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March 26, 2021 - 1:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, sports, volleyball.

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Le Roy won its home opener in volleyball last night over Dansville in four sets, 25-19, 21-25, 25-20 & 25-10.

Allie Ingles had 12 kills. Abbie Woodworth had 23 assists and Hailey Johnson had 15. Riley Wood led with 12 digs.

The Knights are now 3-0 on the season.

Photos and info courtesy Tim McArdle.

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March 26, 2021 - 1:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, wny stamp, Plug Power.

Press release:

Plug Power Inc.’s development of North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) received final approval from the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors at its March 25 meeting.

Plug Power Inc. plans to build the $232.7 million green energy technology facility at a 29.884-acre site at STAMP, with a proposed initial operation creating 68 new jobs at an average salary of approximately $70,000.

Plug Power Inc. also will invest $55 million to help build a 345/115KV electric substation in partnership with the New York Power Authority and National Grid. The substation will support future expansion and growth opportunities at STAMP’s 1,250-acre mega-site.

“The investments by Plug Power Inc. will advance our region’s expanding green hydrogen economy, create good jobs aligned with our county’s workforce training programs, and advance major infrastructure that is accessible to future projects,” said GCEDC President & CEO Steve Hyde.

“This project by Plug Power, along with the team effort by the GCEDC Board of Directors, the Empire State Development, the New York Power Authority, and National Grid, show our capacity to advance regionally significant projects at STAMP.”

Under the incentives application approved by the GCEDC Board, Plug Power Inc. will contribute approximately $2.3 million annually to support local municipalities and infrastructure development under a 20-year agreement.

In addition to Plug Power, the GCEDC Board also approved or accepted applications from five projects totaling another $420 million of capital investment in Genesee County.

The GCEDC Board approved final incentives for Forefront Power LLC (Elba Solar) for a $9.7 million community solar project on Norton Road in the Town of Elba. The project will generate 5MW of power and generate approximately $518,803 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District over the proposed 15-year agreement.

The board also approved final incentives for Solar Liberty for community solar projects on Tesnow Road in the Town of Pembroke at a capital investment of $7.7 million. The projects will generate 4MW and 5MW of power and will generate approximately $856,024 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Pembroke, and the Akron Central School District over the proposed 15-year agreement.

Finally, the GCEDC Board of Directors accepted initial applications for two other projects:

  • Excelsior Energy LLC is proposing to invest $345.55 million in a utility-scale solar project on multiple properties in the Town of Byron. The project will generate 280 MW of power. Excelsior has negotiated a 20-year tax and community host agreements, including payments of $6,500 per MW, with a 2-percent annual escalator, to Genesee County, the Town of Byron, and the Byron-Bergen School District.
  • DePaul Special Needs Apartments LP is proposing to invest $3.75 million to expand by 20 living units an existing special needs housing campus in the City of Batavia. The project would increase annual PILOT payments by approximately $6,000 per year for the remainder of the facility’s existing PILOT schedule.

UPDATE: We asked Jim Krencik, marketing director for GCEDC, to clarify the tax abatements for these projects. He provided the following. The "Property Tax Payments" followed by tax savings is the PILOT on the project (payments in lieu of taxes). The sales tax exemption is an exemption on sales tax for materials used in construction.

Plug Power

  • Approved Property Tax Payments
    • $2.3 million / year
    • $46 million / 20 years
  • Estimated Savings
    • $117.7 million property tax savings / 20 years if assessed at cost of construction ($232.7 million)
  • Anticipated assessment is much more likely to be $60-90 million
    • ·        $2.3 million / year = 0 percent abatement on a $65 million assessment
  • $1.1 million sales tax exemptions

Excelsior Solar

  • Proposed Property Tax Payments
    • $1.8 million / year 1, increases by 2 percent annually
    • Based on $6,500 / megawatt
    • $44 million / 20 years
  • Estimated Savings
    • $21.4 million property tax savings / 20 years
    • On solar panels only, land with panels on them are assessed separately
    • $11.2 million sales tax exemption
March 26, 2021 - 1:05pm
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]
March 25, 2021 - 9:37am
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]
March 24, 2021 - 9:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Le Roy.

A caller reports hearing an explosion and seeing flames at a residence, or behind a residence, on Stanley Place near Wolcott Street in Le Roy.

A first responder reports seeing a lot of smoke but no flames.

Le Roy fire dispatched along with law enforcement.

UPDATE 9:42 p.m.: The assignment is being held to Le Roy Ladder 65, which can proceed nonemergency.

UPDATE 9:44 p.m.: Le Roy 65 can go back in service.

March 24, 2021 - 4:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in solar farms, cider soler farm, livestream, video.
Video Sponsor

Cider Solar Project - Virtual Open House presented by Hecate Energy

Or the meeting can be accessed directly through Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/98566949504

March 24, 2021 - 4:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, thruway.

A car vs. tractor-trailer accident is reported in the eastbound lane of the Thruway in the area of mile marker 400.9.

One minor injury reported.

Pembroke Fire and East Pembroke fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 4:49 p.m.: East Pembroke fire is back in service.

UPDATE 4:59 p.m.: State Police are also pursuing a fleeing subject in the westbound lane at about 60 mph. The pursuit just passed the accident scene.

March 24, 2021 - 1:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, schools, education.

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Kathie Scott, holding the certificate in the photo above, was honored by the city schools' Board of Trustees at its meeting Monday night as she nears the end of her 25-year career with the district.

Scott, who holds a degree in public relations from the University of Dayton, came to the district from BOCES and handled public relations and as social media came along started handling much of the district's official social media presence. 

Superintendent Anibal Solar said no decision has been made on how that role will be filled in the future.

Asked what she will miss most about the job, she said: "Two of my favorite parts of the job were, one, being able to highlight all students and staff in everyday learning as well as the achievements of particular individuals; and two, the changes in the way we communicate has provided so much opportunity to grow and diversify skills. The first – highlighting students and staff – is the part I’ll miss. The other – learning and growing – I can continue to do even though I’m leaving BOCES."

As for what's next, she said, "I’m not sure! I’ve been tossing around ideas, including the same or similar work, but no set plan has crystallized, partly because I’ve been busy trying to finish up projects. I can never sit still though, so I’m excited about the next phase or adventure -- whatever it might turn out to be!"

Photo courtesy Anibal Soler.

March 24, 2021 - 12:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy pd, le roy hs, news, schools, education.

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Chief Greg Kellogg and Le Roy PD hosted drivers education students from Le Roy High School yesterday for a class on law enforcement and driving topics such as vehicle inspection and registration, what to do if pulled over or involved in an accident, and DWI.

Photos and info submitted by Tim McArdle.

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March 24, 2021 - 12:03pm
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]
March 23, 2021 - 4:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia city school district, news, notify, covid-19.

Following a presentation by Superintendent Anibal Soler, the city schools' Board of Trustees approved a plan Monday night that could have full in-class learning for all students whose families want it starting Monday, April 19.

Families who want learning to remain 100-percent virtual will be able to continue online education for the remainder of the school year.

The hybrid model, where students split time between in-home virtual classrooms and on-campus classrooms, will be eliminated.

The decision to return to full-time learning is being driven by data and what state and national leaders are saying about the importance of in-class learning, Soler said.

"I feel, along with the board, that this is why it is time for us to take some significant steps to get us back to school the way it used to be," Soler said during the meeting.

Soler noted that the Centers for Disease Control has changed its guidance on classroom instruction, providing the option to keep students three feet apart instead of six feet. While this change makes it more realistic to get students back in classrooms, six feet is still ideal and where possible, the district will strive to keep students six feet apart, Soler said, or at least five feet, or at least four feet, going to only three feet apart where a greater distance is not feasible.

Previously, one of the issues with opening up the schools was transportation. Currently, students who are transported by bus must sit one to a bench seat. In the new plan, two students will be allowed to share a single bench seat so long as both are masked.

Students will sit on the bus according to a seating chart, so that if later a student does test positive for coronavirus school officials can identify students who were within six feet of the COVID-19-positive student. Such students will be asked to quarantine.

The buses will be disinfected between runs.

The state's Department of Health has not yet approved these guidelines, but Soler anticipates that the state will approve the changes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a Feb. 19 briefing said he believes schools should go back to in-class teaching where COVID-19 prevalence is low and that the change should be a local decision. 

One factor in the district's favor is that at least 50 percent of the staff will be fully vaccinated by April 10. Soler believes the number of staff members vaccinated is actually higher but the district only has data for those individuals who accepted their vaccination through the district. Every staff member has been offered the vaccine.

Soler has already met with leaders of the teachers' and clerks' unions and both support a reopening plan as long as safety protocols are in place.

To prepare, support staff will start moving furniture in classrooms and cafeterias during spring break, March 29 to April 2.

From now until April 9, Soler will be holding virtual meetings with staff members to roll out the plan, answer questions, and address concerns. 

"They may have ideas we haven't thought about," Soler said.

All cohorts will be in virtual classrooms on April 15-16 in order to give teachers a final two days of prep before starting in-classroom teaching.

"This will give us a full 10 weeks of in-person learning for 80 percent of the district," Soler said.

The potential barriers to carrying out and continuing the plan, Soler told the board, are: if the district receives a directive from the Department of Health; or receives a court order; or if there is a spike in community spread or some other sign of the infection rate going up in the community. 

"Then we have to reset, go back to virtual learning for two weeks before resuming the hybrid model," Soler said. "We will continue to protect staff and students if we see a large number of cases."

The timeline allows two weeks between spring break and the resumption of classes. This means if increased social contact during spring break leads to a spike in cases, the district can reevaluate whether April 19 is the right time to go back to in-class learning.

But given all the evidence experts have gathered, Soler said, the district does need to get back to normal classroom instruction. It's better for the students academically, emotionally and socially. It will also be less stressful for teachers.

"Our teachers have been burning the candle at both ends," Soler said. "They have been working hard and managing two groups of students. I commend them on what they do but it's time to get them back to doing what they do best, which is teaching kids in front of them."

March 23, 2021 - 3:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, fire, batavia.

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A brush fire is reported off of South Jackson Street and South Swan Street in Batavia.

Dispatch has been asked to notify CSX and slow trains passing through the area.

South Jackson is being shut down.

UPDATE 3:22 p.m.: The city's fourth platoon is called to fire headquarters on Evans Street.

UPDATE 3:38 p.m.: City fire is picking up. CSX can go back to normal traffic.

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Throughout the fire area were pieces of a toilet, as if it exploded. It's unclear if it's related to the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

March 23, 2021 - 12:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, arts, entertainment, schools, education, covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Pandemic restrictions won't disrupt one of the most important traditions at Le Roy High School: the annual musical.

This year, music and drama students at Le Roy are presenting a virtual performance of "The Theory of Relativity" by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill.

Streaming tickets are available at leroycsd.org with performances at 7 p.m., April 8, 9 and 10.

The video above explains how the students brought the production together and the new technology skills they learned in the process.

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March 23, 2021 - 11:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Alabama.

A two-vehicle accident with four minor injuries is reported at Judge and Alleghany roads in Alabama.

The only ambulance available to respond is out of Medina.

Along with Alabama fire, mutual aid requested from Shelby and Oakfield, which has a rescue engine available.

UPDATE 11:25 a.m.: A chief informs dispatch that they are set for medics at the scene and is requesting that Shelby shut down southbound traffic. "We're all set for medics. Right now I just need traffic control," the chief informs dispatch. Oakfield is standing down.

UPDATE 11:31 a.m.: Mercy Flight is requested to the scene.

March 23, 2021 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

Press release:

Senator Rath conducted a survey focusing on hunting issues contained in the Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal.

“Hearing from residents and knowing where they stand on proposals is extremely important to me. We received input from thousands of residents, from all over New York State. Thank you to all those who took the time to share their views with me. With this information, I am able to better represent my constituents,” said Senator Ed Rath.

“Thank you to Senator Rath for asking these questions. We appreciate the Senator involving the hunting community in these conversations,” Jeff Jondle, president of the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Club. 

The survey results indicated that residents overwhelmingly support lowering the hunting age (76 percent of respondents) and expanding the crossbow season (74 percent of respondents). Both proposals were included in the Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal.

Senator Rath was elected in 2020 and represents the towns of Amherst, Clarence, and Newstead and the villages of Akron and Williamsville in Erie County; the towns of Chili and Riga, the Village of Churchville and part of the City of Rochester in Monroe County; and all of Genesee County. The Senator is also a member of the New York State Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.

March 23, 2021 - 10:33am
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]
March 22, 2021 - 2:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, VA Hospital, veterans, covid-19, coronavirus, news.
Video Sponsor

A small group of protesters gathered outside the VA Medical Center grounds in Batavia this morning to express their objections to ongoing visitor restrictions put in place to prevent the spread in the hospital of COVID-19.

Initially, the protesters were on the VA grounds and they were asked to leave. Later, after this video was shot, a caller reported to dispatch that they were blocking traffic, but when a Batavia police officer arrived he said they were not blocking traffic.

Here is a statement from a spokesman for the VA:

VAWNYHS is re-establishing scheduled visitations based upon recently revised Veteran Health Affairs and CDC guidelines for Community Living Centers.   

Families of nursing home Veterans at the Batavia Community Living Center are being contacted to schedule visits with their loved ones during which two family members will be able to visit a patient at a time. In special circumstances, up to six family members may visit a veteran resident if deemed clinically appropriate. Visits need to be scheduled with staff and no drop-in visitations will be allowed.

We fully understand the family members' desire to physically reconnect with their loved ones in the Community Living Center after a year of virtual visits via telephone and FaceTime conversations. The VA will continue to safeguard our beloved veterans and work closely with families to have a coordinated, safe experience for the veteran and family members.

March 22, 2021 - 1:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, alexander, news.

Alexander Fire Department has been dispatched for a report of hay bales on fire at 10869 Bowen Road.

The bales are about 50 feet from a barn and the wind is blowing in the direction of the barn.

UPDATE 1:20 p.m.: A first responder reports, "the fire is not going anywhere. It's contained to the hay bales right now." A tanker is requested to the scene.

March 22, 2021 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Stafford.
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     Charles Jackson

A man evading a traffic stop in Stafford on Sept. 9 may have been able to outrun a Motorola* that day but police believe they've caught up with him after arresting a suspect in a firearms incident Sunday morning in the City of Batavia.

Charles L. Jackson, 26, of Garson Street, Rochester, faces multiple criminal charges stemming from Sunday's incident as well as the Sept. 9 incident. 

Sunday's incident began at 2:28 a.m. at the Speedway gas station at the corner of Main and Oak streets with the report of a person "not acting normal." Batavia police officers arrived on the scene and found three people inside a vehicle. An officer reported spotted a firearm inside the vehicle and when the officer attempted to secure the weapon a struggle ensured. The officer discharged his service weapon. 

Nobody was hit by the bullet or bullets.

The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Jackson, was able to free himself and flee in the vehicle, leading police on a high-speed chase the ended when the vehicle crashed on Woodland Drive in the Town of Batavia. Jackson and two other occupants were then taken into custody without further incident.

The only injuries sustained as a result of the confrontation were to Jackson and the other occupants of the vehicle, who have not been identified by law enforcement.

Jackson was taken into custody by Sheriff's deputies and charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd (he allegedly possessed large-capacity magazines). He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and ordered held on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.  

The other occupants of the vehicle have not been charged.

Following his arrest, Jackson was identified as the suspect in the Sept. 9 chase, which started with a traffic stop in the Town of Stafford where a deputy allegedly observed marijuana in the vehicle. The driver in that case fled and allegedly hit speeds over 100 mph. The driver made it to Route 490 and fled toward Monroe County and exited at Brooks Avenue and with apparent damage to the vehicle slowed to 30 to 40 mph before stopping. The driver fled on foot and was able to evade capture.

In that incident, Jackson is charged with two counts of reckless endangerment, unlawful fleeing a police officer, obstructing governmental administration, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. On those charges, Jackson was arraigned in Town of Stafford Court and released on his own recognizance.  

Chief Shawn Heubusch, Batavia PD, said any charges related to the incident in the city are being incorporated in the Sheriff's investigation.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.

*Editor's note: *New York lexicologist / etymologist / linguist Barry Popik says "you can't outrun a Motorrola" is a version of the law enforcment saying "you can't outrun a police radio."

March 22, 2021 - 10:25am
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]

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