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November 17, 2022 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, bergen, Le Roy.

John Sumlin, III, 43, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with five counts of criminal contempt 1st. Sumlin is accused of violating an order of protection by contacting the protected party by telephone while being held in the Genesee County Jail.

Ronnie K. Johnson, 52, no permanent address, is charged with grand larceny 4th and burglary 3rd. Johnson was arrested on a warrant stemming from a criminal complaint reported at 7:15 a.m. Aug. 2 at a location on East Main Street. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held in the Genesee County Jail. He is also charged with grand larceny 4th and conspiracy 5th, charges that stem from a criminal complaint filed on Aug. 19 at a location on East Main Street.

Nicholas J. Mruczek, 39, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd. On Nov. 6 at 9:45 p.m., Mruczek allegedly physically harassed a woman during a dispute. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Benjamin A. Boyce, 41, of Batavia, is charged with dog running at large. Boyce is accused of allowing his dog to run at large at 8:35 p.m. Oct. 31 on Woodrow Road, Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket.

William J. Galliford, 62, of Bergen, is charged with failure to appear.  Galliford was arrested on a warrant and arraigned in City Court and released on his own recognizance.

George J. Budzinack, 42, of Rochester, was arrested on a bench warrant after allegedly failing to appear in court as ordered. He was arraigned in City Court and released on his own recognizance.

Johnnie M. Waston, 39, of Dodge Street, Rochester, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and harassment 2nd. Waston is arrested in connection with a disturbance reported at 7:04 a.m. on Oct. 21 on Shady Lane in the Town of Batavia.

Connor Jenkins Rombault, 25, of West Avenue, Brockport, is charged with DWI, moving from lane unsafely, and speed not reasonable nor prudent. Rombault was stopped at 10:09 p.m. on Nov. 11 on Lake Street Road, Le Roy by Deputy Mason Schultz. Rombault was processed at the Genesee County Jail and issued an appearance ticket.

November 17, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, city centre, notify, mall.

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Four designs for entryways into Batavia City Centre were unveiled this week to mall merchants and City Council members.

The designs vary from one another at each of the four locations — including near the former Sunny’s, Hawley Insurance, and Le Beau Salon.  One design builds on the red brick exterior with doors and windows to let in the sunshine; another one leads into a glass vestibule and has a large hanging basket of flowers nearby; a third one features multiple hanging flower baskets with a sloping structure above it, resembling a slight roller coaster effect; and yet another entrance goes a bit wild with low maintenance greenery, and a bench.

Craig Jackson of Batavia Stagecoach Florist spoke on behalf of fellow merchants.

“They thought it looked pretty good,” he said. “The one near Sunny’s is a little fancier. It’s a fairly decent design of entryways to make the place look a little better.”

There was also some relief that there would be no more silo-style entrances, he said. Silos were originally built as separate areas from the mall, and they have collected a lot of water spots and damage over the years from a poorly designed roof.

"Basically, you're seeing a design still with a vestibule, but a very welcoming entrance into the space,” City Manager Rachael Tabelski said during City Council’s meeting this week. “Hunt Engineers has been working on this for the last six months.”

As soon as Hunt finalizes the design and related documents, the project will be put out for bid, she said.

“Ideally to begin by spring,” she said.

The city has $1 million of grant money set aside for the project.

"Right now, we believe that the entire million dollars will be dedicated just to redoing the silos at this point with construction costs. But we want to put in some other alternates in the project such as flooring and painting," she said. "The existing mall maintenance crew has been taking down ceiling tiles, and we're looking to see if we can repaint those ceilings similar to what we did here at City Hall. So just multiple different ways to spruce up City Centre." 

Aside from new ideas for mall facelifts, city officials have been trying out a mall market on select Saturdays. They are encouraged by the gradual increase of vendors and foot traffic. Jackson has noted an uptick of customers during these Saturday mornings, he said.

“I’ve gotten more traffic in the store because of it,” he said. “It has brought people in here on the weekends … about 10 to 15 more customers and they're buying things, that’s good for us.”

Current mall maintenance staff work on Saturdays, and are available to assist vendors with set-up, Tabelski said. There has been no overtime so far, and the whole market idea is “a beta test,” she said, which is an opportunity for real-time vendors and shoppers to use the market and test it out to uncover any issues before more fully launching it.

Vendors bring in their own tables and supplies, and the concourse can accommodate up to a 10-foot-high truck of goods to fit inside if necessary.

“We think it’s going well, we definitely want to see more activity with vendors and shoppers,” Tabelski said.

The next market is scheduled from 8 to 11:30 a.m. this Saturday, and nine vendors are registered to participate. Vendors include the core staples of Porter Farms, Tastefully Simple and Garner Farms, plus Dilcher’s Concessions, Gracefully Designed, Flint’s Maple, and Wright’s Homestead.

The market is also scheduled for Nov. 26, Dec. 10, and Dec. 17.

For those people that have criticized the city for putting any more money into City Centre, Tabelski said it makes no sense to do otherwise.

“We have a very large space in our downtown, whether we agree with how and why it got here. There is no value for doing nothing,” she said. “The merchants deserve a whole lot of respect from the community. They are offended when people say ‘just tear it down.’ We need to be creative with small programming.”

Those merchants — property owners within City Centre — have invested their lives and livelihoods into that space, she said, and the city needs to invest as well. Second-floor apartments are “a complete option” as a way to repurpose the mall building, and potentially “get the property back into private hands,” she said.

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Renderings of City Centre entrance designs courtesy of City of Batavia.

November 16, 2022 - 11:20pm
posted by Press Release in Notre Dame, Sports.

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Notre Dame honored some of its outstanding athletic legends on Saturday at the school's annual Hall of Fame Dinner.

Below are biographies provided by the school of each of the winners.

Photos by Howard Owens.  Top photo, Kevin Smith, Christi Moskal Ganie, and Jack Waggoner.

Kevin Smith excelled as a member of the Fighting Irish Varsity Football, Basketball and Baseball teams during his 4 years [1984-1987] at ND where his achievements led to him receiving the prestigious Rogowski  Memorial Trophy in 1987.

He was a 2-way standout on the 1985 and 1986 ND Varsity Football teams that posted a two-year record of 14-4 winning the League Football Championship in the Fall of '86 when they advanced to the Section V title game losing to Clyde-Savannah.  In his Senior year, he was selected to the Genesee Region League All-Star team and received the Outstanding Lineman Award.

During Kevin’s two Varsity basketball seasons, the team won 32 and lost 9 winning GR Championships in ’86 & ’87 while advancing to Sectional Championship game in ’87 where they lost by 1 point on a buzzer-beater to Cuba.  Kevin was named a Genesee Region All-Star in 1987 and was named the team’s Outstanding Defensive Player.

Kevin was a two-time Genesee Region All-Star on Baseball teams that won 50 while losing only 9, and  won Genesee Region and Section V Championships in 1986 and 1987.

After high school, Kevin attended Canisius College earning a BA and MS in Elementary Education. He taught in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas where he was named 1996’s New Teacher of the Year for the district. He loves coaching basketball and was an assistant coach on our 1992 State Championship team as well as a Nevada State champion team in 1999.  Following in the footsteps of his father (Kevin Smith Sr), Kevin has been a huge supporter of Notre Dame which led to his receiving the Fr.David Scheider Alumni Award in 2018.

Kevin and his wife Faith currently reside in Greenville, NY where he was Director of Golf for Sunny Hill Resort and Thunder Heart Golf Club for 17 years before moving to his current position as General Manger/Partner of the Island Green Resort and Golf Club. They are the proud parents of 4, Hannah (22), Syndey (20), Trey (18) and Emily (16).

Christi Moskal '03 was a stellar 3-sport student-athlete as a member of Fighting Irish Volleyball, Basketball and Softball teams during her 4 years at ND [2000 - 2003] and was named the 2003 ND " Outstanding Scholar-Athlete ". Christi becomes the 3rd female athlete from the highly successful Class of 2003 to earn Hall of Fame recognition joining classmates Kathyrn Redick [HOF 2020] and Darci Walthew [HOF 2021]

As a member of the Volleyball team, she was a key contributor to teams that won 2 NYSPHSAA Section V Class D Championships in 2001 and 2002 as well as 3 Genesee Region [GR] League Championship teams ['00 - '02]. The 2002 team advanced to the State finals losing in 5 games. Christi was a Section V All-Star in 2002 as well as a Genesee Region All-Star selection.

On the basketball court, Christi was a key member of 3 Section V NYSPHSAA Class D Championship teams [2001, 2002 and 2003], a Far Western Regional Championship Champion [2002] and a NYSPHSAA Class D State Finalist [2002] squad. Her individual honors included selection as Section V MVP in 2002, Section V All-Star team in 2003 and Genesee Region All-Star in 3 times {2001, 2002 and 2003}.

Her numerous academic honors while at ND included membership in National Honor Society and ranking 4th in her class. She was a Scholar-Athlete in each of her Varsity sport seasons.

She earned a BS in Psychology in 2007 and a Master’s degree from St. John’s University in Education in 2009. She also did post graduate studies in School & District Administration at Long Island University. She was a NYC Teaching Fellow from 2007 thru 2009 which is a highly selective alternative teacher preparation program. After teaching Secondary Mathematics for 8 years at the Phillipa Schuyler School for the Gifted & Talented in NYC, she is currently teaching Secondary Mathematics at the Eagle Academy for Young Men which is also in NYC.

Christi and her husband Abdul currently reside in New Jersey with their 3 children - Devin [12], Gavin {12} and Arya [7]. 

Jack Waggoner was a 3-sport standout throughout his ND career [1986 - 1989] as a member of Genesee Region League championship Fighting Irish Varsity Basketball, Football and Golf teams. He was named Notre Dame’s Athlete of the Year after his junior season in 1988 as well as the Batavia Lions Club Bill Cook Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award as a senior in 1989

The football squads his junior and senior seasons had a 2-year record of 12-4 winning a GR title. Jack’s excellence as a 2-way player led to his selection as a Genesee Region All-Star in both 1987 & 1988.

Jack’s basketball teams had a 2-year record of 37-10 [27-5 in GR]. In his senior season, the team went 22-2 winning the Batavia Lions Club Tournament as well as a Genesee Region title. They lost 70-66 in the Class C Sectional final to Avoca. His junior season saw the team go 15-8 while capturing a Genesee Region title and advancing to the Sectional semi-finals losing in OT to Mt. Morris. Jack was a Genesee Region All-Star in 1988.

Golf is where Jack left a footprint that may never be matched. While Notre Dame has had many outstanding golfers, Jack can make a claim to being the G.O.A.T.as he possesses the most impressive resume’ of any golfer in school history based on his 6-times as a Sectional qualifier, 3 times as the medalist of the GR qualifying event, twice advancing to the state championship and his 4-times named as team MVP whose selection is based on team points earned during the season and is a school record.

Jack epitomized the term “student-athlete” as academically he ranked fourth [4th] in his class of forty-five {45} and was a member of Notre Dame’s National Honor Society. He graduated from the University of Rochester with a BA in Economics and Organizational Psychology.

Jack and his wife the former Kim Tooze [ND Class of 1989} currently reside in Bradenton, FL where he is a Certified Financial Planner for Equitable Advisors. Club for 17 years They have three children; Benjamin (21), Paige (20) and Bradley (17)

Aaron Fix (not pictured) excelled while playing Football, Basketball and Baseball during his 4 years [1989-1992] as a student-athlete at ND.

Aaron was a two-time Genesee Region All-Star in football and was twice named Outstanding Defensive Player.  His prowess led to his recruitment to play college football on the Division I-AA level at Canisius College where he held 14 school records when he graduated. Among these were punt returns for a touchdown in a game (3) which earned him national recognition from numerous outlets including ESPN and Sports Illustrated (Player of the Week –Special Teams). He also shared the punt returns for a touchdown in a season record (4) all divisions record with Golden Richards, Cliff Branch and Billy “White Shoes” Johnson who all played in the NFL. In 1994, he was named to the All- MAAC team on defense and the ECAC Division I-AA All-Star team as a Return Specialist.  

His notoriety led to his selection as the Notre Dame Sports Booster’s Amateur Athlete of the Year, and his love of football led to his playing Arena Football and coaching high school athletes at both Notre Dame and Batavia High Schools.

An outstanding two-way basketball player, Aaron was a member of the “Fab Five” team that won Notre Dame’s first state championship in 1992 while winning 26 and losing only 1. His teams posted a two year record of 40-9 (24-4 in GR) while winning Genesee Region titles in 1991 and 1992. The ’92 team set numerous school records during its historical run to a state title. Aaron was the 1992 squad’s Outstanding Defensive Player Award winner.

Aaron was a two-time Genesee Region All-Star on baseball teams that won Genesee Region Championships in 1990 &1991.  An indicator of his athleticism is that he was ambidextrous, playing baseball right-handed and basketball left-handed. The ’90 team won 12 of its last 15 games to advance to the Sectional finals.  In each of his 3 Varsity seasons, his baseball team was eliminated from Sectional play by the eventual champion.

Aaron and his wife Kristen live in Batavia with their children - Rhorri [20], Cooper [17] and Greyson [15]. He is the Regional Sales Manager for Hilti Inc.

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1973 ND Varsity Baseball
The 1973 Baseball team under the leadership of legendary ND coaches Fr. John Zeitler and Bill Sutherland recorded a 16-4 record while winning the championship of the very competitive Bishop Smith League.

They would then advance to the title game of the prestigious Georgetown Cup Championship Playoffs where they would eventually fall Canisius High School of the Burke League in a hard fought 3-1 game.  Canisius High School was an all-male school with twice the enrollment of Notre Dame. The Smith League Championship marked the second consecutive title for this group as they were also Co-Champions in the 1972 season.

The 1973 team was fueled by an air-tight defense, daring base running, solid pitching, and timely hitting.  The team was loaded with a depth of talent resulting in the team receiving seven Monsignor Martin First or Second Team All-Catholic selections [Bob Carragher, Mike Flick, Rick Rapone, Carl Simms, Sean Sullivan, Pat Strollo and Andy Vogl]. This squad also included 5 individual members of the Notre Dame Athletic Hall of Fame – Head Coach Fr. John Zeitler (HOF 1991), Assistant Coach Bill Sutherland (HOF 1995), Bob Carragher (HOF 1997), Carl Simms (HOF 2002) and Andy Vogl (HOF 1991).

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ND Boys Basketball 1992- NYSPHSAA Class D State Champions

The 1992 Boys Basketball team posted a record of 26-1 in winning the NYSPHSAA State title as well as Section V and GR championships. Nicknamed “The Fab 5” { Aaron Fix, Dean Haynesworth, Tom McCulley, Rob Panepento and Tim Tucker} the team set numerous school records including wins (26) and win percentage (96.3%). Their run to the State Title put ND back in the spotlight at a time when attention on our great school was needed as enrollment had dipped below 100 for the first and only time in school history.

The highlight of the season was an exciting 76-75 win over defending state champion Prattsburgh in front of a sold out crowd at SUNY Geneseo avenging a 40 point loss to them in the 1991 sectional tournament. After this emotional victory, the team had to travel to Fredonia the next day for a 3:00 pm game versus Section 6 Champion Franklinville. After winning the Regional, they beat Fort Edward who was #1 in the State in the semi-final and Bishop Grimes in the title game.

The 1992 NYSPHSAA Class D Championship team coaching staff included Notre Dame Athletic Hall of Fame Coaches Mike Rapone [HOF 1996], Dave Pero Sr.[HOF 2016] and Kevin Smith (HOF 2022).  The team roster included HOF athletes Tom McCulley [HOF 2014] who is ND basketball’s all-time leading scorer, Aaron Fix [HOF 2022], Dean Haynesworth, Rob Panepento, Tim Tucker, Chris Tatarka, Jeff Von Kramer, Matt Von Kramer, Mike Sorensen, Matt Bausch, Kelly Bartz, Joe Condidorio and Gregg Torrey.

November 16, 2022 - 10:53pm
posted by Press Release in Le Roy Ambulance, Bruce Scofield, Le Roy, news.

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Press release:

Ben MacDonald, representing West Herr Auto Group, and former LeRoyan Gary Good were the winners in an unusual contest sponsored by Bruce Scofield. Last month he held a week-long auction for a scenic airplane ride in which he would take the winner for a 1.5-hour ride over a location of their choosing.

Throughout the week, several businesses added prizes to help drive up the bidding, including a $100 gift certificate to Shell’s Post in Stafford, a $100 gift certificate to Burley Brothers Country Butchery in Attica, and a $70 gift certificate to Waltons Way Angus Farm in York!

Ultimately, after fierce competition, the bidding ended up in a tie, with two bidders offering $1,000. Rather than force a tiebreaker, Bruce responded to this by offering them each an airplane ride and matching their $1,000 bids himself. Several others added cash donations on top of the bidding, bringing the total proceeds to our organization to $3,053!

Le Roy Ambulance Service would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of the individuals and businesses who helped to make this incredible fundraiser successful, with a special thank you to Bruce Scofield for his hard work to benefit us this year! So far, we have raised a total of $26,608, of which Bruce is directly responsible for nearly $9,000! His previous fundraisers included a scrap drive as well as a 50/50 at the county fair’s demolition derby.

Submitted photos. Pictured above, from left to right, are Ben Macdonald, Gary Good, and Bruce Scofield. Also included is a photo of Bruce’s airplane, which he calls “Scofield Force One.” 

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November 16, 2022 - 9:15pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, City Hall, crime, notify.

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A case involving chalk drawings on the exterior of City Hall has been referred to the Genesee Coumty District Attorney’s Office, Police Chief Shawn Heubusch says.

Stemming from an Aug. 8 graffiti spree in which the brick columns, doors and sidewalks were marked with about a dozen crude pictures, city police have investigated the matter, Heubusch said, and are now waiting to hear if “any criminal charges are applicable,” he said in response to The Batavian’s request for an update.

The drawings, thought at the time to be “anti-ReAwaken Tour” depictions that rejected hate and fascism, were discovered after a City Council meeting that ended around 8:45 p.m.

City Manager Rachael Tabelski and Public Works Director Brett Frank, along with city police officers, then inspected the building’s exterior to find out how much graffiti was done.

Police had also checked the surveillance cameras, and “videos have been accessed and watched,” Tabelski said.

“It’s still a continuing, ongoing investigation,” she said Tuesday. “I am hopeful it will lead to an individual, or individuals, being held responsible for defacing public property.”

At the time, police said the person responsible will face a charge of criminal tampering, a class B misdemeanor. The City of Batavia was going to keep track of the cost of the cleanup and submit an amount to the police for the case.

File Photo of graffiti drawn in August at City Hall by Alecia Kaus.

November 16, 2022 - 6:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

A lake-effect snow warning has been issued by the National Weather Service starting at 7 p.m. Thursday and going until 1 p.m. on Sunday.

The Weather Service predicts heavy lake-effect snow with total accumulations of two to three feet in the most persistent bands of snow.

The heaviest snow is expected late Thursday evening through Friday night when snowfall rates could exceed three inches per hour.

Snowfall totals of up to four feet will be possible if the main snow band remains stationary for a longer period of time.

Wind gusts of 35 mph are expected to produce patchy, blowing snow.

The Weather Service warns that travel could be very difficult to impossible. The hazardous conditions will impact the Friday morning and evening commutes.

"Heavy snow will fall in relatively narrow bands," states the Weather Service. "If traveling, be prepared for rapidly changing road conditions and visibilities."

November 16, 2022 - 5:55pm
posted by Press Release in Sheriff's Office, weather, news.

Press release:

Genesee County’s Sheriff’s Office and emergency officials would like to remind citizens that with the impending snowstorm predicted to affect our area tomorrow night through the weekend, please be prepared to be home for a couple of days should travel become restrictive.  The safest place to be when road conditions worsen is home.  Make sure you have basic emergency necessities (food and water).  Many times, vehicles become stranded on roadways during a snowstorm, making travel for emergency personnel and other drivers difficult and very dangerous. 

“Please remember that even if it is not snowing where you are, the destination you are traveling to may have poor visibility and heavy snow accumulation.  The best and safest option for you and your loved ones is to stay home until the snowstorm passes,” stated Sheriff Sheron. 

November 16, 2022 - 5:52pm
posted by Press Release in Arc GLOW, chili and chowder fest, news.

Press release:

With forecasters predicting multiple feet of snow in Western New York, Arc GLOW’s Chili & Chowder Fest/Basket Raffle and Bake Sale has been moved from this weekend to Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16 and 17.

Martin Miskell, Arc GLOW CEO, said a variety of factors were considered when making the decision. 

“The prep work and setup for this event is enormous, and we want it to be successful,” Miskell said.   “In order to be successful, we need community members and our volunteer force to be able to travel to the event safely.  We didn’t want to take the chance.” 

Arc GLOW Community Relations Specialist, Tracey Jones, is the event coordinator.  “We look forward to welcoming the community to our 2022 Chili & Chowder Fest in December this year” she said.  “The postponement means we will be able to collect even more than the 125 baskets we have now!”

To donate, or for more information, contact Tracey at [email protected]

November 16, 2022 - 5:31pm
posted by Press Release in woodward memorial library, Le Roy, news.

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Press release:

It’s the season of giving, and Woodward Memorial Library in Le Roy is doing its part by holding a Holiday Book Drive!

All donated books will benefit the Le Roy Pantry and Help Fund’s Holiday Partnership.

You can participate by bringing new (or gently used) children’s books to the Library from now until Nov. 30.

Need some ideas? You may visit our Giving Tree in the Children’s Room for suggestions on the types of books you can purchase to donate.

All who donate will have their name added to a leaf on our Giving Tree!

November 16, 2022 - 5:27pm
posted by Press Release in STOP-DWI, news.

Press release:

On Monday, Dec. 5, the Genesee County STOP-DWI Advisory Board will sponsor its 6th annual STOP-DWI Awards Luncheon at Terry Hills Restaurant & Banquet Facility. 

Seven young people from districts in the county will be honored for their commitment to the community for entering the Board’s STOP-DWI Poster Contest. There are first through third place winners in two categories, 6-8 grade and Computer Generated Art. There is also a Grand Prize Winner. Additionally, the luncheon will recognize three Top Cop Awards.

The following young people will be recognized for their STOP-DWI poster submissions: 6-8th grade winners; Elliott Dayton, Abbigale Russell and Alyssa Adair. The Computer Generated Art winners are Anna Holt, Sydney Konieczny and Kaelee Kelso. The Grand Prize Winner whose artwork will appear on a billboard in Genesee County in November and December is Zoey Shepard, a 12th grader from Byron Bergen Central School.

Batavia Police Officer John Gombos, Genesee County Sheriff Deputy David Moore and Village of LeRoy Police Department Jordan Wolcott are receiving the Top Cop Award for going above and beyond with DWI arrests during a twelve-month time period.  They are also being honored for their dedication to keeping our community safe.

Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m. The program and luncheon will begin at noon. Seating is limited. If you are interested in attending the luncheon, contact Chelsea Elliott at the Genesee County Youth Bureau at (585) 344-3960 no later than Nov. 18.

November 16, 2022 - 5:17pm
posted by Press Release in Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, news.

Press release:

Community Action of Orleans and Genesee has opened registration for the Harvest Dinner program.

Income-eligible Genesee County residents who qualify will receive a food box and Aldi’s gift card.

To reserve a registration appointment, please call (585) 343-7798. ID for all household members and current proof of income is required at the time of your visit. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Supplies are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Organizations referring multiple clients should contact case manager David Dodge at (585)343-7798 x 114.

Community Action of Orleans and Genesee is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and has served low-income and disadvantaged families for over forty years. Community Action programs are designed to empower as well as provide opportunity to those who are not yet self-sufficient. 

November 16, 2022 - 5:13pm
posted by Press Release in Leadership Genesee, Paul Osborn, news.

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Press release:

Leadership Genesee will present awards honoring the 19 members of the Class of 2022 along with the 2022 Outstanding Alumnus Award at the Annual Graduation Celebration at Terry Hills on Dec. 1.

Paul Osborn, a graduate of the Class of 2005, has been named the Leadership Genesee Alumnus of the Year. The award is presented annually to an alumnus who works to fulfill the program’s mission displaying exceptional achievements and contributions to the community and Leadership Genesee.

When Paul was asked what Leadership Genesee meant to him, he said, “Leadership Genesee was an opportunity for me to learn more in-depth details regarding our community and focus on how I could become a better leader. The program provides tools and activities that make you more self-aware of the bigger picture, to think before you react, and ways to understand people to communicate more effectively.”

Tim Hens LG 2001 nominated Paul, sharing, “Paul is involved in every organization that you can imagine. He spends literally his entire time making life better for the residents and youth of his village, town, and county.”

Paul’s community involvement includes active participation and leadership roles with the following organizations: Oakfield Lions Club, Oakfield Betterment Committee, Alabama-Oakfield Dollars for Scholars, Oakfield Recreation Committee, BEA Camp Hard Hat for students providing experience in a building trades environment, GLOW Corporate Cup, Green Genesee/Smart Genesee, Genesee County Youth Board, Genesee County Parks Advisory Committee, Genesee County Job Development Youth Employment Program and the Association for the Conservation of Natural Spaces (ACORNS), to name some of the organizations Paul helps steward.

Paul shared that it’s been difficult to stay directly active with Leadership Genesee as his professional responsibilities as the Deputy Highway Superintendent for Genesee County include overseeing the Genesee County Jail Project, which takes much of his time. However, Paul continues to help Leadership Genesee because he gained tremendous insights and opportunities for engagement with many Genesee County agencies that are the backbone of our community. Paul shares, “Leadership Genesee is a catalyst for motivating graduates to get out and get involved. Doing what I can is my way of giving back to LG.”  

Leadership Genesee director, Peggy Marone LG ’02 shares, “Paul has always been an advocate for Leadership Genesee, concentrating his efforts in the community, which is a goal of our program. When we knew we were losing the opportunity to hold Outdoor Leadership Challenge at Camp Hough, we talked with Paul about relocating the session to the Genesee County Park. He worked to ensure the elements he built were done to specifications allowing LG classes to experience teambuilding activities at the County Park.” 

Paul is a Landscape Architect by training and has volunteered his love of natural beauty with so many organizations, including helping in the design of the International Peace Garden. Paul has led the transformation of the Genesee County Park system and has turned things like the DeWitt Recreation Area and the Ellicott Trail into regional award-winning community assets. Paul received the 2020 American Public Works Association Western Region award for involvement in the design and construction of the 9.8-mile Ellicott Trail project and the 2022 American Planning Association Upstate Chapter Award for Excellence in Comprehensive Planning for involvement in the 2050 Comprehensive Plan for Genesee County.

Paul’s advice to anyone who is thinking about applying for LG is, “Go…don’t hesitate!  There is so much more to the program than meets the eye.  This program will provide you an opportunity to engage, learn, network, share your story, and most of all…be open to different ways of thinking.” Paul enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and learning about other places, especially Europe.

The Outstanding Alumnus Award is sponsored by Skip Helfrich of Human Energies.  Leadership Genesee is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities. For more information about Leadership Genesee, please visit our website at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/leadership-genesee.

Photo: File photo of Paul Osborn, 2012, by Howard Owens.

November 16, 2022 - 4:45pm

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Press release:

The Morganville United Church of Christ, 8466 Morganville Road, Stafford, is hosting a Christmas Hymn Sing on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m.

The public is invited. 

We will have an organ accompanist to lead us through some of the old, familiar hymns we love to sing.  A light soup and dessert supper will be held after in a former one-room schoolhouse.  It’s a great opportunity to invite a friend to join you. 

Submitted photo: Gracia Leavy, Cheryl Hale, Marianne Garigen and organist Carin Wade.

November 16, 2022 - 4:37pm
posted by Press Release in make-a-wish, Batavia Downs, news.

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Press release:

Western Region Off-Track Betting (WROTB) and Batavia Downs President and CEO Henry Wojtaszek was joined by staff from Make-A-Wish Western New York as they were presented with a check for  $7,500.  These proceeds were from this past summer’s Chair Rentals, Glow Jewelry and Can Coolers at Batavia’s Summer Concert Series.

“Make-A-Wish Western New York does so much good in this community, we were pleased to continue our Chair Rental Program with them this past summer,” Wojtaszek said. “All of us here at Batavia Downs are proud that we could help ‘Make-A-Wish’ in their efforts to grant wishes for so many young Western New Yorkers.”

Throughout the 10 concerts of Batavia Downs’ Rockin’ The Downs Summer Concert Series, volunteers from Make-A-Wish worked a chair-rental booth.   From there the volunteers collected money for chairs while also selling glow jewelry and branded can coolers.  The chairs are adorned with the Make-A-Wish logo and the message:  The person sitting in this chair is helping to transform lives.

“Make-A-Wish is incredibly appreciative of our partnership with Batavia Downs for the “Rockin’ the Downs” Summer Concert Series to raise both awareness and crucial funds to help support children and families fighting critical illnesses, not only in the Batavia community but throughout this 17-county region, said Ben Marchione, Regional Director, Make-A-Wish® Western New York.  “Thank you to all the concert goers who supported this year’s efforts and to Batavia Downs for making it possible. It is only through vitally important partnerships such as this that we are able to continue to serve our essential mission and we are incredibly thankful for the opportunity.”

The 2023 Concert Series lineup is expected to announced in the coming weeks.

November 16, 2022 - 4:19pm
posted by Press Release in Haxton Memorial Library, Oakfield, news.

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Press release:

New signage reminds residents that they can take advantage of the free wi-fi at the Haxton Memorial Library in Oakfield. It is available 24/7. The best reception is at the front of the building along Pearl Street and Drake Street, as demonstrated by Kim Gibson, Library Director.

November 16, 2022 - 4:14pm
posted by Press Release in stuff the cruiser, news.

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Press release:

With the holiday season upcoming, members of many different local police and community agencies have come together to collect gifts for underprivileged children up to age eighteen across Genesee County.

Representatives from the Genesee County Probation Department, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Batavia Police Department, the New York State Police, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Genesee County Department of Social Services will be collecting gifts in front of Target and Kohl’s in Batavia from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 19.

Commonly donated items are new toys, new clothing, small denomination gift cards, personal care gift sets, hats/gloves and accessories, and non-perishable food items. All items collected will stay in Genesee County and will be distributed to children and families in need this holiday season. 

Photo: File photo from 2019 by Howard Owens.

November 16, 2022 - 3:20pm
posted by Press Release in Tompkins Financial, Business, batavia.

Press release:

Tompkins Financial Advisors in Western New York, based in Rochester, has added Batavia native Margaret Brown as a wealth advisor. In this post, Brown is responsible for building and maintaining client relationships, as well as lending expertise through executive financial planning, wealth management and estate planning.  

“Over the last 20-plus years, Margaret’s experience in wealth management, along with consulting and educating professionals and leaders, makes her a superb asset to the company and its team-based approach to client service,” said James Sperry, Tompkins Financial Advisors senior vice president and managing director for the region. “We know she’ll continue to grow in this role.” 

Prior to joining Tompkins Financial Advisors, Brown served as a vice president and financial advisor at Citizens Securities. She has her Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) series 6, 7, 63 and 66, along with Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) and Life & Health licenses in various states and is currently completing her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification.   

Brown is actively involved in her community and volunteers alongside her family at Bethel Express, a Rochester-based youth ministry.   

November 16, 2022 - 3:01pm

leach.jpgIf all goes as projected, Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.-member municipalities will receive about 16 percent more in distributions in 2023.

That was one of the key points shared by WROTB Chief Financial Officer Jacquelyne Leach this morning at a 2023 operating plan workshop for the public benefit company’s board of directors at Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road.

Leach (photo at right) said that preliminary numbers indicate that, overall, net revenue available to the 17 municipalities, which include Genesee County, will increase by about $800,000 to $5.8 million – a 15.9 percent jump. Those figures are based on net revenue before post-employment benefits.

She also predicted that the amount of money handled at the corporation’s nine branches will go up by $850,000 to $47.4 million while Batavia Downs’ net win will increase by $3 million to $77.5 million, and intertrack wagering and live racing handle will be remain unchanged.

Moreover, Leach said that Batavia Downs’ net gain from operations will increase by about $375,000 to $6.6 million – with net losses from operation decreasing by about $409,000 to $1.4 million and branch retained surcharge revenue increasing by about $16,000 to $619,000.

The surcharge consists of a 5 percent tax that the corporation collects from pari-mutuel (horse racing) winning tickets and, in timely fashion, distributes to its member municipalities and other counties in New York State that have a race track.

Leach emphasized that the operating plan has not been finalized and the numbers could change prior to a vote by the board at its Dec. 1 meeting.

“This is still a work in progress,” she said. “The board, ultimately, will either vote to approve or disapprove the recommendations of management that really will come to fruition in the final plan that will be sent out in summary form to members next week."

Nine of the 17 board members attended today’s workshop, including a new member, Vincent Horrigan, who has been appointed to represent Chautauqua County. Richard Siebert, Genesee County’s director, was not at the non-mandatory meeting.

The plan, which projects the goals of the corporation’s components in monetary terms, is “a collective effort between officers, department heads and staff,” Leach said, adding that the packet features historical data from 2021 and 2022 and anticipated 2023 numbers.

WROTB’s major segments are gaming, of course; live racing and intertrack wagering, food and beverage, and The Hotel at Batavia Downs.

“Keep in mind those two major revenue sources, which are the pari-mutuel wagering and the video gaming activity, are based on our patrons,” she said. “That’s why we say this is a fluid, working document. It is a guideline for the corporation in which to maneuver in the next year.”

She said part of management’s responsibility is to “react” to situations and trends, such as snowstorms that keep customers away from the branches and Park Road, inflation, rising product costs or public health concerns such as COVID-19 – “and I hope we don’t have to deal with that again,” she noted.

“We have adjusted some of our expenses upward … such as the utilities or any of our cost of goods, our food costs,” Leach said. “And, conversely, forecast what are our increases in our … product to end user, the patrons, the customers. So, there's a lot that goes in to putting this plan together. Not only the historical trends and current trends, but where we are going as well. And where do we want to be? And how do we achieve … our net win goals for the next year.”

BRANCH OPERATIONS

Leach said the nine OTB parlors employ 31 people (about 10 percent of the total WROTB employee count) and are projected to generate about $760,000 in surcharge in 2023. This segment, however, has not been profitable in recent years – and the 2023 operating plan indicates a net loss of about $1.2 million.

When asked by Director Dennis Bassett (City of Rochester) if it might be beneficial to eliminate the branch operation, Leach and Chief Executive Officer Henry Wojtaszek said management has downsized that part of the corporation in recent years.

During the OTB parlor heyday, the corporation operated more than 30 branches.

Branch wagering did increase during the six months that Batavia Downs Gaming was closed due to COVID, Leach pointed out.

“That’s when the OTBs and Batavia Bets (online wagering) became invaluable to the corporation,” she said. “Batavia Bets stayed open and then our OTBs opened up at the end of May (2020) and beginning of June. So, at least we had money coming in the door.”

She also spoke of the importance of the EZ Bet locations (in restaurants and bars), which feature TVs, simulcast equipment and terminals for wagering without the overhead of paying staff members.

BATAVIA DOWNS GAMING

Leach said that credits played into the VLTs and credits won make up the “net win” – which is projected to increase from $74.5 million to $77.5 million in 2023.

“So, our total gross operating income increased just about $2.7 million (per the preliminary plan),” she said, adding that a revision is coming due to a decision to reduce the number of summer concerts from 10 to eight in 2023, and upon receipt of the hotel operating plan.

WROTB pays 49 percent of the net win to the state Division of Lottery, and that is expected to increase by $1.5 million, Leach said. Operating expenses also are going up, with the biggest increases to the horse racing purses, breeders’ fund and to the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association.

All told, net gain from Batavia Downs Gaming operations is projected to increase by about $374,000, she said.

GENERAL & ADMINISTRATIVE

Leach said that in 2023, management (per information received from department heads) will be assigning 65 percent of the $6.7 million General & Administrative expense to the Batavia Downs Gaming side of the operation and 35 percent of that amount to the off-track betting (racing, intertrack wagering, branches) side of the operation.

This is up from a 51/39 percent split in 2021 and 2022.

“And it makes sense because in the past two years we have closed eight brick-and-mortar facilities,” Leach said. “This procedure and how the corporation allocates those funds have been approved by Western’s outside audit firm. It’s sound reasoning the way it's done.”

HOTEL AT BATAVIA DOWNS

Leach said she just received a report from The Hotel at Batavia Downs, which is operated by an outside company.

“Those numbers will be incorporated into the final plan,” she said. “It was an addition of 92 rooms, which increased the bottom line by about $12,000.”

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