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May 24, 2020 - 8:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news.

A house at 12 Union St., Le Roy, has reportedly filled with gas.

Le Roy Fire on scene.

Union is closed by Stafford Fire police between Wolcott and Summit.

May 24, 2020 - 8:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, Bethany, batavia.

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Photo submitted by Dan Street from East Bethany.

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Photo submitted by Lisa Ace from Batavia.

May 24, 2020 - 8:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments have received seven more COVID-19 cases. Orleans has six new cases (bringing the total to 200) and Genesee has one (bringing the total to 179). 

Contact tracing has been initiated and all who have had direct contact with the individuals will be notified by Health Department staff.  Five of the Orleans County individuals are residents of Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and one is a community member.  Genesee County’s one individual who tested positive is a community member.

The health department was made aware that the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) did swab all residents and employees of The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center. Any questions regarding specific issues should be addressed to The Villages or NYSDOH.

We have also received word of the death of an individual who had tested positive for COVID-19 and was a resident of The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center (now for a total of 24 deaths related to COVID-19 for The Villages and a total of 29 deaths for Orleans County). Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of this individual during this very sad and difficult time.

There is currently no further information to release on ages and locations. Mapping to include the positive cases from the weekend will be updated on Tuesday afternoon due to the Memorial Day holiday.

We ask residents to continue social distancing, mask-wearing, and proper hygiene even in the company whom we trust the most -- like family, friends, and co-workers. We can all show people that we care and respect them by continuing these practices to keep everyone safe.

As the weather warms up, we understand it’ll be hard to stay away from family and friends, but we still have a ways to go before we can get back to normal.

May 24, 2020 - 8:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, byron, south byron.

A motor vehicle crashed into a pole and injuries are reported at 6378 Byron-Holley Road.

Byron and South Byron fire departments are called to the scene along with Mercy medics. Fire Police are called to set up a landing zone for Mercy Flight.

UPDATE 8:37 p.m.: RG&E is called to the scene.

UPDATE 8:42 p.m.: Mercy Flight is preparing to land behind the Byron Fire Hall.

UPDATE 8:57 p.m.: One patient is going by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital. Another patient is going to strong via Mercy EMS.

May 24, 2020 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in east bethany, news, birds, outdoors, Pileated Woodpecker.

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Chris Kuehl, of East Bethany, took this photo of a pileated woodpecker.

Her husband, Chuck, who submitted the photo, said and his wife have lived at their residence for 17 years and added, "We see pileated woodpeckers all the time but this is the first time one keeps coming to our suet and boy does he go through it. We live by a very large wooded area and get a very large variety of birds. Just love living here!!"

May 24, 2020 - 12:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, scanner, batavia.

A car and pedestrian accident is reported on West Main Street in Batavia in front of That Taco Place, 4160 W. Main St.

Town of Batavia Fire Department and Marcy medics are responding. Callers to dispatch report there are possibly children injured who are in the vehicle.

The location is between Colonial Boulevard and West Main Street.

UPDATE 12:42 p.m.: There were no pedestrians involved. This was a two-car accident. One driver appears uninjured. A female driving the other car is being transported to UMMC for evaluation. Unknown if children who were her passengers sustained any injuries.

May 24, 2020 - 8:00am
posted by Anne Marie Starowitz in nostalgia, news, batavia.

(Editor's note: Southsider Anne Marie Starowitz reflects on life in her native City of Batavia this Memorial Day Weekend...)

Turning 70 to me has been filled with so many different memories and emotions. First, where did the time go and then the realization that I am 70. Turning a year older this year was different. First of all, we are quarantined and there is a lot of time to reminisce.

As I was going on one of my morning walks on Ross Street, I’m taken back to my early years of walking with my brothers to the Red and White Store on Ross Street pulling a wagon filled with empty pop bottles. We are trying to figure out how to split 22 cents three ways without killing each other. Back then you could pick candy from the penny candy box.

On our walk home, we would decide what we would do today.

Would we go on the raft we built at the end of our street that actually floated? We thought the water the raft was on was a lake but it actually was an area that accumulated water after a long winter but was deep enough to float our homemade raft. Would we sleep out tonight and catch fireflies? Such an innocent time.

Grade school and high school were a little different ride. I compare it to a roller-coaster ride going up the first incline, the excitement of what was to come. That included walking all over Batavia, taking ballroom dancing, swimming at the New Pool, ice skating on the tennis courts in the winter and dancing on the blacktop in the summer. I can’t forget the Park Program.

I am almost to the highest point of the ride as many of us go off to college. In returning, the ride is broken down. I come back to Batavia and our Main Street is gone along with all those wonderful memories. I learned the meaning of what a wrecking ball could physically and mentally destroy. Now our country was in a war -- way over yonder in Viet Nam -- that would take the Baby Boomers into a turbulent time.

So now the roller-coaster slowly starts up another incline and many of us are married and blessed with children. Maybe we bought a new house and began a new job. Our house cost $26,000 and gas was $1.50 a gallon in the '70s.

The ride continues steadily as we sat through soccer games, dance recitals, football games and musical concerts.

We loved watching our children grow up. We all have boxes with hundreds of pictures recording that time in our lives. I wish mine were in scrapbooks.

Now our children have grown up, gone off to college, new opportunities prevail for them and we are now bystanders watching our children leave the nest. I’m still on that ride with my life going up and down.

At this time many of us are thinking of retiring and what to do with our golden years.

Approaching 70 was a time to reflect on what I have done with my life and where I am to go from here. Turning 70 and living though a pandemic makes me realize that turning 70 has been a very exciting and wonderful ride. I’m not ready to get off the roller-coaster just yet.

May 23, 2020 - 6:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in Emergency childcare, news, GLOW YMCA, Phase 1, coronavirus, batavia.

From GLOW YMCA:

Emergency Childcare is available for parents who are going back to work after the coronavirus lockdown. It is a safe, full-day childcare option.

Registration is now open for residents of Genesee County with children ages 4 to 12 who have at least one parent or guardian returning to work in the Phase 1 reopening of New York

The program begins Tuesday, May 26th, and runs through Friday, June 26th (camp begins the week after on June 29th).

Times /Days

Monday – Friday

7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where

YMCA, 209 E. Main St., Batavia

Cost

Members $20/day, Non-members $40/day

To Register

Visit the Y's website at glowymca.org click on the “Emergency Childcare Information” button to download our registration packet or email Childcare Director Charitie Bruning for a registration packet:   [email protected]

Once you have completed the packet, please send back to Charitie Bruning at: [email protected]

Minimizing Risks

  • Programming will operate with social cistancing & Centers for Disease Control Recommended Guidelines.
  • Staff will be required to wear face masks or shields during all hours of program, students will not.
  • If desired: parents are welcome to provide their children with personal protective equipment -- PPE. Parents are encouraged to send a mask for outdoor walks.
  • Staff and participants will be temperature checked daily.
  • Cleaning checklists and sanitization will be completed throughout the day, overnight and as needed.
  • Increased handwashing will take place especially after gym, outdoor activities and when social distancing is not possible.

What to Bring

  • Sneakers
  • Water Bottle
  • Books (optional)
  • School Work/Technology

To prevent cross-contamination, parents are asked to provide the following:

  • Notebook
  • Pencil Box
  • Writing Utensils
  • Crayons/Colored Pencils/Markers
  • Glue Stick or Bottle Scissors
  • Breakfast/Lunch (optional since free meals are provided by Batavia City School District)

Commitment to Education

With YMCA network access to the Batavia City School District, students will have the ability to complete required school work, classroom meetings, etc. during Emergency Care.

Parents must provide the necessary technology and school work.

Please note: YMCA Staff are not school tutors and may not have specific subject expertise.

Youth Development

We are committed to implementing activities that allow safe social interactions, re-establishing routine, preventing learning loss, and fostering positive peer-to-peer interaction.

May 23, 2020 - 5:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Genesee County Public Health announced this afternoon that are no new positive COVID-19 tests to report in the past 24 hours.

May 23, 2020 - 1:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.
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      Anthony Welch

Anthony J. "Science" Welch, 39, of Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, after allegedly being found in possession of crack cocaine following a traffic stop by the Local Drug Task Force.

The charge is premised on the allegation that the amount of the narcotic in Welch's possession indicates he intended to sell it.

Welch was a passenger in a car driven by Steven R. Colombo, 33, of Batavia, who was allegedly driving while his privilege was suspended.

Another passenger, Amy L. Coulson, 33, of Batavia, was also arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd.

Following the traffic stop, Welch and Coulson were taken to the Genesee County Jail and based on a search warrant they were searched. Welch was allegedly found in possession of crack cocaine that he tried to hide during the traffic stop. 

Welch was also charged with tampering with physical evidence, promoting prison contraband, and criminally using drug paraphernalia.  

Colombo was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd.

Following arraignment, Welch was released under supervision of Genesee Justice and Coulson and Colombo were released on appearance tickets. 

The Task Force was assisted by Batavia PD, Corrections Officers, and the District Attorney's Office.

May 23, 2020 - 1:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Andrew Cuomo, news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

  • After meeting contact tracing metric, Mid-Hudson Valley will join Capital Region, Western New York, Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley Regions, which have met the seven metrics required to begin reopening.
  • If number of deaths continues to decrease and tracing is online, Long Island could reopen Wednesday, May 27th.
  • State is partnering with Advantage Care Physicians to establish 15 new testing sites at medical centers Downstate.
  • New York State now has more than 760 testing sites.
  • Reminds New Yorkers to vote in the Wear a Mask New York Ad Contest by Monday, May 25th.
  • Confirms 1,772 additional coronavirus cases in New York State -- bringing statewide total to 359,926; new cases in 50 counties.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Mid-Hudson Valley is on track to meet all seven metrics required to begin phase one of the state's regional phased reopening plan starting Tuesday, May 26th, joining the Capital Region, Western New York, Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley Regions.

The Mid-Hudson Valley has now identified enough contact tracers to meet the state's guidelines, and the tracers are being trained in preparation for the Mid-Hudson Valley entering phase one, which includes construction; manufacturing and wholesale supply chain; retail for curbside pick up and drop off or in-store pick up; and agriculture, forestry and fishing.

On Long Island, the number of deaths is continuing to drop and contract tracing is coming online, and if this trend continues Long Island could be ready to open by Wednesday, May 27th. Business guidance for phase one of the state's reopening plan is available here. A guide to the state's "NY Forward Reopening" Plan is available here. The state's regional monitoring dashboard is available here.

Governor Cuomo also announced the state is partnering with Advantage Care Physicians to establish 15 new testing sites at medical centers Downstate, including testing centers in low-income and minority communities. New York State now has more than 760 testing sites across the state. The Governor also encouraged eligible New Yorkers to visit coronavirus.health.ny.gov to find a nearby testing site and get tested.

The Governor also reminded New Yorkers to vote in the state's Wear a Mask New York Ad Contest, which was launched by the Governor on May 5th and is being overseen by his daughter Mariah Kennedy Cuomo. New Yorkers can vote for the winning ad until Monday May 25th at WearAMask.ny.gov. The winning ad will be announced on Tuesday, May 26th, and that ad will be used as a public service announcement.

"The numbers are going down every day and we're making real progress to stop the spread of this virus, and now we're focusing on reopening," Governor Cuomo said. "Reopening has been different in different regions all across the state, but each region has to meet the same criteria to reopen and we are keeping New Yorkers informed with where each region stands.

"We don't want a region to reopen before its ready, and the Mid-Hudson Valley Region has now met all the criteria necessary to begin reopening on Tuesday. This has been a tough situation, but New Yorkers are tough and we've shown how tough we really are here."

May 23, 2020 - 1:21pm

 June Haegele)

June Haegele, a longtime nurse for the VA Western New York Health Care System, received the Florence Nightingale Award on May 12 at the Batavia VA Community Living Center (CLC) for her dedication to keeping local veterans healthy amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

“It's an honor to be working with the veterans at the VA,” Haegele said. “And it was quite a surprise and a very appreciated honor for the staff to actually recognize me in that way.”

The Batavia VA has reported two positive COVID-19 cases, and Genesee County has experienced more than 170 confirmed cases throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Because nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been some of the hardest hit by COVID-19, Haegele’s work to prevent disease transmission earned her this award for exceptional nurses.

Named after Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing, this international honor is given to medical workers who reflect Nightingale’s achievements and legacy in infection and disease treatment. May 12 marked the 200th anniversary of Nightingale’s birth and the final day of National Nurses Week 2020. Nightingale awards are intended to highlight local nurses like Haegele who positively represent the nursing profession. 

“2020 is considered the Year of the Nurse in medical communities,” said Terry McGuire, public affairs specialist for the VA Western New York Health Care System. “To honor that, they [the Batavia VA] came up with this particular award. June was recognized for helping out with controlling infection, especially during this COVID crisis that we find ourselves in.”

Haegele was named the first recipient of the Batavia CLC Florence Nightingale Award, which is a new recognition at the Batavia VA that is modeled after the worldwide Nightingale honor. The Batavia CLC Florence Nightingale Award is expected to be given annually to local nursing professionals.

Surrounded by nurse managers during the nursing supervisor’s morning report, Haegele was presented with a certificate of appreciation and a lamp, which is symbolic of how Nightingale was the “Lady with the Lamp” while taking care of her patients in the 1850s.

“They just told me to come down to the morning meeting, and they surprised me with an award because I've been actually working very hard lately,” Haegele said. “The staff have been very supportive, and we've been working great as a team getting through what we're currently going through.” 

Haegele, who is a lifelong Batavia resident and graduate of Batavia High School, has served at the Batavia VA Medical Center for more than three decades. With the support of VA scholarships, she earned higher-education nursing degrees at Genesee Community College and Keuka College.

Haegele specializes in occupational health and infection prevention. She has recently been making rounds at the Batavia CLC on an hourly basis researching, mentoring and presenting policy and procedures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In the beginning, especially, things were changing hour by hour, day by day,” Haegele said. “You had to constantly be researching for any changes so you could keep everyone aware of the current recommendations. And I spent a lot of time educating and supporting the staff and ensuring that we were doing the right thing based on what they [the CDC] were recommending.”

The rapidly changing conditions of the public health crisis have meant that Haegel spends an extensive amount of time adapting safe infection control practices to ensure local VA residents and staff are isolated from the disease. According to a VA newsletter about the award, Haegele has contributed to the zero mortality rate at the Batavia facility.

“The nurses are responding with a united front in that residents are safe and provided a continuation of outstanding nursing care and using maximum safeguards for infection prevention,” said Evange Conley, public affairs officer for the VA Western New York Health Care System, via email.

Haegele said that she is passionate about working with veterans and that it was meaningful to her to be the first recipient of the Batavia CLC Florence Nightingale Award. She said she thinks the award is beneficial for staff members at the Batavia VA because it boosts morale and acknowledges their perseverance amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don't think any of us ever expected something like this to happen,” Haegele said. “It's been difficult to deal with this, but, on a very positive side, I just see a lot of great teamwork and collaboration. And it's stressful, but people are supporting each other. So it's really brought us together to do a good job based on the challenge that we're facing right now.”

Photo at top: June Haegele, left, received the first Batavia Community Living Center Florence Nightingale Award from Associate Chief Nurse Kathleen Padlick, right, on May 12 at the Batavia VA. Haegele earned the award for her hard work during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo credit: June Haegele)

May 23, 2020 - 12:35pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, news, coronavirus, free face masks.

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Masks obtained by the Genesee County Emergency Management Office, to help stop the spread of coronavirus, were distributed for free by the City of Batavia to members of the public on from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 21st and again today, May 23rd.

Today's distribution was behind the City of Batavia Police Station on Main Street.

A constant line of cars took advantage of the free offering of masks and hand sanitizer. Some motorists took masks for friends that were not able to drive or leave their house. 

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May 23, 2020 - 11:57am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Genesee County Job Development Bureau.

The director of the Genesee County Job Development Bureau is banking on the internet and World Wide Web to make it easier for out-of-work residents to find a job.

“My number one priority is figuring out how to do virtual job fairs,” Teresa Van Son said earlier this week during a Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee meeting via Zoom. “I think there’s definitely a need. We’ve looked at it quite a bit and I’m hoping within the next month or two, I will figure out some way to do it.”

Committee Chair Marianne Clattenburg said she was on board with that considering the current employment situation.

“Sometimes people are hesitant to walk through a door but if they just have to click on a website and do it virtually – the younger folks especially who are so used to that – it might be a great way to reach out,” Clattenburg reasoned.

Van Son said that although the building (located in the Eastown Plaza behind Aldi) is closed, Job Development Bureau and Department of Labor staff are working from home and offering services remotely and over the phone.

“There are a few things we can’t provide right now – hands-on assessment services, job fairs” and two programs with the Department of Social Services that have been temporarily suspended, she said.

Van Son said she is focusing on the Summer Youth Employment Program, with a goal of serving 50 young people.

“We’re looking to do it differently. We’re looking at where can we find outdoor spaces. So, maybe working with local towns with their cemeteries and helping them do some beautification, or something potentially with the parks," she said, adding that forming a sanitation crew is another possibility.

“We’re trying to be pretty creative and come up with outdoor things so that social distancing might be a little easier.”

Van Son said a team approach is another idea being considered.

“Maybe groups of five kids work together with a team leader and they determine what project they want to do,” she said. “They design it from the ground up and they make all the arrangements, and they execute that project. That would be their summer youth employment experience and they can put that into a portfolio.”

Operationally, Van Son said one longtime employee, Veronica Frost, is retiring while another, Mary Spaulding, is putting off her retirement for at least another year. Both have been with the bureau for more than 35 years.

She also said that renegotiation of the agency’s lease that expires on Jan. 31, 2021 has begun. She mentioned the benefits of the current location include longevity, a favorable monthly rate, being on the bus line and plenty of space to accommodate social distancing.

In a related development, the committee authorized Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein to sign a Job Development Bureau contractor’s agreement with Livingston County to facilitate the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act program.

The resolution states that the grant is a one-year agreement that may be extended based on performance for two additional one-year periods with a budget of $243,800.

Van Son said the WIOA federal grant, which is passed through the state for funding, provides over 65 percent of the bureau’s revenue. She said an additional $23,000 has been approved this year due to increased costs related to out-of-school youth services.

Genesee County does not allocate funding for the bureau but provides other types of support.

 “No county dollars directly fund the job development program but we’re very appreciative of the amount of in-kind service and assistance that we receive through the county to be able to provide these job-seeking services to folks in the community,” Van Son said.

----------

The Genesee County Job Development Bureau is located at 587 E. Main St., Suite 100, in the Eastown Plaza. For information about programs provided and employment/unemployment matters, call (585) 344-2042. The bureau’s website is here.

May 23, 2020 - 10:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in live stream, video, Genesee County Democratic Committee, news.
Video Sponsor

Interview with Michael Plitt, chairman of the Democratic Party in Genesee County.

May 23, 2020 - 10:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, nature, outdoors, news.

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James Elmore shared this photo from Thursday morning of an oriole eating some jelly in his backyard.

May 23, 2020 - 9:42am

As the Batavia City School District’s Board of Education worked to reach its goal of a 2020-21 budget with no property tax rate increase, tough decisions had to be made -- most notably the need to cut a significant number of jobs.

At its April 28th meeting, the board announced an across-the-board reduction of at least 30 positions, including administrators, teachers, aides and clerical staff.

Earlier this week, the board passed a $51.4 million spending plan and, according to Business Administrator Scott Rozanski, the impact of those cuts, when converting them to “full-time equivalents,” isn’t as severe as originally believed.

Rozanski today said that 10 of the 33 FTE positions removed from the budget are reductions to existing staff, with seven teachers and one clerical employee losing their jobs. The other two of those 10 FTEs are vacant positions in administration that won’t be filled, he said.

“So, technically, eight permanent employees are affected at this point in time,” Rozanski said.

The remainder of the reductions is as follows:

-- Five FTE via retirements;
-- Seven and a half FTE via resignations;
-- Ten FTE via long-term substitute assignments ending June 30;
-- One half FTE via reductions to the budget (contracted new position).

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for the board’s next meeting at 6 p.m. June 2, and voting will take place by paper ballot on June 9. Ballots were mailed to all eligible voters and must be returned (in a provided postage-paid envelope) by 5 p.m. June 9th to be considered.

The public also will vote on a $619,151 capital project to construct an age-appropriate playground at Jackson Primary School, he said.

In a related development, the Batavia Teachers’ Association will vote next Thursday (May 28) on a proposal to change the school day schedule. 

BTA President Mark Warren said today that voting by employees who work at the four district schools will take place by an online balloting system, and results will be available that evening.

“Each of the four buildings will have separate votes and if they all vote in favor of it, then it will pass,” Warren said.

If approved, it reportedly would save the district about $200,000 in transportation costs.

The proposed schedule change is as follows:

 -- Putting Batavia High and Batavia Middle on a 7:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. schedule. Currently, the schedule at those two schools is 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

-- Putting John Kennedy and Jackson on a 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. schedule. Currently, the schedule at those two schools is 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

May 22, 2020 - 6:38pm

The pastor of the Batavia First Presbyterian Church said that while she understands the president’s call for the immediate reopening of places of worship, she said it is best that “we decide for ourselves” on how to move forward in the face of COVID-19.

President Trump earlier today issued a strong statement on the status of religious services, practically ordering governors to “do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now – for this weekend.”

In a 2 minute, 20 second address, after which he took no questions from the media, Trump said that churches, synagogues and mosques are “essential places that provide essential services,” and if state governors do not permit reopening, he will “override” them.

Rev. Roula Alkhouri, Ph.D., said that the congregation at First Presbyterian should be able to “decide for ourselves, making sure that it is safe for our neighbors and following the guidelines (set forth by New York State and the local health department).”

While believing that government does not have any authority over the church, Alkhouri said her church is under the authority of the Presbytery and adheres to a “collective wisdom” approach.

She also said she believes strongly in the separation of church and state, but she hasn’t felt oppressed by any of the rules stemming from the coronavirus outbreak.

“The guidelines are there to protect us,” she said. “If we chose to meet, we probably could, but is it ethical, does it show the love of Christ toward others? I don’t think so.”

Alkhouri said COVID-19 has hit close to home as a cousin died due to the virus and a sister, who lives in Dubai, just recovered after a 25-day battle.

“(Reopening the building) is not a simple decision; it’s very complex,” she said. “Yes, it is essential that we gather together to worship, but it also is essential that we don’t endanger anyone either.”

Rev. Martin Macdonald, pastor of City Church in Batavia, said he applauds the president’s assertion, but also supports the local officials who are monitoring the situation here.

“I appreciate and respect the president, but we still have to lend our ear to what’s happening in our own community,” he said, referring to the county and city managers, police chiefs and sheriff and health department director. “The president is giving the green light – saying you can reopen – but is it the right time yet? I’ll wait to hear what local authorities have to say.”

He said that he doesn’t think anyone is intentionally trying to keep churches closed, adding that “no one can stop the Gospel from being spread throughout the world.”

“Everyone knows how much I believe in the local church and love people to come together to worship … but I’ve found that our reach is greater than ever before through Facebook and social media outlets,” he said.

Macdonald said he looks to Scripture as his guide.

“The Bible says all things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial,” he said, paraphrasing I Cor. 10:23.

In New York, just yesterday Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that religious gatherings will be permitted under strict social guidelines, including no more than 10 people at a time with all participants having to wear masks.

Drive-in and parking lot services also will be allowed.

The governor also said he is forming an interfaith advisory council to formulate guidelines to open up services to a greater degree.

--------------

President Trump’s complete statement:

“At my direction, the CDC is issuing guidance for communities of faith … today I’m identifying houses of worship – churches, synagogues and mosques – as essential places that provide essential services. Some governors have deemed the liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It’s not right.

"So, I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential. I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now. If there’s any question, they’re going to have to call me, but they’re not going to be successful in that call. These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united. The people are demanding to go to church, their synagogue and go to their mosque.

"Many millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life. The ministers, pastors, rabbis, imams and other faith leaders will make sure that their congregations are safe as they gather and pray. I know them well. They love their congregations, they love their people, they don’t want anything bad to happen to them or anyone else.

"The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now – for this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less."

May 22, 2020 - 5:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, scanner.

A disturbance is reported in the parking lot at BJ's Wholesale Club plaza. A caller to dispatch reports that a person keyed her car and now the two parties are arguing. No word on how it all began. Law enforcement is on scene. The location is 8330 Lewiston Road, Batavia.

May 22, 2020 - 5:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Oakfield, scanner.

A caller to dispatch reports an unusual catch and asks for some help with it. They were "magnet fishing" in the creek in the 6000 block of Fisher Road in Oakfield when they "pulled up some pieces of a firearm." A Genesee County Sheriff's deputy is responding.

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