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June 21, 2020 - 5:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, bergen.

img_1783juneacc.jpg

A 2013 BMW allegedly failed to yield coming off of North Bergen Road around noon today crossing West Sweden Road. The BMW reportedly hit a trailer being hauled by a 2016 Nissan pickup causing the trailer to flip over.

Reader-submitted photos and information.

img_1782juenacc.jpg

June 21, 2020 - 8:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

A perpetrator is still at large following a late-night break-in at Dave's Ice Cream, 3872 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

Local law enforcement is looking for an individual who made forced entry into the ice cream shop at about 10:50 p.m. and was wearing black pants, a black coat, a gray hoodie, white gloves, and a black mask.

The subject attempted to gain entry to the cash register before fleeing in what appeared to be a small, white SUV.

Owner Debra Webster became aware of the burglary in progress because of a security camera in the store that alerted her on her phone to activity inside the closed and locked shop. She called 9-1-1 and Sheriff's deputies, with back up from Batavia PD and State troopers, responded but the perpetrator had left before police arrived.

Webster said the burglar did not seem familiar with the store and that no money was left in the store so no money was taken.

She is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the criminal.

The Sheriff's Office is continuing the investigation. Anyone with information pertinent to the case is asked to call Investigator Chris Parker or Deputy Jordan Alejandro at (585) 343-5000.

UPDATE: Photo of the intruder's face submitted by Debra Webster.

20200621_120054burgsface.jpg

VIDEO: Courtesy Debra Webster. Note: The submitted video was 2:30 long. We've trimmed it to include only the portions that show the intruder and the SUV.

(Initial Report)

June 21, 2020 - 7:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Nate McMurray, Chris Jacobs.

Press release:

Politifact, a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and candidates, announced today that Chris Jacobs’ most recent TV ad is entirely false. The ad repeats a set of lies first put forward by Chris Collins about Nate McMurray. In particular, the ad claims that McMurray sent American jobs to Asia and China, which is entirely not true.

“I can’t believe this man has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this false message, the same false message first put forward by Chris Collins. He’s doubling down on those dated lies. This ad must be effective, but what does it say about Jacobs’ judgment that he would so openly lie to get elected?” McMurray said.

Instead of talking about the critical issues that matter, like creating jobs, Jacobs seems concerned with only one issue: lying about and slandering his opponent. Instead of lies, McMurray has talked throughout this campaign season about expanding healthcare and protecting Social Security and Medicare.

McMurray's press release did not contain a link to the fact-checking site. Below are links to pages fact-checking both McMurray and Jacobs, finding a mixture of false and true statements for both candidates.

June 21, 2020 - 7:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

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  • 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.
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  • 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 21, 2020 - 12:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, news, covid-19, coronavirus, video.
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Oakfield-Alabama Class of 2020 Graduation

June 21, 2020 - 12:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, news, covid-19, coronavirus, video.
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Oakfield-Alabama Class of 2020 Graduation

June 20, 2020 - 12:21am
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The four local men who organized the March for Justice in Batavia on June 7 have joined together with eight more local residents to form Just Kings Social Club to help promote racial equality in the city. Friday, they hosted their first event at the YWCA: Day one of a two-day Juneteenth celebration.

Today (Saturday), the event starts at noon and runs until 7 p.m. There will be food and beverages, live entertainment, as well as vendor booths.

The YWCA is located at 301 North St., Batavia.

The end of slavery in the United States is not marked by one single date.

Juneteenth evolved out of the cooperation of June 19 in Texas, the day slaves were freed in the former rebellious state in 1865, two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in territory still held by Confederates.

It wouldn't be until December 1865 that the 13th Amendment was ratified banning slavery in the United States. Many believe the struggle for equality and liberty for black Americans has yet to be fully realized.

June 20, 2020 - 12:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in black lives matter, George Floyd, batavia, news.

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Kathy Poole and Patty Poole were sitting in their yard at Bank and Washington in Batavia late this afternoon with signs around them supporting Black Lives Matter, giving every car that passed their way a big, smiling, friendly wave.

Patty said they wanted to support the movement. 

"I feel like something in the system is pretty screwed up and there has to be a change and that starts at your home, you know," Patty said. "Spread the word."

As for Juneteenth, Patty said the holiday isn't just about black power. It's about power for all people.

"The color of my skin does not define me but a special day like this, I’m going to support it, of course," she said.

Photo: Kathy Poole, Jeneve (last name declined), Jaya, and Patty Poole.

June 19, 2020 - 11:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, Batavia VA.

Press release:

As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received two new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 208 positive cases.
    • Two of the positive individuals reside in the Federal VA in Batavia.
    • One of the individuals is in their 60s and one of the individuals is in their 80s.
    • One of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Zero of the total active cases are hospitalized.
  • Orleans County received one new positive case of COVID-19 today, for a total of 260 positive cases.
    • The new positive case resides in Murray.
    • The new positive case is under the age of 20 and was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive
    • One of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Thirteen 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 19, 2020 - 11:29pm

During a press conference in Buffalo today, while announcing he was not pursuing criminal charges against congressional candidate Chris Jacobs, Erie County DA John Flynn "called out" the anonymous person who filed a complaint against Jacobs for alleged "voter fraud."

"There is no doubt that I'm being used here to a certain extent," Flynn said. "I didn't just fall off the turnip truck, you know. I've been around for a long time. I've seen a lot of things. When I feel like I'm being used, I feel like someone is, put John Flynn aside, someone is using the District Attorney of Erie County and that bothers me a lot."

Flynn declined to name the complainant but said the complainant's failure to identify him or herself is once the complaint was made public -- through an anonymous tip to a Buffalo TV station -- didn't sit well with him.

"I think it's pretty weak that you won't let anyone know who you are," Flynn said. "I'm going to say that publicly and I know the person won't want to hear it and I say, 'too bad.'"

The person who made the complaint called Flynn directly, he said, and then Flynn's staff and that person's attorney exchanged emails about the allegations.

After reviewing the allegations, Flynn decided not to file charges against Jacobs.

The person making the complaint alleged that Jacobs circulated petitions last summer using an address for an Orchard Park house he had made a deposit on but had not yet purchased. If that were a crime, Flynn said, it would be offering a false instrument for filing. And if it were a crime, Flynn said, it would be outside his jurisdiction because the petitions were filed in Albany.

The two other allegations against Jacobs were that he registered to vote at the Orchard Park address on Sept. 3 but didn't close escrow on the property until the end of September. Then, he used that address as his voting address on Nov. 5 while maintaining another residence in Buffalo.

Flynn said Jacobs came into Flynn's office voluntarily and shared with the DA paperwork and information about maintaining two households. He purchased the house in Orchard Park and invested a substantial amount of money in renovations while also continuing to pay utilities on that residence. Meanwhile, after the pandemic hit, Jacobs decided to spend more time in Buffalo where he could be closer to his mother and assist her during the pandemic lockdown.

He said the evidence undercuts any claim that Jacobs might have had an intent to defraud anybody therefore his actions were not criminal.

"Under election law, it is legal to have two residences," Flynn said. "It was Jacobs who voluntarily came into my office and voluntarily gave me the whole story, he readily admitted he owns two homes, readily admitted during COVID-19 crisis he lived more so at home in Buffalo because his mother lives near him and he wanted to stay close by and help his mother

"He readily admitted he spent more time at his buffalo address," Flynn added. "That is not a crime. It is not a crime to have two residences. There is nothing the in law that says you have to live at one resident X-number of days or X-number of hours to have that declared as your residence."

Because Jacobs invested a substantial amount of money in the other house and because he has continued to pay the utility bills there, there is no "aura of a sham," which would be necessary, he said, to prove an election fraud case.

Jacobs issued the following statement following the announcement:

Chris Jacobs is releasing the following statement in response to DA Flynn’s dropping of the false complaint.

“I want to thank D.A. Flynn for his swift dismissal of Beth Parlato’s phony complaint. And I further want to thank D.A. Flynn for allowing me to come in of my own volition and present him with complete documentation that completely disproves these attacks from Beth Parlato.” 

“It’s now clear Beth Parlato orchestrated this stunt and abused the justice system solely as a political attack and to run a negative television attack ad. It’s shameful, but not surprising. Beth Parlato must immediately take down her false, negative ads. The voters of Western New York are a lot smarter than Beth Parlato thinks and I suspect they will reject her and her nasty, negative campaign on Tuesday.” 

The Batavian offered Beth Parlato a chance to respond to the Jacobs' allegation that she was behind the complaint and got no response to our email request.

Hours after news of a complaint was filed, Parlato released a campaign commercial that accused Jacobs was the subject of a criminal investigation. She also included the same accusation in a press release sent to The Batavian yesterday. There was no criminal investigation, as Flynn revealed today.

Parlato has not issued a statement regarding Flynn's decision to drop the complaint.

Stefan Mychajliw:

“My initial statement on this matter is just as relevant Thursday as it is today: the District Attorney and voters will pass final judgment on Chris Jacobs. Judgment has been passed by the District Attorney. Now, voters will decide for themselves who will be the Republican nominee for New York’s 27th Congressional District in November. Nevertheless, it is troubling to just now find out from the District Attorney that Chris Jacobs admittedly does not live in the 27th Congressional District."

Nate McMurray:

“It is concerning that in a day a complaint of voter and election fraud of a Congressional candidate and State Senator can be dropped, so quickly. No one knew about this until the local news reported it yesterday. Yet here we are, everything resolved with a 5:00 p.m. press conference on a Friday the weekend before an election--just hours after a visit from Jacobs and his attorneys,” said McMurray. 

“If only justice worked so swiftly for regular people, and not just people who can afford the best attorneys. I will tell you this, regardless of what loophole he used, what he did was meant to mislead. He knows. But the people of Western New York, most of us never get a break. Chris? He gets all the breaks,” said McMurray.

Speaking of misleading, McMurray posted this tweet this evening:

Jacobs did not refuse an interview with The Batavian. Jacobs, like McMurray, Parlato, Duane Whitmer, and Mychajliw, all participated in interviews.

June 19, 2020 - 1:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, steve hawley, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley endorsed Chris Jacobs for New York’s 27th Congressional District today.

“Chris has served Western New York with honor and integrity, and he has been a steadfast defender of our conservative values in Albany,” Hawley said. “Chris is unwavering in his fight for his constituents, our region, and our values – I can think of no one more suited to fight for Western New York and be the conservative leader we need in Congress.

"It is my distinct honor and pleasure to offer my full endorsement for Chris in both the Special Election and Primary Election on June 23rd.”

“I am beyond honored and grateful to receive Assemblyman Hawley’s endorsement," Jacobs said. "It has been an honor serving beside him in the State Legislature and he has been a true conservative fighter for the people of Western New York.

"With his endorsement, I feel confident that we can usher in a new era of prosperity in our region and send strong conservative leadership to Washington."

Jacobs has also received the endorsement of United States President Donald Trump, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, NYS Senator Patrick Gallivan, NYS Senator Mike Ranzenhofer, NYS Assemblyman Angelo Morinello, NYS Assemblyman Mike Norris, Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard.

June 19, 2020 - 10:12am
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 18, 2020 - 10:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, news, GCC, batavia.

gccsunsetjune2020.jpg

Photo of sunset at Genesee Community College submitted by Amanda Wells. She said, "This beautiful sunset breaks up the craziness that has been the present of our daily lives. Just something nice to enjoy for a change."

June 18, 2020 - 7:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, video.
Video Sponsor

The Batavian interviewed candidates for NY-27 both in the special election and in the GOP primary.

Our original plan was to interview Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, and Duane Whitmer, running in the special election originally scheduled for April and later interview the GOP candidates.

With that in mind, we interviewed McMurray in February at the Richmond Memorial Library. Then the pandemic hit before we could schedule the next interviews.

We were unable to return to the project until late May, early June, at a time when interviews could only be conducted remotely. Outside of this different setting, we strove to conduct the interviews in a similar style.

The goal of the interviews is to try and uncover the political philosophies of the candidates and how that affects their thinking on some big issues.

This is the interview with Chris Jacobs.

June 18, 2020 - 7:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in stefan mychajliew, NY-27, news, video.
Video Sponsor

The Batavian interviewed candidates for NY-27 both in the special election and in the GOP primary.

Our original plan was to interview Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, and Duane Whitmer, running in the special election originally scheduled for April and later interview the GOP candidates.

With that in mind, we interviewed McMurray in February at the Richmond Memorial Library. Then the pandemic hit before we could schedule the next interviews. We were unable to return to the project until late May, early June, at a time when interviews could only be conducted remotely.

Outside of this different setting, we strove to conduct the interviews in a similar style. The goal of the interviews is to try and uncover the political philosophies of the candidates and how that affects their thinking on some big issues.

This is the interview with Stefan Mychajliw.

June 18, 2020 - 7:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Beth Parlato, NY-27, news, video.
Video Sponsor

The Batavian interviewed candidates for NY-27 both in the special election and in the GOP primary.

Our original plan was to interview Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, and Duane Whitmer, running in the special election originally scheduled for April and later interview the GOP candidates.

With that in mind, we interviewed McMurray in February at the Richmond Memorial Library. Then the pandemic hit before we could schedule the next interviews.

We were unable to return to the project until late May, early June, at a time when interviews could only be conducted remotely. Outside of this different setting, we strove to conduct the interviews in a similar style.

The goal of the interviews is to try and uncover the political philosophies of the candidates and how that affects their thinking on some big issues.

This is the interview with Beth Parlato.

June 18, 2020 - 7:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Duane Whitmer, NY-27, news, video.
Video Sponsor

The Batavian interviewed candidates for NY-27 both in the special election and in the GOP primary.

Our original plan was to interview Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, and Duane Whitmer, running in the special election originally scheduled for April and later interview the GOP candidates.

With that in mind, we interviewed McMurray in February at the Richmond Memorial Library. Then the pandemic hit before we could schedule the next interviews.

We were unable to return to the project until late May, early June, at a time when interviews could only be conducted remotely. Outside of this different setting, we strove to conduct the interviews in a similar style.

The goal of the interviews is to try and uncover the political philosophies of the candidates and how that affects their thinking on some big issues.

This is the interview with Duane Whitmer.

June 18, 2020 - 7:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Nate McMurray, video.
Video Sponsor

The Batavian interviewed candidates for NY-27 both in the special election and in the GOP primary.

Our original plan was to interview Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, and Duane Whitmer, running in the special election originally scheduled for April and later interview the GOP candidates.

With that in mind, we interviewed McMurray in February at the Richmond Memorial Library. Then the pandemic hit before we could schedule the next interviews. We were unable to return to the project until late May, early June, at a time when interviews could only be conducted remotely.

Outside of this different setting, we strove to conduct the interviews in a similar style. The goal of the interviews is to try and uncover the political philosophies of the candidates and how that affects their thinking on some big issues.

This is the interview with Nate McMurray.

June 18, 2020 - 7:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, news, NY-27, Beth Parlato, Stefan Mychajliw.

Opponents of Chris Jacobs, the state senator from Erie County running for the vacated NY-27 congressional seat in a special election Tuesday, and in a GOP primary for the same seat on the same day, have jumped on news reports accusing Jacobs of registering to vote and voting at a residence in Orchard Park that he did not own and was not living in at the time.

The house is his current residence.

A spokeswoman for the Erie County District Attorney's Office confirmed this evening that the office did receive a complaint about Jacobs but said, in reference to a FOIL request for documents, the office had "no documents responsive to the request."

While one of Jacobs' opponents said Jacobs was now the subject of a "criminal investigation," the spokeswoman indicated there was no such investigation currently but that the matter was "under review."

Nate McMurray, running against Jacobs in the NY-27 special election, and Beth Parlato and Stefan Mychajliw., running against Jacobs in the GOP primary, all issued statements attacking Jacobs for "voter fraud."

Jacobs, in turn, called the attacks, "a desperate political stunt."  

Here are his statement and the statements of the other three candidates.

Jacobs:

"This is nothing more than a desperate political stunt made by someone who is about to lose an election. My wife and I went under contract to purchase our home in Orchard Park on June 17th of 2019 and closed on our home on September 30 of 2019.

Desperate attacks by political opponents are not surprising – sadly they have become a standard part of politics.

We are grateful to the thousands of volunteers and supporters who have helped put us in position for a victory on Tuesday and we are looking forward to getting to work for the people of Western New York.”

Mychajliw:

“Chris Jacobs said Chris Collins would be ineffective due to the criminal investigation hanging over him. With a pending investigation by the Erie County District Attorney into potential criminal misconduct, Chris Jacobs should apply his own standard to himself. The District Attorney will pass judgement upon Chris Jacobs, and so will voters in Tuesday's Primary Election."

Parlato:

"I got in this race 11 months ago because we cannot trust career politicians.

Chris Lee resigned in disgrace. Chris Collins resigned in disgrace and is heading to prison. Now, Chris Jacobs has not even made it to Congress yet, and he is under criminal investigation.

The last thing we need is another career politician embarrassing our district and bringing shame to the hardworking, honorable people of NY-27. We deserve better.

We need to bring integrity back to this seat.

I am calling on Chris to put the people first, to do what is right, and remove his name from both the special election and primary ballots."

McMurray:

Western New Yorkers were shocked to learn endorsed Republican candidate for the NY- 27 Congressional District Chris Jacobs was called out for alleged voter and election fraud.

The Erie County District Attorney received a complaint against Jacobs including the following allegations: that Jacobs was registered to vote in the Orchard Park District before owning his home, that he voted from the newly registered home less than 30 days before owning the home, and that he filed primary residence documents that he lived within the 27th District before doing so.

Democratic congressional candidate Nate McMurray joined Republican candidate Beth Parlato in calling for Jacobs to pull out of the race.

“After so much corruption here on the 27th, we now have another endorsed Republican candidate who appears to be lying to the voters already. He has high paid consultants. This was no accident. It’s fraud.

The people of this district cannot afford another entitled and detached millionaire. He’s proving he’s nothing more than that, and he shouldn’t be in office. I call on Chris Jacobs to do the right thing and drop out of this race,” said Nate McMurray.

June 18, 2020 - 5:48pm
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 206 positive cases.
    • Zero of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Zero of the total active positive cases are hospitalized.
  • Orleans County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19 today, for a total of 259 positive cases.
    • Three of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Twelve 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.

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