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January 23, 2020 - 9:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, VTL Impact Aid, batavia, news, notify.

Another proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to shift local revenue to the state coffers has come to light: Cuomo is proposing eliminating the local share of video terminal lottery money from facilities such as Batavia Downs. 

That would mean a $440,000 loss in revenue for the City of Batavia, $200,000 for Genesee County and $160,000 for the Town of Batavia.

Local officials are not pleased.

County Manager Jay Gsell has a laundry list of complaints about new mandated expenses in funding. This is just an extra burden for the county to shoulder.

Gsell said what he called a "bait and switch" on Aid to Municipalities funding where county sales tax proceeds will replace direct state aid, cuts in community college aid, and no reimbursement for early voting expenses.

"NYS counties will be gathering in Albany next Monday through Wednesday to gain more insight and develop resolution and position papers for the upcoming 2020 NYS legislative session," Gsell said. "The sentiment so far coming from the executive branch is disheartening and discouraging and fraught with peril from my perspective only three weeks into the new Genesee County budget year."

City Manager Marty Moore said the news of the VLT cuts comes at a bad time -- just as the city is wrapping up its own budget process.

"The loss of the VLT money is tough considering we balance the general fund to the penny," Moore said.  "Our feeling is obvious -- please put it back."

He called on state officials to enter into some dialogue and communication with local governments and listen to the impact the cuts will have locally.  

Since Batavia Downs doesn't pay any local property tax, the VLT money helps offset the expense of hosting the facility in the county, the town, and the city.  The facility needs support for crowd control at major events, police protection, fire protection, health and safety support, along with the roads that get people to and from the gaming casino.

"I do think it's important that our operations are supported by the money that comes along with it to help pay for some of the expense," Moore said.

In a budget statement, the governor's office justifies the cuts by the suggestion that local municipalities receive more in "VTL Impact Aid" (the formal name of the program) than it costs to host the facility.

This category of State aid was created to support assumed local service needs associated with hosting VLT facilities, but the revenue benefits of hosting a facility outweigh any associated costs. Further, not all municipalities that currently host VLT facilities receive aid through this program and the State does not provide additional "impact-type" aid for other types of facilities which may have similar local public service impacts as VLT facilities, including community colleges, SUNY campuses, and State office buildings. Accordingly, the Executive Budget eliminates VLT Aid outside of Yonkers, which is the only municipality receiving this aid to direct the funds to educational purposes.

It's been a point of pride for Western OTB officials for years that the facility supports the counties that oversee the facility with VTL money. 

Henry Wojtaszek, Western OTB CEO, said he will be closely monitoring the proposal.

"We work well with local governments and understand that these VLT aid monies substantially help them," Wojtaszek said. "We hope that local elected representatives will listen to the concerns of our host municipalities and work towards the best possible outcome."

Both State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer said they will work to protect the local share of VTL funds.

"This cut in aid is unacceptable," Ranzenhofer said. "At a time when the governor is proposing more unfunded mandates on our local governments, these reductions will have devastating impacts on our local taxpayers.  The governor is attempting to fill the budget deficit, that he created by overspending, through cutting crucial funding to Genesee County communities."

Hawley said, "The Governor needs to look toward actually cutting spending (that’s what real families and businesses do). We have a self-inflicted $6.2 Billion deficit (we spent that more than we took in). Why in the world would he look to take money that is shared with our local communities (which helps keep our local taxes lower than they would be without this money)? He’ll be hurting our local communities."

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January 23, 2020 - 4:37pm

Press release:

If you are someone who is civic-minded, independent, ambitious, enjoy exploring creative solutions to problems, and want to make an impact in your community, we want to talk to you about running for local office.

If you are interested in getting involved politically in any capacity, please reach out to us at [email protected] or www.geneseedemocrats.net

The following local elected offices will be voted on this November.

  • Genesee County -- Sheriff, Treasurer, Family Court Judge, Coroner -- two positions

  • City of Batavia -- one City Council at Large -- unexpired term

  • Town of Alabama -- one Town Council -- unexpired term

  • Town of Alexander -- one Town Clerk -- unexpired term

  • Town of Batavia -- one Town Justice

  • Town of Bergen -- one Town Justice

  • Town of Byron -- one Town Justice

  • Town of Elba -- one Town Justice, one Town Council -- unexpired term

  • Town of Le Roy -- one Town Council -- unexpired term

  • Town of Oakfield -- Town Justice, one Town Supervisor -- unexpired term, 1 Town Council- unexpired term

  • Town of Pavilion -- Highway Superintendent -- unexpired term

January 23, 2020 - 4:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, elba, bergen, oak field.

James E. Tripp, 58, of Batavia, is charged with three counts of possession of a sexual performance by a child, a Class E felony. The incident allegedly occurred Oct. 13, 2017 and he was arrested by NYS Police Troop A in Batavia on Jan. 21 and arraigned at 10:08 a.m. in Town of Batavia Court. He was issued an appearance ticket for a later date, unspecified, in Batavia Town Court.

Kyle A. Mancuso, 27, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with: unlawful imprisonment; harassment in the second degree; and criminal mischief in the fourth degree. Mancuso was arrested Jan. 19 following an investigation of a domestic complaint that occurred that morning at 3:29 a.m. on Ellicott Street in Batavia. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and was due there again today (Jan. 23). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Officer Jordan McGinnis.

Brian J. Miller, 38, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: second-degree harassment; criminal mischief; and criminal obstruction of breathing. Miller was arrested after a Jan. 12 domestic incident on Harvester Avenue. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court, released on his own recognizance, and is due back in court Jan. 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Alec Roberts.

Johnathan Brice White, 27, of Buffalo Street, Bergen, is charged with falsifying business records in the first degree and criminal contempt in the second degree. On Jan. 23, White was arrested. It is alleged that White made a false entry into the business records at Genesee County Jail by using the personal identification number belonging to another inmate. It is also alleged that White's intention to defraud was to conceal his identity while violating an order of protection. He was issued an appearance ticket for Jan. 28 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth.

Phillip P. Heale, 41, of Woodrow Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. Heale was arrested Jan. 15. He is accused of violating an order of protection barring him from contacting the protected party at 11:27 p.m. Jan. 15 on Washington Avenue in Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court and is due there Feb. 4. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan.

Franklin Dean Cook, 37, of Ridge Road, Elba, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested Jan. 22 on an arrest warrant out of Elba Town Court that was issued Jan. 15. It is alleged that on Jan. 8 on Ridge Road in Elba that he violated a stay away order of protection. He was arraigned in Elba Town Court and is due back in court on Feb. 26. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Travis James Schultz, 31, of Webber Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with driving while intoxicated -- first offense, and refusal to take breath test. Schultz was arrested following an investigation of a hit and run accident that occurred at 12:59 a.m. Jan. 19 on West Main Street in Batavia. Police located the suspected vehicle involved and arrested Schultz, who was released with appearance tickets. He is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 5. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Officer Sean Wilson.

Christopher M. Sims, 31, of Batavia, address not provided, was arrested by Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputy William Asquith on Jan. 21 on Silver Lake Road in the Town of Perry. Sims was allegedly found to be operating his vehicle while the registration was suspended for an insurance lapse. He is charged with operating a vehicle with a suspended registration. Sims was released on an appearance ticket for Town of Perry Court and he is due there at a later date (unspecified).

January 23, 2020 - 4:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in mall, city centre, batavia, news.

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At Christmas, an enthusiastic city employee who thought the drip buckets in the mall wasn't a great look for the holidays, took it upon himself to put wrapping paper around the canisters.

With the holiday passed but his spirit undaunted, the employee recently wrapped the buckets in Valentine's Day paper. The employee is doing this at his own expense.

Still, Director of Public Works Matt Worth is concerned that some people might make negative comments about the employee so the employee is remaining anonymous. 

"Hopefully, this is the last hurrah for the buckets," Worth said. "We're going to get a new roof and the buckets are going to go away."

Reader-submitted photo.

January 23, 2020 - 3:00pm


Is a Catholic Education right for your family? Explore St. Joseph Regional School this Sunday at 10 a.m. to find out.

Our STREAM based curriculum focuses on Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, and Math. We offer Pre-K programs through eighth grade, all faiths are welcome and financial aid may be available.

So whether students are looking to transfer or start in the fall, find out if St. Joseph Regional School is right for your family. Visit us at sjsbatavia.org for more information.

January 23, 2020 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in ski team, Batavia HS, batavia, sports.

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Write up and photos submitted by Matt Holeman.

SWAIN -- The Batavia Ski Team competed Wednesday night at Swain Resort in a two-run Giant Slalom race on Wheels Run. With the recent cold temperatures and clear sky, the temperature dipped to make the race conditions nearly perfect. The snow was hard, but not icy holding together with minimal ruts and you could almost see the stars shining through.

Junior Zach Wagner was the team's top finisher, recovering from a potential crash on his second run, completing a combined two run time of 1.50.59 was good enough for seventh place.

It was a night to forget for the girls' varsity team as two of the three skiers (Senior Aubrey Towner and eighth-grader Lily Wagner) ended up crashing, losing a ski and not finishing the race. Junior Lily Whiting, however, had a great night finishing with a combined time of 2.10.92 finishing in 12th place.

Modified finishers included Ethan Bradly in 15th and Abby Bestine in 19th. 

Midseason Standings had the Batavia Girls Team was tied for third with Livonia, both sitting behind Keshequa and Arkport-Canaseraga in the Southern Tier Race League.

Aubrey Towner is currently in sixth place for the season, Lily Whiting in 13th and Zach Wagner is sitting in 10th for the boys. Finishing in the top 10 for the season would send them to the league's all-star team.

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January 22, 2020 - 8:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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         Plush Dozier

Plush Kevin Dozier, a 23-year-old Monroe County resident facing a possible lengthy prison term on arson and attempted murder charges, now has a chance to make bail after appearing in Genesee County Court today for the first time in 2020.

New state rules on bail for defendants who have not yet been convicted of a crime took effect Jan. 1, requiring judges to release detainees without bail unless they're accused of a qualifying offense. In those cases, the judge must set the least restrictive amount of bail or bond possible. 

What is "least restrictive" is for the judge to decide.

Dozier is charged with qualifying offenses but is now entitled to some opportunity to make bail.

In this case, Judge Charles Zambito set bail at $100,000 cash, $100,000 bond, or $200,000 partially secured bond.

Previously, Dozier was held without bail, and since his arrest in June, Dozier's confinement has been eventful. He reportedly became more than the Genesee County Jail could handle, so he was transferred to Attica, where he was reportedly held in solitary confinement.

During his confinement, Dozier allegedly damaged jail property and a patrol vehicle, following an outburst in court, and is facing new criminal charges stemming from those alleged incidents.

Dozier is accused of setting a fire at a residence on Maple Street, Batavia, on June 15, and attempting to kill one of the residents there.

The bail review for Dozier followed a hearing where defense attorney Thomas Burns challenged the sufficiency of the grand jury hearing that led to Dozier's indictment on attempted murder and arson. The hearing in July 2018 was during a period of time when a court stenographer was improperly making audio recordings of grand jury proceedings.

The stenographer was using a device on her machine that allowed an audio recording to activate while she typed on her stenography machine. Even though she has 33 years of experience as a court reporter, the technology she was using was fairly new and the issue had never been raised with her before.

The fact that she was recording the proceedings was discovered by happenstance when Assistant District Attorney Shirley Gorman inquired about a transcript on a particular case and the stenographer mentioned she had an audio recording she could check. Gorman immediately informed District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

The discovery led Friedman to notify the attorneys for a number of defendants. Some of the attorneys have challenged the grand jury proceedings. In all cases so far, Zambito has denied motions to vacate the grand jury proceedings.

Burns had a novel argument today, however. He elicited testimony from the stenographer, Susan Ryckman, that there is a small mic, about the size of a dime, attached with a wire to her machine. That mic would then be potentially visible to witnesses and grand jurors, which might cause them to wonder if the proceedings were being recorded. There is also apparently a mic on her laptop that may actually be the one activated when she is taking stenography.

Grand jury proceedings are supposed to be secret and the identities of witnesses protected.

After questioning whether, under the circumstances, the transcript from the Dozier proceeding could be relied on as accurate, Burns argued that witnesses might not testify as truthfully if they thought their statements were being audio recorded, or that grand jurors may ask different questions, or not ask questions, because their voices might be recorded.

There is no way of knowing, Burns said, if witnesses and jurors noticed the potential for recording and, if they did, if that altered their behavior in any way. 

"The very presence of an electronic recording device could have a negative effect and a detrimental effect on the grand jury process," Burns said.

Burns acknowledges he was being speculative but he said Friedman would also be speculating to argue otherwise.

Friedman said there was no speculation on his part.

"Our position is based on the facts," Friedman said. "The court reporter has 33 years experience and even she doesn't know where the microphone is (on her laptop) and she indicated there is no light on the mic when it's on. There is no evidence to support that speculation. Otherwise, we rely on the court's numerous other rulings."

Zambito said he will make his ruling at a later date.

The Batavian spent a couple of hours in court today gathering news so you wouldn't have to.  With more help, we could find more news about the community for you.  Please become a supporter today.

January 22, 2020 - 8:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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       Heidi Schollard

A Batavia woman who stole more than $350,000 from elderly people was making progress until recently on paying restitution, according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

Heidi L. Schollard, 47, of 161 Bank St., was ordered in 2012 to make restitution payments of $500 a month.

Friedman said records indicate Schollard made more than 100 payments, reducing the amount she owes to her victims from $350,729.40 to $335,290.11.

Then the payments stopped.

So she was ordered to appear in court today.

She didn't show up.

A warrant was issued for her arrest.

In 2017, Schollard was having trouble making restitution payments and asked to have the restitution order amended. Judge Charles Zambito kept her restitution at $500 a month.

Schollard stole the money from two elderly victims between 2006 and 2011. She pled guilty in 2012 to three counts of grand larceny, 3rd, which are Class D felonies, and a single count of grand larceny, 4th, a Class E felony. She was sentenced to the maximum possible prison term by then-County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan.

January 22, 2020 - 6:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Quinton Edmonds, crime, news, notify, batavia.
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    Quinton Edmonds

In Genesee County Court yesterday, Quinton Edmonds, of Rochester, admitted to killing Michael R. Paladino outside of Paladino's Ross Street residence on June 1 after Paladino tried to come to the aid of a woman he apparently believed Edmonds was assaulting.

With the guilty plea, Edmonds avoids a trial next month and gets a sentence cap of 20-to-life in state prison. The possible maximum sentence for the Class A1 felony is 25-to-life.

According to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Edmonds made no other statements in a court other than admitting to his crime as Judge Charles Zambito read the facts contained in the grand jury indictment before pleading "guilty."

Edmonds will be sentenced at 9 a.m., Feb. 19.

January 22, 2020 - 12:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, missing pets, animal rescue, batavia.

The insouciant lounger sprawled out in the picture above, unabashedly taking up a lot of space in a primary pathway of her household, is "Chloe" the cat, which is Greek for "small (young) green shoot of a plant."

Although there are nicknames for Chloe -- Chlo, Coco, Clo-Clo, Clo, Clover -- she just goes by small (young) green shoot of a plant ... Chloe.

For reasons known only to her, she opted to leave her cozy abode at the Woodstock Gardens apartments on North Spruce Street in the city on Saturday (Jan. 18).

Actually the publicly posted flier says Chloe "ran out." Hmmm.

She is described as a tiger cat with brown fur and black stripes, a "very friendly" "house cat," which some Brits call a moggy (or moggie).

The owner -- whose name is Dorothy and who is the bowling partner of the mother of the emailer about the missing pet, Chase Winkstern -- is reportedly "distraught over the situation."

Truth be told, this could affect Dorothy's bowling abilities, which in turn could affect the pin-slaying skills of Winkstern's mother, Dorothy's bowling partner.

Sadly, things could go downhill from there.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, a valued resource for wordsmiths since 1828, tells us the adjective "distraught" means to be "agitated with doubt or mental conflict or pain."

But a closer reading of the entry alarms with the sheer range profered. Oh, yea, it starts off with the mere "agitated" but then kicks into "delirious" then "frenzied" and finally, "hysterical."

The reference work's second definition of "distraught" jumps right to "deranged" and "crazed," and then, as if to drive home the point, simply quotes Shakespeare: "...as if thou wert distraught and mad with terror." (A line from Act 3, Scene 5 of "Richard III" wherein Richard is speaking to Buckingham while both are garbed, appropriately, in rusty hideous-looking armor.)

A positive outcome -- Chloe's safe return -- would, of course, squelch the portent for dreadful escalation.

Any helpful information can be phoned in to Dorothy at (585) 734-4061 or emailed to Chase Winkstern at:   [email protected]

January 20, 2020 - 2:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, scanner.

A trio of shoplifting suspects at Kohl's Department Store allegedly refused to stop for store security.

They left the store; two females were walking on foot near ESL Federal Credit Union, headed toward Home Depot. A male who was with them reportedly left in a Nissan with Georgia license plates.

Both female suspects were said to be wearing black jackets and pants. No description of merchandise allegedly taken from Kohl's.

Sheriff's deputies have the male detained by Five Guys hamburger shop.

January 20, 2020 - 12:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.

Jeanette Lynn Higgins, 43, of Ganson Avenue, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of  a child. She was arrested at 8:20 p.m. on Jan. 3 on Evans Street in Batavia after she allegedly encouraged a juvenile to engage in a physical altercation. Higgins was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court for arraignment on Jan. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Cristal G. Nesbitt, 39, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI -- common law; and failure to keep right. Nesbitt was arrested at 12:41 p.m. Nov. 27 on Chase Park in Batavia after being involved in a motor-vehicle accident. She was processed and is due for arraignment in Batavia City Court on Jan. 29. The was was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Connor Borchert.

January 18, 2020 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, batavia, Scholastic Bowl, schools, education, news.

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In Thursday's Scholastic Bowl matches, Batavia and Attica picked up victories.

Batavia scored 230, while Oakfield-Alabama scored 120 and Elba 50.

In the second match, Attica beat Notre Dame 330 to 220.

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January 18, 2020 - 12:36pm

Submitted photo and information from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership:

Decision Day was held Friday at the Western New York Tech Academy. It is similar to a college signing day.

A total of 10 WNY Tech Academy students were honored for officially declaring the pathways they will pursue as they complete their free applied associate degrees through Genesee Community College.

The students could choose to study Accounting, Food Processing Technology, or Supply Chain Management.

Staff, administrators, business partners and parents attended Decision Day.

The high school juniors who participated are named below, along with their high school and declared paths of study. They are in the top photo.

  • Brett Bogardus, of Perry -- Accounting
  • Dante Brent, of Attica -- Accounting
  • Cameron Durfee, of Attica -- Supply Chain Management
  • Nathan Geise, of Warsaw -- Accounting
  • Holly Grisewood, of Perry -- Accounting
  • Devon Heick, of Byron-Bergen -- Food Processing Technology
  • Trevor Pahl, of Pavilion -- Food Processing Technology
  • Veronica Shepherd, of Le Roy -- Accounting
  • Carl Stachura, Batavia -- Accounting

(Everett Claud, of Perry, is not pictured. He will study Supply Chain Management.)

In addition, the Tech Academy also recognized 12 seniors in Friday's program:

  • Collin Aquina, of Oakfield-Alabama -- Supply Chain Management);
  • Gabriel Bucknam, of Perry -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Stephanie Dibble, of Batavia -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Zachary Evert, of Attica -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Abigail Hackett, of Pavilion -- Supply Chain Management);
  • Evan Harter, of Byron-Bergen -- Accounting;
  • Peyton Heesch, of Caledonia-Mumford -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Dylan Kipfer, of Attica -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Cole Lowery, of Pavilion -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Peyton Penders, of Pavilion -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Alexis Jade Reed, of Batavia -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Jace Hilton Vilinsky, of Avon -- Supply Chain Management.

For more information about the WNY Tech Academy visit wnytechacademy.org

About Western New York Tech Academy

It is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

January 17, 2020 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Tops Friendly Markets, news, batavia.

Press release:

Over the course of the next six weeks, Tops Friendly Markets welcomes the community to try a variety of Tops Full Circle products during its weekend sampling events. Try something new, and share something good with your family today!  

Tops Friendly Markets is pleased to be able to offer its customers a wide assortment of healthy options integrated into every aisle. We believe that organic and best-of-nature products are an important part of a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle. With Tops own Full Circle brand, you can love what’s in it for you!

We bring you food that tastes good and home care items that are eco-friendly and work well. Full Circle products deliver our brand promise in every department with 300+ sku’s across grocery, dairy, frozen and home care, this brand offers shoppers USDA certified organic, non-GMO, gluten free, and hormone/antibiotic free products every day at an affordable price.

Additionally Tops offers more than 3,800 certified organic products that are, integrated with conventional products and merchandised in stores by meal category, which makes it easier to shop and plan.

The weekend sampling events will take place every Saturday and Sunday beginning tomorrow, Jan. 18, at selected located and ending on Sunday, Feb. 23.

In Genesee County, only the Batavia Tops will conduct samplings. It is located at 390 W. Main St.

January 17, 2020 - 12:00pm


Pre-need funeral accounts in New York State are considered assets of the individual, not the funeral home. Each year, those that have prepaid their funerals with a funeral home receive a tax document for the interest earned in the previous year.

If you have an account with any of our funeral homes, and did not receive your statement, please call us. We'd be happy to assist you. Batavia Funeral Homes

January 16, 2020 - 9:50pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in news, crime, batavia, notify.
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         Malik Ayala

After a closed-door meeting with Public Defender Jerry Ader and District Attorney Larry Friedman, Judge Charles Zambito emerged from Chambers on Thursday announcing that 27-year-old Malik Ayala was accepted into a Judicial Diversion Program that could last seven months or more.

While in the seven-month program, he will also be under the supervision of the Probation Department. Since Ayala entered drug treatment programs in Niagara County and in Genesee County this past fall, he has kept out of trouble and has been clean of drugs and alcohol and has avoided sentencing.

Ayala has already accepted a plea deal and has pled guilty to a felony burglary charge.

He was picked up on Nov. 15, 2018, in connection with a string of burglaries in Genesee County after Investigator Chris Parker with the Sheriff’s Office identified a vehicle that was wanted in connection with the burglaries.

The vehicle was being operated by TeeSean T. Ayala, 20, Malik’s brother.

After the vehicle turned into a driveway at 317 Washington Ave., a .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol was thrown from the vehicle. The Sheriff’s Office says TeeSean Ayala was in possession of a stolen handgun that had a defaced serial number in the vehicle during the traffic stop.

TeeSean Ayala, 20, of Batavia, was sentenced in Genesee County Court to five years in prison and five years post-release supervision in the incident. TeeSean pled guilty to one count of criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, which satisfies seven other residential burglary charges dating back to 2015.

Today, Malik Ayala told Judge Zambito that he was thankful to Horizon and the Court for allowing him to attend the treatment centers.

“I was a knucklehead," he said. "I was on drugs but now I am clean, living out of town and my mind is focused. I want to say I’m sorry to the community for my past.”

Judge Zambito warned Ayala that if he doesn’t toe the line he will go to prison.

“This is just the first step,” Zambito said. “I will be monitoring you in the diversion program and on probation, I can sentence you to seven years if you mess up.”

Malik Ayala was convicted on a burglary charge in 2010 after violating his probation. He served a state prison term after being sentenced to one to four years.

Friedman disagreed with the idea of the diversion program.

“Based on his history, he went to prison for burglary and graduated to residential burglary, I feel state prison is appropriate,” Friedman said.

Ader told the court that his client is eligible for the program and he has kept up with his treatments and there are no new crimes that have been committed.

“Mr. Ayala knows if he messes up he could face seven years in prison and I think that speaks volumes,” Ader said.

Temporary orders of protection were extended until Jan. 16, 2021.

Judge Zambito wished Ayala luck as he left the courtroom.

The sentencing was adjourned to Aug. 11 at 9 a.m., but the sentencing date could get pushed back again depending on what the diversion program advises at the end of seven months.

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January 16, 2020 - 4:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, accidents.

A car vs. pedestrian accident is reported in the city at East Main Street and Harvester Avenue. The pedestrian is down in the roadway. City PD just arrived on scene. City fire and Mercy medics responding.

UPDATE 5:08 p.m.: The pedestrian is being evaluated by medics. Both pedestrian and the pickup truck that struck the pedestrian had a green light. The pedestrian was walking in the crosswalk -- unknown at this time if northbound or southbound -- when the truck, which was making a left turn from northbound Harvester onto East Main Street -- struck the person.

January 15, 2020 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, news, schools, education, batavia.

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Tech is increasingly part of the learning environment in City School classrooms and at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting, two teachers -- Alexander Veltz, Social Studies (photo), and Andrew Kiebala, Math -- shared how they're using Chromebooks and Google classroom tools to aid in their instruction.

Their presentions came as part of the information technology review by Director of Technology Jeff McKinney.

Veltz shared how he can use Google tools to share assignments, worksheets, handouts, and ensure that not only are they available in the classroom, but students (and their guardians) have access to the material at home. The availability of the material is helping him meet the new demands for greater reading comprehension in state exams.

With the tools, students can answer questions and get immediate feedback on their responses. 

Another tool allows students to sort through documents, which is especially helpful for a project that requires them to write an essay based on pre-assigned material that they must study, find a common theme, and then organize in order to write the essay.

"There is a shift in New York State where it's less about retention and more about argumentation based on perspective and point of view," Veltz said. "Retention is a skill New York is moving away from."

Trustee Shawn Murphy, who teaches at Genesee Community College, asked if the use of the tools was taking away from classroom engagement. Veltz said not at all.

McKinney added, "We are not switching over to where kids just sit in front of a computer. That's not the intent at all."

Kiebala shared tools that students can use to study geometric properties. 

He also shared a program that allows students to work on quizzes that he guides from his own computer and see where they need help. He said the program allows students to ask questions and make observations that he can then share with the class. The process allows students who might normally be shy about raising their hands to contribute more readily to classroom learning.

"This is my favorite thing to do," Kiebala said. "It allows them to be independent and also allows me to have control, so it's the best of both worlds for a teacher."

Kiebala shared a study published by NPR that indicated most people in the work world don't spend a lot of time doing trigonometry or geometry but they do spend a lot of time working in Excel, so his statistics class is heavy into spreadsheets.

"I tell the class, 'this is what you're going to spend your time doing because this is what you're going to use,' " Kiebala said. "You don't have to do anything by hand anymore because you either have a calculator or a spreadsheet but you still need to know what the numbers mean."

January 15, 2020 - 3:00pm


202 Trumbull Pkwy -- Super well cared for City ranch located on North side on quiet street. This home sits on a large double lot with nice landscaping. Don’t let this one go unnoticed – this owner did everything right and took care of all the maintenance so you can just move in and make it your own! You name it, it was done. Roof, windows, furnace etc. ... Many nice features including: entry hall with laundry area off garage. With a place to kick off your shoes and storage-leading into large and cozy kitchen with dining area next to gas fireplace, so so homey! Look out slider door to peaceful backyard or curl up next to fireplace while you eat and entertain! Also has large front living room and three good sized bedrooms. Don’t forget two-car garage and very large and dry basement for all your extra storage or hobbies. Come see! Click here for more information on this listing.

9400 Putnam Road -- Location is key for this solid and comfortable country farmette-located on almost 23 PRIME country acres in the Town of Batavia with Alexander School District! This home offers so much for someone looking for room to spread out, large rooms, high ceilings, big bedrooms, TONS of storage, two living rooms gorgeous woodwork, hardwood floors and some of the County’s best farm land! This property goes all the way over to East Road with frontage there as well-you could parcel off and sell OR build your other dream home! So many possibilities—and all very well kept and lovingly cared for, definitely worth a look! Click here for more information on this listing.

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