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February 4, 2019 - 8:59am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Longtime Viking Valhalla Restaurant cook Harris Busmire rolled a 300 game Thursday night at the bowling center attached to his place of employment -- Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

The 54-year-old right-hander's honor score came in the Thursday Owls League, and was his fourth perfect game since 2001.

In the Sunday Rolloffs League at Medina Lanes, Scott Allis registered a 299 game in a 730 series, and in the Monday Night League at Letchworth Pines in Portageville, Matthew Hurlburt strung 11 in a row after an opening spare for a 290 game en route to a 763 series.

For a list of high rollers for the week, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

Mike Pettinella's next Pin Points bowling column is scheduled for this Thursday.

February 4, 2019 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, accident, news, notify.
Video Sponsor

With his three children in his minivan, along with one of their friends, returning to Elba on Saturday afternoon, Justin Calarco-Smith was being cautious, he recalls. He had already come through a couple of snow drifts on Route 98. 

Shortly after passing Batavia Elba Townline Road, he came upon another drift with near whiteout conditions when he noticed a silver SUV ahead of him lose control and start to slide sideways.

He didn't actually see the southbound pickup truck driven by Jeffrey S. Toussaint, 59, of Albion strike the silver SUV because of the poor visibility but he was able to stop in time to avoid being entangled in the accident.

Calarco-Smith is the funeral director at H.E. Turner Funeral Home. He's been to fatal accident scenes before but on Saturday he was one of several passersby who tried to render aid to the victims of the crash. This was a close call involving his own family and he said it took him some time to process what happened.

Despite the efforts of people on the scene to assist Teresa M. Norton, 53, and Thomas M. Norton, 22, a mother and son from Albion, they did not survive the crash and were pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Karen Lang.

"Upon seeing the SUV and pickup truck on the west shoulder of Route 98, I immediately pulled my van over to the east shoulder (it got stuck in the ditch) and called 9-1-1 to report the accident," Calarco-Smith. "After I hung up with dispatch, I exited my car, and along with three other bystanders who stopped to try to help, I got out to see what I could do to help. A female bystander asked if I had blankets for the victims to keep them warm. I ran back to my van and got a blanket out of our trunk and handed one to her."

The accident was reported at about 1:30 p.m. Winds through Genesee County that day were about 30 mph, two days after a major snowstorm had hit the area. Several sections of Route 98 that afternoon had significant snow drifts on the roadway, including the area where the accident occurred. The state's Department of Transportation is responsible for the maintenance of Route 98 and there was no snow fence erected on the west side of Route 98 where the accident occurred.

Calarco-Smith estimates there was one to two inches of snow covering the roadway at the time of the accident.

Because of Calarco-Smith's job, and as a resident of Elba, he knows many of the first responders who arrived at the accident. He praised his friends for how they conducted themselves at the scene.

"These same friends who were out in the elements constantly checked on my children assuring them all would be fine, while I was away from my vehicle," Calarco-Smith said. "I can't say enough about the professionalism, kindness and caring they demonstrated while on the scene. They are truly the calm in the eye of the storm."

A note about the video: I shot it Sunday afternoon so I make reference to "the accident yesterday." At the time I shot it, I anticipated publishing it Sunday, not Monday. That didn't happen. The video is intended to provide a look at the area of the accident scene and discuss what conditions were like on Saturday.

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The farm field west of the location of the double fatal crash on Route 98 in Elba.

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The site on Route 98 in Elba of a double fatal crash on Saturday.

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Snow fence west of Route 98 a location south of Townline Road.

February 3, 2019 - 11:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Town of Batavia Fire, news, batavia.
Video Sponsor

In 2018, the volunteers of the Town of Batavia Fire Department answered 377 calls for service, Chief Dan Coffey said Saturday night at the department's annual awards and installation banquet at Terry Hills.

Thirteen of those calls were for structure fires and 28 were motor-vehicle accidents. The town also responded to 168 false alarms. 

The department responded 51 times as a mutual aid company and needed the assistance of mutual aid companies seven times.

The top responder for the year was Tyler Stewart, who showed up for 264 calls. James Bouton responded to 241 calls and Clayton Gorski responded to 202 calls.

Clayton Groski was named 2018 Firefighter of the Year. 

Paul Barrett received the President's Award.

The 2019 officers:

  • Chief Dan Coffey
  • Deputy Chief Jim Bouton
  • Assistant Chief Paul Dibble
  • Assistant Chief Tom Garlock
  • Captain Conor Wilkes
  • Lieutenant Dave Tran 

2019 Corporate Board:

  • President Scott Garlock
  • Vice President Nate Fix
  • Treasurer Don Koziol
  • Secretary Steve Coburn
  • Director Tim Yaeger
  • Director Gary Diegelman
  • Director Bob Mullen
  • Director Bob Tripp
  • Director Paul Barrett

To find out how you can serve your community and become a volunteer with your local department, visit ReadyGenesee.com.

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Clayton Gorski, second from right, with the department's line officers, was named Firefighter of the Year.

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Top responders for 2018, with President Scott Garlock: Clayton Gorski, Tyler Steward and Jim Bouton.

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In years past, the department presented a gift to dinner attendees, such as a mug or a glass. This year, the department instead donated $1,000 to The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation. Dan Coffey, Laurie Napoleon, Mark Napoleone and Scott Garlock.

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Installation of officers, conducted by Bill Schutt.

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The Town of Batavia Fire Department.

February 3, 2019 - 5:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia.

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A semi and a burgundy coupe collided at the intersection of Ellicott Street and Summit/Liberty. City fire, police and Mercy medics are on scene. Traffic was backed up in both directions, but traffic lanes are being reopened now.

The female driver of the coupe may have minor injuries and is being transported by Mercy medics to UMMC for evaluation. The truck driver appears to be uninjured. He faces a citation for allegedly running a red light. 

February 3, 2019 - 12:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, accident, news, notify.

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A mother and her adult son from Albion were killed Saturday afternoon in a two-vehicle collision on a snow-covered Route 98 in Elba.

Teresa M. Norton, 53, was driving a 2008 Suzuki SUV north on Route 98, with her son, Thomas M. Norton, 22, in the passenger seat, when the vehicle hit a long patch of deep snow in an area about a mile north of Batavia Elba Townline Road. Norton apparently lost control of the Suzuki and it slid sideways. A 2011 Chevrolet pickup truck was southbound. The truck, driven by Jeffrey S. Toussaint, 59, of Albion, struck the Suzuki on the passenger side.

Toussaint was transported to Erie County Medical Center by Mercy EMS for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The property west of the accident, according to county records, is owned by Torrey Farms. According to sources, there were no snow fences installed along the west side of Route 98. NYS Department of Transportation is responsible for maintenance of Route 98, including erecting snow fences where they might be needed.

The Batavian was at the crash scene shortly after the accident and that section of Route 98, as well as a section south of Townline Road, were heavily covered in snow, at least several inches thick.

First responders described the roadway as hazardous when they were arriving on scene.

DOT snow plows arrived at Route 98 about 30 minutes after the accident.

Both mother and son were pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Karen Lang.

New York State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit responded to the accident and is leading the investigation with assistance from troopers and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The investigation is not yet complete.

The Elba Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the accident with mutual aid from Town of Batavia and Town of Oakfield fire departments.

Photos: Reader submitted photos.

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February 2, 2019 - 9:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Le Roy, fire.

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A structure fire with smoke showing is reported at 3 W. Main St., Village of Le Roy Hall. The location is just west of Clay Street. Le Roy Fire Department is responding, along with City of Batavia fire. The second platoon is called to city fire headquarters on Evans Street.

Stafford and Town of Batavia fire departments are also called to respond.

UPDATE 10:16 pm.: All second-alarm responders are back in service.

UPDATE 10:17 p.m.: Le Roy Fire Chief Tom Wood said the initial call was for an automatic smoke alarm -- smoke in the building. His first assessment determined smoke was billowing from the bell tower. The first crew on scene discovered a broken water pipe that was leaking onto another pipe and creating steam. Mutual aid was canceled.

February 2, 2019 - 4:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, Bethany, news.

An accident is completely blocking the westbound lane of Broadway Road (Route 20) in Bethany after a collision between two vehicles near Francis Road. Minor injuiries reported. Bethany Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: Alexander Fire Department is called to the scene to assist Bethany. Traffic assistance is needed.

UPDATE 5:35 p.m.: Alexander reported it had returned to its fire hall about 10 minutes ago. A female is being transported to UMMC with complaints of neck pain.

UPDATE 5:44 p.m.: Bethany is back in service and the road is open.

February 2, 2019 - 2:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

A person is complaining of an arm injury after a two-car collision in front of the Totem Pole Smoke Shop on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. The address is 1031 Ledge Road. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

February 2, 2019 - 1:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, elba.

A motor-vehicle accident, with two people unconscious, is reported on Oak Orchard Road (Route 98), between Edgerton Road and Batavia Elba Townline Road. Elba Fire Department is responding. Road conditions are said to be icy and hazardous.

UPDATE 2:12 p.m.: A law enforcement officer confirmed this is a double fatal accident. No other information is available at this time. The scene is under investigation.

UPDATE 6:05 p.m.: After more than a three-hour wait, troopers refused to allow media access to the scene or release further information. We did have access to the scene for a few minutes shortly after the accident. The roadway, for at least a 100-yard stretch, was covered in several inches of snow, blown over the roadway by wind. Route 98 coming out of Batavia had at least two stretches of similarly snow-impacted roadway. It was only after the accident that State DOT plow trucks showed up (after troopers contacted the DOT about the need for plowing). We're not sure when or if the State Police will release more information.

UPDATE 6:32 p.m.: The state has the legal authority to go onto private property to erect snow fencing. In past years, the state has put up snow fences on Route 98 along sections of roadway subject to snow drift. This year, the state has not put up snow fencing on state-maintained Route 98.

UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: State Police have yet to release any further information.

February 2, 2019 - 1:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news.

Former Le Roy HS Football Coach Andrew Paladino was on his way home from work when he became part of the 21-vehicle accident on the Thruway during the storm on Wednesday. He spoke with our news partner 13WHAM.

February 2, 2019 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, alexander, elba.

Attica dealt Alexander only its fourth loss on the season, only second in league play, knocking the Trojans out of a first-place tie with Lyndonville and Elba, with a 64-54 win at home.

Alexander's Chris McClinic was the game's top scorer with 25 points. Ryan Davis scored 11 points for the Trojans.

For the Blue Devils, Devon Henderson scored 15 points, Frankie Bisceglie, 12, Trevor Goll, 11. Dawson Nelson scored 10 points, added 16 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Ayden Goll scored nine points and had six assists, six rebounds, and two steals.

"I was very proud of the team tonight," said Attica Coach Rob Crowley. "This was two good teams going at it. It was a great game in December over there and I would not have expected anything less tonight. It's always nice to win at home versus your rivals. "

Attica is now 10-6. Alexander is 11-4.

Elba (15-3) was also lost its share of first place in the Genesee Region League on Friday night with a 52-41 loss to Lyndonville (15-1).

Oakfield-Alabama (8-7) beat Pembroke (7-9) 64-51.

Byron-Bergen (6-9) beat Holley 65-47.

Pavilion (7-9) (in the Livingston League) beat Geneseo 71-63. 

Batavia plays North Tonawanda this afternoon at North Tonawanda. Batavia, in the Monroe League, is 6-7.

February 2, 2019 - 12:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia, Stafford.

A car crashed into a pole barn at 8668 Route 237. Everyone is out of the vehicle; believed to be no injuries. The location is south of Prentice Road. Stafford Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 12:18 p.m.: Confirmed there are no injuries.

UPDATE 12:25 p.m.: "It looks like the barn may come down when we pull the vehicle out," says a firefighter at the scene.

Also, in the City of Batavia, westbound traffic is down to one lane and traffic is congested on West Main Street near Thomas Avenue following a collision.

February 2, 2019 - 11:35am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city of batavia.

Press release:

matt.jpgFeb. 1, Batavia -- The City of Batavia Director of Public Works Matthew Worth was selected by the Genesee Valley Branch of the American Public Works Association (APWA) as the 2018 recipient of the Public Works Leader of the Year, in the Administrative Management Category. He received this award at the APWA Awards Banquet on Jan. 31st.

Worth began his career in public works in 1986 working for Genesee County in the Engineering department where he inspected bridges, roads and culverts. He started for the City of Batavia on March 23, 1987 in the Engineering department as an Engineer Technician until he became the Assistant Engineer. One of the first projects he worked on was the City’s wastewater treatment plant.

In July, 1988, initial construction of the new wastewater treatment facilities, which serve the City and a portion of the Town of Batavia, had begun. Worth helped oversee the new treatment facilities that were constructed to include nine lagoons and a series of three man-made wetlands on approximately 500 acres. This represents the largest use of multiple cell lagoons for municipal treatment in the New York Area.

In 1999, Worth left the Engineering department and became the Deputy Superintendent of Water and Wastewater and in 2002, he became the Superintendent of Water and Wastewater, where he would oversee all water and wastewater operations.

In 2015, he became the Director of Public Works. He is in charge of Bureau of Maintenance (Streets & Sidewalks), Bureau of Water and Wastewater (Water Plant and Sewer Plant), Bureau of Inspections (Code Enforcement) and Bureau of Engineering, with responsibility for approximately 50 employees.

In 2018, Worth became the Interim City Manager until the appointment of Martin D. Moore, Ph.D., by City Council.

City Manager Moore said, “Matt’s leadership has permitted his employees to reach their fullest potential. It’s obvious when you see the extraordinary pride displayed by the public works staff. His continual enthusiasm and interest to improve the level of service provided to Batavia residents is always his number one priority. By his commitment to the community and the organization, Matt has demonstrated himself to be a leader and a dedicated public servant and role model for all to follow. It is a pleasure to work with Matt, and I congratulate him on being honored with this award.”

City Council President, Eugene Jankowski Jr. said, “the Council is proud of Matt’s achievements over his many years of service to the City of Batavia. He has worked hard on behalf of our residents and we appreciate his dedication. He is very deserving of this award!”

This award is presented to association members for outstanding achievement in the area of administration within the public works department and to inspire excellence and dedication in the public sector by recognizing the outstanding career service achievements of administrative professionals.

February 1, 2019 - 8:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, news, arts, entertainment, batavia, the batavian sessions.
Video Sponsor
 

The Genesee Jazz Collective played at GO ART! on Thursday night as part of GO ART!'s Fifth Thursday night, this time with a theme of Jazz & Jam. The evening featured P&J sandwiches, live jazz and a jazz jam session.

Members of the Genesee Jazz Collective are: Dan Klinczar on Brass, Mike Grammatico on Sax and Clarinet, Andrew Lawton on Drums, Phil Briatico on Bass, And Brian Goeltz on Guitar.

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Joining the Genesee Jazz Collective during the jam session on vocals, Stuart McLean.

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February 1, 2019 - 6:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, news.

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Bobbi from Bethany took this photo and shared it with us.

February 1, 2019 - 1:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, GCC, annual fashion show.

Press release:

Genesee Community College Fashion Program students are continuing in their year-long preparations for the 38th Annual Fashion Show that is scheduled on Saturday, May 4.

There really is a sense of "LIMITLESS" for students planning the program and designing new garments, and also for the community who can participate in the show as volunteer models.

"LIMITLESS" was the theme chosen by the students this year to demonstrate the endlessness of fashion possibilities and the possibilities of embracing the diversity of the GLOW region. With no limits or boundaries, this year's fashion show will draw from both classic and fiery palettes and promises to be innovative, inspirational and inclusive!

It also gives the general community an opportunity to experience the excitement and thrill of strutting down the runway. 

Following the success of "Ascendant," GCC's 37th annual show in 2018, "LIMITLESS" will take place in the 24,000-square-foot indoor Richard C. Call Arena. With plenty of space to accommodate 2,000 guests with ample parking, the students are planning one dynamic, fast-moving production.

There will be pre-show interviews and photo-ops featuring the coordinators of each scene, and a post-show party and vendor market. Currently, students are not only seeking vendors to participate in this portion of the program, but models of all ages.

Models tryouts will be held in the Conable Technology Building at the Batavia Campus on: 

  • Tuesday, Feb. 5, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in T122
  • Wednesday, Feb. 6, 4-5:30 p.m. in T119
  • Thursday, Feb. 7, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in T119

Attend any one of the three events above to try out, and preregistration is not required. Participants will be asked to walk as if on a runway, and those comfortable wearing high-heeled shoes should bring a pair to the tryouts.

The student production team is looking for age, ethnic, gender and aesthetic diversity in models. Ages newborn to 92 are welcome. No prior modeling experience is necessary.

If chosen, models will be required to attend a dress rehearsal the evening of May 3, as well as approximately three to five scene rehearsals as required by the scene coordinator.

To fully appreciate the development of "LIMITLESS," follow @gccfashionprogram on Instagram, @trendygcc on Twitter and the FBM (Fashion Business Merchandising) program blog at https://sunygcc.blog/category/academics/fashion/. Students will be sharing details about the show, their individual scenes and more!

Any business, organization or individual interested in an opportunity to support this year's Fashion Show should contact Debbie Mancuso at (585) 345-6830 or via email at [email protected]. Business donations start at $10, but event sponsorships are welcome at all levels.

Personal donations of $5 are available, and Fashion Program students will be delighted to schedule a donation pick up or make special arrangements for donations. Sponsors and in-kind donations are included in the Fashion Show Program as well as on the Fashion Show website.

Checks should be made payable to GCCA and can be mailed to Genesee Community College, Fashion Show, One College Road, Batavia NY 14020-9704.

February 1, 2019 - 12:37pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in BOCES, Batavia CTE, news, schools, education, precision machining.

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A new partnership with the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center (BOCES) and Cornell University is paving the way for students interested in a career in precision machining.

The unique program, which is the only such partnership in the nation, allows students to study realistic particle accelerator hardware designs and fabricate hardware based on those designs, said Maggie Fitzgibbon, head of public relations at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

“Within the next several years, the Cornell-BNL Energy Recovery Linacs Test Accelerator at the Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based Sciences and Education (CLASSE) will develop into a powerhouse of accelerator physics and technology and will be one of the most advanced in the world,” said Lora K. Gruber-Hine, director of Education and Outreach Programs at the Cornell laboratory.

“The building of ERL will require the cultivation of local talent and a highly trained workforce. When this prototype ERL is complete and expanded upon, it will be a critical resource to New York State, the nation and the world, propelling science, biomedical advancement and economic development.”

Tim Gleba, precision machining instructor, was instrumental in development of the new partnership. After watching a video on the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source Facebook page explaining how machinists work to create parts for the particle accelerator at Cornell, he was intrigued and thought this could possibly be a project for his students.

He pitched his idea to Cornell and a meeting last summer resulted in development of a project plan for this school year.

Batavia CTE’s precision machining students are now creating 150 parts for Cornell’s particle accelerator. These include adjustment plates and brackets, as well as a short dipole spacer bar. These parts are used to align magnets within a tolerance of .004 inches, Gleba said.

“This partnership is a wonderful opportunity for these high school students,” Gleba said. “They are able to work with Cornell’s engineers, physicists and machinists.”

Development of the partnership adds a whole inventive aspect to the precision machining curriculum and provides students with relevant work experience, Gleba added.

“Our machine shop and Cornell’s are virtually the same,” he said. “Cornell has the identical machines as us and also uses the same software as what we have in our Precision Machine Shop here in Batavia.”

Students recently toured the Wilson Synchrotron Laboratory at Cornell to kick off the new partnership, according to Fitzgibbon.

Gruber-Hine said they want to showcase the partnership and the new technologies being developed.

She and Gleba both commented on the shortage of trained employees in the precision-machining industry.

“Our lab has been sensitized to the shortage, and as we are growing, the need for skilled labor becomes more evident," Gruber-Hine said. “We realize the need to cultivate a relationship with institutions that train skilled professionals to fill this middle skills gap. When Tim watched our video, he wanted to form a relationship with our laboratory that would allow his students to work on meaningful machining products and contribute to the work being done here.”

“Within the next five years, it is anticipated 50 percent of the precision machining workforce will be retiring, leaving an incredible gap,” Gleba said.

The Precision Machining class at Batavia BOCES had been discontinued for several years, after longtime instructor David O’Geen retired, Fitzgibbon said. But when several high school students expressed an interest in the field, Gleba was hired three years ago in an effort to resurrect the program.

Four of those students are Ayden Odachowski, James Roggow, Benjamin LaBombard and Evan Bartz.

Bartz said he wanted to get into machining because he knew the field was exploding.

Bartz and Roggow worked together to create a process to machine both sides of spacer bars.

Jon Sanfratello, executive principal of the Batavia campus, which includes the Batavia CTE Center, commented on how this partnership provides students with the chance to learn advanced manufacturing skills. The Precision Machining Program is currently affiliated with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s HUNCH program. Along with manufacturing hardware for Space X-10, students learn how to inspect and analyze the parts to meet the expert standards set forth by NASA.

“We pride ourselves in offering innovative programs that give our students real-world applicable learning opportunities,” Sanfratello said. “In this new partnership with CLASSE, our students will study cutting-edge designs, learn modern manufacturing methods so they are equipped to succeed in the 21st century workforce.”

“The goal of this partnership is to inspire the next generation of machinists and trades professionals by providing educational opportunities for students to work in concert with engineers and technical directors,” Gruber-Hine added.

Top photo: Tim Gleba, right, instructor in the Precision Machining Program at Batavia Career and Technical Education Center, and student James Roggow show some of the parts the class is making for the particle accelerator at Cornell University.

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Above, four of the students in the Precision Machining Program at Batavia Career and Technical Education Center are, from left, Ayden Odachowski, James Roggow, Benjaming LaBombard and Evan Bartz. The Center is engaged in a partnership with Cornell University’s lab to make parts for the college’s particle accelerator. This is the first such partnership in the nation with high school students.

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Tim Gleba, instructor in the Precision Machining program at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center, holds one of parts made by high school students in his class in a one-of-a-kind partnership with Cornell University. Gleba was hired three years to train precision machinists, which are in dire need throughout the area. Gleba said Cornell and industry in the region will be looking to hire 100 precision machinists within the next five years.

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This is an example of the parts machined by students at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center. The program was revived three years ago to train precision machinists for the industry.

February 1, 2019 - 12:12pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in le roy village green, Le Roy, news.

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Jan DeBack has made a lot of memories at the Le Roy Village Green, many of which she shared with residents and coworkers at an ice cream social Jan. 18 to celebrate her retirement.

DeBack was the first activities director hired when the facility opened in June 1979.

“I was in here in May setting up the departments,” DeBack said on her last day.

Her retirement became official on Jan. 31.

She said it was time to step back.

“My mom is 92 and my husband is disabled, and we would like to do some things together while we still can,” said DeBack, who turned 66 in January. “The first thing I’m going to do is clean house – something I’ve neglected for more than 30 years.”

Some of the most enjoyable things she will remember are writing poetry with the residents, working on specific programs and writing music.

“I have met more than 4,000 residents during my 40 years here,” DeBack said. “It’s hard when you lose someone and it was getting harder.”

Saying goodbye to the residents was emotional, De Back said.

Administrator John Bartholomew thanked DeBack for her 40 years of service and for having run a wonderful activities program. She is also credited with starting a pet therapy program 20 years ago.

Brenda Houck has worked with DeBack as assistant activities director since 2013. Houck started in 2007 as an intern and was hired in 2008.

“Working side by side with Jan for the past 10 years, she became a great teacher, mentor and friend,” Houck said. "She has taught me a lot about this career and made it a joyful experience. I could not have asked for a better teacher, and she will be missed.”

Houck continues as acting activities director and has submitted her resume to assume the permanent position. No decision has been made yet, she said.

Top photo: John Bartholomew thanks Jan DeBack for 40 years of dedicated service at Le Roy Village Green Nursing Facility during her retirement party.

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Jan DeBack, left, shares memories with Pat Green and Dottie Kurtz, residents of the Le Roy Village Green. DeBack just retired after 40 years as activities director.

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Jan DeBack, activities director at the Le Roy Village Green for the last 40 years, said goodbye to all the residents at her retirement party. Here, she chats with Grace Cycon.

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