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February 2, 2023 - 5:41pm

feb._2022_vfa_fair.jpeg

Volunteers For Animals members are asking folks to take a “paws” next Sunday and attend the Batavia Super Sunday Craft and Gift Market coming soon to Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel.

The event, featuring “wonderful craft and gift vendors,” plus door prizes and free admission, is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 12 at the facility at 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

All proceeds are to go towards Genesee County Animal Shelter on West Main Street Road, Batavia, and the nonprofit VFA of Genesee County. The first vendor fair was postponed due to -- you guessed it -- COVID -- in 2021, and was put on last year. 

For more information about the animal shelter, go HERE.

Click HERE for more about Volunteers For Animals.

File Photo of a preview for the 2022 vendor fair, by Howard Owens.

February 2, 2023 - 3:30pm
posted by Press Release in Claudia Tenney, NY-24, news.

Press release:

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) today, on National Girls and Women in Sports Day, introduced The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act alongside Congressman Greg Stuebe (R-Fl.). Additional original cosponsors of this legislation include Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Troy Balderson (R-Ohio), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Jerry Carl (R-Ala.), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), Jake Ellzey (R-Texas), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), and Rob Wittman (R-Va.).

This legislation guarantees women and girls a fair playing field in competitive sports by ensuring that school athletics comply with the Title IX recognition of a person's reproductive biology and genetics at birth. This commonsense bill ensures that biological females are not forced to compete against biological men in women's competitive sports funded through Title IX.

“This legislation is about protecting the equal opportunity for women and girls to fairly compete and succeed in athletics,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “President Joe Biden’s Department of Education and state agencies across the nation are allowing – even encouraging – biological men to participate in women’s sports. This is fundamentally unfair. It deprives women and girls of what so many of us fought for decades to achieve: equal opportunity to train, compete, excel in athletics. The Republican majority has pledged to protect women’s sports, and today we’re delivering on that promise.”

On behalf of Congressman Greg Stuebe, Congresswoman Tenney spoke on the House floor to introduce this piece of legislation.

Watch her full remarks here or read the full remarks prepared for delivery below:

Sports and athletic competitions provide essential opportunities for women to thrive at every state of their life. As children in youth sports, as teens in high school, in college, and beyond.

As a former athlete in high school and college, I know the unparalleled opportunities that sports offer to women and girls. They are a chance to learn new skills, develop lifelong friendships, and challenge yourself to compete at the highest levels. Title Nine and the banning of discrimination against women in school sports made so much of this possible for me, and countless other women.

But today, these opportunities are under threat.

Joe Biden’s Department of Education and state agencies across the nation are allowing – even encouraging – biological men to participate in women’s sports. This is fundamentally unfair. It deprives women and girls of what so many of us fought for decades to achieve: equal opportunity to train, compete, excel in athletics.

 We saw this last year in the NCAA women’s swimming championship, when a female athlete was robbed of her title by a biological male. And this is not an isolated incident. It is happening in countless other sports and athletic leagues.

Today we take a stand up, with compassion for all, in defense of women’s sports and to stop this dangerous precedent.

This is why I am honored to cosponsor Rep. Greg Steube’s Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act and to announce its introduction today in honor of National Women and Girls in Sports Day.

This bill will make it a violation of Title Nine for biological men to compete in sports designated for women or girls. 

Further, it sensibly defines sex based on one’s biological designation at birth. This bill isn’t just anti-woke, it is pro-science.

This bill will protect opportunities for women and girls to compete fairly on the athletic field and in life - without interference from woke agencies or politicians who are making up definitions of sex and gender as they go, all to fit toxic political agendas and ideologies.

 Women have fought hard over the years for equality of opportunity, and it is essential we protect these opportunities we cherish today for generations of girls to come.

The Republican majority has pledged to protect women’s sports, and today we’re delivering on that promise.

February 2, 2023 - 3:00pm
posted by Press Release in spiritual connections, religion, news.

Arbor House, 350 Bank St., Batavia. We are a community of believers and disciples of Jesus Christ. Arbor House was founded to be a place of safety, refreshment, and renewal for all. Each week we gather to hear the spoken Word, eat from the Lord’s Table, and enjoy fellowship with all who come. If you have been hurt by a church before we want to be the place where you can find healing and hope. All are welcome! Service will be in person on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and available live stream on Facebook. (350 Bank Street Road, Batavia, NY) For more information about Arbor House visit arborhousefmc.com.

Ascension Parish -- Roman Catholic Community, Batavia. We are open for Mass in the Church on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. Daily Mass Mondays at 5 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall. Confession time is Saturdays from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. in Church. Please join us for our Sunday streaming Mass online at 10 a.m. We invite everyone to join us on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ascensionromancatholiccommunity. Please follow us on Facebook for any Mass time changes. Our webpage: www.ascensionrcc.com.

Batavia First Baptist Church, 306 E. Main St., Pastor David Weidman, where "Christ the Center, Love for All" is very evident to all who enter. We invite you to our Full Gospel Sunday services at 10 a.m.; prayer and Bible study on Wednesdays from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m.; Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., please come and browse in our beautifully renovated "Thrift Shoppe." You'll find many bargains, including $2, $6, and $10 bags sales on all unmarked clothing. You can also enjoy a light lunch at Lydia's Kitchen while you shop. Questions? Email:  [email protected]. Call us at (585) 343-9002.

Batavia First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., Batavia, invites you to join us for in-person worship on Sundays at 9 a.m. (Arise-relaxed with band music) or 10:45 a.m. (Sanctuary -liturgical and organ) or on Livestream via Facebook Live for both times at: https://fpcbatavia.org/  or https://www.facebook.com/fpcbatavia/videos/.

Batavia First United Methodist Church, 8221 Lewiston Road, Batavia. Our mission & vision statement:  “To be disciples we must listen, learn, lead and love our way to God.”  Reverend Wayne Mort leads our worship service every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in the church sanctuary. You can also find the service on Facebook.  And we invite you to learn more about Batavia First UMC by visiting our website at www.BataviaFirstumc.com.

Byron Presbyterian Church, 6293 W. Main St., Byron. Worship/Sunday School at 9:45 a.m., 5th Sunday of Epiphany. Scripture Reading: Micah 6:1-8 & I Corinthians 1:18-31. Message: “The Kingdom of Heaven” Guest Pastor: Reverend Charles Roberts. The choir led by Laurence Tallman. David Keller, guest musician on bassoon. Annual meeting of the Congregation & Corporation following the service. All welcome!

City Church, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, is open for Sunday morning services at 8:30 and 10, and Thursday evenings at 7 o'clock. Everyone is welcome to join us for worship and a message. We also have a noontime Sunday service at our St. Anthony's location at 114 Liberty St. in Batavia. You can also connect with us online, through our Facebook page, or our YouTube channel.

Corfu United Presbyterian Church 63 Alleghany Road, Corfu. We welcome all visitors to come worship with us Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. in person or via our Facebook livestream led by our pastor, Rev. Evan Wildhack.  Our mission at CUPC is to Connect with Christ, Connect with Others, and Connect others with Christ. Children’s Sunday School is held on the First Sunday of the month. Weekly Bible study is held Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. CUPC’s food pantry is open on the third Saturday of the month from 9 to 10 a.m. Contact us by phone at (585) 599-6414 or via email at [email protected]. Our office hours are Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cornerstone Church of East Pembroke, part of American Baptist Churches USA, 2583 Main Road, East Pembroke. Our Sunday service is at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Glenn Bloom preaching. Bible Study is every Wednesday at 10 a.m. We are a small church and welcome new members; we are following social distancing rules and masks must be worn. (585) 762-8721

East Bethany Presbyterian Church, 5735 Ellicott Street Road, East Bethany. Our Sunday morning worship service is held at 10:30 a.m. and led by Rev. Dr. Shiela McCullough. Visitors are always welcome. You can find out more information on our Facebook page or by emailing us at [email protected].

Elba First Baptist Church, 31 S. Main St., Elba, is open for the main service in person at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays. For more information about our church go to www.fbcelba.net. The pastor is Michael Davis. Email: [email protected] / Phone (585) 757-2722

Emmanuel Baptist Church, 190 Oak St., Batavia. Join us for services in person or livestreamed via Facebook and EBCBatavia.com. Be part of the family today and join in the blessings of Jesus in your life!

EverPresent Church, 4 Batavia City Centre, Batavia. Will be presenting a Live Nativity for Christmas in the City held inside the City Centre, located in Downtown Batavia, on Dec. 3 from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Don't miss out on seeing the Bethlehem Inn, The Shepherds in the field, and of course the live Manger with Joseph, Mary, the Three Wise Men, Angels and of course Baby Jesus! Then stop at the Refreshment Store, where you can warm up with hot coco and coffee along with sweet treats for the tummy and little gift bags for the children. Our Sunday Service is at 10:30 a.m. doors open at 9:45 a.m.. Our Mid-week service begins December 7th at 6 p.m. Visit our website for more information www.everpresentchurch.com

Grace Baptist Church, 238 Vine St., Morning Worship: 9:30 a.m. Live Stream is at 9:30 a.m. on www.gracebatavia.org or on Facebook Grace Baptist page.  Grace Kids: 9:30 a.m. (Nursery - 5th Grade) KidZone: 6 to 7:30 p.m. (1st - 5th Grade) Grace Student Ministries 6 to 7:30 p.m. (Jr High & High School) 

Indian Falls Methodist Church, 7908 Alleghany Road, Corfu. Reverend Karen McCaffery will hold a Worship Service inside the church sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays. Or join our service via Facebook Live or on YouTube by searching for IFUMC TechTeam. Weekly Online Bible Study and Prayer Services are held on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. via Facebook Live on “Pastor McCaffery's” page.

Le Roy First Presbyterian Church7 Clay St., Le Roy. Sunday morning in-person worship at 10 a.m. followed by coffee fellowship. We are an open and accepting church of all people.

Morganville United Church of Christ, 8466 Morganville Stafford. We’d love to meet you! It’s warm in here.  Please join us and our "God is still speaking" church, at 10:00 Sunday as Reverend James Morasco shares his sermon, "Eighty-one."   Our church is located at 8466 Morganville Road.  Friend us on Facebook! or better yet, visit us any Sunday!

North Bergen Presbyterian Church, 7068 N. Bergen Road, Bergen, is open for in-person services at 9:45 a.m Sundays. The phone is (585) 494-1255.

North Darien Bible Church, 9768 Simonds Road, Corfu. We are open! Sunday worship service begins at 10 a.m. Children's Church classes are available for children ages birth through sixth grade, including a classroom for children with special needs. For more information, visit our website. You can also watch LIVE on our Facebook or YouTube channel. Join us from 9 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of every month for our free community closet, full of clothing, coats, and shoes for all. (585) 547-9646.

Northgate Free Methodist Church, 8160 Bank Street Road (North Campus), Batavia. Love. Is there anything we sing about as much as we sing about love? We sing about wanting to be loved, about those we do love, about the pain of love and the wonders of love. In our new sermon series, we're going to take a look at (and listen to) a few popular songs about love, and what they express about love, and how God seeks to respond to our need for love. Join us Saturday at 6 p.m., and Sunday morning at 9:30 and 11 a.m., 8160 Bank Street Roa., Batavia. For more information about Northgate Free Methodist Church and to watch our services online go to northgatefmc.com or facebook.com/northgatefmcOakfield-Alabama Baptist Church, 2210 Judge Road, South Alabama. On Sundays, Bible School for all ages at 9:45 a.m. & Worship at 11. Men's Bible Study meets weekly on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome. Email:  [email protected] or call the church office at (585) 948-9401.

Our Lady of Mercy & St. Brigid parishes, Lake Street, Le Roy. All Masses are livestreamed Saturday at 4:30 p.m.; Sunday mornings at 7:15 & 9 & 10:45. Daily Masses are livestreamed at 7:30 a.m. Monday-Friday; 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and 9 a.m. Saturday. View on YouTube and Facebook. Visit Fr. Matthew’s parish website.

Resurrection Parish (St. Mary and St. Joseph churches in Batavia). Services livestreaming at 5:30 p.m. every Saturday from St. Mary's Church via Facebook, or view the livestreaming Mass on YouTube by searching for Resurrection RC Parish or visit the parish website. In-person Masses are 4 p.m. Saturday and at 11:30 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Church; and at St. Mary's Church at 7:30 and 9:15 a.m. Sunday.

St. James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main St., Batavia. Join us on Sundays at 9 a.m. on zoom, 10 a.m. in the church building, and on Facebook Live. Links and the bulletin can be found on our website: https://www.sjecbataviany.org/

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1 E. Main St., Le Roy, is open for in-person services at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. Communion will be offered to people in their seats and will only include bread. We welcome you to join us -- either in person or online. For more information, visit our website.

St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, 18 W. Main St., Corfu. Weekend Masses are celebrated: Saturday at 5 p.m., Sunday at 8:30 a.m. at the Corfu Church Site; and at 11 a.m. Sunday at the East Pembroke Church site, 8656 Church St., East Pembroke. Weekday Masses are celebrated on: Monday and Friday at 8 a.m. in Corfu, and Thursday at 8 a.m. in East Pembroke; on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Corfu followed by Adoration. Corfu Masses are also available for viewing on our YouTube channel. All information is on the church website and on Facebook. Email:  [email protected] (585) 599-4833

St. Padre Pio Parish, 56 Maple Ave., Oakfield. Weekend Masses are celebrated: Saturday at 4:30 p.m., Sunday at 8 a.m., and at 10 a.m. in the Oakfield Church Site, 56 Maple Ave., Oakfield. Weekday Masses are celebrated Monday 6 p.m. in Elba (Our Lady of Fatima Church, 65 S. Main St.); Tuesday at 8 a.m. in Elba; Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Oakfield; Thursday at 8 a.m. in Oakfield; Friday at 8 a.m. in Oakfield.

St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 6188 Main Road, Stafford. In-person service, including Holy Communion, is at 9 a.m. Sunday mornings. All  Are Welcome. 

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Batavia, 31 Washington Ave, Batavia. This coming Sunday (February 5th, 2023) we will celebrate the Fifth Sunday After The Epiphany.  The sermon theme: “Radical Holiness is based on the scriptures from Matthew 5:13-20.  Adult Bible Class meets Sundays at 8:30 a.m. Our service begins at 10 a.m. or can be viewed 'live' on Facebook. Our Youth class meets at 9:30 a.m. Sunday School children will attend the service through the children's sermon and will then go to their Sunday school rooms for their studies. Communion is part of the service on the 2nd and 4th Sundays.  God continues to bless us richly as we focus on Him and His plans for our congregation and community.

The Church In Alexander, 10540 Main St., Alexander. Join us for Sunday Worship at 10 a.m. weekly. For more information, please visit our website at www.thechurchinalexander.com. We offer a Free Food Pantry for people in our community. Please call ahead if you need items from our pantry. For more information on programs and services please contact us at (585) 591-1765 or by email at [email protected]com. Church office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:15-11:15 a.m.

Trinity United Methodist Church, 75 Main St. in Attica, worships at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays, and Darien United Methodist Church, 1951 Broadway (Route 20), Darien Center, worships at 9 a.m. on Sundays. For the Zoom connection, email [email protected] and request the link(s). Prayer requests may be left at Trinity's voicemail (585) 591-1549 or with Pastor Pam at (716) 560-0290.

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"Spiritual Connections" -- The Batavian will post updates to connect people with their places of worship, religious services, fellowship opportunities, and/or spiritual advisors, etc. There is no charge for this service.

If you have information to announce, please email: [email protected]

February 2, 2023 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Le Roy.

A car has reportedly hit a tree and a house at 9222 Summit Avenue, Le Roy.

Injuries are reported.

Le Roy Fire and Le Roy Ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 2:46 p.m.: The scene has been turned over to law enforcement.  Le Roy Fire back in service.

February 2, 2023 - 2:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

A wind chill advisory is in effect for 4 a.m., Friday, through 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The arctic cold front could also generate a 30-minute burst of heavy snow with wind gusts of 40 this evening between 8 and 9 p.m..

Whiteout conditions are possible.

The National Weather Service advises, "Those traveling later this evening should plan accordingly."

After the snow, temperatures will plunge from 30 degrees to single digits by daybreak with wind chill values of -10 degrees. 

 

February 2, 2023 - 8:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, bergen, news.

Defense Attorney Michael T. Dwan admitted in County Court Wednesday that after 20 years of practice, he's become pretty cynical, catching clients in lies, and finding out disappointing things he didn't know about them from pre-sentence investigations, but that hasn't been the case with Kaleb Bobzien, he said.

Kaleb, he said, is different. He's smart. He's articulate.  He graduated with honors from Byron-Bergen High School. He was captain of the football team. 

"This kid has a ton of potential," Dwan told Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini. "I think he's a good kid. I think he's going to turn out just fine."

He argued that Bobzien should get credit for time served, and those 115 days in jail was punishment enough.

Cianfrini didn't see it that way.  In weighing a potential sentence for Bobzien, the things she needed to look at, she said, were the crimes he admitted to, his criminal history, his past tendency to disobey court orders, and whether he could be dissuaded from repeating his crimes.

In December, Bobzien entered a guilty plea to two misdemeanors – on an Alford basis, meaning he doesn’t admit to the factual assertions of the charges, he just acknowledges the likelihood of conviction at trial  -- to criminal contempt and to an obstruction breathing/blood circulation.

Cianfrini was particularly concerned about the obstruction of breathing charge. He's been charged with that before, and that's the kind of action, she said, that could lead him, even unintentionally, to killing somebody.

"You do need some additional time to sit and think about what you can do to keep this from happening again," Cianfrini said.

On both convictions, she sentenced him to 364 days in jail on each count, with the sentences served concurrently.

After his guilty plea in December, Bobzien and Dwan sat down with The Batavian for an interview in a courthouse meeting room. The most serious allegations against Bobzien -- what is commonly known as statutory rape -- had been dropped.  Even though Bobzien maintained his innocence -- hence the Alford plea -- and Dwan believed his client, it was still Dwan's advice that Bobzien accept the plea offer because of the color of Bobzien's skin.

"Because we walked into this with extraordinarily high risk," Dwan said at the time. "Let's be real, Kaleb is a young black man who is facing sex allegations, so as an attorney, I begged Kaleb to accept the plea that was put before him, not because I don't think that we would have succeeded at trial, but because the risk of going to trial would have been extraordinary."

Today, in court, Dwan explained at length to Cianfrini why he believed his client is innocent.  

On the contempt charges, of disobeying a stay-away order, Dwan said it was his view that the language on the order of protection allowed Bobzien to return to the residence where the teenage girl was living so he could pick up his personal belongings. 

As for the seven counts of rape in the third degree and criminal sexual act in the third degree, those charges wouldn't have stood up because the dates and times conflicted with periods of time when Bobzien was out of the country.  He also said there was sensitive medical evidence that indicated Kaleb didn't have sexual contact with the teenager who made the complaint against Bobzien. 

The victim had been arrested previously on a complaint by Bobzien on a criminal mischief charge. She then told a State Police investigator, Dwan said, "He turned me in to get me arrested. I'm going to put his butt in jail" (or words to that effect, Dwan explained, because he didn't have the exact quote in front of him).

He faulted the State Police investigator for not probing the girl's statements more thoroughly.

"I don't think the investigation was fair," Dwan said. "If it was (the investigator's) son facing these charges, I'm sure he would want the investigator serious, pointed questions put to the victim." 

Dwan said, "the assumption was that the complainant was being honest, and he should have had plenty of reason to believe she was being dishonest.  That assumption colored the entire investigation. That led to very serious charges that were in the media.  If you Google 'Kaleb Bobzien,' the results are not favorable.  That is going to be there forever."

He said at the time of the event that led to the obstruction of breathing charge came up, the complainant and another teenager were living with Bobzien and his child in a tiny apartment that wasn't suitable for them.  Dwan expressed some wonder at the girl's mother allowing her to live there.

"The whole thing didn't make any sense."

On the night of the incident, Bobzien came home from work and found the two girls and the young child in a room filled with marijuana smoke.  That upset Bobzien, and he took away their vape pipes, which they weren't even old enough to possess legally. 

"The girls freaked out," Dwan said.

Bobzien went to bed, but the two girls started going after him. 

"Whether he handled it perfectly or not, I don't know," Dwan said.

"I firmly believe that if this case went to trial, it would have unraveled quickly," Dwan said. "I think any thread you pulled on this sweater, you could have quickly had no sweater."

He said Bobzien does have issues with authority. In that way, he isn't much different from a lot of young men, especially if you consider his background -- he's one of 45 biological children of his father's, and his father was killed by police officers.  Bobzien was adopted as a child by a couple living in Bergen.

Dwan has been mentoring his client, he said. They watched body camera footage of Bobzien's interactions with police officers, and Dwan pointed out all the ways Bobzien mishandled the interaction and how he was disrespectful to the officers. 

"Most of the trouble he's had is because he runs his mouth," Dwan said. "That's not an unusual response for a young man of his age, and in that respect, especially one with his background.  I hope he's learned he needs to be respectful toward authority."

Assistant District Attorney Robert Zickl said he favored the maximum available sentence under the plea bargain -- a year in jail -- because of the seriousness of the charges and because of Bobzien's history of disobeying court orders and previous criminal acts.

Bobzien's statement to the court was filled with thank-yous.

He thanked his family for standing with him. 

"I know it wasn't easy for them to read the things said about me, and yet somehow they still loved me and supported me, and that's what I needed," he said. "When this happened, there were some really dark, dark days.

He thanked his attorney for not only believing in him but "also encouraging me to be a better person.  He has opened my eyes to things." 

He thanked the people of Batavia, whom he said have shown him a lot of support.

He thanked Robert Zickl for his professionalism, both for his willingness to listen and drop the rape charges also for his toughness in upholding the law. 

"I knew if my child was a victim, I would want those accusations to be taken seriously," Bobzien said. "Our only job is to protect kids, protect our future. He made it tough to prove my innocence, but he did the right thing."

He then apologized to one of the court officers.  

At Bobzien's previous appearance, while he was waiting for his case to be called, Bobzien was looking at his phone while another case was proceeding, and the officer told him to put the phone down.  Apparently, Bobzien spoke back to the officer.  An exchange Cianfrini later reprimanded him for.

"I disrespected you last time I was here," Bobzien told the officer. "That wasn't right. I don't want this to be about race, but as a black man doing what you do, I should respect you.  Black excellence is a hard thing to achieve, and I know that is my goal in life."

Previously: Bergen resident feels vindicated, can move forward with life, after felony rape charges dropped

Photo: File photo of attorney Michael T. Dwan and Kaleb Bobzien after Bobzien's court appearance in December. 

February 2, 2023 - 8:08am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, genesee county, Mercy Flight, batavia.

matt_at_table.jpgWhile at least one City Councilman has expressed concern about ambulance response times in the city of Batavia, Genesee County officials are mulling similar issues elsewhere, Manager Matt Landers says.

“My understanding is that Mercy Flight has a good response time. But there's going to be isolated incidents that inevitably happen because there could be a call for service somewhere else that happens to pull ambulances out. So my concern, honestly, is more of a response time in our rural areas in the county, where response times are greater than the nine minutes that are currently being experienced in the city of Batavia,” Landers said to The Batavian Wednesday. “So that is something that this Legislature and myself are aware of, and that there's a lot of issues out there that we're trying to tackle and work on.”

Landers clarified the current arrangement with Mercy Flight and Mercy EMS. The county provides “a minimum contract of $12,500 on an annual basis to go towards their Mercy Flight air, that's, the contract that we have in place with Mercy Flight currently,” he said, and there is no official contract for ambulance service. An article published Tuesday stated that there was a countywide contract for ambulance service.

“There was a county RFP issued but it wasn't for a county contract. It was something that was for individual towns, so they could contract specifically the Mercy Flights. Some did, some didn’t,” he said. “But Mercy Flight has built a base of operations here at Genesee County, they are here to stay, they are an asset to our community. But there is no current contract with Genesee County for any kind of ambulance service.”

The topic of ambulance response times came up during city budget talks Tuesday evening at City Hall. Councilman Paul Viele raised concern after hearing about a child getting stung by a bee last summer. After reportedly lengthy response time from Mercy EMS, city police ended up taking the child to the hospital for medical treatment, Viele said.

During the conversation, Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. added that there’s been a countywide struggle to accommodate the need.

County officials are working with Mercy Flight to try and remedy the situation, especially in Genesee’s outskirts, Landers said Wednesday.

“We are in talks with Mercy Flight, and how potentially we can help,” Landers said. “I understand why people would think there might be a contract … we understand as a county that response times is a countywide issue. So Legislature and myself are exploring the issue currently and seeing what we could do to help improve those response times, primarily in our rural corners of the county. Less so in the city of Batavia.”

February 2, 2023 - 7:30am
posted by Press Release in Claudia Tenney, news, COVID-19, NY-24.

Press release:

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) today voted in favor of H.R. 497, the Freedom for Health Care Workers Act, a bill she cosponsored to end the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. In addition, the Congresswoman also voted in favor of H.R. 382, the Pandemic is Over Act, which officially ends the COVID-19 public health emergency declared by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2020.

H.R. 497 passed the House by a vote of 227-203, while H.R. 382 passed the House by 220-210.

Following her vote on these bills, Congresswoman Tenney released the following statement:

"The president has said it himself: the pandemic is over," said Congresswoman Tenney. "As New York families and small businesses have returned to normal, it is finally time for the government to do the same by ending the permanent state of emergency and lifting its overreaching and unconstitutional mandates. I was honored to support these critical pieces of legislation, which make good on the Republican commitment to restore our fundamental freedoms and ensure the government is accountable to the people."

February 1, 2023 - 10:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in john sackett, byron, news.

byroncentennial2022-13_1.jpg

Former County Legislator John Sackett died Jan. 2, according to an obituary published today.

He was 94.

Sackett also served as Town Supervisor in Byron.

Born in Riga, Sacket attended Alfred State College, and Kansas State University.

John completed his MS in Education at Cornell University after losing his left hand in a farm accident while harvesting corn. He taught agriculture at Le Roy and Warsaw high schools and then Agricultural Mechanics at Gen-Wyo Co. BOCES until his retirement.

He also served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

He worked as a dairy farm manager before acquiring a farm in Byron.

After his retirement from local politics, Sackett continued to follow local issues closely and frequently showed up at the County Legislature and other public bodies to express his opinions.

The obituary states, "John believed strongly in the value of the exchange of ideas and opinions ... He especially championed personal responsibility, lower taxes and freedom from government interference."

He was a life member of Byron Kiwanis, NRA, Genesee County SCOPE and various agricultural organizations. He was also an avid private pilot and past president of the Genesee County Pilots Association. 

"Ultimately, John was a farmer and teacher who believed that one reaps what one sows," the obituary states. "He spent his life sowing good seeds, pulling weeds and hoping to reap a manifold harvest. He leaves five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren."

For his full obituary, click here.

Photo: File photo by Howard Owens.  In Byron's 200th Anniversary parade in August, Sackett was honored as Byron's oldest living resident.

February 1, 2023 - 8:57pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Le Roy Central School, football, Sports.

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Le Roy Superintendent Merritt Holly asked students and parents to consider a few things during his talk this week about a potential merger of the district’s football program.

First, he didn’t want their immediate feedback, but, rather, he wanted the stats and details he was to provide to marinate for a while before they shared their comments and concerns. The deadline for feedback is Feb. 13.

Second, a merger doesn’t signal a “superpower” team of those earlier days of the game, he said. It’s not Le Roy football in the 1980s, 90s and early to mid-2000s, when enrollment numbers and participation were of a different nature, he said, and “the game of football” has drastically changed over the past 45 years.”

That isn’t what this proposition is about.

“This is about long-term sustainability in the sport of football,” he said.

Third, what is a potential merger with Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen about?

There’s a rationale — the method behind the madness, so to speak — for considering a merger, Holly said. One issue is the safety factor: Eighth and tenth graders wouldn’t have to play to fill rosters of the junior and varsity levels, and students wouldn't be required to be on the field more than necessary.

“Imagine if we could have some balance in practice and playtime,” he said.

Student-athletes wouldn’t be overplayed, which would reduce the risk of injuries, he said, during times of, for example, athletes playing both sides of the ball.

“You have to be very careful,” he said. “You have to worry more about injuries in practice. When it comes to accountability, when you have no one else in that position to play, it becomes an issue.”

A merger could mean sustainability. A roster would be maintained at three levels, modified, JV and Varsity, with a continuous foundation of youth programs being built. Plus, the other two school districts “have a need and want to be part of this relationship and one (B-B swim team) we have already partnered with,” he said.

Not to be left out of the equation was perhaps Holly’s biggest influential statistic: a decreased enrollment of more than 500 students in 2022-2023 from 1987 figures. He called it a “staggering” slide, though also later noted that numbers seemed to be slightly on the uptick. He did so with caution.

“We could end the presentation right now and say the numbers are coming back, but there’s more,” he said.

Much of the issue was about future roster sizes, the safety of students and the ability to be competitive.

“Sometimes we’re doing our students a disservice,” Holly said. “Sports is one of the best ways to have healthy competition.”

Other districts may decide to merge at some point, and this could be Le Roy’s moment to do so, but it’s up to the school community to decide, he said. Feedback is due by Feb. 13, and the school board is to vote on Feb. 28.

If it’s yes for the merger, that would mean splitting home games, operating costs amongst the school districts, sharing homecoming and senior nights at the home game district, each district paying its own insurance costs, uniforms purchased from a stockpile, and other details to be worked out, he said.

“We’d be looking at a whole new process,” he said. “There’d be a three-year commitment with a 30-day opt-out clause.”

If the merger is a no, Le Roy moves forward with a football program.

“We need to get feedback from you. This is just an initial conversation,” Holly said.

To view the entire presentation, go HERE.

2022 File Photo of Le Roy Oatkan Knights versus Attica by Howard Owens.

February 1, 2023 - 6:51pm
posted by Press Release in George Borrello, 57th State Senate District, news.

Press release:

Following the release of the Executive Budget proposal by Governor Kathy Hochul, Senator George Borrello issued the following comments:  

“There is no more obvious message that New York State is on the wrong track than our unrivaled national standing as ‘number one’ for the outmigration of our residents. That fact should be a call to action for our Governor as she charts the path forward for our state.  

“While we will be delving into the details in the coming days, the initial takeaway from the Executive Budget proposal released today is that we are looking at more of the same policies and approach that got us where we are.  

“Rather than make badly needed structural reforms in programs where growth is exploding and leading us toward dangerous levels of debt as Comptroller DiNapoli noted this week, this massive $227 billion budget simply funnels more money into areas of the budget that we know are rife with inefficiency and abuse, such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Medicaid.  

“Missing is the tax relief that our residents need to keep household budgets afloat as inflation and rising energy costs compound New York’s already-high cost of living. The stronger public safety measures and bail reform rollbacks New Yorkers have cited as their number one priority are nowhere.  

“Our small businesses, who are crying out for relief from the nearly $8 billion in pandemic unemployment debt that they have been unfairly saddled with, have apparently been hung out to dry once again. A corporate tax that was due to expire is being extended and all New York City and suburban employers downstate will have to pay an increased MTA payroll tax.  

“What all these actions indicate is that the rhetoric about reversing the outmigration of residents and jobs and revitalizing the New York dream, is just that: rhetoric. This is another budget of missed opportunities.” 

February 1, 2023 - 6:44pm
posted by Press Release in Pavilion, news, Elections.

Press release:

The Town of Pavilion Republican Committee is seeking Candidates that are interested in being selected as the endorsed Republican candidate for the following offices in the November General Election:

  • County Legislator District #6 (Alexander, Bethany and Pavilion)
  • Town Supervisor
  • Town Justice (2)
  • Town Highway Superintendent
  • Town Board – (2)
  • Town Clerk

All the above offices are four-year terms.

Those interested, please send a letter of intent and resume by Feb 15, 2023, to: James Thater - 9786 Lake St. Pavilion, NY 14525, or contact at (585) 409-7395 – [email protected]

February 1, 2023 - 6:43pm
posted by Press Release in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

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Press release:

Byron-Bergen Elementary School proudly announces that the Genesee Valley School Board Association awarded Byron-Bergen Central Schools the Excellence in Student Services Award for the 3rd Grade Digital Citizenship Program. This program, which is led by 3rd-grade teacher Colleen Hardenbrook, is a year-long initiative to develop online and computer skills in the areas of digital citizenship, digital literacy, and keyboarding. All 59 3rd-grade students from three classrooms participate in the Digital Citizenship Program.

Before beginning the program, Hardenbrook surveyed elementary school teachers for desired student outcomes. The common themes were computer troubleshooting, appropriate use of technology, critical thinking skills, and independence.

“Our teachers spend a great deal of classroom time instructing students on how to use tablets and laptops,” said Hardenbrook. “This takes time away from time spent on content. I felt that by making specific time to teach these skills, it would benefit both our children and instructors.”

“This is a valuable program for our district,” said Superintendent Pat McGee. “Our 3rd graders are learning life skills that will benefit them through their education and beyond. I am extremely proud that the Genesee Valley School Board Association recognized the crucial importance of digital citizenship.”

Each third-grade class receives 40 to 80 minutes of Digital Citizenship per week. The curriculum is provided by Common Sense Media and focuses on safety, accountability, responsibility, and respectful use of digital media. This is broken down into themes, including media balance, privacy and security, digital footprint, relationships and communication, and media literacy. Students participate in independent work and group projects, including a PSA (public service announcement) about digital literacy. The video was scripted and performed by the students (embedded below)

“The overwhelming power and reach that the internet has in our student's lives, both while in school and not, is a challenge that we are just beginning to understand and it is constantly changing faster than we can keep up with,” said Hardenbrook. “I would like this program to provide young students with tools they will need to be successful digital citizens while at school and in their personal lives.” 

 

February 1, 2023 - 6:35pm
posted by Press Release in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

Press release:

The Richmond Memorial Library is pleased to offer T-Mobile Hotspots, which will be available for patrons to check out beginning February 1, 2023. The hotspots were received through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Grant as part of the FCC American Rescue Plan Act. The hotspots can be checked out for a period of three weeks with a valid NIOGA library card in good standing. They include a power cord and all instructions. The NIOGA Library System includes public libraries in Niagara, Orleans and Genesee Counties. Hotspots can only be checked out at the Richmond Memorial Library and must also be returned to the Richmond Memorial Library. 

February 1, 2023 - 6:31pm
posted by Press Release in Darien, news, Elections.

Press release:

The Town of Darien Republican Committee is actively seeking individuals who may be interested in serving their community as a candidate for office for the following positions:

  • Town Justice
  • Town Supervisor
  • Town Council (2 positions)
  • Highway Superintendent

All interested parties should send their letter of interest to: Committee Chair, Mike Davis, 10740 Alleghany Road, Darien Center, NY 14040 or to: [email protected] no later than Friday, February 17, 2023.

February 1, 2023 - 6:29pm
posted by Press Release in CPR, office of emergency management, news.

Press release:

Community-based hands-only CPR training is being offered free of charge by the Genesee County Office of Emergency Management. 

The class will be presented by Charlotte Crawford on Feb. 8 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Genesee County Fire Training Center, 7690 State Street Road, Batavia.   

This community-based CPR course teaches lifesaving skills of adult hands-only CPR, child CPR and infant CPR. The skills are taught in a dynamic group environment. This course is for people who want to learn CPR but do not need a course certification card for their job.  This course is ideal for students, new parents, grandparents, babysitters and for anyone interested in learning how to save a life.

Registration is required.  To register, call or email the Genesee County Fire Training Center.  (585) 344-0078 or [email protected].

February 1, 2023 - 5:20pm
posted by Press Release in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

Press release:

Get in-person tax help and e-file for free at Richmond Memorial Library this tax season

Richmond Memorial Library is pleased to partner with volunteers from the New York State Department of Tax and Finance to offer income-eligible citizens assistance with filing their taxes online this tax season.

Tax Department employees will walk you through your income tax returns, step-by-step, as you complete and e-file your tax return for free.

Sessions will be offered on Thursdays –February 2, February 9, February 16, February 23, March 2, March 9, March 23, March 30, April 6 and April 13.

  • If you earned $73,000 or less in 2022, you qualify.
  • Safe and secure online tax software.
  • Use on-site computers, or your own laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
  • You only need basic computer skills and an active email account.

Those interested must schedule an appointment. Sessions are available from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information or to make an appointment, contact the library at 585-343-9550 x3 or visit the reference desk. Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross Street in the City of Batavia. Find the library online at batavialibrary.org.

February 1, 2023 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Le Roy.
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Alecia Lyons

Alicia M. Lyons, 43, of Colorado Avenue, Batavia, is charged with resisting arrest. Lyons was taken into custody on multiple warrants on Jan. 11. The first warrant was issued after an arrest on a trespass charge at a local business on May 28, where she was issued an appearance ticket. The second warrant was issued after an alleged trespass arrest at the same business on July 20, where an appearance ticket was issued. The third warrant was issued after another alleged trespass arrest at the same location, also on July 20, and the issuance of an appearance ticket. The fourth warrant was issued after another alleged trespass arrest at the same business on July 24.  Lyons was arraigned in City Court after this arrest and released on her own recognizance. The fifth warrant was issued after Lyons allegedly kicked another person at an apartment complex on East Main Street, and the issuance of an appearance ticket. The sixth warrant was issued after an appearance ticket was issued for an alleged trespass arrest for the same business on Dec. 6. Lyons is accused of failure to appear for all cases. This arrest was conducted by Officer Peter Post. While being taken into custody on these warrants, it is alleged that Lyons resisted arrest.  Lyons was arraigned in City Court and remanded to Genesee County Jail in lieu of $750 bail and scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court on Jan. 19. 

Nasir C. Nathan, 27, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with gang assault 1st. Nathan is accused of participating in a gang assault on Oct. 4, 2019, on Highland Park in Batavia. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on bail of $10,000, $20,000 bond, or $40,000 partially secured bond. 

Cordero L. Royes, 35, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd, assault 3rd, Driving While Intoxicated, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the First Degree and traffic law violation. Royes is accused of driving drunk on Dec. 31 in the City of Batavia following a traffic stop by Officer Sam Freeman. Also, on Dec. 31, Royes is accused of striking another person in the ribs and face during an argument.  He was arraigned in City Court and held without bail on the DWI charge.  On Jan. 1, Royes is accused of striking another person. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on $1 bail.

Alyssa K. Hillman, 29, of Main Street, Corfu, is charged with DWI. See entry below.

Richard W. Reid, 54, of Main Street, Corfu, is charged with DWI, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, and moving from lane unsafely. A hit-and-run accident was reported to Batavia PD on Jan. 2 (location not disclosed). Upon an investigation by Officer John Gombos and Officer and Officer William Yung, it is alleged that Reid was the operator of the vehicle and that he drove away from the scene. It is also alleged that Reid and Alyssa K. Hillman switched seats, and Hillman was driving the vehicle when officers stopped the vehicle on Ellicott Avenue. Reid and Hillman were released on appearance tickets.

Daniel J. Bakowski, 42, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with assault 3rd, harassment 2nd, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal obstruction of breathing, and criminal mischief to prevent a request for emergency assistance. Bakowski is accused of assaulting another person while children were present on Jan. 18. He was turned over to the Genesee County Jail to await arraignment. The case was investigated by Officer Wesley and Sgt. Mitch Cowen.

Karina M. Treleaven, of Prospect Avenue, Batavia is charged with DWI. Treleaven was stopped in the City of Batavia on Jan. 17 by officers Felica Martinez and Megan Crossett. Treleaven was issued an appearance ticket.  No further details released.

Eric R. Raymond, 52, of Hillside Drive, Batavia, is charged with DWI, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle, and failed to yield the right of way. Raymond was stopped on Jan. 15 (time not provided) in the City of Batavia (location not provided) by Officer John Gombos. Raymond was allegedly found to have a BAC of .08 or greater.  He was released on an appearance ticket.

Lazeuia D. Washington, 45, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with menacing 3rd and harassment 2nd. Washington is accused of being physically aggressive with a roommate in at a rooming house on West Main Street, Batavia, on Jan. 14. He was released following arraignment.

Jason W. Whitehead, 25, and Natalie N Neureuther, 23, both of Bank Street, Batavia, are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, and act in a manner injurious to an individual under 17 years of age. Whitehead and Neureuther are accused of being in possession of items that were later found to test positive for cocaine. The items were discovered by probation officers and turned over to Batavia PD.  The items were reportedly located immediately in the vicinity of and easily reachable by a child who was present at the time. They were arrested on Jan. 13 and issued appearance tickets.

Anne Marie Boyce, 46, of Woodrow Road, Batavia, is charged with three counts of dog running at large. On Jan 10, police were dispatched to Woodrow Road, Batavia, for a report of a loose dog. On Jan. 11, police received a report of a large dog running loose on Woodrow Road. On Jan. 13, police officers were dispatched to Woodrow Road in Batavia for a report of three loose dogs.  Boyce was issued appearance tickets.

Gabrielle E. Melton, 27, of Walnut Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief 3rd. Melton is accused of spray painting another person's vehicle on Summit Street, Batavia, on Aug. 21. She was arrested on Jan. 19. Melton was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance. 

Patrice C. Haight, 60, of Allen Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and speeding. Haight was stopped on Jan. 7, time unspecified, in the City of Batavia, location unspecified, by Officer John Gombos. Haight was released on an appearance ticket.

Daryl T Stalter, 37, of Brockport Spencerport Road, in Brockport, is charged with DWI, driving with a BACV of .128 or greater, and an open container. Stalter was arrested on Jan. 7, time unspecified, by Officer Joseph Weglarski after officers responded to North Spruce Street and Eleanor Place on a disturbance call. Stalter was released on an appearance ticket.

Ballard P. Maye, 36, of Swan Steet, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, criminal mischief and harassment 2nd. Maye is accused of being involved in a disturbance at a residence on Swan Street, Batavia, on Dec. 31. Maye was arraigned in City Court and released.

Timmy J. Frazier, 65, of Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on two warrants from Batavia City Court. On Jan. 5, Frazier was arrested on two warrants out of City Court.  The first warrant stems from an incident reported on Jan. 10 at a business on Main Street, resulting in trespass, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration charges against Fraizer. Frazier was issued an appearance ticket.  The second warrant stems from an incident on East Main Street on Aug. 8 in Batavia, that resulted in a trespass charge.  An appearance ticket was also issued in that case.  Frazier was arraigned in City Court on both warrants and remanded to the Genesee County Jail in lieu of $500 bail, $1,000 bond, or $3,000 partially secured bond.

Zachary J Sauberan, 27, of 2nd Street, Dunkirk, is charged with harassment  2nd. Sauberan is accused of being involved in a physical confrontation on Bank Street in Batavia on Jan. 4. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Aaron T Hendershot, 26, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. On Jan. 3, Hendershot was arrested on two warrants out of City Court.  One warrant was issued after an alleged failure to appear on a charge of criminal contempt 2nd stemming from an incident on Oct. 10 at a residence on Washington Avenue in Batavia.  The second warrant was issued for an alleged failure to appear on charges of criminal contempt 2nd and criminal trespass, stemming from an incident that occurred on Sept. 11 at a residence on Washington Avenue in Batavia.  Hendershot was arraigned in City Court and held on bail of $2,500,  $5,000 bond, or $10,000 partially secured bond.  

David A Kendall, 50, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with stalking 4th. Kendall is accused of following another motorist to a residence where he engaged in a verbal dispute on Jan. 2. Kendall was issued an appearance ticket.

Olivia J. Patten, 25, of North Main Street, Oakfield, is charged with theft of services. Patten is accused of leaving a local business on Jan. 2 without paying for services. Patten was arraigned in City Court and released.

Michael W. Flint, 23, of Spring Street, Mount Morris, is charged with failure to appear. On Jan. 1, Flint was arrested on a warrant issued by City Court for an alleged failure to appear on a charge of criminal contempt 2nd.  Flint was arraigned in Centralized Arraignment Part Court and released on his own recognizance. 

Billy Joe Budziszewski, 31, is charged with trespass and obstruction of governmental administration. Budziszewski is accused of refusing to leave a local business after repeated requests. He is accused of fighting with officers Sam Freeman and Adam Tucker during his arrest. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Julie R. Richardson, 32, and Jarrod K. Fotiathis, 28, no permanent address, are charged with criminal trespass 3rd. Richardson and Fotiathis were allegedly found inside a building in the City of Batavia they did not have permission to be in. They were released on an appearance ticket.

Jamie L Broadbent, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass 2nd. Broadbent was allegedly found in a residence on Dec. 30 that he was not allowed to enter. He was arraigned in City Court and released.

Mark A. Remington, 48, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with sex offender failure to report an address change. Remington was arrested on Dec. 29 for allegedly failing to register a change of address as a registered sex offender. He was arraigned in City Court and released on his own recognizance. 

Michael R. Ostrander, 58, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd. The criminal contempt charge stems from an arrest on July 25. Ostrander is accused of failing to appear in court on the charge, and he was arrested on a warrant by Officer Kevin Defelice. He was arraigned in City Court and released under supervision. 

Robert D Griffin, 44, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd and aggravated family offense (more than one offense within five years). Griffen was arrested on Jan. 19 in connection with an incident and held in the Genesee County Jail awaiting arraignment. No further details released. Griffin was also arrested on Jan. 23 and charged with criminal contempt 1st for allegedly violating a stay-away order of protection. He was held pending arraignment.

Joseph C Jeffords, 31, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Jeffords is accused of using a friend's vehicle to go to Rochester and then not returning it. He was issued an appearance ticket. He was arrested on Jan. 23.

Anthony L Vanelli, 45, of Federal Drive, Batavia, is charged with not appearing on a petit larceny charge. Vanelli was arrested on Jan. 23 on a warrant. He is accused of stealing a KitKat candy bar and Nitro Pepsi from a local business on May 2. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on $1 bail.

Robert A Shuttleworth, 64, of Gaslight Lane, Batavia, is charged with operating a motor vehicle with suspended registration, aggravated unlicensed operation 2nd, operating a motor vehicle without insurance, and operating a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver. Shuttleworth was stopped by Officer Andrew Mruczek on Jan. 20 at an undisclosed location in Batavia. He was ordered to appear in City Court on Feb. 14.

Shelby L Fryer, 27, of Prune Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, Driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and unlicensed driver. Fryer was arrested on a warrant related to the charges. Fryer was originally arrested on Oct. 17. He was held for arraignment.

Jessica B Saeli, 33, of Morse Place, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 1st, assault 3rd, and unlawful imprisonment 2nd. Saeli was arrested on Jan. 18 on a warrant stemming from an incident reported on Sept. 19 that led to her arrest then. She was arraigned and released under supervision.

Adam M White, 36, of North Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and equipment violations. White was stopped on Jan. 15, time of day not released, at an undisclosed location in Batavia by Officer Joseph Weglarski. White was held pending arraignment.

Dustin T Forkell, 31, of Hulberton Road, Holley, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property 4th. Forkell is accused of being in possession of a stolen motor vehicle on Jan. 21. Forkell was held pending arraignment.

Bradley R Jordan, 30, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, criminal mischief 4th, and aggravated family offense. Jordan is accused of being involved in a disturbance on Jan. 20. He was held pending arraignment.

Alan Jon Borlaug Jr., 27, of Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and no or inadequate plate lamp. Borlaug was stopped at 1:39 a.m., Jan. 22, on Clinton Street Road, Byron by Deputy Carlos Ortiz Speed. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Brian Eric Daggar, 37, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with petit larceny. Dagger is accused of shoplifting from an undisclosed store in Batavia Town Center. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Marquis K. Saddler, 32, of Post Avenue, Rochester, and Kara B. Sass, 28, of West Main Street, Batavia, are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th and criminally using drug paraphernalia 2nd. Saddler and Sass were arrested on Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m. following a traffic stop on West Main Street by Deputy Nicholas Charmoun. Saddler and Sass are accused of possessing illegal narcotics and associated paraphernalia inside the vehicle while deputies were assisting NYS Parole. They were issued appearance tickets.

Jodi Melody Flow, 36, of Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, traffic device violation, illegal signal with 100 feet, and tampering with physical evidence. Flow was subject to a traffic stop at 1:49 a.m. Jan. 29, on East Main Street, Batavia, by Deputy Jeremiah Gechell. During the stop, Gechell requested the assistance of Deputy James Stack and K-9 Rayzor. Rayzor reportedly alerted on the vehicle signaling the presence of narcotics. Following a search, she was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance. Flow was released on an appearance ticket.

Margaret Angela Miles, 57, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, obstructing governmental administration 2nd, and resisting arrest. Miles was arrested on West Main Street, Batavia, on Jan. 29, at 1:51 p.m., by deputies Alexander Hadsall and Michael Lute. No further details released.

Richard M. Schiersing, 47, of Scottsville, is charged with criminal trespass 3rd. Schiersing was arrested by Le Roy PD at about 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 30 after police were dispatched to an address on East Main Road in the Town of Le Roy for a report of an unknown person within the fenced yard of a residence. Schiersing was reportedly located hiding under a trailer on the caller's property. He was taken into custody without incident. Schiersing was released on an appearance ticket. Anybody with additional information is asked to call Officer C.J. Miller at (585) 345-6350 or email [email protected]

Logan M. White, 29, of Batavia, is charged with welfare fraud 3rd. White was arrested by State Police in Albion on Jan. 27 and released on an appearance ticket. No further information released.

Joshua D. Eveland, 38, of Rochester, is charged with DWI and driving under the influence of drugs. Eveland was stopped by State Police at 12:42 a.m. on Jan. 29 in the Town of Batavia. he was released on an appearance ticket.

February 1, 2023 - 8:05am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, GO ART!, picnic in the park, city council.

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City Councilwoman Patti Pacino was true to her word from a meeting last September.

During that Sept. 27 discussion about shifting more than $9,000 of leftover Centennial Celebration money toward a future Wing Ding event, Pacino spoke up on behalf of another beloved city favorite.

“While I think the Wing Ding is fabulous and it is an event open to everyone, we used to fund the Picnic in the Park, which is also for everyone,” she said at the time. “GO Art! had to cancel the picnic.”

The city used to contribute money — about $2,500 — to the annual Picnic in the Park, but began to cut back over the last few years, and did not fund it in 2019, 2021 or 2022. The Original Red Osier Landmark restaurant presented the event in 2019, and a virtual picnic -- sponsored by several entities, including the city --  was shown on YouTube in 2020. The picnic was canceled in 2021 due to COVID protocols and lack of sponsorship and canceled again in 2022 due to lack of sponsorships.

During that September meeting, Pacino said she would vote for the Wing Ding and transfer of money, but expected support when a request for Picnic in the Park funding came around again.

As part of early budget talks this year, Pacino requested that the council add another $4,000 in funding to GO Art!, for a total of $6,500.

During Monday’s budget workshop, Councilman Bob Bialkowski asked about that line item, and City Manager Rachael Tabelski explained what happened.

“Patti asked for funding of $4,000 to be put back in the budget,” she said. “No one disagreed at the time. So I included it for discussion.”

No one raised objections about the total. In the overall category of recreation, another $12,932 is slated for community celebrations, $78,846 for the Youth Bureau summer rec program, $15,340 for the ice rink, and $15,750 for Dwyer Stadium.

Also present Monday were council members Tammy Schmidt, Eugene Jankowski Jr., Paul Viele, Kathy Briggs, and Al McGinnis. John Deleo and Pacino were absent.

2022 File Photo of City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., and Council members Paul Viele and Patti Pacino during a meeting in September 2022. Photo by Joanne Beck.

January 31, 2023 - 11:08pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, city council, batavia, ambulance, Mercy EMS, 2023-24 budget.

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Monday evening’s city budget talks took a step back in time, slightly dé·jà vu in reverse when it came to the city fire and police departments.

City Councilman Paul Viele suggested the possibility of having one ambulance on reserve just in city limits.

“For police and fire reserves, I want to see some research on response times for the (Mercy EMS) ambulance. If they're not good, I’d like to maybe see if we can get one ambulance for the city, that just takes care of the city limits. Its response time isn't that good,” Viele said during the workshop at City Hall. “There's one incident, the kid got bitten by a bee. And there was no ambulance, and they throw the kid in the police car to bring him to the hospital.”

“We’ve got to have a backup pickup truck thing for the hospital. You know, I don't want to spend $250,000 on an ambulance. But just something to keep someone alive at the hospital. If your wife is having a heart attack, and there’s not an ambulance, you’re going to be pissed off.”

City Manager Rachael Tabelski said that she could check with Mercy EMS to see if some type of arrangement could be made to house an ambulance within city limits. Mercy has a current contract with Genesee County to provide ambulance service countywide, which means that wherever an emergency occurs, the ambulance responds to that municipality within the county.

“There is the option for the city to contract for one soul ambulance from Mercy to be staged in the city at all times. What that costs, what negotiations are, I don't know. And opening negotiations in this manner probably isn't the best way to get a good price, because now it's public,” she said. “But I think we have a lot more to explore. I don't disagree with you, that if an ambulance isn't available for our families in the city of Batavia, that's a severe issue, or if our kids were out in sports fields. And that poor kid, I can't even imagine.”

The service throughout the county is strapped as it is, Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said.

“I mean, the county is struggling with staffing and ambulance and shortages. They're struggling now. So I don't think it's by design, I think it's just manpower, we'd have to find out,” Jankowski said. “But I knew they were struggling. They couldn't even get in the volunteers.”

The dé·jà vu factor here is that the city at one time operated its own ambulance service within the fire department. As a cost-saving measure in 2008, a prior City Council and city management agreed to shut down city ambulance operations in lieu of a private company taking over the service.

Councilman Bob Bialkowski recalled how “complicated” the process was at the time, and it involved fire department staff and public protests and concern. The city cannot simply operate its own ambulance due to health certifications, he and city management said, but perhaps an ambulance could be housed inside city limits if Mercy agreed to such an agreement.

Tabelski said that both the police and fire chief can talk more about this topic at a future meeting, as, per a related report, there is a “critical lack of services from ambulance not only here but across the state,” she said.

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Top Photo: City Councilman Paul Viele, and Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. talk about the 2023-24 budget during a workshop Monday at City Hall, and above, City Manager Rachael Tabelski, left, Assistant Manager Erik Fix, far right, city staff and council members work through the proposed budget line by line. Photos by Joanne Beck.

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