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Howard B. Owens's blog

August 8, 2020 - 1:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Bethany Center Road, news, photos.

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On the drive back from Genesee County Park early this afternoon, I stopped for some scenic shots along Bethany Center Road.

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August 7, 2020 - 11:16pm
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]
August 7, 2020 - 9:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, elba, video.
Video Sponsor

Previously: Fully involved barn fire reported on Lockport Road in Oakfield

August 6, 2020 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

Press release:

Last week, I met with local restaurant owners to discuss the process and the effects the pandemic is having on their businesses.  Despite Upstate New York being in Phase 4, the reopening process continues to be plagued with questions and uncertainty.

Today, I am calling on our state leaders to take action. Guidelines must be streamlined and transparent to ensure everyone knows the rules. It seems as though the Governor is making changes to the regulations every day and is constantly moving the goalposts, even going as far as defining “food."

I understand that the situation is ever-evolving, but it is government's responsibility to develop clear and transparent regulations that restaurants, and all businesses, can understand. Small businesses that are struggling to survive should not be left to interpret new rules on their own.

August 5, 2020 - 7:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jay Gsell, genesee county, batavia, Batavia Rotary Club, news.

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In honor of the retirement of Jay Gsell's retirement as county manager, the Batavia Rotary Club -- he's a member -- has purchased yard signs and they've been distributed around the city.

Gsell will be guest on a special hour-long segment of WBTA's Main and Center tomorrow morning (Thursday), from 9 to 10 a.m.

August 5, 2020 - 7:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Press release:

U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced today that Daryl Sumeriski, 52, of Batavia, who was convicted of possession of child pornography, was sentenced to serve 60 months -- a total of five years -- in prison by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan K. McGuire, who handled the case, stated that Sumeriski was residing in a halfway house in Bath, when fellow residents expressed concern about certain images they observed on the defendant’s cell phone and alerted authorities.

As a result, a search warrant was executed and investigators found more than 3,000 images of child pornography on Sumeriski’s phone. Some of the images depicted the violent abuse of infants and toddlers.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.

August 5, 2020 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in woodward memorial library, reading, lemuel m. wiles, Le Roy, news.

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In the age of social distancing, Woodward Memorial Library has created a "story walk" leading up to the steps of the library.

Director Betsy Halvorsen said a new story is posted on signs along the walk every Friday and new stories will be posted through Aug. 21.  

The stories are pages from picture books mounted on lawn signs and are designed to encourage children to continue with their summer reading.

Several libraries in the Nioga system are participating in the program.

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As long as I was at the library on a beautiful day, I took a picture of the bust of Lemuel M. Wiles, a highly regarded artist of the 19th century who was director of the art school at Ingham University. Ingham was an all-women university in Le Roy. The bust was created in 1922 by sculpture Chester Beach.

August 5, 2020 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Church, St. Anthony's, food distribution, covid-19, coronavirus.

City Church hosted another in a series of free, drive-thru food distributions at St. Anthony's this morning.

Video by Mo Schoen at Pixel Pro Video.

August 5, 2020 - 12:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Buffalo Federal Detention Facility, news, notify, ice, immigration.

Even though officials at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility were able to contain an initial outbreak of COVID-19 back in April and there have been no new cases since, the New York American Civil Liberties Union apparently filed a lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement on behalf of inmates at the facility.

The lawsuit claimed vulnerable detainees were not given proper protection and the terms of a settlement reached this week, the NYACLU told WXXI, will ensure those protections are in place if there is another outbreak at the facility.

In April, there were 49 detainees who tested positive, all housed in two pods segregated from the rest of the facility's population, and most were asymptomatic. All recovered without the virus spreading out of those two pods.

A source at the facility at the time said because of the closed nature of a detention facility, all detainees are considered vulnerable, not just older detainees. As a result, staff has taken several measures to contain the spread of the virus, a source told The Batavian in April.

According to the source, at the start of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the director of the facility, Thomas Feeley, ordered regular, thorough cleaning, including wiping down door handles with bleach every hour.

"Every time you turn around," the source said, "you smell bleach."

There is medical staff on duty inside the facility 24/7 and posters have been placed in the facility to inform detainees about COVID-19 and how to protect themselves, the source said in April.

The facility can hold 650 detainees. Today, a spokesman for ICE said the facility has maintained about a 300-person detainee count since the outbreak to help ensure social distancing is maintained.

ICE issued the following statement about the settlement:

“The facility’s response to the public health crisis has been exemplary. There are currently no active cases of COVID-19 at the facility. The men and women employed at BFDF, including the dedicated medical professionals with ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC), are the best in their field and have taken extraordinary precautions to keep both our detainees and staff safe,” said ICE ERO Buffalo Field Office Director Thomas Feeley. “The settlement reached has affirmed the value of the proactive measures previously undertaken, which has protected both staff and detainees.”

There have been news reports of a "surge" of COVID cases at ICE facilities but there have been no new cases at the facility in Batavia since April and the ICE COVID-19 information page reports fewer than 50 detainees nationally have tested positive, with the largest count, 15, at a facility in Lousiana.

August 5, 2020 - 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]
August 4, 2020 - 4:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
    • The new positive case resides in Batavia.
    • The positive individual is in their 50s.
    • The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Thirteen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
       
  • Orleans County received two new positive cases of COVID-19
    • The new positive cases reside in Murray and Kendall.
    • The individuals are in their 30s.
    • Both of the individuals were not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Six new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
August 4, 2020 - 3:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC, Rochester Regional Health, honey bees, video, batavia.
Video Sponsor

Last year, Unity Hospital in Rochester became the first hospital in Upstate New York to launch a rooftop honeybee program. This summer that program expanded with honeybee hives now on the roofs of Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, Rochester General Hospital and Batavia's United Memorial Medical Center, as well.

This program supports Rochester Regional Health’s sustainability mission to strengthen and support our local environment. The bees produce honey and is bottled and available to employees, patients, and visitors for purchase. There are about two million bees total between all video hospital roofs.

Video supplied by Rochester Regional Health; edited by The Batavian.

August 4, 2020 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in golf, sports, Stafford Country Club.

Dr. Matthew Prindle, of Geneva, shot his first-ever hole-in-one while playing at the Stafford Country Club on Saturday with his father-in-law Bill Hayes, of Batavia, and Dan Prong and Sam Frank.

Hayes, who submitted the video, said it's a tradition for them is to play at the Ricky Palermo Tournament at Terry Hills in the morning and then take in 18 more holes at Stafford.

Prindle hit a pitching widge on the 120-yard, Par 3, fourth hole.

August 4, 2020 - 1:03pm
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]
August 3, 2020 - 5:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received five new positive case of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Batavia, Elba and Pembroke.
    • One of the positive individuals is in their 20s, one is in their 40s, one is in their 50s, one is in their 60s, and one is in their 70s.
    • The individuals were not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Thirty-three new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
    • Five of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from mandatory isolation.
       
  • Orleans County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
    • The new positive case resides in Yates.
    • The individual is in their 50s.
    • The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Twenty-seven new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
August 3, 2020 - 2:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.18, the same as last week. One year ago, the price was $2.72. The New York State average is $2.26 – also the same as last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.87.

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

  • Batavia -- $2.23 (no change since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.20 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.18 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.23 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.29 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.19 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.28 (no change since since last week)

This week commences with many local pump prices dropping slightly. The national average remained unchanged since last week as the low fuel consumption trend continues.

Road trips are the preferred mode of travel, but travel levels are down significantly compared to last year. The decreasing demand for gasoline has helped pump prices to decrease nationally and locally and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) confirms that gas demand is down in the United States.

August 3, 2020 - 2:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Democratic Congressional candidate Nate McMurray released the following statement after Republican Chris Jacobs voted against an amendment that would keep taxpayer dollars from funding the Trump administration’s lawsuits to strike down the Affordable Care Act:

“Let me be clear: Every American deserves healthcare, and that is exactly what I will fight for in Washington. To watch the Republican assault on affordable, accessible healthcare with no plan of their own is horrifying. But it is inhumane for Trump and his followers like Jacobs to continue their attacks while our country is ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic—using taxpayer dollars to strip protections for pre-existing conditions and sabotage a program that the majority of Americans support.

"Our country has seen over 150,000 deaths, an estimated 5.4 million Americans have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance, and after voting against sick pay for COVID-19 patients in Albany, Chris Jacobs is voting with Donald Trump to kill the Affordable Care Act.

“I have spent years in this district; the people from Canandaigua to Clarence, and everywhere in between, know that Nate McMurray fights for healthcare and the working class. The people of NY-27 are already up at night worrying about the pandemic, their jobs, schools reopening; and now, they have to worry about Jacobs taking away their healthcare.

“Thanks to House members of both parties in Western New York who voted ‘Yes,’ this amendment passed in spite of Jacobs and Trump. As he did on his first day, Jacobs stood alone again, hurting the people of NY-27.”

August 3, 2020 - 1:35pm
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]
August 3, 2020 - 12:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

An accident is reported at the Oak Street roundabout in Batavia.

Unknown injuries.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 12:30 a.m.: One of the vehicles is a tractor-trailer.

UPDATE 12:33 a.m.: Le Roy ambulance had been dispatched. City fire canceled the response after arriving on scene.

August 2, 2020 - 4:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ellicott Trail, news, batavia, outdoors.

img_1613deer.jpg

Jason Smith shared this photo of a deer he spotted along the Ellicott Trail this morning.

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