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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.

April 16, 2019 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, bridges, genesee county, news, notify.

The County Legislature is poised to accept more than $2.5 million in federal grants to help pay for two bridge replacement projects, one in Pembroke and the other in Alabama.

In Pembroke, the current steel girder bridge with a steel grate deck over the Tonawanda Creek will be removed and replaced at a total cost of 2,033,050. A federal grant will pay for $1,651,100 of the replacement with state aid covering $389,200, and the county picking up the final $9,550 of the tab.

In Alabama, the county will replace the Judge Road Bridge over Whitney Creek. The cost is $1,183,000. Federal aid is $946,400, with state aid at $177,450 and a local share of $59,150, which will come from sale tax revenue.

In both cases, the federal aid is capped at 80 percent of the cost of the project.

The Pratt Road Bridge was built in 1971, the Judge Road Bridge in 1978.

Lu Engineers, in Rochester, will be retained as consultants on the Judge Road Bridge at a cost of $162,063.91.

The resolutions for these projects were approved unanimously by the Public Service Committee on Monday and will now go to the full Legislature for approval.

Also on Monday, the committee recommended the county accept a $200,000 grant from NYS Ag & Markets for improvements to the Animal Shelter, which is now 20 years old.

The committee also authorized the transfer, pending full Legislature approval, of $40,000 oil and stone funds to the salt fund. Deputy Highway Superintendent Dave Wozniak said the transfer is necessary to help replenish the road salt supply before the fall and that the transfer would have no significant impact on planned road resurfacing projects this summer. A couple of minor projects, including a parking lot at the County Park, would be delayed for a season.

March 4, 2019 - 5:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, GCEDC, micropolitan, batavia, genesee county.

Press release:

Batavia and Genesee County have continued their streak of being recognized as one of the nation’s top micropolitan regions for business growth, as the area was ranked third in Site Selection magazine’s annual rankings.

The ranking of “Top Micropolitans” is based on cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county. It is the 16th consecutive year Batavia and Genesee County have been recognized and the fifth consecutive year ranked in the top five.

The area received its highest ranking ever in 2017 as it climbed all the way to number two among the annual survey of micropolitans across the country. 

“We are thrilled that the hard work that Genesee County and our partners in the public and private sector continues to be recognized as making Batavia-Genesee County the top micropolitan for business in New York,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic development Center.

“Our region is focused on building the shovel-ready sites, active business attraction, expansion and retention, and workforce talent development to continue our economic growth.”

Site Selection magazine recognized 13 of the GCEDC’s project “wins” in 2018 across several stages of project development. The GCEDC closed on 16 projects in 2018, securing $33.7 million in capital investment, 99 new jobs, and more than 189,000 square feet of new construction in Genesee County.

Since 2003, the GCEDC has provided similar assistance and incentives for 465 projects which have generated $1.3 billion in capital investment and the creation and/or retention of approximately 4,627 jobs.

February 24, 2019 - 5:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, notify, genesee county.
From the National Weather Service in Buffalo:
 
Dangerous winds and flash freeze are forecast for late this afternoon and evening in Genesee County.
 
Very strong and damaging winds will continue late this afternoon and early this evening from the Lake Erie shore northeastward across the Niagara Frontier and Genesee Valley, including the Buffalo and Rochester areas. Peak wind gusts will reach 75 mph at times. 

Winds of this magnitude will result in extensive damage to trees and power lines, widespread power outages, and property damage to roofs and siding.
 
Buildings which are under construction and older deteriorating buildings may experience significant damage or even collapse. 

This is a particularly dangerous situation!
 
If you must travel be prepared for extensive damage and downed power lines. Always assume power lines are live. Falling trees and power lines will create a very dangerous environment to be outside in, including in vehicles. Seek shelter in a substantial building until the strongest of the winds begin to subside. 

In addition to the very strong winds, temperatures will also fall below freezing as we progress through the late afternoon and early evening hours. This will result in the rapid freezing up of water on untreated roadways, leading to areas of ice that could make travel hazardous, particularly on bridges and overpasses.
 
If you must travel, be sure to slow down and exercise caution.
February 24, 2019 - 3:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, weather, power outage, genesee county, notify.

According to the National Grid Outage Map, which they update every 15 minutes, there are currently 1,018 Genesee County customers without power. They are still assessing damages.

A total of 26,948 customers are served here by the utility company.

To view the interactive map, click here.

UPDATE 4:03 p.m.: Checked the map and nothing has changed since we first posted it at 3:24 p.m.

UPDATE 5:16 p.m.: There's been an uptick in the number of Genesee County customers without power. National Grid reports 1,066 customers without power, up from 1,018 almost two hours ago.

February 20, 2019 - 6:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, taxes, news, notify.

A proposal to reduce funding from the state for towns and villages, known as AIM (Aid and Incentives for Municipalities) could wind up as just another cost burden for Genesee County, County Manager Jay Gsell told the Ways and Means Committee at its meeting Wednesday.

If the funding cut goes through, the County could make up the $230,000 in difference for towns and villages from its own revenue.

Gsell said the governor’s office is being somewhat disingenuous about how cuts are being presented to municipalities.

What the state says it will do and what it actually does will be two different things, Gsell suggested.

The governor’s office is proposing a new sales tax on products sold digitally, an e-commerce tax, and that new revenue stream -- the theory goes -- will allow counties to share a portion of sales tax with municipalities.

Genesee County is one of the few counties in the state that currently shares sales tax but the proposal by the governor would mandate an obligation, perhaps above current revenue sharing, and force the rest of the counties to start sharing sales tax.

But there’s no guarantee New York will be successful in instituting an e-commerce tax – something state officials have sought for years, and it would certainly be difficult, Gsell said, to institute before the state’s new fiscal year starts April 1.

That could leave the counties, including Genesee County, with another unfunded mandate.

Under the governor's budget proposal, only municipalities that use a lower percentage of AIM for their annual budget would have funding cut. If that holds, neither the Village of Le Roy nor the City of Batavia, which receives more than $1 million in AIM funding, would have that funding cut.

The Legislature will be asked to vote on a resolution opposing the proposed cut to AIM.

February 7, 2019 - 12:15pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in genesee county, food, dining, romantic, batavia, Le Roy, Darien, Date Night.

Ladies, slip into that fancy dress you’ve been looking for an excuse to wear. Gents, put on a nice button-down and tie. Take a night to enjoy each other and linger over a delectable meal. We have ten dining suggestions to help you make the most of your romantic evening out. 

Alex’s Place | Park Road, Batavia
Step into the refined and intimate dining room at Alex’s and your romantic dinner awaits. Elegant meets barbecue goodness with starters like Clams Casino and Bacon Wrapped Scallops. The theme continues with dinner entrees like Rosemary Ribeye, Surf and Turf options, Teriyaki Salmon and more. Alex’s Place is known for their award-winning barbecue but you’ll find there is much more than their delicious ‘cue. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

Capish! Pizza Ristorante | Main Street (Rt. 5), Le Roy
Walk into welcoming aromas of Italian goodness. Share an appetizer and order a bottle of wine to get your romantic evening started. Choose your main course from any number of traditional Italian dishes from pizza to pasta and everything in between. Stay a little longer and linger over a delectable dessert, perfectly paired with a wine or beverage of choice. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

D & R Depot Restaurant | Lake Street (Rt. 19), Le Roy
Dine in this adorable and cozy former B & O train depot for a date night out. Indulge in conversation and enjoy friendly service to accompany your home-cooked meal. Start off with their Shortline Sampler including Stuffed Mushrooms, Artichokes French, Clams Casino and Bruschetta. For the main course, you can’t go wrong with the Grilled Norwegian Salmon or Twin Filet Mignon. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

D & R Depot Restaurant ©Popmenu
D & R Depot Restaurant ©Popmenu
 

Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn | Main Street (Rt. 5), Le Roy
Nothing says romance like a table overlooking the scenic Oatka Creek from the warmth of a historic building in downtown Le Roy. Delight yourselves in beautifully created cuisine, carefully chosen wines and hand-crafted tavern cocktails. Farmer’s Tavern Fare and Dinner menus are unlike anything else you’ll find in Genesee County. Each dish is as aesthetically pleasing as it is delicious. Want to extend your romantic night out? Book an overnight in one of their beautiful suites for the perfect end to a perfect evening. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

Fortune’s Restaurant at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel | Park Road, Batavia
Beyond the shining lights and exciting noises of the gaming floor is a cozy and quiet restaurant to retreat to and enjoy the evening. The menu hosts an abundance of local and international wines, choices of appetizers to share and upscale pasta, steak and seafood dishes to complete your meal. Cozy up in a booth, enjoy your company and before you go hit the gaming floor to try your luck. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

LB Grand Steak & Spaghetti House | Main Street (Rt. 5), Le Roy
Tried and true but now better than ever, LB Grand Steak and Spaghetti House is ready to welcome you and your sweetie to a wonderful dinner in their newly renovated space! Care is taken when creating every dish at LB and if you haven’t visited in a while, you’re in for a treat. Their menu hosts a variety of beloved Italian classics, any of which will add to the magic of your romantic night. Some unique and tasty dishes to consider (other than their steak and spaghetti) are the Steamed Mussels, Grilled Salmon and Braised Pork Shank. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

LB Grand Steak & Spaghetti House ©Popmenu
LB Grand Steak & Spaghetti House ©Popmenu
 

Main Street Pizza Company | Main Street (Rt.5), Batavia
There’s more to Main Street than pizza. Dine in their upscale Italian dining room, the perfect setting for a night out all dressed up. Classic Italian cuisine paired with playful presentation, and a good glass of red, will delight all of your senses. The meatballs are the size of softballs and their Pasta Puttanesca is an award winning dish. Some additional Main Street favorites include their Arancini, Cape Cod Salad, Main St. Butchers Block and Seafood Fra Daivlo. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

River Spring Lodge | Church Road, Darien Center
Feel a world away at River Spring Lodge for one of the most romantic nights out. From arrival to departure, your experience will feel nothing short of magical. Grab an overnight room and sit down to a five course dinner that will blow you away. Chef Dave and Carolyn welcome you to sit back and relax while they serve you only their best. Enjoy generous portions of beautifully crafted cuisine at each course with no rush because the table is yours for the night. Be impressed and delight in your company; these memories will last a lifetime. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

The Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant | East Main Road (Rt. 5), Stafford
Famous for their Prime Rib carved tableside, Red Osier is destination dining at its finest. With newly renovated dining rooms and an inviting farmhouse feel, your romantic night out may reach a new level at The Original Red Osier. Indulge in the classic and beloved Prime Rib dressed how you like with toppings à la carte. For an extra special occasion, add some surf to your turf. Besides Prime Rib, Red Osier offers other delectable Steak, Lamb, Chicken, Pork and Seafood options. Try to save room for dessert; a night out at Red Osier isn’t complete without a Bananas Foster Flambé for two. Gluten-free options are available.

Yume Asian Bistro | Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia
Sushi is the specialty at Yume Asian Bistro and their presentation is what sets them apart; whatever you order looks like a masterpiece when it arrives at your table. Yume treats each ingredient with utmost respect as to deliver you a delicate sushi plate more beautiful than anything you’ve ever seen before- besides your date sitting across from you, of course. Find truly unique and interesting fish on the menu and be adventurous together - try something new! Enjoy the evening, each other and the food. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

Sushi © Yume Asian Bistro
Sushi © Yume Asian Bistro
 

Brought to you by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center. To view a full list of our restaurants in Genesee County, click here! Bon Appétit!

October 26, 2018 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, news.

Statement from Craig Yunker, CEO of CY Farms and a former county legislator:

Proposal #1 on the Nov. 6th ballot authorizes extending the terms of Genesee County legislators from two to four years with staggered terms. I served on the Legislature for 13 years. As the former Chair of the Genesee County Legislature I strongly support this proposal.

The learning curve for a new legislator is a minimum of two to three years. To expect new legislators to be competent in two years is unreasonable. For example, capital projects extend over years and losing legislators is a deterrent to their successful completion. Staggered terms that are included in this proposal diminishes the possibility of a complete turnover in one year. Such a turnover would likely result in a period of less effectiveness of the legislature during the ramp up as the newly elected body find their sea legs. The cost of running elections is not a trivial matter. This proposal has the potential to reduce election expenses for the county.

Political parties have difficulty recruiting candidates for public office. Not having to campaign, with the related expense, every two years will make the positions more attractive to the kind of candidates that want to be effective at running the county instead of playing politics.

Most towns and villages have recognized these issues and extended the terms for elected officials to four years. No significant negatives for this proposal have been presented and there are many other positives. So I ask your support for Proposal 1.

October 22, 2018 - 10:23pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia City Council, genesee county, City Church.

City of Batavia leaders believe they have come up with one way to address the traffic safety concerns on the Southside streets of Watson, Thorpe and Maple: Turn Thorpe Street into a one-way street.

Police Chief Shawn Heubusch, in coordination with Director of Public Works Matt Worth and Maintenance Superintendent Ray Tourt, asked City Council to approve a recommendation to allow motorists to travel southbound only on Thorpe Street between Watson and Maple.

Council, during tonight’s Conference Meeting (a Special Business meeting followed), decided to move the suggestion forward to its next Business Meeting on Nov. 13.

If the board votes in favor of the modification, a public hearing on a change in the municipal code would be scheduled.

Over the past year or so, residents of those streets have petitioned City Council to do something about cars not stopping at the Thorpe/Watson intersection, which already is hampered by limited sight lines. Residents had asked for the placement of a stop sign on Watson Street headed eastbound at the intersection of Thorpe Street.

Heubusch said that a traffic study did not warrant a stop sign or other traffic control device, plus there wasn’t enough space to properly erect a stop sign.

“So in order to alleviate that issue, we suggested creating a one-way street – making Thorpe a one-way street,” he said. “It is a southbound street only now (per the recommendation), coming from Watson to Maple.

“We hope that will alleviate the issue with that sight line and visibility issue, because you will no longer have cars northbound on Thorpe Street looking to turn west onto Watson, or east onto Watson for that matter, because they will no longer be allowed to go that way.”

City officials also are recommending that parking be allowed on the west side of Thorpe Street between Watson and Maple, and leaving the portion of Thorpe Street north of Watson as a two-way street with a stop sign and a parking ban on both sides.

Heubusch said that if these changes don’t work, they will explore other options.

In other action last night, Council:

-- Voted to approve an amended sales tax agreement with Genesee County that extends the current pact for one more year, through Dec. 31, 2019.  As it stands now, the City receives 16 percent of the sales tax revenue, compared to the county’s 50 percent and the towns sharing the remaining 34 percent.

A new 40-year agreement which changes the terms is on hold due to objections by the State Comptroller’s Office, which is calling for “special legislation” by the State Legislature to vote on the contract.

-- Voted to schedule a public hearing at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 on an ordinance to amend the zoning map of the City of Batavia per a request by City Church to change parcels at the former St. Anthony’s School/Church campus from R-3 Resident to C-3 Commercial.

As reported previously, City Church leaders are hoping to offer commercial activities such as a dance school, art school and community education classes at the site and they have been working with the City to house the Batavia Youth Bureau, with the idea of renaming it Teen City.

Council also agreed to taking on lead agency designation in a mandated State Environmental Quality Review of the six parcels on Liberty Street and Central Avenue.

 -- Voted to reject bids from two companies for the replacement of two areas of flat roofs and four entry silos at the City Centre due to the fact that the bids came in 25 to 30 percent over the estimated cost (about $150,000) of the project.

Instead, Council is going with Worth’s recommendation for DPW to perform some remedial work on the roof and silos, and then rebid the work to start in the spring as part of a larger project.

Council members Rose Mary Christian and John Canale questioned whether the DPW’s work – estimated at $4,000 – would eliminate the need for all the buckets in the concourse. Worth said he couldn’t ensure that all leaks will be stopped, but said it “will get us through the winter.”

-- Accepted a STOP-DWI grant for $4,576 for a detail that starts this month, and voted to amend the City’s personnel policy manual to adopt the state’s sexual harassment policy, which calls for all employees to be trained by Oct. 9, 2019.

September 16, 2018 - 5:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, news.

Press release:

New York State, as part of the Adopted 2017/18 State Budget, included a mandate on all local governments to discuss and develop shared services ideas and plans for eventual submittal to the County Legislature and subsequently the New York State Department of State.

Part of the process for discussing and developing these public sector shared services plans is to have public meetings/opportunities for citizen input and to take suggestions on possible public sector shared services opportunities that have not already occurred and are in place.

The Genesee County Legislature scheduled three Public Hearings and has added a fourth opportunity for public comment to be held Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 4:30 p.m. in the Old Courthouse, 7 Main St., Batavia. All interested citizens are encouraged to attend and provide comments.

September 7, 2018 - 4:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, tourism, genesee county, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s tourism program has partnered with Channel 13-WHAM to create a featured promotion that will air on FOX, The CW, and ABC.

The 30-minute show, called "It's Closer than You Think," is a sampling of what’s new in Genesee County, along with some of the county’s best outdoor recreational opportunities. It debuts tomorrow morning at 7.

“The promotion is designed to raise awareness to Rochester area residents that Genesee County is just a short drive that offers great 'close to home' recreation, dining and shopping options,” said Kelly Rapone, Tourism Marketing director for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. “We’d like to do another future episode that highlights even more of the county’s treasures."

Be sure to tune in to see special interviews with some of our local tourism businesses in Le Roy and Batavia, as well as outdoor recreation hot spots across the county.

The broadcast schedule is as follows:

  • 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, on 13-WHAM
  • 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9, on The CW
  • 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, on FOX
  • In addition it will also air:
    • 2 a.m. Sept., 12, 13 and 19 on 13-WHAM
    • 6 a.m. Sept. 10, 11 and 13 on FOX

If you happen to miss the airing or don’t have access to broadcast channels, you can see the full episode at:  YouTube.com/GeneseeCountyNY

Over the spring and summer, we also included commercials under this theme that highlighted concerts, Batavia Muckdogs home games, golf packages, racing at Genesee Speedway, the Oatka Festival, as well as The Ramble Music & Arts Festival.

For more information on all of our local offerings, check out www.VisitGeneseeNY.com

July 6, 2018 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, news, notify.

Starting with this payroll, 22 Genesee County employees will no longer have money deducted from their paychecks to help support the Civil Service Employees Association, a union that represents 214 county employees, according to County Manager Jay Gsell.

The change is a result of a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that week, Janus v. AFSCME  (analysis by SCOTUSBlog), that struck down rules that allowed fees to be charged to non-union members who were employed by a government agency under terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

There are four unions representing 353 county employees, Gsell said, but only CSEA was receiving fees from non-members.

Interim City Manage Matt Worth said there are no City of Batavia employees who are covered by collective bargaining who are not members of their respective unions.

According to a Gannett News Service report, 31,000 state employees from throughout New York, will cease paying the fee this week.

Federal employees covered by collective bargaining are not required to pay the fee, and according to Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion in Janus, 28 states prohibit such fees.

Unions at the federal level and in these states have not been thrown into “pandemonium” nor has there been “conflict and disruption” without these fees, Alito noted.

The suit over union fees that eventually made its way to the justices was initiated by Mark Janus, a child-support specialist for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. He objected to the fees because they went to such political speech intended to influence government agencies on issues such as salaries, pensions, and benefits for government employees.

That, he said, violated his First Amendment rights by forcing him to support speech that did not necessarily conform to his personal views.

“In simple terms, the First Amendment does not permit the government to compel a person to pay for another party’s speech just because the government thinks that the speech furthers the interests of the person who does not want to pay,” Alito wrote.

Alito noted that public spending, including the “mounting costs of public-employee wages, benefits, and pensions” – has skyrocketed in the past four decades. As a result, collective bargaining has gained a new political significance making the issue of fees to support that speech a bigger First Amendment issue.

In her dissenting opinion, Justice Elena Kagan warned that the ruling could disrupt “thousands of ongoing contracts involving millions of employees.”

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: The county schedule for payroll deductions for union fees are: 

  • AFSCME: $18.76 bi-weekly
  • DSA: $22 bi-weekly
  • SEA: $15.55 bi-weekly
  • CSEA: bi-weekly range is $18.73 - $30.15
June 13, 2018 - 4:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, genesee county, news.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 11 p.m. in Genesee County, and other portions of Western New York, according to the National Weather Service.

June 7, 2018 - 8:45am

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For the second year in a row, Reyncrest Farm held Genesee County's annual dairy days and yesterday 630 kindergarten students attended from various surrounding schools in the county. 

As technology changes, family farms adapt differently with land resources. Every two years a different farm gets rotated, said Shelly Stein of the Agricultural Farmland Protection Board for Genesee County. 

Family member Kelly Reynolds said the farm has 15 full-time employees plus six family members, who work with 1,200 milk cows plus 1,100 young stock consisting of calves and heffers around the clock seven days a week on the farm.  

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May 31, 2018 - 12:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, genesee county.

A hazardous weather outlook is in effect for Western and North Central New York, which includes Genesee County, today and tonight.

Scattered thunderstorms will develop this afternoon and evening. Some of the storms will produce wind gusts.

Storms may also produce locally heavy rain with a small risk for flooding.

Also, scattered thunderstorms will develop Friday afternoon and evening, with some of the storms possibly producing locally heavy rain with a small risk for flooding.

May 23, 2018 - 1:41pm

Press release:

Today, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to administratively fund the work being done at the Northeast Center For Occupational Safety And Health For Agriculture, Forestry And Fishing (NEC) on the National tractor rollover protection systems (ROPS) rebate program.

Schumer said ROPS is a vital program, especially considering that farm-related deaths are up to 800 percent higher than many other major industries, with tractor overturns being their most frequent cause at a rate of 96 cases per year.

“ROPS is a critical and cost-effective rebate program that provides important information to farmers across the country on how to find and install the right rollover bar for their machinery. It is imperative that the CDC does everything possible to fund this program to help ensure that farmers and growers have every tool possible to stay safe and succeed,”Senator Schumer said.

The ROPS program facilitates rebates in states with state-based funding to farmers to cover approximately 70 percent of the cost for a farmer to install a ROPS roll bar retrofit kit on their tractor. According to Schumer, the original grant funding for this important program is slated to expire in September, and the CDC has discontinued the funding mechanism to allow for the continued federal investment in this program.

“Keeping family farmers and farm workers who operate dangerous machinery safe must be a major priority. That is why I am the urging the CDC to restore funding for this critical farm safety program and the subsequent research,” Schumer said. “The work done by organizations like the NEC is exactly the type of work the federal government should be investing in: it’s cost-effective, informed by real industry experts, and helps save farmers’ lives every day.

"By slashing available funding to this life-saving organization, we jeopardize successful programs that are providing critical resources to farmers, like a 1-800 safety hot-line number and on the ground experts in rural communities, so farmers can access the ROPS Rebate Program, which helps farmers correctly install rollover bars on their tractors just in case the tractor flips over. We need to do everything possible to make sure we are investing in developing new safety solutions for our farmers and growers. and I will be doing everything possible to make sure this program, which puts farmers first, is protected.”

According to NEC Director, Dr. Julie Sorensen, the program has also been considerably cost-effective with recent economic assessments pointing to a $5 million savings in NY State due to deaths and injuries averted through the program.

As stated by Sorensen, “Senator Schumer’s support for the ROPS program and dedication to the farming community is so essential to ensuring the sustainability of one of our state’s most crucial industries.”

Schumer said the agricultural community is the lifeblood of Upstate New York, and that protecting the well-being and safety of farmers must be a major priority.

In response to the hazardous environment of working on a farm, the Northeast Center For Occupational Safety And Health For Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing launched an effort to create the life-saving ROPS Rebate Program, which covers approximately 70 percent of the cost for a farmer to install a ROPS rollbar kit on their tractor.

In most cases, this means farmers only pay $500 or less for this life-saving equipment that can otherwise cost up to $1,200.

NEC also provides information to farmers throughout the country on how to find and install the right rollover bar.

Since its inception in 2006, the NEC reports that more than 2,150 tractors have been retrofitted with protective structures in seven states, with more than 1,500 of those retrofits occurring in New York State alone. Farmers throughout the country benefit from the hotline and administrative support that is provided through CDC funding.

Furthermore, Schumer said, participants in New York reported 221 close calls and 19 serious incidents in which death or injury was likely without the protective ROPS structures. However, all of this critical outreach and infrastructure surrounding the ROPS program could come to an end if the CDC allows the federal funding for the ROPS program to come to a halt. Schumer said that this program is vital to farmers and growers, and that he will do everything possible to ensure that the CDC administratively funds the program so that the inroads the ROPS program has made can continue.

A copy of the Senator’s letter appears below:

Dear Director Redfield, MD:

"I write to bring attention to a problem which continues to threaten the lives of farmers and growers in Upstate New York and nationwide. As you know, farm-related deaths are 800 percent higher than many other industries, with tractor overturns being the most frequent cause of deaths on farms, at a rate of 96 cases per year. I commend and appreciate the great work being done at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to invest in tractor rollover protection systems (ROPS) and the continued safety of our farmers. However, it has come to my attention that the federal funding for the ROPS program through NIOSH is in jeopardy of coming to an end in September. Therefore, I urge you to work with the Northeast Regional Center in Cooperstown, New York, as well as other NIOSH Centers across the country, in order to administratively fund this important work that saves almost 100 lives a year across the country.

As you know, our agricultural community is the lifeblood of rural America, and protecting the well-being and safety of our farmers must be a majority priority. In response to the hazardous environment of working on a farm, the Northeast Center For Occupational Safety And Health For Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (NEC) launched an effort to create the life-saving ROPS Rebate Program, which covers approximately 70% of the cost for a farmer to install a ROPS rollbar kit on their tractor. In most cases, this means farmers only pay $500 or less for this life-saving equipment that can otherwise cost up to $1,200. NEC also provides information to farmers on how to find and install the right rollover bar. Since its inception in 2006, the NEC reports that more than 2,150 tractors have been retrofitted with protective structures in seven states, with more than 1,500 of those retrofits occurring in New York State alone. However, all of this critical outreach and infrastructure surrounding the ROPS program could come to an end if federal funding comes to a halt.  This is why I urge you to administratively provide funding to the ROPS program, so that the  important inroads the ROPS program has made can continue. 

During these challenging times for our agricultural communities, it is imperative that we do everything in our power to ensure that our farmers and growers have every tool available to succeed. In New York State alone, the ROPS program has been extremely effective in preventing tractor rollover deaths and injuries to our farmers and growers. Feedback from the agricultural community has been extremely positive, with participants in New York reporting 221 close calls and 19 serious incidents in which death or injury was likely without protective structures. This kind of success should be touted and continued, which is why I urge you to ensure that you continue to fund the great work done by the NEC and ROPS as soon as possible.     

I understand that in the current fiscal climate resources are constrained, and as always, I vow to stand with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) throughout the budget process. However, based on the critical importance of protecting the health and safety of our agricultural workers, I ask that you ensure that federal funding continues to flow to the ROPS program past September. I look forward to working with you on this important request."

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer

May 10, 2018 - 8:46pm
posted by James Burns in Le Roy Central school, news, genesee county.

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Tonight at Mercy Grove the Le Roy Central School Senior Class hosted “Mom Prom.”

This is an annual event where graduating seniors bring their mom or special guest to show appreciation for their support and guidance while they were in school.

The three-hour soiree includes dinner and is full of surprise activities for attendees.

The highlight of the evening is a water-pong tournament. (Water pong is non-alcoholic version of beer pong.)

The winning graduate receives a $100 scholarship and their partner is crowned “Mom of the Prom.” 

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