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November 18, 2022 - 11:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, Darien, news.

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Savannah Draves measures the snow up to 31 inches this afternoon in Darien Center.

Savannah can expect to find more snow on the ground in the morning.  A snow band is passing over southern Genesee County now and is trying to push north into Batavia.

To submit weather photos, email [email protected] or text (585) 260-6970.

November 18, 2022 - 11:17pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, city of batavia, Batavia Muckdogs, GLOW YMCA.

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GLOW YMCA’s annual meeting had a few surprises this year, as the nonprofit’s leaders, including CEO Rob Walker, presented Community Partner awards to two Batavia entities that have been key players in the community.

Awards went each to Batavia Muckdogs and the City of Batavia for their contributions to YMCA’s mission and vision.

In turn, City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said just how much YMCA’s presence here has impacted him.

“The YMCA as been a positive influence in our community for as long as I can remember.  As a young child growing up in Batavia, the YMCA health and wellness programs were a big part of my life,” Jankowski said. “Their mission continues today in partnership with the city to manage Batavia’s after school and parks programs. I’m looking forward to the next chapter as they complete the new Healthy Living campus in our downtown.”

City Manager Rachael J. Tabelski and Jankowski were proud to receive the recognition, they said. YMCA has been “all in” to assist the city in ways that advance the mission of health and wellness, Tabelski said.

“And we share a very strong mutually beneficial partnership.  The YMCA worked with the former Youth Bureau Director, Jocelyn Sikorski, (currently director of Cornell Cooperative Extension) as a founding member of Teen City, an afterschool program for middle and high school aged children,” Tabelski said. “The YMCA stepped up when the city needed to find a private sector partner to run the afterschool program and the summer recreation program, which are both still offered free of charge to families in Batavia. The YMCA has also been a leader in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) partnering with (Rochester Regional Health and United Memorial Medical Center) to build a new $30 million Healthy Living Campus in the heart of downtown Batavia.

“The City is proud to be partners with Rob Walker, the YMCA, and their amazing staff, and we appreciate the honor of this award," she said. 

A request for comment from Batavia Muckdogs owner Robbie Nichols was not returned by the time this article was published.

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Top Photo: Steven Krna, Muckdogs General Manager Marc Witt, Batavia City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., and GLOW YMCA CEO Rob Walker; and above, Steven Krna, City Manager Rachael Tabelski, Eugene Jankowski Jr., and Rob Walker. Photos submitted.

November 18, 2022 - 7:00pm


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November 18, 2022 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Bethany.

A train fire is reported off Silver Road in Bethany.

Bethany Fire, with mutual aid from Alexander, dispatched.

UPDATE 6:56 p.m.: Silver Road is blocked off to traffic. Fire is out, according to dispatch.

November 18, 2022 - 5:28pm
posted by Press Release in Shop with a Cop, walmart, news.

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Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and the LeRoy Police Department are planning for the annual “Shop with a Cop” event.

In the past, community members/businesses inquired about donating to the cause.  There are several ways to submit donations.  Checks can be made payable to the Batavia Police Benevolent Association OR the Genesee County Deputy Sheriff’s Association.  Donations can be brought to 10 W. Main St. Batavia N.Y. (Attn Detective DeFreze) or 165 Park Rd. Batavia N.Y. (Attn Sgt. Sanfratello).  Donations can also be mailed to P.O. Box 299 Batavia, N.Y. 14021 (Batavia PD) or P.O. Box 492 Batavia, N.Y. 14021 (Genesee County Sheriff’s Office). 

For those unfamiliar with the event, Local children are selected with the help of School Resource Officers and School Officials.  On a date in December, children will be provided funds and their own personal Police Officer / Deputy to accompany them on a Christmas shopping trip at our local Walmart.  Walmart graciously hosts and staffs the event.  Walmart also provides funding and goody bags for each child. 

The additional funds being raised will allow more children to participate, potentially increase the amount each child is provided, and lessen other costs associated with the event.  Any excess funds will be designated for next year's event. 

All the participating agencies want to thank everyone in advance, especially during this time of the year, as it is an event that we are grateful to be able to participate in and provide for our community.

Photo: File Photo.  For previous coverage, click here.

November 18, 2022 - 5:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
Deborah Gorton

Deborah C. Gorton, 25, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with assault 2nd, aggravated sex abuse 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Gorton is accused of assaulting a child and of sexually abusing the child. The child is reportedly less than seven years old. There were allegedly multiple incidents. Gorton was arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court and released on her own recognizance in accordance with New York's bail law. She was scheduled to reappear in court at a later date.

Brian Stover, 52, of Edward Street, Newfane, is charged with grand larceny 4th. Stover allegedly stole merchandise valued at $1,042.48 from The Home Depot in Batavia. 

Amari Chantelle Glass, 22, of East Water Street, Elmira, is charged with criminal trespass 2nd. Glass is accused of trespassing at Genesee Community College on Nov. 17 at 5:33 p.m. after previously being banned from the campus. She was released on an appearance ticket.

November 18, 2022 - 4:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, Sports, pembroke, pembroke hs.

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The Pembroke Dragons, already the school's first-time-ever boys sectional championship team, kept right on winning Thursday night with a 54-38 victory over the Morrisville Eaton Warriors (Section III) in the NYS Regional Semi-Final game.

Behind the blocking of JJ Gabbey, Octavius Martin, Jayden Mast, Madden Perry, Ben Steinberg, Chase Guzdek and Caleb Felski, Tyson Totten rushed 40 times for a single game school record 400 yards and five touchdowns.

Caleb Felski added an 80-yard kick return for a touchdown, while Chase Guzdek caught a 14-yard touchdown reception.

The Dragons (11-1) were down 22-20 at the half but played good defense, forced several turnovers and "just pounded the rock, being a tough O-Line." said Head Coach Brandon Ricci.

Dominic Boldt, Sean Pustkulla, and Avery Ferreira had to step into big roles with injuries to Section V and GR All-stars Cayden Pfalzer and Jayden Bridge.

Jayden Mast had 12 tackles, Octavious Martin had 11 and a forced fumble, Jacob Dulski had 6 tackles and an interception, and Chase Guzdek led the way with 15 tackles. 

The Dragons will represent Section V in the final eight-man football game in all of New York State (the New York High School Athletic Association apparently doesn't call it a State Championship but that is essentially what it is) on Friday, Nov. 25, at Union Endicott High School.  Game time is noon.

Photos by Guy and Elizabeth Gabbey

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November 18, 2022 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, weather, news.

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Matt Luft, a resident off Route 98 in Elba, cleared a path through the snow for his chickens this morning.

Photo by Laura Luft.

Send your weather-related photos to [email protected] or text to (585) 260-6970.

November 18, 2022 - 12:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, weather.

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Dan Maxwell, outside Sacred Hear at Summit and Swan Street, was shoveling snow this morning, like a lot of Batavians were doing today after about a foot of snow fell overnight. 

A Winter Storm Watch remains in effect until 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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Shalana Thomas shovels snow on Jackson Street while Trey Odom plays in the snow and Zuri Odom helps with the shoveling.

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John Roche outside his store, Adam Miller Toys and Bicycles on Center Street.

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Alex Bedford on South Swan.

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November 18, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in Business, Grow-NY, bergen, notify.

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After two days of enjoying himself at a Grow-NY convention, Paul Guglielmo knew it was time to get serious. He was approaching his time to be on stage pitching for up to a million bucks to expand his Craft Cannery business.

Enter Alexander Hamilton. Or at least the soundtrack of the famed Broadway musical about America’s founding father. No wonder Guglielmo chose this piece of music to pump him up before his turn came: “I’m not throwing away my shot,” begins one of the tunes in a spunky rap-sung style.

And he certainly didn't. He just learned Wednesday that his pitch won a $500,000 prize. 

“It really worked. By the time I stepped on stage I was really psyched,” Guglielmo said Thursday about giving his pitch during the Grow-NY competition in Syracuse. “There was so much energy.”

The news was embargoed until Thursday, but Guglielmo figured there’s always the “mom rule,” so he confided in her before the news became public.

“She screamed at the top of her lungs,” he said. “We did a lot of practice, I’d say at least 50 times; it was well-rehearsed, but not memorized. There were six judges, sort of six disciplines all related to the food and agriculture business. The $500,000 is a really, really big deal, of course, but also having six people at the absolute tops of their field in food and agriculture give you that kind of validation, hearing your plan and say ‘we believe in that plan,’ that’s a big deal too. It really is a big deal.”

He received the award Wednesday night on behalf of the Bergen-based company. The top three priorities he pitched involved job creation, expansion of the building on Appletree Avenue, and the purchase of needed equipment. Most likely, it won’t happen in that order, though, as a building expansion needs to be done first in order to fit more equipment and then hire additional people to help operate everything.

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Guglielmo (inset photo left), has been supported throughout his entrepreneurial journey by his wife Ryann, who assists with the company’s marketing, and partner Tom Riggio (inset photo, right). For more, go to the company website.

First up on the task list is to hire an architect and move forward with an expansion, Guglielmo said. That should be happening during the next several months, he said.

“Monday, we’ll have our first set of meetings, and have a goal of that being done in a year,” he said. “We have the land to do 10,000 square feet."

With a personality that tends to be “all over the place,” one big lesson he has learned from this experience is to focus. The judges homed in on various elements of his pitch, and pointed out an area he hadn’t really thought about, he said: the diversity of his staff. While clients and the advisory board are diverse groups, his staff looks like Bergen, he said: nine white people. He has attempted to recruit temp workers from an Afghan-based employee pool, but workers didn’t have transportation. He appreciated the panel’s point.

tomriggio1.jpeg“The efforts have been made. And there's barriers that need to be broken down, specifically with the transportation, because I've heard a couple of times, well, where's the nearest bus stop, and we don't have one. And so that's a barrier,” he said. “So it's something that I would like to pay a lot more attention to and do a better job of.”

Once expansion and new equipment purchases happen, then Craft Cannery will be looking to hire “realistically between two and five people,” the Brighton resident said. Although the “B2B” company produces well-known products, it sells to businesses versus directly to the public. As a result, it hasn’t garnered a whole lot of attention — until now. Guglielmo knows how challenging it can be to pursue a business dream, and he wants entrepreneurs to know that Craft Cannery is there to help.

“The first thing I ever thought when I wanted to start my pasta sauce business was that it was almost for sure that the answer I would get would be that it was impossible. And I couldn't believe it when I finally started to have some people take me seriously, like the people at Cornell University and their food venture center,” he said. “When they took me seriously, I was like, ‘Oh my God, somebody's actually taking me seriously that I want to bottle this sauce. This is so cool.’”

State recognition
Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winners of the Grow-NY business competition Thursday, including the top prize recipient ProAgni of Lavington, Australia, for the $1 million grand prize.

Now in its fourth year, the program once again attracted exceptional startups and entrepreneurial talent from around the globe to compete in its business development accelerator and two-day pitch competition at the Grow-NY Summit, Hochul’s press release stated.

ProAgni and Craft Cannery were two of eight finalists to take home prize money. The winning teams must commit to operating in the Central New York, Finger Lakes, or Southern Tier regions for at least one year while providing Grow-NY with a small equity investment stake in their entity. Funding for the competition, which is administered by Cornell University's Center for Regional Economic Advancement, is provided through the state's Upstate Revitalization Initiative. 

"Congratulations to all of the forward-thinking entrepreneurs that took part in the fourth round of the Grow-NY competition," Hochul said. "This competition not only helps these companies continue to innovate, but it further supports New York State's regional economies by drawing even more worldwide attention to our globally renowned food and agriculture industry.”

In all, 390 startups applied from 52 countries, including Singapore, Australia, and Sri Lanka. In the U.S., 25 states were represented, including 92 entries from New York. The 20 finalists, including Craft Cannery, received dedicated mentorship from hand-selected regional business advisors leading up to the competition.

Those selected as winners will now immediately get to work executing their business plans in New York state, leveraging the connections made and regional knowledge gained from the competition, the release stated. 

More than 1,200 people registered for the fourth annual Grow-NY Summit. The 20 finalists gave highly-anticipated business pitches to a panel of six judges reflecting a depth and breadth of agriculture, food production, and venture development expertise, who listened to each pitch and asked probing questions, before deliberating to determine the top winners, it stated.

"Grow-NY has become one of New York's finest annual traditions, shining a spotlight on the many diverse, innovative, exciting agricultural and food businesses across the State,” Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said. “I thank Governor Hochul for her continued support of the Grow-NY competition and send my congratulations to all of the winners and participants this year. I look forward to seeing you create the technologies and jobs of the future while continuing to provide a boost to our local farmers." 

Craft Cannery promotes itself as taking cherished recipes from your kitchen to the shelves of grocery stores, restaurants, farmers markets and beyond, specializing in the contract manufacturing of sauces, dressings, marinades, and more. 

Grow-NY judges based award decisions on the following criteria: 

  • The viability of the startup's business model 
  • The diversity, quality, readiness, and completeness of the startup team  
  • The value that the startup offers customers 
  • The agrifood innovation that that the startup has invented

Prior coverage includes:

Top photo submitted of Paul Guglielmo, center, celebrating his win Wednesday in Syracuse. 

 

 

November 17, 2022 - 10:04pm

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District is pleased to announce that the Board of Education approved the nomination of Kristin Loftus as Elementary School Principal at the November 17th meeting. Loftus will fill the position left by Interim Principal Carol Stehm effective January 3, 2023.

“Kristin Loftus is an outstanding educator who is the best fit to lead Byron-Bergen Elementary School,” said Superintendent Pat McGee. “Her collaborative approach, along with her emphasis on putting our students and staff first, were key factors in her being hired for this important role. Our team is excited to welcome her to the District."

Loftus comes to Byron-Bergen from the Renaissance Academy Charter School of the Arts where she began as a Math Specialist/Coach in 2018 and worked her way up to Building Principal. Prior to the Renaissance Academy, she served as an Elementary School Classroom Teacher for more than a decade in the Warsaw Central School District.

“I am extremely excited to join a small-town school with a supportive and close-knit community,” said Loftus. “After spending the past 15 years in elementary education, I am thrilled to continue my leadership career at the Byron-Bergen Elementary School. I can’t wait to work with all the amazing staff and students that I’ve heard so much about!”

Loftus holds a master’s degree in Reading and Literacy and a Bachelor of Science in Childhood and Special Education from SUNY Geneseo. She received and Educational Leadership Certificate from the University of Rochester and the National Principals Academy Fellowship from Relay Graduate School of Education. 

November 17, 2022 - 5:36pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Closures, weather.

This list of closures and cancellations will be updated as The Batavian receives submissions.

  • Batavia City School District and all after-school activities will be closed Friday.
  • St. James Church's Basket Raffle and Pie Sale has been canceled Friday and will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Elba Central School is closed on Friday due to the weather.  All athletic and extracurricular activities are canceled as well.
  • The City of Batavia's Mall Market will be closed this Saturday due to the threat of inclement weather and hazardous road conditions. We plan to resume the Mall Market at the Batavia City Centre Mall the following Saturday, Nov. 26, from 8 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Le Roy Central School District is closed on Friday.
  • GCASA Administrative, Outpatient Clinics/offices in Batavia and Albion will be closed on Friday.  Residential, detox and methadone programs will remain open.  All staff should report.
  • Stuff The Cruiser is postponed until Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Target and Kohls at Batavia Towne Center.
  • Independent Living of the Genesee Region is closing the office Friday due to the weather but our staff will be working from home. Call (585) 815-8501 and use the staff directory to reach us.
  • Richmond Memorial Library is closed Friday and Saturday.
  • The Cornell Cooperative Extension office is closed.
  • Santa Day at Oliver's Candies on Saturday has been canceled. 

Email closures and cancellations to [email protected].


 

 
November 17, 2022 - 5:25pm
posted by Press Release in news, genesee county, State of Emergency, notify.

Press Release

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a State of Emergency was issued Thursday morning for 11 counties as a winter storm is forecast to impact portions of upstate New York with intense lake effect snow through Sunday. The most significant snowfall is expected Thursday and Friday with accumulations of up to four feet of snow possible in the Buffalo area and up to two feet or more of snow possible in the Watertown area, with snowfall rates of three or more inches per hour. Hazardous travel conditions and local power outages as a result of the storm are likely due to the combination of snow and wind in the forecast. Lightning and thunder may also occur in the heavier, more intense bands. Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to stay alert and avoid unnecessary travel Thursday evening through Friday, particularly in the Buffalo and Watertown areas.

The State of Emergency applies to the following counties, as well as contiguous counties: Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wyoming.

"We all have to do our part to make sure that everyone stays safe during this winter storm — that's why I have declared a State of Emergency for impacted counties, which will free up resources and boost our readiness," Governor Hochul said. "My administration has been preparing around the clock for this potentially life-threatening weather event, bringing in additional safety personnel and equipment, closing down the New York State Thruway, and activating Emergency Operation Centers. I urge all New Yorkers to stay prepared and vigilant over the next few days, making sure to look after vulnerable loved ones and neighbors."

Lake Effect Snow Warning and Winter Storm Watches are in effect through Sunday evening for several counties in the Western New York, Finger Lakes, Central New York and North Country regions. As of Thursday, the National Weather Service forecast anticipates several feet of snow for multiple locations over the duration of this storm.

For a complete listing of weather watches and warnings in your area, visit your area's National Weather Service website.

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "I can't stress enough the need for anyone in the path of this dangerous snowstorm to take action to prepare for several days of heavy snow, wind, dangerous travel conditions and the potential for power outages. New Yorkers are familiar with this kind of weather, but it's our first major snowstorm of the season, so let's please be careful, do your shopping and other errands now before the heavy snow starts falling, if you can, and touch base with friends and neighbors to make sure they are ready for the storm, too."

Agency Preparations:

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is closely monitoring weather and travel conditions, coordinating State agency response operations, and will be communicating with local governments throughout the event.

The State Office of Emergency Management's Emergency Operations Center is activating Thursday and the State's stockpiles are prepared to deploy assets to localities to support any storm-related needs.

The State Office of Fire Prevention and Control has assets such as emergency response vehicles, UTVs ready to deploy for mutual aid requests, as needed.

Department of Transportation (DOT)

The State Department of Transportation is responding with 3,287 supervisors and operators. Staff can be configured into any type of response crew that is required, including snow and ice operations, drainage, chipper, load and haul, and cut and toss. Additionally, 75 Incident Command System (ICS) personnel are available to support the upcoming event.

To support lake effect snow response in critical areas, a total of 112 staff from other regions, including 92 plow truck operators/supervisors, 11 equipment operator instructors, six mechanics, one operations manager, 1 ICS support staff, one safety representative, and one ICS support staff member were deployed to impacted regions. Additionally, 15 plow trucks, 6 medium duty trucks with plow, and 1 bulldozer were also deployed. They are distributed as follows:

Western NY/Buffalo - Personnel Deployments (87):

·         70 operators

·         7 supervisors

·         4 equipment operator instructors

·         4 mechanics

·         1 operations manager

·         1 ICS support staff

Equipment Deployments (22):

·         15 large plow trucks

·         6 medium duty plow trucks

·         1 bulldozer

All out of region resources will be in place by Wednesday afternoon or evening. The need for additional resources and equipment will continue to be re-evaluated as conditions warrant throughout the event.

All residency locations will remain staffed for 24/7 operations throughout the duration of the event and priority cleanup operations. All available snow and ice equipment is ready to deploy. Fleet mechanics in affected areas will be staffing all main residency locations 24/7 to perform repairs and keep trucks on the road. Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

·         1522 large plow trucks

·         140 medium duty plows

·         50 tow plows

·         329 large loaders

·         38 snowblowers

DOT is implementing a full commercial vehicle ban at the following locations beginning Thursday at 4 P.M.:

·         Interstate 190 - Route 62 to I-90

·         Interstate 290 - full length

·         Interstate 990 - full length

·         Route 33 - full length

·         Route 219 - Route 39 to I-90

·         Route 400 - full length

·         Buffalo Skyway Route 5 - full length

·         I-81 - Exit 33 to Canadian border - trucks use right lane only

To find the latest traffic and travel conditions, call 511, visit www.511ny.org or download the free 511NY mobile app. The online system and mobile app include a state road map, indicating which roads are experiencing snow conditions and where conditions are normal.

Thruway Authority

Thruway Authority personnel are staffed around the clock and ready to respond to the lake effect storm with 657 operators and supervisors statewide. Thruway has shifted and deployed additional staff and equipment from its New York, Syracuse, and Albany Divisions to support snow and ice operations in the potentially hardest hit areas in Western New York. Deployed resources include operators and supervisors, mechanics, large plow trucks, and large snowblowers.

Additionally, Thruway Emergency Operations Centers will be staffed in Buffalo and headquarters for the duration of the storm to assist with managing snow and ice operations, traffic incident response, emergency management, and real-time traveler information.

Beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday, all commercial traffic will be banned on the New York State Thruway (I-90) from exit 46 (Rochester I-390) to the Pennsylvania border, and the Niagara Thruway from I-90 to exit 22 (Route 62). ALL commercial traffic heading eastbound on the Thruway must exit at exit 61 (Ripley - Shortman Rd).

Commercial traffic heading westbound on the Thruway towards Pennsylvania from points east, should use exit 46 (Rochester - I-390) for I-390 to I-86 West.

Thruway statewide equipment numbers and resources are listed below:

·         346 large and medium duty plow trucks

·         9 tow plows

·         66 loaders

·         More than 132,000 tons of salt on hand

Variable Message Signs and social media are utilized to alert motorists of winter weather conditions on the Thruway.

The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic information, live traffic cameras, and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway. You can follow the Thruway Authority on Twitter: @ThruwayTraffic and @NYSThruway and on Facebook at NYS Thruway Authority.

Division of Military and Naval Affairs (DMNA)

DMNA will have 60 personnel on duty as of 6 p.m. tonight to assist with the state's response: soliders from the 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry, which is based at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and the 105th Military Police Company at the Masten Avenue Armory, and Airmen from the 107th Attack Wing.

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

DEC police officers, forest rangers, emergency management staff and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure impacted by severe weather. DEC is coordinating resource deployment with agency partners and all available assets are positioned to assist with any emergency response.

DEC is advising backcountry users to be aware of and prepared for winter conditions. Winter hiking safety and preparedness are extremely important regardless of a hiker's physical ability or destination. Properly preparing for winter conditions is essential for a more enjoyable and safer experience. Additional information on winter hiking is available here.

DEC reminds those responsible for the large-scale removal and disposal of snow to follow best management practices to help reduce the potential for pollutants like salt, sand, oils, trash and other debris in snow from affecting water quality. More information is available here.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

New York State Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Park visitors should check parks.ny.gov or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings, and closings.

Department of Public Service

New York's utilities have approximately 5,730 workers available statewide to engage in damage assessment, response, repair, and restoration efforts. This includes an additional 230 external FTEs secured by National Grid. NYSEG has increased its contractor support in the Western New York area in preparation for the lake effect snow. DPS staff will track utilities' work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact.

State Police

The State Police is adding extra patrols to the areas that will be most impacted by the lake effect snow, and will also be staging additional specialty vehicles, including utility task vehicles and snowmobiles, in those regions. All four-wheel drive vehicles will be deployed, and troop emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.

Winter Safety Tips

Winter Travel

Some of the most important tips for safe driving include:

·         When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.

·         Use caution on bridges as ice can form quicker than on roads.

·         If you must travel, make sure your car is stocked with survival gear like blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods, and brightly colored cloth to use as a distress flag.

·         If you have a cell phone or other communications device, such as a two-way radio, available for your use, keep the battery charged and keep it with you whenever traveling. If you should become stranded, you will be able to call for help, advising rescuers of your location.

·         The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that your vehicle is clear of ice and snow; good vision is key to good driving. Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra alert and remember that snowdrifts can hide smaller children. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.

·         It is important for motorists on all roads to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 mph, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. Oftentimes on interstate highways, snowplows will operate side by side, as this is the most efficient and safe way to clear several lanes at one time.

·         Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. Snow blowing from behind the plow can severely reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions. Motorists should not attempt to pass snowplows or follow too closely. The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted. Never attempt to pass a snowplow while its operating.

Heavy Exertion

Heavy exertion, such as shoveling snow, clearing debris or pushing a car, increase the risk of a heart attack.

 

To avoid problems:

·         Stay warm, dress warm and SLOW DOWN when working outdoors.

·         Take frequent rests to avoid over-exertion

·         If you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, or pain in your jaw radiating down your arm, STOP and seek help immediately.

Power Outages

·         Call your utility to determine area repair schedules

·         Turn off or unplug lights and appliances to prevent a circuit overload when service is restored; leave one light on to indicate when power has been restored

·         If heat goes out during a winter storm, keep warm by closing off rooms you do not need

Heating Safety

·         Use only safe sources of alternative heat such as a fireplace, small well-vented wood or coal stove or portable space heaters

·         Always follow manufacturer's instructions

·         When using alternative heat sources such as a fireplace, woodstove, etc. always make sure you have proper ventilation

·         Keep curtains, towels and potholders away from hot surfaces

·         Have a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors and make sure they work

·         If you use kerosene heaters to supplement your regular heating fuel, or as an emergency source of heat, follow these safety tips:

-Follow the manufacturers' instructions

-Use only the correct fuel for your unit

-Refuel outdoors ONLY and only when the unit is cool

-Keep the heater at least three feet away from furniture and other flammable objects

-When using the heater, use fire safeguards and ventilate properly

For more safety tips, visit https://dhses.ny.gov/safety.

 
November 17, 2022 - 5:04pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, State of Emergency, batavia, genesee county, notify.

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Genesee County has gotten some attention from the Department of Homeland Security due to a severe weather watch for the next few days.

Department Commissioner Jackie Bray was heading this way to work alongside the county’s Emergency Management Services team, Legislature Chairwoman Shelley Stein said Wednesday evening.

The commissioner — whose most recent Twitter posts include news that Governor Kathy Hochul declared a State of Emergency -- planned to be embedded with county workers throughout the weather event, Stein said. Hochul's declaration Thursday morning was for 11 counties in New York predicted to be impacted by heavy lake effect snow.

The counties include Genesee, as well as  Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Jefferson, Lewis, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wyoming. As of 4 p.m. Thursday, all commercial traffic had been banned on multiple state roads and state Thruway I-90 from Exits 46 to 61.

Citizens are to brace for the most heavy accumulations of up to four feet of snow in the Buffalo area. Hazardous travel conditions and local power outages may occur as a result of the combination punch of snow and wind that's been prevalent in weather forecasts. Hochul has urged New Yorkers to stay alert and avoid unnecessary travel Thursday evening (tonight) and Friday.

Several people have been dispatched to combat the elements, including 70 operators, seven supervisors, four equipment operator instructors, four mechanics, one operations manager and one support staff in the Western New York region, the press release stated.

The City of Batavia is prepared, Manager Rachael Tabelski said, and she has been talking with police, fire and public works departments, and county, utility and state leaders all day to ensure storm protocols are in place. Tabelski was glad to see that state roads and the Thruway are being partially shut down early as a proactive measure.

"I think shutting down truck traffic early is very helpful ... and rerouting trucks -- We just want to keep as many arterial roads open as we can," she said Thursday afternoon. "We will be determining early in the morning if we will close City Hall. We're hoping to remain open to serve all of our residents."

During talks with municipal leaders, Tabelski was reminded that commercial trucks that use the Thruway and other major highways have gotten stuck idling during intense storms, and that makes it nearly impossible for snowplow operators to do their jobs and clear snow. Rerouting that traffic well before a storm hits was a good move to help alleviate that issue, she said. 

All major department personnel from the police, fire, public works, snow removal and water and sewer plants will remain open Friday, but the mall market slated for Saturday has been canceled, and the Yard Waste Station will be closed this weekend as a precautionary step, she said. 

"I'm not saying we're rusty, but it's our first snowstorm (this season); we've got a great team in the city and county," Tabelski said. "Stay safe, stay home, use your generator outside and not inside, don't use stoves to keep warm, make sure you've got batteries ... don't light candles inside. We feel as prepared as we can be for one of these events."

As for feeling confident that a storm of the predicted intensity -- with quantity and speed of potential snowfalls -- Tabelski couldn't commit to that. "We just don't know," she said. But, per the popular adage, it's better to be safe than sorry.

She also wanted to extend a "thank-you" to those city, county and state employees that are out there in the middle of the night plowing and clearing roadways "so that we can live our lives" and remain safe.

Batavia City School District and all after-school activities will be closed Friday, Superintendent Jason Smith said. The Batavian will be publishing an ongoing list of closures and cancellations as they are received.

So hunker down, snuggle up, and get ready for some wintry weather to safely endure from inside.

File photo of January's snow clean-up, by Howard Owens.

November 17, 2022 - 3:41pm

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Press release:

Veteran Batavia bowler Bill Neubert captured the 15th annual Triple O Mechanical Handicap Singles Tournament title on Sunday, defeating second-year kegler Matt Bourg of Darien in the title match for the $700 first prize.

The tournament, hosted and co-sponsored by Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, drew 61 entries over three qualifying squads. The top 16 advanced to the “eliminator” finals and all cashed.

Neubert, 72, rolled 228 (209 scratch) to outdistance Bourg, who posted 199 (135 scratch). Bourg, who had a 151 entering average, earned $350 for placing second.

Semifinalists, taking home $200 each, were Terry Moretti of Rochester and Mark Brown of Attica.

Quarterfinalists, earning $120 apiece, were Doug Bates and Nick Manioci, both of Rochester; 2020 champion Mickey Hyde of Le Roy, and 2012 champion Kevin Gray Sr. of Honeoye Falls.

Eight bowlers making the cut but losing in the first round won $80 each. They were Ricky Zinone of Rochester, Jim Pitts of Elmira, Gary Kinyon of Lockport, Chris Mathis of Rochester, Shayne Herold of Batavia, Kevin Gray Jr. of Warsaw, Chris Bardol of Brockport and Chuck Pitts of Cortland.

Hyde was the high qualifier with 769, followed by Mathis (764), Neubert (752), Moretti (751) and Brown (747). It took 696 with handicap to advance to the eliminator finals.

Photo: From left, Tournament director Mike Pettinella, Bill Neubert, Matt Bourg and Rose Garden Bowl proprietor Tom Sardou. Submitted photo.

November 17, 2022 - 9:24am

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Press release:

Wednesday night’s “Veteran Connection” at The Recovery Station on Clinton Street Road served a valuable purpose for former military members, their families and the community, in general.

Pamela Ware, president of the Anna Ingalsbe Lovell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, said she learned a lot about local services for veterans as she chatted with representatives of the organizations that participated.

“I will be able to report back to the chapter members some important information about the numerous veterans’ programs,” said Ware, who serves as the DAR’s volunteer services representative for eight Western New York counties.

Ware said that after speaking with Abigail Savage and Eric Krupczyk, psychologist and peer support specialist, respectively, with the Batavia VA Medical Center’s PTSD unit, she plans to direct the DAR’s next fundraising effort to support that agency.

The Batavia PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) program is one of only three such VA programs in the United States.

Other agencies taking part in the event were WNYHeroes, Inc., Best Self Behavioral Health, Department of Veterans Affairs crisis line, Buffalo VA Regional Office, VA Healthcare and WNY Healthcare System.

Paul Schwartzmeyer, community outreach event coordinator for WNY Heroes, Inc., said his organization provides services to veterans and families in 14 counties. Programs include food distribution, mortgage/rent assistance, service dogs, holiday gifts and backpacks for children of veterans.

He said the Buffalo-based agency works with Bill Joyce, Veterans Services director in Batavia, to assist veterans in Genesee County.

Photo at top: Pamela Ware, left, meets with Abigail Savage and Eric Krupczyk, representatives of the Batavia VA Medical Center’s PTSD unit, at Wednesday night’s “Veteran Connection” event at The Recovery Station on Clinton Street Road.

 

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Photo: Navy veteran Neil Gagne, left, receives information about WNYHeroes, Inc., from Chris Kankiewicz of Batavia, center, and Paul Schwartzmeyer, a former Batavian now residing in Buffalo. Submitted photos.

November 17, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tractor Supply, batavia, Business, notify.

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The Town of Batavia Planning Board voted unanimously on Tuesday night to appoint itself the lead agency in the environmental review process for a new Tractor Supply location at 8727 Lewiston Road.

Tractor Supply is planning a 24,000-square-foot building to replace its current store at 4974 East Main Street Road.

Not only will the new location be larger, but Tractor Supply will also own the land and building.  The company leases the current location.

"The main effort is to expand into a larger space and be an all-inclusive store that competes more with The Home Depot, Lowes, and those types of stores," said attorney Ryan McCarthy.

Real Estate broker Tony Mancuso said previously that he has potential tenants already considering the former Tractor Supply location, so it may not go vacant long.

The current location is owned by 1515 Management Company Inc., which appears to be a company based in Iowa with principles living in Boca Raton, Fla.

Tractor Supply is acquiring 5.08 acres, a portion of a 50-acre farm field owned by the Call family and actively farmed by MY-T Acres.  The five acres will be divided into four parcels.

Tractor Supply will occupy a parcel 340 feet from Lewiston Road.  There will be another parcel between that parcel and Lewiston Road.  It's expected that the parcel, zoned commercial, will be developed at some point, as well as the other two parcels being acquired by Tractor Supply, but there are no firm plans for development at this point.

The new location will have 110 parking spaces, which is 10 fewer than required by ordinance, which means Tractor Supply will need to apply for and receive a zoning variance.

McCarthy said Tractor Supply, which operates nationwide, knows the flow of its business well, and the store will not need 110 spaces, which means less land to cover with asphalt.

Plans to convert the farm field into commercial development have been on the books for more than 20 years. As part of the project, Tractor Supply will start construction of a road -- initially a driveway into the new store -- that will eventually connect Lewiston Road to Veterans Memorial Drive on the north side of The Home Depot.

A planning board member asked if it will be necessary to install a traffic light at the new road and Lewiston Road, and Mancuso said, "not yet."  Not until a planned roadway is installed directly opposite the location that will connect Lewiston Road with West Main Street Road.  That vacant land, in the town's Comprehensive Master Plan, is designated for commercial development.

The proposed project will be back before the board in a month when the board will review the environmental impact report.

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