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November 11, 2019 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, running in the Special Election in NY-27, has received additional endorsements from local leaders today, including Genesee County Democratic Committee Vice-Chair Nikki Calhoun and Batavia Democratic Committee Chair Erica O’Donnell. They join six Democratic County Chairs in endorsing McMurray.

"Last year showed us that local Democrats and Republicans can work together for the common good of our communities. Nate McMurry brought people together by listening and adjusting his ideas for the future of NY27. He has shown us that he has what it takes to Fight Like Hell and I am proud to say I stand behind him!" said Nikki Calhoun.

“Democrats in The City of Batavia are used to being written off when it comes to national politics, but Nate McMurray embraced our grassroots enthusiasm, showed up here, and actually won the City of Batavia by nearly 500 votes. That’s why I will stand behind Nate in our upcoming special election in New York’s 27th Congressional District,” said Erica O'Donnell.

“I am proud to have Nikki and Erica’s support as I run for Congress. Genesee and Batavia were tremendously important in 2018, and I will be working hard to build on our support there in 2020. I am ready to be a leader this region can count on in Congress,” said McMurray.

Genesee Democratic County Committee Chair Michael Plitt endorsed McMurray over the weekend, saying, “Genesee County Democrats are excited to help Nate McMurray finish the job he started last year. Our volunteers worked tirelessly and will do so again because they believe in Nate and his message. Voters in Batavia crossed party lines for him and the city went blue for the first time in years. We believe our government should work for all people, not just the elite; and we are confident Nate will be the representative we all deserve.”

November 11, 2019 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Veteran's Day, veterans, batavia, video.
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November 11, 2019 - 1:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, Veterans Cemetery, veterans, news.
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For more than 13 years, Assemblyman Steve Hawley and other members of the state Assembly have been pushing to get New York to do what many other states have done and build a state-run veterans' cemetery.

Yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he's ready to back such an effort. Hawley is co-sponsor of Assembly Bill 5347, which would establish a cemetery, and AB 887, which would help secure funding for a cemetery.

November 11, 2019 - 7:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Veterans Day, news.

Today's Veteran's Day ceremonies:

  • 9 a.m.: Genesee Co. Park (VVA)
  • 10 a.m.: Batavia VAMC
  • 10:15 a.m.: NYS Vets’ Home
  • 11 a.m.: Upton Monument
  • 11:30 a.m.: Jerome Center (UMMC) Monument

Organizations participating:

  • Veterans of Foreign Wars of Genesee County
  • Genesee County American Legion
  • Disabled American Veterans – Chapter #166
  • Marine Corps League – Hansen Brothers Detachment
  • Vietnam Veterans of America – Chapter #193
November 11, 2019 - 7:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.62, up 1 cent since last week. One year ago, the price was $2.70. The New York State average is $2.70 – up 1 cent from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.91. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.65 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.64 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.67 (no change since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.67 (no change since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.64 (down 3 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.59 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.65 (down 1 cent since last week)

The latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reveals that total domestic stocks of gasoline decreased for the sixth consecutive week pushing stocks 10.8 million barrels lower than last year’s level at this time.

Reduced stock levels, amid robust demand, have helped to push the national gas price average higher. Although demand took a significant step back week over week, it remains higher than last year’s rate in early November. The national average could increase further if demand continues to remain robust as stocks decline.

November 10, 2019 - 9:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Amada Tool, batavia, GCEDC, business.
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Press release:

Amada Tool America celebrated the completion of a 19,000 square-foot addition to its existing Batavia-based facility. Leadership from Amada North America and Amada Tool America convened with local leaders at the facility to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Amada Tool America has been manufacturing punch press tooling for 54 years," said Edward Dries, chief operating officer of Amada Tool America. "Today we are starting a new chapter with an expansion into the manufacturing of press brake tooling.

“This expansion will supply tooling for the new press brake machines being built in Amada’s brand-new facility in North Carolina. To meet this need, Amada Tool America’s employee number will be increasing to 87 employees, bringing 17 new jobs to this facility. We are proud to be a part of the Amada team.”

Amada is a leading international tool manufacturer and boasts 8,000 employees worldwide. Its Genesee County location first opened its doors in 1965 and specializes in precision sheet metal tooling.

The project featured $8.8 million in capital investment, which includes $6.5 million of new equipment and supports Amada’s growth to 80 workers in Genesee County.

The expansion was supported by Empire State Development’s Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit and the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) incentives.

“Amada has been a staple of Genesee County for more than 50 years and its continued success is what led to this exciting addition to its current facility,” said GCEDC’s Vice President of Workforce Development Chris Suozzi.

“When you consider the sustained success and investment into our community, Amada is the blueprint for the kind of companies that we are looking to attract and grow in Genesee County.”

Amada has been at the forefront of local workforce development efforts, engaging with students from the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, participating in the inaugural GLOW With Your Hands hands-on careers festival, and will soon debut a series of career profiles on the EdgeFactor.com career exposure platform.

November 10, 2019 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, running in the Special Election in NY-27, has been endorsed by Genesee County Democratic Chair Michael Plitt. He has also been endorsed by the Democratic chairs of Niagara, Wyoming, and Monroe counties.

"Genesee County Democrats are excited to help Nate McMurray finish the job he started last year," Plitt said. "Our volunteers worked tirelessly and will do so again because they believe in Nate and his message.

"Voters in Batavia crossed party lines for him and the city went blue for the first time in years. We believe our government should work for all people, not just the elite; and we are confident Nate will be the representative we all deserve."

“I am proud to have the support of Michael Plitt and the Genesee County Democrats as I run for Congress," McMurray said. "Across Genesee, and across Western New York as a whole, families are struggling to make ends meet and our lack of representation in Washington is not helping. I will fight for the healthcare access and jobs our region needs."

November 10, 2019 - 2:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, taxes, news.

Genesee County is outperforming many other municipalities in New York when it comes to getting the highest possible return on tax dollars, a financial consultant told members of the Legislature this week. 

Over the past year, the county has earned almost $1.6 million by adroitly managing cash flows and placing cash reserves in investments with the best returns while minimizing risk and complying with state regulations.

With a $32 million tax levy, that return is about 4.77 percent, which means lawmakers can keep the property tax rate lower. If they wanted to generate an additional $1.6 million in property tax revenue, they couldn't do that without violating the state's tax cap.

The reason: "The county treasurer is willing to step out of the box and do whatever it takes to help the taxpayers," said Garrett Macdonald, a Genesee County resident who is vice president of Three+1, a financial consulting firm based in Pittsford.

Also, Macdonald said the county is "looking at data more intuitively and making sure that we're really looking under every stone to earn more. A lot of times (with) public entities, it's not the first priority to earn more on taxpayer dollars.

"The first priority is to make sure it's safe, to make sure that it's in deposit, that the money gets somewhere that it's recorded. And then budgeting is important. Treasury always is kind of a second priority.

"But in Genesee County's case, they're able to accomplish all the above. So looking at data, working with their banks, really putting treasury and earnings at the top of the priority list, along with safety, legality, liquidity."

Because there is money coming in before it's needed for public services, and because the county is required to maintain a cash reserve, there is always cash on hand.

What a government agency can do with it is regulated by the state, and among the things the county can do is buy treasury bills -- place it in money market accounts or certificate of account registries, or other safe and liquid investment vehicles. There are about seven options in total.

Treasurer Scott German spends time every week looking at the data and working with Macdonald on what the county's portfolio should look like based on market conditions and cash flow needs. 

"I want to get the biggest return I can for the taxpayer," German said. "Therefore, using his information that he is able to provide, his negotiations with other banks, we are able to maximize the returns for the taxpayers.

"I mean, you compare me to probably any other county in the State of New York, I'm probably doing probably double or triple in interest rates, percentage-wise."

Macdonald said the county's return is well above the 1.5-percent benchmark local agencies should try to achieve, and that most municipalities struggle to get a 1-percent return.

There's one government agency, he said, that has a tax levy $26 million higher than Genesee County's and is generating $600,000 in investment income, less than half of what Genesee County is generating. And that's the next largest total dollar return in the comparison group.

"The biggest point that I will hone in on again and just reiterate: our goal is to maximize the value that the public creates through tax dollars," Macdonald said. "If we can do that through generating new revenues, that doesn't include increasing taxes, that's a big win."

Among economists, there has been a lot of talk about the inverted yield curve (a graph tracking returns on long-term and short-term bonds; when the economic outlook is good, long-term rates are higher than short-term rates; when the curve inverts, it's a sign investors have lost confidence in long-term returns). The curve inverted last quarter, which is a possible sign of a coming recession.

Macdonald believes the bond markets are correcting and he doesn't see a recession on the two-year horizon (in the past, when the yield curve has inverted, there has been a recession within 18 months). That said, if there is a recession in the next year, because of the money management practices of German, Genesee County's funds should be protected.  

Financial markets are always cyclical, Macdonald noted, which is why it's important to stay on top of what is going on every week.

"If we have a recession in two years, I think the impact is yet to be known because we don't have money invested for two years," Macdonald said. "The longest we have money invested for the county's about one year.

"But when I can tell you is, looking into 2020, even though rates have gone down three times -- once in July, once in September and then once in October -- it's because we've been proactive and because Scott's been proactive at investing early before those decreases.

"We're still going to beat benchmarks going into 2020. So, where most counties are being reactive, Genesee County is proactive."

November 10, 2019 - 12:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

Get ready, here it comes, maybe, the first significant snowfall of the season.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Monday morning through late Monday night.

Snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches are possible.

The worst travel conditions, the period of the heaviest snowfall, is expected from late Monday afternoon through Monday night.

November 10, 2019 - 12:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Le Roy, football.

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The Oatkan Knights went into their Class C sectional title matchup with Letchworth/Warsaw ranked #1 and on the hunt for a record-setting 16th title in program history.

They had beat L/W earlier this year but as the saying goes, it's hard to beat the same team twice in a season.

L/W grabbed the title with a 26-6 win.

Andrew Englerth (top photo) carried the ball 23 times for 114 yards and scored Le Roy's lone touchdown. Kyler LaCarte rushed for 109 yards on 24 carries.

Photos by Jim Burns. The Batavian's sideline coverage authorized by Section V Athletics.

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November 10, 2019 - 12:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, 8-man football, oakfield-alabama, elba, Section V.
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The Oakfield-Alabama/Elba Aggies racked up 514 yards on their way to a 55-0 victory at Van Detta Stadium in the eight-man football Section V semifinal game against Frewsburg.

OA/Elba plays Mercy Grove at Van Detta at 1:30 p.m. next Saturday (Nov. 16) for the sectional championship.

QB Colton Dillon ran for 193 yards and scored three touchdowns. Ty Mott ran for 155 yards and scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion.

Ty Kornow scored on a 59-yard run and Gaige Armbrewster scored on a 30-yard run. Nick Munger had a TD reception.

Peyton Yasses was involved in 18 tackles, Jayden Hughes and Dylan Rykert, 14 each, Alex Hoy, 13. Rykert had four sacks, CJ Gottler, three, and Yasses, Hughes, Dillon had one apiece. Joey Burdick had two interceptions.

The Batavian's sideline coverage is authorized by Section V Athletics.

Photos below by Kristin Smith. More photos available here and here.

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November 9, 2019 - 7:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, Notre Dame, video, football.
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In a rare match between local teams for a Section V championship, Notre Dame and Alexander clashed in Brockport on Friday night with the Fighting Irish holding on for a 14-7 victory to become the new Class D champions.

The Trojans were trying to defend their 2018 crown.

Jed Reese was named the game's MVP after gaining 57 yards on the ground and scoring a rushing TD in addition to returning a flubbed punt for a touchdown.

Irish QB Gabe Macdonald rushed for 108 yards.

On defense, Chad Henry had 12 tackles, Anthony Zambito, eight, plus two pass deflections, Dakota Sica had nine tackles and a sack.

The game was a defensive battle with Alexander holding ND to 197 total yards and the Irish throttling the Trojans at 189 yards.

For Alexander, Ty Woods carried the ball 24 times for 104 yards and completed 2-4 passes, including TD pass to Kam Lyons, who had six catches for 65 yards. Dylan Busch was 8-15 passing for 55 yards.

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November 8, 2019 - 9:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC, batavia, Bethany.
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Wayne Walker, now a Batavia resident after spending much of his life in Bethany, is an Army and Air Force veteran, a volunteer firefighter, a member of the American Legion, and, most proudly, a member of the Genesee County Honor Guard.

He's also alive today because of modern medical care. A heart pump now does about 80 percent of the work of circulating the blood through his body because his heart was no longer up to the task.

Walker received his heart pump at Rochester General Hospital on March 5 and received follow-up care at Unity and at United Memorial Medical Center.

Yesterday, Walker received a surprise reception at RGH to honor his commitment to recovery and to his community.

November 8, 2019 - 8:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.

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November 7, 2019 - 2:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, batavia.

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We got a bit of snow today. In this photo, you can see the flakes cutting across the tree in a cornfield off of Route 33 near Route 237 in Batavia. We may get a little more snow tonight, with an anticipated low tonight of 28 degrees.

November 7, 2019 - 8:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, byron.

A farm truck is on fire in the area of 6697 Quaker Hill Road, Byron.

The initial call was for smoke coming from a dashboard. A few minutes later, the dispatcher informed first responders that the truck is now on fire.

Byron and South Byron fire departments dispatched. Fire police requested to shut down the road.

November 6, 2019 - 4:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, batavia, video.
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Batavia resident Justin Warren has opened his own barbershop in Attica called Invictus Barber & Brand.

November 6, 2019 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Eagles, news, outdoors, elba.

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Jazmyn Fredo captured this picture today of a bald eagle in Elba, off Pekin Road.

Submitted by Jessica Fredo.

November 6, 2019 - 3:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, crime, news.
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     Charles Cooper

A 36-year-old resident of Lodi, Charles E. Cooper, is accused of forcing his way into a home at 6735 Clinton Street Road, Stafford, at 9 p.m., Tuesday, and demanding cash before he was shot by one of the residents of the home.

Cooper is in critical condition at Strong Memorial Hospital. He has not yet been charged with a crime. The investigation remains active.

The Sheriff's Office reports that the suspect appears to have targeted the specific residence.

"This was not a random act," the Genesee County Sheriff's Office said in a press release. "(There) is no reason to believe there is further concern for public safety of residents in the area."

It's believed that Cooper acted alone.

According to the Sheriff's Office, it appeared that Cooper held a pistol when he entered the home.

One of the two residents of the home managed to grab his long gun and shot Cooper with a single round of ammunition and incapacitated him.

A short time later, deputies and troopers arrived on the scene and took Cooper into custody without incident. He was treated at the scene by medics from Mercy EMS and then transported to Strong by Mercy EMS.

The Sheriff's Office says charges are pending.

Cooper, 35, was arrested in February along with Joshua Cooper, 32, of Ovid, in Darien for allegedly doing unauthorized repair work on a driveway of a residence and then demanding money. They were charged with soliciting without a permit, fraud and conspiracy. 

The mug shot is from an arrest in February in Darien.

November 6, 2019 - 12:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.
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In a rare contested race for the full-time City Court judge's seat, Durin Rogers holds a lead over Ben Bonarigo and will likely be the winner once all of the absentee ballots are counted.

Rogers has 1,662 votes in the unofficial tally by the county elections office to 1,447 for Bonarigo, for a 215 vote difference.

There were 288 absentee ballots requested and 170 have been returned so far. Bonarigo would need to pick up nearly all of the absentee ballots to be declared the winner.

The other notable election result from Tuesday was in the City of Batavia's 3rd Ward, which incumbent John Canale won but a Libertarian Party candidate came in second. Canale, on the Republican line, received 260 votes. Deborah Kerr Rosenbeck received 166. Democratic candidate Nicholas Russo received 123. It might very well be the first time in City history that a third-party candidate outpolled a major party candidate.

In the other contested City Council race, in Ward 5, incumbent Kathy Briggs garnered 210 votes to 148 for challenger Sam DiSalvo.

In the one contested County Legislature race, in District 8, incumbent Marianne Clattenburg won with 684 votes to 159 for Colin McAllister.

In other contested races around the county:

  • Town clerk, Alexander: Lisa L. Lyons, 205, Shannon E. Tiede, 171
  • Town clerk, Bergen: Michele M. Smith, 467, Connie VanHoute, 146
  • Town council, Bethany (vote for 2): Jeffrey R. Fluker, 287, Timothy D. Embt, 265, Josiah Berkemeier, 141
  • Supervisor, Byron: Peter N. Yasses, 275, Gerald L. Heins, 270
  • Town justice, Darien (vote for 2): Gary A. Graber, 505, Jennifer R.  Nunnery, 459, Michelle M. Krzemien, 440
  • Highway superintendent, Pavilion: Joel M. Offhaus, 267, Doug Elliott, 71
  • Town justice, Pembroke: Donald M. O'Connor, 612, Joseph P. Iannello, 217

Check this post later for a video from the evening.

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