state.

“The CDC and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) have recommended that the use of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine resume in the United States,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health director for GO Health.  “To learn more about the safety of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine please visit the CDC.

"We encourage everyone to talk with their primary care provider if they have concerns about any of the vaccines. With the options we currently have we continue to encourage everyone who is able to get vaccinated with the vaccine they are comfortable receiving.”

All clinics offer walk-in opportunities; however, we encourage you to register via the vaccination webpage or use the vaccine registration help lines below, and choose the appropriate J&J link.

  • The GCC clinic is scheduled for Wednesday, May 5th from 9 – 11 a.m.  
  • Genesee County Office for the Aging, Downtown Batavia is scheduled for Wednesday, May 5th from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. 
  • The Ridgeway Fire Hall clinic is scheduled for Thursday May 6th from 9 – 11 a.m. 
  • Orleans County Health Department is scheduled for Friday, May 7th from 10 a.m. – noon.

For those who do not have internet they can call the GO Health Vaccine Registration Help Lines:  

  • Genesee:  (585) 815-7168
  • Orleans:  (585) 589-3170

These lines are ONLY to make vaccine appointments, are not able to answer COVID-related questions, and are not associated with either Health Department.  

Two weeks after receiving the single dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine the individual will be determined to be "fully vaccinated."  This will allow individuals to not have to quarantine if they are in contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19.

They will also be able to attend large events/activities without having to be tested for entry, such as professional sports, weddings with over 100 guests, proms, graduations and more. Most importantly, you are protecting your health along with others you come in contact with.  

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

If you are a business/church/organization, that is interested in hosting a vaccination clinic at your location, please fill out the survey. One of our staff members will be in contact with you.

For those who are seeking testing, both health departments provide limited free rapid testing for those without symptoms at the respective health departments.

For Genesee County, a rapid test drive-through clinic is scheduled for May 6th at County Building #2, 3837 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

For Orleans County, a rapid test clinic is scheduled for May 5th at the Orleans County Health Department at 14016 Route 31 West, Albion.

To register for testing go to the GO Health testing page and choose your preferred clinic location.

April 30, 2021 - 11:55am
posted by Press Release in 40th annual GCC Fashion Show, news, Novaturient.

Press release:

The Fashion Program students at Genesee Community College are just about ready to unveil the 40th Annual Fashion Show which will go live, ONLINE at https://gccfashionshow.com, for FREE on Saturday, May 1, at 6 p.m. and this year's show will inspire the "Novaturient" soul in us all!

The word novaturient describes a desire for change that leads one to travel -- to seek a change in environment. And the entire Fashion Show, which features designs by a dozen GCC students, has been articulately mapped to incorporate everything from the fashion forward to the casual and comfortable looks of lives on the go!

This year's scenes have been filmed all over the world and in some special places right here in New York -- tune in on Saturday to spot your favorites! View the entire show, hear from the student designers, get close-ups of these amazing looks and so much more!

You can catch a sneak peek at some of the spots from the generous venue donors in this short video.

April 30, 2021 - 10:28am
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]
April 30, 2021 - 8:57am

michael_burns_1.jpgIf the hiring of longtime Batavian Michael Burns as Genesee County's new information technology director turns out as well as the hiring of Steve Zimmer did a dozen years ago, County Manager Matt Landers and his staff will be delighted.

Burns, the manager of Client Services at Rochester Institute of Technology since December 1998, has been selected to replace Zimmer, who will be retiring from his full-time position on May 7. Burns (photo at right) is scheduled to join the county workforce on May 24.

“Steve came to us 12 years ago after 12 years at the University of Rochester and did an outstanding job,” Landers said today. “Michael is coming to us from RIT after a long career and we’re looking for more of the same.”

Burns, a 1984 Batavia High School graduate, coordinates the activities and work assignments of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Client Services group that consists of 12 full-time employees, two cooperative education students and eight to 10 student workers per quarter.

Client Services maintains approximately 500 computers in more than 60 NTID classroom/lab spaces, and coordinates NTID interoffice mail services, word processing, duplicating, class notes scanning and the NTID Help Desk.

Other responsibilities of the department include inventory maintenance, secure disposal of equipment, special event support first-level technical response, redistribution of equipment, and the research/implementation of new technology.

Contacted by telephone today, Burns said now is the perfect time for him to explore a new opportunity.

“I always thought that when I became retirement-eligible from RIT that I would want to look around,” Burns said. “Genesee County popped up on the radar and the more I looked into this position, the more excited I became about actually working in my own community – working where what I do affects my neighbors, the Genesee County community – and it affects my life as well.”

A Williamsville native, Burns’ family moved to Batavia when he was in the fourth grade.

“My dad, John X. Burns, worked for Genesee Community College and, ironically, I will be working at County Building 2, where my dad was working when he worked for GCC,” he said.

While at Batavia High School, Burns was in the band and played tennis for a year.

“I was never particularly good at athletics – I was a geek,” he offered.

After graduating from high school, he earned an associate degree from Alfred State before moving to Virginia, where he was the senior designer for Newport News (Va.) Shipbuilding, specializing in power and lighting panel design for nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

He returned to this area in 1995, becoming technical director for the School of the Arts, which is part of the Rochester City School District. At SOTA, he provided varied computer support for all classroom, lab and office systems.

Along the way, Burns attained his bachelor’s degree in Management Information Technology from RIT.

Looking ahead, he said he is glad that Zimmer will be staying around on a part-time basis for up to three months to assist in the transition.

“I am so grateful that they are keeping Steve around so I can learn from him for awhile before having to go off on my own,” Burns said. “I feel like I’m following a legend.”

On Wednesday, the Genesee County Legislature on Wednesday voted to create a temporary, part-time IT director position to allow for “the incumbent to assist with the transition of a new information technology director.”

The resolution assigns a pay rate of $51.69 per hour, effective May 10 through no later than Aug. 10. Landers confirmed that Zimmer has agreed to accept the temporary job.

“We are very fortunate to have Steve agreeing to stay on as we fully understand the critical nature of IT and the need for a smooth hand off between directors. It is going to be sad to see a great employee like Steve Zimmer leave us, but I am excited to see what new ideas Michael can bring to Genesee County government,” Landers said.

The county manager conveyed that after an extensive search process, the interview committee of several department heads decided that Burns was the best fit to lead the IT department.

“Michael brings 25 years of experience in the IT field with him, the last 20 years spent at RIT managing a staff larger than what he will walk into at Genesee County,” Landers said. “His style and demeanor actually resemble Zimmer’s, which is something the group liked to see. We are confident he can take complex IT issues and communicate solutions effectively to the manager’s office and legislature, and be able to meet the needs of our numerous departments.”

Burns and his wife, Sharon, who works at the BEST Center at GCC, have one daughter, Courtney, who is graduating this year with a degree in Nursing from D’Youville College in Buffalo. D’Youville College participates in a tuition exchange program with RIT.

In his spare time on the weekends, Burns is the bass player for Triple Threat, a six-member party rock band out of Buffalo (that’s him, fourth from left in the photo below).

“We play a little bit of everything – '60s, '70s, '80s, country – you name it and we play it,” Burns said. “That’s my outlet.”

triple_threat_1.jpg

April 29, 2021 - 5:10pm

Press release:

Washington, D.C. -- The American Families Plan includes critical tax reform to ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes in order to finance essential investments in workers and families, including childcare, nutrition, higher education and more.

One of those reforms is a change in the way capital gains are treated in our tax system so that, for people making over $1 million, the tax system no longer favors income from wealth over income from work. The plan won’t raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year.

Part of this plan to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share is a proposal to close the “stepped-up basis” loophole for wealthy estates so that enormous fortunes do not completely escape taxation. Under the proposal, unrealized capital gains (those that have never been previously taxed) are taxed at death above $2 million in gains per couple. But this won’t affect family farms that stay in the family.

  • Under this proposal, estimates indicate more than 98 percent of farm estates will not owe any tax at transfer, provided the farm stays in the family. The tax the remaining less than 2 percent would owe, would be on their non-farm assets.
The President recognizes the importance of agriculture and family farms to the American economy and way of life. He also recognizes the risks and economic challenges unique to agriculture, family farms and ranching operations across America. The Biden Administration is committed to American agriculture, family farms, ranches and the rural way of life.

The American Families Plan protects family farms and ranches in two key ways:

  • No capital gains taxes at death for family farms. This plan includes a special protection for family-owned farms and businesses. It defers any tax liability on family farms as long as the farm remains family-owned and operated. No tax is due if the farm stays in the family. No one should have to sell a family farm they inherit to pay taxes and the President’s tax reform guarantees that.
  • $2 million exclusion from increased capital gains for all married couples. This plan also excludes the first $2 million of gains per couple ($2.5 million if the farm also includes the family home) from capital gains tax and heirs continue to get step up in basis on those first $2 million in gains. If an heir decides to sell the family farm, the first $2 million in gains is tax free.

How the President’s Capital Gains Reforms Affect Family Farms:

  • A married couple with $900,000 of farm gains and $200,000 of non-farm gains passes the farm onto their children. No capital gains taxes are owed, even if they sell the farm because the $1.1 million in gains are below the $2 million per-couple exemption.
  • A married couple with $3 million of farm gains and $250,000 of non-farm housing gains passes the farm onto their children. No taxes due as long as the children keep the family farm.

The President’s capital gains reforms are a key part of building a tax code that rewards work, and not wealth. The American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan are once-in-a-generation investments in our nation’s future.

The American Jobs Plan will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s physical infrastructure and workforce, and spark innovation and manufacturing here at home.

The American Families Plan invests $1.8 trillion in our children and our families—helping families cover the basic expenses that so many struggle with now, lowering health insurance premiums, cutting child poverty, and producing a larger, more productive, and healthier workforce in the years ahead. Together, these plans reinvest in the future of American families, American workers, and the American economy.

To learn more about the American Families Plan, visit the White House.

April 29, 2021 - 4:38pm

Press release:

Rain or shine, the Genesee County Master Gardeners will once again be hosting their annual Spring Garden Gala on Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County office, located at 420 E. Main St. in Batavia.

This annual plant sale features a variety of perennials, many of which are from the gardens of Master Gardeners. There will also be a selection of house plants.

Plant sale starts promptly at 10 a.m. on the front lawn of the CCE office. No early birds please.

Visit the Basket Auction for garden art, gift certificates and a variety of themed baskets. Gently used garden books will also be for sale.

Our Basket Auction will be held inside the CCE building so you might have to wait your turn to check it out. Basket Auction drawing starts at 12:30 p.m. We will not be able to accommodate people inside during the drawing. Winners will be called the following week.

Drop off a soil sample from your garden or lawn for a free pH test. A half-cup sample of your garden soil in a clean container is plenty. Master Gardener volunteers will be available to answer your gardening questions during the sale.

Don’t miss your chance to pick up some great plants at great prices, plus garden art and other interesting items. Arrive at 10 a.m. for the best plant selection. Proceeds from the sale benefit the educational outreach of the Genesee County Master Gardener Program.

In keeping with NYS Guidelines, occupancy limits will be observed. Please wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. We will be collecting contact tracing information.

Thank you for your cooperation and support!

For more information contact Jan Beglinger at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, (585) 343-3040, ext. 132, or stop by the Extension office at 420 E. Main St. in Batavia. Visit our website for more information.

April 29, 2021 - 4:31pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

Genesee County is reporting seven 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, 40s, 50s and 60s. 
  • Fifteen of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.  
  • Nine of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. 

 

Orleans County is reporting 13 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 80s.
  • Five of the new positive individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Eleven of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Three of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.

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