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August 18, 2019 - 1:09pm

From Senator Charles Schumer:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced Saturday that the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has awarded a $23,337,281 contract to a company in Victor to begin construction on Phase 1A of the Western New York National Veterans Cemetery in Pembroke.

The nation's newest veterans cemetery will be located at 1232 Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke. The cemetery site was originally 132 acres, then they purchased adjoining 60-acre and 77-acre parcels, closing on those early last year. Phase 1A construction encompasses 65 acres of the cemetery's total 269 acres.

“The awarding of this $23 million contract to Ontario County-based Global Urban Enterprise clears the way for the construction of the long-sought and sorely needed Western New York National Veterans Cemetery to, at long last, get underway," Senator Schumer said.

"Making this cemetery come to reality has been and remains one of my top priorities, and I won’t stop fighting until it comes to fruition."

Phase 1A of construction will create 4,000 gravesites, including roughly 2,500 gravesites for casket interments, and 1,500 in-ground sites for cremated remains.

When it is time to complete the project, Global Urban Enterprise in Victor will partner with Syracuse-based Hueber-Breuer Construction, along with other subcontractors to do the work.

Schumer said the establishment of the Genesee County cemetery is a well-deserved opportunity to honor the more than 96,000 veterans and family members in this region who will have a proper military burial at a site close to their homes, families, and communities they served and defended.

It will be the first and only of its kind in the Buffalo-Rochester area and will save thousands of military families from having to travel more than 100 miles in some cases to visit their loved ones at what is now the closest veterans' cemetery in Bath.

“This contract and the cemetery’s construction soon getting underway helps guarantee Western New York’s military veterans will have a proper burial, at a site close to the homes, families, and the very communities they dedicated their lives to defend and serve,” Schumer said.

According to guidance provided by the VA, the first burials are expected to occur at the cemetery by November/December 2020.

Veterans with a qualifying discharge, their spouses, and eligible dependent children may be buried in a VA national cemetery. Also eligible are military personnel who die on active duty, their spouses and eligible dependents.

Burial benefits available for all eligible veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and a government headstone or marker.

August 18, 2019 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rob Ortt, NY-27, news, batavia, notify.
Video Sponsor

Sen. Rob Ortt on Saturday, in announcing his run for the NY-27 congressional district, hung his star -- his Bronze Star -- on his military service and what he said are his conservative credentials as a "battle-tested warrior."

It's a phrase he is using on his campaign signs, he used in his speech and in his remarks to the media after his announcement.

Ortt came to Batavia, which he said is the heart of the district, and made his announcement in front of City Hall, where just a month ago, Medal of Honor winner David Bellavia received the Key to the City.

"This really is the heart of the district," Ortt said. "We wanted to make a point, we wanted to be here in Genesee County, in Batavia, because if you think about Genesee County, Orleans County, Livingston, Wyoming even parts of Ontario, it's rural New York. It's rural America.

"Those are the values that we talk about all the time that we're losing in places like Albany and Washington, D.C. These are values that our party talks about defending all the time. And I think it's important that you are actually where those folks live. This is the heart of the district in my opinion."

Ortt talked at length about his decision to serve in the military after 9-1-1 and take part in the War on Terror and what his service meant to him.

"I was lucky to return home to Meghan and my family but I wear a constant reminder on my wrist of four of my brothers in arms who were not so lucky," Ortt said. "That is what motivates me and inspires me to this day. These men and countless others died for an idea that we refer to as America. My commitment to that idea did not end when I took off my uniform."

Ortt said he is fully committed to defending President Donald Trump, that he wants to go to Washington to support the president's agenda. He said he supports tighter border security, accused Democrats of being for "open borders," and said he wants to build a wall along the Southern border.

"I deployed to the Southern border as part of Operation Jumpstart," Ortt said. "I know what our Border Patrol is up against. We need to build the wall. We need to increase funding for border security of all kinds. And we need to close the loopholes that are allowing people to cut the line and waltz in here consequence-free."

Ortt said Democrats in Washington are pushing a radical agenda and he wants to go there and fight it.

"Albany, and by extension New York State, is a stark warning to the rest of the country," Ortt said. "We already know here what the Democratic Socialist agenda is: Higher taxes. Open borders. Driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. Unionization of our farms. Abortion on demand, more rights for criminals, and more gun control for our law-abiding gun owners."

Ortt said he has been named through multiple years the most conservative member of the Senate and that he is experienced in standing up to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"I will do the same to the extreme radical Speaker of the House," Ortt said. "You all know who I'm talking about. She runs the Democratic policy agenda and she has never seen a camera she doesn't like. And she's a New Yorker.

"Her name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She has a couple of deputies, too: Nancy Pelosi and her America-hating squad members Ilhan Omar and  Rashida Tlaib. I look forward to meeting all of them."

Earlier in his speech, Ortt accused some Democrats of hating America and said, "If you don't love this country, you're free to leave. Our borders work both ways."

After these statements and statements about how well he believes the country is doing under Trump, Ortt said, "So if you hadn't guessed it, I support President Trump. And I'm not afraid to talk about his agenda and all the good that I believe he's doing for this country."

He concluded his speech with, "I am Robert Ortt. I'm a conservative warrior. I'm a battle-tested patriot and I will never back down from the fight. I'm not running for Congress to have a seat at the table. I'm running for Congress to flip the table over."

At no time during his speech did he mention the incumbent congressman, Chris Collins, who is facing a House ethics investigation and a federal trial on insider trading charges and has yet to announce whether he will seek reelection. Asked about Collins after his speech, Ortt said he is committed to the race and will run in a primary against Collins should Collins decide to try and retain his seat.

"This race is wide open and I think it's so important that we have a strong conservative veteran voice, a battle-tested leader, in this race," Ortt said. "I think it's important for the people of this district and I think it's important for our country for our president."

Also left out of Ortt's comments were the names Chris Jacobs, Beth Parlato, and David Bellavia. Neither Jacobs nor Parlato have yet to make a public appearance in Batavia, but both are running in the primary election on June 2020. And while there is a "Draft David Bellavia" movement among a group of Republicans in the district, Bellavia has remained neutral on political questions since receiving the Medal of Honor.  He is currently serving the Army in publicity and recruiting capacity and is prohibited from making statements about his political plans. It's unclear when his status will change and what his intentions might be toward the seat.

The video contains Ortt's full remarks, including the discussion with reporters after the event.

After Ortt's announcement, Jacobs released the following statement:

“I want to welcome my friend Rob Ortt to the campaign for New York’s 27th district. As a conservative who has created jobs, I’m running for Congress because our community needs a fighter for small businesses who can help President Trump enact better trade deals and stop the illegal immigration crisis. I intend to run an issues-based campaign focused on my record protecting taxpayers, cutting fees and defending the 2nd amendment and I welcome Rob to that conversation.”

August 18, 2019 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Pavilion.

A one-vehicle rollover accident, with minor injuries, is reported on Ellicott Street Road at Roanoke Road, Pavilion.

The driver is out of the vehicle and walking around.

Pavilion units can respond non-emergency.

Pavilion fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

August 17, 2019 - 7:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, accident, news.

An ATV accident is reported at 6880 Albion Road, the location of Lamb Farms, in Oakfield.

One patient, reportedly conscious. 

Oakfield fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

August 17, 2019 - 6:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, indian falls, news, pembroke, corfu.

A person has reportedly fallen from Indian Falls off of Gilmore Road, Indian Falls.

The victim may have suffered a head injury.

Pembroke Fire, Indian Falls Fire, Emergency Management Services, and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 6:29 p.m.: East Pembroke is on standby. It sounds like first responders will try to bring the female patient up along a trail. 

UPDATE 6:31 p.m.: The patient is "top side" and East Pembroke and Emergency Management have been put back in service. The injuries do not appear to be serious.

August 17, 2019 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, accident, news.

A car has reportedly hit a tree in the area of 8214 Vallance Road, Le Roy.

A subject reportedly has a head injury.

Le Roy Fire dispatched along with an ambulance from South Byron.

An ambulance from Monroe County is also being dispatched.

August 17, 2019 - 1:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, Le Roy.

A tractor-trailer traveling on North Road in Le Roy struck a tree branch, which broke off and crashed into the windshield of the vehicle behind it. There are children in the vehicle. The address is 8549 North Road.

Le Roy fire and ambulance are called to respond.

UPDATE 1:03 p.m.: Caledonia's ambulance is responding in lieu of Le Roy's. Traffic control is needed at the top of the hill.

August 17, 2019 - 12:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, news, accidents.

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported on the eastbound Thruway at mile marker 384.8. Le Roy fire and ambulance are responding.

UPDATE 12:05 p.m.: Bergen's ambulance is responding instead, as mutual aid for Le Roy's call.

UPDATE 12:19 p.m.: A second ambulance was also en route to the accident, but command just cancelled both. No injuries reported; no transport required.

UPDATE 12:27 p.m.: The Le Roy assignment is back in service.

August 17, 2019 - 12:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in Monarch butterflies, conservation, news, GC Park & Forest.

Press release:

East Bethany – Capture the last few days of summer with a visit to the butterfly meadow and a journey into their world with the "Watching Monarchs" program at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center.

It will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7th.

See how butterflies are tagged and released as part of a nationwide Monarch Butterfly Conservation Project.

This program is recommended for ages 4 and up. Kids explore the meadow with nets and bug catchers!

Cost is $5/person, $10/family. Preregistration is required, call 585-344-1122 to reserve your spot.

For more information visit our website at http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/parks/, or contact Kayla Edmunds at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

August 17, 2019 - 11:14am
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, genesee county.

A hazardous weather outlook for Genesee County and portions of Western New York was issued this morning.

Thunderstorms are likely today. The storms could become quite strong during the midday and early afternoon with the greatest threat from the storms being localized damaging winds and hail.

Strong to severe thunderstorms will again be possible on Sunday with the risk for another round of localized damaging winds and hail.

Afternoon apparent temperatures Sunday through Tuesday may reach the lower 90s or higher. Keep in mind that heat advisories are issued when apparent temperatures reach at least 95 for two consecutive hours.

August 17, 2019 - 9:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A car has reportedly hit a pole in the parking lot of Valu Center, behind McDonald's, in the City of Batavia.

Injuries are reported.

City fire dispatched.

August 17, 2019 - 8:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Walnut Street, infrastructure, news.

Press release:

Effective immediately the is a water shut down on Walnut Street from the city line to Law Street for a repair to a broken water main.

Service will be restored as soon as possible. Once service is restored, you may notice some discoloration. Please delay doing laundry until the water clears up.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your cooperation.

UPDATE 2:52 p.m.: Water service has been restored and the roadway is open.

August 16, 2019 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, notify.

At 4:41 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement for Southwestern Genesee County and other portions of Western New York.

A strong thunderstorm was located a short time ago over Darien Lakes State Park, moving northeast at 25 mph. Winds in excess of 40 mph are possible with this storm.

Locations impacted include: Batavia, Darien Lakes State Park, Le Roy, Pembroke, Pavilion, Byron and Oakfield.

This includes the following highways: Interstate 390 near exit 10; Interstate 90 between exits 48A and 47.

If outdoors, consider seeking shelter inside a building. Torrential rainfall is also occurring with this storm, and may cause localized flooding. Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.

Frequent cloud-to-ground lightning is occurring with this storm. Lightning can strike 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. Seek a safe shelter inside a building or vehicle.

This storm may intensify, so be certain to monitor local radio stations and available television stations for additional information and possible warnings from the National Weather Service.

August 16, 2019 - 4:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, batavia, Ghost Walk, news.

Press release:

Back and expanded by popular demand, please join the Holland Land Office Museum for a Westside Ghost Walk on three Fridays in October.

The walks led by Connie Boyd will take place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 11th, 18th, and 25th.

Take a walk on the Westside and hear tales of murders, hangings, grave robbing, ghosts and other eerie happenings from Batavia's past. Hear stories of Joseph Ellicott, E. N. Rowell and other famous and infamous Batavians.

Admission is $10 and reservations are required with purchase.

Tours are limited to 25 people each.

The tour begins and ends at the museum and will last approximately one-and-a-half to two hours in length.

For more spooky fun from Batavia’s past, please visit the Batavia Cemetery’s Ghost Walk on Saturday, Oct. 26th.

For tickets or more information, please call (585) 343-4727, email at [email protected], or stop by at 131 W. Main St. Batavia.

August 16, 2019 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, news, notify, corfu.

Robert James Barnes, 29, of West Main Street, Corfu, is due in Corfu Village Court at 1 p.m. on Sept. 10 on charges of: falsifying business records in the first degree, a Class E felony; and attempted criminal contempt in the second degree, a Class B misdemeanor. On Aug. 6, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office was notified by the FBI that the defendant allegedly tried to purchase a firearm on West Main Street in the Village of Corfu at 4:47 p.m. on Aug. 2 while there was an active order of protection against him. Further investigation revealed that the defendant allegedly put false information on the background form that was submitted to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Alan R. Price, 24, of Chili Avenue, Chili, is charged with: second-degree strangulation; first-degree criminal contempt; and endangering the welfare of a child. Price was arrested on the felony and misdemeanor charges and arraigned in Bergen Town Court on Aug. 14. The charges stem from a domestic dispute that occurred at 8 a.m. on April 11 on the eastbound Route 490 at mile marker 3.3 in Bergen. Price is accused of strangling the driver of the vehicle while it was being driven on Route 490. There was a 1-year-old in the back seat and the time and an active order of protection in place. Following arraignment, he was released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Office Investigator Howard Carlson, assisted by Batavia Police Detective Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Wesley Thigpen, 38, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested after a domestic incident at 7:18 p.m. Aug. 13 on Hall Street in Batavia when there was an order of protection against him. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in Genesee County Jail; bail status not provided. He is due back in city court on Aug. 22. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

August 16, 2019 - 1:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rob Ortt, NY-27, news, notify.

Sen. Rob Ortt, who represents Tonawanda and surrounding areas in Albany, has scheduled a press conference tomorrow to discuss the NY-27 congressional race.

The media advisory does not explicitly say he is planning to announce a primary challenge to Rep. Chris Collins.

Collins, facing a federal indictment on insider trading charges and a House ethics investigation, while maintaining his innocence, has been noncommittal about whether he will seek reelection.

That has kept many potential challenges, including Assemblyman Steve Hawley, on the sidelines.

Hawley reiterated today, "As I have always maintained, we have an incumbent congressman. I will make a decision once his status is known."

Assuming Ortt, a NY Army National Guard veteran who served in Afghanistan and earned a bronze star in combat, enters the race, he will join two other candidates in the primary field against Collins. The other candidates, who have yet to make a publicly announced visit to Batavia, are Chris Jacobs and Beth Parlato.

In the past few months, Ortt has paid a bit of attention to Genesee County, hosting a public forum in Batavia on the farm labor bill and visiting a farm in Corfu, where he first shared a possible interest in running for this congressional seat.

While there is an effort to convince Medal of Honor recipient and Batavia resident David Bellavia to enter the race, Bellavia has taken no public position on the race and is maintaining a busy schedule with the Army to promote service to community and country.

August 16, 2019 - 1:03pm

From the Genesee County Health Department:

August is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month. Today’s vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox.

Because of advances in medical science, your children and family can be protected against more diseases than ever before.

Paul Pettit, Public Health director of Genesee and Orleans counties, has continually supported vaccination and vaccine education in our communities and believes vaccines are the best defense against preventable diseases.

“Vaccination is safe and effective," Pettit said. "All vaccines undergo long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and the federal government to make sure they are safe."

Immunizations are important for a variety of reasons. When you get vaccinated, you not only protect yourself but you also help protect the people around you who might be too young or too sick to get vaccinated themselves. This is called “community immunity” or “herd immunity.”

If enough people stop getting vaccinated, more outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, will occur.

On June 13, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation removing nonmedical exemptions from school vaccination requirements for children.

Public Health Law §2164(1)(a) defines “school” to include any public, private or parochial child caring center, day nursery, day care agency, nursery school, kindergarten, elementary, intermediate or secondary school.

This means that if your child does not have a medical exemption, your child must receive vaccines in order to attend school. This new law will help protect against vaccine-preventable diseases within our communities.

For more information on the law, please click here.

From infants to senior citizens, getting vaccines on time is one of the most important way to protect yourself and your family from serious diseases and infections.

During NIAM, the Genesee and Orleans County health departments encourage you to talk to your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to ensure that you and your family are up to date on recommended vaccines.

We also encourage you to visit CDC’s Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughoutyour child’s life. Adults can use the CDC’s adult vaccine assessment tool to see which vaccines might be right for you.

For information about this article or health department services contact the Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website here.

August 16, 2019 - 12:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, christianity, news, author, devotional.

Submitted image and press release:

The hectic and chaotic business of everyday life can distract us all from what is really important. But what if you could sit down at the beginning of every day and think about what really matters, to take a few minutes, commune with God, and think about His teachings?

Batavia resident Marlene Burling, in her 365-days devotional book, “A Daily Walk with God,” offers her readers this exact opportunity.

She offers musings on the scriptures and God’s teachings, encapsulated in daily messages, one for each day of the year.

Many of them were written in the aftermath of her husband’s death as part of the grieving process, and finding renewed meaning in her life. Marlene’s husband, Autry, was a preacher, and they worked together for many years before his passing.

This is Marlene’s second spiritual book; her first book,“Morning Walks with God,”was received gratefully by many seeking to be closer to God. This book is perfect for those seeking meaning in a life often filled with superficialities and materialism. It offers readers a chance to take a moment every day and think about God’s purpose for their life, and presents them with opportunities to take steps to bring them closer to God.

“A Daily Walk with God” is thoughtful, insightful and beautifully written.

“A Daily Walk with God” is available at Amazon and your favorite online book retailers. You can check out more about her books from his website at https://marleneburling.com/

About the Author 

Marlene Burling, a resident in Batavia, is a widow. She was a pastor’s wife. She has three married children, 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She and her husband began their ministry as home missionaries and later served in regular pastorates.

She has been a teacher of children, youth and ladies, and has been a speaker at ladies’ banquets and workshops. She has written articles for newsletters, a children’s book titled “Grandma, Tell Me the Easter Story,” and has compiled a workshop titled, “There’s Life After Death—(Living in Widowhood),”  which she is able to present to churches, ladies’ groups, or other groups.

She started a widow’s ministry in her church for widows and singles. The group is called The King’s Daughters. She lived with her in-laws as their caregiver until their deaths. She was a graduate of Elba Central School in 1962. She and her husband graduated from Elohim Bible Institute in Castile in 1979. 

August 15, 2019 - 10:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Stafford, notify.

route33staffaccaug2019-7.jpg

A driver told investigators that he was singing to his 18-month-old daughter, and briefly looked at her at the back seat before his 2002 Acura sedan crossed the center line on Route 33 in Stafford at 9:23 a.m., last Friday, and struck an oncoming truck that was hauling garbage.

Alexander P. Ortiz, 22, of Canary Street, Rochester, was cited for driving without insurance, driving with an expired inspection, driving left of pavement markers, unlicensed operation, and driving on a suspended registration.

His baby daughter, Elle A. Ortiz, who was placed properly in a child safety seat in the backseat of the car, was uninjured but was transported to UMMC for evaluation.

The Acura clipped at 2019 Mack truck driving by R.W. Kellen II, 40, of North Road, Scottsville. The impact caused the driver-side front tire to be torn from the vehicle and Kellen lost control of the truck. It crossed the oncoming lane of traffic, the westbound lane, and left the roadway, flipping onto its side and dumping its load of garbage on the roadway and onto the field as it slid out of control.

A third vehicle, a 2010 Nissan sedan, driven by Alexander Boehlig, 17, struck some of the debris, causing damage to the front bumper and windshield.

Boehlig, from Bergen, was uninjured.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush.

Previously: No serious injuries reported, including to 18-month-old, in trash-truck vs. car accident in Stafford

Photos: Previously published photos.

route33staffaccaug2019.jpg

August 15, 2019 - 4:51pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, GCASA, CARF International.

Press release:

CARF International announced that Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) has been accredited for a period of three years for its Opioid Treatment Program. This is the first accreditation that the international accrediting body, CARF, has given to GCASA.

This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality. 

GCASA is a not-for-profit organization, providing substance use disorder treatment and prevention services in Genesee and Orleans counties for more than 40 years. The Opioid Treatment Program is licensed through NYS Office and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and can serve up to 150 patients.

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of the persons served.

Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services. For more information about the accreditation process, please visit the CARF website at www.carf.org.

For additional information, contact Senior Services Director Kathy Hodgins at 585-343-1124.

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