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Happy New Year from GO Health

By Press Release

Press Release:

As 2021 comes to an end, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health) want to wish you a healthy and Happy New Year! 2021 was a very busy year for the Health Department and a majority of staff efforts were focused on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, staff have also been working hard to ensure conditions in the community promote optimal health for the residents we serve. The Community Health Services staff have been working diligently at COVID- 19 testing and vaccination clinics, conducting COVID-19 case investigations and gathering/analyzing local COVID-19 data. In addition, staff have been educating on lead poisoning, investigating disease/foodborne illness outbreaks, providing guidance to pregnant moms and families with new babies as well as providing migrant health outreach to assist farm workers in both counties. Staff of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness team have been instrumental in planning, organizing and implementing the mass testing and vaccination clinics that occurred throughout the first six months of 2021. In the last six months, staff have been administering smaller testing and vaccination clinics that have been held weekly at the respective health departments. The Environmental Health Team members have been active in assisting with COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics, but also assuring the community is safe from foodborne illnesses by conducting food inspections and issuing health permits to temporary food service establishments. Staff have also been inspecting septic systems, enforcing the NYS Clean Indoor Air Act, and offering free rabies clinics in both counties. The Lead Program continues to promote education and outreach to enhance lead poisoning prevention and promote testing of children to determine potential lead exposure. Through a federal The Genesee Orleans County Health Departments (GCHD/OCHD) uses 4 types of documents to provide important information to medical and public health professionals, and to other interested persons. Health Alerts convey information of the highest level of importance which warrants immediate action or attention from New York health providers, emergency responders, public health agencies, and/or the public. Health Advisories provide important information for a specific incident or situation, including that impacting neighboring states; may not require immediate action. Health Guidance contain comprehensive information pertaining to a particular disease or condition, and include recommendations, guidelines, etc. endorsed by GCHD/OCHD. Health Updates provide new or updated information on an incident or situation; can also provide information to update a previously sent Health Alert, Health Advisory, or Health Guidance; unlikely to require immediate action.

“Healthy People in a Healthy Community” grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), GO Health addresses lead-based paint hazards and other housing issues by funding health-related home repairs, maintenance, and upgrades to eligible homeowners and landlords. In October, GO Health was awarded a five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expand the primary prevention of childhood lead poisoning to the entire GLOW region. Staff within our Children’s Programs spent the first half of 2021 assisting with COVID-19 contact tracing and vaccination clinics. In the second half of the year, Service Coordinators have been instrumental in assisting parents and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They provided education, case management, support and referrals to help children succeed and have a good quality of life. The Public Health Education team have worked diligently to provide up-to-date data and information related to COVID-19 to the community through press briefings, press releases, social media and website updates. GO Health launched their joint website this past spring, which is a centralized location for residents of Genesee and Orleans Counties to access forms and find resources. Weights & Measures (W&M) completed 345 inspections accounting for over 1,160 devices within the two counties. These tests involved pumping more than 21,000 gallons of fuel and using more than 5 million pounds of test weight ensuring all commercial weighing and measuring devices meet NYS standards. The department collected 132 fuel samples confirming fuel sold within both counties meet a variety of parameters. In the last two years, the W&M program has shown a savings in excess of $100,000.00 through GO Health shared services. In 2022, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties will be developing the new 2022-2024 tri-county Community Health Assessment (CHA)/Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and in partnership with local hospital systems, Community Services Plan. We will be looking for community members in all three counties to assist in the process by participating in community conversations and taking the Community Health Assessment survey. We are also looking forward to completing the Public Health Accreditation Process in November of 2022. “It is our pleasure to serve the residents of Genesee and Orleans Counties,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “We thank you for the opportunity and look forward to a productive 2022. We wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy New Year.”

For information about GO Health, visit . For the Genesee County Health
Department, call 585-344-2580 ext. 5555 and for the Orleans County Health Department, call

Calling all youth creators: Join Tobacco-Free GOW's statewide video contest about impact of smoking in movies

By Press Release

Press Release:

Tobacco Free Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming (TF-GOW) and Reality Check invite youth ages 13-18 to participate in a contest aimed at shining a spotlight on the tobacco industry’s use of smoking imagery on screen to normalize and glamorize tobacco use. The statewide winning video will be highlighted on the Reality Check and Tobacco-Free New York websites and promoted through social media. 

As reported by The University of California San Francisco’s in its Smoke-Free Media ‘What is Hollywood Hiding from Parents Action Toolkit:

“Big Tobacco secretly bought its way on screen for decades. The U.S. entertainment industry still refuses to give parents and audiences advance warning before exposing kids to tobacco imagery that is proven to recruit millions of new young smokers and kill them as adults. Tobacco on screen is the single biggest media risk to children and teens. Hollywood has known of the danger since at least 2003. Yet movie studios and TV producers have never updated their rating systems to even mention smoking or tobacco. They are concealing toxic content. Ratings, warnings, and TV parental controls all need to be reinforced to stop tobacco addiction from trapping another generation. With the streaming revolution now underway, it’s easier than ever for kids to watch movies and TV shows packed with toxic tobacco content. And, the more young people see smoking on screen, the more likely they are to start smoking."

Contest Details:
Create a 60-second video exposing the tobacco industry’s manipulative tactics within the entertainment industry. Show how tobacco imagery is used to promote and glamorize smoking and e-cigarette use. Judging will be based on quality, creativity and effectiveness, and accuracy of messages. Each video must have the following key facts and a minimum of one key statement from the following:
Key Facts:
1.    Youth who are exposed to images of smoking in movies are more likely to smoke. (US Surgeon General)
2.    It is projected that on-screen smoking will kill two million U.S. children and teens alive today. (US Center for Disease Control)
3.    R-rating future movies with smoking would reduce the youth smoking rate in the United States by 18%. (US Center for Disease Control)
Key Statements:
·       One little letter could save a million lives. Rate smoking R. 
·       Protect youth from on-screen exposure to tobacco. 
·       Smoking in movies kills in real life. 
Video submissions are due February 9, 2022. One video will be recognized as the statewide winner. This video will live on and highlight the issue through the lens of New York State youth. Four regional winning videos will also be awarded and recognized at the regional level. All winners will be announced on March 9, 2022 as part of the New York Tobacco Control Program’s annual Statewide Legislative Education Day. All awards will be recognized at regional press events (dates and locations to be determined) and promoted through local media outlets. All youth participating in the contest will receive a Reality Check Swag Bag. 
For complete contest rules and to submit entries, visit For questions specific to the contest, please email

'A Helping of Hope' suicide prevention and awareness breakfast is Sept. 28 at Terry Hills, RSVP by Sept. 17

By Billie Owens

"A Helping of Hope" is the theme of this year's Genesee, Orleans & Wyoming Suicide Prevention and Awareness Breakfast.

The free event will be held from 8:30 to 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, at Terry Hills Restaurant and Banquet Facility, located at 5122 Clinton Street Road in Batavia.

In recognition of September as National Suicide Prevention Month, the Genesee, Orleans & Wyoming County Suicide Prevention Coalitions will come together to share the work of the local coalitions as well as discuss current/forthcoming initiatives.

Invited presenters include:

  • Missy Stolki, area director, WNY, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention;
  • Kelly Deneka & Heidi Meides-Judge, Sources of Strength Suicide Prevention Program;
  • Andy Prentice, Rochester Psychiatric Center, Mobil Integration Team;
  • Meredith Menier, "A Survivor's Love Story."

Complementary breakfast. Space is limited.

RSVP by Sept. 17.

For more information or to register, in Genesee County contact Sue Gagne:

This event is supported by the NYS Office of Mental Health and the Suicide Prevention Center of New York State.

Snowy owls return to Genesee County

By James Burns


Snowy owls have returned to the area. There are currently an estimated three to five in Genesee County. We did not have any consistent sightings last year like we did a few years ago.

This year’s snowy owl irruption (a sudden sharp increase in the relative numbers of a natural population usually associated with favorable alteration of the environment) was caused by a four-year cycle of lemming births that lead to an abundant food supply for the owls in the Arctic Circle this last spring and summer. This large food supply lead to a larger than normal birth rate of owls. Because there are more snowy owls, the young ones need to go further away in the winter to find uncrowded hunting grounds. This is why we currently have so many birds here in Western New York.

The 2014-2014 snow owl irruption was the largest on record (records have been kept on snowy owls since 1890) Given the number of snowy owls that are currently in NY State, this year may surpass even the 2013-2014 irruption.

If you go out to see this winter's snowy owls or any of the other area raptors, please be courteous and safe when doing so. Respect all rules of the road and private property. If you are observing the birds with binoculars try to stay in your car to use it as a blind. If you are trying to photograph the bird, a lens over 400mm is suggested. Do not approach the bird any closer than 100 yards. If the bird is closer than 100 yards to the road it is considered OK to observe from your car. 





51st Western New York Gas & Steam Engine Rally

By James Burns


History is on display for this weekend's Western New York Gas & Steam Engine Rally on Gillate Road in Alexander.


Tens of thousands are expected to visit the 220-acre grounds for antique engines of all types, classic tractors, music, food, a flea market and, if you are not careful, science and engineering excellence. Engines large and small are everywhere at this place.


The show is quite special. Families, farmers, children and gear heads are all in attendance. We believe no one who attended left disappointed. The festivities continue tonight through Sunday. Live music and a tractor tug-o-war are this evening. Sunday will feature a car show, music and a tractor pull.






Beertavia 2017: 'Lawn-covered oasis with nearly 700 in attendance'

By James Burns


Beertavia was this afternoon and it was a funtavia festivia in the suntavia. Sorry for going too far with the puntavias.

Batavia BID (Business Improvement District) hosted a beer tasting with more than 24 craft brews and ciders.


What is normally a blacktop parking lot on Bank Street in Downtown Batavia was transformed into a lawn-covered oasis, with a giant white tent for the nearly 700 people in attendance.

While patrons were tasting the unlimited beer and cider, Ohm’s Band performed a few sets to help keep the atmosphere upbeat.

Batavia Turf donated the grass for the parking lot that had quite a few lawn games as wall as picnic table seating and Adirondack lawn chairs.


The reputation and size of Beertavia is growing every year. So much so, this couple flew up from Chattanooga, Tenn., just for this event. They read about it on and decided it was for the right festival for them. (Picture below.)


Black Creek Cidery won the People's Choice Award for the best drink in the tasting.

Angotti Beverage Corp. helped bring this group of brews together and we are fairly certain all are available locally, if you wan to try some of what was inside the tent or buy some of your favorites to enjoy at home.






Victory for Ice Devils

By Destin Danser


The Genesee Ice Devils travelled to Rochester Saturday to take on the Gates-Chili Spartans. Genesee defeated the Spartans 5-0 in a dominating performance. 

Photos by Destin Danser. Click here to view more and purchase prints. 



The Return of Vinyl

By Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center


The advent of digital music has had a rough effect on record stores the past 10-15 years. For music lovers, it was always pure joy to cruise the aisles of their local record store getting lost in exploring music. Once music became available to purchase with a few clicks on the computer mouse or from a phone, record stores started to disappear. Thankfully for many music enthusiasts, the trend has subsided with vinyl record stores making a comeback.

Vinyl Record Revival, 220 East Main Street in Batavia, NY is leading the resurgence locally with a wonderful record store. Owner Rich Mistretta has turned his hobby into a business a few months ago with a nice storefront in downtown. The store is filled with sections of new and used record albums to peruse. The large Beatles mural in the store signifies that the owner’s favorite band are well represented here. There are a few turntables available that can be used as listening stations for customers to check out the albums.

Many music lovers are not fond of the compressed sound of CDs or MP3s and are returning to purchasing vinyl for it’s superior sound qualities. It’s a trend that started gaining momentum a decade ago. All of today’s major artists release vinyl albums – therefore you might see a Taylor Swift or Justin Timberlake album next to some vintage Rolling Stones or Blondie.

While records is the focus of the shop, there are also used CDs, DVDs, books, and much more. Vinyl Record Revival also has used turntable and stereo equipment available for sale. If you enjoy good music and the freedom of moving about a record store this is your place.

Vinyl Record Revival is open Tuesday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Visit to learn more...

Jam at the Ridge with Kansas

By James Burns


Imagine having a multiple platinum recording rock band performing for you and your closest friends in your back yard. Well that was the feel of the Kansas concert in Le Roy at The Ridge.

Kansas must have felt right at home with Great Plains-style pop-up thunderstorms in the area as they played for a very friendly crowd that was not at all afraid of the rain.  The fans on hand were singing and dancing along with the bands many well known hits. Yes, you should have been here.

There are two more chances this summer to catch The Jam at the Ridge. The next show at the ridge is Blackjack Billy Aug. 27th






'Meteor Shower in the Meadow' at Genesee County Park & Forest

By Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center

Hear the stories behind summer’s celestial constellations and watch for fireballs in the sky far away from city lights. On Friday, Aug. 12th, Genesee County Park & Forest will host an amazing program called “Meteor Shower in the Meadow” from 9:30 to 11 p.m.

Cost of the event is $5 for individuals and $10 for a family. Pre-registration is requested by calling (585) 344-1122.

Attendees will learn about astronomy inside the park’s Interpretive Nature Center and then walk out to a forest meadow where they will watch nature’s fireworks. Feel free to bring a blanker or folding chair to enjoy the show.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is an annual event that occurs in late July and early August – with Aug. 11-12th being the height of the showers. There is speculation that the 2016 Perseids could be a peak year, with more than 200 meteors spotted an hour. The characteristics of a Perseid meteor are that it is fast and bright, often leaving a trail behind it.

“Meteor Shower in the Meadow” is a great example of the types of programming offered at Genesee County Park & Forest. The family-friendly events combine elements of education and experience – making it a fantastic opportunity for everyone. From snowshoe hikes in the winter to wading in ponds looking for signs of life in the summer, Genesee County Park & Forest is a wonderful place to explore and learn. For more information, visit the Park’s website and Facebook page.

Explore Genesee County’s 12 Historical Museums

By Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center

Relevant history of American life is abound in Genesee County, NY. The county is home to 12 historical museums, which are excellent ways to understand how people in these towns lived many years ago.

You don’t have to travel to The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., to have an experience with American history. We recently visited all of the Genesee County historical locations with the hope of shedding a little light on the history and relevance of each town. See history come alive by visiting these places!

Alabama Museum, 2218 Judge Road, Alabama, NY (585) 948-9287

The museum itself is a neat place as it was originally an one-room schoolhouse. When you walk into the museum, you can see the big windows and high ceilings and wonder about the children and the education that went on in the building. Through the artifacts you will discover that Alabama used to have three gun manufacturers in its small town. There was a prominent citizen named Dr. Grant Neal, whose buggy is displayed at the museum. Part of the original Bason post office is also on display. Some people might find the museum’s vintage posters of “horse auctions” and old-time carnivals as interesting historical markers and how life was way back then. One small item that is still relevant today is a Christmas party invitation harking back to 1856 in regards to some soiree in Alabama. Gladly open by appointment only. Feel free to call (585) 948-9287.

(Alabama Museum was once a one-room schoolhouse.)

(Artifacts from days gone by.)

(Dr. Grant Neal’s buggy is on display at the Alabama Museum.)

Alexander Museum, 3350 Church St., Alexander, NY (585) 591-1204

Up on the third story of Alexander’s Town Hall (United States’ only three-story cobblestone town hall) sits the Alexander Museum. The building alone is worth the trip and makes for interesting photographs – bring your camera. A few items on display that are relevant in today’s world, include an old phone, record players and typewriter – which are all now part of our cell phones. Children these days would be baffled in the ways we use to communicate. In a section dedicated to tools, it’s interesting to look at the objects and try to guess their usage. The museum’s large open space is filled with their wide-ranging collection. From farmer’s tools to old record players, there’s a lot to absorb here. Please call to schedule a visit.

(Alexander Museum is located in Alexander’s unique town hall.)

(Alexander Museum is open by appointment only.)

(Remembering those who served from Alexander.)

Bergen Museum,  7547 S. Lake Road, Bergen, NY (585) 494-0080

The Bergen Museum is a truly unique place. The museum resides in the former 1880 Hartford Hotels Livery Stables in downtown Bergen. It has been converted into a cozy, and well-done museum. Inside the old barn, there are a handful of interesting, life-size tableaus depicting, a blacksmith shop, a general store, school classroom and more. The goal of the exhibits are to have the artifacts tell the story. You really get an excellent sense of what it was like to shop at a store, studying in school or visit the local pharmacy. A local military exhibit includes war time posters, which capture people’s imaginations. The nicely crafted tableaux were created by museum’s volunteers.  Open every Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.

(The Bergen Museum is inside a converted horse stable.)

(Display of a blacksmith shop at Bergen Museum.)

(See what a General Store looked like at Bergen Museum.)

Byron Museum, 6407 Townline Road, Byron, NY  Phone: (585) 548-9008

A cool surprise is that this museum is located in an old church that is right next to an old cemetery. The sanctuary of the former German Lutheran church is packed with countless items, including a lot of clothing and textiles. People who love fashion or clothes will enjoy looking at what people were wearing a hundred years ago. South Byron High School is well-represented with photographs and yearbooks. Behind the church, there is a large annex dedicated to items typical of a farming community. There are even a few local business and community signs spread throughout. The collection is pretty deep. Open Sundays 2 to 4 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day. Other hours are gladly accepted with appointment.

(Byron Museum is located inside a former church.)

(The sanctuary of the church is filled with historical items.)

(At the Byron Museum, there is a large area dedicated to antique tools and equipment.)

(More after the jump. Click on Read More below.)

Elba Museum, Maple Avenue Extension, Elba, NY (585) 757-9094

The Elba Museum has an impressive collection distributed through three buildings, including a museum building, an original 1842 house and a reconstructed barn. The museum building is filled with all things Elba. An exhibit dedicated to the local high school, that included a cheerleader uniform was a nice touch. Walk next door to the original 1842 house. The house is well presented and gives you a glimpse of life was like without cell phones, microwaves and other modern conveniences. You can clearly see how life used to be lived. Make your way to the barn and see how hard work was performed 150 years ago. The building is filled with all sorts of fascinating objects and equipment. Open Sundays 2 to 4 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 

(Elba Museum contains three buildings.)

(Inside the 1842 country house at Elba Museum.)

(Display dedicated to Elba schools.)

Jell-O Gallery and Historic LeRoy House, 23 E. Main St., LeRoy, NY 14482

The LeRoy Historical Society plays host at two separate museums on the same property in the Village of LeRoy. The Jell-O Gallery and Historic LeRoy House are separated by a small garden the the “Jell-O Brick Road.”

At the Jell-O Gallery, discover the intriguing story of  America’s Most Famous Desert that was created in LeRoy in 1897. The museum is dedicated to how Jell-O grew as a brand and played a prominent role in daily American life. There are many examples how Jell-O used innovative marketing and merchandising methods to promote their product. The gallery has a neat gift shop, too!

In the basement of the Jell-O Gallery is a small transportation museum, harking back to the days when people traveled via buggy or sled. It’s a small, but nice collection that allows you to trace the evolution of modern transportation.

Over 100 years of local history is preserved in the Historic Leroy House, which was built in 1822 as a home for Jacob Leroy, a successful land agent. The museum has three floors open to the public and is filled with unique items from yesteryear. Prominent attractions include an exhibit about Leroy’s Ingram University, which was founded in 1837 and was the first university to grant women a four-year degree, and an exhibit about agricultural pioneer Calvin Keeney. The house’s kitchen reminds visitors of how food was prepared and served a century ago.

(Jell-O Gallery and Historic LeRoy House both are located on the same property.)

(The Jell-O Gallery traces the history of how the product became “America’s Famous Dessert.”)

(Jell-O used many different and innovative marketing techniques to successfully promote the product.)

(Historic LeRoy House was built in 1822.)

(Objects from the past 200 years fill the Historic LeRoy House.)

(House museums are a fun way to compare our past with today’s modern conveniences.)

Holland Land Office Museum, 131 W. Main St., Batavia, NY (585) 343-4727

Located in a stone building built in 1810, the Holland Land Office Museum offers thousands of artifacts pertaining to the history of Western New York. Batavia is known as the “birthplace of Western New York” because out of the Holland Land Office came the sales and disbursement of over 3.3 million acres of land. One of the items on display in the museum is the Medal of Honor received by Batavian Charles F. Rand, who was the first soldier in the nation to volunteer for the Civil War. A dark piece of history, the museum houses an original gibbet that was used to perform hangings, the last being 1881. The Holland Land Office Museum host many educational and social events throughout the year. The museum is also located right next to the Batavia International Peace Garden.

(Holland Land Office Museum is inside a stone building constructed in 1810 by Joseph Ellicott.)

(Holland Land Office Museum houses thousands of historical items pertaining to Western New York.)

(Holland Land Office Museum offers a variety of special exhibitions, education events and social gatherings.)

Oakfield Historical Museum, 7 Maple Ave., Oakfield, NY (585) 948-5901

In the Village of Oakfield is a two-story house museum has some really interest facets. It does a very good job educating visitors on the importance of gypsum mining in Oakfield. Numerous photographs and mining equipment tell the story of an industry that was important to the town. Another prevalent theme is the Native American influence on the town. A very nice collection of arrowheads (gathered from the local area) that is worth the trip alone. A unique aspect of the Oakfield Historical Museum is that they publish their own books on local history, which are available for purchase. Open Sundays 1 to 3 p.m.. Closed January and February and major holidays. 

(Oakfield Historical Museum is located right downtown in Oakfield.)

(Reminders of Oakfield’s mining past.)

(A very interesting collection of arrowheads are displayed in one of the rooms.)

Pembroke Museum, 1145 Main Road, Corfu, NY (585) 599-4892, ext. 9

This small museum is located inside the Town of Pembroke Town Offices on Route 5. On a recent visit, items from the town’s former post offices were on display – reminding us how we used to send messages and communications. One section is dedicated to the local fire department, where you learn they used to throw “glass water grenades” to fight fires over a century ago. Civil War buffs will enjoy looking at a soldier’s hat and bullets. Pembroke’s military history is also proudly on display.. The Pembroke Museum is open by appointment only. Give them a call to schedule a visit.

(The museum is located inside the Town of Pembroke Town Hall.)

(Pembroke Museum is open by appointment only.)

(Section dedicated to Pembroke residents who served in the military.)

Stafford Museum of History, 8903 Route 237, Stafford, NY (585) 343-1928

The Stafford Museum of History was built in 2004 and is attached to the Town of Stafford Town Hall. The museum in one large room in which artifacts are well presented in nice display cabinets and information panels. This museum doesn’t try to show you everything, just some great representations of early settlement life in Western New York. The Morganville Pottery collection is popular with visitors. In the nearby hamlet of Morganville, a type of pottery was made that included a distinct reddish hue (from the local excavated clay). On your way out of the museum, check out their small gift shop area. Open every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. Individual visits can be arranged by calling the museum. 

(Stafford Museum of History is attached to the Town of Stafford Town Hall.)

(Stafford Museum of History has wonderful displays.)

(Morganville Pottery made in the nearby hamlet of Morganville.)

Tonawanda Indian Reservation Historical Society, 372 Bloomingdale Road, Akron, NY (585) 542-2481

The history of the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians is celebrated throughout the hallways of the Tonawanda Indian Community House. There is no designated space of a museum, as the historical items are displayed throughout the building. The community house is open every day, so there’s ample opportunity to visit this location and learn. There are numerous large-scale photographs and illustrations throughout the building that displays the history and heritage of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. Some of the lithographs tell the story about the tribe and the history of the Seven Nations. A piece off high reverance -- a chief’s headdress – is definitely a highlight on the second floor. The historical artifacts can be viewed during normal business hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

(The collection of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation Historical Society is located inside the Tonawanda Indian Community House.)

(Inside the two-story Tonawanda Indian Community House.)

(Great photography and artwork tell the Tonawanda Band’s story.)

Share and enjoy!

Genesee County American legions sponsor 'Boys State'

By James Burns


Above, the 11 students representing Genesee County in Boys State pose at the Botts Fiorito American Legion post in Le Roy during Wednesday evening's meet and greet. They will be heading to Morrisville for a weeklong educational experience starting June 26th. 

American Legion Boys State is an educational program for students to learn and experience government legislation. Each participant becomes a part of the operation of his local, county and state government.

Boys State has been a program of The American Legion since 1935. 

At American Legion Boys State, participants are exposed to the rights and privileges, the duties and the responsibilities of a franchised citizen. The training is objective and practical with city, county and state governments operated by the students elected to the various offices. Activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, chorus and recreational programs.

High school juniors are selected by local American Legion Posts to attend the program. Expenses associated with attending this program are paid by the sponsoring American Legion Post.

The high school students representing Genesee County are:

From Sackett-Merrill-White Post #575 -- Brandon Burke, Russel Cunningham, Ryan Richardson, Colin Noeth

From Hiram G. Luhman Post #626 -- Campbell Andersen, Christopher Lemley, Jacob Walton, Caleb Walcott

Botts Fiorito Post #576 -- Joshua Laurie, David Privatera, Jacob Steffenilla

For more information on the Boys State, contact Dennis McCumiskey at the American Legion Post in Le Roy at 585-768-8597.

There is also a Girls State. For more information, click here.


Genes County American Legions Sponsor "Boys State"

By James Burns

American Legion Boys State is among the most respected educational programs of government instruction for high school students. Each participant becomes a part of the operation of his local, county and state government.

Boys State has been a program of The American Legion since 1935. 

At American Legion Boys State, participants are exposed to the rights and privileges, the duties and the responsibilities of a franchised citizen. The training is objective and practical with city, county and state governments operated by the students elected to the various offices. Activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, chorus and recreational programs.

High school juniors are selected by local American Legion Posts to attend the program. In most cases, expenses associated with attending this program are paid by a sponsoring American Legion Post, a local business or another community-based organization.

The HS students representing Gensee County are:

From Sackett-Merrill-White Post #575- Brandon Burke, Russel Cunningham, Ryan Richardson, Colin Noeth.

From Hiram G. Luhman Post #626- Campbell Anderson, Christopher Lemley, Jacob Walton, Caleb Walcott.

Botts Fiorito Post #576- Joshua Laurie, David Privatera, Jacob Steffenilla

Spring bald eagles chicks fledge

By James Burns


There are an estimated 350 nesting pairs of bald eagles in NYS this year and about seven pairs are here in Genesee County. The birds pictured in this post live just outside of Le Roy. Other nesting pairs have been reported in Attica, around Silver Lake, and a few pair in the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. The oldest recorded banded bald eagle in the country lived close by in Henrietta to the age of 38.

This nesting pair was first reported to The Batavian in March of this year. (Original story.) From what is reported by local residents, this is the first year for this nest in this location. Most bald eagle clutches consist of one to three eggs. From what was observed in this nest, there may have been only one egg. There was only one chick ever spotted in the nest.

It is common for the chick that hatches first to eat the small chick once it hatches. This is normal and the parents pay no attention if this happens. In this bald eagle family, the father was banded and the mother was not.

Mom and Dad trade places sitting on the incubating egg(s).


Father sits in nest on eggs as mom flies by.


After about 35 days of incubation, a chick was hatched. At the time this picture was taken, the chick was about two to three weeks old.


The chick has fresh fish flown in for lunch by Dad.


Mom and chick snuggle up in nest as the weather turns cold again in April.


Growing very quickly...the chick, about six to seven weeks old, is still fed by Mom.


Even though the chick now looks like a big bird, there is a lot of learning and practice that needs to be done before the chick can leave the nest.

About the second week in June, the chick fledged the nest. While looking strong and graceful in flight, this eaglet is still not very graceful at landing. Mom will still hunt for the eaglet for about another five weeks. After that, the eaglet will be on its own until it mates in maturity in about five years. After about four years, the eaglet will have the white feathers on its head, yellow beek and solid brown body that we are familar with as our national bird. 


Below the eaglet practices life skills, in this case, using its talons to pick up a stick.


If you haven’t already seen some of the local eagles, keep an eye to the sky and look for them, thanks to a managed recovery program we are blessed with quite a few in this area.

For more information about bald eagles visit 

If you would like to learn more about photography visit: Batavia Photography Club

Eagle pictures

Special Richmond Library Story Time

By James Burns


Tuesday evening the Richmond Memorial Library celebrated a new program, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, providing free books to children from birth to up age 5 (but not including age 5). The library hosted a special story time featuring a certain librarian imitating Dolly Parton and guest storytellers.

Leading off story time was Tim Richter (pictured in red below) from the Richter Family Foundation. The foundation is funding the program is assisting with the launch of the Batavia Imagination Library, which is only available to children age 4 and under in the Batavia City School District.

Each participating school district funds and sponsors its own Imagination Library, under the auspices of, and with the assistance of, the Richter Foundation. To date, the foundation has helped launch Dolly Parton's program in Oakfield, Elba, Pavilion and Pembroke.

(Previous Coverage) To sign a child up get free books visit the library or apply on line





Local photographers featured in Rochester

By James Burns

Rochester has had the nickname of “Image Capital of the World” due to its famous industries. It is also well known as a center for visual arts, particularly photography. The premier photography-only gallery in Rochester is Image City on 722 University Ave. Every month they rotate their exhibits featuring the best photographic art the city has to offer.

This month Batavia is more than well represented. Works from seven local photographers belonging to the Batavia Photography Club are hung on the walls. They are in a special exhibit in the East Gallery that will remain open until Sept. 6th. The first Friday art walk exhibit opening party is this week, Aug. 14th, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. All of the local photographers are expected to be in attendance; come on out and show them your support. Admission to the gallery is always free.

For more information, a preview of the show and normal gallery hours please click here.



It's National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

By James Burns

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week kicked off this morning at Genesee Community College with a ceremonial flag raising and a speech by Lt .Gov. Kathy Hochul.

All local law enforcement, the FBI and Genesee County Mental Health Association, were in attendance today to spread awareness of the rights of crime victims. Specifically their focus was on educating the community about the protection of young adults and preventing them from becoming victims. The keynote speaker was Special Agent Steve Miller of the FBI. His education speech was on social media and how it is used for cyber-bullying, sexual predators and other dangers.

Hochul began her speech this morning by asking for a moment of silence for the victims of the Oklahoma bombing 20 years ago. She went on to mention a few new initiatives by the state relative to crime victims. First she mentioned how seriously Governor Cuomo is taking sexual assault on campus at colleges. She said thinking needs to be changed to recognize sexual assault on campus as a crime and the Governor’s office has made this a top priority.

The next topic was an announcement that crime victims can now ask the state for financial assistance online. This online access is meant to make applying for aid less stressful and simpler than before. The financial assistance is meant to help with medical bills, lost wages, moving expenses and other financial needs stemming from being victimized.

In 2014 8,300 crime victims were paid more than $20 million in compensation. The funding for this financial relief and program comes form the fines levied against offenders. For more information about this financial program please visit or call 1-800-247-8035

As the week continues, two more meetings are open to all to attend:

Wednesday, April 22, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Stewards of Children Child Sexual Abuse

Prevention Training

YWCA, 301 North St., Batavia

Call Theresa at 585-344-0516, ext. 111, for information.

Friday, April 24, 5:30 p.m.

Ceremonial Walk and Reception

Old County Courthouse

Corner of routes 5 and 63.

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