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genesee county

September 20, 2019 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in county highway, genesee county, news.

It's been another busy year for the County Highway Department, Superintendent Tim Hens told members of the Legislature during his annual department review at the Public Service Committee meeting on Thursday.

In 2019, the county received $1.7 million from the state for roads, bridges, and culverts, plus another $382,183 for road paving.

There are 92 bridges in the county with a span of greater than 20 feet. The condition rating is 5.16, up from 5.11 last year.

There are currently nine bridges in the county posted to warn away drivers with heavy loads. This year, three of those bridges are being replaced. They are: Caswell Road, Searls Road, and Pratt Road bridges.

Taking into account all bridges greater than five feet long, much progress has been made over the past three years, Hens said.

“We did an inventory and assessment study in 2016 and identified our top 30 worst bridges,” Hens said. “We have replaced 18 of those. That’s better than half, which is pretty good. With three of them currently being replaced by the end of the year, that number will go up by three by the end of the year.”

Those state programs are going to be dependent in future years on what the federal government does, which Hens said is a concern. He's uncertain about congressional approval and whether the bill will be passed before the 2020 election.

There are 260 centerline miles of highway the county maintains. The average condition rating is now 5.69, an improvement from the previous year.

Paving projects completed in 2019:

  • Horseshoe Lake Road, Stafford
  • South Lake Road, Pembroke
  • Prole Road Extension, Stafford
  • South Street Road, Le Roy
  • Colby Road, Darien
  • Hickox, Walker, and Gillette Road, Alexander

Another project completed in 2019 is the EMS training ground and new firing range at the Emergency Services office location on Bank Street Road.

There are currently 61 employees in the department, for a total of 56.75 full-time equivalents, up by two from 2018.

The proposed budget for 2020 us $5,527,130, which is an increase over 2019 because of the rising cost of salt for snow and ice removal, and increased health care costs.

Salt prices are going up about 5 percent.

Gas prices and asphalt prices have remained stable, Hens said.

Obviously we have some funding concerns going forward, Hens said.

There is at least $125 million in capital projects pending in the county over the next 10 years.

"That’s not the jail. That’s not water. That’s other stuff," Hens said. "We’re going to need federal aid. I hoping that this new federal authorization has some money in it for roads for counties, some relief for counties.”

September 16, 2019 - 6:30pm


The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that the 2019-2020 version of the Genesee County Chamber Business Directory has been published!

With nearly 500 local organizations in Chamber membership, we consider this the “who’s who in business” in Genesee County. Descriptions and contact information for small businesses, large corporations, nonprofits, municipalities and schools, all operating in Genesee County, all in one convenient publication!

Stop by The Chamber today to get your copy: Our office is located at 8276 Park Road, Batavia.

We are also pleased to announce the launch of our new Online Business Directory on www.geneseeny.com. With links to member websites, social media pages, emails, and phone numbers: the online directory is the perfect place to interact and learn more about local organizations right here in Genesee County!

Some member listings even have video and pictures to accompany their contact info, Check it out on website here.

The Genesee County Chamber is a not-for-profit organization that consists of nearly 500 local businesses and organizations. Whether you operate a small operation or a large corporation, a membership with the Genesee County Chamber is the perfect way to improve your visibility and make your business more engaged within Genesee County!

If you are interested in scheduling a tour to find out more information, please contact Steven Falitico at 585-343-7440 or by email at [email protected]

More membership information can also be found on our website under “Membership.”

September 6, 2019 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, budget, news.

Here is the anticipated schedule for review and adoption of Genesee County's 2020 budget:

Sept. 11, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.
Budget Discussion
Conference Session before Legislature Meeting

Sept. 11, 6 p.m.
Comprehensive Plan presentation after Legislature Meeting                       

Sept. 6, Friday
Date for departments to submit budget request to County Manager

Sept. 9 – 30
Final review of department and agency budgets by County Manager with meetings scheduled between County Manager and department heads on budget and staffing requests

Oct. 2, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. 
County Manager reviews overall County budget with Legislature. Legislature selects which departments to review services and respective budgets for Saturday morning meeting

Conference Session after Ways & Means Committee meeting               

Oct. 5, Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon              
Legislature meets with selected departments

Oct. 9, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.
Review department discussions held on the 5th and further review of the budget and direction for County Manager
Conference Session before Legislature Meeting          

Oct. 16, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.
County Manager reviews status of budget and summarization of major issues
Conference Session after Ways & Means Committee meeting                 

Oct. 21, Monday
County Manager files Recommended Budget with Legislature Clerk and releases budget information to the media

Oct. 23, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.
County Manager provides overview of Recommended Budget to Legislature
Conference Session before Legislature Meeting

Nov. 6, Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Public Budget Hearing – County Manager’s Recommended Budget -- in Courthouse Chambers

Nov. 13, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. 
Legislature considers feedback from Public Hearing and makes further recommendations
Conference Session before Legislature Meeting        

Nov. 20, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.
Ways and Means Committee Budget Review with referral to full Legislature
Ways and Means Meeting

Nov. 25, Monday, 5:30 p.m.
Legislature Meeting – Budget Adoption

August 17, 2019 - 11:14am
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, genesee county.

A hazardous weather outlook for Genesee County and portions of Western New York was issued this morning.

Thunderstorms are likely today. The storms could become quite strong during the midday and early afternoon with the greatest threat from the storms being localized damaging winds and hail.

Strong to severe thunderstorms will again be possible on Sunday with the risk for another round of localized damaging winds and hail.

Afternoon apparent temperatures Sunday through Tuesday may reach the lower 90s or higher. Keep in mind that heat advisories are issued when apparent temperatures reach at least 95 for two consecutive hours.

August 7, 2019 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, honeybees, pollination, business, genesee county.

Press release:

Standing amidst a swarm of advocates, at the Rochester Beekeepers Association’s beehives at Tinker Nature Park, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today revealed how a recent under-the-radar decision on bees could sting Upstate, the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, its local agriculture efforts, and even a budding jobs niche that supplies summer farmers’ markets and local restaurants.

Schumer detailed a recent fed decision by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to stop collecting data on honeybees that puts the species and Upstate New York’s economy, at risk. Schumer said that the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region is a hive of productivity, but that this recent decision by the feds could derail much of what keeps Upstate competitive and robust as an agricultural hub.

Calls on USDA to 'reverse course immediately'

The senator called on the USDA to reverse course immediately, and instead, step up their work on bee populations. He revealed numbers that proved his point and hit home the critical importance of honeybees to Upstate New York and the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region’s agriculture sector.

“It sure helps, but you don’t need to be a beekeeper to understand the benefit pollinating bees have on the Upstate economy and the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region,” Schumer said. “Look around and you will see that they boost an agricultural hive of economic productivity.

"From farmers’ markets, to farm-to-table restaurants, to the farms and apple and cherry orchards that solidify the Rochester-Finger Lakes area as an agricultural hub, we have a lot to tout —and it is because of bees like these. So to find out that, in an under-the-radar move from Washington, the USDA has clipped the wings of a critical data-collection program on honeybee colonies, impacting jobs and productivity in places like Rochester, really stings.”

Schumer explained that earlier this July, USDA said it would stop collecting data for its "Honey Bee Colonies" report. The "Honey Bee Colonies" report, conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, is released on an annual basis and contains critical data, tracking active honeybee colonies, new colonies and lost colonies.

The senator called the decision to suspend data collection for the report especially concerning, considering the devastating honeybee colony losses experienced in the United States over the past few decades.

Plummeting honeybee colonies

According to a report from USDA, the number of active honeybee colonies plummeted from six million in the 1940s to roughly 2.5 million in 2017. More recently, during the winter of 2018, beekeepers suffered their worst losses on record.

Data from the University of Maryland’s Bee Informed Partnership shows that beekeepers lost 37.7 percent of their colonies during this season, 8.9 percent higher than the average for winter. Schumer argued that this historic population decline shows that USDA should ratchet up its honeybee data collection, not shut it down.

Schumer said that New York State and the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region have not been immune to the devastation of honeybee colonies.

According to the most recent "Honey Bee Colonies" report released by USDA, between January and December of 2017, New York State beekeepers lost a total of 17,700 colonies of honeybees. Meanwhile, in the first six months of 2018, New York State beekeepers lost 7,000 colonies.

Schumer said these losses, combined with the fact that according to a June 2018 New York State Department of Agriculture report, crops dependent on honeybee pollination are worth $1.2 billion annually to the state, present a critical need to understand what exactly is causing them and how they can be reversed. This data is critical to protecting the honeybee-reliant Upstate New York agricultural industry.

Upstate ag is 'honeybee-reliant'

“We need this data to keep New York as an agricultural juggernaut,” added Schumer. “What’s the real stinger here is that the bees are part of the economy. They keep local businesses and jobs buzzing. To enact a new policy that discounts bees and their impact on New York is bad environmental, economic and agricultural policy. We are here today to say: reverse the decision, and instead step things up as this insect’s population spirals.”

The dwindling bee population is of particular concern for the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region’s agricultural industry, which is a hive of economic activity.

According to USDA, $234,935,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Genesee County in 2017; $221,295,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Wayne County in 2017; $205,160,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Ontario County in 2017; $155,282,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Orleans County in 2017; and $76,643,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Monroe County.

Furthermore, in 2017, Wayne County was home to 25,939 acres of non-citrus fruit and nut farms with 185 total farms; Ontario County was home to 1,384 acres of non-citrus fruit and nut farms and 53 total farms; Orleans County was home to 57 total farms; Genesee County was home to 21,927 acres of vegetable production; and Monroe County was home to 1,100 acres of non-citrus fruit and nut farms and 44 total farms.

New York ranks second in the nation in apple production, and Wayne and Orleans counties are the two top apple-producing counties in the state, meaning the bee population is imperative to the sustainability of this critical agricultural sector in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region.

Wayne County produces more apples than any other county in New York State, and nationally ranks as the fourth-highest apple-producing county in the country. More than 25,000 acres of farm land in Wayne County is devoted to apples, which accounts for over half of the total apple acreage in all of New York State.

Prospect of extinction

The prospect of the extinction of honeybees also presents a significant to challenge to New York State’s burgeoning honey industry. In 2017 alone, 3,046,315 pounds of honey were collected from New York State farms and sales totaled $8,660,000. Schumer said that should honeybee colony numbers continue plummeting, not only would these sales be jeopardized, but Rochester-Finger Lakes restaurants and farmers’ markets would be forced to pay more for or completely stripped of the freshest, locally sourced honey.

Schumer explained that these dire numbers show the absolute necessity of USDA’s "Honey Bee Colonies" report. Therefore, Schumer urged the USDA to reverse course and maintain the collection of data for the "Honey Bee Colonies" report, to accurately track honeybees in the United States and protect Rochester-Finger Lakes agriculture from getting stung.

Advocates rally: beekeepers, farm-to-table restaurateurs, growers and educators

Schumer was joined by Pat Bono (beekeeper/owner of Seaway Trail Honey, director for NY Bee Wellness, an educational 501c3, and organizer of Rochester Beekeepers), Tim Pratt (beekeeper & director of programs at Tinker Nature Center); Dan Winter (president, Empire State Honey Producers Assoc. & owner of Winter Apiaries in Wolcott, Wayne County), farm-to-table restaurateurs: Stephen Rees (owner, Relish restaurant in Rochester’s Southwedge) Dan Martello (owner, Good Luck restaurant in Downtown Rochester), Lizzie Clapp (owner, Le Petit Poutine food truck), and Evan Schutt (owner, Schutts Apple Mill in Penfield).

“The USDA 'Honey Bee Colonies' report has provided critical data for decades that beekeepers rely on to protect the health of our colonies and that farmers depend on to safeguard the viability of their next pollinator dependent crop," Bono said. "I appreciate Senator Schumer’s efforts to resume this reporting because ceasing this data collection leaves us in the dark, unable to see or anticipate trends that are vital to preserve our local honeybee hives.”

“New York Farm Bureau values the role that pollinators play in the agriculture industry and New York Farm Bureau membership represents the diversity of New York agriculture including farmers that rely on honey bees to perform pollinator services as well as the beekeepers that provide these valuable services," said Rene St. Jacques, assistant director of Public Policy for the New York Farm Bureau.

Sweet cash: pollination-dependent crops pour $1.2 billion into NYS ag economy

"Pollinators are incredibly important to the agricultural economy in New York State, which is a leading producer of specialty crops that require or benefit from pollination, including apples, pears, cherries, strawberries, pumpkins, and beans, just to name a few. These pollination dependent crops contribute $1.2 billion annually to the state’s agricultural economy.

"The honeybee provides 50 percent of crop pollination services in New York State, yet there continue to be losses of honeybee colonies year after year. These losses not only impact honeybee producers and their livelihoods but the overall agricultural economy and well as the sustainability of the New York State food system.

"For the benefit of the entire New York agriculture industry, it is imperative that honeybee colonies continue to thrive and in turn must be accurately monitored to ensure longevity of both bees and farmers."

July 30, 2019 - 4:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, genesee county, news.

A hazardous weather outlook was issued by the National Weather Service in Buffalo at 2:59 p.m. for Genesee County and other parts of Western New York, as well as North Central New York.

This afternoon and tonight expect scattered thunderstorms that may contain gusty winds and produce heavy downpours through early evening.

July 20, 2019 - 8:00am


Saturday, July 20 – Family Day/ Drive Your Tractor to the Fair Day

  • 8:30 a.m. – NIOGA Dairy Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Horse Show – Gymkhana Division (Horse Arena)
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibition Halls & Buildings Open
  • Noon -- Small Fry Tractor Pull (Exhibition Building) Sponsored by Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Genesee County Pamona Grange, and Duane Schmigel
  • Noon – Midway Opens, Wristband Special from Noon to 4 p.m.
  • 4 p.m. – 4-H Market Auction Master Showman Contest (Main Show Ring)
  • 6 p.m. – Racing at Genesee Speedway
  • 7 to 11 p.m. – Band – Under the Gun (Entertainment Tent)
  • 10 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 19, 2019 - 8:00am


Friday, July 19th – CELEBRATE 4H DAY

  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Horse Show – English & Dressage Division (Horse Arena)
  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Beef Team Fitting Competition (Main Show Ring)
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibition Halls & Buildings Open
  • Noon – 4-H Horses must be removed from 4-H Horse Barn
  • Noon – 4-H Livestock Master Showman Contest (Main Show Ring)
  • 1 p.m. – 4-H Dairy Club Butter Making Activity (Kennedy Building)
  • 4 p.m. – Midway Opens
  • 5:30 p.m. – 4-H Tractor Driving Contest
  • 6 p.m. – NIOGA Dairy Showmanship (Main Show Ring)
  • 7 p.m. – Demolition Derby (Grandstands)
  • 7 to 11 p.m. – Band – MAC (Entertainment Tent)
  • 10 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 18, 2019 - 4:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, genesee county, news.

The National Weather Service this afternoon issued a heat advisory for noon Friday, July 19, through 6 p.m. Saturday, July 20. for portions of Western and North Central New York.

A few brief rounds of thunderstorms are also expected Friday through Sunday night. A few of these storms may be severe, with isolated damaging winds and torrential downpours.

Heat index values of up to 100 degrees are expected during the day Friday and Saturday. Overnight low temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70s with continued muggy conditions Friday night.

Prolonged exposure or any strenuous activity may lead to heat related illnesses that require immediate medical attention.

A Heat Advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.

Drink plenty of fluids; stay in an air-conditioned room; stay out of the sun; and check in on relatives and neighbors.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening.

Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose-fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.

July 18, 2019 - 8:00am


Thursday, July 18th – KId's Day / HP HOOD DAY

  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Dairy Cattle Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Horse Show – Western Division (Horse Arena)
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibition Halls & Buildings Open
  • 12 - 10 p.m. – Midway Opens - Kids 16 & Under Ride for $10/wristband
  • 12:30 p.m. – Small Fry Tractor Pull (Exhibition Building) Sponsored by Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Genesee County Pamona Grange, and Duane Schmigel
  • 6:45 p.m. – 4-H Market Animal Auction Awards Ceremony (Main Show Ring)
  • 7 p.m. – 4-H Market Animal Auction Sale Begins (Main Show Ring)
  • 7:30 – 10 p.m. – Band – Savage Cabbage (Entertainment Tent)
  • 10 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 17, 2019 - 8:00am


Wednesday, July 17th – EMERGENCY RESPONDER’S NIGHT

  • 8:30 a.m. – OPEN Class Swine must be in place
  • 9 a.m. – 4H Horse may arrive
  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Hog Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 10 a.m. – 4-H & Open Class Goats must be removed from Goat Barn (Except Market
  • Auction Goats)
  • 10 a.m. – 4-H Milking Dairy Cows must be in place
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Open
  • Noon – 4-H Sheep Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 4 p.m. – Midway Opens, (Weather permitting)
  • 2 p.m. – 4H Horses must be in place
  • 5:30 p.m. – Fair Parade Line Up (Racing Pit Area)
  • 6:30 p.m. – Fair Parade
  • 7 p.m. – Band – Red Creek (Entertainment Tent)
  • 10 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to changeFollow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 16, 2019 - 8:00am


Tuesday, July 16th – sponsored by ROCHESTER REGIONAL HEALTH

  • 9 a.m. – Halter Class – Draft Horses (Horse Arena)
  • 10 a.m. – 4-H Cloverbud Rabbit Show (Merton Building)
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibition Halls & Buildings Open
  • 11 a.m. – 4-H Dairy & Meat Goat Show (Main Show Ring)
  • Immediately followed by Open Class Goat Show
  • Noon – OPEN Draft Hitch Show (Horse Arena)
  • 1 p.m. – 4-H Dairy Judging Contest
  • 4 p.m. – Midway Opens
  • 2 – 10 p.m. -- Faith at the Fair (Entertainment Tent)
  • 5 p.m. – 4-H Market Auction Hog Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 7 p.m. – Fair Barn Dance (Open Dairy Barn)
  • 9 p.m. – 4-H & Open Class Goats Released (Except Market Auction Goats)
  • 10 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 15, 2019 - 8:00am


Monday, July 15th – VETERAN’S DAY AT THE FAIR

  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Market Auction Goat Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibition Halls & Buildings Open
  • 10 a.m. – 4-H Cloverbud Poultry Show (Merton Building)
  • 10 a.m. – 4-H Dairy Fitting Clinic & Master Fitter Competition
  • 10 a.m. – 4-H Goat Agility Contest (Goat Barn Show Ring)
  • 10 a.m. – 4-H Market Auction Lamb Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 4 p.m. – Midway Opens
  • 4 p.m. – 4-H Market Auction Dairy Steer Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 5 p.m. – 4-H Market Auction Beef Steer Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 5 p.m. – North American Classic Six-Horse Hitch (Horse Arena)
  • 7 to 9:30 p.m. – Band – BB Dang (Entertainment Tent)
  • 10 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 14, 2019 - 8:00am


Sunday, July 14 – SENIOR CITIZEN DAY

  • 10 a.m. – 4-H Beef Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibition Halls & Buildings Open
  • 11 a.m. -- Skyhunters Birds of Prey (until 2 pm)
  • Noon – Open Class Beef Show (Main Show Ring)
  • Noon – 4-H Club Exhibits must be in place
  • Noon – Midway Opens
  • 3 p.m. – Six Horse Hitch Classes (Horse Arena)
  • 4 p.m. – 4-H Rabbit Show (Merton Building)
  • 4 p.m. – 4-H Market Auction Lamb Final Weigh In
  • 7 to 10 p.m. -- Band – TBD (Entertainment Tent)
  • 10 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 13, 2019 - 8:00am


Saturday, July 13th – DRIVE YOUR TRACTOR TO THE FAIR DAY - Fair Opens @ 9 a.m.

  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Dog Show Demonstration (Horse Practice Arena)
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibition Halls & Buildings Open
  • 10 a.m. – 4-H Kennedy Building Exhibit Judging (Kennedy Building)
  • 11 a.m. – 4-H Livestock must be in place (Dairy Heifers/Calves, Dairy Steers, Beef Steers/Heifers, Sheep, Goats, Hogs, Poultry, Rabbits)
  • Noon – 4-H Market Auction Beef, Hog & Goat Final Weigh In
  • Noon – Midway Opens
  • Noon – Talent Show
  • 4 p.m. – 4-H Poultry Show (Merton Building)
  • 6 p.m. – 4-H Livestock Costume Contest (Main Show Ring)
  • 6 p.m. – Genesee Speedway Racing
  • 7 p.m. – Karaoke FINALS
  • 11 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 12, 2019 - 12:00pm


Friday, July 12th – PREVIEW NIGHT • Free Parking

  • 4 p.m. – Midway OPEN
  • 7 p.m. – Karaoke Qualifier

Daily at the Genesee County Fair:

  • Mechanical Bull Riding – try your hand at bull riding on the mechanical bull
  • Balloon Display and Demonstrations
  • Pig Racing
  • Entertainer – Wade Henry

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

June 9, 2019 - 5:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, genesee county, rabies awareness.

From the Genesee County Health Department:

Health Update -- Rabies Awareness

Summertime is right around the corner. The anticipation of vacations, warm long days, and relaxation are just ahead. As we prepare to spend more time outside, Paul Pettit, Public Health director of Genesee and Orleans counties, would like to share a message with the community.

“This is a good time to remind folks about the dangers of rabies and how to prevent humans and domestic pets from contracting this deal disease," Pettit said. "When spending time outdoors this summer, it is important not to feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or cats.

"Rabies is almost always fatal but the good news is that it’s 100-percent preventable.”

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). The virus is usually transmitted through a bite or scratch of an infected animal.

Rabies is most often seen among wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes, but any mammal (human/ warm-blooded animal) can be infected with rabies. Pets and livestock can also get rabies if they are not vaccinated to protect them against the infection.

In Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties, there have been 37 animal specimens tested for rabies thus far in 2019. In Genesee County, testing was done on three bats, seven cats, one cow, one dog, one fox and one raccoon.

Of the 37 animals in the GOW area, three raccoons and one horse tested positive for rabies in Orleans County and three raccoons tested positive for rabies in Wyoming County. No animals have tested positive for the virus in Genesee County.

Although you cannot tell if an animal has rabies just by looking at it, you may notice the animal acting strange.

“Animals with rabies may show a variety of signs, including fearful- ness, aggression, affection, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, staggering, paralysis and seizures," said Sarah Balduf, Environmental Health director of Genesee and Orleans counties.

"Animals with rabies may lose their natural fear of humans, and display unusual behavior – for example, an animal that is usually only seen at night may be seen wandering in the daytime.”

There is no treatment once the clinical signs of rabies appear. Infected animals usually die within one week after showing signs of rabies. Rabies infection of an animal can only be confirmed after death, through microscopic examination of the animal’s brain.

In humans, rabies may take up to three months to fully develop. The virus presents itself as flu-like symptoms such as a fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, nausea, and tiredness. Tingling, prickling, or itching around the bite area is also common.

After a few days, neurological (brain/ nerve) symptoms develop including agitation, anxiety, confusion, hyperactivity, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, hydrophobia (fear of water), hallucinations, insomnia, and partial paralysis.

If you are bitten, scratched or have contact with an animal you believe to be rabid, immediately wash the wound, seek medical attention and report the incident to your local county health department.

A doctor or health department officials will determine if vaccination with rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (RPEP) is necessary.

A person who is exposed and has never been vaccinated against rabies should get four doses of rabies vaccine; one dose right away, and additional doses on the third, seventh, and 14th days. People who have weakened immune systems may require a fifth dose of vaccine, as determined by their doctor.

Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is fatal. There is no cure, only prevention.

Review these tips on how to keep you, your family, and your pets safe from rabies:

  • Do not feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or cats. This includes baby animals.
  • Be sure your pet dogs, cats and ferrets as well as horses and valuable livestock animals are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Vaccination protects pets if they are exposed to rabid animals. Pets too young (less than 3 months) to be vaccinated should be kept indoors and allowed outside only under direct observation.
  • Keep family pets indoors at night. Don't leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.
  • Don't attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored bird seed or other foods that may attract wild animals and tightly cap or put away garbage cans.
  • Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cap your chimney with screens.
  • Be aware that bats have small, sharp teeth and in certain situations people can be bitten and not know it. Do not release a bat when found in a room with a person or pet sleeping or unable to speak. If you are able to safely capture the bat, bring it to your county health department where it will be transferred to the state for rabies testing. Click here to watch a video on how to safely capture a bat.
  • Teach children not to touch any animal they do not know and to tell an adult immediately if they are scratched or bitten by any animal.
  • If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away. Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors who are outside. If possible, try to contain the wild animal.
  • Anyone who has been bitten by any animal or who otherwise may have been exposed to rabies, needs to Capture and Call. If you can do so safely, being careful to not damage the head/brain, capture the animal and call your local health department or a doctor to report the incident. Capturing the animal is vital in order for it to be tested for rabies.

To protect your pets from rabies, please visit the upcoming anti-rabies clinic in Genesee County from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Genesee County Fairgrounds, 5031 E. Main Street Road, Batavia.

For information about this article or health department services contact the Genesee County Health Department at 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website here.

May 15, 2019 - 4:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, genesee county.
It's May 15, so everyone in Genesee County, let's say a big "Happy Birthday!" to our very own Jeanette and John Jankowski, the brother-and-sister twins pictured below.

April 17, 2019 - 2:33pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in news, genesee county, history.

Above, Michael Eula, Ph.D., Genesee County historian, looks at a letter from the New York State Bar Association, inviting Genesee County to participate in the Historical Society of the New York Courts’ County Legal History Project.

 

Genesee County is among more than a dozen counties which have been invited by the New York State Bar Association to participate in the Historical Society of the New York Courts’ County Legal History Project.

The project entails documenting the law itself in each county and how it has changed through the years, said Genesee County Historian Michael Eula, Ph.D.

Eula received a letter April 1 from Leah Nowotarski, of Warsaw, a member of the Committee for Bar Leaders of New York State, requesting Genesee County’s participating in the history project. According to Nowotarski, a number of counties, including Clinton, Dutchess, Franklin, Rockland and Westchester, have already completed their histories, which are posted on the Historical Society of the New York Courts website.

Other counties which have also joined the project are Albany, Broome, Columbia, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Nassau, Ontario, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady and Wyoming.

The history project is being led by Jonathan Lipmann, retired chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals; Stephen P. Younger, past president of the New York State Bar Association; and Marilyn Marcus, executive director of the Historical Society of the New York Courts.

“This is an opportunity to showcase Genesee County’s rich and fascinating legal history, and how that legal history functions within the wider context of New York and national history,” Eula said. “Genesee County laws, and the courts that administer them, are examples of how the traditions are continuously being adjusted to the changes evident in the development of Genesee County’s history.”

Eula has chosen the title “Flexible Tradition: the History of the Courts in Genesee County, New York, 1802 to the Present” for his submission to the project.

While he has already begun research on the project, he anticipates it will take him a year to complete.

“Being county historian is not the only thing I do,” Eula said. “I am also the County Records Management Officer, so at best, I get to spend an hour and a half a day on the Legal History Project.”

Eula said he is happy Genesee County was included in the Historical Society of the New York Courts’ County Legal History Project.

“I’m going to look at courthouses we have had in Genesee County, their architecture and the famous cases which were held there,” Eula said. “I will also look at the law itself in Genesee County and how it has changed to keep up with a changing society.”

Eula said he has a whole archive of documents from the 1800s to search through. There is information on civil cases, criminal cases and much more, he said.

He will also explore how punishment has changed over time and how we define family law.

One of the most famous cases in Genesee County history is that of local businessman R. Newton Rowell, who walked into their bedroom and found his wife with her lover Johnson Lynch, the great-grandson of President John Adams. Rowell shot and killed Lynch, but the jury acquitted him.

“That is an example of how society and views have changed,” Eula said. “He probably wouldn’t have been acquitted today. I will also be looking at the law in terms of what is and isn’t acceptable behavior in Genesee County.”

Another interesting fact -- most people don’t realize we had slaves in Genesee County until New York abolished slavery in 1827.

“Even before then, as far back as 1813, slaves who were accused of a crime were given the right to a trial by jury,” Eula said.

The historian said it is interesting to note how a court itself is structured.

“You always have the judge on a platform, so we have to look up,” Eula said. “That tells us we are in a place of authority. Words used by lawyers in a courtroom, as time has gone on, have become almost like a foreign language.”

Eula will also explore how the legal world affects a typical resident of Genesee County, such as a hard-working farmer who is summoned as a juror. When he comes off the fields into a courtroom, it is a very different world from his normal one, Eula said.

Eula will also be submitting photos with his essay.

“I am very happy the Bar Association included Genesee County in its project,” Eula said.

Photo by Virginia Kropf.

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