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December 8, 2021 - 9:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in H.E. Turner, Batavia First Presbyterian Church, batavia, news.


Dozens of area families who lost loved ones over the past year gathered at the First Presbyterian Church in Batavia this evening for a service of prayer and remembrance.

This is the 25th year that H.E. Turner & Co., Bohm-Calarco-Smith, and Burdett & Sanford Funeral Homes brought the service to the community.

Those who suffered the loss of a loved one were able to light a candle and have it on display during the service.

The ecumenical service combined music, prayer, Scripture reading, reading of the names of loved ones and the tolling of the bell in remembrance, and a message of hope by Reverend Dr. Roula Alkhouri.








December 8, 2021 - 7:38pm

News that Monroe County has purchased 750,000 at-home rapid COVID-19 testing kits has triggered an expected response from leaders of Genesee and other rural counties in the Finger Lakes Region: Where are our test kits?

“We going to continue to beat the drum” for financial support from New York State to have access to as many test kits as needed, Genesee County Manager Matt Landers said during this afternoon’s County Legislature meeting at the Old County Courthouse.

Landers said members of the Finger Lakes Region group of administrators, public health officials and legislators are advocating for “a similar allotment” – enough test kits for distribution among their residents.

“Erie and Monroe counties got additional CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act money,” Landers said. “We have emailed the state and the response we got is that they (too) are having a hard time procuring them.”

On Tuesday, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced that 250,000 rapid test kits will be used for school-aged children and the other 500,000 will be given to towns, villages and the City of Rochester.

Landers said he believes that more in-home testing is “one way to lessen the spread,” adding that he is confident that residents possess the knowledge to administer the tests and the willingness to take appropriate action in the case of a positive COVID test.

On another front, Landers said that Jan. 5, 2022 is the target date for the processing of the bond resolution that will fund the new county jail on West Main Street Road. He said the county expects to issue construction bids at the end of January, award the bids in March and break ground in April.

The legislature approved the following appointments:

  • Gary Graber, Darien, Parks, Recreation & Forest Advisory Committee, 12/9/21-3/31/24.
  • Lynn VanDerBeck,. Byron, Office for the Aging Advisory Council, 1/1/22-12/31/24.
  • Dr. Javeed Mir, Batavia, 1/1/22-8/14/22; Wendy Haywood, Bergen, 1/1/22-12/31/22; Kathleen Antonelli, Batavia, 12/8/21-12/31/25; Vernon Saile, Byron, 12/8/21-12/31/25, Mental Health Community Services Board.
December 8, 2021 - 5:44pm
posted by Olivia Bailey in faith, news.

Join Ascension Parish for an evening of prayer in honor of the consecration of the altar. The night of prayer, taking place at Slomba Hall this Friday, is open to everyone and starts at 7 o'clock.

Public prayer is a common act for Christian churches whenever a church has been built, renovated or restored. This is due to the tradition of incorporating holy relics into the church or altar. Christian churches contain objects or bones of a holy person, including saints or important Christian figure.

Ascension Parish asks the public to gather and “pray with the Saints to ask for their intercession and for their blessing,” according to a press release from the parish.

Some of the saints that have been enshrined in the reliquary, or container for holy relics, include the bones of St. Stanislaus Kostka, S.J., St. Maximillian Kolbe and Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska, and more.

The following day, the relics will be moved to the altar.


December 8, 2021 - 1:25pm


The Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday is expected to review a revised site plan submitted by smartDESIGN Architecture for exterior changes at 99 Main St., Batavia -- the future site of the Buffalo Implants and Periodontics office.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at County Building 2 on West Main Street Road.

According to documents submitted by project manager Todd Audsley, further changes in the façade design and elevation are necessary due to problems with product and subcontractor availability.

Specifically, the new plan calls for construction of “a site-built wood-framed storefront wrapped in exterior break metal, with a metal standing seam skirting at the second floor line, which forms a small hood over the recessed entry.”

The original concept was an aluminum storefront with a fabric awning over the recessed doorway.

County planning staff is recommending approval of the revision since it still conforms with the City of Batavia’s Design Guidelines in the Central Commercial (C-3) District.

The $1.1 million renovation and restoration of the historic, three-floor, 7,500-square-foot building is part of the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The dental practice is on the first floor while the second floor is being developed for commercial office space and the third floor will include two two-bedroom market rate apartments.

Another referral of note on Thursday’s agenda is a site plan review and request for a special use permit for an Amherst company to erect two wind turbines at 2311 Bennett Road in the Town of Darien.

Whitecap Electric, LLC, is looking to install a pair of wind turbines of up to 2.5 megawatts each with a total height of approximately 450 feet. The bottom of the blade would be more than 30 feet above any obstruction within a 250-foot radius.

The $6 million project is earmarked to comply with the 5-megawatt cap for net metering in New York and will be connected to the grid under the Community Distributed Generation compensation scheme.

County planning staff is recommending approval with modifications focusing on a proper decommissioning plan, visual impact study and bird analysis, stormwater pollution prevention plan and application for a 9-1-1 Address Verification with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

Photo: Revised design of the facade at 99 Main St., Batavia. Courtesy of Genesee County Planning Department.

December 8, 2021 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Liberty Street, news.


Three-year-old Alana Marie is missing her stuffed giraffe, which has been her constant companion since she was born.

"It means the world to her and she has been so upset since losing it," said her mother Cortney Edwards.

Edwards said it was lost on Liberty Street in Batavia sometime between 2:45 and 3:15 p.m. yesterday.

If found, call (585) 356-5818.


December 7, 2021 - 4:39pm
posted by Press Release in Main St. 56 Theater, batavia, news, downtown, Christmas.

Press release:

We're busy gearing up for our 2nd weekend of Our Hometown Christmas at Main St. 56 Theater in Batavia City Centre both Friday, December 10 from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, December 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.! We'll have even MORE great crafters and vendors for your last-minute Christmas shopping: Crafts by Kellie, Tastefully Simple by Rebecca, Whimsy Christine Marie, Crazy Quilts, Chantel's Fun, and Fashionable $5 Jewelry, Build A Buddy, Wells Creations, EverPresent Church Raffle, Autumn's Dream, Cindy's Treasures, Carol's Custom Wreaths, Morning Mist Farms, Color Street by Sarah Wessel, Past, Present & Future Treasures, Laurie Chamberlain, Marlana's Chunky Corner, Serena's Crafts and From the Heart Crafts and Gift Shop, just to name a few!!! Santa will be here for more visits and photos from 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec 10, and Mrs. Claus will visit with us Saturday morning for Storytime from 10 a.m. to12:30 p.m.! Lots of great local entertainment both days as well. See you there!

December 7, 2021 - 4:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC, Rochester Regional Health, news.

Press release:

Rochester Regional Health will postpone all non-essential elective inpatient, 23 hour and same-day elective hospital surgeries and procedures for at least two weeks at Rochester General Hospital and Unity Hospital, effective Thursday, December 9. This non-essential inpatient elective surgery postponement at Rochester General and Unity is in compliance with newly released guidance from the NYS DOH. Newark-Wayne Community Hospital is not on the NYS DOH “impacted facility” list; however, Rochester Regional has proactively decided to suspend inpatient elective surgeries there this week. At this time, Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic, United Memorial Medical Center, office-based procedures, and ambulatory surgery centers are not impacted. We are actively communicating with impacted patients and hope to resume inpatient surgeries at Rochester General and Unity as soon as it’s possible. As the area enters the third wave of this pandemic, Rochester Regional remains deeply committed to caring for the community. Patients should not delay necessary care at this time.

December 7, 2021 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

There were 236 new positive tests for COVID-19 among Genesee County residents over the past week, along with 250 people who had been positive but have been released from mandatory isolation.

The total active positive cases among local residents is 226 as of Monday.

Of those, 35 local residents are hospitalized.

Two more people, including one under age 65, have died as a result of contracting COVID-19, bringing the death total in Genesee County to 302 since the start of the pandemic.

As for vaccination, 30,551 Genesee County residents are fully vaccinated, or just shy of 56 percent of the population.

December 7, 2021 - 2:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michael Tomaszewski, crime, batavia, news, notify.
Michael Tomaszewski

The sentencing of former funeral home director Michael Tomaszewski on fraud charges has been delayed again because he's tested positive for COVID-19.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said Tomaszewski's attorney produced a document showing his client had tested positive.

County Court Judge Charles Zambito ordered Tomaszewski to the Genesee County Jail where he was tested again.  That test, according to Friedman, was also positive.

Tomaszewski's court appearance has been delayed until an as yet undetermined date.

The former funeral director entered a guilty plea in April to counts of grand larceny, scheme to defraud, offering a false instrument for filing, and untimely burial.

Jail Superintendent William Zipfel said he can't discuss the health status of an inmate at the jail but said since the start of the pandemic, per the protocol of the state's Commission of Corrections, all new inmates are quarantined for their first 14 days in jail.

His sentencing on the conviction has been delayed multiple times for various reasons.

Story updated at 4:11 p.m.

December 7, 2021 - 11:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Emory Upton, Upton Monument, batavia, news.

Emory Upton's Colt Single Action Army Revolver recently sold at auction for $345,000.

Don Burkel said the results of the auction show that the Batavia-native is an important historical figure.

"He really was a very important person in American military history and apparently is still highly regarded," Burkel said.

Of course, the Holland Land Office Museum would have loved to have acquired Upton's revolver but the price was out of the museum's range, Burkel said.

The video above indicates the revolver is the same one Upton used to take his own life on March 14, 1881, at the Presidio in San Francisco after suffering for months with debilitating headaches.


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December 7, 2021 - 10:48am
posted by Press Release in yard waste station, batavia, news.

Press release:

Leaf collection has ended for the year.   Any resident that has leaves or other yard waste may utilize the Yard Waste Station (M-Sat 11 AM – 5 PM) through this week.   The Yard Waste Station will CLOSE for the season on Saturday, December 11, 2021.

The following items cannot be accepted at the station:

  • Tree stumps, building materials, rock, fill (soil and stone) other debris.  Yard waste shall be free of trash (paper, plastic, bottles, cans…etc.), as this material cannot be processed.

Use Law Street entrance to enter and exit the City Yard Waste Station only.

December 6, 2021 - 6:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news.

The Village of Le Roy Board of Trustees meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight has been rescheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 15, at the Village Hall.

December 6, 2021 - 4:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

A power outage affecting more than 2,100 National Grid customers is reported on the east side of Batavia.

The outage includes all of Stafford, parts of East Bethany, Byron, and Batavia, including, it appears, Genesee Community College.

Town of Batavia Fire received a report of a wire down in the area of 5167 Sunset Terrace.

A smaller power outage is reported along Road Road, Town of Batavia, affecting 54 customers.  The ETA for power restoration is 5:45 p.m.

On the larger outage, crews expect to restore power by 6:15 p.m.

There is also a tree down blocking State Street Road near the Thruway.

December 6, 2021 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Kimberly Blue, 33, of Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal contempt 2nd. Blue allegedly left several children under age 10 unsupervised for several hours on Nov. 20.  None of the children were harmed and they were turned over to relatives. The investigation is ongoing and Child Protective Services has been contacted. Blue was issued an appearance ticket.

Dean C. Siminski, 32, of Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, endangering the welfare of a child, and harassment 2nd.  Siminski is accused of engaging in a physical altercation with a child on Nov. 29 at 6:45 a.m.  He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on $2,500 bail, $5,00 bond, or $15,000 partially secured bond.

Crystal A. Mounts, 44, of Batavia, is charged with two counts of petit larceny. Mounts is accused of stealing a package from a porch on North Street, Batavia, at 7:30 a.m., Nov. 23.  She is also accused of stealing a package from a residence on Summit Street. Mounts was issued an appearance ticket.

Christopher C. Taylor, 21, of Conesus, is charged with burglary 2nd and criminal contempt 2nd. Batavia police officers allegedly observed Taylor inside a specific residence in Batavia in violation of an order of protection. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on $5,000 bail, $10,000 bond, or $20,000 partially secured bond.

John Hobbs, 34, of Batavia, is charged with theft of services and criminal contempt 2nd. Hobbs is accused of leaving a local restaurant on Nov. 4 without paying for his meal. He was allegedly at the restaurant in the company of a person he is not allowed to contact by court order. He was arrested at the Genesee County Jail on Nov. 24 and issued an appearance ticket.

Jessica Holtz, 38, is charged with petit larceny. Holtz is accused of shoplifting from a location on Jackson Street, Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Miya R. Houseman, 21, of Medina, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Houseman was stopped at 2:13 a.m., Nov. 27, on Oak Street, by a Batavia PD patrol. Houseman was issued an appearance ticket.

Kara Brooke Sass, 27, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd (intent to sell), criminal possession of a controlled substance 4th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia. Sass was allegedly found in possession of cocaine and narcotics paraphernalia during a probation check of her residence at a mobile home park at 7:39 p.m., Dec. 3. Sheriff's deputies assisted probation officers at the scene. Sass was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Justin T. Calmes, 43, of Watson Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd.  Calmes is accused of violating an order of protection by following, approaching, and interacting with a person who is the subject of the court order at 2 p.m., Nov. 27, at a location on Pratt Road, Batavia. Calmes was arraigned and released.

December 6, 2021 - 12:29pm
posted by Press Release in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA: 

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.36, down three cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.16. The New York State average is $3.54 – down two cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.25. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia - $3.46 (up one cent from last week)
  • Buffalo - $3.46 (down one cent from last week)
  • Ithaca - $3.51 (down one cent from last week)
  • Rochester - $3.52 (down one cent from last week)
  • Rome - $3.56 (down two cents from last week)
  • Syracuse - $3.49 (down one cent from last week)
  • Watertown - $3.58 (down two cents from last week)

Crude oil prices tumbled amid news of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, and national pump prices quickly followed dropping three cents over the past week. It’s too soon to tell if fears of a global economic slowdown caused by the Omicron variant will push oil prices lower for the long term. But for now, the upward pricing pressure due to tightened supply and high demand seems to have abated as pump prices appear to be stabilizing. If oil prices remain lowered, local pump prices should follow.

From Gas Buddy:

"The downturn in average gas prices continued to gain momentum last week as oil prices remained at a hefty discount. This is largely due to continued anxiety over the omicron variant and because some countries have begun issuing lockdowns, keeping motorists in some countries from consuming as much fuel," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "While the Great Lakes region, the fastest to see prices respond to market fluctuations, is seeing hefty monthly declines approaching 30 cents per gallon, much of the rest of the country is lagging behind. But, we will see precipitous declines in the next week or two as stations continue to sell through higher priced inventory before slowly lowering their prices. It's not impossible given the conditions that price wars, where stations lower their price significantly, could emerge as stations now have considerable room to lower prices."


December 5, 2021 - 2:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Christmas in the City, batavia, news, downtown.

















December 5, 2021 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

Statement from National Grid:

National Grid is increasing staffing, extending evening and overnight work shifts and closely monitoring an upstate New York weather forecast that calls for high winds, with gusts up to 60 mph, and a wintry mix of precipitation across portions of the region tonight through Monday evening.

December 5, 2021 - 1:47pm
posted by Press Release in coronavirus, covid-19, news, Charles Schumer.

Press release:

With COVID’s Omicron variant spreading, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said the key to controlling it centers around the at-home tests now for sale across the country. Schumer praised President Biden for prepping a plan to be released on January 15th that will have insurance companies reimburse for the cost of an at-home test—but, he said, while we wait, he wants a surge of rapid at-home tests sent to New York community health centers and their mobile sites, across the state.  

“While many portions of the country are waiting for the omicron variant to arrive, New York already has cases—but this doesn’t mean we should panic. It means we should be planning,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. 

“You see, a key to controlling Omicron is the at-home test, where you can swab your own nose, follow simple steps, determine if you have COVID, and take the right steps thereafter. Right now, these at-home tests are pretty affordable across the country, but they’re not free, but they should be. So, I am asking for the feds to send a surge of these to New York CHCs and their mobile sites where they should come at no cost. We should be arming the public with at-home tests to stay ahead of this variant into the winter,” Schumer added.   

Schumer urged for these at-home tests to be totally free, as in no fine print. He said people should be able to walk into a CHC or visit one of their mobile sites and pick up an at-home test free of charge. Schumer urged a surge of the at-home tests to New York, especially, saying that omicron is already here and that we must work now to contain its spread. Schumer said the funds to pay for these free tests have already been appropriated to HHS via the American Rescue Plan (ARP) he helped pass through Congress and the president signed into law.

Last week, the Biden administration announced its winter plan to beat back COVID. The administration will soon mandate insurers reimburse Americans for purchasing at-home tests. Three federal departments will issue the guidance for this action on Jan. 15. The guidance will stipulate that people who buy the tests will be able to seek reimbursement from their group health plan or health insurer and have it covered during the public-health emergency, according to the Wall Street Journal. The administration has authority to do this under legislation that Congress passed in March that required group health plans and issuers to cover diagnostic Covid-19 testing, the Journal reported. 

In the meantime, Schumer, today, is saying that sending a surge of these at-home tests to New York can once again utilize the CHC infrastructure that made getting shots in arms successful during the earliest days of vaccine availability. 

The Omicron variant has been detected in 11 states so far, and about 40 countries. Scientists are also still investigating the impact of the Omicron variant, how contagious it is, how easily it might spread, and more. Schumer, today, said this is exactly why a surge of at-home tests and a campaign to have people use them could make all the difference.

“We have this tool we didn’t have early on—an at-home test,” said Schumer. “It’s one of the keys to keeping this recovery going, and we ought to use them.”

According to the WHO, the most effective steps individuals can take to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus is to keep a physical distance of at least 6-feet; wear a well-fitting mask; open windows to improve ventilation; avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces; keep hands clean; cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, and get vaccinated. 

There are more than 70 federal community health centers (CHC) with 800 sites throughout New York, according to the Community Health Care Association of NY.

December 4, 2021 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in High Voltage Tattoo & Piercing, batavia, news.


Press release:

This year we will be splitting funds raised between Make-A-Wish of WNY and Meals on Wheels through the Genesee County Office for the Aging. Every dollar you spend on a gift certificate between now and Dec 23rd will be donated in its entirety.

  • Spend $20, get a $25 gift certificate
  • Spend $50, get a $60 gift certificate
  • Spend $100, get a $125 gift cert.
  • Spend $200, get a $260 gift cert.
  • Spend $300, get a $380 gift cert.

It’s a win-win. Get more for your money and help those who really need your help.



Photo by Howard Owens: Front left, Carter Spencer, Brand Vogt. Back left, Mark Fanara, Kate Piasecki

December 3, 2021 - 11:09pm
Video Sponsor

The 36th Health and Humanitarian Award of Genesee County was presented today to Bill Hayes, owner of Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning in Batavia. 

The award presented by The Jerome Foundation recognizes volunteer men and women of Genesee County who have helped promote the emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of the area’s residents.  

In naming Bill Hayes for this year’s award, The Jerome Foundation recognized more than 30 years of volunteer service and community involvement by Hayes. He has been a supporter of multiple charitable causes in our community including Habitat for Humanity, BEA, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Notre Dame High School, St. Joseph School, YMCA, YWCA, All Babies Cherished, Batavia Lions Club, Northgate Free Methodist Church, among others.   

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