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July 13, 2019 - 10:44am
posted by Virginia Kropf in batavia, international peace garden, news.

Paula Savage, of Batavia, left, with Justyna Glusman, deputy mayor of Warsaw, Poland, after presenting an official Peace Garden stone marker.

Since Poland was chosen to receive a Peace Garden, Paula Savage, of Batavia, has wanted to return to Warsaw to present the country with an official stone marker.

Savage, a Batavia resident, founder and president of the International Peace Garden Foundation, has just returned from Poland, where she presented an official Peace Garden stone marker to Warsaw’s Deputy Mayor Justyna Glusman.

“It is has always been my desire to revisit those gardens and present the official stone that marks every other Peace Garden since 1995,” Savage said. “The stone, along with the official certificate, will not become part of Warsaw’s history.”

In 1992, Poland became the first country outside of North America to receive the prestigious honor of receiving a Peace Garden from the United States as a gesture of friendship. It also recognizes that Poland was the first country in Eastern Europe to achieve democracy, Savage said.

Savage traveled to Poland at that time, but the Peace Garden stone did not become part of the ceremonies until 1995.

During her recent visit, Savage was informed that over the past 25 years many changes have taken place in Warsaw, including redesigning of their parks. The original Peace Garden, located in Saski Park, will be moved to a new location, yet to be determined, Glusman said.

“This is an ideal time to incorporate the Peace Garden into these new plans that will be highly visible and easily accessible to visitors,” Glusman told Savage. 

Savage has been invited to return to Warsaw next spring for the rededication of the new Peace Garden there. 

There are 22 International Peace Gardens worldwide spanning five continents. Annually, a new country is chosen by the previous recipient country. Last fall, Savage traveled to South Korea for dedication of the International Peace Garden in Suncheon City. South Korea was nominated by Mexico.

Savage reminds residents that Batavia has its own Honorary International Peace Garden, identified by flags waving along Main Street beside the Holland Land Office Museum. The Batavia Peace Garden was dedicated in 2012 to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

Each time a new country is chosen, a new flag will go up in the Batavia Peace Garden, which is part of a 300-mile peace garden trail along the United States and Canadian border in New York State.

Details about the Peace Garden Trail are available at www.peacegardentrail.com.

July 13, 2019 - 10:28am

Above, Julie Plath, of Batavia, was the 2019 winner in the girl category of the Kendra Haacke Memorial Fishing Derby. In this photo, she is not holding the winning 8" bass she caught.

Submitted photos and press release:

Free Fishing Day and the Kendra Haacke Memorial Fishing Derby took place at DeWitt Recreation Area on Saturday, June 29th.

As part of the NYSDEC’s Free Fishing Weekend, no fishing license was required to participate. Families from Genesee, Monroe, Wyoming and Erie counties all traveled to Batavia to join in the free outdoor fun.

Friendly fishing guides were on hand to assist newbies with baiting a hook, casting and learning how to fish.

Forty-five children ages 16 and under participated in the fishing derby, catching a variety of panfish and bass.

Prizes were awarded for the largest fish caught each by a boy and a girl. This was the sixth annual Kendra Haacke Memorial Fishing Derby held at DeWitt Recreation Area. Each year the derby is sponsored by the Oakfield Alabama Lions Club.

This event was the result of collaboration between Genesee County Parks, Recreation & Forestry, the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club, and ACORNS.

Fishing bait was provided by a generous donation from Walmart Supercenter of Batavia. All participants had the chance to win fishing tackle door prizes, and each derby winner took home a new rod and reel provided through a grant by Cabela’s of Cheektowaga.

Congratulations to the 2019 Kendra Haacke Memorial Fishing Derby winners: Girls category winner Julia Plath, from Batavia, with her 8” bass catch; and a tie in the Boys category resulted in two winners, Luke Volkmar, from Bergen, with his 8 1⁄2” bass catch, and Michael Atkinson, from Alexander, with his 8 1⁄2” bass catch.

Special thanks to the Oakfield Alabama Lions Club, ACORNS, Walmart, and Cabela’s for making this event possible!

For more information visit our website at http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/parks/, or contact Shannon Lyaski at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

Below, is Luke Volkmar, of Bergen, who tied for first-place boys, with his new rod and reel, courtesy of Cabela’s of Cheektowaga.

Below, is Michael Atkinson, of Alexander, who tied for first-place boys, with his new rod and reel, courtesy of Cabela’s of Cheektowaga.

July 13, 2019 - 8:00am


Saturday, July 13th – DRIVE YOUR TRACTOR TO THE FAIR DAY - Fair Opens @ 9 a.m.

  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Dog Show Demonstration (Horse Practice Arena)
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibition Halls & Buildings Open
  • 10 a.m. – 4-H Kennedy Building Exhibit Judging (Kennedy Building)
  • 11 a.m. – 4-H Livestock must be in place (Dairy Heifers/Calves, Dairy Steers, Beef Steers/Heifers, Sheep, Goats, Hogs, Poultry, Rabbits)
  • Noon – 4-H Market Auction Beef, Hog & Goat Final Weigh In
  • Noon – Midway Opens
  • Noon – Talent Show
  • 4 p.m. – 4-H Poultry Show (Merton Building)
  • 6 p.m. – 4-H Livestock Costume Contest (Main Show Ring)
  • 6 p.m. – Genesee Speedway Racing
  • 7 p.m. – Karaoke FINALS
  • 11 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 13, 2019 - 2:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, Genesee County Fair, agriculture.
Video Sponsor

The Genesee County Fair for 2019 is open.

Friday was preview night, a kind of soft open. 

July 13, 2019 - 12:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Le Roy, accident.

A car has reportedly hit a pole in the area of 8673 North Road, Le Roy.

Wires are down in the area.

There are possible minor injuries.

Le Roy fire dispatched.

UPDATE 12:57 a.m.: Fire police requested to shut down traffic at North Road and Hebbard Road. 

July 13, 2019 - 12:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, County Court, batavia, notify.

It's been a tough year for stenography in the Genesee County Court and today three cases came before Judge Charles Zambito dealing with stenography issues.

Two stemmed from a previously reported stenographer's mistake while transcribing grand jury proceedings -- that stenographer inappropriately taped the proceedings.

Another defendant appeared before Zambito today because an appeals court overturned his conviction on a burglary charge because a part of the transcription of his jury trial was not preserved for review.

In the People vs. Victor J. Grimes, Grimes was convicted at a jury trial in August 2016 and subsequently sentenced to seven years in prison.

He's served 44 months of that sentence. 

Last week, a state appeals court ordered a new trial -- even while finding evidence was sufficient for conviction -- because a stenographer's error on the final day of the trial meant relevant notes in the case were not preserved. Since the court then didn't have the final day's transcription, the court couldn't review the proceedings to ensure the trial court complied with specific procedures. 

In the trial, Grimes was represented by retained counsel. He's now represented by Lisa Kroemer of the Public Defender's Office. Kroemer asked for time to review the case and speak with District Attorney Lawrence Friedman before a new date for the trial is set. 

Judge Zambito ordered Grimes held on $25,000 bail or $50,000 bond pending his possible trial.

The other two stenographer-related cases heard today were People vs. Antwan Odom and People vs. Richard Hanes.

Odom is accused of knifing Ray Leach. Hanes is charged with murder in the beating death of Ray Morgan. 

Friedman asked the cases be placed on the docket because he wanted to get on record what the defense attorneys intend to do regarding the mistaken recording by the stenographer of grand jury proceedings in those cases.

The attorneys for Odom and Hanes took decidedly different approaches.

Odom is represented by Buffalo attorney Frank Housh. Housh with his own unique sartorial style at every court appearance, walked into court today in seersucker slacks and robin's-egg blue sports jacket. And when pressed about how he intended to proceed, raised his prior complaint that Friedman is conducting a dual prosecution, one against his client and one against him.

In May, Housh made statements to local media that Friedman considered a violation of professional standards and risked tainting the jury pool. Friedman asked for a gag order and Zambito issued a temporary gag order but lifted it last week, citing an objection on free press grounds by "the media" (in this case, The Batavian). 

Zambito did rule against Housh's motion to have Friedman removed from the case because of this alleged "dual prosecution."

Besides the request for a gag order, Housh said Friedman has also filed a grievance complaint with the state bar against Housh. 

Housh contends -- without presenting proof -- that everything Housh says or does in the case is forwarded by Friedman to the state bar.

For that reason, Housh said he has not made the trip to the District Attorney's Office to review the case file on the stenography issue because, he said, he would need to bring his attorney with him.

Housh has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the case because of this "dual prosecution" but so far has not withdrawn.

Today he asked Zambito for a summary judgment dismissing the case against Odom because, he said, in a prior answering brief, Friedman stated the grand jury process was legally constituted when in fact Friedman, he said, new about the inappropriate recording of the proceedings.

After more discussion, Zambito agreed to meet with the attorneys in his chambers for an on-the-record but closed-door discussion about the issue.

Out of that meeting, it was agreed, as stated in court later, that Housh would file a motion and there would be a hearing Aug. 5 (instead of the trial starting on that day) on the defense motion.

In contrast to the approach of Housh, Fred Rarick, representing Hanes, was willing to stipulate in court that prior hearings on this topic -- including one in the Jennifer Serrano case -- established the facts of the incident and those same facts could be entered into the Hanes case and Zambito could issue a ruling based on the facts and evidence already presented.

On previous cases, including Serrano, Zambito ruled that stenography issue did not invalidate the grand jury proceedings.

Outside of court, Rarick said he saw no point in going through another hearing where the same facts and evidence would be presented that are already on the record knowing that Zambito is unlikely to rule any differently than he has previously.

By getting the prior hearings submitted as evidence in the Hanes case, without objection from Friedman, he has preserved any possible appeal over the issue for his client should Hanes be convicted at jury trial.

July 12, 2019 - 7:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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Jennifer K. Urvizu-  Hanlon

A local former businesswoman who admitted to giving a loaded firearm to a 17-year-old boy, who then shot and wounded a man who had just stabbed and killed another man on Central Avenue on May 17, 2018, told Judge Charles Zambito today that she's not a threat to the community. 

Jennifer K. Urvizu-Hanlon, 48, mentioned the letters Zambito had received supportering her, her involvement in her church, her steady employment and her lack of criminal record.

Zambito saw something else.

"I do think you are minimizing what happened," Zambito said. "You're minimizing your involvement. Samuel Blackshear would not be in prison and Nathanial Wilson would not have been shot had you not handed your loaded firearm to a 17-year-old boy. That young man is in prison now because of you. And after that happened, after a man was killed and another wounded, you went home.

"I do consider you a risk to the community but under the circumstances, I'm prepared to accept the plea offer and go along with the sentence. You're being treated entirely fairly here. I don't think it's right for you to even suggest otherwise."

Urvizu-Hanlon, the former owner of a small Mexican grocery store on West Main Street in Batavia, accepted a plea deal in May that capped her prison term to two years on an attempted criminal possession of a weapon conviction.

More than a dozen people in the gallery, friends, and family, were there, it appeared, to support Urvizu-Hanlon, which Zambito also acknowledged.

Zambito said he seriously considered rejecting the plea arrangement because she should perhaps get at least three and a half years in prison, which is the term Blackshear received.

"You got a significant break here," Zambito said. "Perhaps that is because of your minimal involvement in the incident and your clean record."

On Thursday evening in May, Nathaniel Wilson stabbed and killed Terry Toote at Central and Pringle. As the stabbing was taking place, Urvizu-Hanlon arrived in her car and Blackshear approached the car and she gave her handgun, which she was licensed to carry, to Blackshear, who immediately fired at Wilson, hitting him in the leg.

Blackshear's attorney argued at his sentencing that he was acting to protect himself and others from a killer. Zambito rejected that contention, accusing Blackshear of exercising "street justice" before denying him youthful offender status and sending him to prison.

That defense isn't available to Urvizu-Hanlon under the current statute for attempted criminal possession of a weapon but her attorney, Christian Kenndey, said the Legislature is considering a change, and that it could be said Urvizu-Hanlon was justified in giving Blackshear the gun so he could protect others from a killer.

Wilson was later sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison for the murder of Toote.

As in the Blackshear case, Zambito said he was fully aware of the May 17 incident. He had seen all the video recordings, read the witness statements, and felt he had a complete picture of what happened that evening.

He said there was nothing spontaneous about events on Central Avenue as the incident went down. The confrontation, the expectation of violence, was all premeditated.

"You knew what was going to happen," Zambito said. "I don't think you thought Terry Toote was going to get murdered but you went there under the impression there was going to be confrontation and you were ready to take action."

Once the sentence was pronounced and the paperwork complete, a deputy stepped behind Urvizu-Hanlon -- dressed in a gray blouse covered by a black windbreaker, a long skirt, and flip-flops -- and asked her to place her hands behind her back. For a moment, the only sound in the courtroom was the metallic zip of the cuffs closing around her wrists. As she was led away, somebody at the back of the room yelled, "Love you, Jen."

July 12, 2019 - 4:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, notify, news.
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    Michael J. Piasta

Before sending him to prison for 10 years, Judge Charles Zambito reminded Michael J. Piasta Jr., that in 2010 he promised Judge Robert Noonan that he was going to straighten out his life and that he would never appear in County Court again.

Piasta was out of prison barely two years before he robbed, at fake gunpoint, the Arby's, taking from $6,000 to $10,000 on March 25, 2018.

"I'm going to give you a very long time to think about what you did," Zambito said.

The 10-year sentence, followed by 10 years on parole, was on Piasta's jury-trial conviction for robbery in the second degree. On his convictions for grand larceny and criminal possession of a weapon, Zambito gave him three and a half to seven years on each count, to be served concurrently with the robbery sentence.

In 2010, Noonan heard from Piasta's attorney at the time, William Teford, about Piasta's hard life -- a father who died of an overdose, a mother with a drug problem, domestic abuse, a learning disability, and the lack of a meaningful childhood.

Piasta acknowledged his wrongdoing and told Noonan, "At this point, I just want to say I don’t feel that I’m hopeless," Piasta said. "Regardless of what happens today, I think I can make things better."

Piasta already had a lengthy criminal record when Noonan sent him to prison in 2010.

Today, attorney Brian Degnan also reminded Zambito of Piasta's troubled past. 

"Mr. Piasta, with his upbringing, with his adult life, he's certainly been dealt a very bad hand here," Degnan said.

He acknowledged a prison term was inevitable but asked Zambito to consider Piasta's circumstances and expressed hope that Piasta could get the help he needs while in prison.

Piasta's own statement was short, asking Zambito to take into consideration Degnan's arguments on his behalf.

While Piasta was convicted by a unanimous verdict of a jury, Piasta, Degnan noted, has continued to maintain his innocence.  

Zambito agreed to hold a hearing on the issue of restitution. Degnan contends that there was contradictory testimony at the trial, with a contention that $5,000 was stolen from Arby's, and a claim of $10,000 stolen. Arby's has filed a claim for $6,000.

July 12, 2019 - 2:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in crossroads house, news, batavia, notify.

Submitted photo and press release:

Regarding Crossroads House Garage Sale donations...

A very generous community has packed our storage containers to our limit.

As a result, we cannot accept additional donations for the upcoming sale later this month.

You folks have filled three tractor-trailers, two shipping containers, a barn and our garage!

We are so fortunate to serve in a community of givers. We look forward to seeing everyone at the sale.

For more information on dates and times, click here.

July 12, 2019 - 1:52pm

Pictured from left are members of the scholarship committee and the 2019 recipients: Karen Hall, Hannah Kujawski, Peg Patterson-Case, Melissa Vinyard, Chelsea Elliott, Todd Rapp, Amy Swanson, Kari Heidemann and Melinda Rodriguez.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Genesee County Interagency Council awarded two $1,000 scholarships at their annual picnic last month at the DeWitt Recreation Area.

This year’s recipients are Melinda Rogriguez and Melissa Vinyard.

Special Thanks to the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford for catering such a wonderful meal for our council, scholarship recipients and their guests.

The goal of the scholarship is to support students who have a strong drive to contribute to the field of Human Services. The Council was seeking applicants who were pursing their education in a Human Services major.

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.

The Council is happy to have been able to award such deserving candidates and wishes them nothing but success for their future!

About the Scholarship Winners

  • Melinda Rodriguez, of Bergen, is a mom of five kids, a full-time student at Genesee Community College and a dean's list honoree. Her goals are to earn a degree in Social Work with a focus in the medical field. We look forward to seeing her develop her skills in the Human Services fields and joining our council in the future as a colleague.
  • Melissa Vinyard, of Batavia, is a second semester student at Genesee Community College majoring in Human Services with a focus on alcohol and substance abuse. Her goals are to help those in sobriety find support by being a counselor. We look forward to her joining the Interagency council some day at a colleague.
July 12, 2019 - 1:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bohn's Restaurant, batavia, GCASA, news, notify.

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After encountering community resistance for a planned recreation center for people in drug and alcohol recovery on South Swan Street in Batavia, GCASA has turned its attention to a former restaurant location on Clinton Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

And the Town officials have been more than encouraging and supportive, said John Bennett, executive director of GCASA, following a County Planning Board meeting Thursday evening where the board recommended approval of a special use permit for 5258 Clinton Street Road -- site of the former Bohn's Restaurant.

GCASA is in the process of acquiring the property.

Bennett said the community center will have a community garden, a basketball court, TVs for viewing sports, a pool table, space for other recreational activities. And, of course, since there's no place for a tavern in a building dedicated to recovery, the former bar area is likely to become a coffee and sandwich shop.

"We went into Rochester and went to this place called out Coffee Connections and it's a roasting business, a coffee-roasting business, run by recovering women," Bennett said. They run two coffeehouses and they serve lunches and breakfasts and we were kind of scoping that out, seeing how they did that. We're seeing if we can partner with somebody who might want to run a small little coffee shop."

People in recovery want to lead normal lives -- watch big sporting events together, play pool, eat some wings and pizza, socialize, but in an environment without drugs or alcohol, Bennett said.

"This is the new norm in urban areas," Bennett said. "It's what they call sober bars. And that's exactly what they are. They actually have mixology stuff but it's all alcohol-free and it's very much like going to any other bar that you would go to where they're having either karaoke or live music or dancing or whatever it is. I think just people in recovery are looking to be normal without having to worry about drugs and alcohol."

The most notable downside of opening up a social center for people in recovery on the outskirts of the City is that it won't be in walking distance for most people, like the originally proposed South Swan location. The upside is the square footage of the Clinton Street Road property is twice as much as the South Swan location. 

The asking price for the property, being sold by Mike Bohn after buying back the property in a foreclosure auction, is $250,000. Bennett said he can't disclose the actual sale price since the deal hasn't closed yet and the price is still being negotiated.

A presale building inspection was completed two days ago.

Much of the floor plan of the former restaurant will remain the same, Bennett said, but the interior, which probably hasn't been updated since the 1970s or early '80s, will be modernized.

There is also some equipment, furnishing, games and TVs to buy.

Bennett said GCASA has a modest $75,000 budget for the upgrades.

The property will be open to the community -- if there is a coffee shop, that will be open to everybody. If a community member isn't in recovery but wants to host an event -- say a birthday party -- for a friend or relative who is in recovery -- or isn't but perhaps should be -- the facility will be available for those reservations as well.

And there will be events for people in recovery, whether it be an open mic night or for big sporting events.

"Let's just say we're going to do a March Madness night or a week of March Madness basketball and we're gonna show games -- it's just a sober place to come down and watch basketball," Bennett said. "We'll have a little sports area and you can watch the Super Bowl or watch the World Series, things like that."

Bennett is a little exasperated by the community outcry over the proposed South Swan location but he said he understands it.

"It's really too bad that the South Side saw this as something that would threaten the community instead of benefit it because if you check out ROCovery in Rochester," Bennett said, " ... there's a whole thing around fitness and recovery. I went up and I met with them and they were amazing people and the community now has just enveloped them.

"Their community gardens are open to everybody in the community. Everybody gets to come down and pick some tomatoes or some peppers or lettuce or whatever they need. And everybody is also allowed to use the recovery center.

"So so I think that's where we want to head to. We want to say, 'hey this is open to you, too. You just have to be willing to be drug-free while you're here.'

"I think they were shortsighted but I understand that people have fears and the work we do is stigmatized."

July 12, 2019 - 12:00pm


Friday, July 12th – PREVIEW NIGHT • Free Parking

  • 4 p.m. – Midway OPEN
  • 7 p.m. – Karaoke Qualifier

Daily at the Genesee County Fair:

  • Mechanical Bull Riding – try your hand at bull riding on the mechanical bull
  • Balloon Display and Demonstrations
  • Pig Racing
  • Entertainer – Wade Henry

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 12, 2019 - 10:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mama Chavez Taqueria, Le Roy, video, restaurants, business.
Video Sponsor

Mama Chavez Taqueria opens today in Le Roy. Owner Maria Chavez and her sons held a ribbon-cutting and an open house for invited guests yesterday. This is an authentic -- very authentic -- Mexican restaurant.  

Chavez has been cooking Mexican food, using recipes handed down through her family, for her children and family friends for 30 years. It's always been her dream to open a restaurant.  

The restaurant is located at 7 Mill St. and is open Tuesday through Saturday.

July 12, 2019 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in the batavian sessions, music, arts, entertainment.
Video Sponsor

Michael DiSanto performs Simple Things on the third floor of the historic Newberry Building/Eli Fish Brewing Co., Downtown Batavia, NY.

July 12, 2019 - 8:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

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Press release:

You never know who will step up for the Batavia Muckdogs during any given game. It's the main reason the team is 17-9, sitting in first place in the Pinckney Division.

Thursday night, it was Jack Strunc's turn, as the shortstop went 3-for-4 with two doubles to lead Batavia to a 5-2 win over the Lowell Spinners.

Lowell is now 17-8 and Friday night's game in Batavia will determine who has the best overall record in the New York-Penn League.

"They have the best record coming in here but I think we show we can play with anyone," Strunc said. "It doesn't matter, we are confident no matter what division or who is at the top, these guys show up every single day, pitching and hitting."

Strunc, who was drafted this year in the 25th round of the draft by the Miami Marlins, scored twice and drove in two runs to increase his average to .333 with the three-hit game.

"I'm trying to see the ball as long as possible, I'm not trying to do too much," Strunc said. "I'm seeing a few more pitches than normal and I think that's helping."

Albert Guaimaro made three outstanding catches in right field including two running grabs near the fence to go with his RBI single at the plate. His defense kept runners from scoring in three innings.

Sean Reynolds, who is hitting .571 in his return to Batavia this week had a double and scored, Brayan Hernandez went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI and Andrew Turner had an RBI single.

Pitching was strong again as Dakota Bennett picks up the win throwing five innings of shutout ball with three strikeouts and Geremy Galindez notched his second save, throwing a scoreless ninth with a strikeout. Easton Lucas started, striking out two in two innings and one of the new Muckdogs, Brock Love, threw one scoreless inning with a strikeout. Love is a 34th-round pick the Marlins from the 2019 draft and played at University of Alabama.

Coming up: Friday is Crafty Hour where the large selection of craft beers are just $3. There will be other specials and events during the 7:05 p.m. game.

Tickets for these games and others are available at the Dwyer Stadium box office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, online at muckdogs.com or by calling 585-483-3647.

Photos by Jim Burns.

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July 12, 2019 - 8:06am
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.

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July 11, 2019 - 10:00pm

Genesee County Economic Development Center directors today accepted an application for $156,312 in tax incentives from Provident Batavia LLC, setting the stage for a public hearing, likely to take place at the Batavia Town Hall at a date to be announced.

In presenting the application to the board, Mark Masse, GCEDC senior vice president of operations, acknowledged the company, known as SCP Distributors LLC at 4430 Saile Drive, has successfully made all of the payments required per a 2005 payment in lieu of taxes agreement and is now on the tax rolls.

“The company is doing what they said they would do,” Masse said, noting that its number of full-time equivalent employees has grown from seven to 15 over the past eight years.

Responding to a question about a New York State Subsidy Tracker report that showed that Provident Batavia LLC lost jobs in 2011 and 2012, while receiving $25,700 in subsidies, Masse said his records reveal otherwise.

“Their application at that time stated that they would retain 12 jobs, not create 12 jobs, and what happened was that it was incorrectly inputted – doubling 12 to 24,” he said, adding that the online tracking system had its share of issues at the outset.

This new request is being tied to a 13,000-square-foot addition to the existing office, warehouse and distribution facility estimated to cost the company $1.194 million, broken down as follows:

-- $1.048 million for building cost;
-- $50,000 in land/engineering/architecture;
-- $40,000 in taxable equipment;
-- $55,750 in other expenses.

The project is estimated to produce a state and regional economic impact of $594,122 and $61,516, respectively, in property taxes over a 10-year period, and would enable SCP Distributors to retain 15 FTE’s with an average salary of $38,000, Masse reported.

Company officials are seeking property tax saving of $86,774, sales tax exemption of $57,988 and a mortgage tax exemption of $11,550. Upon approval after the public hearing, the project is expected to start in August and take about four months to complete.

SCP Distributors has more than 2,000 employees and 120,000 wholesale customers worldwide, and is part of the world’s largest wholesale distributor of swimming pool supplies and related equipment. The company is a supplier to local businesses, including Denny’s Pool World and Deep Blue Pool & Spa.

In other action, the board:

-- Approved a $10,000 contract with Clark Patterson Lee for bidding services related to the Town of Pembroke Corfu Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Masse said the Town of Pembroke and the GCEDC (or Genesee Gateway Local Development Corp.) will split the cost 50/50 for the first phase of the project, which will require CPL to provide up to 20 sets of plans, specifications and contract documents to prospective bidders.

The second phase, which will be addressed at a later date, carries a $205,000 price tag for project management, construction administration, construction inspection and stormwater pollution prevention plan inspections.

-- Approved a contract with Leaton Signs for two 4-foot by 8-foot free standing signs as the Le Roy Food & Tech Park and one 4-foot by 8-foot freestanding sign at Apple Tree Acres in Bergen at a cost of $600 per sign.

-- Approved measures connected to the STAMP site in the Town of Alabama for additional surveys (Frandina Engineering & Land Surveying for $2,230), site assessments (CPL, $1,500), to remain the lead agency for an updated state environmental quality review and to dedicate the name of the main road as STAMP Drive (per a resolution passed by the Alabama Town Board).

-- Heard a report from President/CEO Steve Hyde, who expressed his disappointment in the State Legislature’s recent passing of a farm workers labor bill that is set to go to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk for signing.

“It’s egregious; very damaging to our farmers,” Hyde said, mentioning that farm owners would have to pay overtime to workers after 60 hours in a week.

The bill also gives farm workers the right to one full day of rest per week, eligibility for unemployment insurance and workers compensation coverage, and the right to organize a union and to collectively bargain.

----

Hyde, following the meeting, provided an update on Ellicott Station in the City of Batavia and called upon Cuomo to step in to kick-start the City’s first big Downtown Revitalization Initiative project.

“We need the governor’s help to make this come together,” said Hyde, noting that program requirements of several state agencies are keeping the Savarino Companies of Buffalo’s plan from moving forward. “This is an opportunity to transform blighted property at the gateway of our city – (an eyesore) that reinforces poverty.”

Plans for the $20 million renovation of the former Santy’s Tire and Soccio & Della Penna property on Ellicott Street were unveiled in March 2016, but City leaders are still waiting for a shovel to be put into the ground.

Savarino Companies is proposing a mixed-use development of residential, office and retail spaces, including a brewery, small beverage warehouse and hops processing facility; as well as an entertainment and event area with outside seating and a tie-in to the new Ellicott Trail pedestrian pathway.

July 11, 2019 - 8:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in city centre, mall, batavia, news, crime.

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Press release:

The Batavia Police Department is investigating damage to the City Center, which occurred between 06/29/2019 and 07/01/2019. The suspects did not gain entry to the building but did damage the skylights in the mall concourse, after getting onto the roof.

The attached photos are individuals who may have information in regards to the investigation.

Anyone with information in reference to the case or who can identify the persons in the photos may contact Detective Eric Hill at 585-345-6373 or the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370.

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mall3july112019.jpg

July 11, 2019 - 8:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, crime, news, batavia, notify.

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Pledges from Volunteers for Animals and animal lovers in the community have led to at least a $2,000 reward being offered for the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for tossing an eight-week-old kitten from the window of a red car on Route 98 near West Saile Drive on Saturday night.

The kitten had to be euthanized because of its extensive injuries. 

The Sheriff's Office announced the award this evening.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.

July 11, 2019 - 8:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, fire, batavia.

A possible apartment fire is reported at 518 East Main St., Batavia.

The call is for an unknown type fire on the third floor. '

City Fire is responding.

UPDATE 8:32 p.m.: Cooking fire.

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