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July 14, 2017 - 10:04am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Stafford, Taste of Stafford, news.


The 13th annual Taste of Stafford was Thursday, where residents gathered in the Stafford Fire Hall to enjoy music and food, for the fund-raising event hosted by the Stafford Historical Society.

The venue was changed from Illette Park due to rain. Last year it was also switched to the Fire Hall -- because of extreme heat. But those who attend always seem to have a good time no matter where it's held.


The Mark Time Marchers from Churchville played tunes that people listening, enjoyed and danced to. 


Other residents enjoyed the food from various local eateries, including Stafford's renowned Red Osier Landmark Restaurant. 




July 14, 2017 - 9:53am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Art Ah La Carte, batavia, arts, news.


The first of three sessions to spread kindness throughout Batavia was on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. where participants painted rocks, which will be placed throughout Batavia.

Participants pay $5 to cover the cost of paint and supplies, and bring a rock. Two more sessions -- July 27 and Aug. 17, from 6:30 until 7:30 p.m. -- will be held at Art Ah La Carte in Batavia at 39 Jackson St.

Kim Argenta, owner of Art Ah La Carte, started the project after her friend, Kelly Carlie, told her about a project she runs in Le Roy, called “Le Roy Rocks.” Both are part of the nationwide “The Kindness Rocks Project.”






July 14, 2017 - 9:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Dining Deals program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for Wyoming County Free Press.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, 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.
July 13, 2017 - 8:12pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Genesee County Planning Board.


The Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night recommended disapproval of the expansion of a dog-boarding operation on Route 20 in the Town of Darien, taking into consideration the increased canine population's impact upon neighboring families.

By a 6-2 tally, the panel voted against Randy Blair's request to expand the two-building kennel from eight to 25 dogs. The kennel is located at 265 Broadway Road (Route 20), not far from County Line Road heading toward Alden.

Planning Board member Ed DeJaneiro Jr. said he voted for disapproval "because people's homes take precedence over a business."

The proposal isn't dead, however, as it will have to go before the Darien Town Board and will be subject to a public hearing. Because of the County Planning Board's action, Blair would need a majority plus one favorable vote in Darien for the measure to pass.

Blair told the board that he cleared the expansion with Town of Darien officials, adding that "everything was done above board." Initially, the Planning Board was supportive -- recommending approval as long as the Town of Darien assessed the noise level due to dogs barking.

But that was before the board heard from two neighbors -- Clayton Hoskyns and Timothy Hack -- who said they represented seven families that signed a petition to stop the expansion.

"The main reasons we are against this are the noise ... and the smell," Hoskyns said. "I live between two kennels -- on the east side there is no noise but from his (Blair's) on the west, there is constant barking. Plus the smell because the waste is not disposed of properly."

Hoskyns, a dairy farmer, asked the board, "Who's going to monitor them? Who is going to enforce it when they have more dogs than they are supposed to?"

Hack said his home is about 100 feet from the back portion of the kennel and "the dogs bark for 18 hours and we never see them (the owners) trying to stop them from barking."

Both said that Blair currently is housing more than the eight-dog limit.

The conversation among the neighbors became a bit heated, prompting Planning Board Chair Laraine Caton to implore the speakers to direct their comments to the board.

County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said he wasn't aware of a maximum number of dogs allowed and that the disposal of animal waste is subject to a management plan. He said the matter will have to go back to the Town of Darien zoning officer.

It was a busy night for the board with more than a dozen referrals on the agenda.

Major rulings were as follows:

-- Planners recommended approval with modifications a special use permit and area variances for Home Leasing LLC, working in cooperation with Eagle Star Housing, to merge three parcels and construct a four-story, 55-unit workforce development residential building at 552-556 E. Main St. in Batavia (on a parcel of land where two homes and Mosman Paint Store currently sit).

Modifications deal with archaeological impacts, driveway permits and meeting Enhanced 9-1-1 standards.

Adam Driscoll, Home Leasing director of development, appeared before the board, expressing his confidence that one dual-purpose elevator (one less than the minimum required) and 48 parking spaces (35 less than the minimum required) would suffice.

Responding to board members' questions about the elevator and parking spaces, Driscoll said that at other Home Leasing projects -- some with up to 100 units -- there is one elevator and "we have never had any major complaints or issues."

As far as parking is concerned, he said his company expects about 35 to 40 percent of tenants to utilize parking spots so 48 would be enough.

"We like to take advantgage of green space -- raised garden beds and a small playground on the site," he said.

Driscoll said 17 of the apartments will be dedicated to homeless veterans (through Eagle Star), with a transportation van being provided to them. 

He said that the timetable -- "in a perfect world" -- has Home Leasing submitting a NYS Homes and Community Renewal application in November, receiving notification of that award in May, closing on the financing in October and breaking ground in November 2018. Construction of the nearly $13 million project would take about a year to 15 months, he said.

-- Planners recommended approval of a site plan review for Thompson Builds of Churchville to construct a 10,331-square-foot salvaged hangar at the Genesee County Airport on West Saile Drive, noting that the plan already has been looked at by the Genesee County highway superintendent for conformance with the County Airport Master Plan.

Contractor Paul Thompson said salvaged structural steel taken from the old hangar will be used in the structure, which will match adjacent buildings on the airfield. His company is building it on behalf of Peter Zeliff, for private and public use.

Thompson expects construction to start in August and be finished by the end of the year.

-- A site plan review for the Ellicott Station project was postponed due to a lack of information from the developer, Savarino Companies.

Photo at top -- Conceptual rendering of the proposed Home Leasing apartment complex on East Main Street in Batavia.

July 13, 2017 - 7:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news, notify.

The City of Batavia is warning of flooding along the Tonawanda Creek in the areas of Law Street, Walnut Street and Kibbe Park.

The Tonawanda is expected to crest at 9.7 feet, which is above flood stage levels.

Residents in the affected areas are asked to keep vigilant and take precautions to minimize property loss.

July 13, 2017 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Sometimes good people do bad things, Judge Micheal Mohun told Bill Thomas before sentencing him to three years in state prison for menacing a police officer.

With the nearly 14 months already served in county jail, and time off for good time, Thomas should be back home with his family in a little over a year.

Family is a big part of the Thomas story, something Mohun noted during his sentencing remarks.

"You're a lucky fella," Mohun said. "Every time you've come to court, your family has been here. Your family has been very supportive. I see you are one of 10 kids, the second youngest. Your mother died in May while you were in jail. I'm sure that was very hard on you.  It gives me great encouragement that your family is with you and has backed you throughout your court appearances and your trial and now they're here with you today. That is a real testament to the Thomas family.

Then he added, "you're also lucky to be alive."

On the morning of March 16, 2016, Officer Pete Flanigan responded to a home on State Street to investigate a report of a disturbance. Bill's brother Rand answered the door and Flanigan saw Thomas, he testified at trial, with a knife in his hand. He said Thomas came at him with the knife and he thought he would have to shoot Thomas, but Rand, in trying to flee the residence, got in between the officer and his brother.

At a trial last month, Thomas was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon and menacing a police officer.

The mandatory minimum sentence for menacing a police officer is two years in prison, with a maximum of eight. 

Mohun also sentenced Thomas to one to three years on the weapons conviction, to run concurrently to the menacing charge. Thomas will also have a year and a half parole to serve when he's released.

Thomas has a prior criminal record, but nothing in the past 20 years and never had a prior arrest for any kind of violence.

He had been living with his mother, caring for her, prior to his arrest.

While Thomas, 57, was represented at the jury trial by the Public Defender's Office, retained counsel Maurice Verillo appeared for the defendant today. He argued for a minimum amount of time in prison and asked that his client's time in prison be at a facility close to Batavia so his family could easily visit him.

Mohun said he has no control over where the Department of Corrections sends Thomas, but he did attach the request to his file, so it is with him when he is processed, and all of the letters of support from friends and family the court received.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, who usually has something to say when asked what his sentencing recommendations are by a judge, made no statement in court today.

About a dozen members of his family were in court. After Mohun adjourned the case, they all stood. Deputies allowed Thomas to turn and say goodbye to his family.  Family members told him they supported him and loved him.

July 13, 2017 - 4:17pm

Press release:

The Genesee County AmeriCorps Program, in collaboration with the Genesee County and Batavia youth bureaus, is planning the annual Safe Summer Children’s Carnival open to the public to take place from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, at Falleti Ice Arena, 22 Evans St. in Batavia.

One dollar buys a ticket to play 10 games, and children can win “funny money” to redeem for prizes.

Entertainment by “The Checkers” is scheduled from 10:30-11:00 a.m. and the games will run from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. with a 30-minute lunch break. Folks from the community should to bring a bagged lunch or plan to leave for lunch.

There will also be several community agency booths that youth can visit to earn a chance to win one of many grand prizes at this year’s event. For more information on the carnival please contact Chelsea at the Genesee County Youth Bureau at 344-3960.

July 13, 2017 - 4:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve, hawley, news, business.

Press release:

With the advent of Independent Retailer Month, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), who himself has been a small-business owner for more than 40 years, is encouraging his neighbors to shop local this month.

It is a chance to support the local economy and strengthen community growth in Western New York.

“This month is the perfect opportunity to support your neighbor’s businesses and show the strength of our community,” Hawley said. “As a local business owner, I know the importance of the issues so many business owners face.

"The regulation and taxes meted out by Albany stifle the prosperity of all of us. It is with this in mind that we use this month as a symbol to band together as neighbors and show that our local economy has never been stronger and will continue to keep local money in local pockets.”

Hawley is a strong opponent of regulation and governmental oversight that prevents local businesses from operating efficiently in New York State.

This motivated him to sponsor the Red Tape Reduction Act (A6916) to help start cutting back harmful laws sent down from Albany. Less regulation and less red tape means more jobs, lower taxes, and more money in your pocket at the end of every day.

July 13, 2017 - 2:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee Community College, news.

Press release:

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education granted reaccreditation for an eight-year term to Genesee Community College June 23, the Board of Trustees learned at its annual meeting this week.

In a significant move, the Middle States Commission also issued rare commendations (official praise) to Genesee Community College for the quality of its self-study and the final Middle States team report, which found a high level of performance at Genesee.

The Middle States action followed an intensive 18-month self-study process that culminated in a Middle States Commission team visit in early April. The eight-member team comprised of highly respected educational leaders led by retired Atlantic Cape Community College President Peter L. Mora Sr., examined the College's self-study prepared by 70+ faculty and staff members, as well as more than 900 pages of documentation about all areas of the College's academic program and administrative operations. Team members also met and interviewed several hundred faculty and staff members, students, advisory committee members and trustees.

Accreditation is a rigorous process in which external experts review every facet of a college's administrative, financial, academic and student services functions. The Middle States Commission, which has accreditation jurisdiction over about 525 colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic States and Caribbean, places an exceptionally high priority on continuous improvement. Colleges and universities accredited by Middle States are expected to demonstrate both good performance and meticulous strategies for ongoing evaluation and progress toward demanding new goals.

The Middle States Commission is one of six regional accrediting bodies that oversee accreditation of the nation's 4,700+ colleges and universities. Colleges and universities must be accredited for their students to receive financial assistance, and only accredited colleges can receive public grants and contracts. Employers also see accreditation as a mark of quality, and an indication that employees' degrees are backed by high academic standards.

The Middle States Commission selected Genesee Community College as one of only 15 colleges and universities to "pilot" demanding new accreditation standards, which will take effect for all 525 Middle States colleges and universities next year. Of the 15 institutions in the pilot, only Genesee Community College and Union College (Schenectady) received commendations (official praise) for both the quality of their self-studies and final accreditation reports.

President James M. Sunser told trustees that the results of the accreditation process mean that Genesee will be viewed as an "exemplar" college throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

"I expect that other colleges and universities will be asking us for guidance and advice as they prepare to seek reaccreditation, and that faculty and staff leaders of our accreditation process will be called on to provide presentations to their peers at other colleges in the years ahead," he said.

Sunser said that the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students and the community should be deeply proud of the reaccreditation and commendations: "This reflects on the caliber of the people here, and the many strengths of our College. It [reaccreditation] is an extraordinary accomplishment."

July 13, 2017 - 12:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.
Jacklyn Ganzhorn
Johnnie Watson

Edward White

Three people have been arrested, all on Class B felony charges, following an investigation by the GC Local Drug Enforcement Task Force in the City of Batavia.

Jacklyn M. Ganzhorn, 30, of South Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree -- heroin/fentanyl; and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (same drug).

Ganzhorn was arrested Wednesday afternoon by Batavia Police while they were investigating an unrelated matter.

She was jailed on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

Uniformed officers of the Batavia Police Department assisted Task Force members with the investigation.

Johnnie M. Watson, 34, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with three counts criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree -- "crack" cocaine; and three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (same drug).

Watson was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputies.

Watson is currently on parole.

He was jailed on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

Uniformed officers of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office assisted Task Force members with the investigation.

Edward J. "Jordan" White, 21, of Michigan Street, Lockport, is charged with one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree -- "crack" cocaine; and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (same drug).

White was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Genesee County Sheriff's deputies.

White, who is also currently on parole, was jailed on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond. 

Uniformed officers of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office assisted Task Force members with the investigation. The Task Force is comprised officers from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Batavia Police NET officers, and the Le Roy Village Police Department.

July 13, 2017 - 12:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in YWCA, news, Announcements.

Press release from the YWCA of Genesee County:

A man sets fire to his house while his girlfriend and her pets are inside. A husband kills his wife and then a state Trooper. These are just two recent incidents that should have everyone wondering why domestic violence – especially of this lethal caliber -- has to happen. What kind of fear must be instilled in these victims to keep them from reaching out for help?

As long as there is domestic violence – which can be verbal, emotional and/or physical and always involves control -- agencies such as ours will be here to help victims and survivors to move on with their lives. This may be an odd way to begin a thank-you letter, but these incidents need to be emphasized as the reality – or potential reality -- that many victims face. And YWCA of Genesee County is grateful to be able to serve them, thanks to the support of many local individuals, organizations and businesses. 

Coming off the heels of Women of Distinction Awards Gala, our signature event to honor people and the good works they do in the community, we are proud to have acknowledged so many fine contributors to society. It was a rewarding evening that highlighted people who work for racial justice, peace, advocacy, corporate social responsibility, economic empowerment or veterans.

We were also delighted to have received such amazing community support in the form of sponsorships and donations of time, money, goods and services. Being a major fundraiser for us, this event supplements agency funding to continue our work with domestic violence victims and to offer a 24-hour confidential crisis helpline and quality child care.

So this is a big Thank You to those people who opened up their hearts and their wallets to help make our event successful and, ultimately, contributed to the success of this community. This is also a reminder that Domestic Violence Awareness Month will be here before you know it (October) and we hope to see many participants at our second annual Stiletto & Sneaker 5K. It is a fun event with a certified course and a serious message of HOPE for anyone enduring domestic abuse. It takes off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5 in front of YWCA, 301 North St., Batavia.

Lastly, if you or someone you know is in the midst of some kind of domestic trouble, whether it’s constant fighting, being isolated from family and friends, threats, physical injuries, living in fear or it’s just a feeling that something’s not right, please, please, please make a call. Our Care+Crisis Helpline is there for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s free and confidential, and that call just may save a life. (585) 344-4400 or (844) 345-4400.


Jeanne Walton, executive director

July 13, 2017 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Creekside Inn, Farmer's Creekside Inn, Le Roy, business, news, notify.


It's been years of effort and expense for Bill Farmer, but nearly a decade after he acquired the Creekside Inn, after a fire destroyed most of the building, the tavern that is part of so many local memories, is once again welcoming customers.

The 200-year-old building has been completely refurbished from top to bottom and is gorgeous. Farmer has hired a top-notch staff and the Creekside is set to become a local favorite, but a regional dining destination.  

Tavern dining on the second floor and the patio bar are open. The third-floor fine dining won't open for a few weeks yet.

This weekend, during Oatka Fest, the Creekside is not accepting reservations. It is first-come, first-served.









July 13, 2017 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.


Flooding is reported on Cedar Street and on Route 20 in Alexander.

UPDATE 10:46 a.m.: All available manpower to Bethany Fire Hall for at least two cellar pump details.

UPDATE 10:53 a.m. (By Billie): Le Roy firefighters are called to their hall for cellar pump detail. Route 5 under the railroad overpass in Le Roy is flooded. Le Roy Village highway department is notified. Flooding is reaching the second lane of the roadway at Route 19 and Hilltop.

UPDATE 11:12 a.m.: Photo added. A city worker said the flood waters under the train overpass on Cedar Street was higher before I got there. Even in the time between taking this picture and walking back to my car, the waters completely drained away. However, because of the potential for more heavy rain and more flooding, city workers put up barriers just to encourage people to slow down. City crews will continue to monitor the situation. Flooding is reported in Le Roy at Wolcott and Munson.

UPDATE 11:25 a.m.: There's a report of Warner Road in Le Roy being washed out.

UPDATE 11:32 a.m.: A black SUV is stuck at the "Route 238 viaduct." Help is on the way.

UPDATE 11:36 a.m.: An occupied car is stuck on Attica Street under a bridge in Alexander. Alexander Fire Department is responding along with a deputy.

UPDATE 11:49 a.m.: The car on Attica Road is out of the water and its female driver safe.

UPDATE 12:18 p.m.: A power line is down, lying in standing water on Bartoff Road in Stafford.

July 13, 2017 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, darien lake, darien lake performing arts center, news.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Nickelback concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Wednesday:

Kortney R. Howell, 19, of Church Street, Victor, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

A 17-year-old of North Davis Road, Elma, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd, after allegedly identifying himself as another person and using their identification.

Nicholas S. Zabmester, 21, of Fernwood Drive, Lockport, is charged with trespass after allegedly jumping a fence to enter the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Andrew C. Denslow, 42, of Pocono Drive, Austin, Texas, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly pushing a Live Nation employee while attempting to gain entry to the concert venue.

July 13, 2017 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, baseball, batavia, muckdogs.

Press release:

Today’s game between the Batavia Muckdogs and Lowell Spinners has been canceled due to wet and unsafe field conditions.

As the two teams do not meet again this season, this game will not be made up at any time during the season. Any person with tickets to today’s game can exchange their tickets for any other regular season game, subject to availability.

July 13, 2017 - 10:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.


A flash flood warning has been issued for Western New York and it will be in effect until 1:45 p.m.


At 9:46 a.m., Doppler Radar detected thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the region. 

July 13, 2017 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, corfu, news, notify.

Kimberly Brodsky, 25, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with offering a false instrument for filing, 1st, and grand larceny, 4th. Brodsky is accused of filing a falsified application for assistance with the Department of Social Services in May 2016. Brodsky allegedly received $2,423 in benefits as a result of the falsified application.

Susan Jordon, 54, of State Street, Batavia, was charged with two counts of offering a false instrument for filing, 1st, and grand larceny, 3rd. Jordan is accused of submitting falsified applications to the Department of Social Services in August 2016 and in February (2017). As result, Jordan allegedly received $3,105 in benefits. 

Catherine Spink, 52, Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with 10 counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree and one count of grand larceny, 3rd. Spink is accused of submitting various forms of falsified documentation to the Department of Social Services between March of 2015 and March of 2017, which resulted in Spink receiving $3,756 in benefits.

Arne H. Zipkin, 69, of Woodcrest Drive, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Zipkin is accused of shoplifting from Dick's Sporting Goods. Zipkin allegedly stole $97.99 in merchandise.

Grand Jury Report:

Jason C. Lehnortt is indicted on a count of felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, and speeding. Lehnortt is accused of driving drunk May 3. He was allegedly drunk while driving his 2006 Subaru on the Thruway over the posted speed limit through Stafford while on a suspended license. He is alleged to have had a prior DWI conviction in January 2008, making the DWI a felony charge with three prior suspensions or revocations still in effect.

July 13, 2017 - 9:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A motor-vehicle accident with minor injuries is reported on West Main Street at Porter Avenue.

The vehicles have reportedly moved to a location out of the roadway.

City fire, Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 10:07 a.m.: An ambulance is requested to return to the parking lot of Batavia PD. A subject involved in the accident now reports she is in her vehicle unable to move.

July 13, 2017 - 9:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Dining Deals program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for Wyoming County Free Press.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, 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.




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