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September 22, 2018 - 6:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in first presbyterian, batavia, news.

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The First Presbyterian Church in Batavia celebrated its 209th anniversary today by hosting a Scottish Heritage Festival. The festival featured food, ancient highlander games and toys, bagpipes (Carol Romanowski, top photo), and a lecture on Protestant churches in Batavia by Genesee County Historian Michael Eula, Ph.D. (second picture with Mike Stuart). 

Bottom photo: Ludia Gundel, age 7.

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September 22, 2018 - 6:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alzheimer's Association, batavia, Walk to End Alzheimer's, news.

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The Alzheimer’s Association, WNY Chapter, sponsored today's Walk to End Alzheimers in Batavia. The route started and ended at Premier Genesee Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on Bank Street. Hundreds of people turned out, though this morning organizers did not have an exact count of participants.

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September 22, 2018 - 4:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in east pembroke, news, notify.

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For decades, the former Presbyterian church in East Pembroke has looked weathered and beaten and neglected but owner Wes Winters had decided it's time to restore the exterior.

So far he's removed the old siding, painted the trim and the bell tower and installed some windows. This week he will start installing new clapboards (wood, not vinyl). 

He described the project as "weatherizing."

"It was pretty sad," Winters said. "We needed a new roof on the tower and the clapboards had long since seen their paint go away. It was just time."

His father bought the building in the 1970s and converted the basement into two apartments and divided the sanctuary into two floors as storage for his construction business.  

His son David is assisting with the restoration project.

The sanctuary was built in about 1854 and the bell tower was added in 1857.

The original bell -- cast in the 1870s in Troy -- still hands in the tower. The last time it was rung was just a few weeks ago. A friend of his son's got married nearby in East Pembroke. At the start of the service, Winters' son texted him and he rang the bell five times and then when the couple was pronounced husband and wife, he rang it again five times.

The stained glass was apparently removed when the congregation left the church.

Winters doesn't have immediate plans for the sanctuary but said it might be appropriate for apartments or retail.

"We're not going to sell it," he said, adding that the building will stay in the family.

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This is a commemorative plate found in the church building. The inscription on the back says the church was built for $3,200. Rev. D.C. Houghton was the first pastor. A tornado Sept. 30, 1921, tore off the spire and it was replaced by a dome. The Baptists and Presbyterians of East Pembroke merged in 1962 and formed the East Pembroke Federated Church. Photo submitted by David Winters.

September 22, 2018 - 3:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, news, pets, animal rescue, animal cruelty.

Photos and information from the Le Roy Police Department:

The Le Roy Police Department is currently investigating a case of animal cruelty. Early this morning (Sept. 22) patrols located a cat enclosed in a plastic bin. The cat was inside the bin and the lid was duct-taped closed; there were no holes cut in the lid or anyway for air to enter the bin.

The cat appears to be in good health and is being cared for at this time.

The cat is an unneutered male tiger cat and appears to be well fed and taken care of (pictures posted below). 

We are asking for the public’s assistance with any information that could lead to a possible suspect or suspects as well as locating the owner of the cat. 

The Le Roy Police Department takes Animal Cruelty seriously and appreciates the public’s assistance in this matter. 

If you have any information, please contact the Le Roy Police Department at (585) 345 6350.

September 22, 2018 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred of all time, with driver Jim Morrill Jr. and a fan at Batavia Downs Friday night; photo courtesy of Kevin Oklobzija.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

It was a dark and stormy night in Genesee County as storms blew through the area on Friday night (Sept. 21). But that didn’t deter the multitude of fans of Foiled Again from turning out to witness the richest Standardbred of all time compete at Batavia Downs one last time. 

Prior to the eighth race, everyone in attendance gathered at the fence in anticipation of seeing one of the greatest pacers in the history of the sport.

Foiled Again was in a $10,000 Open II pace that saw him start from post seven and get away fifth, where he would stay until the race approached the three-quarter pole. That's where driver Jim Morrill Jr. pulled him and tried to advance toward the leader. Although Foiled Again raced gamely pacing homes in :28.2 over an off-track, he came up two-lengths short of the win, finishing fourth in 1:53.4. 

After the race, Foiled Again was brought back to the winner’s circle where he stood like a rock star with his caretaker Jordan Miller and his driver Jim Morrill Jr. to greet the hundreds of racing enthusiasts who ran down from all points of the grandstand and clubhouse to see him up close and take his picture. There is no doubt that Facebook accounts all over Western New York will be rife with images of Foiled Again for the foreseeable future. 

Batavia Downs Gaming is very appreciative of Burke Racing, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, the JJK Stables and trainer Ron Burke for including it as a stop on the Foiled Again Farewell Tour.

September 22, 2018 - 1:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, news, batavia, Batavia HS.

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The Batavia Blue Devils continued their dominance of opponents this season, this time with a 41-26 win over Windsor.

Ray Leach ran for 230 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries and added 97 more yards and a TD on four receptions, for 327 all-purpose yards.

Ethan Biscaro was 10-11 passing for 140 yards and two TDs.

Taiyo Iburi-Bethel had a 71-yard touchdown run.

Josh Barber had nine tackles, including a sack. Alex Rood and Ethan Biscaro each had eight tackles and a sack and Biscaro added an interception.

Also on Friday night, Alexander beat Bolivar-Richburg 52-0 and Pembroke lost to Perry/Mt. Morris 30-8.

UPDATE Saturday, Sept.22: Officials corrected the stats for Ethan Biscaro; the story originally stated he had a perfect 10-10 passing. The figure was revised today to 10-11.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

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September 22, 2018 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A two-car accident, unknown injuries but it is blocking, is reported in the area of 3080 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

East Pembroke fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 11:49 a.m.: No injuries. There's a bit of debris in the roadway.

UPDATE 12:12 p.m.: One person being transported to UMMC for evaluation.

September 21, 2018 - 3:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in NY27, politics, Nate McMurray, chris collins, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, the Democratic and Working Families Party Candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District, today responded to the launch of Chris Collins’ so-called campaign comprised solely of TV attack ads:

“Right out of the gate, Chris Collins’ so-called campaign has nothing to do with Chris Collins. There’s a reason: there’s nothing to brag about while their guy is out on bail. This ad is desperate, it’s untruthful, and no one’s going to fall for it. I can’t believe they thought it was a good idea to start with this.

“I won’t shy away from the fact that I speak a foreign language, that I’ve been on the front lines of the trade war that’s redefining our economy, and that I’ve been fighting FOR American workers. Do you think I’d have the support of the local and national labor community if I was going to ship jobs to Asia? Of course not.

“I’ll use every experience I’ve got to fight for this district. No can play me in Warsaw or Washington, Beijing or Batavia.

“If this is the best they’ve got, bring it."

In 2003, Nate was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study the development of democracy in the Constitutional Court of Korea. He worked to represent U.S. farmers and U.S. manufacturers ensuring that they had an opportunity to feature their products in Korean stories, helping create jobs back here at home.

About Nate McMurray

Nate McMurray is a native of North Tonawanda. He’s a family man, an Eagle Scout. He is also one of seven children raised by his widowed mother when his father died of cancer at the age of 39. Nate worked his way through community college, earned a bachelor’s degree at SUNY-Buffalo, then went on to law school and a successful career in business.

For the last two years, he’s served as town supervisor of Grand Island, a conservative community in Western New York, where he has been instrumental in bringing fiscal responsibility to local government and millions of dollars in new business investment to the town. For more on Nate McMurray and his campaign for Congress in NY-27, visit www.votemcmurray.com.

September 21, 2018 - 2:49pm

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department today announced it will be participating in National Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 23-29).

The Department will be conducting a “Free Car Seat Check” event on Saturday, Sept. 29, at its Headquarters at 18 Evans St. Certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to check car seats for proper installation, and educate parents and caregivers on how to choose the right car seat for their family, and install them properly in their vehicles.

Each year in New York almost 3,000 kids up to the age of 13 are treated at hospitals for injuries from a motor vehicle crash. Motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury/death for children 1 through 12 years old. Most 'tweens (8-12 years old) seriously injured or killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts or wearing them correctly. 'Tweens are also more likely to get hurt in crashes when riding in the front seat.

Remember, the safest place for a child under the age of 13 is in the back seat properly restrained. Many death and injuries could be prevented if children were properly restrained in an appropriate child restraint.

Many Parents and guardians assume they know how to choose and use the correct child seat for their children, but sadly these restraints are frequently used incorrectly. In fact, three out of every four children are riding at an increased risk of injury because their car seats are not being used correctly.

The “Know for Sure if Your Child is in the Right Car Seatcampaign was developed by the National Highway Safety Administration and the National Ad Council to make sure all parents and caregivers properly secure their children in the best car restraint for their age and size and use these devices properly. This campaign is being promoted by the NYS Governors Traffic Safety Committee.

The City of Batavia Fire Department urges parents to follow National Highway Safety Administrations car seat recommendation that parents and caregivers keep children in their car seat for as long as possible according to manufacturer instructions before moving them up to the next type. For maximum safety, a parent or caregiver should have the car seat installation inspected by a Certified Safety Technician to ensure their kids are riding as safely as possible.

The City of Batavia Fire Department’s Car Seat Technicians are available 7 days a week by calling Fire Headquarters at (585) 345-6375 to schedule an appointment. 

September 21, 2018 - 12:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sales tax, news, notify.

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It was pretty clear at a gathering of local leaders at County Building #2 on Thursday night that few elected officials in Genesee County's towns and villages are happy with the county's plan for how it will share sales tax revenue.

It was also clear that the county has few options.

The current plan is for the county to cap the amount of sales tax revenue it annually sends to towns at villages at 2018 levels for 40 years.  

Sales tax revenue has been a significant portion of revenue for local jurisdictions -- it's 51 percent of the Town of Le Roy's revenue, for example -- enabling local officials to hold down property taxes.

Now those officials fear the economic impact of seeing sales tax revenue shrink relative to rising costs and what it will mean for property owners in their jurisdictions.

"This agreement is a burden on the towns and villages," said Michael Plitt from the Town of Darien. "It will mean towns have to impose higher property taxes or cut services."

From the county's perspective -- as shared by Bob Bausch (top photo), chair of the County Legislature -- the county has few alternatives.

  • The state is forcing the county to build a new jail, which will cost local taxpayers $50 million, or more, plus interest, over 40 years;
  • The state is imposing new requirements, called "Raise the Age," for how criminal defendants ages 16 and 17, are handled by law enforcement, the courts, and corrections, which will cost the county $2 million to $3 million a year -- a cost the state says it will reimburse the county for but only if the county stays under the property tax cap;
  • The county is facing $75 million in expense to replace aging bridges and culverts.

The county's proposal for sharing sales tax revenue capped at the 2018 rate is an explicit attempt to keep more sales tax to help pay for the new jail.

Bausch pointed out that 80 percent of every property tax dollar collected locally goes to cover state-mandated expenses. Legislator Andrew Young added that the county has only two revenue streams -- property tax and sales tax; and with property tax, the levy is capped so the county doesn't have the option to raise property tax to pay for the jail, that leaves sales tax as the only option.

Young also pointed out that Genesee County is the most generous county in the state for sales tax with towns and villages. Maybe if its share was more in the middle of the pack over the past 10 years, the county wouldn't be in the situation it's in now.

One of the chief objections to the plan for town and village leaders is that the agreement would last 40 years.

Rob LaPoint, deputy supervisor in the Town of Pavilion, calculated inflation going back to 1977 and pointed out that a dollar 40 years ago is worth 25 cents now, at that rate, the county will gain $625 million over 40 years.

"You could build 10 jails for that," LaPoint said.

Both Bausch and Young indicated the county is willing to adjust the 40-year time frame. Young said he favors 15 years.

"If it is a 15-year agreement in place, I know I won't be around, at least I hope not," Young said. "The Legislature in 15 years might decide to take more money."

The county isn't obligated under state law to share any sales tax revenue with the towns and villages. Bausch pointed out that the county could make the amount to share an annual budget decision.

Bausch said without an agreement, he couldn't obligate future legislatures to any particular amount of revenue share.

Some in the audience expressed concern that the City is getting a better deal than the towns and villages. While the amount of new sales tax revenue that will flow to the City will be restricted under its agreement with the county, it is not capped.

The City has more leverage because it can legally override the county sales tax and impose its own sales tax, something the villages and towns can't do.

However, Steve Barbeau pointed out that the City doesn't have that much leverage because most of the sales tax in the county is generated by businesses outside of City limits. 

Legislator Marianne Clattenberg said the City has much higher expenses than the towns and villages. It has its own police department and fire department but it is also the site of most of the tax-exempt property in the county, including the jail, the courthouse, the Old Courthouse, and County Building #1, yet the city must protect those buildings with its police and fire departments and plow the roads that lead to them without collecting the property tax to pay for those services.

David Hagelberger, supervisor for the Town of Darien, wanted to know why the county didn't deal with the jail issue sooner. Bausch said the county wasn't was aware of the looming issues with the jail, but that while it owned the County Nursing home, losing $2 million to $3 million, it really didn't have the ability to deal with the jail or roads and bridges.

While Hagelberger shared many of the same concerns about the length and nature of the agreement and burden it will create for local jurisdictions he also said, "the jail is really all of our problems" and that one way or another everybody in the county was going to have to help pay for it.

Also unique to Genesee County in New York is the county's responsibility for all of the roads and bridges in the towns and villages, which ends up being a cost savings for local jurisdictions, something Carol Glor, supervisor for the Town of Oakfield, said she appreciated.

"We just got two new bridges in Oakfield that are worth well over $2 million," Glor said. "There is no way we could have taken on that expense in our budget."

September 21, 2018 - 10:19am
posted by Genesee Chamber... in Autumn, news.

The leaves explode with color to mark the start of fall. It’s the season for apples, pumpkin-carving, graveyard walks and ghost hunts. The slight chill in the wind is refreshing, the smell of autumn is in the air.

It’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy all your favorite fall-related activities. From farm-fresh goodies to spooky surprises, we’ve rounded up a few of the best ways to celebrate the season, right here in Genesee County.

Ongoing Events & Activities

Roanoke Apple Farm
Let’s kick things off with a quintessential fall favorite -- apples! This year, Roanoke’s farm stand is serving up five different varieties of apple – Jonamac, Ginger Gold, Autumn Crisp, Gala, and Paula Red. Stop by with an empty belly, because apples aren’t all they offer. This apple farm in Stafford is also the place to grab apple cider, cider slushies, cider donuts, muffins and more.

Downtown Batavia Public Market
Stock up on delicious produce from local farmers! Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through Oct. 26, the Downtown Batavia Public Market is farm-fresh and full of fun. Browse through a selection of fruits, veggies, meats, flowers, maple syrup, wine, crafts… even treats for your favorite pup! There are only a few weeks left, so don’t miss out.

Fright Fest at Darien Lake Theme Park
Fright Fest is back! By day, families can enjoy trick or treating throughout the park, along with other kid-friendly activities. By night, the park transforms into a terror zone. Zombies roam the paths, turning this theme park into a scream park. Everywhere you step you’ll find new scares, haunted houses, mazes, and a “Spooktacular” laser light show. The fun and fright runs every weekend through the end of October. Check the calendar – times vary by day.

Ghost Hunts at Rolling Hills Asylum
History and hauntings go hand in hand here in Genesee County. At least, they do at Rolling Hills Asylum, considered the second most haunted site in the United States by Haunted North America. This place is not your typical haunted attraction. The spirits here are real, documented, and often cause the inexplicable to happen. If you’re brave enough to explore, public ghost hunts are happening now through October – and beyond! Rolling Hills is open year-round for the para-curious.

September Events

National Alpaca Farm Days
(9/29 – 9/30)
The last weekend in September marks National Alpaca Farm Days! There are five farms in Genesee County who are home to these fuzzy friends: Alpaca Delights, Alpaca Mercantile, Alpaca Play Pen, Enchanted Alpaca Forest, Northwoods Alpacas, and Triple B’s Alpaca Farm. Call to see if one near you is participating in Alpaca Farm Days – or schedule a private visit any time of year to experience alpacas up-close, feel their fleece, tour the farms, catch demonstrations on alpaca grooming and care, and even take home a soft souvenir.

October Events

Fifth Annual Fall for Le Roy
(10/6)
Fall for Le Roy is a hometown event celebrating the autumn season! Support small businesses and local merchants, catch demonstrations and open houses, or join in on an array of games – both for adults and for the kids. You’ll find special menus and drinks at the local restaurants, and endless amounts of fun in every direction. 

Downtown Batavia Wine Walk
(10/6)
New York State Wine, with a Hollywood twist. Need we say more? Take on the style of your favorite movie character, then taste your way through more than 20 local varieties of wine stationed at businesses across Downtown Batavia. As you wander from stop to stop, keep an eye out for creative and classy costumes – Best Dressed goes home with a prize. You’ll also have the chance to vote on “Best Place to Taste” for those businesses going above and beyond, participate in photo booth fun, and more.

Fall Foliage Train Excursion
(10/13, 10/17, 10/20, 10/21)
The best way to see fall foliage, might just be from a train. As the colors begin to pop, embark on a two-hour round-trip train ride with the Medina Railroad Museum. You’ll ride through wooded scenery and along the Erie Canal to see picturesque fall foliage, vibrant colors, and the beauty of Upstate New York. Lunch is available on the train for hungry passengers – or just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Halloween DIY Fairy Garden
(10/17)
Fairies are known to bring good luck with them wherever they roam. And the best way to welcome them to your home is by creating your very own Fairy Garden – a place built and tended with constant love and care. In the spirit of the Halloween season, join in on this Fairy Garden DIY class from 5 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 17 at Pudgie's Lawn & Garden Center in Batavia. Get creative with succulents, decorative stones and items, natural elements and colored sand. You’ll also have the choice of a fairy or gnome to add to your creation to make it complete! Cost for class is $20.

Westside Ghostwalk
(10/19)
Murder, hangings, grave robbers, ghosts, and other eerie happenings plague Batavia’s past. Take a walk on the west side, and you’ll learn it all, and the culprits behind these mischievous and murderous moments. This Halloween season join the Holland Land Office Museum for this dark tour of discovery and intrigue on Oct. 19.

Candlelight Ghost Walk of Historic Batavia Cemetery
(10/20)
Meet the notable men and women of Batavia – long after they’ve passed into the afterlife. At this Candlelight Ghost Walk, you’ll make your way through the Historic Batavia Cemetery, meeting costumed interpreters who are truly bringing the past to life. Encounter people like Philmon Travel, one of the few Confederate officers buried in the north, Joseph Ellicott, a man of great power and great flaws, and William Morgan, a man who disappeared and was allegedly murdered before he could reveal the secrets of the Masons. Learn the history of the area like you’ve never seen it before. Tours run every 15 minutes. Cost is $10 and proceeds help maintain the cemetery. Reservations are required.

For more fun fall activities right in your backyard, head over to www.visitgeneseeny.com

September 21, 2018 - 10:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, news.

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Deputy Corey Mower, resource officer for Pavilion Central Schools, shared this early morning picture from the school of the sun rising behind the flagpole.

September 20, 2018 - 9:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, State Street.

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Earlier tonight a caller on State Street reported a disturbance involving a large group of people at State and Lewis with the suggestion "you better send anybody."

Multiple units from Batavia PD, the Sheriff's Office, and State Police responded.

There was no physical altercation though some officers have remained on scene as area residents have continued to mill about in their yards with several people gathered at 131 State St.

At 9:30 p.m., even with officers there, a caller reported to dispatch that there was another disturbance though officers could not confirm any other disturbances in the area.

Witnesses said the disturbance started with a group of youths and then the adults got involved.

That has been the pattern most of the week they said.

The first disturbance was after Friday night's football game.

Police have made no arrests and no injuries have been reported.

September 20, 2018 - 5:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in Pavilion, news, Announcements, Class of 1973.

Press release:

Pavilion Central School’s Class of 1973 will be celebrating their 45th Class reunion with an informal gathering starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 at BW’s, (Davis’ Country Meadow), 11070 Perry Road, Pavilion.

BW’s management has graciously agreed to accommodate the reunion to the best of their ability, as there will be a wedding going on in the back, just in case you wish to stay for dinner, but three bartenders will be on staff, so it may be busy.

Although many members of the class have been contacted, we hope you will pass this along again, for those who may have been missed, or just as a reminder. Many are attending from out of state, so let us get caught up!

Any questions, please contact Phil Plossl @ [email protected] , or Eileen Graney @ [email protected]

September 20, 2018 - 4:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, Le Roy.

A car vs. bicyclist accident with injuries is reported at 10273 Perry Road, Le Roy. Pavilion fire and Mercy medics are responding,

September 20, 2018 - 3:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, lime rock, travel, asiago italy, news.

Photo, from left: Pat Stefani Iamon, Chris Stella, Dar Costa Hawkins and Bob Stefani stand in the piazza of Asiago, Italy. Photos provided by Pat Iamon.

By Pat Iamon

On the last day of a two-week trip to Italy a group of LeRoyans were able to visit their family’s homeland, Asiago, Veneto, Italy. The Go2Italy trip the group was part of was organized by Jim Frascati, owner of Capish! Pizza-ristorante on Main Street in Le Roy.

Frascati has been organizing trips to Italy for more than 20 years. He is an Italian American, a retired police officer from Rochester who came from Sicily as a teenager. Frascati speaks perfect Italian and escorts his trips with his partner, Frank Cordiddi, and their wives.

The trip began on Sep. 5th on the doorstep of Capish! where the group of 46 boarded a bus to Toronto Pearson Airport. Their Alitalia flight dropped them off in Rome where they quickly boarded their connecting flight to Catania, Sicily. Once there, Go2Italy had a bus waiting with their personal driver of more than 10 years, Luigi.

A ferry, then "harrowing bus ride"

Over the two weeks the group toured Savoca, Mt. Etna, Taormina, Cefalu, and then left the island of Sicily in a ferry at Messina. The ferry took about 30 minutes to cross the couple mile Strait of Messina landing at Naples. The bus headed north along scenic highways up and around the mountains and through many tunnels.

The next few days the tour group took in Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, and the Isle of Capri which included a harrowing bus ride through narrow mountain roads. The next stop was Rome where the group toured the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Cathedral. The next day they took in most of the other tourist sites in Rome.

The last hotel stop on the tour was Venice where the group took a water taxi to walk to St. Mark’s Square.

Before the final day of the tour Frascati tried in vain to rent a car and drive the group up to Asiago. However, it was Sunday and all the car rental companies were closed and not answering their phone. Frascati then helped the group hire a car and driver to take them up into the mountains to Asiago.

Rising up very early on Sept. 17, the group left their Venice hotel and boarded their van at 5:45 a.m. for the 90-minute drive to Asiago. Pat (Stefani) Iamon, her brother, Bob Stefani, and Chris Stella, who are from Lime Rock, along with Dar (Costa) Hawkins and her husband Ron, of Le Roy, rode along the three-lane highway to the two-lane mountain road.

Foothills of the Alps

That mountain road had many switch backs. As their van approached the foothills of the Alps the group anxiously awaited the sign announcing the little town of Asiago. The Stefanis' grandmother, Catherine Stella, came from Asiago with her family as child, her 4-year-old brother got sick and died before reaching the United States; their great-grandfather Stefani came as a young man.

Stella, whose grandparents were from Asiago, and Dar (Costa) Hawkins' grandparents also originated from there. Asiago at 3284-foot elevation is framed by Northern Italy’s picturesque limestone mountains.

“It looks just like a little Alpine village,” Iamon said.

The population today is about 6,500. There is a beautiful church in the heart of the village.

“It is such a quaint and welcoming little place,” said Dar Hawkins. The group stopped first at the piazza (village square), which is surrounded by many little restaurants and shops and town buildings that at the early hour were all closed.  In the piazza there was a stage with a colorful banner that seemed to welcome the group. The words on the upper left side of the banner, when translated to English, say: “Asiago a jewel in the midst of green.”

The group posed for photos that were taken by their driver, Allesandro, and a polite young man that was sitting on a bench there.

Cheese, green meadows, and graves

Asiago is famous for their soft cheese; as was evident by signage along the way and the cows grazing on the beautiful green meadows.

“It is the green mountain grasses the cows feed on that make the milk that make such delicious cheese!” Bob Stefani said.

The group headed into the countryside for a five-minute drive to the town’s beautifully kept country cemetery to look for their family names. At first it seemed like the gates of the cemetery were closed, however, there was an open door to the left of the gate that led to the main part of the cemetery.

The group spread out searching for graves with their surnames. It did not take long before they were able to find not only the graves of their families, but also other familiar Le Roy surnames such as Regoni, Bennetti and Forte.

No one in the group was certain what lured their ancestors from Asiago to the little town of Le Roy; however, rumors were that the stone crusher on Circular Hill Road sent for them to work at crushing and loading the limestone. Many in the group had ancestors; grandfathers, fathers, or cousins that worked at that facility, some retired from stone crushing at the plant.

“None of our family members ever returned to the village of Asiago or to Italy for that matter, which seems very sad," Iamon said. "I wore a locket containing my dad’s ashes that my son made for me. So, in a way I brought him with me. On our way back to Venice, we all felt quite nostalgic seeing and walking the same land that our ancestors spoke about and called home.

"We were all very happy that we had made the trip. Our ancestors must have really missed this beautiful scenery and rolling hills in this lovely town. I would certainly like to visit here again!”

September 20, 2018 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, notify.

Local government agencies are enjoying an additional $4.84 million in new revenue derived from projects approved for assistance from the Genesee County Economic Development Center since 2006, according to a report by CEO Steve Hyde to the County Legislature yesterday.

A key tax abatement awarded to qualifying projects is Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). While PILOTS afford companies some temporary tax relief on the increase in the assessed value of a property, the company is making PILOT payments and as the PILOT matures, new tax revenue is also generated.

Hyde said once all of the current PILOT projects on the books mature, additional tax revenue will surpass $7.5 million.

IN 2017, school districts in Genesee County received an additional $2.93 million in revenue from GCEDC projects, the county an additional $1.26 million, and local governments, $640,000.

"For every dollar, the county invests in economic development, we're seeing about $25 coming back in property taxes," Hyde said.

While GCEDC generates revenue for itself from fees charged to businesses that it assists, Hyde said it also relies on the financial support of the county, which has been reduced by 33 percent in recent years.

Meanwhile, GCEDC's workload has increased and the agency is actively marketing WNY STAMP in Alabama, which Hyde said continues to generate interest among site selectors, but for that $50 million project the IDA has only been able to budget $50,000 for marketing.

"That’s a bit of challenge right now but we work it and we’ll continue to work it," Hyde said.

GCEDC's support for business projects, Hyde said, have added 2.38 million square feet in new construction and another 1.28 million square feet in renovated space.

The number of PILOT projects in Genesee County in 2002 was 38. The peak was 2010 with 99. The number has fallen off steadily since then to 71 in 2017.

"Just because the number of our PILOTs are trailing off the past few years doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing," Hyde said. "It’s a good thing. It means we're graduating projects."

GCEDC is also working to help to finalize financing for the Ellicott Station project in Batavia. Hyde said it's the most complicated financing scheme he's worked on, and bringing state and federal requirements into line is a challenge. He's meeting today with the chief financial officer for Savarino Companies to work on some of those details. The IDA may need to adjust its initial PILOT plan for the project to help bring the pieces together.

The project has been delayed for months because of the difficulties faced by Savarino, the city and GCEDC in putting the financing package together.

September 20, 2018 - 1:02pm

Public Notice

Board of Fire Commissioners - East Pembroke Fire District: Resolution to Sell Equipment Subject to Permissive Referendum

Whereas, the Board of Fire Commissioners of the East Pembroke Fire District has determined that the 1991 Pierce Fire Truck is deemed surplus

Whereas, the vehicle is valued at $5,000; and

Now therefore be it resolved, the Board of Fire Commissioners has determined that the 1991 Pierce Fire Truck is deemed surplus and it shall be sold to the highest bidder.

This resolution is subject to permissive referendum of the qualified voters of the East Pembroke Fire District. The resolution shall take effect 30 days from the publication hereof unless a petition requiring a referendum is filed within said 30-day period, pursuant to section 6(g)(7) of the General Municipal Law.

 

William R. Joyce, Secretary

East Pembroke Fire District

September 20, 2018 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, patriot trip, news.

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley helps Bill Wakeman with his bag as he prepares to board the Trailways bus for Hawley's 11th Annual Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C.

The trip is a chance for veterans to visit war memorials in the nation's capitol. Each year, Hawley hosts two busloads of veterans on the trip.

In a statement issued after the departure, Hawley said: “Each of us owes our local veterans a tremendous debt of gratitude for their service and sacrifice to defend the values and freedoms we hold dear.

"I am so grateful to be able to share the unforgettable experience of visiting our nation’s capital with these brave men and women each year on our Patriot Trip, and look forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come.”

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September 20, 2018 - 9:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, sports, football, flag football.

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The players participating in the first season of youth flag football in Batavia got a special visit after their practice yesterday at Williams Park, Batavia, from Preston Teague, director of community relations for the Buffalo Bills.

Otis Thomas, one of the parents who organized the new league in Batavia, sponsored by the NFL, said Teague has been instrumental in promoting flag football youth leagues in Western New York, and has been helpful and supportive in getting the program in Batavia started. Teague said there are now 6,000 children participating in NFL-sponsored leagues in WNY.

Teague came with swag, handing out a few prizes to players who provided correct answers to trivia questions about the Bills, including a game football, an autographed hat, and an autographed cleat. All of the players also got other items including rubber footballs, yearbooks, towels, stickers and magnets.

Previously: Pair of football dads bring new NFL flag football league to Batavia

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Carson Caton, 10, from Le Roy, won the game football, from the first game of the season, for knowing that Josh Allen is the highest drafted QB in Bills history.

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