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January 6, 2021 - 9:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Conservative Party.

Press release:

We at the Genesee County Conservative Party denounce all violence that happened today in Washington, D.C.

While we understand the right to peacefully protest, we do not condone trespassing onto the Capitol, putting police officers' lives at risk, and destroying and stealing property. Political violence is never the answer. 

We strongly support the First Amendment and the ability to speak your mind, peacefully assemble, and protest. We encourage all Americans to stand up for their constitutional rights, voice their opinions, and demand change. 

The way to make change is to get involved with your local elections, make your voice heard, hold our politicians accountable, and most of all, VOTE. 

We will be a stronger country if we work together instead of working against each other.  

Thank you to our law enforcement for keeping us safe and for putting their lives on the line every day. Our prayers go out to the family of the woman killed today, our law enforcement personnel, and most of all, for ALL of America.  

Julie Carasone, Chairwoman, Genesee County Conservative Party. 

January 6, 2021 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, notify, 2020 presidential election.

Rep. Chris Jacobs, who previously issued a statement rejecting an attempt to overturn the presidential election, today said he will object to certification of the Electoral College results. 

When Texas filed a lawsuit attempting to invalidate election results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, Jacobs said he would not sign onto the effort because he respected federalism and states' rights.

Today, in a statement, Jacobs contradicted that stance saying, “There is no question the presidential election was contentious and conducted under trying circumstances, leading several states to make unprecedented changes to their electoral systems without the authorization of their respective state legislatures as the Constitution dictates."

There have been multiple lawsuits contesting changes in state voting procedures in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. All of them have been rejected by their respective courts, primarily because the plaintiffs did not file their lawsuits prior to the election but instead waited until after residents in these respective states voted in good faith under the guidance provided by state officials.

States such as Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas -- states Trump won -- also made accommodations for voting during the coronavirus pandemic but Republicans are not contesting the results in those states. 

Jacobs said disputes over the election have not been adjudicated; however, 59 lawsuits have been thrown out by state and federal courts either because of timeliness or lack of evidence, including two that reached the Supreme Court. The current composition of the court includes a majority six Republican-nominated justices, including three appointed by Trump.

Today, both bodies of Congress are meeting in joint session to open and tally the electoral college votes, which have been certified by states, giving Joe Biden a 306 to 232 vote victory. Jacobs will not be the only Republican refusing to accept the results of the election. Several senators and other House members are joining in.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been a strong ally of the president over the past four years, criticized that effort in a floor speech today.

“Voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken — they’ve all spoken,” McConnell said. “If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever.”

In opposing Biden's victory, Jacobs breaks with fellow Republican from the Southern Tier, Tom Reed.

"It is clear to me that the U.S. Constitution calls upon our elections for president to be done at the state level, and that if there are issues of fraud, if there are issues of whether or not those elections are carried out lawfully, they are to be adjudicated at the state level," Reed said. "No state legislature has asked us to intervene in Congress in this process, and that being said, I will not be objecting to the state electors tomorrow, based upon my commitment to the U.S. Constitution."

Here is the full statement from Jacobs:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) released the following statement regarding the objections to the certification of the Electoral College.

“There is no question the presidential election was contentious and conducted under trying circumstances, leading several states to make unprecedented changes to their electoral systems without the authorization of their respective state legislatures as the Constitution dictates.

This troubling fact, along with countless reports of election irregularities, has left many Americans with valid concerns about the integrity of the November 3rd presidential election because these concerns have yet to be properly adjudicated.

“I have a duty to represent my constituents and a constitutional duty to ensure the security and integrity of our elections. I do not take this decision lightly, but for these reasons feel it necessary to object to the certification of the electoral votes from contested states.

“The American people must have confidence in their elections, and I intend to work to restore that trust. As such, I will support efforts to achieve a full review of the actions taken by states that have led to the widespread distrust that now exists. I feel it is imperative to allow for this crucial national conversation to be debated in public on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

January 5, 2021 - 4:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received 91 new positive cases of COVID-19.
      • The new positive cases reside in the:
        • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
        • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield)
        • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford)
      • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
      • Thirty-five of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
      • Twenty-one of the positive individuals are hospitalized.
      • One of the new positive cases is a resident at the LeRoy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility.
      • We are saddened to report the COVID-related deaths of two residents, one whom resided at Genesee Senior Living and one whom resided at the LeRoy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility. Both of the individuals were over 65 years old. We will not be releasing any further information to protect the privacy of the individual and their family. Our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of these individuals during this difficult time.

  • Orleans County received 25 new positive cases of COVID-19.
  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • Nineteen of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
    • Twenty of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
    • One of the individuals was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s.
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
    • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon).

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January 5, 2021 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, notify.

Rep. Chris Jacobs voted last week in favor of President Donald Trump's request to give every eligible American an extra $2,000 in a COVID-related stimulus payment but the CASH Act remains stalled in the U.S. Senate.

Whether those payments will land in taxpayers' bank accounts in the coming weeks seems to hinge on today's runoff election in Georgia.

Two Senate seats are up for grabs and all four candidates support passage of the CASH Act but getting the bill through the Senate isn't just a matter of lining up enough votes.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, as majority leader, has the power to block a floor vote on the bill.

McConnell has argued that some of the direct payments would go to families who don't need it and would cost about $464 billion.

The House-passed bill, McConnell said, "has no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate," vowing that the chamber would not be "bullied into rushing out more borrowed money."

Jacobs doesn't see it that way.

“Additional COVID-19 relief has been my priority since I took office this summer," Jacobs said in a statement. "I voted to deliver $2,000 stimulus checks to Western New Yorkers who have been hardest hit by arbitrary shutdowns, unemployment, and economic downturn. I commend the President for signing the bipartisan relief deal last night and for his support of increased stimulus checks.” 

The CASH Act was approved last week by the House in a 275-134 vote. Fourty-four Republicans supported the measure.

The $2,000 payments were first suggested by Trump. He said he wasn't happy with Americans getting only $600 each in the last stimulus bill.

While campaign for the Democrats in Georgia's special election yesterday, Joe Biden, winner of the Nov. 3 election, said the $2,000 stimulous checks would be sent to Americans immediately if the Democrats win both seats today.

The race pits Kelly Loeffler against Raphael Warnock and David Perdue against Jon Ossoff.

Biden supports Warnock and Ossoff.

"If you send Jon and the Reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door, restoring hope and decency and honor for so many people who are struggling right now," Biden said. "And if you send (Perdue and Loeffler) back to Washington, those checks will never get there," Biden said. "It's just that simple. The power is literally in your hands."

Even though Perdue and Ossoff both support the stimulus payment, even with the two Republicans seated in the Senate, McConnell could still block the bill from coming up for a vote.

A victory for two Democrats would mean the end of McConnell's reign as majority leader and, according to Biden, mean there would be no possibility of Republicans blocking the direct payments.

A Democratic victory today would also give the party control of both houses and the White House for at least the next two years and leave Republicans with little power to block the Democratic agenda.

The amplified power of congressional leadership to control floor votes has long been a target of complaints from the former Congressman from Wisconsin, and former Republican now Libertarian Justin Amash. He tweets about it frequently.

January 4, 2021 - 9:10am
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]
December 31, 2020 - 7:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Batavia PD, batavia.

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A Batavia police officer driving a city patrol vehicle was involved in a two-vehicle accident at 3:10 p.m. today, according to Chief Shawn Heubusch.

An ambulance did respond but no information was released on possible, if any, injuries.

The officer was returning to Batavia from training, Heubusch said. 

The accident is being investigated by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and the chief said further details will be released once the investigation is completed.

Reader-submitted photo.

December 30, 2020 - 10:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Le Roy.

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Le Roy resident Mary Margaret Ripley shared this photo from last night of what appears to be a rainbow around the moon.

December 30, 2020 - 10:04am
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 registered, 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]
December 28, 2020 - 12:50pm
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 registered, 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]
December 27, 2020 - 10:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, news, fire.

A possible chimney fire or furnace problem is reported at 1173 Gabbey Road, Pembroke.

Pembroke fire, Indian Falls fire, and City of Batavia's FAST team is dispatched.

UPDATE 10:41 p.m.: The caller at the residence contacted a commander at City fire and informed the commander that sparks and/or flames could be seen coming out of the top of the chimney. A service provider had advised the caller that the company would check on the chimney tomorrow. The commander advised the caller to evacuate. The Indian Falls chief is asking City fire to continue nonemergency. The residence is being evacuated per the emergency dispatcher.

UPDATE 10:45 p.m.: Chief on scene reports nothing showing.

UPDATE 10:47 p.m.: City fire can go back in service. No fire.

December 27, 2020 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in birds, outdoors, news, corfu.

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A reader from Corfu submitted this photo.

December 26, 2020 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, weather.

img_2208birds.jpg

A pair of birds managed to make it to the seed in suet cake in the Batavia backyard of Jason Smith this morning despite several inches of snow overnight.

Send your snow-related photos to [email protected].

December 25, 2020 - 11:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Merry Christmas, news.

A police officer has reportedly pulled over Santa Claus somewhere in the city.

A dispatcher responded to the license check confirming the license for Santa Claus is valid and the license expires in October 2025.

No word on whether the registration and inspection on his sleigh are up to date.

December 24, 2020 - 10:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news, accident, thruway.

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A passenger was seriously injured in a one-vehicle rollover accident in the eastbound lane of the Thruway in the area of mile marker 380.5 this afternoon.

The patient was transported by Mercy EMS to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance responded to the scene. 

Le Roy Chief Tom Wood said the driver of the vehicle was not injured. 

Traffic was shut down during the incident. 

State Police are handling the investigation.

Photos and information from Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

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December 23, 2020 - 9:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Creek, South Main Street, batavia, news.

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Amanda Coggiola submitted these photos of a bald eagle at the Tonawanda Creek off South Main Street Road, Batavia.

She said, "My kids and I saw this eagle at our house this morning. They asked if I could send the pictures to you because we know sometimes you post the pics on your website. Merry Christmas: Amanda, Ben, Lilly, and Jake Coggiola"

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December 23, 2020 - 9:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michael Tomaszewski, crime, news, batavia, notify.
tomaszewskimugjuly2020.jpg
     Michael Tomaszewski

Funeral home owner Michael S. Tomaszewski, arrested in July after an investigation that uncovered multiple incidences of potential fraud, was arraigned in Genesee County Court today on more than 200 counts of grand larceny, falsifying business records, offering a false instrument in filing, scheme to defraud, and failure to deposit.

As he did when first arrested and arraigned in Town of Batavia Court, Tomaszewski entered a not guilty plea.

Tomaszewski waived his right to have a grand jury review the evidence against him and potentially issue indictments against him. He was arraigned on what's known as Superior Court Information (SCI) that lays out all the charges in the same form as a grand jury indictment.

It is 101 pages long.

Tomaszewski is accused of taking money people used to prepay for funerals and instead of depositing the money in appreciate bank accounts then using the money for other purposes.

The SCI indicates the majority of customers lost from more than $2,000 up to $15,500 each.

The charges include: 67 counts of third-degree grand larceny; 28 counts of fourth-degree grand larceny; four counts of falsifying business records; 93 counts of failure to deposit; seven counts of petit larceny; and counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree; and scheme to defraud.

During the virtual arraignment today, the attorneys discussed the possibility of reaching a plea deal within the next six weeks.

Tomaszewski remains released from custody on his own recognizance. His next scheduled court appearance, which will also be virtual, is 1:30 p.m., Feb. 2.

Alecia Kaus/Video News Service contributed to this report.

Previously:

December 23, 2020 - 8:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

A 52-year-old Batavia man already previously convicted on child pornography charges has been indicted once again in Federal Court.

Matthew Barber is charged with receipt and possession of child pornography, which carries a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years in federal prison.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office of Western New York was previously convicted in 2007 and was sentenced in 2007 to 74 months in federal prison. He was given five years of supervised release but he failed a sex offender treatment program.

Barber reportedly had a job in Batavia. He was dismissed after allegedly placing a USB flash drive into a work computer. He May, he was charged locally with unauthorized use of a computer.

As a condition of his parole, Barber was required to notify NYS Parole if he was terminated from employment. That day, U.S. Probation and NYS Parole searched his residence and seized a cellular phone and a flash drive.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, investigators found 1,100 images and 40 videos of child pornography on the drive. Several hundred other images and 200 videos were allegedly found on the phone.

Barber was arraigned today in Federal Court. 

The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Sliwinski; and the Batavia Police Department, under the direction of Chief Shawn Heubusch.

December 23, 2020 - 11:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, news, economy.

Genesee County's unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in November, still a percentage point higher than a year ago, but a bit better than it was with October's 5.0 percent rate.

There are 27,000 county residents with jobs. There were 28,400 a year ago in November and 26,800 in October of this year.

There are 1,300 people actively seeking employment compared to 1,100 a year ago and 1,300 last month.

December 23, 2020 - 10:51am
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 registered, 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]
December 22, 2020 - 7:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Donald Trump, news, notify.

collinspresseraug82018b.jpg

President Donald Trump, in the final month of his one term, issued 15 pardons today, including a pardon for former NY-27 congressional representative Chris Collins, who entered a guilty plea more than a year ago to federal crimes stemming from insider trading activity. 

Collins also admitted to lying to the FBI about using information that wasn't available to the public about Innate Immunotherapy to tip his son and other associates that led them to dump stock in the company before news of a failed trial reached other investors.

Even while under federal indictment for the crimes, Collins ran for reelection and won.

Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president in 2016 and served on the transition team after Trump beat Hillary Clinton.  

The second member of Congress to endorse Trump was Duncan Hunter Jr., of El Cajon, Calif. Hunter was also convicted of federal crimes related to his misuse of campaign donations for his personal benefit. Today, Trump also pardoned Hunter.

Photo: File photo: Collins, with his wife standing beside him, at a press conference in August 2018 when he denied the insider trading charges that had been filed against him that day in New York City.

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