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January 22, 2020 - 8:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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Plush Dozier

Plush Kevin Dozier, a 23-year-old Monroe County resident facing a possible lengthy prison term on arson and attempted murder charges now has a chance to make bail after appearing in County Court today for the first time in 2020.

New state rules on bail for defendants who have not yet been convicted of a crime took effect Jan. 1 requiring judges to release detainees without bail unless they're accused of a qualifying offense.  In those cases, the judge must set the least restrictive amount of bail or bond possible. 

What is "least restrict" is for the judge to decide.

Dozier is charged with qualifying offenses but is now entitled to some opportunity to make bail.

In this case, Judge Charles Zambito set bail at $100,000 cash, $100,000 bond, or $200,000 partial secured bond.

Previously, Dozier was held without bail, and since his arrest in June, Dozier's confinement has been eventful. He reportedly became more than the Genesee County Jail could handle, so he was transferred to Attica, where he was reportedly held in solitary confinement.

During his confinement, Dozier allegedly damaged jail property and a patrol vehicle, following an outburst in court, and is facing new criminal charges stemming from those alleged incidents.

Dozier is accused of setting a fire at a residence on Maple Street, Batavia, on June 15, and attempting to kill one of the residents there.

The bail review for Dozier followed a hearing where defense attorney Thomas Burns challenged the sufficiency of the grand jury hearing that led to Dozier's indictment on attempted murder and arson.  The hearing in July 2018 was during a period of time when a court stenographer was improperly making audio recordings of grand jury proceedings.

The stenographer was using a device on her machine that allowed an audio recording to activate while she typed on her stenography machine. Even though she has 33 years of experience as a court reporter, the technology she was using was fairly new and the issue had never been raised with her before.

The fact that she was recording the proceedings was discovered by happenstance when Assistant District Attorney Shirley Gorman inquired about a transcript on a particular case and the stenographer mentioned she had an audio recording she could check. Gorman immediately informed District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.  The discovery led Friedman to notify the attorneys for a number of defendants. Some of the attorneys have challenged the grand jury proceedings.  In all cases so far, Zambito has denied motions to vacate the grand jury proceedings.

Burns had a novel argument today, however.  He elicited testimony from the stenographer, Susan Ryckman, that there is a small mic, about the size of a dime, attached with a wire to her machine.  That mic would then be potentially visible to witnesses and grand jurors, which might cause them to wonder if the proceedings were being recorded. There is also apparently a mic on her laptop that may actually be the one activated when she is taking stenography.

Grand jury proceedings are supposed to be secret and the identities of witnesses protected.

After questioning whether, under the circumstances, the transcript from the Dozier proceeding could be relied on as accurate, Burns argued that witnesses might not testify as truthfully if they thought their statements were being audio recorded, or that grand jurors may ask different questions, or not ask questions, because their voices might be recorded.

There is no way of knowing, Burns said, if witnesses and jurors noticed the potential for recording and if they did if that altered their behavior in any way. 

"The very presence of an electronic recording device could have a negative effect and a detrimental effect on the grand jury process," Burns said.

Burns acknowledges he was being speculative but he said Friedman would also be speculating to argue otherwise.

Friedman said there was no speculation on his part.

"Our position is based on the facts," Friedman said. "The court reporter has 33 years experience and even she doesn't know where the microphone is (on her laptop) and she indicated there is no light on the mic when it's on. There is no evidence to support that speculation. Otherwise, we rely on the court's numerous other rulings."

Zambito said he will make his ruling at a later date.

The Batavian spent a couple of hours in court today gathering news so you wouldn't have to.  With more help, we could find more news about the community for you.  Please become a supporter today.

January 22, 2020 - 8:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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Heidi Schollard

A Batavia woman who stole more than $350,000 from elderly people was making progress until recently on paying restitution, according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

Heidi L. Schollard, 47, of 161 Bank St., was ordered in 2012 to make restitution payments of $500 a month.

Friedman said records indicate Schollard made more than 100 payments, reducing the amount she owes to her victims from $350,729.40 to $335,290.11.

Then the payments stopped.

So she was ordered to appear in court today.

She didn't show up.

A warrant was issued for her arrest.

In 2017, Schollard was having trouble making restitution payments and asked to have the restitution order amended. Judge Charles Zambito kept her restitution at $500 a month.

Schollard stole the money from two elderly victims between 2006 and 2011. She pled guilty in 2012 to three counts of grand larceny, 3rd, which are Class D felonies, and a single count of grand larceny, 4th, a Class E felony. She was sentenced to the maximum possible prison term by then-County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan. 

January 22, 2020 - 7:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu, news, notify.
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Jerrol Newell

A sometimes Corfu resident facing three felonies for alleged strangulation, who has friends and relatives in at least three other states, has a better chance of making bail following a bail review hearing today in Genesee County Court.

Fifty-year-old Jerrol Paul Newell was described in court today by Assistant District Attorney Shirley Gorman as a man who has moved from state-to-state -- Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, even Hawaii -- with a spotty employment history and a life-long problem with alcohol.  

She said Newell has had multiple DWI arrests, including a felony arrest in 2004, plus a DWI arrest in April where he had a BAC of .20 in the middle of the afternoon and allegedly left the scene of an accident.  He also had a forgery conviction in 1996. He owes, she said, $39,000 in back child support payments, and is facing more than $9,000 in restitution from his recent accident.

Newell also lied, she said, to Genesee Justice about owning a home in Corfu.

His previous bail was $50,000 cash, $50,000 bond or $300,000 partially secured bond, which was set by Donald O'Connor in December, before new bail rules took effect, in the Village of Corfu court.

Newell's attorney, Thomas Burns, asked for either release on Newell's own recognizance or $5,000 bail, citing his client's ties to the community and Newell's own and his family's limited resources. 

Gorman said considering Newell's history, she didn't find the bail set in village court to be excessive. 

"He has an alcohol problem that leads the defendant to exercise extremely poor judgment that could lead him to leave the jurisdiction, especially when he has connections outside the jurisdiction," Gorman said.

Gorman noted that Newell is facing three Class D felony charges of strangulation and his sentence on each charge could be consecutive.  She suggested the physical evidence against Newell, including photographs, is compelling.

Judge Charles Zambito, citing New York's bail reform rules, said he was obligated to set the least restrictive bail so he reduced Newell's bail to $7,500 cash, or $7,500 bond, or $75,000 partially secured bond.

January 22, 2020 - 6:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Quinton Edmonds, crime, news, notify, batavia.
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Quinton Edmonds

In County Court yesterday, Quinton Edmonds, of Rochester, admitted to killing Michael R. Paladino outside of Paladino's Ross Street residence on June 1 after Paladino tried to come to the aid of a woman he apparently believed Edmonds was assaulting.

With the guilty plea, Edmonds avoids a trial next month and gets a sentence cap of 20-to-life in state prison.  The possible maximum sentence for the Class A1 felony is 25-to-life.

According to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Edmonds made no other statements in a court other than admitting to his crime as Judge Charles Zambito read the facts contained in the grand jury indictment before pleading "guilty."

Edmonds will be sentenced at 9 a.m., Feb. 19.

January 22, 2020 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Medicaid, Andrew Cuomo, news, notify.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to cap increases on Medicaid spending at 3 percent at the county level could cost Genesee County another $2.3 million over the next four years.

That's just a rough guess, said County Manager Jay Gsell.

He called Cuomo's accusation that counties are spending on Medicaid with a "blank check syndrome" since the county share of Medicaid was capped in 2012 a "lie." He said the attempt to shift the burden for increases on Medicaid to counties is "voodoo economics for 2020" and using the maneuver to shift the cost of the state's deficit spending to county taxpayers a "Ponzi scheme."

“The Medicaid system has to be fiscally sustainable,” Cuomo said during his 2021 budget address. “If it is not fiscally sustainable then we accomplish nothing.”

New York State is facing a $6.1 billion budget gap due in large part to rising costs of Medicaid, a health insurance program that serves the poor, elderly and disabled.

Since the state capped county expenses, the state's share has increased $20 billion.

“That’s the blank check syndrome,” Cuomo said Tuesday. “We are signing the check and they’re filling out the amount.”

All Medicaid expenses, Gsell said today, are the result of state mandates. The county has no control over how much Medicaid costs or how much expenses increase.

The increases are a result of NY, as mandated by Albany, offering among the most generous Medicaid benefits package in the Union, and an increase in enrollment of Medicaid-eligible residents under the Affordable Care Act.

There are now 13,300 Genesee County residents enrolled in an ACA medical plan (not all are Medicaid eligible) compared to 8,800 five years ago.

"The State about eight to 10 years ago promised to takeover Medicaid administration from the local DSS districts, which still hasn’t occurred," Gsell said. "It now appears easier to pick a 'fall guy' – NYS counties – for the ongoing quagmire since 1966 that -- unlike in 48 of the other U.S. states -- New York State has bought into lock, stock, and barrel. I have yet to be told that we NYS Counties are making up our own benefit levels for this entitlement, enrolling masses of ineligible recipients, promoting fraud, waste, and abuse and essentially not doing our jobs. That is a figment of someone’s imagination in Albany. It is a lie and convenient dodge for a problem of the State government’s own making."

Photo: File photo of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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January 22, 2020 - 12:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, missing pets, animal rescue, batavia.

The insouciant lounger sprawled out in the picture above, unabashedly taking up a lot of space in a primary pathway of her household, is "Chloe" the cat, which is Greek for "small (young) green shoot of a plant."

Although there are nicknames for Chloe -- Chlo, Coco, Clo-Clo, Clo, Clover -- she just goes by small (young) green shoot of a plant ... Chloe.

For reasons known only to her, she opted to leave her cozy abode at the Woodstock Gardens apartments on North Spruce Street in the city on Saturday (Jan. 18).

Actually the publicly posted flier says Chloe "ran out." Hmmm.

She is described as a tiger cat with brown fur and black stripes, a "very friendly" "house cat," which some Brits call a moggy (or moggie).

The owner -- whose name is Dorothy and who is the bowling partner of the mother of the emailer about the missing pet, Chase Winkstern -- is reportedly "distraught over the situation."

Truth be told, this could affect Dorothy's bowling abilities, which in turn could affect the pin-slaying skills of Winkstern's mother, Dorothy's bowling partner.

Sadly, things could go downhill from there.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, a valued resource for wordsmiths since 1828, tells us the adjective "distraught" means to be "agitated with doubt or mental conflict or pain."

But a closer reading of the entry alarms with the sheer range profered. Oh, yea, it starts off with the mere "agitated" but then kicks into "delirious" then "frenzied" and finally, "hysterical."

The reference work's second definition of "distraught" jumps right to "deranged" and "crazed," and then, as if to drive home the point, simply quotes Shakespeare: "...as if thou wert distraught and mad with terror." (A line from Act 3, Scene 5 of "Richard III" wherein Richard is speaking to Buckingham while both are garbed, appropriately, in rusty hideous-looking armor.)

A positive outcome -- Chloe's safe return -- would, of course, squelch the portent for dreadful escalation.

Any helpful information can be phoned in to Dorothy at (585) 734-4061 or emailed to Chase Winkstern at:   [email protected]

January 22, 2020 - 10:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, news, steve hawley, Ed Rath, NYS Association of Counties.

Yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his proposed budget for 2020-2021. His budget press release is too long to put on the home page. You can read it here. Below are reactions we've received to the budget proposal.

From Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“The governor made a lot of promises Tuesday, specifically to increase funding across the board for every program in the state, including an out-of-control Medicaid program that is the root cause behind a $6 billion deficit. In fiscal year 2018 alone, New York spent more on Medicaid than Texas and Florida combined, despite having around half the population.

“The national economy is booming in almost every metric, yet under one-party leadership in New York, we are facing a massive shortfall. Every indication says we need to roll back reckless spending, but Gov. Cuomo continues his handouts, even blaming counties and local governments for causing the state’s woes.

“As budget negotiations intensify, I will be working diligently to see that the governor sticks to his word of no new taxes and that his deficit does not fall on the backs of hardworking taxpayers. Whether it’s property tax relief, road and bridge repair or school funding, Western New York deserves its fair share of help, and I will continue to be a strong advocate on our behalf as the budget is determined over the coming months."

From Ed Rath, candidate for the 61st State Senate District:

“Faced with a $6.5 billion budget gap, I was hoping the Governor would outline some specifics on how he planned to address that shortfall, particularly as it relates to Medicaid. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with the proposed budget the people of New York State heard today. Medicaid accounts for two-thirds of the projected budget shortfall, but the Governor was woefully short on specifics in how he plans to generate the $2.5 billion in savings needed to offset Medicaid spending.

"Similarly, and equally disappointing, the budget proposal fails to reform the cash bail law. Instead, public safety and judicial discretion are being compromised, and a misguided and dangerous policy remains in effect.

“I was pleased to see a focus on education, and I hope that there is adequate funding for our schools to meet their increased financial needs.”

“However, any measure to address and strengthen our state’s business climate is mixed. On one hand, I was also pleased to see that middle-class tax cuts are expected to generate $4.7 million in savings, and that small corporate business tax cuts will generate an estimated $35 million. This is the sort of approach we need to help spur job creation and retention so that companies and workers can remain in our great Empire State, rather than continue to flee to other states. Unfortunately, the budget proposal also includes $51 million in tax and fee increases, which only serve to continue to shift the burden onto the backs of the hardworking people of New York.

“Overall, it seems that any attempt at a step forward in this budget is coupled with two steps backward or deafening silence on how our elected leaders plan to make New York stronger. The people of New York deserve more.”

The 61st Senate District includes portions of Erie, Genesee, and Monroe Counties.

Rath has served in the Erie County Legislature since first winning election in 2007. His district includes Amherst, Clarence, Akron, and Newstead. In the Legislature, he has been a fierce advocate for the reduction and reform of County government to lower the property tax burden, including co-sponsoring the effort to reduce the size of the Legislature from 15 to the current 11 seats. Throughout his 12 years in office, Rath has never voted in favor of a tax increase, and he voted against Erie County’s 2020 spending plan, due to runaway spending increases and public safety concerns.

New York Farm Bureau:

“Governor Cuomo’s proposed funding of $29 million is integral to the success of a number of important agricultural programs that support research, marketing and promotion of New York farm products. In addition, New York Farm Bureau supports the proposed Environmental Protection Fund that assists with conservation and stewardship programs utilized by farmers across the state.

"This year, Governor Cuomo also is proposing several new budget changes that are among our organization’s biggest priorities for the year. This includes a permanent Refundable Investment Tax Credit for farmers, increasing funding for the Farmworker Housing Program to $15 million and expanding the definition of family that was severely limiting in the recently enacted farm labor law. The budget language will better reflect the reality on farms today as many extended family members also play significant roles on farms and should not be covered under new farm labor regulations. These additions will begin to offset the increased labor costs facing our state’s farms, and we thank Governor Cuomo and his administration for continuing to work with New York Farm Bureau to address these issues.”

From the NYS Association of Counties President John F. (Jack) Marren:

In 1966, the State’s new Medicaid program cost county homeowners and businesses $112 million in local property taxes. Today, that cost is $7.6 billion.

More than 50 years later, in 2013, to address property taxes at the local level, the state capped increases in local Medicaid costs. On behalf of the 62 counties, including the boroughs of New York City, we are grateful to Governor Cuomo and the Legislature for championing the State's cap on local Medicaid cost growth. It has proven to be an historic safeguard against property tax growth.

Once again, counties stand united behind lowering the cost of Medicaid and improving the quality of care for those in need. We will review what is under local control to accomplish this, as well as what parameters are under state control, to insure the integrity of the taxpayer-funded health care program.

As with any organization, today’s health care costs, especially those embedded in Medicaid, are inherently systemic. Right now more than one third of New York’s population is on Medicaid, more and more Baby Boomers are accessing costly long-term care, and other medical coverage—from prescriptions to X-rays to hospital stays.

Counties stand ready to work with a Medicaid Redesign Team to assist the state with reforming its Medicaid Program.

January 21, 2020 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, Rob Ortt, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Today, New York State Senator Rob Ortt, Army combat veteran, and candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District is calling for Democrat and Working Families endorsed candidate, Nate McMurray, to give up his recent Working Families Party endorsement. Recently, the New York State Working Families Party called on candidates to “stop defending taxpayers,” and stated that using the term “taxpayer” is racist.

“Our district is home to around 710,000 ‘taxpayers’ who go to work every day to help support their families and build a better life,” Ortt said. “The fact that a candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District would accept an endorsement from a political party that explicitly asked prospective candidates to avoid advocating for the taxpayers of our state is embarrassing.

"As elected officials, we are chosen by the taxpayers of our district to defend their best interests and do the will of the people. Any politician who accepts and endorsement from the Working Families Party clearly shows they have no interest in protecting hardworking taxpayers.”

The Working Families Party, backed by progressive donors, recently stated in the party’s 2020 questionnaire:

Messages that frame "taxpayers" as an aggrieved or marginalized group promotes an anti-tax, anti-government worldview that is often used to justify disinvestment and austerity policies. "Taxpayer" has also become a racially coded term designed to appeal to white individuals and reinforce the misconception that they are paying taxes to support the needs of people (often implied to be non-white) who don’t pay taxes. Will you avoid messaging that centers "taxpayers" or "tax burdens" and instead talk about "public funding" and the public as a whole?

Just this week, Nate McMurray accepted the endorsement of the Working Families Party line. The New York State Working Families Party has already endorsed several other candidates for 2020, including for U.S. President (Elizabeth Warren), U.S. Congress (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), and Democratic candidates for the New York State Legislature. Ortt called on all candidates running for office to denounce the Working Families Party and refuse their support. McMurray did neither.

“By accepting this endorsement, it is clear that Nate has not prioritized representing the best interests of the constituents in New York’s 27th Congressional District,” Ortt said. “Either he is ignorant of the agenda that the New York State Working Families Party stands for, or he has full knowledge of the statements made by this group and has decided that advocating for ‘taxpayers’ is racist. Either one is unacceptable and I call on him to give up his endorsement by this radically socialist party."

January 21, 2020 - 5:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, alexander.

A motor-vehicle accident involving two cars and a minor injury is reported at 10880 Alexander Road, Alexander.

That's between Stroh Road and Railroad Avenue.

Alexander fire and ambulance dispatched.

January 21, 2020 - 5:01pm

Press release:

We are officially 11 days away from the start of the "Rally for the Y 2020 Expresso Bike Challenge"!

If you are new to the Y or are unsure of what the Rally for the Y is, below is a quick synopsis of how the event works.

The YMCA is partnered with Expresso Interactive Fitness, a company that sells digitally interactive stationary bikes. Expresso runs an annual bike challenge called “Rally for the Y” that YMCA's all across the country can participate in.

Basically, Expresso will donate $.10 cents per mile rode for any YMCA member who commits to the one-month challenge. This will be our fourth year participating and we are hoping to have more riders and raise more money than last year!

"Rally. Ride. Raise."

Last year we as a team we rode a total of 6,455 miles and raised $5,100!

You can sign up right on the bikes you don’t even need a computer, but if you need assistance or are unsure of how to sign up please stop at the desk and we can assist you or you can ask for one of the team captains listed at the bottom of this email.

If you sign up to ride for the GLOW Genesee Area Team, you can ride an Expresso bike at any other Y or location and your miles will still count for our team! So if you go on vacation or can only ride at another facility but still want to be on our team now you can!

Our YMCA continues to hold strong across the country and Canada for donations raised and miles rode. You don’t have to wait for February to start raising money and all of your donations stay right here in Genesee County and go to support the Y’s Strong Communities Campaign.

Each day we will update the leaderboard to show rider progress. The leaderboard and progress track is located across from the Wellness Center entrance. If you have any questions please email me or see any of your team captains for this challenge. Your captains are:

  • Josh Bender – Director of Membership Operations
  • Jeff Townsend – Executive Director
  • Christina Weston – Personal Trainer/Wellness Staff
January 21, 2020 - 4:51pm

Press release:

On Friday, Feb. 7, at 10 a.m., veterans with disabilities will be treated to a fun day of skiing as part of VA Western New York Healthcare System’s Recreation Therapy activities.

Hosted by the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program at Holiday Valley Ski Resort, the ski program will kick off from the Tannenbaum Lodge at 6787 Holiday Valley Road, Ellicottville, which is in Western New York.

Disabled veterans enrolled in VA healthcare are welcome to participate and can register by calling 716-862-6814. 

Ski passes and equipment have been generously donated by the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program at Holiday Valley. Though VA transportation to the resort will not be provided, disabled veterans can participate in stand-up or adaptive sit-down skiing at no cost.

“This is a great partnership and winter activity for our veterans,” said Pamela Kaznowski, VA Western New York Healthcare System’s Recreation Therapy supervisor. “Recreation therapy activity like this improves the quality of life of our veterans.

"This could be a veteran’s first skiing experience and a day of camaraderie with fellow veterans, giving them the inspiration to take their rehabilitation to a higher level."

January 20, 2020 - 7:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in The Firing Pin, bergen, news, notify.

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Brandon Lewis, owner of The Firing Pin in Bergen, didn't travel to Virginia this weekend to become a bit of a celebrity.

He just wanted to support fellow gun owners in a state facing potential gun laws as restrictive, or perhaps more so, than what has already been imposed on New Yorkers.

"In this day and age, we could never stand up against the government with all of their drones and tanks but this shows where we came from," Lewis said tonight during his drive back from Virginia.  "The government is us. The government is of the people and by the people and for the people and it's good to remind them of that, that there is a Second Amendment, which is a kind of check and balance."

Lewis brought with him his Barrett M82A1 rifle, a .50 caliber semi-automatic rifle, which is nearly five-feet long and weighs 29.7 pounds.

"I guess it's a certain eye-catching firearm and that was kind of the point," Lewis said. "If we're going to go, let's bring something we have and I know every time I bring it out to the shop, everybody drops what they're doing.  

"I didn't think it would be quite as popular as it was," Lewis added. "I thought I'd get some thumbs up and some high-fives but it got crazy at times."

As soon as one person asked to take a picture of Lewis, 10 more would join in, he said.

He's been featured in the Washington Post, New York Post, and the Virginia Mercury

Lewis said he made the trip for two reasons: One is gun owners in Virginia are facing a new restrictive gun law that appears to have support of the Virginia Legislature (Virginia is apparently dealing with the same kind of urban domination of rural counties that has beset New York) and there is also a law that would all but ban indoor ranges.

Lewis, of course, operates an indoor range.  

He said it's his understanding the law would either say indoor ranges need to be government-owned or that 90 percent of the customers would need to work for a government agency, such as police departments or the military, which, Lewis fears, would lead to range owners collecting data on users of their facilities that would then become data accessible by the government.

The rally was attended by an estimated 22,000 gun rights advocates and news reports indicate it was peaceful and without incident.

Lewis said he and his wife Anna-Marie were among the last to leave. As they were heading out of town, they listened to a public radio station that apparently has offices overlooking the public space where the rally was held. He said the announcers noted that the protest area was the cleanest they had ever seen it following a rally.

"We kind of took a Boy Scout attitude of 'leave no trace,' " Lewis said. "I don't know if that came from the organizers, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, or people just took it upon themselves but at the end, it was police-trash time and everybody picked up their garbage."

Photo: By Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury. Used with the permission of the Virginia Mercury.

January 20, 2020 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Beth Parlato, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Buffalo Bills Quarterback and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly endorsed conservative Beth Parlato as his choice in the NY-27 congressional race over the weekend, calling Parlato the “strong conservative” who is best positioned to win the special election.

“President [Trump], my wife, Jill ,and I are supporting [Beth Parlato] for our district #NY27. Our daughters grew up together; we know her and trust her to stand for what matters most. She’s a strong conservative/republican we believe can win special [election 4/28],” Kelly said.

— Jim Kelly (@JimKelly1212) Jan. 19, 2020

January 20, 2020 - 3:37pm

Submitted image and information:

Each year the Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District holds a conservation tree, shrub and perennial ground cover sale.

A variety of evergreen, fruit, softwood, and hardwood bare-root seedling trees and transplants are available for purchase.

A variety of bare-root flowering shrubs, ferns, berry vines and perennial ground covers are also available to buy.

The yearly brochure* and order form** are made available in January and orders are accepted until April 1st.

Since orders are filled first come, first serve and while supplies last, they recommend ordering early, at least by mid-March. But orders are still accepted until April 1st.

After April 1st, you are encouraged to come shop and order on pickup days to see what's still on hand. Order pickup days are held at the Genesee County Fairgrounds on East Main Street Road in Batavia in mid to late April.

New this year is the bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), which grow 100-feet tall and is long-lived. It is uncommon but a New York native species nonetheless. It tolerates very wet ground to average-moisture soils. Can handle some shade. It features showy yellow foliage in spirng; it's green in summer and orange in the fall. Needles regrow each year. It is offered as a 12- to 18-inch, 1-year-old seedling.

Another new offering is the striped maple (Acer pennsylvanicum). It grows 25 feet tall and prefers shade to semi-shade. It is adaptable to most soils. It features smooth gray/green bark with showy white/yellow striping. Its bark browns with age. The leaves look like a goose foot. Showy leaves in fall; flowers in spring. Considered a good landscape tree. Offered as a 1-year-old, 12-18 inch seedling.

Returning this year is the Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). It grows 70 to 100 feet tall and is native to the area. It prefers cool, shaded areas with moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Its finely textured foliage makes it good for screens and hedges. The species is intolerant of wind, salt, and excessively dry or wet soils. Only transplants are available, 7 to 12 inches high.

Also back for 2020 is the American mountain ash (Sorbus americana). This variety of bare-root deciduous tree seedlings is native and grows 35 to 40 feet tall. It's adaptable to most soil conditions. It is not shade tolerant. There are white flowers on it in spring. It IS resistant to the emerald ash borer. Comes as a 12- to 18-inch seedling.

New multi-species packs, created to help enhance your planting, are offered this year and they include:

  • Tim's Evergreen Pack
  • Windbreak Pack
  • Brad's "Wet Feet" Pack
  • Blossoms and Honeybees Pack
  • Bob's Edible Berry Pack
  • Hardwoods-for-the-Future Pack
  • Wildlife Habitat Pack

Please note that no customer substitutions are allowed on packs. The district also reserves the right to substitute species and sizes in the event of a crop shortage.

Bare-root fruit tree and grape packages are a convenient way to begin wildlife-friendly planting or a homestead orchard. New this year is the peach primer pack, suitable for the beginner.

Bare-root flowering shrub seedlings are available, too, and there are a couple of new ones, the butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) and buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis).

The butterfly bush grows up to 12 feet high and prefers average-moisture, well-drained soils and full sun. Likely to die back in winter but grows again in spring. Purple, spike-like flower clusters up to 18-inches long from summer to first frost. Loved by birds, butterflies and honeybees.

The buttonbush grows up to 12-feet high and is adaptable to most soils. It prefers swampy areas, pond banks and full sun to moderate shade. Often used in rain gardens and for erosion control. White pincushion flowers bloom in spring. Highly used by birds, butterflies and honeybees.

Of the wildflower seed mixes, a native wildflower mix is available for 2020. It is intended to help restore native habitat landcaping and it's a great mixture to supply pollen and nectar for pollinators.

Bare-root berry vines and ferns are offered as well.

Please contact the district with any questions at 585-343-2362, ext. 5.

The district would also like to thank its newsletter sponsors that help make the newsletter possible. If you are interested in being a newsletter sponsor, please contact the district as it is a great way to get business information out to many people.

Remember to get your tree and shrub orders in by April 1! It is best to get in EARLY as some items are hot sellers and we do run out.

*Here's a link to peruse the latest brochure.

**Here's a link to the plant order form.

January 20, 2020 - 2:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, scanner.

A trio of shoplifting suspects at Kohl's Department Store allegedly refused to stop for store security.

They left the store; two females were walking on foot near ESL Federal Credit Union, headed toward Home Depot. A male who was with them reportedly left in a Nissan with Georgia license plates.

Both female suspects were said to be wearing black jackets and pants. No description of merchandise allegedly taken from Kohl's.

Sheriff's deputies have the male detained by Five Guys hamburger shop.

January 20, 2020 - 1:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in Pavilion, news, accidents.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported in Pavilion at 6672 Telephone Road. A passenger is complaining of head and neck pain. The location is between Cook and Roanoke roads. Pavilion Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 1:53 p.m.: A first responder reports a total of five occupents, but says he thinks they will all be sign-offs.

UPDATE 2:03 p.m.: The Pavilion assignment is back in service.

January 20, 2020 - 12:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.

Jeanette Lynn Higgins, 43, of Ganson Avenue, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of  a child. She was arrested at 8:20 p.m. on Jan. 3 on Evans Street in Batavia after she allegedly encouraged a juvenile to engage in a physical altercation. Higgins was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court for arraignment on Jan. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Cristal G. Nesbitt, 39, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI -- common law; and failure to keep right. Nesbitt was arrested at 12:41 p.m. Nov. 27 on Chase Park in Batavia after being involved in a motor-vehicle accident. She was processed and is due for arraignment in Batavia City Court on Jan. 29. The was was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Connor Borchert.

January 20, 2020 - 11:59am
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county treasurer, Scott German, news.

Press release:

Genesee County Treasurer Scott D. German announced today (Jan. 20) that he will be seeking a fifth term as County Treasurer in November’s election.

German is in his 27th year in the office, the last 16 of which have been as Treasurer. Among the many accomplishments of the Treasurer’s Office is the extremely successful refinancing of county debt, which saved Genesee County taxpayers more than $1,000,000 in interest expense over six years.

German also hired the firm of Three + One to assist him in maximizing interest earnings while minimizing risk and complying with state regulations. In 2019, German earned more than $1.6 million in interest for the taxpayers. 

As Treasurer, German is the chief fiscal officer and tax enforcement officer for the County. Among a wide range of responsibilities as County Treasurer, German is responsible for: the safeguarding of all county monies; the processing of county payroll; the processing of vendor payments; collection of delinquent taxes; tax foreclosures; maintaining the financial records; overseeing of the independent audit; and working with state and federal auditors.

German hopes the voters of Genesee County return him to office this November so he can continue serving the people of this fine county.

German holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a concentration in Finance from the State University of New York, College at Brockport.

German is a past President (2012) of the New York State County Treasurers and Finance Officers Association; 2016 Finance Officer of the Year and currently serves as one of two New York State delegates to the National Association of County Collectors, Treasurers & Finance Officers.

He is also a member of the 2004 class of Leadership Genesee. German is a lifelong resident of Genesee County.

January 20, 2020 - 10:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.55, down 3 cents since last week. One year ago, the price was $2.24. The New York State average is $2.71 – down 1 cent from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.53.

AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.64 (down 3 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.63 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.68 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.67 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.69 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.62 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.70 (down 1 cent since last week)

Gas prices have finally started to drop across the region. The usual January decline in prices was stalled due to the situation in the Middle East, which pushed oil prices up.

Today’s national price for a gallon of gasoline is down3 cents while state prices and all regional prices are lower than last week. As long as geopolitical situations don’t escalate, motorists should continue to see more relief at the pump.

January typically brings lower demand for gasoline and winter blend fuel is cheaper to produce.

From GasBuddy:

"With oil prices sagging lately, the door has been opened for a notable decline in U.S. gasoline prices, and that's exactly what has happened, with more declines likely coming ahead of us before the fun is over," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

"The Midwest has been the largest beneficiary of seasonal effects thus far with prices in several areas there declining upwards of 10-15 cents per gallon.

The rest of the country will follow lower for the time being as demand for gasoline remains abysmal and the fuel being produced today will have to eventually be purged from the system over the next few months as refiners begin the transition to summer gasoline."

January 20, 2020 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, news, NY-27.

Press release:

The Working Families Party (WFP), a grassroots party representing the interests of hardworking, everyday Americans, has endorsed Nate McMurray in his bid for Congress in Western New York.

“We are endorsing Nate McMurray because he firmly stands with us on issues that matter to working-class people in America today,” said WFP representative Louisa Pacheco.

“Nate boldly supports protecting immigrants as a marginalized labor force, expanding healthcare for all, and building a country that is for everybody -- not just the rich. We stand with him because he has an expansive and fresh vision for NY-27!”

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be endorsed for the second time by the Working Families Party," McMurray said. "We will win the special election by engaging our strong grassroots partnerships across the region and beyond.

"The good people of WFP will be a critical part of this coalition, help us finish what we started in 2018, and once and for all restore the people's voice in this office."

The Working Families Party is a minor political party founded in 1998 that uses fusion voting to cross endorse candidates on other party lines. Recently, the WFP has garnered national attention with its interviews of the 2020 presidential candidates and endorsement of Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic Primary.

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