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February 26, 2021 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Central School District, livestream, video.
Video Sponsor

Interview with Merritt Holly, superintendent, Le Roy Central schools, about going back to full-time in-class teaching and the school's capital project.

February 26, 2021 - 12:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Le Roy.

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Both Bryn Luckey and Jillian Curtis did their part Thursday night in Le Roy but it wasn't enough for the Lady Knights to overcome Haverling.

Haverling won 60-45.

Luckey scored 23 points and Curtis scored 13 and pulled in 12 rebounds. Goose Dunn had nine rebounds.

In other girls basketball:

  • Pavilion beat Keshequa 60-13
  • Batavia beat Sutherland 48-33 (game story)

Photos by Tim McArdle.

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February 26, 2021 - 12:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, basketball.

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It was the Gaige Armbrewster show in Oakfield on Thursday night as the junior scored 28 points to dominate the Hornets game against the Alexander Trojans.

Oakfield-Alabama won 60-44 to move to 5-1 on the season.

Travis Wiedrich scored nine points for the Hornets and Jordan Schlagenhauf and Kaden Cusmano each scored six.

For Alexander, Devin Dean scored 17 points and Nicholas Kramer scored nine.

In other boys basketball: 

  • Byron-Bergen beat Kendall, 79-51
  • Pembroke beat Elba 48-31
  • Lyndonville beat Notre Dame 67-65

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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February 26, 2021 - 12:00pm

Notice of Intent to File Application
2/24/2021

Cider Solar Farm
Genesee County, New York

Hecate Energy Cider Solar LLC (Applicant) hereby provides notice that, on or about April 28, 2021, it intends to file an Application with the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) for a permit for the siting, construction and operation of a major renewable energy facility. The Applicant proposes to construct an up to 500 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) solar energy generating facility, referred to as the Cider Solar Farm (the Project), in the towns of Elba and Oakfield, Genesee County, New York. The Applicant is providing this notice in accordance with draft regulation 19 NYCRR 900- 1.3(d).

Brief Project Summary

The Project is a proposed solar powered electric generating facility in the towns of Elba and Oakfield, Genesee County, New York. The Project is located on an approximately 3,000 acre area located north-centrally in the County, approximately five miles north of the City of Batavia. Lockport Road bisects the Project from east to west, while State Route 98 traverses the eastern portion of the Project. Project components include photovoltaic solar panels, inverters, buried electrical collection lines, gravel access roads, security fencing, and a substation. If the Project’s application to ORES for a permit is approved, the Project will interconnect to an onsite New York Power Authority (NYPA) 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line. Project components will be located on leased private land. It is anticipated that the Project construction will commence in 2022, with commercial operation commencing in 2023.

The Project is a renewable source of energy that will assist the State in meeting the goals of both the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and State Energy Plan, which include obtaining 70% of the State’s energy consumption from renewable sources by 2030, and 100% of the State’s energy from clean sources by 2040. Project benefits also include increased revenues to local tax bases, temporary and permanent employment, and purchase of local goods and supplies. While the construction and operation of the Project may result in certain temporary and long-term environmental impacts, as will be fully described in the Application, the Applicant has designed the Project to minimize impacts to land and the community by avoiding forestlands and wetlands to the extent practical.

Applicant Representative

The designated contact person for this Project is:

Hecate Energy Cider Solar LLC Harrison Luna, Development Manager 621 W Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60661
(833) 529-6597 [email protected]

The website established for this Project by the Applicant is www.cidersolarfarm.com.

Availability of Funds

As provided in draft regulation 19 NYCRR 900-5, intervenor funds will be available for the project. A local agency or potential community intervenor may request funds to defray expenses for experts, including attorneys and consultants, associated with participating in the Section 94-c permitting process and pursuant to draft regulation 19 NYCRR 900. Any local agency or potential community intervenor may submit a request for initial funding within thirty (30) days of the date of application filing. Such request shall be made to the Office of Renewable Energy Siting, at 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12231, Attention: Request for Local Agency Account Funding.

February 26, 2021 - 11:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news.

Press release:

Correction Officer Kelly P. Creegan and Genesee Justice Program Coordinator Catherine T. Uhly will be retiring from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office this Saturday, Feb. 27, and this Sunday, Feb. 28, respectively.  

C.O. Creegan is a 19-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, starting his career on Jan. 5, 2002.  During his career, C.O. Creegan has been the recipient of a Commendation, Certificate of Appreciation, and Meritorious Service for continuous excellence.  

Program Coordinator Catherine T. Uhly began her career on July 8, 2002, as a Principal Clerk at Genesee Justice, was appointed a Case Manager in 2014, and in 2016 was appointed to her current position as Program Coordinator. She has received two Meritorious Service awards for continuous excellence and the 2020 Distinguished Service Award.

“Both Kelly and Cathy have been dedicated employees and everyone here at the Sheriff’s Office wishes them the very best in their futures,” said Sheriff Sheron.

February 26, 2021 - 11:37am
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]
February 25, 2021 - 10:57pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Batavia High girls basketball.

The Batavia Lady Blue Devils were “locked in” from the start of tonight’s Monroe County League game against Pittsford Sutherland -- playing their best half of basketball of the season – en route to 48-33 victory over the visiting Lady Knights.

The win was the fifth straight for Batavia after an 0-3 start and avenged a 44-40 loss to Sutherland on opening night.

Coach Marty Hein’s squad kept the ball moving on offense and utilized a full court press and double-teaming of the ball on defense to make it tough on Sutherland, now 3-4.

Individually, senior guard Mackenzie Reigle showed why she was named Division 4 Player of the Year in 2020 as she scored 29 points, grabbed seven rebounds, blocked two shots and came up with seven steals.

She now is 16 points shy of reaching 1,000 in her varsity career. Batavia has three regular season games remaining, with the next one at 3:15 p.m. Saturday at home against Honeoye Falls-Lima.

Beyond the numbers, Reigle controlled the pace of the game – getting high-percentage attempts for herself and good shots for her teammates while setting the tone on defense with her ball-hawking ability.

Reigle scored 10 of Batavia’s first 12 points (including a pair of three-point baskets) as the Lady Devils jumped out to a 12-5 advantage, and she ended the period by finding senior guard Bryn Wormley for a three-pointer to make it 15-9.

It was more of the same in the second quarter as Reigle drained two three-point shots and three driving layups – two of them off of steals – to put Batavia up 31-15 at halftime.

Batavia kept up the defensive intensity in the second half but to the Lady Knights’ credit, they hung in there and closed the gap to 33-23 midway through the third quarter on a basket by sophomore Ellie Bergin.

However, Batavia responded with baskets by Wormley, Reigle (a three-pointer) and Rachel Wright to stretch the lead to 42-25 entering the fourth quarter. Sutherland could pull no closer than 12 points from that point on.

Wormley finished with 11 points and nine rebounds while Haylee Thornley had four points and three steals. Bergin scored 20 for Sutherland and sophomore Laura Brandt six for the visitors.

February 25, 2021 - 7:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC, tiger woods, golf, sports, Dr. Matthew Landfried.

Whether Tiger Woods can ever play competitive, PGA-level golf again depends on more than just his determination to recover from injuries he sustained Tuesday in a single-vehicle accident in Los Angeles, said Dr. Matthew Landfried, an orthopedic surgeon at United Memorial Medical Center.

Landfried spoke with members of the local media about the front-page news of the past couple of days involving the world's most famous golfer.

The 15-time winner of major tournaments lost control of the SUV he was driving and it crossed a median and veered through two lanes of traffic before hitting a curb, hitting a tree, and landing on its side in the brush, according to news reports.

Woods suffered multiple leg injuries. Landfried said based on what he's read of the injuries, Woods has a long, difficult recovery ahead of him.

"The amount of energy or force that causes the injuries creates additional problems with healing, excessive tissue damage, et cetera," Landfried said.

What concerns Landfried the most, when it comes to playing on the PGA tour, is the broken bones in the golfer's feet. Such injuries may make it impossible for Woods to walk -- as required by the PGA -- over 18 holes of golf on four consecutive days.

Then there are the compound fractures in his legs, which of themselves Woods may be able to overcome, but there are potentially two complications: whether the bones were broken at the ankle and knee joints (unknown) -- making rehabilitation more difficult -- and a procedure apprarently required in this case called a fasciotomy.

Landfried explains:

There are four (compartments) in the lower leg. Around those compartments is a sheath that's called fascia and it's actually very hard. I don't want to call it stiff, but it's unforgiving. It doesn't expand. So inside each compartment, most of them, there's a nerve and muscles and blood supply or blood vessels. When the muscles get injured that much, they bleed, they swell and they expand or want to expand beyond the ability of fascia to expand.

What starts to happen is you start cutting off blood supply, muscle starts to die and the nerves can be injured or killed. So you have to split that fascia. You have to take a knife and open that up from the top to the bottom. And when you do that, a muscle kind of comes oozing out and pours out, but it's taking the pressure off.

He added:

Because it is so swollen, you never close the fascia, but you can, most times close the skin, even in the leg. ... They probably did a two incision, for four compartments. So you got two large wounds from, you know, top of your leg to the bottom of the leg, wide open now. So those have to be treated with dressing or vacuum dressings, and infections are the biggest risk.

Finally:

The ability to heal because at that level of trauma is a second problem because what happens when the bone breaks that badly, it comes through the skin, the periosteum, which is a lining around the bone. I tell people it's like the sausage, the skin on a sausage, but it's around the bone that's been torn and stripped the blood supply to those areas that are broken, have been stripped and are gone. So, you know, as long as they reestablish, then you heal. If they don't reestablish, then you get what's called a delayed union or nonunion and sometimes it never heals.

So, all of those varabiles factor in Tiger's ability to not only fully recover but recover enough to hit the links again.

Woods hadn't been playing because he recently went through his fifth back surgery and was in recovery. Landfried said he hasn't seen any reports to indicate whether Woods reinjured his back in the accident but that could be another factor in his ability to play on the tour again.

At 45, Woods is just at the start of the age where most people find it more difficult, and it takes longer to recover from injuries. What may be in his favor is his athletically maintained body and his own willingness, well demonstrated over his career, to work hard. He will also have the advantage of physical therapists working with him every day.

"He's an incredible athlete," Landfried said. "He's working hard and he's going to have the best of the best. So as long as he can walk the 18 holes, he'll be back. But I just think it'll be some loss of power."

February 25, 2021 - 6:23pm

Press release from Gov. Cuomo:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that leading alternative energy technology provider Plug Power will invest $290 million in the construction of a state-of-the-art green hydrogen fuel production facility and electric substation at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park located in the Town of Alabama, Genesee County.

The Plug Power project is the first build at the STAMP site and will require that the company fund the construction of a 450-megawatt electric substation to support its expansion as well as future growth opportunities at the business park. Plug Power has additionally committed to creating 68 jobs at the new production facility, which will produce 45 tons of green hydrogen daily.

The firm's commitment to develop its new green hydrogen fuel production facility in New York is the result of a comprehensive state and local incentive package from the New York Power Authority, Empire State Development and Genesee County. Construction on the new facility is expected to begin this summer.  

"New York State is committed to establishing itself as the leader in the national effort toward a more renewable future focused on green energy excellence, and we're showing that protecting the environment and encouraging economic growth aren't mutually exclusive," Governor Cuomo said. "We are incredibly proud to partner with Plug Power once again and applaud the company's continued investment in the Finger Lakes Region and to its commitment to creating top-quality green jobs as we work to foster new investment and job growth during a difficult economic time for many New Yorkers."

"Not only does today's announcement mean more advanced manufacturing jobs in Genesee County, but we are also investing in a cleaner, greener future for New York State," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "Through the support of New York State, Plug Power, a leading alternative energy technology provider, will develop a new green hydrogen fuel production facility. We are proud to partner with companies like Plug Power that are building on our efforts to keep our state ahead of the curve and create a green economy." 

The state incentives directly support the Governor's ambitious Green Energy program—the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation—which will spur more than $29 billion in public and private investment across the state and create 12,400 megawatts of green energy, enough to power six million homes. The investments will not only help shift the state toward a carbon neutral economy, fulfilling the goals of New York's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, but also spur economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NYPA's incentives, which are subject to approval by the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees next month, will mark the first NYPA customer approved for economic development incentives under the Power Authority's new green jobs criteria, announced by the Governor in December. The Governor is recommending that the NYPA board approve these incentives:

  • 10 MW allocation of low-cost hydropower from the Niagara Power Project.
  • $1.5 million from the Western New York Power Proceeds program.
  • 143 MW of High-Load Factor power that NYPA will procure for Plug Power on the energy market.

Empire State Development will provide up to $2 million in Excelsior Tax Credits in exchange for job creation commitments. Genesee County will provide additional local tax incentives, pending various approvals by the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "Plug Power's forward-thinking innovation and ongoing commitment to New York State are helping to advance Governor Cuomo's clean energy vision. This hydrogen fuel manufacturing facility at the STAMP mega-site will strengthen New York's green economy by creating top quality, high-tech manufacturing jobs." 

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said, "The state's clean energy economy is growing rapidly under the Governor's leadership and Plug Power is seizing the plentiful opportunities for green energy companies to expand and flourish in New York. Leveraging NYPA's carbon-free hydropower from the Niagara Power Project to attract a firm dedicated to the development of green hydrogen for fuel cell applications is an example of how we should address the climate crisis."

The Plug Power expansion is part of a focused strategy to construct up to seven hydrogen production facilities across North America by 2022. In January, the Governor announced that Plug Power will be establishing a $125 million Innovation Center in Monroe County, creating 377 new jobs. That facility will manufacture hydrogen fuel cell stacks for its ProGen hydrogen fuel cell engines used to power a variety of electric vehicles, including material handling equipment, on-road commercial fleet vehicles, and drones. The company also operates a facility in Rochester's Eastman Business Park and maintains its headquarters in the Capital Region. 

Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said, "Plug Power's future rightfully revolves around building the green hydrogen economy. We are grateful our home state of New York supports aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives. And, that Plug Power's green hydrogen solutions can make such an impact on positive environmental and economic climates in the state. Many thanks to the leaders of New York State for their continued support including Senator Schumer, Governor Cuomo, and many from Empire State Development, Genesee County Economic Development Center, and others." 

STAMP is a 1,250-acre mega site located at the center of Upstate New York's largest population, research, and workforce training hubs. Connected with New York's high-tech corridor by New York State Thruway, STAMP has completed all site-level design and engineering, and all-site level environmental and zoning approvals to house projects including semiconductor manufacturing, renewables manufacturing, biopharma manufacturing, and other high-capacity industries.

The mega site is strategically located in NYPA's low-cost hydropower zone and will be serviced by high-capacity, 100-percent renewable, reliable power sources. STAMP has been validated as a regional priority project by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and has been supported by local, regional, and state governments, as well as business, university, and utility partners. 

Genesee County Economic Development Center President and CEO Steve Hyde said, "Efforts by New York State to invest in a mega-site such as STAMP in collaboration with Genesee County, the Town of Alabama, and the New York Power Authority, have resulted in a significant interest among advanced manufacturing companies across the globe at STAMP and Genesee County.

"The economic benefits of this proposed development at STAMP also underscores how this project contributes to New York State's leading role in mitigating climate change, as Plug Power is an international leader in manufacturing clean hydrogen which can significantly reduce air emissions and in the process create good-paying jobs for our community and region."

Low-cost Niagara hydropower is available for companies within a 30-mile radius of NYPA's Niagara Power Project or businesses in Chautauqua County. Niagara hydropower is linked to tens of thousands of existing jobs in the region. The NYPA funding award is made possible through net earnings resulting from the sale of unused hydropower generated at NYPA's Niagara power plant and stems from power proceeds legislation signed into law by Governor Cuomo in 2012.

Alabama Town Supervisor Robert Crossen said, "I am encouraged by the interest that various advanced manufacturing companies, including Plug Power have in the Town of Alabama and STAMP. We have worked very hard to bring forward a site suitable for a project of this scale, and we look forward to achieving the important steps to develop and advance this project in our community."

Greater Rochester Enterprise President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said, "Plug Power plans to establish a hydrogen generation facility at the STAMP mega-site in Genesee County because of its unique infrastructure, including low-cost, clean hydropower. The power generated at this new facility will also support Plug Power's Giga factory in Rochester."

Bob Duffy, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Committee Co-Chair, said, “We are thrilled that Plug Power has chosen the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) site for their hydrogen fuel production facility and electric substation. The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council has been proud to support STAMP as a regional priority, and we commend Steve Hyde from the Genesee County Economic Development Center and Genesee County leadership for their work in positioning the site as a viable location for largescale projects. Greater Rochester Chamber looks forward to continuing to work with CEO Andy Marsh and the Plug Power team to ensure their ongoing success and growth in the Finger Lakes Region and beyond.

From the Plug Power website:

Plug Power is building the hydrogen economy as the leading provider of comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell turnkey solutions. The Company’s innovative technology powers electric motors with hydrogen fuel cells amid an ongoing paradigm shift in the power, energy, and transportation industries to address climate change and energy security, while meeting sustainability goals.

Plug Power created the first commercially viable market for hydrogen fuel cell technology. As a result, the Company has deployed over 40,000 fuel cell systems for e-mobility, more than anyone else in the world, and has become the largest buyer of liquid hydrogen, having built and operated a hydrogen highway across North America.

Plug Power delivers a significant value proposition to end-customers, including meaningful environmental benefits, efficiency gains, fast fueling, and lower operational costs. Plug Power’s vertically-integrated GenKey solution ties together all critical elements to power, fuel, and provide service to customers such as Amazon, BMW, The Southern Company, Carrefour, and Walmart.

The Company is now leveraging its know-how, modular product architecture and foundational customers to rapidly expand into other key markets including zero-emission on-road vehicles, robotics, and data centers. Learn more at www.plugpower.com.

February 25, 2021 - 6:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

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A head-on collision, unknown injuries, is reported on East Main Street, Batavia, in the area of Will's Carpet One.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 6:47 p.m.: No injuries. At the same time this call came in, Batavia PD was also making a traffic stop on Ellicott Street and the driver fled the scene on foot. There was a search of the area, including the K-9 officer. 

UPDATE 7:53 p.m.: This incident started with a report of an erratic operator and while patrols where responding they received a report of a head-on collision involving the vehicle. The driver of the truck that was struck was uninjured. The other driver was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy EMS for treatment of minor injuries. The investigation is ongoing, including whether the driver who crossed the center line was operating under the influence. He will at least likely be charged with traffic violations, said Sgt. Mitch Cowen.

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February 25, 2021 - 6:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in live stream, Batavia HS, hockey, batavia.

LIVE: Ice Devils vs. Spencerport. Livestream via Batavia High School Athletics.

February 25, 2021 - 6:00pm


Commonly Asked Workers’ Compensation Questions:

Q. What is a Workers’ Compensation claim?
A. A Workers’ Compensation claim is a legal action that occurs when you get hurt during the course of your employment. In New York State you cannot sue your employer. When you get hurt at work, the Workers’ Compensation system provides for lost time financial payments and medical treatment required as a result of your work-related injury.

Q. How do I know if I have a Workers’ Compensation claim?
A. If you sustain an injury during the course of your employment, you should contact our office for a free case evaluation as soon as possible. We can help you determine if you have a Workers’ Compensation claim and assist you in filing the proper paperwork.

Q. How long do I have to file a Workers’ Compensation claim?
A. You are required to report your injury to your employer within 30 days. There is also a two-year time limit to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board. Failure to adhere to these time limits can result in a denial of your claim.

Q. Is a Workers’ Compensation claim my only recourse if I am hurt at work?
A. In New York State, you cannot sue your employer. In some circumstances, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed in addition to a Workers’ Compensation claim. This includes, but is not limited to, injuries sustained in a work-related motor vehicle accident, constructions injuries, or injuries sustained at a location not owned by your employer. Our team of attorneys at Dolce Panepinto will assess your claim to ensure that every legal avenue available to you is pursued.

Q. How much does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney cost? 
A. Workers’ Compensation fees are generated on a contingent basis. This means that we only receive payment if we generate money in connection with your Workers’ Compensation claim. More information on contingent fees can be found here. Additionally, our attorneys can explain our attorney fees in greater detail.

Q. Do I need an attorney?
A. While an attorney is not required, it is strongly recommended that you retain an attorney. The Workers’ Compensation Law is complex, confusing, and often difficult to navigate. The insurance carrier will have an attorney fighting on their behalf, we recommend that you have an attorney fighting on your behalf. Having an attorney means ensuring your rights are protected, maximizing your benefits, and making sure your questions and concerns are addressed.

Dolce Panepinto works tirelessly to protect the rights of injured workers by making sure that those responsible are held accountable. If you or a family member are injured at work, or in your private life, contact us today for a free case evaluation at (585) 815-9003. For further questions regarding Workers' Compensation Law or to contact Dolce Panepinto: click here.

February 25, 2021 - 5:10pm
posted by Press Release in City Schools, batavia, Batavia PD, news.

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Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department, in partnership with the City of Batavia School District (BCSD), is proud to announce the addition of Officer Miah Stevens as the newest School Resource Officer (SRO). Officer Stevens is replacing retiring Officer Jason Davis who has held the post for the last two years and has served the City for 20+ years as a police officer.

Officer Stevens is a 2013 graduate of Pembroke High School, she went on to attend Genesee Community College and SUNY Brockport majoring in Criminal Justice. Officer Stevens has previously worked for the YMCA – Batavia as a children’s swim instructor and lifeguard, City of Batavia – Bureau of Maintenance as a summer laborer and the City of Batavia School District as a teacher’s aide. 

“First, I want to thank Officer Davis for his hard work, commitment and dedication to our district and our school community. He has been an invaluable member of our BCSD family and we wish him well as he enters retirement.” said Anibal Soler, superintendent of the BCSD.

“The role of a School Resource Officer is important in our work supporting our students and families. We are grateful and excited to continue our strong partnership with Batavia Police Department and we welcome the addition of our new School Resource Officer Miah Stevens.” 

“I know she will bring new energy, commitment and perspective to our school community. I look forward to the example she will set for many of our female students and I know she will continue the amazing work started by those before her. Welcome to Batavia City Schools Officer Stevens.” 

The City of Batavia Police Department established the SRO program with the BCSD in 2019 and has had a successful partnership. The SRO delivers DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) training, is a resource to connect staff and students to community services, and is a liaison between the District and the criminal justice process.

“I wish to express my appreciation to Officer Davis for his service to the residents of the City of Batavia for the past 20 + years and congratulate Officer Stevens in her new role," said Chief Shawn Heubusch. "I look forward to a continued partnership with the BDSD to ensure a safe environment for youth in Batavia. I welcome all residents to join me in congratulating Officer Stevens as she transitions into her new role.” 

The City of Batavia Police Department’s main priority is to ensure the safety and security of those that live, work and play in the City.  BPD’s mission is to provide comprehensive, effective police services that exceed the expectation of the citizens in a timely and responsive manner.

Photo: Officer Jason Davis, Officer Miah Stevens, Superintendent Anibal Soler

February 25, 2021 - 5:04pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received 21 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in the:
      • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
      • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield) 
      • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford)
    • The individuals are in their 20s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. 
      • Three of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.  
        • Fourteen of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.

  • Orleans County received five new positive cases of COVID-19.  
    • The positive cases reside in the:
      • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
      • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
    • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 50s and 60s.
    • Five of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
    • Zero of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
    • We are deeply saddened to report the COVID-related death of a resident of Orchard Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. We do not report any further information to protect the privacy of the individual and their family. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this individual during this very sad time.
February 25, 2021 - 3:25pm
posted by Press Release in wny stamp, GCEDC, Charles Schumer, news.

Press release:

After fighting for and securing Plug Power’s commitment to build their new "gigafactory" for hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing in Rochester last month, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to support the newly proposed plan by New York-based Plug Power to create the first U.S.-wide network of green hydrogen production facilities.

Plug Power plans on starting with the construction of a $290 million production facility at the Western New York STAMP (Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Plant) site in Genesee County between Rochester and Buffalo. Schumer said DOE’s engagement will be a win-win in opening the door to additional federal resources to make Plug Power’s plans a reality while providing DOE with a first-ever national model for the creation of a domestic green hydrogen energy production supply chain.

Schumer said with DOE support, the new 60+ job green hydrogen production facility eyed at STAMP could help lead the nation in producing carbon-free green power to run hydrogen fuel-cell-powered vehicles and equipment all while creating new green jobs.

“My message to the DOE is that with its support, New York’s own Plug Power can lead the charge in dramatically shifting the nation towards clean energy starting with the construction of its first green hydrogen production facility at the STAMP campus in Western New York,” Senator Schumer said.

“The facility would create over 60 new good-paying green-energy jobs, boost the Western New York economy, and serve as a jumping-off point to create the nation’s first U.S.-wide network of green hydrogen production facilities to produce carbon-free fuel-cell power.

"With DOE support, this new green hydrogen fuel production facility in the heart of Western New York between Rochester and Buffalo can be a national model in efforts to achieve the Biden Administration’s drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating and 10 million clean energy jobs.”

In his letter to DOE today, Schumer invited DOE officials to join him in meeting with Plug Power to discuss how DOE support, technical assistance, and resources can help supercharge Plug Power to new heights by making its plans to build its hydrogen fuel production facility in Genesee County a reality.

Additionally, the senator explained that the expansion is part of Plug Power’s planned green hydrogen network to develop vertically integrated hydrogen infrastructure across the United States positioning the New York-based company to lead the charge in dramatically reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Plug Power’s new production facility at STAMP would produce 40 tons-per-day of green hydrogen to supply fuel-cell-powered equipment and vehicles such as freight transportation and logistics handling equipment – some powered by fuel cells that will be manufactured at the upcoming Plug Power Gigafactory slated to open in Rochester this summer.

The facility would become the first nationally recognized green hydrogen production center and the first of its kind in the Northeast United States.

Plug Power, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Latham, NY, currently employs more than 400 workers in New York to innovate, manufacture and assemble hydrogen fuel cells including about 300 workers in the Capital Region at its headquarters and Capital Region manufacturing sites in Latham and Clifton Park, and about 70 workers at its Rochester manufacturing site.

In 2020, Schumer successfully fought for Plug Power to build their new "gigafactory" in Rochester, which will manufacture hydrogen electrolyzers, used for the production of hydrogen fuel, and hydrogen PEM fuel cells used to produce electricity to power equipment. Slated to open in the middle of next year, the "gigafactory" will add another 375 employees to Plug Power’s New York workforce.

Senator Schumer’s letter to the Department of Energy appears below:

Dear Acting Secretary,

I am writing to seek the Department of Energy’s (DOE) assistance in the newly proposed plan by New York-based Plug Power to create the nation’s first U.S.-wide network of green hydrogen production facilities, starting with the construction of a $264 million production facility at the Western New York STAMP site in Genesee County between Rochester and Buffalo. With a soon-to-be nearly 975 member New York workforce and a history of reliability and strong investment in the U.S. hydrogen economy, Plug Power is perfectly positioned to meaningfully contribute towards to Biden Administration’s goals of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating 10 million clean energy jobs.   

Plug Power is striving to build five new green hydrogen fuel production facilities across the U.S., including a proposed $290 million production facility at the Western New York Science and Technology Advance Manufacturing Park (WNY STAMP) that will produce 40 tons-per-day of green hydrogen to supply the fuel-cells in advanced freight transportation vehicles and logistics handling equipment. Support and technical assistance from DOE now would create a win-win in both opening the door to additional federal resources to make Plug Power’s plans a reality while providing DOE with a first-ever national model for the creation of a domestic green hydrogen energy production supply chain. This new 60+ job green hydrogen production facility eyed at STAMP could help lead the nation in producing carbon-free green power to run hydrogen fuel-cell-powered vehicles and equipment all while creating new green jobs. 

Plug Power is focused on serving the zero-emissions material handling, transportation, and industrial sectors with low-cost green hydrogen fuel that is generated using 100% renewable, zero carbon energy. This project aims to strengthen our country’s economic, environmental, and national security by utilizing domestic energy resources, including low-cost renewable energy from solar photovoltaic, wind, and hydro-electric generation facilities to produce green hydrogen. It will decrease the need for energy imports while creating industry and employment growth opportunities across a variety of markets.

Plug Power, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Latham, NY, employs over 1,217 across the world, including over 600 employees in New York with another 375 expected to be added in the coming years at the company’s new gigafactory slated to open in Rochester, NY this summer. The company is focused on building the hydrogen economy as the leading provider of comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell turnkey solutions. Plug Power created the first commercially viable market for hydrogen fuel cell technology, deploying approximately 40,000 fuel cell systems, more than any other company in the world.

I would welcome the opportunity to host DOE officials for a meeting with Plug Power to discuss how DOE can provide technical assistance, support, and resource access to this cutting-edge company to help drive the construction of this new WNY green hydrogen production facility, a strong step towards a nationwide green hydrogen supply chain.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter, please do not hesitate to reach out to my staff with any questions you may have.

February 25, 2021 - 2:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Buffalo Federal Detention Facility, batavia, news, notify, ice.

Officials with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) don't see things the way a group of activists in the area do when it comes how detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility are being treated in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Activists say the conditions have led to two detainees going on a hunger strike. An ICE spokesman confirmed that as of Feb. 18, there were two individuals on a hunger strike. It's unclear if that's still the case. One person familiar with the facility indicated one of the hunger strikers may have been returned to Canada.

Representatives of Justice for Migrant Families of WNY, which is based in Buffalo, claimed during a press conference on Tuesday that during the recent COVID-19 outbreak, COVID-positive patients have been kept in solitary confinment, that conditions in the facility are unsafe and represent a health threat to the Genesee County community, particularly since, in their view, detainees are being held purely for violations of immigration laws.

ICE officials dispute these allegations.

JMF played two recordings of men they said were detainees at the facility who were on hunger strike.

One man identified himself as Raul (no last name provided).

"I am doing this because I suffer from depression almost every night and I throw up and that's why I'm doing this," Raul said. "I have PTSD. I suffer a lot. And that is why I am doing this."

He added, "I want them to release me. I cannot hold on being here longer. I don't know. I suffer a lot from depression and I am afraid that I will get infected with the virus because I have heard there are a lot of infected people here."

We asked Jennifer Connor, executive director of the organization, if anybody from the group had spoken to Raul and warned him that not getting proper nutrition could weaken his immune system and potentially put him at greater risk, and she said, "The hunger strikers are putting their health at risk. They certainly are, and no one undertakes that lightly.

"It is something that people have resorted to when they are truly desperate. It's a real cry for help. They are essentially saying, 'if if you do not hear me, if you do not end this suffering, then I am going to risk my life to make my voice heard.' So I don't think people take that risk lightly."

A spokesman for ICE said facility personnel closely monitor detainees on hunger strike:

In general, ICE fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference. ICE does not retaliate in any way against hunger strikers. ICE explains the negative health effects of not eating to our detainees. For their health and safety, ICE closely monitors the food and water intake of those detainees identified as being on a hunger strike.

ICE’s detention standards concerning hunger strikes may be reviewed here.

Raul claimed that detainees are not required to wear masks. The ICE spokesman said detainees are issued five masks upon entry and can request new masks as needed. They are required to wear them in common areas but not required to wear them in their own housing units.

Connor and Mary Rutigliano, a local resident who is a member of the Rochester Rapid Response Network, complained that contractors who work as guards at the facility as well as facility employees are not required to be tested for COVID-19.

Rutigliano expressed a lot of concern about employees coming and going from the facility as they could be asymtompatic carriers. 

"(Batavia) is the gateway between the Finger Lakes Region and Buffalo," she said. "So people moving through, stopping in Batavia. That's a huge issue for two big regions in our state."

A source familiar with the facility said ICE has no authrority under the law to require anybody to get tested or to receive a vaccine.

Connor and Rutigliano both complained about COVID-positive patients being kept in solitary confinement.

According to our source, there is no such thing as "solitary confinement" at the facility.  

When The Batavian toured the facility in 2018, we learned there are isolation rooms for people who might be infected with communicable diseases as well as rooms that can be used to isolate detainees involved in conflicts for a cooling off period. 

Detainees, however, are not cut off from the world as they would be in solitary confinment in a prison. They retain, for example, their iPads.  

The ICE spokesman said, "Individuals who are exposed to infectious illnesses are cohorted from non-affected detainees in accordance with CDC  (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines. Within these separate areas they are still free to walk about and engage with each other and staff."

Previously, The Batavian was told COVID-positive detainees were cohorted in two pods and not intermingled with non-COVID detainees.

The only solution to the problems outlined by the activists, Rutigliano said, is for the population of the facility to be reduced but the facility can house more than 600 detainees. The current population is 139, or 35 percent of its capacity, the ICE spokesman said.

A source familiar with the facility said more than 80 percent of the current population are people referred to immigration by state and federal courts because of criminal cases and the rest are held by order of the immigration court. ICE is not holding people at the facility on its own authority. Since the start of the pandemic, ICE has maintained a policy of releasing everybody who can safely be released, the source said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top photo, by Howard Owens.

Photo below, courtesy of Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

Bottom photo, by Howard Owens.

February 25, 2021 - 12:26pm

By Kathy Zipkin, president, Friends of Richmond Memorial Library

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 25, 2021 - 12:07pm

Submitted photo and press release:

 

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

 

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

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

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

Why St. Paul?

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

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

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