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covid-19

July 2, 2020 - 5:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received one new positive case of COVID-19, for a total of 225 positive cases.
    • The positive individual resides in Oakfield.
    • The positive individual is in their 20s.
    • The positive individual was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Currently no individuals are hospitalized and no individuals have been released from mandatory quarantine.
  • Orleans County received one new positive case of COVID-19, today for a total of 267 positive cases.
    • The positive individual resides in Clarendon.
    • The positive individual is in their 50s.
    • The positive individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • No individuals have been released from mandatory quarantine.
    • Seven of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility. We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.

NOTE: Public health will not release an update again until Monday.

July 2, 2020 - 2:29pm

Top photo: Macayla Burke (right) receives the first-place Holowach Scholarship from Jon Sanfratello, executive principal, GV BOCES Batavia Campus. Macayla is a Health Careers Academy student from Batavia City School District.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center is proud to announce the achievements of its seniors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this awards ceremony event that was scheduled to be held in June was canceled.

The 25 Genesee County award winners, their programs, home schools and scholarships received, are noted below.

  • Chase Bordonaro -- Building Trades, Le Roy CSD, Home Depot Award
  • Juliana Branche -- Culinary Arts, Batavia CSD, Culinary Arts Club Award
  • Jesse Bray -- Metal Trades, Batavia CSD, Dan Bender Award
  • Alexander Brumsted -- Building Trades, Byron-Bergen CSD, Home Owner Award
  • Macayla Burke -- Health Careers Academy, Batavia CSD, Holowach Memorial Scholarship – first place
  • Casey Felski -- Building Trades, Pembroke CSD, Building Trades Alumni Award
  • Wyatt Gaus -- Culinary Arts, Batavia CSD, Batavia Rotary, Chef Russell Bugbee Memorial Award, Culinary Arts Club Award, Holowach Memorial Scholarship (Alternate), Josh Mouery Memorial Award
  • Madison Heaney -- Health Dimensions, Le Roy CSD, UMMC Clinical Excellence Award, UMMC League Award
  • Paige Haile -- Health Careers Academy, Batavia CSD, AM Highest Academic Average, Holowach Memorial Scholarship – second place
  • Nicole Hume -- Metal Trades, Alexander CSD, Dan Bender Award
  • Jacob Humes -- Health Careers Academy, Batavia CSD, AM Clinical Excellence Award
  • Noah Kutter -- Culinary Arts, Pembroke CSD, Extra Mile Award
  • Benjamin LaBombard -- Metal Trades, Le Roy CSD, Gene Haas Foundation Award
  • Kyler LaCarte -- Building Trades, Le Roy CSD, Home Depot Award
  • Benjamin Lemley -- Building Trades, Notre Dame HS, Roy H. Turnbull Memorial Award
  • Dylan Pehrson -- Building Trades, Batavia CSD, Paul Levins Memorial Award
  • Paola Perez -- Justice Academy, Oakfield-Alabama CSD, Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Emma Sallome -- Cosmetology, Batavia CSD, Cosmetology Teacher Award
  • Wyatt Sando -- Metal Trades, Byron-Bergen CSD, Don Abramo Jr. Memorial Award
  • Dan Santullo -- Health Careers Academy, Alexander CSD, PM Highest Academic Average
  • Gavin Schmidt -- Collision Custom & Restoration, Batavia CSD, Select Collision Top Gun Award
  • Lauren Schmieder -- Health Careers Academy, Alexander CSD, PM Clinical Excellence Award
  • Tyler Stevens -- Collision Custom & Restoration, Elba CSD, Car Quest Auto Body Skills Award
  • Charlotte Wright -- Animal Science, Le Roy CSD, FFA Service Scholarship
  • Braeden Zimmerman -- Collision Custom & Restoration, Byron-Bergen CSD, Car Quest Auto Body Skills Award
July 1, 2020 - 7:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 224 positive cases.
    • Currently, no individuals are hospitalized and no individuals have been released from mandatory quarantine.
  • Orleans County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19, today for a total of 266 positive cases.
    • No individuals have been released from mandatory quarantine.
    • Seven of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility. We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.

Note: In the chart of cases, Public Health reports four active/mandatory isolation cases and 43 people in mandatory community quarantine.

July 1, 2020 - 1:12pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, city of batavia, genesee county, town of batavia, covid-19.

City of Batavia, Genesee County and Town of Batavia leaders reported that they have received four-fifths of the video lottery terminal funds owed to their municipalities by New York State.

“Our VLT money came in today (Tuesday) – 80 percent of the $440,000,” said Acting City Manager Rachael Tabelski.

The City’s actual number was $440,789, so that means that $352,631 is being added to its coffers at this time.

City Council President Eugene Jankowski said that although the money doesn’t change the recently passed 2020-21 budget that calls for a 7.48 percent property tax increase, it certainly will help ease the pain.

“That’s really good news, actually,” Jankowski said. “The budget is fixed – we’re set with that – but the additional money will help to offset some of the damage done by the COVID-19 situation.  It offsets some of the loss of sales tax revenue and other income because of the virus.”

Jankowski said City officials are expecting a 30 percent loss of income due to the pandemic, but he’s hoping it’s not quite that bad.

“I’m looking forward to see the June numbers to see if we’re continuing in a positive direction,” he noted.

Tabelski said the VLT funds generated at Batavia Downs Gaming aren’t enough to alter the City’s ultra-conservative approach as it deals with COVID-19.

“It still doesn’t change our austerity budget planning,” she said. “We can’t open up the flood gates in spending.”

Tabelski said that management created a COVID austerity plan several weeks ago, halting purchases, travel and training and instituting a hiring freeze to decrease expenses. The City did not furlough employees, but did lay off part-time employees, including those who ran the summer youth program.

“A victim of that (hiring freeze) was our summer youth program,” she said. “We have 150 kids throughout the city that come in – and from the town -- to utilize the parks. That was a hard decision, but in light of COVID and not knowing the social distancing, it also made it an easy decision.”

In March, City Council passed its 2020-21 budget with the tax increase based on the assumption that the state would be withholding the VLT money. The board appealed to Albany and solicited the support of Assemblyman Stephen Hawley and Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer.

Reached today by telephone, Hawley said that Gov. Andrew Cuomo released “what he believes he can do to remain solvent (80 percent) … as it is directly tied to the horrific situation that we’re in.”

Still, he says that if the economy recovers or federal stimulus money is forwarded to the state, the other 20 percent of the VLT money should be given to the municipalities.

Hawley said that he hopes newly-elected Congressman Chris Jacobs would fight for federal funds for municipalities. He also blamed Cuomo for the state’s financial dilemma.

“The State of New York hasn’t been managed smoothly in terms of balancing the budget,” he said. “He (Cuomo) entered with $6.2 billion deficit going into his 2020-21 budget and now that COVID is upon us, the (deficit) numbers from the governor doubles and quadruples. Some states have been run in a prudent fashion and others have not – with New York State being one of them.”

Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post said that the Town will be getting $128,310 in VLT funds – 80 percent of the full amount of $160,388.

“We are constantly fighting an uphill battle for them (state leaders) to perform the way they expect us to perform,” Post said.

Genesee County Treasurer Scott German said that $160,313 has been received. That also is 80 percent of the county’s full allocation of $200,392.

July 1, 2020 - 12:38pm

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $691,000 in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funds to Greater Rochester International Airport, Perry-Warsaw Airport, and Genesee County Airport.

The senators said that the funding will be used for a variety of airport safety and quality improvement projects, including extending taxiways, constructing snow removal equipment, and removing non-hazard obstructions

“Air travel in and out of the greater Rochester region is vital to the connectivity and success of the regional economy, which is why, as the region reopens after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we provide the funding necessary to keep the airports safe and efficient,” Senator Schumer said. “I’m proud to deliver this funding and will continue to fight to make sure Rochester has the help it needs to revive and thrive.”

“As communities in New York prepare to reopen, this critical funding will help local airports in the greater Rochester region provide high-quality and safe travel experiences,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This funding is key to ensuring the continued economic stability and success of this region. I will continue fighting for the resources our airports across New York need to safely reopen, rebuild, and transition into a post-coronavirus era.”

Specifically, Greater Rochester International Airport will receive $100,000, Perry-Warsaw Airport will receive $465,000, and Genesee County Airport will receive $126,000. A portion of the funding to each airport comes from FAA CARES Act grants, which Schumer had a direct hand in negotiating.

June 30, 2020 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

 Antibody Testing: This is a current snapshot of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results both departments have received and will be updated periodically, but not daily.

  • Genesee County: Of the 1,589 antibody test results received, there were 46 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies.
  • Orleans County: Of the 687 antibody test results received, there were 17 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies.

Since last week there has been one new positive for antibodies for Genesee County and zero new positives for Orleans County of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results received.

June 30, 2020 - 4:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, covid-19, YMCA, batavia.

Press release:

GLOW YMCA: Serving our communities in new ways

Since 1889, the GLOW YMCA has served our community to meet changing needs. Today the needs are urgent, as COVID-19 and unavailability of community services affects families, seniors and individuals regionally and globally.

Our doors may be temporarily closed, but our mission work continues.

As our staff team has been working to address youth development, healthy living and social responsibility needs in our community, the Y has anticipated a greater need for financial assistance when we are able to reopen.

Last year, the GLOW YMCA gave $227,861 in financial assistance and we will continue to support families and individuals who have been out of work and have experienced a significant loss of income so they are able to receive our services.

CARING FOR COMMUNITY

Connecting with Seniors: YMCA staff have reached out to our members, making sure they have the resources they need. We are providing moments of connection for this vulnerable population, and combating the negative affects of social isolation.

Virtual Wellness Support: We are providing online wellness content to help people of all ages and abilities stay active from the safety of their homes. Staying active will be critical to emotional and physical health during a stressful time.

Community Resource: We will continue to answer the call from partners to serve as a resource for blood drives, food drives, volunteer support, and more.

CARING FOR KIDS

Emergency Child Care: As schools and child care centers closed, we transitioned our facilities to provide emergency child care for children of essential personnel so that they can focus on keeping our communities moving forward and safe.

Summer Camp: As we transition into summer camp, our program will help bridge the education gap along with giving the opportunity to explore nature, find new talents, try new activities, gain independence, and make lasting friendships and memories. And, of course, it’s fun too.

OPENING SAFER FOR ALL

Preparing for Reopening. Our facilities team is taking full advantage of a completely empty building to increase safety for when members can return, including reconfiguring equipment so people can workout at a safe distance.

At the Y, our mission is to develop the spiritual, mental and physical wellness of all people in an atmosphere of Christian Fellowship. We look forward to opening back up safely for the public but our teams will continue to work to serve our community.

WE ARE COMMUNITY STRONG

June 30, 2020 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 224 positive cases.
    • Two of the previous community active positives have recovered and have been releases
  • Orleans County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19 today, for a total of 266 positive cases.
    • One of the previous community positive cases has recovered and has been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Seven of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility. We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.
June 30, 2020 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, pavilion hs, news, schools, education, covid-19, coronavirus.
Video Sponsor

At the end of the school year of pandemic, Pavilion High School graduated 29 seniors at the Silver Lake Drive-in Perry on Sunday.

Owen Kane Sidhu was the Salutatorian and Brett Lubberts was the Valedictorian. The commencement address was delivered by Superintendent Kenneth Ellison, who will retire in the fall.

Country music artist Brew Baldridge sang "Senior Year" and "Middle of Nowhere Kids."

June 30, 2020 - 3:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in 2020 Richmond Reads, news, covid-19.

Press release:

Richmond Memorial Library will host a reveal of the 2020 Richmond Reads Selection at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, on the front steps of the library, weather permitting.

Richmond Reads is a community one-book program that encourages members of the community to read the same book and engage in discussion. A selection committee reads diligently to choose the title, narrowing down dozens of contenders. 

“Our committee has made a fantastic choice that we are excited to present to the community,” said Adult and Community Services Librarian Samantha Stryker. “This year’s title tackles some timely issues which will inspire thoughtful and important discussions and will also broadly appeal to many readers.”

In light of the ongoing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, those who wish to attend in person are asked to wear a face covering and observe social distancing protocols.

The event will be livestreamed via YouTube, and a link will be available on batavialibrary.org the day of the event.

Should bad weather not permit an outdoor event, we will livestream from inside the library and participants can view from home! Check our website and social media for all updates concerning the event!

Following the reveal, copies of the book will be available to borrow or to purchase by cash or check for $24 each. Copies will be available to borrow or purchase at the library throughout the summer.

Any questions may be directed to Community and Adult Services Librarian Samantha Stryker at [email protected] by calling (585) 343-9550. 

Richmond Memorial Library continually provides access to physical and virtual resources and services that meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its diverse community in a safe and comfortable environment.

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

June 30, 2020 - 2:06pm

Press release:

Noting that the clock is ticking, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer called on the Trump Administration to extend the nation’s public health emergency declaration first issued this past winter to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schumer warned that the declaration will expire on July 25th unless the feds soon act, and reminded that executive branch delay on the emergency declaration this past winter set us back in the COVID fight.

Schumer said Health and Human Services (HHS) should announce an extension ASAP and give locals across New York the reassurances they need to keep the COVID fight going. Schumer cautioned, that without action, New York stands to lose collective billions in state and local healthcare funds, FEMA disaster dollars and even tele-health services, like those for Hospice and everyday healthcare.

“If we have learned anything from COVID-19 it is that a ‘stitch in time saves nine,’ and the more we can do to be proactive, the better off the public will be,” Schumer said. “This past winter there was delay and dismissal towards those urging HHS to officially declare a public health emergency as it relates to the coronavirus.

"Well, we cannot -- and we must not -- have that kind of inaction and uncertainly now, especially with what we know and with the sustaining needs of New York. We need the public health emergency extended ASAP to keep healthcare dollars and FEMA funds flowing to this state, and we need the declaration to keep our local health departments fully supported. The clock is ticking as July dawns, so we need this action now.”

Aside from the very clear public health consequences, Schumer said New York would lose billions of dollars collectively if the Trump administration fails to extend the public health emergency declaration. Just last week, more than $300,000,000 in federal healthcare dollars were dispersed across New York State.

Those funds are part of a combined $2.5 billion in the pipeline and already secured for New York as part of the Families First Coronavirus stimulus package, which are tethered to the emergency declaration.

In addition, as of June 1, FEMA had obligated over $1.1 billion to New York under the state’s COVID Major Disaster Declaration and the agency is looking to the public health emergency declaration to define how much longer it will continue reimbursing New York, and in particular New York City, for related expenses. Should the public health emergency end, FEMA has indicated that the funds flowing from the Disaster Relief Fund will also stop.

“New York is by no means out of the woods with the coronavirus, especially given the upticks we are seeing in other states and the risk those upticks pose here when you take travel into account,” Schumer added. “Extending this declaration will keep New York positioned to both respond and to keep fighting.”

In addition, Schumer also detailed the CDC’s Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund, which without an emergency extension would be locked up like it was before the first declaration was made at the beginning of the year. The account’s funds are being used to support local health departments and increased staffing across the city and on Long Island.

Schumer explained that these dollars could also be used by the CDC for, amongst other things:

  • Epidemiological activities, such as contact tracing and monitoring of cases;
  • Additional or enhanced screenings, like at airports;
  • Support for state and local health departments;
  • Public awareness campaigns;
  • Increased staffing.

Schumer also explained how the emergency declaration has allowed vulnerable and high-risk patients to avoid potential exposure to the coronavirus at hospitals and health centers by expanding federal eligibility to receive routine care through telehealth and digital care.

Federal support and coverage for this type of medical care has saved countless lives because clinicians can use tele-health to fulfill many face-to-face visit requirements to see patients, says Schumer, adding that this has been one of the main requests of in inpatient rehabilitation facilities, hospice and home health professionals who are now using apps with audio and video capabilities to have patients visit with their doctors or practitioners.

Finally, Schumer listed other necessities that would cease unless the public health emergency is extended:

  • Nutrition assistance for kids who would normally receive free or reduced lunch in school would cease;
  • Access to SNAP would be restricted;
  • Seniors who rely on Meals on Wheels would see their access to food restricted;
  • A massive restriction on assistance hospitals and doctors rely on to keep their doors open during the crisis;
  • Reduced access for out of work individuals to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance;
  • Reduced access to prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare.
June 30, 2020 - 1:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, news Steve Hawley, hand sanitizer.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley announced today that his district office is continuing to distribute hand sanitizer to local businesses in need.

Hawley has confirmed the sanitizer comes by the gallon or in 2-ounce bottles for employee and employer use.

This initiative is part of a continued effort to assist local businesses with keeping up their health standards in conjunction with CDC and Department of Health regulations following the COVID-19 outbreak in New York.

“I’m happy to help the community any way I can, and while this gesture is small, I know it goes a long way,” Hawley said. “This is just one of the ways I’m showing the rest of the state that we can uphold health standards on our own while reopening the economy and supporting our communities at the same time.”

Hawley and his district office are also working on acquiring more face masks for personal and business use. Anyone looking to acquire hand sanitizer in the future may reach out to Hawley’s district office to coordinate a pick-up. Anyone looking to acquire masks may reach out to their county EMO office.

June 30, 2020 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

More than 700 companies throughout Western New York were able to access approximately $120 million under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program facilitated by Tompkins Bank of Castile.

 “Keeping with our longstanding commitment to the community, we were happy to do our part to support local businesses, especially during this time of need,” said President and CEO, John McKenna. “We’re thankful that our efforts were able to protect more than 7,000 local jobs.”

Essential bank staff aimed to get ahead of the rush by working extended hours — mostly remotely — to reassure customers, explain the PPP program, and process the loans as quickly as possible.

Local businesses are using the loans to keep employees on their payrolls, as well as cover other operating costs including interest, rent, and utility costs. The customers were very appreciative of the support.

“We’re grateful for Tompkins for keeping us updated on this process and supporting us along the way,” said one small business owner. “I really appreciate the information they have been able to provide, and I feel very confident with Tompkins at the helm.”

The COVID-19 pandemic required Tompkins to restrict its services to drive-up, ATM, phone, mobile, and internet banking. During this time, the staff worked diligently to educate customers about its electronic services.

“As an essential business, we’ve been fortunate to stay open and accessible to our customers when they need us most,” McKenna said. “We believe in the power of our local people working together to help our communities grow and thrive; That’s why we’ll continue to do everything possible to support our friends and neighbors as we work together to recover.”

June 29, 2020 - 4:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received three new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 224 positive cases.
    • Two of the new positive individuals reside in Batavia and one of the new positive cases resides in Le Roy.
    • One of the individuals is in their 20s, one of the individuals is in their 40s and one of the individuals is in their 50s.
    • None of the new positive individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive
    • Eight of the previous community active positives have recovered and have been releases
  • Orleans County received two new positive cases of COVID-19 today, for a total of 266 positive cases.
    • One of the new positive individuals lives in Barre and one of the new positive cases lives at the Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
    • One of the individuals is in their 20s and one of the individuals is in their 60s.
    • Neither of the two new positive individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • One of the previous community positive cases has recovered and has been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Ten of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility. We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.
    • We are saddened to report the death of one of our county residents. This person lived at the Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this individual during this very challenging time.
June 28, 2020 - 2:16pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in Batavia HS, graduation, news, Class of 2020, covid-19.

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(Pictured above are slats of wood engraved by BHS teacher Bob Mullen from the gym floor that is being replaced currently. Each graduate received one today.)

A ceremony at Daniel A. Van Detta Stadium was originally planned for the Batavia High School Class of  2020, but with many changes to the governor’s weekly COVID-19 update, that plan was changed.

Today's outdoor ceremony was divvied up into six separate mini graduations with each senior joined by a couple of family members.

Opening remarks were made by Student Council co-mayors Lydia Wahr and Macayla Burke, and by English teacher Kimberly Przybysz, who was chosen by the National Honor Society to give the commencement speech.

The co-mayors presented Principal Paul Kesler with the Dundee Award (in a nod to the TV show "The Office") on behalf of the Class of 2020 in honor of being a supportive principal who succeeded at keeping the rite of graduation close to home.

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Above, Batavia City School District Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr.

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(Photo above: BHS Principal Paul Kesler)

Immediately following the seniors' event were half hour graduating sessions with social distancing for the Class of 2020 near the historic big tree in front of BHS.

Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr. addressed the graduates but especially parents who wore many different hats after the pandemic shutdown in mid-March: principal, teacher, counselor, social worker.

“Take this setback as an opportunity to make a comeback and make the Class of 2020 historic," Soler said. "Be grateful with the time you spent time with family the last 100-plus days, because at the end of the day that is what truly matters because, to the right and left of you, they got you to the finish line. We are Batavia.”

Principal Kesler told the crowd that nobody has experienced anything like this -- coronavirus -- in their lifetime and he expressed gratitude for his staff and students who had to battle adversity to learn online.

These teens, Kesler noted, although disappointed about missing traditional senior events, were grateful for all their blessings -- the support of friends, school staff, family and life in a free country.

This unique group is "part of a thoughtful generation that loves and values people even more than generations that came before us,"Kesler said. "Above all, you will show love and appreciation for all of those that come across your path, I will truly miss you and am very proud of you, Class of 2020.

Prerecorded speeches were given by the Valedictorian and Salutatorian for five out of six scheduled ceremonies but then both were made in person at their scheduled times.

Valedictorian Andrew Lin maintained a 101.497 cumulative grade-point average throughout high school; plus he achieved a perfect score on the ACT assessment, which has not been done in 15-plus years. A three-sport varsity athlete, Andrew served four years in student government, was active in his community, and will attend MIT this fall to study Computer Engineering. 

Andrew spoke about the Class of 2020 high school years from freshman to high school, and the changes and obstacles members will remember, forged by adversity and resilience.

"In a few short months we will be spread out all over the country, blazing our own futures, continuing to change the realm just like we did in high school -- making friends, taking new interests, expecting challenge and meeting new people," Andrew said. "I leave you with this quote, 'Don’t forget where you came from but always remember where you're going.'

"Batavia High School is our home. We are all behind you; supporting you as your future awaits you."

Salutatorian Lydia Geiger graduates with two honors -- the prestigious elite honors program at The Hochstein School of Music, and with today's advanced regents diploma at Batavia High School with a 101.021 grade-point average.

Lydia has volunteered many hours in the community. She has also participated in every musical program during all four years at BHS. She will further her education at The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam this fall.

Lydia talked about how the class was born to be resilient in the wake of 9/11 and is now graduating in the midst of a global pandemic.

"We look to have the faith when we look through the window even when we see the broken glass," she said. "As time goes on, we fall into living in patterns, going through the motions in the dark, and when the light comes on we don’t always have the perspective of what should be. But who defines what should be?

"The vision of life events that should be, that we create in our minds is not reality. With every passing moment we are putting together the puzzle pieces and this journey we call life. As more of this picture has become evident, we have realized that they’re was a greater purpose."

To view or purchase photos, click here.

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Valedictorian Andrew Lin

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Salutatorian Lydia Geiger

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June 26, 2020 - 4:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received three new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 221 positive cases.
    • All of the new positive individuals reside in Darien.
    • One of the individuals is less than 20 years old, and two of the individuals are in their 40s.
    • All of the new positive individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive
  • Orleans County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19 today for a total of 264 positive cases
    • Two of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Ten of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility. We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.
    • We are saddened to report the death of one of our county residents. This person lived at the Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this individual during this very challenging time.

There are 11 active cases and 43 people in quarantine.

June 25, 2020 - 4:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received two new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 218 positive cases.
    • One of the new positive individuals resides in Batavia and one resides in Le Roy.
    • One of the individuals is less than 20 years old and one individual is in their 40s.
    • The new positive individuals were not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Four of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • One of the total active cases is hospitalized.
  • Orleans County received 0 new positive cases of COVID-19 today, for a total of 264 positive cases.
    • Ten of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility.  We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.
    • We are saddened to report the death of one of our county residents. This person lived at the Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this individual during this very challenging time.
June 25, 2020 - 3:22pm

Press release:

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Batavia Fire Department temporarily suspended our community outreach offerings including the Child Passenger Safety Seat Program. This was necessary to ensure the health and safety of our staff from the possible effects of COVID-19. 

We are pleased to announce that effective immediately, the City of Batavia Fire Department will have Child Passenger Safety Seat Technicians available to check and install seats on an APPOINTMENT-ONLY BASIS

As we reintroduce this most valuable program back to our community we remain vigilant in protecting our staff from a possible COVID-19 exposure. 

With that being said, we are requiring that the following guidelines are adhere to assist in safeguarding everyone involved: 

  1. To schedule an appointment, contact the City of Batavia Fire Headquarters at (585) 345-6375. No walkups will be accepted.
  2. All inspections and/or installations will take place in the rear parking lot of Fire Headquarters.
  3. Visitors will not be allowed inside the building for any reason. 
  4. If an individual appears to be ill or sick, technicians will not complete the inspection/installation and the guardian/parent will be directed to reschedule the appointment. Guardians/parents feeling ill or running a fever are urged to please stay home and reschedule an appointment. 
  5. For the protection of our staff, the child passenger seat along with the vehicle must be clean and free of debris. Additional disinfecting may be conducted by Fire Department personnel prior to the check. 
  6. Guardians/parents are required to wear a face covering at all times during the check. 
  7. Only one guardian/parent will be allowed during the installation/inspection along with the child. 

Failure to abide by the above guidelines will result in the suspension of the appointment. 

The City of Batavia Fire Department Child Passenger Safety Seat Technicians thank you for your cooperation and understanding in keeping our staff healthy and safe during this difficult time. 

If you should have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the City of Batavia Fire Department at (585) 345-6375.

June 25, 2020 - 2:43pm

Press release:

After fiercely advocating for federal aid to New York’s dairy farmers in the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today urged United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer to quickly raise concerns about Canada evading its commitments under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Canada agree to eliminate harmful dairy trade practices, including its Class 7 pricing program (Class 6 in Ontario) and lack of transparency in milk-pricing regulations. Both were explicitly addressed in the agreement, which enters into force next week on July 1.

“New York’s dairy farmers are the lifeblood of the Upstate economy, but unfortunately, they have been squeezed by the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis,” Senator Schumer said. “That is why I am calling on Ambassador Lighthizer to do everything in his power to ensure that Canada abides by its dairy trade obligations and eliminates its unfair and harmful pricing programs and practices that unfairly impeded Upstate New York dairy farmers from freely selling their product – as agreed to in the new trade agreement with Canada, the USMCA.

As the trade deal enters into force next week, it is imperative that our New York dairy farmers are able to sell their products into Canada and churn up profits that mitigate the huge losses they have suffered this year.”

“USMCA requires Canada to provide new market access for American dairy products and to eliminate its destructive Classes 6 and 7 milk pricing schemes,” said Jaime Castaneda, senior vice president for Policy Strategy and International Trade with the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council. “While not unexpected, Canada’s efforts to manipulate its agreed upon trade obligations to protect its tightly controlled dairy market are unacceptable.

"Canada needs to live up to the commitments it made to the U.S. on dairy. America’s dairy industry appreciates Senator Schumer for his leadership on this issue and we support Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Purdue as the U.S. works to hold Canada accountable to its commitments under USMCA.”

“Cayuga Milk Ingredients applauds the efforts of New York’s Senator Schumer for raising concerns over Canada’s recent request for dairy pricing secrecy within the Ontario Provincial Tribunal and their most recent administration of TRQs," said Kevin J. Ellis, CEO Cayuga Milk Ingredients. "On both issues, Canada is showing they have no desire to act in good faith with respect to the trade commitments they made underneath USMCA.

"Cayuga Milk Ingredients suffered a loss of nearly $24 million of sales in 2016 when Canada implemented a National Class 7 pricing scheme that was specifically and intentionally designed to stop the importation of ultra-filtered milk. Based on these latest events, it appears Canada cannot be trusted to honor its trade commitments with the United States,”

Craig Alexander, senior director, Milk Planning and Regulatory Affairs at O-AT-KA Milk Products in Batavia, said, “A foundation principle of the new USMCA pertaining to Canada was transparency of pricing formulation and the elimination of its Class 7 pricing. We appreciate Senator Schumer’s push for Canada to live up to its commitments in this agreement.

"Canada should not obscure information on pricing now in order to artificially create a pricing environment that will keep us at a disadvantage once these USMCA provisions go into force. Furthermore, Canada’s implementation of TRQs negotiated as part of USMCA and reserving increased access almost entirely to existing Canadian dairy companies is evidence that Canada has not changed its past history of circumventing trade agreements.

"If Canada simply held up their end of the deal on eliminating Class 7 and fair implementation of TRQs, we could again get a fair shake at the opportunities to serve the Canadian market going forward.”

Schumer explained that under USMCA, Canada agreed to eliminate Class 6 & 7 pricing within six months. However, the Senator revealed, Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO), which represents approximately 4,000 Canadian dairy farmers, has recently requested that Ontario’s tribunal, which provides an avenue of appeal on agriculture issues, grant restricted access to DFO’s pricing regulations.

Schumer argued that with only a few days left until the USMCA is set to enter into force, the lack of transparency and timing of DFO’s request raises questions about whether or not Canada is seeking to circumvent its dairy commitments in USMCA.

Additionally, Schumer pointed out, under USMCA, Canada agreed to an expansion of tariff rate quotas (TRQs) for several categories of U.S. dairy products. However, the U.S. dairy industry has raised concerns that Canada’s recently released TRQ allocations weaken the intent of USMCA and will prevent New York dairy farmers from fully benefiting from the agreement’s expanded market access opportunities.

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