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July 8, 2020 - 5:09pm

Above, a Baby Ballet trio demonstrates a graceful arm pose.

Faced with the crushing prospect of having to cancel dance recitals showcasing students' hard work and talent, Batavia-based LAW Dance Studio enlisted plenty of parents to pull off a creative feat, despite COVID-19.

They came up with a plan for staggered recitals outdoors demonstrating newly polished dance skills.

"Twisted 2020 Dance Recital" was held June 30, July 2 and July 6 outside in Elba to accommodate coronavirus mandates for social distancing. The poster boasted that "We've locked in our routines during lockdown."

Lisa Blaun, who owns the studio at 218 W. Main St., said when schools closed and the state went into a mandatory shelter-in-place on Saturday, March 14th, all in-studio lessons stopped.

"We were in the thick of learning recital routines and embarking on competition season," Blaun said in an email to The Batavian. "At that time, there were so many unknowns and a high level of uncertainty. As a small boutique studio and as a business owner whose livelihood this studio is, I took a week off to allow for the new reality to settle in and to take the time to weigh my options.

"I launched virtual zoom classes where I remained in the studio instructing my dancers who were logged in from their homes. In some ways, it was interesting to have this format as it allowed me to see certain technique translations more directly that may have otherwise been lost in a full classroom environment. The Zoom classes kept my dancers learning and active, and gave parents some sense of normalcy.

"The question of what to do with the recital loomed. Ironically, the theme had been set for months as "Twisted." Who would have known how true this theme would represent reality?

"These kids worked so hard. Parents invested time and money. They not only deserved to have the recital that is the payoff for their efforts, but they also needed it to feel normal under these weird circumstances.

"I met with a core group of parents that assist the studio to throw around some ideas while working within the state restrictions. I decided to extend the season by a month to allow more time for kids to learn the dances with the hope restrictions would decrease.

"In the end, I decided to host a recital outside over three days. I utilized the remnants of a chicken coop on my family's property that served as the

perfect stage. I brought my floor from the studio and made it work. We got extremely lucky with the weather. The outdoor setting and three-day timeframe allowed for smaller numbers and social distancing.

"Only core family members/siblings were invited to attend. We did not charge or sell tickets. We recorded each dance over those three days and are in the process of creating a video recital that will seem like one seamless event.

"This video will be provided to parents at no charge so they can share it widely with their community of folks that couldn't otherwise attend. We were also able to take group and individual photographs of each dancer and will provide photos to parents free of charge. 

"I could not have pulled any of this off without the support of parents and the dedication of my dancers. I am so incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful group of families committed to me and my studio. They hung in there with me and allowed for creativity. I was thrilled to be able to provide this recital experience. It was truly special and one I will never forget. In many ways, it brought us all closer together.

"I am looking forward to the 20-2021 dance season and a new normal, whatever that may be. My little studio proved we could be flexible and shift with the times and I am ready for anything that may come this fall. I will be hosting an open house and a dance intensive course in August if state restrictions allow, so look for more details to come."

Image and photos, courtesy of Lisa Blaun.

Below, the classic pointe.

Below, young hip-hop nation.

Below, the ballerina lift.

Below, the angst of musical theater in the Age of Coronavirus.

Bright smiles all around and great form, too.

Below, the acrobatic pyramid requires a lot of flexibility.

Below, spotlight on contemporary dance.

July 2, 2020 - 2:29pm

Top photo: Macayla Burke (right) receives the first-place Holowach Scholarship from Jon Sanfratello, executive principal, GV BOCES Batavia Campus. Macayla is a Health Careers Academy student from Batavia City School District.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center is proud to announce the achievements of its seniors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this awards ceremony event that was scheduled to be held in June was canceled.

The 25 Genesee County award winners, their programs, home schools and scholarships received, are noted below.

  • Chase Bordonaro -- Building Trades, Le Roy CSD, Home Depot Award
  • Juliana Branche -- Culinary Arts, Batavia CSD, Culinary Arts Club Award
  • Jesse Bray -- Metal Trades, Batavia CSD, Dan Bender Award
  • Alexander Brumsted -- Building Trades, Byron-Bergen CSD, Home Owner Award
  • Macayla Burke -- Health Careers Academy, Batavia CSD, Holowach Memorial Scholarship – first place
  • Casey Felski -- Building Trades, Pembroke CSD, Building Trades Alumni Award
  • Wyatt Gaus -- Culinary Arts, Batavia CSD, Batavia Rotary, Chef Russell Bugbee Memorial Award, Culinary Arts Club Award, Holowach Memorial Scholarship (Alternate), Josh Mouery Memorial Award
  • Madison Heaney -- Health Dimensions, Le Roy CSD, UMMC Clinical Excellence Award, UMMC League Award
  • Paige Haile -- Health Careers Academy, Batavia CSD, AM Highest Academic Average, Holowach Memorial Scholarship – second place
  • Nicole Hume -- Metal Trades, Alexander CSD, Dan Bender Award
  • Jacob Humes -- Health Careers Academy, Batavia CSD, AM Clinical Excellence Award
  • Noah Kutter -- Culinary Arts, Pembroke CSD, Extra Mile Award
  • Benjamin LaBombard -- Metal Trades, Le Roy CSD, Gene Haas Foundation Award
  • Kyler LaCarte -- Building Trades, Le Roy CSD, Home Depot Award
  • Benjamin Lemley -- Building Trades, Notre Dame HS, Roy H. Turnbull Memorial Award
  • Dylan Pehrson -- Building Trades, Batavia CSD, Paul Levins Memorial Award
  • Paola Perez -- Justice Academy, Oakfield-Alabama CSD, Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Emma Sallome -- Cosmetology, Batavia CSD, Cosmetology Teacher Award
  • Wyatt Sando -- Metal Trades, Byron-Bergen CSD, Don Abramo Jr. Memorial Award
  • Dan Santullo -- Health Careers Academy, Alexander CSD, PM Highest Academic Average
  • Gavin Schmidt -- Collision Custom & Restoration, Batavia CSD, Select Collision Top Gun Award
  • Lauren Schmieder -- Health Careers Academy, Alexander CSD, PM Clinical Excellence Award
  • Tyler Stevens -- Collision Custom & Restoration, Elba CSD, Car Quest Auto Body Skills Award
  • Charlotte Wright -- Animal Science, Le Roy CSD, FFA Service Scholarship
  • Braeden Zimmerman -- Collision Custom & Restoration, Byron-Bergen CSD, Car Quest Auto Body Skills Award
June 30, 2020 - 4:05pm

Genesee Community College named 63 Genesee County students to the President's List for the Spring 2020 semester. Students honored on the President's List have maintained full-time enrollment and earned a quality point index of 3.75 (roughly equivalent to an A) or better.

In total, there were 253 students named to the President's List from all seven campus locations in Batavia, Albion, Arcade, Dansville, Lima, Medina and Warsaw.

Online, Genesee Community College's Spring 2020 President's List (PDF) honorees are listed alphabetically by their hometowns.

The College also maintains a Provost's List to recognize part-time students with a quality point index of 3.75 or better and a dean's list comprised of students who earn a quality point index of 3.50 to 3.74. These other GCC honorees are announced separately; see the College's website

Below are the 69 Genesee County students named to the President's List for the Spring 2020 semester:

Macie Riggs of Alexander 

Jessica Scharlau of Alexander 

Naomi LaDuke of Alexander

Jessica Lennon of Alexander 

Jordin Cecere of Alexander

Logan Kellogg of Basom 

Donovan Nephew of Basom

Megan Gilman of Basom 

Stephanie Gilman of Basom 

Megan Jacques of Batavia 

Jocelyn Castaneda of Batavia 

Monique McKenrick of Batavia 

Kate Wasik of Batavia 

Stacey Johnston of Batavia

Kristen Gloskowski of Batavia 

Samuel Rigerman of Batavia 

Gregory Metz of Batavia

Heather Demmer of Batavia 

Steven Geyer of Batavia

Abigail Swinehart of Batavia 

Meredith Cutro of Batavia 

Bethany Ruffino of Batavia 

Brandi-Lyn Heidenreich of Batavia 

Nichole Ambrosoli of Batavia 

Macy Midla of Batavia

Janelle DiMartino of Batavia 

Trevor Zewan of Batavia 

Mackenzie Pedersen of Batavia

Shane Cockle of Batavia 

Jennifer Bartz of Batavia 

Brittaney Lang of Batavia

Margaret Richardson of Batavia

Tara Clattenburg of Batavia 

Cortney Dawson of Batavia

Alexis Balduf of Batavia 

Tylin Torcello of Batavia 

Anne Koestler of Batavia 

Jessica Accardi of Batavia 

Bailey Faucett of Batavia 

Ryan Weaver of Batavia

Bailey Gavenda of Batavia

Danielle Joyce of Bergen

Marlaina Fee of Bergen

John Gabalski of Byron

MacKenzie Rosse of Byron

Julia Starczewski of Corfu 

Mackenzie Jurek of Corfu

Nicholas Brown of Corfu 

Carley Staebell of Corfu

Olivia Kohorst of Corfu 

Katharine Smallwood of Corfu 

Ryan Curtis of Corfu 

Dustin Wheeler of Darien Center 

Joshua Kramer of Darien Center 

Haley Alvord of Darien Center 

Caroline Pelton of East Bethany 

Jessica Padilla of Elba

Emily Reynolds of Elba 

Nicole Roth of Le Roy 

Hanna Erion of Le Roy 

Marshall Schultz of Le Roy 

Brenda Turner of Le Roy 

Morgan Ferrara of Le Roy

Kristin Griffin of Le Roy

Emma-Kate Uberty of Le Roy 

Samantha Reinhardt of Oakfield

Annette Velletta of Oakfield

Jazmyn Dobson of Oakfield 

Josilynn Russo of Pavilion

Genesee Community College serves more than 5,000 students with more than 65 academic programs and certificates. Among the many options are the Marketing and Social Media concentration within the Business Administration program, Computer Repair, and the newest Micro-Credential offerings in Human Resource Management, NYS Coaching and Professional Sales. GCC also offers a variety of Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and six different healthcare programs including the new Health Studies, A.S. 

Each GCC student is assigned a success coach at the College's Student Success Center. The coach provides academic and career guidance from the first steps of the admissions process through to graduation or transferring credits to other institutions. The College's robust athletic program is housed in the state-of-the-art Richard C. Call Arena featuring a fieldhouse, fitness center, Human Performance Lab, press box, as well as coaches' offices and classrooms. 

GCC operates seven campus locations throughout Western New York, a significant online program and student housing is available at College Village, just a three-minute walk from the Batavia Campus. With small class sizes and innovative technology inside and out of the classroom, SUNY GCC is known for its quality education at an affordable price.

June 25, 2020 - 3:40pm

The following local residents made the dean's list at Rochester Institute of Technology for the 2020 Spring Semester.

Degree-seeking undergraduate students are eligible for dean's list if their term GPA is greater than or equal to 3.400; they do not have any grades of "Incomplete", "D" or "F"; and they have registered for, and completed, at least 12 credit hours.

Marissa Dispenza, of Batavia, who is in the Chemical Engineering program.

Nicholas Kelly, of Byron, who is in the Software Engineering program.

Celia Mercovich, of Bergen, who is in the Physics program.

Cody Zajaczkowski, of Le Roy, who is in the Packaging Science program.

Erik Scharlau, of Alexander, who is in the Physician Assistant program.

Andrew Pickard, of Batavia, who is in the Software Engineering program.

Ava Vescovi, of Le Roy, who is in the Business Administration-Marketing program.

Bethany Zwolinski, of Corfu, who is in the Biomedical Sciences program.

Tyler Henry, of Bergen, who is in the Illustration program.

Taylor Schofield, of Pavilion, who is in the Biomedical Engineering program.

Lauren Burke, of Bergen, who is in the Biomedical Sciences program.

Maddi Howard, of Elba, who is in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.

Jessie Abrams, of Corfu, who is in the Medical Illustration program.

Triton Adamski, of Corfu, who is in the Game Design and Development program.

Jacob Gualtieri, of Le Roy, who is in the Computer Engineering program.

Alex Warren, of Corfu, who is in the Computer Science program.

Grace Vogler, of Corfu, who is in the Business Administration-Management program.

Sarah Nati, of Corfu, who is in the Applied Arts and Sciences program.

Lily Mercovich, of Bergen, who is in the Film and Animation program.

Olivia Fox, of Alexander, who is in the Applied Arts and Sciences program.

Jordan D'Alba, of Oakfield, who is in the Mechanical Engineering program.

Melissa Mountain, of Batavia, who is in the Interior Design program.

Kiera Gross, of East Bethany, who is in the Computational Mathematics program.

Katelyn Hersee, of Batavia, who is in the business administration-accounting program.

Chase Roth, of Alexander, who is in the Mobile App Development program.

Charles Carroll, of Oakfield, who is in the Chemistry program.

Ethan Stone, of Batavia, who is in the Computer Engineering program.

Colin Hunt, of Batavia, who is in the Packaging Science program.

Allen Snyder, of Darien Center, who is in the Mechanical Engineering program.

Rochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls about 19,000 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the U.S.

The university is internationally recognized and ranked for academic leadership in business, computing, engineering, imaging science, liberal arts, sustainability, and fine and applied arts. RIT also offers unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. Global partnerships include campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo.

June 17, 2020 - 4:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Le Roy, batavia, linwood, darien center, elba, bergen, corfu.

Canisius College in Buffalo congratulates more than 1,300 students who were named to the spring 2020 dean's list and Merit List.

Dean's list recognitions are awarded to those students who have attained a grade-point average of at least 3.50 for the semester and have completed at least four courses of three credits or equivalent.

Merit List recognitions are awarded to students who have attained a grade-point average of at least 3.25 for the semester and have completed two courses of three credit hours or the equivalent.

In Genesee County, those named to the dean's list and Merit List are:

Hannah Schaber, of Corfu -- Schaber is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2020 and pursuing a degree in Animal Behavior Ecology Conser.

Spencer Misiti, of Batavia -- Misiti is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2023 and pursuing a degree in Finance.

Bella March, of Batavia -- March is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2023 and pursuing a degree in Animal Behavior Ecology Conser.

Griffin Della Penna, of Batavia -- Della Penna is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2023 and pursuing a degree in Journalism.

Ava Horgan, of Le Roy -- Horgan is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2023 and pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice.

David Doan, of Batavia -- Doan is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2023 and pursuing a degree in Finance.

Alexander Kunes, of Batavia -- Kunes is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2021 and pursuing a degree in Business Economics.

Jared Browne, of Darien Center -- Browne is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2020 and pursuing a degree in Political Science.

Harrison Dodson, of Bergen -- Dodson is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2023 and pursuing a degree in Pathfinders.

Christina Barraco, of Batavia -- Barraco is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2022 and pursuing a degree in Digital Media Arts.

Thomas Kubiniec, of Batavia -- Kubiniec is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2020 and pursuing a degree in Biology.

Mary Warner, of Le Roy -- Warner is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2023 and pursuing a degree in Mathematics.

Luca Zambito, of Elba -- Zambito is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2020 and pursuing a degree in Finance.

Zachary Brown, of Linwood -- Brown is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2023 and pursuing a degree in Pathfinders.

Jenna Whitmore, of Batavia -- Whitmore is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2022 and pursuing a degree in Clinical Laboratory Science.

Matthew Genaway, of Darien Center -- Genaway is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2021 and pursuing a degree in Accounting.

Alexis Hoerner, of Batavia -- Hoerner is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2021 and pursuing a degree in Communication Studies.

Calvin Herrick, of Le Roy -- Herrick is a member of the Canisius College Class of 2023 and pursuing a degree in Biology.

June 10, 2020 - 1:56pm

 Buffalo State College is pleased to recognize the following 12 students from Genesee County who have been named to the Spring 2020 dean's list.

In general, students who have completed at least 12 credit hours and who have attained a GPA of 3.5 or higher qualify for the Buffalo State dean's list. Full criteria and grade-type exceptions can be found in the undergraduate catalog.

Carli Bogue, of Elba

Neve Georgia, of Batavia

Jaclyn Guzdek, of Oakfield

Jenna Huntington, of Elba

Jordyn Johnson, of Batavia

Brendon Kendall, of South Byron

Curtis Kreutter, of East Bethany

Mckenna Moran, of Darien Center

Dylah Pantlin, of Batavia

Tess Rebmann, of Darien Center

Miranda Schiller, of Alexander

Samantha Tatarski, of Corfu

Buffalo State is a State University of New York (SUNY) college located in Buffalo. The college offers 79 undergraduate majors as well as many minors and certificate programs. Every year, thousands of students benefit from Buffalo State's community engagement, hands-on learning opportunities, and affordable SUNY tuition. Buffalo State also offers more than 60 graduate programs.

June 7, 2020 - 6:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, elba, scanner.

A caller in the 6800 block of Transit Road in Elba reports to dispatchers that four-wheelers are traveling up and down the roadway at a high rate of speed and the operators are not wearing helmets. Sheriff's deputies are responding.

June 6, 2020 - 5:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, elba, accidents.

A two-vehicle accident, unknown injuries, is reported at Oak Orchard Road and Lockport Road, which is east of Route 98 (Quaker Hill Road). Elba Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 5:42 p.m.: A caller to dispatch reports no injuries.

UPDATE 5:45 p.m.: A first responder corrects the location -- the accident scene is at Oak Orchard and North Byron roads.

UPDATE 6:28 p.m.: The Elba assignment is back in service.

June 4, 2020 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia, Basom, elba.

Three students from Genesee County have been named to the dean's list for the spring 2020 semester at Clarkson University.

Hannah M Bowen, of Batavia, a senior majoring in Psychology, was named to the dean's list for the spring 2020 semester at Clarkson University.

Evan Hunter Dusky, of Basom, a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering, was named to the dean's list for the spring 2020 semester at Clarkson University.

Jacob Perez Gangi, of Elba, a junior majoring in Civil Engineering, was named to the dean's list for the spring 2020 semester at Clarkson University.

Dean's list students must achieve a minimum 3.25 grade-point average and also carry at least 14 credit hours.

As a private, national research university, Clarkson is a leader in technological education and sustainable economic development through teaching, scholarship, research and innovation. We ignite personal connections across academic fields and industries to create the entrepreneurial mindset, knowledge and intellectual curiosity needed to innovate world-relevant solutions and cultivate the leaders of tomorrow.

With its main campus located in Potsdam and additional graduate program and research facilities in the New York Capital Region, Beacon, and New York City, Clarkson educates 4,300 students across 95 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, the arts, education, sciences and health professions. Our alumni earn salaries that are among the top 2.5 percent in the nation and realize accelerated career growth. One in five already leads as a CEO, senior executive or owner of a company.

 

June 1, 2020 - 6:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, elba, scanner.

A caller reports three little children are walking in the roadway in Elba in the area of Bank Street Road near Whitney Mill Road. One of the tykes is in a stroller; the caller estimated their ages to be from 2 to 4. There is no adult with them. A Sheriff's deputy is responding.

May 21, 2020 - 2:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Alabama, elba.

Shawn Philip Stevens, 42, of Hundredmark Road, Elba, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. On May 20, Genesee County Sheriff's deputies J. Dimmig and D. Moore arrested Stevens in relation to a domestic incident that occurred on South Main Street in the Village of Elba at 9:45 p.m. on May 16. Stevens was arrrested and charged with the crime for allegedly violating an order of protection.

Shannon Maria Armstead, 27, of Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, is charged with second-degree menacing and second-degree harassment. At 7:36 p.m. on May 19, Armstead was arrested after a complaint about a physical altercation in the Town Alabama. Armstead was issued appearance tickets and is due in Town of Alabama Court on June 10. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Deputy David Moore.

May 20, 2020 - 3:22pm

Route information from Bill and Jeanne Freeman​:

Cruising for Mercy Flight is a car-cruise fundraiser that will be held on Sunday, June 7, escorted by Genesee County Sheriff's deputies.

Participants -- including classic automobile enthusiasts, hot rodders, vintage car owners, and people with way cool rides -- will assemble at the Genesee County Fairgrounds at 5056 E. Main St. Road (Route 5) in Batavia, and the procession will leave at approximately 1 p.m.

And this cavalcade surely must include thankful everyday operators who carry a valid license to drive in New York, have a vehicle that has adequate gasoline in the tank, is inspected, insured and runs.

They can all rally around Mercy Flight, a really good reason to enjoy some fresh air with people for a change, whether the weather cooperates or not weather weather permitting.

The Route

  • From fairgrounds, turn left onto Route 5 westbound (about 1 p.m.);
  • In Batavia, turn right on Route 98 north to Elba (1:15 p.m.)
  • In Elba, turn right onto Route 262 going through Byron and into Bergen (1:35 p.m.);
  • In Bergen, turn right onto Route 19 southbound through Le Roy (1:45 p.m.);
  • Keep on Route 19 south to Pavilion (1:52 p.m.);
  • Turn right on Route 63 westbound in Pavilion to go to junction of routes 63 & 20 (1:55 p.m.);
  • Turn left onto Route 20 at Texaco Town (2 p.m.);
  • Take Route 20 through Bethany and Alexander, to Route 77 westbound to Darien Center (2:15 p.m.);
  • Take Route 77 northbound from Darien Center to Alabama (2:35 p.m.);
  • Turn right on to Route 63 in Alabama and go to Oakfield (2:45 p.m.);
  • Approximately 1 mile down the road, turn left onto Route 262 to Elba;
  • In Elba turn right on to Route 98. This will take you back to Route 5 and also to the Batavia Exit on the Thruway.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT FOR MERCY FLIGHT!

We would like to thank the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, especially Undersheriff Brad Mazur, the Genesee County Agricultural Society, and the Batavia and Le Roy police departments!

We certainly appreciate your support in being a part of this cruise. Be careful on your way home.

We sure hope to see everyone next month.

Stay Healthy and Be Safe,

Bill and Jeanne Freeman

UPDATE 12:28 p.m. May 21: A Mercy Flight Helicopter on a truck and trailer will be in the convoy, being held "in memory of all the former cruisers that have passed before us." A goodwill collection for Mercy Flight will be taken at the start of the event.

Here are the rules:

  1. If you get out of your car you have to wear a mask.
  2. If you do get out of your car be sure to practice social distancing.
  3. If you bring a snack and a beverage with you, please take home any trash. 
  4. CARRY IN AND CARRY OUT PLEASE!

Questions, call Jeanne Freeman at (585) 548-7197 before June 7.

May 18, 2020 - 4:34pm

Student photos and information from the Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation:

For the first time ever, the Paulo Busti Cultural Foundation has had to cancel its annual Scholarship Dinner and COVID-19 is the reason.

"It is with great sadness, that for the first time in our history, this event will be cancelled," said foundation board President Michele Fuller. "Italian’s are synonymous with family, generosity and love. These students are our family. The Board of Directors wanted to do something special for them during this tumultuous time. We cannot think of a better way of taking care of our young than to award each one with a monetary scholarship.

The students have met all the necessary requirements, according to Scholarship Chair Annette LaBarbera, who has worked diligently to file all their applications.

The six awardees will be featured in the foundation upcoming newsletter, and their accomplishments will be celebrated at their next event.

They are: Kiaya Marie Condidorio, Rhoori Adea Fix, Christopher Gualtieri, Isabella Marie Riner, Megan Elizabeth Smith and Jacob Torcello.

The Gautieri family is also awarding each student with a monetary scholarship. This is given annually, in honor of their late father, Vincent Gautieri, an avid supporter of the foundation, and proud of his Italian heritage.

"We hope the kids take this opportunity to reflect on the hardships, prejudice, poverty and loneliness their ancestors endured when they came to America," Fuller said. "Their sacrifices made it possible for them to live The American Dream. They prevailed and they will, too!”

The Foundation also honors the 2020 Outstanding Italian American at the annual dinner. This year the recipient is Raymond San Fratello, formerly of Genesee County, and currently a resident of Clermont, Fla., who will be recognized at a future date (inset photo, right from his Facebook Page).

"He is an incredible man and we look forward to showcasing his many accomplishments," Fuller said.

Kiaya Marie Condidorio (left), graduating senior from Le Roy Jr./Sr High School, is the daughter of Thomas and Charity Condidorio. Software Engineering will be Kiaya’s major attending Genesee Community College in the Fall.

Responsibility, passion, courage and accountability are the values Kiaya demonstrates with strong Italian roots. Both sets of grandparents arrived to the United States shores from Italy and Sicily.

Kiaya has learned to balance her academics and sports to achieve the Honor Roll consistently. She played soccer, softball, and basketball during her high school years and will continue to play soccer in college. Kiaya said that playing sports helped her realize her strengths and weaknesses, and grew from these challenges. Kiaya was awarded Scholar Athlete in soccer and basketball.

Volunteering at the school sports concession stand, cleaning and organizing at the fire hall, working at the Knights Closet, teaching youth basketball camp, and school peer counselor has helped to be a better leader.

Rhoori Adea Fix (right) is a graduating senior at Batavia High School, daughter of Aaron and Kristen Fix, and is the best version of a kind, hardworking student, whose involvement in school and community has helped her to accomplish her goals.

Rhoori’s goal is to achieve her bachelor of science degree in Nursing with a specialty in Obstetrics -- Labor and Delivery. This demonstrates her desire to apply integrity, leadership and caring to her goal. Rhoori will be attending Genesee Community College in the Fall in Health Studies.

She's a member of the National Honor Society, qualified for the National Art Honor Society, and a Public Relations officer of the National Art Honor Society. Rhoori was the communication liaison between students and teachers on society events and the recipient of the BHS Silver Award.

As an active member of Ascension Parish, she assists in various parish events, assisting as an instructor for the younger students in the Faith Formation classes, student tutor for the district’s Extended Year program, assistant teacher/mentor at Center Stage Dance Company, and a volunteer for Ricky Palermo Foundation.

Rhoori said she feels “caring for others, no matter what, is something that I grew up valuing on a day to day basis."

A 2020 Le Roy JR/Sr High School graduate Christopher Gualtieri (left), son of Michael and Deborah Gualtieri, possesses a strong Italian heritage.

His great-grandparents arrived in the United States from Italy, Sicily and Capri and settled in our community. This has instilled in Christopher the importance of family.

His plan in the Fall is to attend Fredonia College, majoring in Computer Science, with a minor in Athletic Coaching. He will be participating in track.

During his years at Le Roy HS, he participated in indoor / outdoor track team, and cross-country and was the captain on all three teams.

He is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, National Honor Society, Design Club and Mock Trial.

Christopher appreciated the time he volunteered at Our Lady of Mercy Parish as an altar server, student volunteer for Religious Education, Vacation Bible School and fish fry dinners. At summer Camp Stella Maris, Christopher was a leader in training and counselor in training.

“I am a person of strong faith, a community giver, driven and dedicated to achieve my goals,” Christopher said.

Isabella Marie Riner (right), a proud graduating senior from Elba Central School, is the Class of 2020 Valedictorian. The daughter of Michael and Alison Riner, Isabella's ancestors arrived in the United States in the early 20th century, raising their family in Genesee County.

Participating in extracurricular activities was a big part of her high school years. She received a Sportsmanship Award from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association; attended a World Leadership Conference; was a participant in the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadershiop Foundation program and named an Air Force Scholarship Athlete.

Isabella was Class President, Student Council Officer, President of National Honor Society, participated in the Page Turners, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Student Athletic Association, and Masterminds.

Sports was also a part of Isabella’s High School years, participating in Soccer, Basketball and Tennis.

Volunteering contributed to Isabella qualifications, a Bell Ringer for The Salvation Army, waitressed for Byron Presbyterian Turkey Dinner Church, Brayden Day of Play, Christmas Craft Show, Halloween in the Park, Secret Santa, cleanup at the cemetery, and Friends of Strong.

Isabella has been accepted at University of Rochester majoring in Bio-Medical Sciences and Anthropology. Her ultimate goal is Pediatrics.

Isabella states ”I am a strong Italian-American, and I take everything my family worked towards and I will keep it close to my heart."

Batavia High School Class of 2020 senior Megan Elizabeth Smith (left) is the daughter of Jason and Lori Smith and the oldest of three. She's an excellent role model for her siblings.

Megan will be attending Niagara University in the Fall majoring in Education, specializing in teaching English to speakers of other languages.

A member of Resurrection Parish, where she is a kindergarten and first-grade Faith Formation instructor. This opportunity brightens her day, reassuring Megan that the choice of teaching will fulfill her.

Megan's accomplishments include: membership in the National Honor Society; working in Student Government and serving as a Student Representative; and participating in Rochester Youth Broadway Theatre, where she received Tip of the Hat recognition for stage crew exhibits.

She also participated in JV soccer, JV track, and band.

Volunteering is also a part of Megan’s life, she assisted at the John Kennedy Primary School Pasta Night, Applebee's Pancake Breakfast, Meals on Wheels, BHS Stage Crew and Link Crew Leader.

"Without my family, I would not be the person I am today!" Megan said. "Now that is Italian!"

A graduating senior of the 2020 Class of Batavia Senior High School, Jacob Torcello (right), is the son of Jack and Danielle Torcello.

"Being a member of an Italian family encourages everyone to work together to keep it running," Jacob said, and he exemplifies this in his studies, volunteer services and sports.

He's a member of the National Honor Society and participated in indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, summer soccer, BHS soccer and cross-country.

Jake demonstrated his leadership as a team captain for indoor and outdoor track and field.

Jacob has volunteered for Team Literacy Extended Year program, Breakfast with Santa, Z-club, Spring cleanup at St. Joseph Cemetery and at the Bethany Presbyterian Church.

A member of Ascension Parish, Jacob has helped at fundraisers and Bingo.

Jacob said “that his family has taught him to trust and love them and himself and it will help to overcome any problems that comes his way!”

Jacob will be attending SUNY Brockport, majoring in Education.

May 13, 2020 - 2:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, elba.

A mobile home fire behind a barn is reported at 6258 Oak Orchard Road, Elba.

Flames are showing.

Elba fire along with Town of Batavia, Byron, Oakfield, and City of Batavia FAST Team.

Mercy EMS also dispatched for scene support.

UPDATE 3:03 p.m.: Fire is out.

UPDATE 3:06 p.m.: Red Cross requested to the scene to assist the occupant.

UPDATE 3:07 p.m.: Red Cross is canceled.

UPDATE 3:15 p.m.: A possible second fire near the same location being investigated.

UPDATE 3:38 p.m.: Red Cross responding to assist four adult males.

May 1, 2020 - 1:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in water, infrastructure, news, elba.

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Construction is under way of a new 750,000-gallon water tank in Elba that will serve both the village and the town.

Town Supervisor Donna Hynes said planning for the project began in 2015. In 2016, the Town of Elba received a grant and low-interest loan from USDA Rural Development to fund the project in a single phase. The grant is for $3,854,000 and the loan was for $13,658,000.

Hynes said it then took a year to complete SEQRA and all the necessary permits. Project construction began in mid-2018.

The project also includes approximately 248,000 linear feet of 8-inch and 12-inch water mains serving approximately 500 water users.

Construction should be completed this summer, then painted, and in service by early fall.

Photos: Submitted by a reader last week.

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April 24, 2020 - 6:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, news, video, elba, arts, entertainment.
Video Sponsor

Elba resident Lucine Kauffman reads "Leisure" by W.H. Davies.

April 16, 2020 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Eagles, news, elba, animals, outdoors.

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Josh Hawkins shared these photos he took earlier this week of eagles in Elba.

He wrote:

For three days in a row, multiple bald eagles fed on a roadkill deer in a field on Route 262 in Elba. These were some of the better images I was able to capture with my 300mm zoom lens. The pair in the photos are mature birds because of their bright white head and tail, but I did also observe a juvenile eagle (some white present on the head and tail, but not much) at one point and was unable to capture a photo. They likely came from Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, although I've heard that there is a nest on or near Norton Road in Elba.

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