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December 28, 2017 - 12:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, Stafford, notify.

A head-on collision between a semi-truck and a car is reported on Route 33 in Stafford. One person is reportedly "unresponsive." Mercy medics and Stafford fire are responding.

UPDATE 12:32 p.m.: The accident is in the area of 5882 Clinton Street Road (Route 33).

UPDATE 12:35 p.m.: There is a lot of debris in the roadway. The roadway is blocked. Bergen Fire Department is called. Extrication equipment will be needed.

UPDATE 12:38: Stafford command also requests Byron and South Byron fire departments to the scene, which is between Mill Road and Westbrook Morganville Road. Mercy Flight #7 is called in; a 15-minute ETA. "We need the extrication as soon as possible for this one patient," says a first responder.

UPDATE 12:41 p.m.: The extrication equipment is en route. Fire police are going to close the roadway near the scene.

UPDATE 12:48 p.m.: National Grid is called because the semi struck a utility pole, which is still standing but "it's damaged and it's making some noise."

UPDATE 12:56 p.m.: Stafford commands says "Just be aware this (roadway) is going to be shut down for awhile."

UPDATE 1:07 p.m.: National Grid is on scene.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: Genesee County Undersheriff Gregory Walker confirmed this was a fatal accident. The driver and sole occupant of an eastbound sedan was killed, Walker said, after the vehicle crossed the center line and collided head on with a westbound tractor-trailer hauling food products. The trucker was not injured. "He tried to avoid (the crash)," Walker said. "He saw it coming over the center line and tried to avoid it. He couldn't avoid it." The trucker swerved into a ditch yet there was still a head-on collision. The accident reconstruction/crash management team is taking measurements at the scene and investigating. National Grid also has to replace the broken utility pole before the roadway can be reopened. Next of kin notifications are being made and the victim's information will be released afterward. Walker said the roads are dry now and were at the time the accident occured, so icy road conditions were not a factor. "We're not sure of the reason," that the accident happened, Walker said.

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December 28, 2017 - 12:00pm

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December 28, 2017 - 11:02am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia City Council, Jason Molino.

Outgoing Manager Jason Molino’s “main goal” is to provide his successor with as much information as possible to help him or her navigate through the many projects that are on the table in the City of Batavia.

That’s the word from City Council President Eugene Jankowski, summarizing Wednesday night’s special meeting – a closed executive session – at the City Centre Council Board Room.

“Jason’s main goal is to outline everything in a detailed and concise manner to benefit the incoming manager and make it easy to understand what is going on,” Jankowski said.

While Jankowski said there is no obligation – financial or otherwise -- for either party to continue any relationship after Molino’s final day on the job (Jan. 12), he did say that Molino has “volunteered to answer questions after he leaves for a reasonable amount of time.”

Jankowski termed the meeting as an “exit interview” and a time for “constructive criticism both ways.”

The council president said most of the 45-minute meeting consisted of Molino giving suggestions about what skills and qualifications that Council needs to look for in its next manager, and how to improve employer/employee relations.

“He cleared the air as to why he was leaving, basically stating what he said before, that he was moving up the ladder and taking the next step in his professional development,” Jankowski said. “There also was a lot of heart-to-heart, which is a good thing.”

Jankowski said Molino outlined “his exit strategy” and briefed Council on the major projects.

“Jason also will be making suggestions on who he thinks should be the interim manager, and suggested that Council should make an interim appointment effective Jan. 13,” Jankowski said.

Although no specifics were discussed concerning an interim replacement, Jankowski said that he thinks “it would be reasonable to compensate someone for additional duties” should the interim tag be placed upon a current city employee.

Jankowski said there was no discussion on how to fill the position, adding that a public debate is less than two weeks away.

“You can expect a lively debate about how we will proceed at our next meeting on January 8th,” he said.

Molino resigned on Dec. 18 after 11 years in Batavia, and will start his new job as Tompkins County Administrator on Jan. 29. The new position comes with more responsibility and a substantial raise from his current salary of about $94,000.

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December 28, 2017 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Lazeula D. Washington, 40, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Washington is accused of entering the Genesee Country Mall though previously barred from the property. He was jailed on $250 bail.

Jeffery Thomas Dutton, 26, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Dutton was arrested after police responded to Walnut Street for a report of two men fighting.

Zachary J. Marrow, 26, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, was arrested after allegedly failing to appear on a subpoena related to a charge of criminal contempt, 2nd. 

Dexter L. Turner, 26, of Victor Lane, Hamlin, was arrested on two warrants out of City Court. He was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond.

David C. Wojkowski, 33, of Swan Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic ticket.

Daniel J. Horner, 37, no permanent address, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a prior appearance ticket.

Deina Chavez, 36, of Rochester, is charged with conspiracy and petit larceny. Deina was arrested by State Police in relation to an incident reported at 1:13 p.m. Oct. 28 at Kohl's Department Store. Chavez was jailed on an unspecified amount of bail. No further details released.

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December 28, 2017 - 10:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in softball, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.

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Members of the Batavia High School softball team, along with parents and coaches and parents, were at the basketball tournament on Wednesday night selling snacks and drinks.

The concession booth is a fundraiser to help the team pay for a trip to a softball camp in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in March. The camp will allow the team to start practices and see game action, helping them prepare for the season, while most of the team's spring competition is still stuck in frigid WNY.

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December 28, 2017 - 10:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, batavia, elba, Notre Dame, Lions Tournament.

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Notre Dame and Batavia will meet in the finals of The Peter Arras GCC Basketball Tournament at Genesee Community College on Friday after both teams won opening round games of the annual tournament organized by the Batavia Lions Club.

Notre Dame beat Elba 77-66 and Batavia beat Albion 84-58.

In the first game, Notre Dame and Elba traded leads throughout the first three quarters, but the Irish pulled away by scoring 30 points in the fourth quarter even as Elba scored 24.  

Ryan Moffat scored 26 points for the Irish, hitting five three-point buckets. Nico Zambito scored 17 points. Spencer Miskiti and Brendin Klotzbach each scored eight.

For Elba, Jonathan Boyce scored 20, Collin O'Halloran scored 16, Colton Dillon, 14, and Ben Pflaumer, 13.

In the nightcap, Mason McFollins scored 31 points, hitting seven three-pointers, while Ray Mlodozeniec scored 13, Trevor Zewan, 12, and Jonathan Liciaga, 8.

For Albion, Liam Ward scored 20, hitting four three-point shots and Bryce Pritchard scored 17, hitting five three-point shots.

Elba and Albion will play the consolation game at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and Batavia and Notre Dame tip off at 8 p.m. Both games are played at GCC.

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To purchase prints, click here.

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December 28, 2017 - 9:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in poll.
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December 27, 2017 - 10:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, batavia, news.

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A single-vehicle accident is reported on Chestnut Street in the City of Batavia. No word on injuries.

A car reportedly went off the road at 3 Chestnut St., struck a utility pole, careened through a front porch, and stopped at 1 Chestnut St.

City police, fire and Mercy medics are on scene.

UPDATE 10:40 p.m. (by Howard): The vehicle was backing out of a driveway from a residence across from 3 Chestnut. Police are investigatng and have yet to determine why the car backed up, at an apparent brisk rate of speed, over the curb, struck a utility pole, then the porch of 3 Chestnut. It sheared off the driver's side door, which was apparently partially opened, and then struck a parked SUV at 1 Chestnut. The vehicle at 1 Chestnut sustained minor damage. No injuries were reported at the scene of the accident but an ambulance was dispatched to Batavia PD to evaluate somebody who was in an accident (we are unsure if this is the same accident). Sgt. Dan Coffey said at this time police have no idea what happened or why, and they are investigating.

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December 27, 2017 - 5:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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      Amber Holland
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     Jennifer Martino

Two women are in custody following an apparent confrontation inside another person's home in Alexander at 5:28 p.m., Tuesday.

Arrested were Jennifer Martino, 42, of Pearl Street, Batavia, and Amber Holland, 35, of Cambridge Square, Buffalo. They were charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree burglary, criminal mischief, 3rd, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal mischief, 4th.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the duo forced their way into the home of an acquaintance. Once inside, investigators said, there was a physical confrontation. The duo also allegedly damaged property and stole property belonging to the resident.

Martino and Holland allegedly prevented the victim from calling 9-1-1 by taking the person's mobile phone. 

One of the occupants of the home was reportedly a 12-year-old child.

No significant injuries were reported.

Following the report, deputies located a vehicle with Holland and Martino inside and Holland driving. She was also charged with DWI, failure to submit to breath test, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

The pair were arraigned in Alexander Town Court and jailed on $10,000 bail or $20,000 bond each. Holland was also arraigned in City Court and ordered held on the DWI charge on $2,500 bail.

The investigation was conducted by Deputy Micheal Lute, Deputy Kyle Krzemien, and Investigator Joseph Graff.

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December 27, 2017 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Le Roy, byron-bergen, bergen, byron.

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Byron-Bergen's Lady Bees beat Le Roy in a girls basketball game Tuesday night at Byron-Bergen, 58-34.

The two teams were tied at the half, but the Bees outscored the Knights in the third and fourth quarter, 21-11 and 16-2.

For Byron-Bergen, Kelsey Fuller scored 16 points, Miriam Tardy, 14, Juliana Amesburg, 12, and Emily Kaczmarek, 8.

For Le Roy, Erin Cappotelli had 12 points, Bryn Luckey, 7, and Ava Horgan, 6.

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December 27, 2017 - 3:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news, notify.

More people in Genesee County now have jobs or want jobs than the same period a year ago, and this has actually meant the county's unemployment rate grew from November 2016 to November 2017, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Labor.

The November labor force is an estimated 29,600, up from 29,000 a year ago and while the number of people with jobs grew, the number did not grow as much as total labor force participation.

Labor force participation is the measure of how many people either have jobs or who report they are under-employed and looking for full-time work or are unemployed and looking for work.

The county's labor force participation rate has been at or below the previous year's number for more than a year.

While the pool of eligible workers grew, so did the total number of employed people. In all, 400 more people in the county are reported to have a job in November than the previous year. The total grew from 27,700 to 28,100.

Even with that growth, the bigger jump in total participation meant that county's unemployment rate grew from 4.5 percent to 5.1 percent year-over-year.

The GLOW-area unemployment rate rose at the same pace, hitting 5.3 percent, up from 4.7 percent a year ago. Buffalo's rate rose from 4.9 percent to 5.3 percent and Rochester, from 4.5 percent to 5.1 percent.

The state's rate was 4.5 percent.

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor reported 22,600 non-farm jobs in Genesee County, down from 22,500 a year earlier. There were 16,700 private sector jobs in Genesee County for November 2017, the same as 2016.

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December 27, 2017 - 3:00pm

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December 27, 2017 - 2:00pm

Press release:

Discover secrets of the wild this winter and/or the serenity of hiking on moonlit snow with naturalist-guided hikes at Genesee County Park & Forest! 

Winter Wonderland Hikes are held on Saturdays from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Hikes begin at the Interpretive Nature Center and end with hot chocolate and snacks.

Topics:

  • Saturday, Jan. 13th: Animal Tracks
  • Saturday, Feb. 3rd: Whistle Pigs (and other squirrels)

Snowshoes may be used, weather permitting, and are available for rent or you may bring your own. Snowshoeing lesson provided, no previous experience needed! Rental is included in the price, $5/person, $15 max/family.

Moonlight Hike and Winter Walks -- for adults only -- guided by a naturalist are offered from 7 to 9 p.m. on the dates below. Meet at Pavilion B.

  • Saturday, Jan. 27th
  • Saturday, Feb. 24th

Enjoy the tranquil beauty of the forest on a full moon night! 

Moonlight Hikes begin and conclude with refreshments by a warm fire! For ages 18 and over. Snowshoes may be used, weather permitting, and are available for rent or you may bring your own. Snowshoeing lesson provided, no previous experience needed! Rental is included in the price, $5/person, $15 max/family.

Pre-registration is required for ALL naturalist-guided hikes; call 585-344-1122.

Make a memory this winter with your own Private Group Snowshoe Hike! A naturalist guides your group through peaceful woodland trails and open meadows. Listen to winter’s quiet beauty and find signs of wildlife in this 431-acre park. Private hikes are available on Saturdays in January and February from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. by reservation only at the Interpretive Nature Center. No previous experience is needed; snowshoes provided or bring your own. Rental is included in the price, $5/person, minimum group fee is $75. Call 585-344-1122 to book your own adventure!

Snowshoe rentals are available at the Genesee County Park and Forest Interpretive Center 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 12 – 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays December through March, weather permitting. Rented snowshoes must be used in the park. Fee is $5/pair and all proceeds go to ACORNS, the nonprofit organization that supports the parks!

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

Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Center is located at 11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

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December 27, 2017 - 12:51pm

Lawyers for Genesee County and the Town of Batavia are in the final stages of drafting an amended and restated water agreement – a document that, if completed in time, will be considered by the Town Board at a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Town Hall on West Main Street Road.

According to Genesee County Attorney Kevin Earl, the amended agreement that will govern the Town’s water usage will focus on making sure the municipality (and all towns and villages in the county, for that matter) understand that the county is unable to supply an unlimited amount of water and that the county has the flexibility to increase the surcharge that municipalities pay.

“The county needs the flexibility to increase the surcharge (currently at 60 cents per thousand gallons of water) and ensure that everybody pays the same price,” Earl said. “The restated agreement will have a provision that the county has to give 120 days prior notice to the towns and villages of a price increase and, as part of the master plan, explain why an increase is necessary.”

Earl is working with Batavia Town Attorney Andrew Meier on finalizing the agreement.

County Manager Jay Gsell said that the next phase in the distribution of water calls for an increase of about 2.5 million gallons per day on top of the 8.1 million gallon currently supplied to county users as a result of agreements with the Monroe County Water Authority, Erie County Water Authority and the City’s water treatment facility.

“We’re estimating a surcharge increase of 60 to 80 cents per thousand,” Gsell said, “which is to be used for water system improvements only and to pay off the debt service of $20 million from 1999-2000.”

Gsell noted that future phases over the next five to 10 years are expected to increase the supply to 15 million to 20 million gallons per day.

Should municipalities approve the amended and restated agreements over the next several weeks, the earliest date of any surcharge increase would be June 2018, Earl said, due to the 120-day notice provision.

Earl said the many industrial development projects in the county will drive up the demand for water in the future, and that the county is planning to spend the money required to meet the demand.

Those projects/sites include the STAMP (Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park) site in the Town of Alabama, Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, Buffalo East Tech Park, and increased need in areas such as Bethany, Alabama, Darien and Town of Batavia, as well as the possible replacement (to increase the capacity) of the City water plant.

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December 27, 2017 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

STORY UPDATED: 12:30 p.m.

Police are trying to locate the driver of a vehicle that struck a jogger on Richmond Avenue near the Blind School at 5:09 a.m., Friday.

Batavia PD is unable to provide a vehicle description or information on whether the vehicle was damaged. 

A Good Samaritan who stopped to assist the jogger, Rosemary Demske, did not see the vehicle that struck her. He thinks.

Glen Enouen, an employee of Scalia's Landscaping who was working that morning driving a snowplow truck, said he was heading back to his route after going to the company's shop on Bank Street Road to repair a plow controller. Heading back, he turned the corner on Richmond and found a car stopped in the middle of the road.

The driver told him a woman had just been struck by a car.

He said he and the other man helped Demske into his plow truck and Enouen proceeded to call 9-1-1.

Asked if the car driver might have been the driver who struck Demske, he said he didn't know. 

"Other than he said, 'don't bother with the phone' and he didn't stick around, I don't know," Enouen said. He said the driver disappeared as soon as he heard sirens.

"I didn't see him leave," Enouen said. "I heard the sirens, looked around and he was gone."

Enouen said he didn't take a good look at the car.

"I didn't have any reason at the time to look deeper than helping that lady out," Enouen said.

A family member said Demske and her husband, John, are avid joggers. 

"They both are very generous with their time volunteering in the community," said her sister-in-law, Michele Bettendorf. "Rosemary is a special education aide in the Batavia School District. She also volunteers at the Genesee Animal Shelter and is involved in their Pet Therapy Program. She is an active member of Resurrection Parish serving as Eucharistic Minister/RCIA Instructor."

When Demske was struck she was thrown to the other side of the street, Bettendorf said.

She suffered a broken tibia, her entire left side was bruised and she has two black eyes, Bettendorf said.

"Rosemary is very thankful that he (Enouen) was there to help her," Bettendorf said.  

Anyone with information that may assist in the investigation is asked to call Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350 and ask to speak with a supervisor any time of day or night.

In a press release, police officials said, "As a reminder to residents please keep sidewalks shoveled for pedestrians. Pedestrians please use sidewalks and if you have to be on the roadway walk facing traffic with reflective outerwear."

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December 27, 2017 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area, Alabama, news, notify.

A Subaru Outlander is reportedly in a pond off of Feeder Road, near Klossen Road, or perhaps Meadville Road, in the Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area.

The caller apparently reports being in the area of Meadville, but dispatchers say the phone signal is closer to Feeder Road and Klossen Road.

The callers say they are unable to exit the vehicle.

State Police, Alabama fire, Wolcottsville fire, Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 10:52 a.m.: There is water in the vehicle, but it is not sinking. There are two people in the vehicle. One is disabled.

UPDATE 11 a.m.: Alabama fire on location. One vehicle partially in the water, hanging over the bank.

UPDATE 11:02 a.m.: Confirmed, two people in the vehicle. No injuries. First responders stabilizing the vehicle until more help arrives.

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December 27, 2017 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Bootery, batavia, news, business.

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Earlier this month, Batavia Bootery hosted "Boots & Bourbon," a special event where guests could taste-test various bourbons and shop for shoes and boots at the store.

The store donated $15 from every pair of boots and shoes sold to the Arc of Genesee Orleans, raising $635.

Yesterday, Don Brown presented the check to Shelley Falitico, director of Development & Community Relations for Arc.

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December 27, 2017 - 10:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in poll.
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December 26, 2017 - 3:56pm

Batavia City Council, in an effort to get a "head start" on the task of finding a new city manager, has called an executive session for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the City Centre Council Board Room.

Officially designated as a special business meeting, the session will not be open to the public, Council President Eugene Jankowski said this afternoon.

"This will be completely an executive session, since there has been no gathering of Council to discuss the next step (in light of Jason Molino's resignation on Dec. 18)," Jankowski said. "Our thought is to get a head start on everything that needs to be done to find a successor -- which procedures to follow, Jason's exit plan and the best direction to take."

The Tompkins County Legislature formally appointed Molino as the new Tompkins County Administrator on Dec. 19, effective Jan. 29.

Jankowski said Molino will be an "integral part" of Wednesday's informational meeting, which he said was proper since this deals with a "personnel matter."

"I just talked to Jason about an hour ago, and he said that his concern is that the city is left in proper hands when he leaves," said Jankowski, adding that he wasn't sure of Molino's last day on the job in Batavia.

(The Batavian has just learned that Molino's last day as city manager will be Jan. 12).

The council president said it was imperative that all council members "get on the same page to weigh all of our options."

Those options include whether or not to hire a job search consultant, whether or not to appoint an interim city manager, and whether or not to focus on the city manager appointment and put the vacant assistant city manager position on hold.

"Hopefully, as a result of the executive session, will be able to discuss the situation publicly at the January 8th meeting," Jankowski said. "As of right now, there are a lot of unanswered questions."

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December 26, 2017 - 3:00pm

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