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Genesee County changes internet domain for official website and email addresses

By Press Release

Press Release:

Effective July 9, the official internet domain for Genesee County will change from to This transition aligns with State legislation requiring counties to utilize .gov domains for their official network presence prior to August 1.

This change reflects the County’s dedication to safeguarding public data. A .gov domain ensures that the public can easily identify official Genesee County government information. 

While the County has officially moved to, there are areas where will still exist. These web locations will be eliminated over time but remain in place to ensure a smooth browsing experience for County website users.

In addition, Genesee County email addresses have also been updated to Emails sent to addresses will be automatically redirected to the new inboxes.

Nioga Library System invites community to take a trip with their 'Library Adventure Map'

By Press Release
Submitted photo. 

Press Release:

Library users are invited to participate in Nioga Library System’s “Library Adventure Map” program this summer! This program is open to all patrons and community members within Niagara, Genesee and Orleans Counties. A library card is not required to participate in the program!

Library Adventure Maps can be picked up at any Nioga library. Visit any of the libraries on the map and get a unique library-specific sticker. Each sticker is like a passport stamp! 

Those with a map who get a sticker will also get a raffle prize ticket for the chance to win a Kindle Fire and a $50 Amazon gift card. Certain libraries may also offer additional prizes or have challenges to complete.

The six Genesee County libraries are also working together to offer a special incentive. Participants who visit each public library in Genesee County will have a chance to win one of six gift cards to great local businesses!

  • $50 to PapaRoni's provided by Hollwedel Memorial Library
  • $50 to Greg'ry's Bakery provided by Byron-Bergen Public Library
  • $50 to Oliver's Candies provided by Richmond Memorial Library
  • $50 to Caryville Inn provided by Haxton Memorial Public Library
  • $50 to Sprinkles Creamery provided by Corfu Public Library
  • $40 to Mama Chavez's Taqueria PLUS four passes to the JELL-O Museum thanks to Woodward Memorial Library!

Get your stickers to complete your map by August 31! The winners will be announced in early September. Info about all the libraries can be found on the Adventure Map and also at Questions? Call your local Nioga library or the reference desk at Richmond Memorial Library at 585-343-9550 x3.

GOMO announces back to school clothing drive will run through August 22

By Virginia Kropf

A new program by the Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern (GCMOC) is designed to bring a much-needed benefit to school children in Orleans and Genesee counties.

Jami Allport, executive director of GOMOC, is excited about their new Back to School Program and hopes it will prove to be very successful.

She explained her agency used to do school supplies, but it has been evident that most schools are now providing the necessary supplies to children, so the need there is not as great as it used to be.

At a recent staff meeting, Allport said "Rose Friedl, newly appointed youth coordinator, came up with the idea of providing new sneakers and clothing to school children. Friedl was formerly with GOMOC’s furniture program, and this is her first big event as youth coordinator."

Previously, GOMOC provided clothing and gifts for children at Christmas time, but they realized that many other organizations step up at that time also, including Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, Medina Area Association of Churches, the Salvation Army, and local churches. But, other than doing backpack programs, no one does anything for going back to school.

Allport said GOMOC provided gifts and clothing for 137 children last Christmas, so she knows the need is out there.

“We hope this program will bridge that gap,” Allport said “If we can help 100 children – 50 in in Genesee County and 50 in Orleans, I will be happy.”

To take advantage of the program, families must visit GOMOC’s office in the First Presbyterian Church of Albion and make out an intake form, and provide the size, ages, color, and a list of what their children would like. The entrance to the office in the church basement is off Platt or East State Street. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. They are closed on the Fourth of July.

Allport stressed how important it is for a child of any age to have nice clothing for school.

“We want kids to feel confident and happy when they go back to school, and sometimes having a new shirt or pair of sneakers will do that,” Allport said. “Many children have never had a new pair of shoes or outfit. Even kids at pre-K level are aware of how the others look.”

Allport is asking the community to step up and donate money or gift cards so they can purchase what these children need. If donating clothing or footwear, the tags must be on them. The public is also encouraged to adopt a family, and either shop for what is on their list or donate money so the items can be purchased.

For more information, contact GOMOC at (585) 589-9210. The drive will run through August 22.

“The program will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and if we are able to surpass 100 children, that would be wonderful,” Allport said, “We want to help as many kids as possible.”

Genesee County law enforcement to participate in STOP-DWI campaign July 3 - 7

By Press Release

Press Release:

Genesee County law enforcement agencies, including the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Batavia Police Department, and the Village of LeRoy Police Department will be participating in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI program to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.

The statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign will start Wednesday, July 3 continuing thru Sunday, July 7. The Fourth of July is a wonderful time to celebrate with family and friends but all too often festivities turn tragic. 

The fact is this iconic American holiday is also one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to impaired-driving crashes. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaigns aim to further reduce the incidence of impaired driving.

Impaired driving is completely preventable – all it takes is a little planning.

Spartans turn back Watertown, 15-6; home this Saturday against Rochester

By Press Release
Jubilant Genesee County Spartans’ players celebrate after raising their record to 3-1 in the Northeastern Football Alliance. 
Photo by Lauren Donovan.


Press release:

The Genesee County Spartans improved its record to 3-1 on Saturday night with a 15-6 victory over the host Watertown Red & Black in Northeastern Football Alliance semipro action.

Quarterback Corey Turpin passed for 230 yards, halfback Jed Reese ran for 94 yards on 23 carries and a pair of touchdowns and wide receiver Deyonci Farley caught five passes for 143 yards to lead the Spartans.

“This is the biggest win in our organization’s history,” said Head Coach Harry Rascoe. “Our first-ever game was there (against Watertown), and we didn’t fare very well. The score of this game was not indicative of the way we controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.”

Genesee took a 6-0 on its opening drive, with Reese running it in from five yards out. On the extra point attempt, Keith Neureuter picked up a bad snap and burst over the goal line for two points to make it 8-0.

The Spartans upped their lead to 14-0 on their first drive after intermission, set up by a long pass to Farley from Turpin, who completed 14 of 25 attempts. Reese scored from a few yards out to set up the extra point kick by Julia Petry.

Rascoe credited injured QB Alex Rood for his effort filling in as offensive coordinator for Jermaine Henderson, who could not make the trip to Watertown.

The Red & Black, 2-2, scored with about three minutes left in the game.

Defensively, Jzhon Henderson and Tre Woods had interceptions, and Gunner Rapone, Max Rapone and Steve Kowalczyk recorded sacks. Kaden Marucci was in on 11 tackles.

Next up for the Spartans is a home contest against the Rochester Chargers at 5 p.m. this Saturday at Pembroke Town Park. Genesee defeated the Rochester squad, 19-12, on June 8 at Franklin High.

A 3-on-3 basketball tournament fundraiser to benefit the Spartans is set for July 6 at Ri-Dan’s Sports Park on West Main Street Road. To register for the event, which includes youth and adult divisions, go to

Wide receiver Deyonci Farley hauls in a pass from quarterback Corey Turpin over a pair of Watertown defenders during the Genesee County Spartans’ 15-6 victory last Saturday.
Photo by Lauren Donovan.

What's in a name? Legislature to consider changes after 60 years

By Joanne Beck
Tim Hens

It took more than 60 years of evolving duties and departmental responsibilities plus the current trend of in-your-face social media posturing to bring about a change of title for Genesee County’s highway department, and it’s one whose time has come, Highway Superintendent Tim Hens says.

The shift from Highway to Public Works Department and revising Hens’ title to commissioner will go to a public hearing on July 24. 

“I’ve always worried more about doing the job and not worrying about the title, but with the recent need to coordinate water emergency notifications as well managing a resurrected air show, I’ve noticed increased questions, especially in social media, as to why the highway superintendent is involved with water and airports,” Hens said. “It’s always been part of my job going back 25 years, but I think in order to quell some of the confusion, it’s prudent to rename the Highway Department to the Public Works Department.”

After a quick glance at other nearby counties -- Erie, Orleans and Niagara -- this isn't an uncommon title for the department or person leading the way. Albany County has a General Services department and Monroe County lists several divisions with no specific Public Works, such as Pure Waters and Parks departments. Tioga County does have a Public Works Department, and also lists Emergency Management Services (see below), so it seems as though there's no one established language that counties use for their various departments.

When Hens began in 1988, he was highway superintendent managing primarily the highways, bridges and fleet.

“Over the years, mostly in the early 2000s, duties were added: water, parks, airport, environmental health review and then we added facilities, I think, in 2016,” he said. 

He oversees seven divisions, 57 full-time and 11 seasonal or part-time employees within the department, including highways and bridges; fleet management; engineering; facility management; parks and forestry; Genesee County Airport; countywide water; and environmental health, which means engineering reviews for water, septic, campgrounds and pools.

Water has become the monster to tackle — financially, physically and environmentally — as the county has enacted a three-phase water project, with Phase 3 estimated to cost $150 million, to shore up its infrastructure while also having to put out a yearly plea for residents to be thoughtful about water use due to potential shortages.

As for what he sees as levels of importance, “water seems to be number one for sure,” Hens said.

“So much depends on it — public health, economic development, etc.,” he said. “We can’t do much without water, so the emphasis has overwhelmingly been to advance expansions of the water supply system to match growth of demand and support new industries, including agriculture."

Officials still want folks to be mindful of their water usage, however, “we decided to hold off on any preemptive restrictions this year,” Hens said, “as we have made some improvements that are making a difference, and we don’t want to seem like the boy who cries wolf.”

He doesn’t believe the spray parks in Batavia and Le Roy will have to shut down as they did temporarily last year because those instances were due to mechanical failures at the water plant and a well simultaneously and during a very hot stretch of summer weather, he said. It was unusual, but it is an option when necessary. “If we have supply issues,” he said.

Hens was integrally involved in the resurrection of Wings Over Batavia Air Show, which was during Labor Day weekend in 2023, from early planning committees, special training, oversight, and implementation to wrap-up. 

Though the air show is a privately funded event run mostly by volunteers, Hens serves to ensure “the county airport is safe, so the overall coordination and daily operations needed from the county to support the air show to make this happen will continue to be under my umbrella,” he said. 

As for priorities, the water project remains a top one with Phase 2 water supply improvements in progress.

“We have many portions of this supply increase complete but are still working on upgrading four pump stations in the Monroe County Water Authority system that will bring more water to Genesee County. We continue to be delayed by supplier issues and long lead times as well as scheduling in the numerous shutdowns needed on an active pump station,” he said. “It’s a very complex project and has taken way longer than I could have imagined. The other priority is the design and funding of the Phase 3 water supply improvements, which are also critically needed. The biggest effort lately has been tracking down grant funding opportunities so that Genesee County can move the project ahead with outside help rather than asking county residents to pay more water surcharge to support the development.”

That doesn’t end his list of county projects, as there’s a long list that includes many bridge replacements across the county.

“There are currently 13 bridges under various levels of construction and design,” he said. “We’ve been very successful in obtaining both federal and state aid to move these ahead.”

Other to-do items are transitioning from the old to the new county jail and rehabilitating and/or renovating the Engine House (home of the county’s public defender’s office), Holland Land Office Museum, which is bursting at the seams and plans are to expand toward the westward parking lot, and Genesee County Animal Shelter in order to meet updated state requirements.

With all of that on his plate, Hens said he would “love the water project to be complete before I go,” but his retirement plans are two years out, and it’s not quite realistic to think it would all be finished “based on the size, scope and complexity.”

The public hearing has been set for 5:30 p.m. July 24 at the Legislative Chambers, 7 Main St., Batavia during a county Legislature meeting. Anyone interested may speak about the topics of dissolving the highway department and creating the Public Works Department, and also to create the position of county commissioner of Public Works to correlate with that change. There is no salary change or budget impact. 

The highway department was established in 1962 to maintain county roads and bridges and control snow and ice. It has evolved to provide additional services, such as maintenance of facilities, parks and forests, airports, engineering, signage, fleet maintenance and development of water infrastructure.

The county intends to consolidate the various Public Works functions and duties of the County of Genesee performed by the Highway Department under a single county department and administration to more efficiently and economically serve the needs of the residents of Genesee County, the resolution states.

While they’re at it, county legislators will also consider revising the name of the Office of Emergency Management Services to more simply and broadly Office of Emergency Management to better clarify the scope of coverage and functions provided by the office. 

In 1984, the Fire Mutual Aid Department and the Civil Defense and Disaster Preparedness established the Office of Emergency Management Services, but “over time the agency was misconstrued as being limited to the oversight and coordination of emergency medical services, and in fact the agency provides coordination of a wide variety of emergency response services to enhance the capabilities of area first responders, including but not limited to fire, medical, mutual aid, mobilization of resources, planning, mitigation, response, recovery, hazardous materials response, confined space rescue, high angle rescue, search and rescue and fire investigation.”

Coordinator of Emergency Management Services Tim Yaeger proposed the change to more accurately depict the array of services provided to all first responders and county citizens. The hearing on July 24 will include this name change, as well.

With the mercury rising, there are ways to stay cool, experts say

By Joanne Beck
Austin Park spray park July 2023
July 2023 File Photo of kids having some cool fun at the spray park in Batavia. Photo by Howard Owens.

And so it begins — announcements of daily air quality index reports, with New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley hitting upon orange zones of “unhealthy for sensitive groups” while remaining regions in New York State rest in the yellow moderate zones as temperatures soar into the 90s this week.

Genesee Orleans Health Department officials have issued a set of heat advisory precautions to take, and cooling centers are opening on Wednesday — a newly proclaimed Juneteenth holiday that will give many folks, municipalities and school districts the day off — to provide a respite from the choking heat.

People of all ages are susceptible to the heat, especially senior citizens, and the Alzheimer’s Association recommends several safety tips for seniors and their caregivers to keep in mind during these blazing days of summer that officially begins on Thursday.  

Make a plan. Family and friends should prepare accordingly and make plans to regularly check-in on a person living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias during extreme heat. Arrange alternative plans for cooler spaces, if air conditioning is unavailable, and dress in loose, light clothing.

Pay attention at night. Keep people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias cool by using fans and keeping the air conditioning on. At night, low temperatures can still exceed 75 degrees with little fluctuation in humidity levels, making for difficult and exacerbating sleeping conditions, heightened anxiety and increased agitation.

Prepare for behavioral challenges. Research shows that heat can increase agitation and confusion in people. Try to remove behavioral triggers by addressing the person’s physical needs related to the heat, then tending to their emotional needs.

Stay hydrated. Increased water intake is essential to maintaining good hydration and health during extreme heat. Know the signs of heat exhaustion to avoid heat stroke. Dehydration may be difficult to notice in a person living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as signs like increased fatigue, dry mouth and headache may be difficult to detect. People taking diuretics, sedatives, or certain heart medication may not sweat as much as others, but this does not mean that they are not hot.

Stay indoors and out of the sun. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion may occur in extreme heat conditions but symptoms may be difficult to detect in people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Keep individuals cool by using air conditioning at home or move to a public place, such as a senior center or shopping mall. If you must go outside, be sure to dress appropriately, loose, light clothing, wear a hat, and apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or higher.  For a list of things to do in the area that indoors and out, go to The Batavian's calendar.

Stay informed. Keep an eye on local weather forecasts. High temperatures are not the only cause for concern. Humidity and air pollution indices can cause breathing difficulties. The person should be monitored regularly and seek medical attention if symptoms arise of dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, call 800-272-3900 or visit

Want to stay cool and perhaps save a few bucks as well? National Grid is offering summertime energy efficiency tips and payment options to help customers stay safe and save money on their bills.

Taking steps like raising your thermostat one degree or keeping curtains drawn during the sunniest parts of the day can create measurable savings on your monthly energy bill, the company says. 

"For our most economically vulnerable customers, summer cooling assistance programs provide additional support to manage their energy costs. There are a number of other low- and no-cost steps our customers can take to reduce their energy usage and save money, as well as programs to assist those who need assistance during the summer months," National Grid officials said in a press release.

Here are some energy efficient tips to try while trying to cool down your home situation:

  • Running fans along with your air conditioning creates a windchill effect by distributing and circulating cold air throughout a room, allowing you to turn up your thermostat. 
  • Changing or cleaning the reusable filter in your air conditioner can improve air flow and efficiency.
  • Have your central air conditioner checked. Just like you have your furnace serviced and cleaned each fall, you should have your central air conditioning system checked prior to summer. Professionals will perform a comprehensive examination on your outside condenser and inside fan to ensure your system is working at peak efficiency.
  • Replace your air filter. Dirty air filters on central and room air conditioning systems can choke off the flow of air to your home’s ventilation system. Changing your filter as directed by the manufacturer not only permits air to flow freely, but it helps your air conditioning run more efficiently.
  • Vacuum your air intake vents and keep them clear. Dust builds up on your home’s air returns and a couple of minutes with a vacuum can keep the air flow moving. Move toys, furniture and other objects away from the intake vent to keep air moving.
  • Consider rearranging furniture near your thermostat or room air conditioner. Lamps and televisions radiate heat and if they are too close to the thermostat, your air conditioning could run more and longer than necessary to cool a room.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs are inefficient to use and emit more heat than an LED bulb. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.
  • Turn off lights when you’re not using them. This can help save money by reducing your electricity bills, extend the life of your light bulbs, and result in buying bulbs less often.
  • Consider installing a programmable or smart thermostat. Programmable thermostats allow you to run your air conditioning on a schedule. Smart thermostats offer the ability to control your home’s temperature from your mobile device or computer. Preset your schedule, adjust temperatures remotely, and take full control of your cooling. Smart thermostats could lower your energy bills by up to $180 a year.
  • Prep your home when you go on vacation. If there’s a road trip or beach vacation on your calendar, take a couple of extra steps such as turning up your thermostat to keep your air conditioning from running while no one is home. Unplug electronics with remote control or “instant on” features and save $4 a month.
  • Once the heat arrives, turn up the temperature on your thermostat. The lower you set your air conditioning temperature, the more costly it is to operate. For example, a 75-degree setting costs about 18% more than a 78-degree setting. Don’t compromise your comfort or safety, but use this to test how cool you really need it.
  • Close your window coverings. Ambient sunlight can heat a room, and drawing your curtains and blinds can reduce the sun’s heating of your home and keep your air conditioning from running more than necessary.
  • Think twice before starting your oven. Conventional and convection ovens can add unnecessary heat to your home and force your air conditioner to run unnecessarily. Keep the heat outside by using a grill or, if that’s not an option, consider using a microwave orslow cooker to do the job.
  • Know the signs of heat-related illness. Heavy sweating, muscle cramps and a fast pulse aren’t just signs of being warm. They are symptoms of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Know the signs and pay extra attention to children, seniors and other vulnerable groups when the temperature and humidity rise.
  • Visit to learn about National Grid’s residential, multi-family, and commercial energy efficiency programs, and find more information on ways to reduce your energy costs. 

The Home Energy Affordability Program, or HEAP, provides assistance to New Yorkers looking to stay cool through the summer season. Applications for 2024 HEAP Cooling Assistance benefits opened in April. 

Customers who meet qualifying income and residency criteria may receive up to $800 to purchase and install a portable air conditioner or fan, or up to $1,000 for a wall-sleeve air conditioning unit. Funds are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis through your HEAP local district contact.

For more information about National Grid programs and budget billing, go HERE

There are consumer advocates available to provide assistance in multiple languages at 1-800-642-4272 or at

Cooling centers open Wednesday in Genesee County

By Press Release

Press Release:

With an extreme heat wave sweeping across New York State this week, Genesee County Emergency Management Services, in partnership with Public Health Emergency Preparedness (Genesee and Orleans Health Departments), is committed to ensuring residents have access to safe, cool environments.

Local Cooling Centers: The following cooling centers will be open on the Juneteenth holiday (June 19, 2024):

• Byron-Bergen Public Library, 13 South Lake Ave, Bergen, NY 14416
Phone: 585-494-1120
Open 6/19/24: 10 AM - 1 PM, 2-7 PM
• Genesee County Office For The Aging, 2 Bank St, Batavia, NY 14020
Phone: 585-343-1611
Open 6/19/24: 8 AM-4:30 PM
• Grace Baptist Church, 238 Vine St, Batavia, NY 14020
Phone: 585-343-0729
Open 6/19/24: 12-5 PM

We urge residents to share this information widely to assist those at risk of heat-related illnesses.

A full listing of cooling centers in Genesee County with hours of operation can be found at:

If you are a local business, organization, agency, or other entity willing to serve as a cooling center, please contact David Bell at or call 585-344-2580 ext. 5555.

Early voting schedule announced for GOP primary

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Genesee County Board of Elections announces essential information regarding the upcoming Republican Primary Election on June 25. 

As New York State operates a closed primary system, only registered Republicans are eligible to vote in this primary election. The ballot includes a countywide Primary for US Congress and a local Town Council Republican unexpired term Primary for voters in Byron.

Early Voting Details
There will be nine days of early voting beginning June 15 - June 23 at the ARC Community Center, 38 Woodrow Rd., Batavia. The schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, June 15: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 16: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Monday, June 17: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 18: 12 - 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 19: 12 - 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 20: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Friday, June 21: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 22: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 23: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Primary Election Day
On June 25, all polling sites will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and are accessible to all voters. To find your designated poll site, visit Voter Lookup or contact the Genesee County Board of Elections at (585) 815-7804.

Poll Site Change
Please note that the Bergen poll site has been relocated from the Bergen Town Courtroom to the Gillam Grant Community Center, 6966 W. Bergen Rd., Bergen.

Absentee Ballot Information
Voters can request an absentee ballot by contacting the Board of Elections or using the NY State Portal: Absentee Ballot Application.

Key deadlines include

  • June 15: Last day for the Board of Elections to receive absentee ballot applications.
  • June 24: Last day to apply in person for an absentee ballot.
  • June 25: Absentee ballots must be received by the poll site or Board of Elections by 9 p.m.
  • June 25: Last day to postmark a ballot, which must be received by July 2.
  • July 2: Deadline for military/special federal absentee ballots to be received.

Voter Registration Deadlines
Applications must be received by the Board of Elections by June 15, to be eligible to vote in the Primary. The office will be open for registration from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at County Building 1, 15 Main St., Batavia. Please use the elevator door entrance.

In-Person Registration
You can register at the Genesee County Board of Elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act on any business day throughout the year. To be eligible to vote in the Primary, your application must be received by June 15.

Address Changes

All changes of address must be received by June 10.

If you have any questions or need registration forms or absentee applications, please contact the Genesee County Board of Elections at (585) 815-7804 or visit our website at Genesee County Board of Elections.

Genesee County expands HELP program to address staffing shortages

By Press Release

Press Release:

Genesee County is pleased to announce the expansion of the Hiring Emergency Limited Placement (HELP) Program, approved by the New York State Department of Civil Service, to address staffing shortages for critical roles.

The HELP Program, initially implemented for the following key positions, has now been extended to include several additional titles. 

Previously Approved HELP Program Titles:

  • Caseworkers
  • Emergency Services Dispatchers 
  • Mental Health Clinical Therapists
  • Mental Health Clinical Social Workers
  • Social Welfare Examiners

Newly Approved Non-Competitive Positions:

  • Accounting Supervisors
  • Assistant Social Worker II
  • Case Manager II
  • Clerk Typist
  • Electronic Health Records Program Specialist
  • Financial Clerk Typist
  • Housing Coordinator
  • Intake Clerk
  • Legal Clerk Typist
  • Motor Vehicle Service Representative

Effective immediately until December 31, 2024, candidates hired for these positions will not be required to undergo Civil Service testing and will be hired in a non-competitive classification. This extension aims to enhance recruitment efforts, increase the pool of qualified candidates, and alleviate concerns about exam requirements.

The County's Human Resources Department will continue collaborating with various departments to ensure a smooth transition and effective recruitment for these roles.

Candidates must still meet the minimum qualifications for their respective positions. Genesee County remains committed to maintaining high standards and ensuring hired professionals are well-suited for their roles.

For further information or inquiries about the expanded HELP Program, please contact the Genesee County Human Resources Department at 585-815-7805 or

Large full moon lit the sky Friday evening in Batavia

By Steve Ognibene
A full moon over Batavia.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
A full moon lit the sky Friday evening in Batavia.
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Anyone catch the full moon Friday evening?  Here is an image by photographer Steve Ognibene in case you missed it.

Genesee County to participate in statewide STOP-DWI during Memorial Day Weekend

By Press Release

Press Release:

Genesee County law enforcement agencies, including the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the Village of LeRoy Police Department will be participating in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI program to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.

The statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign will start Friday, May 24 and will continue through Monday, May 27. Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel holidays and marks the official start of summer. New York State Police, County Sheriffs, municipal law enforcement agencies, and local STOP-DWI programs will be collaborating in force across the state in an effort to reduce the number of impaired driving-related injuries and deaths. 

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have made great strides in reducing the numbers of alcohol and drug-related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers.

You can make a difference by having a sober plan to get a safe ride because impaired driving is completely preventable – all it takes is a little planning. Visit for more information.

GO Health 2024 rankings put local obesity, smoking higher than state levels

By Press Release

Press Release:

The 2024 County Health Rankings have been released and updated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). The Rankings are available at

“Each year we look at the County Health Rankings to get an overview of our health and factors that influence our health,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “This year the County Health Rankings have made some changes in reporting. Rather than ranking with specific numbers, the Rankings are looking at how each county fits in the scale from Healthiest in the United States (U.S.) to Least Healthiest in the U.S. The purpose of the annual data release is to help communities understand the many factors that influence health.”

The rankings are broken into two main categories, Health Outcomes, which include length of life and quality of life, and Health Factors, which include health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment.

Genesee County is faring about the same as the average county in New York State (NYS) for Health Outcomes, and better than the average county in the nation. Orleans County is faring worse than the average county in NYS for Health Outcomes, and better than the average county in the nation. For Health Factors, Genesee is faring worse than the average county, and better than the average county in the nation. Orleans is faring worse than the average county in New York State and in the nation.

“As Chief Health Strategists, we collaborate with our partners and community members to provide quality training, education, and referrals as well as develop coalitions to explore the best way to help our county residents thrive and improve health factors,” stated Pettit.

As referenced below, both Genesee and Orleans Counties have health factors that could be improved specifically with local access to physicians, mental health providers, and dentists along with excessive drinking, adult obesity, and adult smoking. Access to care significantly impacts and drives the rankings for both counties. Additionally, it is a substantial barrier for residents and ultimately, has an impact on not only an individual’s physical, social, and mental health but also their overall quality of life.


Some key areas of the 2024 County Health Rankings for Genesee and Orleans Counties are:

  • Genesee and Orleans are currently working on providing information and programming to decrease adult smoking (20% with New York at 12%) and adult obesity (40% with New York at 29%). GO Health is providing an awareness campaign in partnership with Tobacco Free GLOW on the impact smoking and vaping have on health.
  • Both counties are bringing back the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) by presenting the Lifestyle Change program. This is an evidence-based program developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help individuals at risk of or diagnosed with pre-diabetes learn how to lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by making lifestyle changes over 26 one-hour sessions.

The Rankings have become an important tool for communities that want to improve health for all. Working collaboratively with community partners in Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties (GOW), Genesee and Orleans Counties use the GOW 2022-2024 Community Health Assessment to choose the priorities for the Community Health Improvement Plan over the next three years. 

We analyze the Rankings along with New York State data and community input from the Community Health Assessment survey and Community Conversations to determine these priorities. The 2022-2024 Community Health Improvement Plan's priority areas are to prevent chronic disease, promote well-being, and prevent mental and substance use disorders.

For more information on Health Department programs and services, visit or call your respective health department at:

Follow GO Health on Facebook, Instagram, and X at GOHealthNY.

Genesee County announces summer office hours

By Press Release

Press Release:

Starting May 28, Genesee County Offices will shift their hours of operation from the previous hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to the summer hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

As in years past, this slight shift will not affect the total number of hours that county offices will be open to the public. These new hours will remain in effect until August 30.

Voters say yes to school budgets, capital reserves, everything on ballots

By Joanne Beck

All eight public school district budgets in Genesee County and their related propositions — from vehicle purchases and walking distances to establishing capital reserves — were approved by voters Tuesday,  although that may not have signaled the same message for everyone.

While Batavia City Schools Superintendent Jason Smith offered gratitude for a positive outcome and “your support, especially during a challenging budget season,” outspoken opponent Mark Potwora, who encouraged folks on social media to vote no, was disappointed in a poor turnout of less than 500 voters for the day.

"The actual amount of people that came out to vote was terrible. I voted at Robert Morris around 8:30 and was number 224. That is awful out of, I believe, 8,000 eligible voters. I called a few people to go vote and many weren’t even aware there was a vote going on," Potwora told The Batavian. "Such low numbers tell me that, as I said, many didn’t realize there was a vote and that those that knew didn’t go vote because they felt that even if the vote gets turned down, they would revert back to the contingency budget. Which doesn’t solve the problem of spending issues that will keep increasing at least from the few people I heard from.

“Sadly, the school board will see this as a major win and a sign that the tax-paying public supports their increased spending. Which is not true. Instead they should be looking at more ways to get more people involved in voting. Perhaps mail-in ballots might help," he said. "My No vote was to send a message that they must work harder at cutting expenses. Busing would be a big one along with what exactly is the role of a government run school system. It’s to educate and not play social worker.”

Full disclosure: Potwora is often disgruntled with government spending and generous with his opinions. He gives some food for thought about those going to the polls, though, given that the city’s population is just under 15,000 people, which means a percentage of that is still far more than the 460 who showed up to vote on Tuesday. Are people unaware of the vote, or do they not care? Or are they content enough to leave it up to others to decide?

The proposed 2024-2025 budget for the Batavia City School District, totaling $60,294,755, was approved by a vote of 305 to 155. The three incumbent board members were reelected with votes of 325 for Jennifer Lendvay and John Reigle and 322 for Korinne Anderson, followed by 235 for Mike Bromley.

"On behalf of the entire Batavia City School District, we are deeply grateful to the members of our community for their participation in this year's budget vote. Your support, especially during a challenging budget season, underscores the strength and commitment of our Batavia community,” Smith said. “I also want to extend congratulations to Jennifer, John, and Korinne on their reelection to the Board of Education. I am enthusiastic about the unique perspectives they bring and look forward to collaborating with them as we strive to further enhance the quality of education across BCSD. Together, we will continue to make our school district a place of excellence and opportunity for all our students.” 

Alexander Central School’s budget was approved by 89 to 39, and purchases of two 64-passenger school buses and a small school bus to cost a maximum of $450,000 was also given the green light by 84 to 44. The district also approved expenditures of $127,910 for computer hardware, Chromebooks and a floor scrubbing machine by 92 to 36. The district will be establishing a $500,000 equipment capital reserve fund now that voters have approved it with an initial deposit of $50,000 by a vote of 78 to 46.

A school bus reserve fund was also approved by a vote of 74 to 52 for an ultimate amount of $900,000 with a deposit of $50,000. School board member Brian Paris was given 101 votes, and write-ins were cast for David Dunbar, 1; Richard Guarino, 2; John Slenker, 1; Jadriene Baldruf, 1; Dusty Williams, 1; and John Meier, 1.

Byron-Bergen Central School's Proposition #1 was the 2024-25 budget, which passed 255 yes to 105 no; Proposition #2, a school vehicle replacement, 267 yes to 92 no; Proposition #3, new repair reserve, 269 yes to 91 no; and Proposition #4 change walking distance for students was approved by 288 yes to 73 no. The Board of Education election was close, with Deb List receiving 296 votes and Lynn Smith coming in with 292.

Elba Central School's Proposition #1 for the budget of $11,950,150 was approved 113 to 13; Proposition #2 to establish a general capital reserve fund was approved 109 to 15;  and Prop. #3 to withdraw from the existing capital bus and vehicle replacement reserve to purchase school passenger vehicles passed 115 to 9, and two Board of Education seats went to Ryan Hoh, with 112, and Michael Zuber, with 110 votes. 

Oakfield-Alabama Central School’s budget was approved with a closer vote than most, 266 yes to 217 no.

Board member Maria Thompson was reelected to the Board of Education with 367 votes, and Malorie Benjamin received 312 votes for the second open seat.

Pavilion Central School’s budget was approved 201 yes to 55 no. School board seats went to Kirsten Galliford with 133 votes and Roxanne Holthaus with 126 votes. Rick Smith received 109 and Jack Clapper 110 votes. The library tax levy vote also passed by 191 to 65; and library trustees Kristi Jeffres, with 227, Cara Kingsley, 221, and Sharon Fuerch, 208, were voted in as library trustees. 

Pembroke Central School’s budget passed by 271 to 79; and Prop. #2 for the purchase of school buses passed 261 to 87. Proposition #3 for Corfu Public Library passed 255 to 91, and the election of a five-year term for a school board member went to Arthur Ianni with 290 votes and  an unexpired one-year term to Jessica Edwards with 294 votes.  

Corfu Public Library Board members Patrick Weissent, with 280, and Jason Long, 279, were elected, with write-in winner Matthew Steinberg.

Standardized procedures, recruitment push among key strategies to fix fire, emergency response issues: Yaeger

By Mike Pettinella
Tim Yaeger

The task force charged with finding ways to stabilize fire and emergency medical service in Genesee County has identified eight priority measures from a list of about 100 recommendations provided by an independent consulting firm.

County EMS Coordinator Tim Yaeger (photo at right) on Thursday said the task force is meeting regularly in an effort to implement these strategies, with a focus on developing standards that all local fire departments or companies can follow and finding efficient ways to recruit potential volunteer firefighters.

In July 2022, the Genesee County Comprehensive Fire & Emergency Medical Service Implementation Plan (Fire & EMS Plan) was finalized. Since that time, the task force received feedback on the recommendations from Municipal Resources, Inc. of Plymouth, N.H., and has decided to start with the low-hanging fruit – items that won’t take years to put into practice.

Yaeger said that two key recommendations fall into the fire operations category.

From the task force report:

-- The Genesee County Fire Advisory Board, working collaboratively with the Genesee County Emergency Services, should form a committee to begin the development of a comprehensive County-wide Standard Operations Procedures/Guidelines (SOP/SOG) manual utilizing existing SOPs/SOG’s as a starting point. They should also consider the development of County-wide operational manuals based on the Northern Virginia Regional Fire Services manuals. This could even be pursued as a regional endeavor with the other counties in the GLOW region.

-- The Genesee County Fire Advisory Board, working collaboratively with the Genesee County Emergency Services, should adopt a standardized SOP/SOG form.

“Right now, we operate, I would call it regionally,” Yaeger said. “There’s not many calls that the single fire department handles by themselves. Most incidents are now handled by two or more fire companies. So, it makes sense to be basically operating off the same sheet of music. That approach in other parts of the country has had very good success.”

Yaeger said having the same strategies and tactics for all fire departments is “really a safety component.”

“By doing this, we want to make sure that we're all providing a better level of service while maintaining the safety of the firefighters.”

Another of the eight recommendations deals with volunteer recruitment and retention. 

From the task force report:

-- The Genesee County Emergency Services Task Force and Genesee County Fire Service Advisory Board, assisted by the Genesee County Department of Emergency Services, should establish, and recommend the use of a uniform application and screening process for all new members of the fire and EMS services throughout Genesee County. Although these personnel are volunteers, they still enjoy all of the rights of full-time public safety personnel and possess the same high ethical and moral character.

The report states that all volunteers must have a valid driver’s license and submit to background and credit checks, and drug testing.

“The operations group is looking at ways to streamline the application process and the onboarding process of volunteers into the EMS system, or fire and EMS system, and is looking at better ways to market and advertise the need for volunteers,” Yaeger said.

Rounding out the priority recommendations:

-- The Genesee County EMS Council should be reactivated to meet monthly with representatives from local fire departments, Genesee County Sheriff's Department 911 Dispatch Center, Genesee County Emergency Services, Mercy EMS, and LeRoy Ambulance. This group would meet and discuss any documented concerns or thoughts from the previous month to help enhance services in the future. The EMS Council should not be considered as a forum just for the airing of any grievances but an open forum for communication and feedback to improve the quality of EMS service to Genesee County.

-- Working collaboratively, the Genesee County Fire Advisory Board and the Genesee County Emergency Services should develop a plan to deploy several daytime quick response units; fire apparatus staffed with an officer and three firefighters, positioned strategically around the County in fire stations that wish to host them.

-- Genesee County's fire and EMS providers should consider the implementation of a reward, recognition, or incentive program for members that attain a level of more than 25 percent response. An example would be to provide gift certificates for local restaurants, concerts, or other entertainment as a reward for attaining a high level of response.

-- Working collaboratively with their partners at Genesee County, the Genesee County Emergency Services Task Force and Genesee County Fire Advisory Board should explore the feasibility of standardizing many of the tools and equipment utilized by the County's fire departments to allow for cost savings generated by group purchasing arrangements.

-- The Genesee County Legislature should consider funding regional or county positions that would reduce the overall burden on local fire and EMS organizations and enhance operational capability and efficiency. Examples of those positions are training officer, fire operations officer, health and safety officer, fire prevention officer, recruitment and retention officer and human resources officer.

Yaeger said he is encouraged by Genesee County’s move to contract last fall with Le Roy Ambulance and Mercy EMS.

“It seems to have stabilized both organizations, and we consistently continue to monitor their performance because it's fragile,” he said. “The whole EMS system is extremely fragile –both statewide and nationwide. So, we're hoping that the subsidies that the county’s providing to both agencies will be sufficient enough to sustain that reliability, performance and staffing level that we're expecting from those two agencies.”

He also pointed to the significance of having “elected officials at the table with fire service officials,” something that Genesee County EMS is facilitating.

“It’s so important that the elected official understands what's going on in the fire service and the fire service understands where the elected officials are coming from,” he said. “So far, these meetings have been very, very successful.”

Yaeger said he plans to update the Genesee County Legislature on the task force’s work, possibly as soon as next month.

County dedicates new jail that officials expect to serve community for at least a century

By Howard B. Owens
genesee county jail dedication
Sheriff William Sheron.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Last month, Genesee County experienced a total solar eclipse, a once-in-a-lifetime event for many.

On Friday, Sheriff William Sheron said it was a once-in-a-lifetime event: the dedication of a new county jail.

The jail is expected to be the county's lone place of inmate incarceration for at least 10 decades.

"We'll never see one of these built again, nor do we want to," Sheron said.

The new jail's construction was a long journey, Sheron said, but a necessary one.  The new facility will serve the community better, providing greater opportunities to help offenders improve their lives and keep corrections officers safer.

"Today marks a significant milestone in our county's journey towards justice and rehabilitation," Sheron said. "It's with great pride and humility that we gather here to dedicate the new Genesee County Jail. This facility is not just a testament to our commitment to public safety but also a symbol of our unwavering dedication to accountability, rehabilitation and hope."

See also: Photos: Tour of the new Genesee County Jail

Sheron noted that incarceration is not the ultimate goal of local law enforcement. 

"Rather, it's a means to an end, an opportunity for individuals to reflect on their actions, take accountability for their actions and their mistakes and embark on a path towards positive change," Sheron said.

To that end, the new jail will offer better access to mental health assistance, educational opportunities, and access to counseling.  Inmates will have access to resources and programs aimed at addressing the root causes of their behavior with the hope of guiding them toward a more productive future.

"Accountability is the heart of the justice system," Sheron said. "It's about holding individuals responsible for their actions and also providing them with the support and the tools they need to reintegrate into our society as productive and law-abiding citizens."

Allen Riley, chairman of the state's Commission of Corrections, which mandated that the county build a new jail to replace its deteriorating, aging facility Main Street in Batavia, which was becoming costly to maintain, he said, praised the new facility.

"It will provide greater space for enhanced educational opportunities for the incarcerated population, which will provide opportunities for advancement and a chance to become a productive member of society upon their release and reduce recidivism rates here in Genesee County," he said.

The 184-bed facility was built at a cost of $70 million. The jail is divided into four units. To start, only three units will house inmates: two males and one female. It's the first time Genesee County will house its own female inmates.

Assistant Jail Superintendent Jeff Searls told visitors during a guided tour that he anticipates opportunities to house inmates from other counties, especially for a couple of neighboring counties that are just starting the process of building new jails in their communities and providing custodial care for people being held for the U.S. Marshall's and Homeland Security. Holding inmates for other jurisdictions will generate revenue for the county, which will help offset the jail's cost.

County Manager Matt Landers noted that the jail was built during challenging times.  Project planning began in 2017 and by the time the county was ready to begin construction, the world was hit by a pandemic, then rising interest rates, followed by inflation, along with bail reform.

"At one point, I was wondering if we're building this jail too small," Landers said. "If you go back to 2019, we had 140 individuals in the care of Genesee County Sheriff's Office that would essentially be full today. Then, within one year, the numbers dropped from the pandemic and from the bail reform. And we weren't quite sure. So, we commissioned a second jail-needs study. And the results of that study were basically to keep the same number we had before. And now here we are today with, I would say, an appropriate size jail facility for the next 100 years."

genesee county jail dedication
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee county jail dedication
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee county jail dedication
Allen Riley, chairman of the state's Commission of Corrections
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee county jail dedication
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee county jail dedication
Legislative Chair Shelley Stein presents follow legislators, Gary Maha, left, and Christian Yunker, with plaques for their service to the county as the Legislators' representatives during jail construction.
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee county jail dedication
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee county jail dedication
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee county jail dedication
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee county jail dedication
County Manager Matt Landers
Photo by Howard Owens.

Arc GLOW outfits sites in Genesee County with AEDs

By Press Release
Corinne Phelps and Martin Lattin next to the AED at Arc GLOW’s Genesee Administration
Building on Walnut Street in Batavia.
Submitted photo. 

Press Release:

Arc GLOW purchased a total of 19 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in Genesee and Wyoming counties due to generosity by two different organizations.

Fifteen AEDs in Genesee County were purchased with assistance from the Genesee County New York State Opioid Settlement Fund. 

Of these 15 AEDs, four are at Arc GLOW’s public facing offices — the Genesee Administration Building, Business Services and Transportation building, Community Center in Batavia and Elba Day Habilitation. 

These AEDs are in a cabinet at a set location, and have been added to the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program — if someone calls 911 in need of an AED, an operator will be able to direct them to one of those four buildings for assistance. The case will make a sound when it is opened, and there will be a child/pediatric cartridge at each location and an additional adult cartridge.

The four AEDs in Wyoming County were purchased due to grant funds from the William F. Thiel Trust at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. These four plus the 11 from Genesee County went to Arc GLOW’s 11 individualized residential alternatives (IRAs) where individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) live.

“Everyone wants to go about their day thinking what they’re doing is making some kind of difference. Not every project has the luxury of visual evidence like this one did,” said Jeff Kantrowski, quality assurance coordinator at Arc GLOW. “At one point there was a literal wall of life-saving AEDs sitting behind me. It’s awesome to be able to have a hand in putting those units into the world all over Genesee and Wyoming counties; especially knowing that several of the units could have an impact in the community beyond Arc GLOW.” 

According to the American Red Cross, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is among the leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, more than 350,000 people will suffer a SCA this year. 

Currently, the only way to restore a regular heart rhythm during a SCA is to use an AED. Without immediate cardiac medical intervention, the person will die of cardiac death within minutes.

When SCA occurs, rapid treatment with an AED can be lifesaving. But defibrillation is time sensitive. The probability of survival decreases by 7 percent to 10 percent for every minute that a victim doesn't receive treatment.

Individuals with IDD are a vulnerable population that is susceptible to having medical emergencies. For more than a century, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has enhanced and encouraged long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. 

A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is connection people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. Established in 1919, the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at

Arc GLOW is a private, non-profit organization founded by parents and friends of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. 

It is dedicated to helping people with IDD meet their full potential and find fulfillment in learning, personal relationships, employment, volunteerism, recreation, the arts, and more. Arc GLOW serves up to 2,000 individuals with IDD of all ages throughout the GLOW counties. For more information, visit

YWCA honors women making a difference at Women of Inspiration award ceremony

By Joanne Beck
Pictured left to right, YWCA Women of Inspiration award receipients, Judy Fuller, Sue Gagne, Susie Ott, Sandy Wojtaszczyk  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Pictured left to right, YWCA Women of Inspiration award recipients Judy Fuller, Sue Gagne, Susie Ott and Sandy Wojtaszczyk.
Photo by Steve Ognibene

You just never know when you’re going to make a difference in someone’s life, Sandy Wojtaszczyk says.

“We don’t always know what difference we make; no matter where you volunteer or what you do in your job, we never know. You never know what impact you have on anybody,” Wojtaszczyk said during this year’s Women of Inspiration Awards lunch at Batavia Downs. 

In her line of work in Social Services, with 15 out of 25 years as supervisor of the Child Protective unit, she had to do some of the hardest jobs by removing kids from their home situations and then wondering if she made a positive difference. 

She began her career at Genesee County Department of Social Services in 1998. In 2009, she became a department supervisor and was charged with training new workers in her unit regarding child abuse and the safety of children in Genesee County. In 2013, Wojtaszczyk received an award for her Outstanding Achievements in Law Enforcement. In 2021, she received the Leadership Genesee Outstanding Alumnus Award. 

During her career, she collaborated with many agencies, including YWCA, CASA, Juvenile Justice, Genesee County Family Courts, Genesee County schools, and law enforcement to ensure the safety of the children she served. 

“And I always hope that removing kids from a situation that's really, really bad. That is what can be done, knowing that I could have saved a child's life somewhere along the line. Will I ever know that? No,” she said. “I worked with teenagers for a period of time prior to being a supervisor. And I still am in contact with some of those girls. They sometimes call me, and they see me on the street … I still have Facebook friends, a lot of Facebook friends out there. 

“But you know, I look at that, and I don't think that I have an impact, but I did have an impact on their lives,” she said. “They were in foster care, and they didn't have good role models. And hopefully, that's what I was for them.”

She also talked about being involved in volunteer activities, from the early days of Jerry Lewis telethons and 4-H walkathons to current Salvation Army food drives to help out families at Christmas. 

It’s that giving spirit that she shares with the other recipients, including Judy Fuller, Susie Ott and Sue Gagne. 

Fuller volunteers many hours coordinating and managing My Sisters Closet for the YWCA of Genesee County. She has taken this on as her own and is always trying to come up with new ideas to help the program grow and reach more people in the community. The Closet supports and provides clothing to women in the nonprofit’s Domestic Violence program.

Fuller said that her primary role has been to help victims of domestic violence access clothing and other items “that they might not have,” she said.

“And anybody who hasn’t worked comes in for a job interview, and they get free clothes, so I help anybody who needs it,” she said. 

Ott is very active in the community, supporting many agencies and projects. She is currently the president of Batavia Rotary, chair of the United Way Day of Caring, treasurer of Batavia Job Development, board member of United Memorial Medical Center, and committee member of the Wings Over Batavia Air Show. 

She has received several awards for her volunteer work and community support, including the 2011 Leadership Genesee Outstanding Alumnus Award, the 2007 and 2022 Rotary Club Paul Harris Award, the 2015 Geneseean of the Year and the 2017 United Way Barber Conable Award.

Ott shared a quote that echoed Wojtaszczyk’s sentiments: Your impact on other people is bigger than you think. 

“Someone still giggles when they think of something funny that you said. Someone still smiles when they think of a compliment you gave them. Someone silently admires you. The advice you give has made a difference for people,” she said. “So I encourage everyone to continue giving back to the community and have fun while doing so. If you’re ever looking for ways to be involved, I have some ideas. And I’ll leave you with a quote by Les Brown: It’s in every day there are 1440 minutes. That means you have 1440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.”

Gagne has been a proactive human service advocate, volunteer and employee for decades. She has an extensive background in mental health, criminal justice and substance use disorders. 

Early in her career, she worked at ARC and as an assistant for the Genesee County Mental Health Association, later becoming a director. She volunteered on the board of directors for NAMI NYS, The GOW Opioid Task Force and the Suicide Prevention Task Force for GOW. She was instrumental in the founding of the GCASA Recovery Station and worked as coordinator of the Recovery Station through COVID.

Gagne is currently the assistant director of Adult Services at Wyoming County Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Genesee County. While working, she completed her degree in nursing at GCC and received the Leadership Award. She is now furthering her education at Brockport State College.

She shared a tip that she has learned from author and speaker John Maxwell about being an inspirational leader. It has to do with performing a daily habit that includes others throughout one’s day.

“He wakes up every morning, looks over his calendar and starts thinking about who he will see that day and how he can add value to them. He’d intentional about it,” Gagne said. “In the Bible, the book of Ephesians tells us that we are God’s handiwork, and if we think about that, you might be the answer to somebody’s prayer. Remember, you have a gift to give this world.

Her final words were to encourage others, especially if anyone struggles with knowing “how special and unique you are.”

“Get around good people,” she said. “My pastor continually tells us the person you will be in five years depends on the books you read and the friends you keep. So get around people who will encourage you, value and help you grow.”

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Keynote speaker, Deanna Dewberry, Channel 10 Rochester News Anchor  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Keynote speaker Deanna Dewberry, Channel 10 Rochester News Anchor.
Photo by Steve Ognibene
YWCA President of the board Georganne Lang presents flowers to Deanna  Photo by Steve Ognibene
YWCA Board President Georganne Lang presents flowers to Deanna Dewberry.
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Judy Fuller, Award recipient  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Judy Fuller, award recipient.
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Sue Gagne, Award recipient  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Sue Gagne, award recipient.
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Susie Ott, Award recipient  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Susie Ott, award recipient.
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Sandy Wojtaszczyk, Award recipient  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Sandy Wojtaszczyk, award recipient.
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Samantha Rychlicki, Office Manager, announces the Frances's Purse Winner  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Office Manager Samantha Rychlicki announces the Frances's Purse Winner.
Photo by Steve Ognibene
YWCA executive director, Jamie Rada, closing remarks  Photo by Steve Ognibene
YWCA Executive Director Jamie Rada makes closing remarks.
Photo by Steve Ognibene

National drug take back day happening across Genesee County on April 27

By Press Release

Press Release:

On Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., law enforcement agencies across Genesee County and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will provide the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. 

There will be three locations across the county where citizens can dispose of their medications. Sharps will only be accepted at the Batavia location which moved from the Alva lot this year. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. 

The Batavia Police Department, in conjunction with United Memorial Medical Center, will be accepting prescription drugs and sharps at the Batavia Police Department, located at 10 W. Main Street, Batavia. 

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office will accept prescription drugs ONLY at the Pembroke Town Hall, 1145 Main Rd. Corfu. 

The LeRoy Police Department will accept prescription drugs ONLY at their headquarters at 3 West Main Street, LeRoy. 

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. 

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 11,000 authorized collectors that are available all year long. 

The Batavia Police Department Headquarters has one for everyday collection of drugs located in the lobby at 10 West Main St., Batavia. Containers are also located at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on Park Rd, Batavia, and the LeRoy Police Department. 

Sharps are accepted at United Memorial Medical Center, 127 North Street, Batavia. 

The FDA also provides information on how to dispose of prescription drugs properly. More information is available here:

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or the April 27 Take Back Day event, go to

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