Local Matters

Community Sponsors

February 24, 2021 - 12:29pm
posted by Press Release in batavia society of artists, news, Tabletop Art Show.

Press release:

Batavia Society of Artists will hold its first ever Tabletop Art Show from March 1 through 31.

This show is made up of 43 pieces, 15 of which are featured on the tabletops (placemats) of local restaurants.

The 15 featured pieces will also be on display at the Eli Fish Brewing Company, 109 Main St., Batavia. Please stop in to Eli Fish during the month of March to view the artwork, since there will be no opening reception because of COVID-19.

You can scan the QR code on the placemats to go to our virtual art show, or you can go to our Facebook page to view the show. When there, also click on the link to vote for your favorite tabletop artwork for People's Choice Awards, which will be annouced on April 1st!

February 24, 2021 - 12:19pm
posted by Press Release in sports, baseball, muckdogs, batavia, Diamond Dance Team.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs are proud to announce that there will be in-stadium entertainment this year as Le Beau Salon presents the Diamond Dance Team!

The Diamond Dance Team will be featured during the breaks in the ball game showing off their dance routines and keeping the crowd entertained with their abilities. The dance team has been a part of CAN-USA Sports baseball in Elmira and it is a tradition that has been passed down year after year. 

CAN-USA Sports owners Robbie and Nellie Nichols are quick to tell the story: “We want young people to be engaged at the ball park and giving them an opportunity to be a part of this historic franchise will be a great way to do that. The Diamond Dance Team will not only be an avenue for dancers to showcase their talent, but it will also allow parents and family members to see their loved ones perform in front of people in a unique environment.”

The Muckdogs first took the field in 1998 and captured three division titles in 2008, 2010, and in what would be their final season of 2019. Batavia also brought a League title back to Dwyer Stadium in 2008. 

The Diamond Dance Team will be managed by KMS Dance Studio and tryout information will be available through KMS. 

Season Tickets are on sale now! You can call (607) 734-7825 or email [email protected] and reserve your spot at Dwyer Stadium for the first pitch and everyone that follows!

February 24, 2021 - 12:16pm

Press release:

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is hosting its first “Virtual Meat Raffle” on Saturday, March 13, and is seeking assistance from friends and the community to support this fundraising event.

In 2020, the foundation had to cancel all major fundraising events due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now holding its first ever virtual event.

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is a nonprofit (501)(c)3 organization whose mission is threefold:

  1. It assists families undergoing the challenges of a pediatric cancer diagnosis.
  2. Provides funding to youth organizations through our grant program.
  3. Supports ongoing research efforts in pediatric blood cancers.

Your help is needed to continue to assist those in need and carry on this mission.

The Virtual Meat Raffle ticket packages are as follows:

Package #1 -- $50

  • 15 Rounds plus “Meat and Seafood Finale” (Three winners per round will win all items in round.)

Package #2 -- $90

  • 15 Rounds plus “Meat and Seafood Finale” (Three winners per round will win all items in round.) 


  1. Coleman 3-burner “Wherever You Go” Grill with Utensils
  2. $100 worth of lottery tickets in a frame
  3. Yeti cooler filled with beverages
  4. Buffalo Bills Tailgate Chairs/ Cooler and Tumblers

Tickets can be purchased by mail to P.O. Box 267, Batavia, NY 14021-0267, [email protected], or through the website at www.michaelshope.org.

Thank you for “Lending a Hand for Hope” and supporting the mission of the Foundation.

Please contact any of the following contacts with questions, or ticket information. 

Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, (585) 861-0550

Laurie Napoleone, (585) 409-3275

Michelle Krantz, (716) 572-2955

February 24, 2021 - 12:14pm
posted by Press Release in muckdogs, sports, dance, cheer, KMS Dance Academy, batavia.

Press release:

CAN-USA Sports is proud to announce that a unique event is set for Sunday May 16th at Dwyer Stadium as KMS Dance Academy will present their Annual Dance and Cheer Showcase outdoors at Dwyer Stadium this year! 

KMS Dance Academy has been a staple in the community offering a wide range of dance classes from ages 2 through adult, including tot hip hop, baby ballerinas, and competitive level classes, by owner/director Erica Grazioplene, a local to Batavia with more than 25 years experience.

Grazioplene is very appreciative of the Muckdogs and CAN-USA Sports.

“I would like to thank Nellie and Robbie for helping me fulfill my promise to our dancers and families at KMS Dance Academy that we can have a show this year," she said. "I am so grateful and excited to work with them and the Muckdogs organization." 

This will be the first time the event will be held outside for the first time in the history of the showcase and also the first time the stadium will host another event outside of baseball as well. 

Robbie Nichols, owner of CAN-USA Sports, told media members “When we decided to come to Batavia we knew that there was a lot of possibilities to bring entertainment to this venue outside of just hosting baseball games. Bringing in a competition like this is just the first step of the process and we are excited to see more and more events come to Batavia and utilize this beautiful stadium as much as possible.”

Tickets are on sale now! You can call Erica Grazioplene at KMS Dance Academy at (585) 409-6875 and reserve your spot at Dwyer Stadium for this historic event Sunday May 16th!

February 23, 2021 - 5:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, live stream, video.
Video Sponsor

Genesee County Police Reform and Reinvention Committee

February 23, 2021 - 5:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
    Jacob Sponaugle

A Batavia resident accused of attempted murder could be the first defendant to face an in-person trial in Genesee County since the start of the pandemic a year ago.

Jacob Sponaugle, 22, being held in the Genesee County Jail, made a virtual appearance today while the attorneys in the case informed Judge Charles Zambito they had no oral arguments to make in motions they've filed in the case.

Zambito will read their motion papers -- standard pretrial motions -- and issue a ruling in a few weeks.

He scheduled an in-person appearance for Sponaugle at 9:30 a.m., April 12. The judge noted that it is likely -- since Sponaugle is being held in custody -- that of all the pending potential trial cases, his could be the first in County Court since the coronavirus outbreak.

April 12 will be the plea cut-off date for Sponaugle, though District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said after today's hearing that he has yet to make a plea offer in the case. He didn't indicate whether he would or not.

Sponaugle is accused of shooting a person entering the lobby of the Days Inn in Batavia in July.

He is also charged with: assault, 1st; criminal use of a firearm; aggravated criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd; criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd; and criminal sale of a firearm, 3rd.

Video below, coverage of the July 22 incident.

Video Sponsor
February 23, 2021 - 4:52pm
posted by Press Release in news, coronavirus, covid-19.

Data Update – 

  • Genesee County received 15 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in the:
      • 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, 70s and 80s.  
  • Eighteen of the previous positive individuals has recovered and has been removed from the isolation list.  
  • Twelve of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • One of the new positive individuals is a resident of The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Batavia.


Orleans County received five new positive cases of COVID-19.  

  • The positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 30s, 40s, and 60s.
  • One of the new positives was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Five of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Two of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
February 23, 2021 - 4:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
       Justin Gladney

A Batavia man is going to serve at least a year in prison for a violation of probation but his fate on rape charges remains pending.

While held in the Genesee County Jail, Justin T. Gladney, 30, appeared virtually in County Court today on his violation of probation conviction.

His appearance on his rape charges was continued until March 23, when all parties are expected to appear in person.

Nearly a year ago, Gladney admitted to a violation of probation and according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, he's subsequently been arrested on other charges. Those arrests, Friedman argued, meant Gladney had violated his sentencing cap offered to him for his guilty plea.

Instead of one to three years, Friedman said, he should get one and a third to four years.

Gladney was arrested locally in June 2020 and later in Monroe County.

His attorney, Marty Anderson, argued that Gladney is facing allegations from those arrests and hasn't been convicted. He asked for a one-year local sentence on the felony violation of probation conviction.

Gladney blamed his prior bad behavior on drug use and said he has been through treatment and is a changed man.

Judge Charles Zambito agreed with Friedman and sentenced Gladney to one and a third to four years in state prison.

Gladney is facing a criminal indictment on counts of first-degree rape, a Class B violent felony, third-degree rape, a Class D felony, and possession of a sexual performance by a child, a Class E felony.

A Class B violent felony carries a possible sentence of five to 25 years.

He is accused of a violent rape in early June on Lehigh Avenue, Batavia, of sexual intercourse while being older than 18 with a child 15 or less. 

Gladney remains in custody locally while his rape charges are pending.

February 23, 2021 - 4:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, thruway, pembroke, notify.

First responders are staging in the area of the travel plaza in Pembroke awaiting command to close the Thruway in both directions so National Grid crews can safely remove a damaged utility pole and sagging power lines. The power lines will need to be de-energized in order to that.

The Thruway Authority has approved the action, which "could be a long event," according to a first responder on scene.

National Grid is sending a crew to the scene to cut power to the lines and repair the pole.

They are coordinating the work at the Service Area nearby needed to close westbound and eastbound lanes from Exit 48 to Exit 48A.

Town of Batavia Fire Department is ready to shut down westbound traffic at Exit 48.

Pembroke, Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are ready to shut down eastbound traffic at Exit 48A.

UPDATE 4:53 p.m.: Command has OK'd the shutdown of the Thruway, including the eastbound on-ramp.

UPDATE 4:57 p.m.: Some cars in line at the Service Center are being allowed to leave now; Eastbound traffic at 48A is shut down.

UPDATE 4:58 p.m.: Westbound traffic is shut down. The Thruway Authority is being kept apprised of the work and may provide a crew to relieve firefighters of traffic control if need be.

UPDATE 5:03 p.m.: It is confirmed that the Thruway Authority will have a crew respond to relieve firefighters of traffic control duties; no ETA though.

UPDATE 5:09 p.m.: "I want you to keep traffic moving at that light; we've got a mess here," says command. Corfu fire is to assemble in their hall to stand by for Pembroke, East Pembroke and Indian Falls.

UPDATE 5:18 p.m. The county Highway Department is called to bring a loader to the pole repair site so National Grid workers can gain access to the pole.

UPDATE 5:51 p.m.: Command reports that National Grid estimates this job will take two to three more hours. The Thruway Authority had been advised of this.

UPDATE 6:06 p.m.: The power lines have been deactivated. The Thruway can be safely be reopened and they are doing that now -- in both directions. The fire assignments are back in service. National Grid will be working on repairs for some time and the Thruway will likely have to be closed at some point later tonight to put the pole back in place and activate the lines again. At that point, it is possible a Thruway Authority crew can respond for traffic control.

February 23, 2021 - 3:35pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Interagency Council is pleased to announce that we will be offering a $1,000 scholarship for the Fall 2021-2022 semester for Genesee Community College students and high school seniors.

Those eligible will be students living in Genesee County and attending Genesee Community College or high school seniors; in good academic standing, and majoring in or intending to major in Human Services, Social Work, Sociology or Psychology ONLY.

Because the goal of this scholarship is to support those students who have a strong drive to contribute to the field of Human Services, special consideration will be given to those students who have already demonstrated a commitment to the field through their employment, volunteer, academic, or extracurricular pursuits.  

Completed applications must be received by Friday, May 7. (See PDF links below to print out, fill out, and mail in. One is for high school students; the other is for GCC students.)

The awardee will be notified by June 1 and presented at our June 17th picnic meeting. However, if the picnic is cancelled due to COVID-19, we will acknowledge the awardee in another way and the check will be mailed directly to the individual.

We look forward to having the opportunity to support a Genesee Community College student in their pursuit of a degree in the field of Human Services.  Please feel free to contact me at (585) 343-1611 if you have any questions.

The mission of the Genesee County Interagency Council is to create fellowship and understanding among community human services agencies. The council helps to identify community issues and encourages development of resolutions.

Genesee County Interagency Council Inc.

P.O. Box 1619

Batavia, NY 14021

February 23, 2021 - 3:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in spiritual connections.

Arbor House, 350 Bank St., Batavia. We are a community of believers and disciples of Jesus Christ. Arbor House was founded to be a place of safety, refreshment, and renewal for all. Each week we gather to hear the spoken Word, eat from the Lord’s Table, and enjoy fellowship with all who come. If you have been hurt by a church before we want to be the place where you can find healing and hope. All are welcome! Service will be in person 10 o'clock on Sunday morning. For more information about Arbor House visit arborhousefmc.com.

Ascension Parish -- Roman Catholic Community, Batavia. Weekend livestreaming Mass online at 4 p.m. on Saturdays. We invite everyone to join us on our Facebook page, where will also announce any Mass time changes.

Batavia First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., Batavia. Join us virtually through our website or on Facebook at 8:45 a.m. for Music for Worship, followed Worship Service with Pastor Roula Alkouri.

Batavia First United Methodist Church, 8221 Lewiston Road, Batavia. Reverend Wayne Mort leads our live worship at 10 a.m. on Sundays. Social distancing and masks are required. The service will also be on Zoom and livestreamed on Facebook. You can connect to the online worship through our website or by using this Facebook link. (585) 343-2372

Byron First Presbyterian Church, 6293 W. Main St., Byron. In-person worship services at 9:45 a.m. on Sundays. The church doors are open, with all of the health precautions you would expect. The service is also available via Zoom at 9:45 a.m. For Zoom access codes, please contact the church office at (585) 548-2800.

City Church, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, is open for Sunday morning services at 8:30 and 10, and Thursday evenings at 7 o'clock. Everyone is welcome to join us for worship and a message. We also have a noontime Sunday service at our St. Anthony's location at 114 Liberty St. in Batavia. You can also connect with us online, through our Facebook page, or our YouTube channel.

Cornerstone Church of East Pembroke, part of American Baptist Churches USA, 2583 Main Road, East Pembroke. Our Sunday service is at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Glenn Bloom preaching. Bible Study is every Wednesday at 10 a.m. We are a small church and welcome new members; we are following social distancing rules and masks must be worn. (585) 762-8721

East Bethany Presbyterian Church, 5735 Ellicott Street Road, East Bethany. Worship is in person at 10 a.m. on Sundays, with masks and social distancing. Participate virtually via Facebook, watch on YouTube. (585) 344-2931

Emmanuel Baptist Church, 190 Oak St., Batavia. Our doors are open again! Join us for in-person sanctuary service at 11 a.m. (masks and social distancing practiced) on Sundays! We also livestream the services on our website or Facebook page. If you have any questions please email us at:   [email protected], or call (585) 343-4905.

First Baptist Church in Batavia, 306 E. Main St., Pastor David Weidman, where "Christ the Center, Love for All" is very evident to all who enter. We invite you to our Full Gospel Sunday services at 10 a.m.; prayer and Bible study on Wednesdays from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m.; Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., please come and browse in our beautifully renovated "Thrift Shoppe." You'll find may bargains, including $2, $6 and $10 bags sales on all unmarked clothing. You can also enjoy a light lunch at Lydia's Kitchen while you shop. Questions? Email:   [email protected]. Call us at (585) 343-9002 or (585) 757-6639.

First Baptist Church Elba, 31 S. Main St., Elba, is open for main service in person at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays. For more information about our church go to www.fbcelba.net. Pastor is Michael Davis. Email: [email protected] / Phone (585) 757-2722

Grace Baptist Church, 238 Vine St., Batavia. Everyone is welcome to join us for the series "Heart: Finding Strength in God." In-person services are at 9 and 11 a.m. with Grace Kids classes up to age 5 for both services OR join us at 9 a.m. for the service livestreaming online at www.gracebatavia.org. The Spring Ladies Bible Study will begin Wednesday, March 10, as well as a Grief Share support group starting on Monday, March 8. You may register online.

Indian Falls Methodist Church, 7908 Alleghany Road, Corfu. Reverend Karen McCaffery will hold Worship Service inside the church sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays. Due to COVID-19 regulations, please be sure to wear your mask. If you have a fever or other symptoms, please join our service via Facebook Live or on YouTube by searching for IFUMC TechTeam. Weekly Online Bible Study and Prayer Services are held on Wednesday night at 7 o'clock via Facebook Live on “Pastor McCaffery's” page.

North Bergen Presbyterian Church, 7068 N. Bergen Road, Bergen, is open for in-person services at 10 a.m. Sundays. Phone is (585) 494-1255.

North Darien Bible Church, 9768 Simonds Road, Corfu. We are open! Sunday worship service begins at 10 a.m. Children's Church classes are available for children ages birth through sixth grade, including a classroom for children with special needs. For more information, visit our website. Can't join us? You can watch LIVE on our Facebook or YouTube channel. (585) 547-9646

Northgate Free Methodist Church, 8160 Bank Street Road (North Campus), Batavia. What is the church? Is it a building? Is it a group of people that come to a building once a week? Or is it more than that? Is it the people who show the love of Jesus in their communities, workplaces, and families? What does that kind of church look like? Join us for an eight-week series unpacking the Gospel of Mark as we look at "Making a Mark" and talk about being a church on the move. Services are Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 and 11 a.m. For more information about Northgate church, and to register to watch our services online, go to our website here or Facebook page.

Oakfield-Alabama Baptist Church, 2210 Judge Road, South Alabama. On Sundays, Bible School for all ages at 9:45 a.m. & Worship at 11. Men's Bible Study meets weekly on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome. Email:  [email protected] or call the church office at (585) 948-9401.

Our Lady of Mercy & St. Brigid Parishes, Lake Street, Le Roy. All Masses livestreamed Saturday at 4:30 p.m.; Sunday mornings at 7:15 & 9 & 10:45. Daily Masses are livestreamed at 7:30 a.m. Monday-Friday; 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and 9 a.m. Saturday. View on YouTube and Facebook. Visit Fr. Matthew’s special COVID-19 updates and links at the parish website.

Resurrection Parish (St. Mary and St. Joseph churches in Batavia). Services livestreaming at 5:30 p.m. every Saturday from St. Mary's Church via Facebook, or view the livestreaming Mass on YouTube by searching for Resurrection RC Parish, or visit the parish website. In-person Masses are 4 p.m. Saturday and at 11:30 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Church; and at St. Mary's Church at 7:30 and 9:15 a.m. Sunday.

St. James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main St., Batavia. The church has gone back to all Zoom services indefinately. Use this link to our Sunday service at 10 a.m., followed by "Coffee Hour," then our Faith Discussion Class at 11:15. Meeting ID: 898 1085 7988, Passcode: church. The number to call into Zoom on your landline phone is 1-646-558-8656, Meeting Code: 898 1085 7988# ; Participant Code: # ; Passcode: 470351#

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1 E. Main St., Le Roy, has suspended in-person worship services due to the rise in coronavirus cases. Please join us online for Sunday services at 10 a.m., and evening prayer on Tuesdays and Thursday. There's also an upcoming Adult Study and Discussion series. All information is on the church’s website and on Facebook. Email:   [email protected]. (585) 768-7200

St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, 18 W. Main St., Corfu. Weekend Masses are celebrated: Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. at the Corfu Church Site; and at 11 a.m. Sunday at the East Pembroke Church site, 8656 Church St., East Pembroke. Weekday Masses are celebrated on: Monday and Friday at 8 a.m. in Corfu; and Thursday at 8 a.m. in East Pembroke; on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Corfu followed by Adoration. Corfu Masses are also available for viewing on our YouTube channel. All information is on the church website and on Facebook. Email:   [email protected] (585) 599-4833

St. Padre Pio Parish, 56 Maple Ave., Oakfield. Weekend Masses are celebrated: Saturday 4:30 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. and at 10 a.m. in the Oakfield Church Site, 56 Maple Ave., Oakfield. Weekday Masses are celebrated Monday 6 p.m. in Elba (Our Lady of Fatima Church, 65 S. Main St.); Tuesday at 8 a.m. in Elba; Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Oakfield; Thursday at 8 a.m. in Oakfield; Friday at 8 a.m. in Oakfield.

St. Paul Lutheran Church & School, 31 Washington Ave., Batavia. Join us on Wednesday, Feb. 24, for a Lenten Weekday Service at 5:15 p.m., and each Wednesday until March 24. This Sunday, Feb. 28, join us for a message titled "This I Believe!" taken from 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. Sunday Worship Service will be offered by Zoom and live on our Facebook page. If you lack technology and are not ready to return in person, call the office to have a bulletin with the Worship Service in it. You will have the hymns, readings and sermon at your fingertips to participate safely at home. Adult Bible Classes will continue on Zoom each Sunday and in person at 8:30 a.m. We begin a new study for Lent called "The Places of the Passion." All Zoom access information is available in the bulletins on our website at stpaulbatavia.org.

Trinity United Methodist Church, 75 Main St. in Attica, and Darien United Methodist Church, 1951 Broadway (Route 20), Darien Center. Darien holds an in-church worship at 9 a.m. on Sundays. Trinity is now holding in-church worship along with Zoom displaying at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays. For the Zoom connection, email:  [email protected] before Sunday morning. Prayer requests may be left at Trinity's voicemail (585) 591-1549 or with Pastor Pam at (716) 560-0290.


"Spiritual Connections" -- The Batavian will post updates to connect people with their places of worship, religious services, fellowship opportunities, and/or spiritual advisors, etc. There is no charge for this.

If you have information to announce, please email:    [email protected]    OR    [email protected]

February 23, 2021 - 2:54pm

Press release:

The Genesee Sno Packers will host their seventh annual Bikini Rally to combine the passion for snowmobiling and the ability to help men and women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Participants will brave the winter weather to compete for hottest ride crowd favorite, most original and most pledges.

In addition to raising money for men and women fighting breast cancer, money raised will also benefit local snowmobilers.

“We are excited to bring some summer spirit to winter as we host our seventh annual Bikini Rally, bringing together our snowmobiling community to help those diagnosed with breast cancer,” said James Elmore, New York State Snowmobile Association past president and Genesee Sno Packers Board of Directors member.

“This fun-filled day has a very serious purpose, and we hope to provide a valuable benefit to the The Pink Fund.”

Admission is $5 per person. Registration begins at 11 a.m. and gates will open at noon.

Genesee Sno Packers Snowmobile Club Inc. -- member club of the New York State Snowmobile Association

  • Seventh Annual Bikini Rally
  • Saturday Feb. 27
  • 102 S. Pearl St., Oakfield, NY 14125

About the New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA)

It's a nonprofit corporation, is the largest snowmobile association in the country working on behalf of the registered NY snowmobile owners, who contribute more than $860 million to the New York economy, and 235 snowmobile clubs to improve trails, facilities and services for participants, and defend snowmobilers against discriminatory legislation.

February 23, 2021 - 2:44pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Arc of Genesee Orleans, Batavia City Council.


On Monday night, Batavia City Council Member Robert Bialkowski presents a proclamation to Donna Saskowski, executive director of the Arc of Genesee Orleans, denoting March 2021 as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

Saskowski said the local ARC has had a long relationship with the city – even before 1987 when President Ronald Reagan made Development Disabilities Awareness Month a nationally recognized event – and continues as one of the leading employers, with 450 workers in the two counties.

“Thank you for the support and when you see people with development disabilities think about the contributions that they make … they are significant,” she said.

Photo by Mike Pettinella.

February 23, 2021 - 2:37pm

Press release:

The legislative leaders and public health directors of Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties sent a letter to New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo urgently requesting the designation of a regional mass vaccination clinic at the Genesee Community College (GCC) campus to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to the rural counties.

The letter was signed by: Rochelle Stein, Genesee County Legislative chairwoman; Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislative chairwoman; Rebecca Ryan, Wyoming County Board of Supervisors chairwoman; Paul Pettit, Genesee Orleans County Health Departments director; and, Dr. Gregory Collins, Wyoming County Health Department Medical director.

The letter reads that “Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties have consistently been left out of the COVID-19 response with delays in testing supplies and now with very limited vaccine allocations. All three counties are medically underserved and having a regional clinic with less than a half hour commute would benefit these communities."

The letter went on to state that residents have limited transportation access to Buffalo and Rochester and that a vaccination clinic at GCC would draw the eastern and western portions of other contiguous counties and that it is easily accessible from the Thruway. If properly staffed through assistance by the National Guard the officials said that the GCC clinic would have the capacity of vaccinating in excess of 2,000 individuals per day.  

The letter expresses concerns about the lack of access in rural communities to vaccination site and vaccine supplies.

It concludes that “our three counties look forward to working with your office to provide this much needed and more equitable solution to meet the needs of the more rural communities."

Copies of the letter were also sent Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties state representatives, Assemblyman David DiPietro, Senator Patrick Gallivan, Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, Assemblyman Michael Norris, Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt, and Senator Edward Rath, III.

February 23, 2021 - 1:44pm

As Batavia City Council members ponder giving the company that manages the city ice rink a break on their lease and capital improvement fund payments, they also realize they can no longer skate around the need for renovations at the Evans Street facility.

Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski on Monday night introduced a resolution that would amend and extend the lease agreement with Firland Management, the Virginia-based firm that has operated the Batavia Ice Rink (formerly Falleti Ice Arena) for more than a decade.

Speaking at Council's Conference Meeting at the City Centre Council Boardroom, Tabelski explained that Firland’s finances have taken a severe hit due to COVID-19 as the rink was closed for most of 2020 and just recently saw the return of youth league and high school hockey.

She is recommending that Council let Firland make its next lease payment of $25,000 on Jan. 1, 2022 instead of the current due date of March 1, 2021, and also to reduce its contribution to the rink’s capital fund for 2020-21 from $32,958.30 to $5,000.

Furthermore, she is proposing to extend the contract from its current ending date of March 31, 2021 for two years through March 2023. As a result of negotiations, Firland’s lease payments will be $20,000 annually for 2021-22 and 2022-23 and its capital fund contribution will be $5,000 annually for the next two fiscal years.

Rink Has Some Big-Ticket Items

Currently, $370,000 is in the rink’s capital improvement fund, Tabelski said. That may seem like a large amount, however, a new refrigeration system could cost around $500,000 and a Zamboni dasher board could cost up to $250,000.

Contacted this morning, Tabelski said the time has come for the city manager’s office to conduct a study and analysis, and present a strategy to Council to “move that facility forward.”

“This should be done within the next year with the goal of bringing it back to full capacity and to potentially attract a buyer,” she said.

Council did put $19,500 into the 2021-22 budget to fix the front doors and the locker rooms, both “minor repairs,” Tabelski noted.

Another issue at hand is finding a business or organization interested in having its name affixed to the building. Falleti Motors is not interesting in renewing its “naming rights” agreement with the city, said Tabelski, suggesting a request for proposal will be forthcoming.

During the meeting, Council Member Robert Bialkowski asked about events scheduled for the rink, noting that he couldn’t remember if the activities stated in the contract actually took place.

Tabelski said that events were added during the last negotiation period with Firland “because we’d like to see more done with the facility” and mentioned that the home show is held there and she hopes to see indoor soccer events there.

Council Member Rose Mary Christian asked how much the city is paying to take care of the ice-making system (refrigeration) per year. Tabelski said the city contracts with a separate firm and estimated the price tag at $2,500 to $5,000 annually, but believed that is billed back to Firland. She said she would check on that and get back to Council.

Deferring Costs in a Tough Time

After hearing that the locker rooms have been painted recently, Christian said it was important to know about the refrigeration contract since she believed the city was reducing Firland’s lease payments.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said lease payments were being reduced for the one year, but the city was giving Firland more time to make its payments.

“They’re paying the same amount, right?” he asked, and Christian replied, “Only for this year?”

Van Nest entered the conversation, stating “we’re deferring the lease payment that would have been due in March, based on the COVID shutdowns that affected all hockey rinks as Councilman (Paul) Viele and I are well aware because we don’t see each other at the rinks anymore.”

“Deferring it and then basically reducing the capital contributions … so that gives them a little bit more flexibility as Council president indicated to get the operations back to a normal level of service and normal level of programming.”

Christian said she heard that the rink is doing well now, with the Genesee Amateur Hockey Association and the adults leagues in action once again.

Viele said officials are “trying to lump a lot of games in a short amount of time, so what you would play in October, they’re trying to get everything in February and March, and that’s why they’re deferring the payment to get the money.”

Jankowski noted that the rink was closed for many months, and that’s why the city is looking at deferring the payment until Jan. 1, 2022.

Hockey Players Return to the Ice

Van Nest said hockey wasn’t permitted until Feb. 1 of this year, and only skilled-based practices were allowed. Viele said that open skate sessions also were closed to the public.

“It will be the same amount but only the capital part will be reduced dramatically for the two years (since the city has some money in reserves),” Jankowski said. “That will give them two years – one year to get back on their feet, one year to assess and then we’ll be back, talking to them about an extension or whatever we need to do after that. It’s only a two-year agreement.”

Council agreed to forward the measure to its March 8 Business Meeting, where a formal vote will take place.

Van Nest said that Firland would be interested in participating with city officials about future capital projects at the rink.

“Firland has significant experience with capital planning for rinks, development of rinks, renovation of rinks,” he said. “They actually assisted the Buffalo Sabres with development of their practice facility, so in talking to Firland … they indicated they would be happy to look forward to assisting with general capital planning discussions for the facility.”

Roach: Public Safety Comes First

In other action, Council held public hearings for the 2021-22 budget; water rates, meter fees and capital improvement fees, and a local law amending the Business Improvement District plan. All three resolutions were forwarded to the March 8 Business Meeting for a final vote.

City resident John Roach was the only public speaker, expressing his view that the city should not pay the salary of the Batavia Development Corp.’s director since that is not a city position.

“As long as you have any public safety positions vacant, then I think it's wrong that you pay the BDC money to pay for their employee, no matter how good a job, how worthy,” he said. “It’s not a city employee and I think public safety should come first.”

He also questioned giving money to GO ART! for Picnic in the Park and said if the agency doesn’t hold the summer event, the money should go back into the city coffers.

Council Member Patti Pacino responded that there is no money in the 2021-22 budget for that event, and Tabelski said that appropriation was not paid out in 2020-21 as Picnic in the Park was cancelled.

Tax Rate to Increase by 14 Cents

Concerning the budget, Tabelski reported a 2021-22 spending plan of $27.78 million, with $16.855 million of that in the general fund.

The property tax rate would increase by 14 cents per thousand of assessed value – from $9.59 to $9.73. That would cost a homeowner with a $100,000 house about $13 more per year in property taxes.

She said Council has approved reductions in purchasing, overtime and training, and are keeping three firefighter positions, two police officer positions and one laborer position vacant.

Water rates and meter fees would increase by 3.5 percent while capital improvement fees would go up by 10 percent – numbers that have been the norm in recent years.

Amendments to the BID Plan will include three proposed capital projects -- downtown marketing banners ($9,000), downtown music equipment ($30,000) and downtown Christmas decorations ($38,000) – and spell out the amount of the BID’s assessment charge to its members.

February 23, 2021 - 1:43pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, Rochester Regional Health, immunization.

From Rochester Regional Health Care:

As eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccinations expands to more members of our community, New York State has shifted the delivery of vaccine allocations from health care systems to state and county mass vaccination sites, pharmacies and to facilities for groups like veterans and those with developmental disabilities.

Because of this shift, Rochester Regional Health is no longer routinely scheduling additional first dose COVID-19 vaccination appointments for non-healthcare workers. We will fulfill all first- and second-dose appointments that are already scheduled. 

We know many in our community are eager to get vaccinated as quickly as possible and know that this has been a frustrating process. Thank you for your patience and persistence.

We recommend continually checking the Finger Lakes Vaccination Hub for the latest on eligibility for and availability of COVID-19 vaccination appointments in our region.

February 23, 2021 - 1:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, sports, basketball.


Maddie Muehlig needed 17 points to reach 1,000 on her career going into Monday's Lady Lancers' game against Attica.

She scored 21, with her milestone point coming on a three-pointer in the third quarter.

Elba beat Attica 65-43.

Muehlig (#2 in photos) was 6-10 on three-point shots.

Leah Bezon, who joined the 1,000-point club in Elba's previous game, had 15 points.

Next in line for 1,000 points is Brynn Walczak. She scored 17 points.

Also in girls basketball on Monday:

  • Batavia beat Odyssey 63-32
  • Oakfield-Alabama beat Byron-Bergen 50-42
  • Notre Dame beat Pembroke 62-59

In boys basketball, Le Roy beat Letchworth 66-35.

Photos by Debra Reilly.







February 23, 2021 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Le Roy.

A gas line has reportedly broken and is leaking gas at 111 Lake St., Le Roy.

Le Roy fire dispatched.

UPDATE 1:05 p.m.: Ice fell on the line.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Le Roy cleared the scene and the residents are awaiting a repair crew from RG&E.

February 23, 2021 - 1:00pm

Press release:

With the current spike in fuel prices, the Genesee-Orleans County Department of Weights & Measures (GO Health W&M) wants the public to know that all pumps in service are up to date with their NYS mandated inspections and have been approved for use. 

“We pumped over 13,000 gallons of fuel testing and verifying fuel meters last year,” said Ronald P. Mannella, director of GO Health W&M. “If a pump is out of tolerance and under-delivering, it is removed from service until repaired. Our tolerances are tight in order to establish fairness and equity in the marketplace.”

Of the 457 petroleum pumps between the two counties, only one was found under delivering and out of tolerance in 2020.

For more information, please contact:




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