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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.

January 20, 2020 - 8:25am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news.

Jake Rosenbeck got locked in early and never let up as he averaged 270 for his five games in the Sunday Rolloffs League at Medina Lanes.

The 33-year-old right-hander fired 258-258-300--816 in the qualifying round of singles handicap league and followed that up with a 534 two-game total in the rolloff portion to place first for the week in Division 1.

The perfect game is Rosenbeck's second USBC-certified 300 (his first came on Nov. 14, 2019) and the 800 series also is his second USBC-certified 800 (he had an 817 series in October 2018).

Elsewhere around the Genesee Region:

Veteran bowlers Jim Passarell and Mike Pettinella had 751 and 741, respectively, in leagues at Oak Orchard Bowl and Mancuso Bowling Center.

Passarell's big series came in the Sneezy's Monday Night League in Albion while Pettinella's came on the first week of the new Turnbull Heating & Air Doubles League in Batavia.

Other high series for the week included Tom Urbanczyk's 746 in the Wednesday Night Misfits at Mancuso's and Frank Jarkiewicz's 738 in the County Line Stone League at Paris Lanes in Oakfield.

For a list of high scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

January 19, 2020 - 10:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Corfu Fire Department, news, fire service.


At the Corfu Volunteer Fire Department's annual dinner on Friday night, Ed Fauth, left, who has served actively for 65 years, was named Firefighter of the Year. He's pictured with new chief, Greg Lang.


Lori Stiles was named Service Person of the Year for her help behind the scenes with barbecues, fund drives, fishing raffles, and organizing the annual family picnic. She is pictured with President Steve Rodland, left, and Chief Greg Lang.

Photos and information submitted by Greg Lang.

January 19, 2020 - 10:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in south byron volunteer fire company, south byron, byron, video, news.


Jeff Starowitz was named Member of the Year by the South Byron Volunteer Fire Department during an awards and installation dinner Friday night at the South Byron Recreation Hall.


Jennie Starowitz was honored for her 65 years of service to the South Byron department. Pictured in the front row are: Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Theresa Hammer, Bob Fite, Jennie Starowitz and Jeff Starowitz.


Lt. Vito Muoio was named Firefighter of the Year. Chief Brian Hickey, Muoio, and President Dean Bates.


Allie Gurgel completed the most training hours -- while also being a new mother -- in 2019.


Capt. Any Konieczny made it to the scene of the most calls in 2019.


Administrative officers for 2020: Dean Bates, president; Reggie Macdonald, vice president; Theresa Hammer, secretary; Alfred Klycek, treasurer; Bob Fite, membership chair; Al Secash, is Bell Jar chair; Rev. Harold Coller, chaplain.

Firematic officers for 2020: Brian Hickey, chief; Jim McKenzie, deputy chief; Jacob Yasses, asst. chief; Andy Konieczny, captain; Vito Muoio, 1st lieutenant; Jeff Starowitz, 2nd lieutenant; Chase Cone, engineer; Matt Dougherty, fire police captain; Aaron Belluscio, fire police sergeant; and Allie Gurgel, fire police corporal.

Video: Members of the South Byron Volunteer Fire Department reflect on being a volunteer firefighter.

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January 19, 2020 - 10:08am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, Le Roy, notify.

Photo courtesy of reader Mary Margaret Ripley.

A fullly involved structure fire is reported in Le Roy at 8707 Lake Street Road. It has gone to a second alarm. Le Roy fire is responding and mutual aid is dispatched from the City of Batavia, Bergen, Stafford, Pavilion and Mumford.

UPDATE 10:14 a.m.: The location is between West Bergen and Randall roads. Town of Batavia Fire Department is asked to fill in at Le Roy's fire hall.

UPDATE 10:28 a.m.: Reader Mary Margaret Ripley says in a text message to The Batavian: "A truck blew up and the back of the building caught (fire), too." The location is Weldon Service & Repair shop.

UPDATE 10:36 a.m.: The fire is out. Overhaul is underway.

UPDATE: Video posted. Chief Tom Wood said the fire appeared to start with the pickup truck parked outside the building. The cause is still under investigation. The fire spread into the building but a quick response by volunteer firefighters helped contain the fire to less than a quarter of the structure. (No interview with Chief Wood in the video due to camera operator error).

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January 18, 2020 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Le Roy.

A vehicle has reportedly slid off the roadway on the Thruway in the westbound lane near mile marker 383.7.

A passerby reports it appeared the driver hit his head.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 1:42 p.m.: A second vehicle is off the roadway and into the trees, in the eastbound lane of the Thruway near mile marker 375. Le Roy fire along with Bergen, Le Roy ambulance, and Mercy EMS dispatched.

January 18, 2020 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, batavia, Scholastic Bowl, schools, education, news.


In Thursday's Scholastic Bowl matches, Batavia and Attica picked up victories.

Batavia scored 230, while Oakfield-Alabama scored 120 and Elba 50.

In the second match, Attica beat Notre Dame 330 to 220.

January 18, 2020 - 12:36pm

Submitted photo and information from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership:

Decision Day was held Friday at the Western New York Tech Academy. It is similar to a college signing day.

A total of 10 WNY Tech Academy students were honored for officially declaring the pathways they will pursue as they complete their free applied associate degrees through Genesee Community College.

The students could choose to study Accounting, Food Processing Technology, or Supply Chain Management.

Staff, administrators, business partners and parents attended Decision Day.

The high school juniors who participated are named below, along with their high school and declared paths of study. They are in the top photo.

  • Brett Bogardus, of Perry -- Accounting
  • Dante Brent, of Attica -- Accounting
  • Cameron Durfee, of Attica -- Supply Chain Management
  • Nathan Geise, of Warsaw -- Accounting
  • Holly Grisewood, of Perry -- Accounting
  • Devon Heick, of Byron-Bergen -- Food Processing Technology
  • Trevor Pahl, of Pavilion -- Food Processing Technology
  • Veronica Shepherd, of Le Roy -- Accounting
  • Carl Stachura, Batavia -- Accounting

(Everett Claud, of Perry, is not pictured. He will study Supply Chain Management.)

In addition, the Tech Academy also recognized 12 seniors in Friday's program:

  • Collin Aquina, of Oakfield-Alabama -- Supply Chain Management);
  • Gabriel Bucknam, of Perry -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Stephanie Dibble, of Batavia -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Zachary Evert, of Attica -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Abigail Hackett, of Pavilion -- Supply Chain Management);
  • Evan Harter, of Byron-Bergen -- Accounting;
  • Peyton Heesch, of Caledonia-Mumford -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Dylan Kipfer, of Attica -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Cole Lowery, of Pavilion -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Peyton Penders, of Pavilion -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Alexis Jade Reed, of Batavia -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Jace Hilton Vilinsky, of Avon -- Supply Chain Management.

For more information about the WNY Tech Academy visit wnytechacademy.org

About Western New York Tech Academy

It is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

January 18, 2020 - 11:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in RIT, art, news, Le Roy, le roy hs.


Le Roy HS senior Taylor Hutton won the Medical Illustration Award (2D) at the opening reception Friday night at RIT Bevier Gallery for the RIT Art Design Start Here 2020 exhibit. The exhibit runs until Feb. 1.

Photo and info submitted by Tim McArdle.

January 18, 2020 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Rob Ortt, news.

Press release:

“The constituents of NY-27 deserve better, and today provides us the opportunity to close this disappointing chapter and start fresh," said NY-27 candidate Rob Ortt. "This district deserves a faithful and hardworking conservative representing them in Congress, putting the needs of Western New York and America first. I believe I am the candidate best qualified to do so and it is my sincere hope that I’m afforded the opportunity to once again serve my country.”

January 17, 2020 - 7:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat running to fill the vacancy left by Chris Collins in NY-27, has issued the following statement on Collins’ sentencing for insider trading related crimes earlier today.

“Years of lies by Collins and those who justified his crimes end like this. Tears. An empty seat. It’s a sad moment. No sentence can heal the damage caused. The sting will linger.

Remember this. Who brought us here? So when we look back, we will see how far we’ve come. I'm heading to my son's basketball game, watching a movie with my family, going to sleep, and waking up tomorrow to continue the fight to restore integrity to NY-27 and Washington.”

January 17, 2020 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, notify.

For Rep. Chris Collins sobbed in court, the Washington Post reports, while his attorneys argued for leniency, before a Federal judge sentenced Collins to 26 months in prison for engaging in insider trading and lying to the FBI.

“I have no excuse," Collins said sobbing. "I tarnished my reputation."

The prosecution sought a sentence of 46 to 57 months in a Federal penitentiary.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Max Nicholas argued that Collins deserved prison time because he organized the conspiracy among his family members to help them avoid losing money on the stock, lied to federal agents about it and then announced he would seek re-election to his seat. His attorneys pointed to Collins’ record of public service and said the crime was an isolated decision made in the heat of the moment.

The Post reports: “I cannot face my constituents. What I have done has marked me for life," Collins said.

The NY-27 has been without representation in Washington since Collins resigned in September, after winning re-election while proclaiming his innocence and vowing to "clear my name."

There will likely be a special election to fill the seat April 29, a little more than two months before the scheduled 2020 primary for the office.

January 17, 2020 - 5:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, Cuomo runs off to Puerto Rico.

A statement issued today from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“While serial felons run free endangering society under new bail laws, statewide infrastructure continues to crumble and we face one of the largest budget deficits in recent memory, Gov. Cuomo thinks it’s the right time to spend unknown amounts of taxpayer money on a trip to Puerto Rico. 

“It has become abundantly clear that the governor cares more about raising his political profile than addressing the serious issues facing New York. Feel good photo ops and trade missions are not always the mark of good leadership but rather it’s having the courage to work through issues and implement real solutions for constituents. 

“Emerging trends under one party rule show our state is growing in the wrong direction. Our debt and deficit are high, Medicaid and welfare spending continues to balloon, population continues to decrease and taxes continue to suppress and stifle two crucial groups needed to grow an economy – homeowners and small businesses. 

“We can’t deny that out of control Medicaid spending is the root cause of our state deficit. We already spend more than Florida and Texas combined with half the population and the continued expansion is clearly unsustainable. Rest assured, I will be making my voice heard loud and clear throughout this year’s budget process to see that New York’s fiscal ship is set on the right path.”

January 17, 2020 - 4:48pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, wbta.

Suicide and how to prevent it will be the topic of discussion at 9 a.m. Tuesday (Jan. 21) when WBTA radio’s “Main & Center” talk show welcomes James Thorman, of Byron, as its guest.

Thorman has been working tirelessly over the past several months to gain support from community leaders and the public in general as he attempts to form a coalition dedicated to mental health well-being for young people and veterans at risk.

Recently, he has connected with Bereaved Parents of the USA, a nonprofit group that offers support and encouragement to fellow bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents after the death of a loved one.

Thorman’s life has been exponentially affected by suicide as two of his daughters took their lives about nine years ago.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017 suicide was the 10th leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 47,000 people, and was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34.

Also in that year, there were more than twice as many suicides (47,173) in the United States as there were homicides (19,510).

WBTA radio is at 1490 on the AM dial, at 100.1 on FM, or can be streamed over the internet at www.wbtai.com.

January 17, 2020 - 4:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal rescue, lost pets, el chapo, news.

A man came into the Genesee County Animal Shelter this morning, according to a reader. He had an accident on the Thruway last night (Jan. 16) and his dog ran off.

The man is heartbroken and has been looking all day for little black and white "Chapo."

The dog ran off near mile marker 392 of the Thruway, between the Kelsey Road and Lewiston Road overpass in the Town of Batavia.

Chapo, which is Spanish for "Shorty," is wearing a black collar with no tags on it.

If you have information about Chapo, please contact the animal shelter at (585) 343-6410, or email Volunteers For Animals at [email protected]

"Get Shorty!"

January 17, 2020 - 3:24pm

From Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer:

As your State Senator, I value your concerns and opinions. Many new issues are being discussed and there is sure to be extensive debate throughout the 2020 session.

From a $6.1 billion deficit to criminal justice reforms and vaccination requirements, your opinions on issues facing New York State are very important to me. That is why I have launched a 2020 Legislative Questionnaire.

It is only 14 questions and takes just a couple of minutes to complete. Click here to complete the questionnaire.

I will be listening to residents– all across the 61st Senate District– as this year’s legislative session progresses. 

Thank you in advance for taking the time to participate. I look forward to hearing your feedback.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you or your family.

January 17, 2020 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Tops Friendly Markets, news, batavia.

Press release:

Over the course of the next six weeks, Tops Friendly Markets welcomes the community to try a variety of Tops Full Circle products during its weekend sampling events. Try something new, and share something good with your family today!  

Tops Friendly Markets is pleased to be able to offer its customers a wide assortment of healthy options integrated into every aisle. We believe that organic and best-of-nature products are an important part of a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle. With Tops own Full Circle brand, you can love what’s in it for you!

We bring you food that tastes good and home care items that are eco-friendly and work well. Full Circle products deliver our brand promise in every department with 300+ sku’s across grocery, dairy, frozen and home care, this brand offers shoppers USDA certified organic, non-GMO, gluten free, and hormone/antibiotic free products every day at an affordable price.

Additionally Tops offers more than 3,800 certified organic products that are, integrated with conventional products and merchandised in stores by meal category, which makes it easier to shop and plan.

The weekend sampling events will take place every Saturday and Sunday beginning tomorrow, Jan. 18, at selected located and ending on Sunday, Feb. 23.

In Genesee County, only the Batavia Tops will conduct samplings. It is located at 390 W. Main St.

January 17, 2020 - 2:48pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. announced Thursday that he will seek the Republican Party endorsement for a second term as Genesee County Sheriff.

Sheriff Sheron began his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in 1977 as an Emergency Services Dispatcher. During his career, he has progressed through the ranks of Deputy Sheriff-Jail, Deputy Sheriff-Road Patrol, Sergeant, Investigator and Chief Deputy-Road Patrol. In January 1996, he was appointed Undersheriff, a position he held until being elected Sheriff in 2016.

During his first term, Sheriff Sheron collaborated with mental health officials to establish a “Crisis Intervention Team,” consisting of specially trained deputies to provide assistance to individuals, and family members, with the individual’s mental health needs. The benefits of this program are that individuals with mental health concerns receive appropriate treatment rather than incarceration into a jail cell.

Working with school officials and the Genesee County Legislature, Sheriff Sheron has also been able to assign a Resource Officer to all but one school within the County.

“This School Resource Officer program provides for a safe and secure environment for students and faculty while promoting positive relationships between the students and law enforcement officers,” Sheriff Sheron said.

Another highlight of the Sheriff’s first term is the creation of a “Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy” for high school students from throughout Genesee County. This academy provides students with an in-depth view of the training and duties of the Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement in general.

Sheriff Sheron is a lifelong resident of Batavia. He attended St. Mary’s Grade School, Notre Dame High School and is a graduate of Genesee Community College with a degree in Criminal Justice. He and his wife, Shari, are parents to a blended family of five children and six grandchildren.

“I am honored to serve as the Sheriff of Genesee County and pledge to continue my life’s work of protecting the safety and security of the residents of Genesee County and the men and women of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Sheron said.

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