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July 2, 2020 - 5:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received one new positive case of COVID-19, for a total of 225 positive cases.
    • The positive individual resides in Oakfield.
    • The positive individual is in their 20s.
    • The positive individual was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Currently no individuals are hospitalized and no individuals have been released from mandatory quarantine.
  • Orleans County received one new positive case of COVID-19, today for a total of 267 positive cases.
    • The positive individual resides in Clarendon.
    • The positive individual is in their 50s.
    • The positive individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • No individuals have been released from mandatory quarantine.
    • Seven of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility. We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.

NOTE: Public health will not release an update again until Monday.

July 1, 2020 - 7:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 224 positive cases.
    • Currently, no individuals are hospitalized and no individuals have been released from mandatory quarantine.
  • Orleans County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19, today for a total of 266 positive cases.
    • No individuals have been released from mandatory quarantine.
    • Seven of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility. We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.

Note: In the chart of cases, Public Health reports four active/mandatory isolation cases and 43 people in mandatory community quarantine.

July 1, 2020 - 2:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in joshua blessed, Le Roy, news, notify.

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blessedmug2020.jpg
             Joshua Blessed

The Virginia-based trucker whom Le Roy police encountered May 27, starting a perilous chase that eventually led to his death, was a credible threat to cops and civilians, Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty said yesterday in a press conference.

The bombs, guns and ammo Joshua Blessed had stored in his private vehicle and the bedroom he was renting in Rockingham County, Va., along with is social media posting, indicate Blessed was planning something big.

But it wasn't part of his plan in May, Dougherty said, to engage with law enforcement on that day.

"Our investigation shows that Blessed really was on the road to Batavia and what prompted this and triggered Blessed this day was the proactive traffic stop by the Le Roy Police Department," Dougherty said.

Blessed's white tractor-trailer, owned by Yurman Express, based in Harrisonburg, Va., was stopped by Le Roy PD officers in the Village of Le Roy for speeding on Main Street. The trailer was empty, which lends credence to the theory, Dougherty said, that Blessed really was driving to Batavia to pick up dairy product.

The search by the FBI of Blessed private vehicle in Virginia turned up three IEDs (improvised explosive devices), an AK-17, 9mm magazines, and $18,000 in cash.

A search of the bedroom he was renting -- Blessed, previously known as Sergia Journev, had apparently not been living with is family for at least 18 months -- found 11 IEDs, an AK-47 with a scope, a .50-caliber rifle, a .338 sniper rifle, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and $130,000 in cash. 

Blessed had made several social media posts attacking law enforcement and promoting violence against police officers. 

"The traffic stop set him off," Dougherty said. "That doesn't mean he didn't have a plan for the future. Based on what was recovered in the vehicle and in the bedroom, he certainly had a plan for the future. What that plan was, I don't have that information."

There is no indication that others were specifically involved in Blessed's planning, Dougherty said. That may be part of an ongoing FBI investigation.

"There are no details showing an immediate concern either here or there," Dougherty said.

Blessed died of a gunshot wound to the head. He also suffered three gunshots to his hip. Two deputies were firing long guns at Blessed at the time the shoot-out came to its fatal conclusion. The bullet that killed Blessed has not been recovered. Dougherty said he would not release the names of the deputies firing at Blessed at the time he was killed.

Blessed fired at least 24 rounds at cops. There were 24 shell casings recovered. His empty magazines indicate he fired at least 29 shots but that doesn't mean he hadn't discarded empty magazines somewhere along the way. A magazine for Blessed's 9mm Glock with seven rounds still in it was recovered, along a magazine containing 17 rounds (the capacity of the magazines Blessed was using).

Deputies from Livingston and Genesee counties returned fire at least 129 times in four different locations along the chase route, with 48 rounds fired at the final standoff location at Route 20a and Morgan View Road.

The incident started at 8:37 p.m. with the traffic stop in Le Roy and ended with Blessed death at 9:27 p.m. The chase went through Le Roy and Stafford before Blessed executed a U-turn and headed back toward Le Roy, going to Route 19 south into Wyoming County and then into Livingston County.

Dougherty said during the chase he remembered thinking that the driver was a danger to the public and to his officers but that he was also a highly skilled driver.

“This is a very unique situation," Dougherty said. "Somebody said to me, ‘that’s once in a career.’ This isn’t once in a career. You could serve multiple careers in law enforcement and never encounter a heavy vehicle, it’s pretty much impossible to stop unless you have a heavier vehicle and then add in an active shooter, a guy who is actively trying to kill cops. That’s something that is more Hollywoodesque than reality."

It was a miracle, with all the bullets flying around, the high-speed chase, Blessed's clear intention to harm other people, that nobody besides Blessed lost any blood.

"Not even a scratch," Dougherty said.

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Photos: Livingston County Sheriff's Office.

Thanks to our news partner 13WHAM for video of the press conference

Previously:

July 1, 2020 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs, batavia, notify.

One thing is certain: There will be no professional baseball in Batavia in 2020.

The decision is final, according to numerous news reports that say the Minor League Baseball season is canceled because Major League Baseball teams will not furnish the minors with players in 2020. 

If there is an MLB season, it will likely start later this month, with only 60 games on the schedule. Teams would be limited to 60 eligible players. The 20 players beyond the standard 40-man roster would practice and workout on "taxi squads."

New York Penn League President Ben Hayes, in an exclusive interview with The Batavian a week ago, was still hopeful at that point that there would be a 2020 season for his league and the Muckdogs. We've not been able to reach him for comment today.

While it's quite possible there will never again be a professional baseball game played in Dwyer Stadium, last week Hayes was also hopeful that wouldn't be the case.

Prior to the pandemic hitting, the future of baseball in Batavia didn't look good. The MLB is trying to force the MiLB to accept a contraction, eliminating 42 minor league teams, including the entire NYPL. While there was talk of creating a "dreamers league" of low-level prospects, and Batavia could be a potential spot for such a team, there was no indication at that stage of negotiations on whether Batavia would be part of those plans.  

An ESPN column suggests that the 2020 cancellation and pandemic have effectively eliminated whatever leverage the minor league teams might have had to stop the contraction. Several teams were in a precarious situation financially, not just including the 42 slated for elimination, and now the financial situation is much worse for those teams.

Last week, Hayes said he has communicated his desire to MiLB negotiators to see at least one more season of NYPL baseball, asking that the contraction be delayed until after the 2021 season, which would give cities like Batavia a farewell tour with their teams.

July 1, 2020 - 12:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in skunks, animals, batavia, news, wildlife.

Yesterday evening, Trumbull Parkway resident Ray Tortorice spotted a family of skunks crossing his yard. When they saw him, the family retreated. About 20 minutes later, they came back, emerging from his neighbor's yard on East Avenue, passing through Tortorice's yard and flower bed and east to North Spruce Street, which he captured on video.

"I guess they were on some kind of night 'Recon' mission," Tortorice said.

July 1, 2020 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in YWCA, Three Little Birds Pediatrics, batavia, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) board of directors will consider final approvals for a $1.4 million mixed-use proposal by Fraser-Branche Property LLC at the agency’s July 2 board meeting.

Fraser-Branche Property LLC is proposing to remodel the majority of the 13,000-square-foot YWCA facility on North Street in the City of Batavia to enable the expansion of the Three Little Birds Pediatrics medical practice. The remainder of the facility will support the YWCA and other existing tenants.

A public hearing on the proposed incentives was held Nov. 20.

Fraser-Branche Property LLC’s proposed investment contributes to Genesee County’s growth strategy in the City of Batavia through the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (BP2).

Launched by Genesee County, the City of Batavia, the Batavia City School District and the GCEDC, the BP2 program provides support to future brownfield redevelopment projects through the benefits generated by projects in the City of Batavia.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be conducted via conference and online at www.gcedc.com.

July 1, 2020 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
June 30, 2020 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

 Antibody Testing: This is a current snapshot of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results both departments have received and will be updated periodically, but not daily.

  • Genesee County: Of the 1,589 antibody test results received, there were 46 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies.
  • Orleans County: Of the 687 antibody test results received, there were 17 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies.

Since last week there has been one new positive for antibodies for Genesee County and zero new positives for Orleans County of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results received.

June 30, 2020 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 224 positive cases.
    • Two of the previous community active positives have recovered and have been releases
  • Orleans County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19 today, for a total of 266 positive cases.
    • One of the previous community positive cases has recovered and has been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Seven of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility. We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.
June 30, 2020 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, pavilion hs, news, schools, education, covid-19, coronavirus.
Video Sponsor

At the end of the school year of pandemic, Pavilion High School graduated 29 seniors at the Silver Lake Drive-in Perry on Sunday.

Owen Kane Sidhu was the Salutatorian and Brett Lubberts was the Valedictorian. The commencement address was delivered by Superintendent Kenneth Ellison, who will retire in the fall.

Country music artist Brew Baldridge sang "Senior Year" and "Middle of Nowhere Kids."

June 30, 2020 - 12:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, pembroke.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider approving incentives for a $3 million mixed-use project by J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC (Brickhouse Commons) at the agency’s July 2 board meeting.

The 32,254-square-foot, three-story facility is proposed to be constructed on a 7.9-acre parcel at Genesee County’s Buffalo East Technology Park (BETP) in the Town of Pembroke.

The Brickhouse Commons project includes adding 17 market-rate, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors, and an interior space comprised of four spaces for commercial tenants, as well as indoor parking and a fitness center.

A public hearing on the proposed incentives was held May 26.

J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC’s proposed investment contributes to Genesee County’s growth strategy for residential growth to parallel strong economic growth in shovel-ready industrial parks.

Genesee County’s 67-acre Buffalo East Technology Park campus maintains multiple parcels for development opportunities and is home to Yancey’s Fancy cheese manufacturing and production facility.

BETP is located at the intersection of New York State Route 77 and New York State Route 5 in the Town of Pembroke offering easy access to New York Interstate 90 at Exit 48-A.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be conducted via conference and online at www.gcedc.com.

June 30, 2020 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

More than 700 companies throughout Western New York were able to access approximately $120 million under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program facilitated by Tompkins Bank of Castile.

 “Keeping with our longstanding commitment to the community, we were happy to do our part to support local businesses, especially during this time of need,” said President and CEO, John McKenna. “We’re thankful that our efforts were able to protect more than 7,000 local jobs.”

Essential bank staff aimed to get ahead of the rush by working extended hours — mostly remotely — to reassure customers, explain the PPP program, and process the loans as quickly as possible.

Local businesses are using the loans to keep employees on their payrolls, as well as cover other operating costs including interest, rent, and utility costs. The customers were very appreciative of the support.

“We’re grateful for Tompkins for keeping us updated on this process and supporting us along the way,” said one small business owner. “I really appreciate the information they have been able to provide, and I feel very confident with Tompkins at the helm.”

The COVID-19 pandemic required Tompkins to restrict its services to drive-up, ATM, phone, mobile, and internet banking. During this time, the staff worked diligently to educate customers about its electronic services.

“As an essential business, we’ve been fortunate to stay open and accessible to our customers when they need us most,” McKenna said. “We believe in the power of our local people working together to help our communities grow and thrive; That’s why we’ll continue to do everything possible to support our friends and neighbors as we work together to recover.”

June 30, 2020 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
June 29, 2020 - 4:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received three new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 224 positive cases.
    • Two of the new positive individuals reside in Batavia and one of the new positive cases resides in Le Roy.
    • One of the individuals is in their 20s, one of the individuals is in their 40s and one of the individuals is in their 50s.
    • None of the new positive individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive
    • Eight of the previous community active positives have recovered and have been releases
  • Orleans County received two new positive cases of COVID-19 today, for a total of 266 positive cases.
    • One of the new positive individuals lives in Barre and one of the new positive cases lives at the Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
    • One of the individuals is in their 20s and one of the individuals is in their 60s.
    • Neither of the two new positive individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • One of the previous community positive cases has recovered and has been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Ten of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility. We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.
    • We are saddened to report the death of one of our county residents. This person lived at the Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this individual during this very challenging time.
June 29, 2020 - 1:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County ABATE, law enforcement, news.

bluelivesmattercaravaran2020.jpg

More than 200 motorcycle club members from throughout the region came together Sunday afternoon to ride to the headquarters of various police agencies as a show of support for local law enforcement.

Organizer Jesse Underwood said it was a chance for members of Genesee ABATE to remind people that most cops are good cops and that they jeopardize their lives to protect and serve.

"They've got a tough job to do right now," Underwood said. "They get up in the morning and put on their badge and head out to work and they may not make it home again."

These photos are from the group's stop at the NYSP headquarters on West Saile Drive. The riders also stopped at the Sheriff's Office and Batavia PD before heading to Orleans County.

bluelivesmattercaravaran2020-2.jpg

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June 29, 2020 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, news.

Video by Le Roy HS Principal Tim McArdle.

June 29, 2020 - 11:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, golf.

img_3453holeinone.jpg

Batavia native Tony DiMartino scored his first career hole-in-one Sunday at his home course, Oswego Country Club. The ace came on the 167-yard 4th hole. DiMartino used a 6 iron.

The shot was witnessed by Dan Burns, Rod Allen and Doug Cecere.

Photo and info submitted by Doug Cecere.

June 29, 2020 - 11:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA: 

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.17, which is 4 cents higher than a week ago. One year ago, the price was $2.72.

The New York State average is $2.24 – a penny higher than last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.87.

AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.21 (down 4 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.19 (no change since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.16 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.21 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.27 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.15 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.27 (up 4 cents since last week)

This week, most regions saw a slight increase in gas prices by a few cents, so no dramatic increases to cause shock at the pump.

When compared to last year at this time, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline is 55 cents cheaper, while the New York average price is 63 cents cheaper than a year ago, making road trips an affordable option for motorists.

The Fourth of July holiday is almost here and this year, AAA Western and Central New York summer travel forecast predicts that road trips will the most popular form of travel with families looking to drive to destinations. The low prices will entice motorists to take to the road as more regions and states open.

From GasBuddy:

"Gasoline prices have continued to rise across the United States, a streak that enters its ninth week, but with a resurgence in COVID-19 cases across several states and with Pay with GasBuddy gasoline demand data showing the first weekly drop in gasoline demand since Memorial Day and just the second one since March, there may eventually be a small reckoning in the price of gasoline," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

"Last week, U.S. gasoline demand fell 0.4 percent, not exactly a staggering figure, but data from later in the week pointed to much more noticeable drops, which may be a coming trend as authorities in some U.S. states rescind their reopenings.

Motorists across the country will likely be influenced by what develops in those areas -- improvement and a slowdown in COVID would cause gas prices to continue rising, while a continued resurgence in COVID-19 cases and a drop in gasoline demand will mean lower gas prices."

June 29, 2020 - 11:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
June 29, 2020 - 9:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, Basom, Alabama.

A caller in the 1500 block of Ledge Road, Basom, reports that sometime in the middle of the night he heard a loud explosion.

This morning in woke up to find that his mailbox was blown up.

A state trooper is responding.

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