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March 29, 2019 - 2:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Steve Hawley, news, vietnam veterans day.

AboveAssemblyman Steve Hawley [pictured center front] poses with a group of Vietnam veterans in Washington, D.C., during a previous Patriot Trip.

Submitted photos and press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today recognized Vietnam Veterans Day (March 29) by passing an official Assembly Resolution in Albany honoring the event.

Hawley, a veteran, son of a veteran and member of the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee, offered his gratitude and best wishes to New York’s veterans of the Vietnam War and urged constituents to thank a family member or friend who served in Vietnam.

“Vietnam was one of the longest and most violent conflicts in American history with many brave young men, not long out of high school, answering the call of duty for their nation,” Hawley said.

“The campaign to defeat communism and the forces of evil claimed countless brave souls but today is dedicated to honoring their sacrifices and thanking those still with us for their commitment to their nation and its people.”

Below, Hawley poses with a veteran who served as a nurse during the Vietnam War in front of the Vietnam Nurses’ Memorial in Washington, D.C.

March 29, 2019 - 9:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, news.

Press release:

Mostert, Manzanero & Scott LLP presented a summary of the audit procedures, undertaken in accordance with the scope of their engagement, and the final audit results to the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC) Board at its March 28 meeting.   

The GGLDC Board engaged Mostert, Manzanero & Scott LLP, a certified public accounting firm, to perform an independent audit of the 2018 financial statements. The independent audit was performed to issue: an opinion on the financial statements of the GGLDC for the year ending Dec. 31, 2018; a management letter to the Board of Directors and management; and, a report about internal controls over financial reporting in accordance with Government Auditing Standards. 

Included in the management letter is a statement from Mostert, Manzanero & Scott LLP affirming that no material deficiencies in internal controls were identified during the audit. The firm also affirmed that, in their opinion, the audited financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the GGLDC as of Dec. 31, 2018, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

“I am pleased with the continued positive audit results, and it speaks to the professionalism and transparency of the organization,” said Tom Felton, chairman of the GGLDC. “The GGLDC is actively marketing our industry-specific shovel-ready real estate and continues to see significant interest in our parks.”

Currently, there is $6.7 million of land held for sale and development under the agency's control, including 25 acres at the Buffalo East Technology Park; 130 acres at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park; 14 acres at Med Tech Park; and the Upstate MedTech Centre Building, including an Innovation Zone for entrepreneurial business development.

March 29, 2019 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in marijuana, news, notify.


Chief Shawn Heubusch and Sheriff William Sheron at a Public Service Committee meeting in January.

Rather than a potential revenue windfall, marijuana legalization could drive up costs for county government, County Manager Jay Gsell warns, as the county will need to cope with several matters related to law enforcement, public health, and federal contracts.

He's concerned state officials pushing for legalization haven't fully thought through these issues.

"I see it mostly as there could be more negative cost implications to the county as far as what we'll be dealing with in terms of our social service agencies or treatment agencies, and the related people that are part of what we fund in county government, such as law enforcement, and the public health considerations, rather than, 'oh, I see this as just another nice thing to do -- a little bit of a revenue stream,' " Gsell said. "I just don't even see that happening per se."

State officials are talking about implementing a 2 percent or 4 percent sales tax on marijuana sales and remitting some portion of that tax to local jurisdictions that don't opt out of permitting sales.

Gsell said since consumption will be legal in all counties in the state, opting out of allowing local sales will really be just turning down whatever revenue a county might be able to recoup for the potential increase in expenses that go with legal pot.

Both Sheriff William Sheron and Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch have publicly opposed legalization of marijuana, expressing concern about the potential for more highway fatalities, easier access to cannabis for teens, and the potential for increased crimes. Last month they shared these concerns with the county's Public Service Committee.

"The public safety issue is really what has law enforcement against it," Sheron said.

Both top cops have sent out press releases generated by their respective state law enforcement associations opposing legalized marijuana. In both cases, the Sheriff and the Police Chief say that marijuana-related traffic deaths have increased in Colorado since recreational use of cannabis became legal.

However, various reports available online contradict this assertion.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported last summer that while the number of fatal accidents where some trace of marijuana was present in one or more of the drivers involved had increased, fatalities in accidents where a driver was considered impaired by marijuana dropped significantly, from 52 in 2016 to 35 in 2017.

The Reason Foundation compiled a comprehensive report on driving and marijuana use that also suggested there is little correlation between legalized marijuana and increased traffic fatalities. Reason also found some data to suggest that legalized marijuana helps reduce drunken driving fatalities either because people consume less alcohol or since states like Colorado ban public consumption of marijuana, people who mix alcohol and marijuana are more likely to do so at home.

On the law enforcement front, a report from Police Quarterly, cited in a story from the Seattle Times, said that legalized marijuana seems to correlate to high clearance rates (cases solved) for reported crimes as officers spend less time on drug offenses.

It might surprise some that Jeremy Almeter, owner of Glass Roots on Center Street, isn't exactly eager to start selling marijuana from his shop, should it become legal. But he does support legalization and takes issue with opponents who say marijuana will lead to more traffic accidents or that it's some sort of gateway drug.

"I've been hearing marijuana is a gateway drugs since I was a kid, and I can tell you that the only true gateway drug in our society right now is alcohol," Almeter said. "You know, nobody smokes a joint and then goes out and decides to rob a liquor store. Bad decisions are made by people when they're inebriated.

"You know they're making decisions that they wouldn't normally make. I have seen, firsthand, the effect of alcohol on people doing exactly that. I think marijuana is one of the safest plants on the planet. I think hemp is right in the same plant family and they both deserve access for every person on the planet.

"If they if they're helping you, great, but they've never killed anyone. How many people are we losing a year to drunken driving?"

Almeter added, "Alcohol kills 88,000 people a year. Cigarettes kill 480,000. Cannabis has never killed anybody."

Whether marijuana has ever killed anyone is a disputed assertion. Here's Politifact on the topic.

Dealing with drivers who are so high their ability is impaired, regardless of what the statistics out of Colorado and elsewhere say, is a major concern for both Sheron and Heubusch. The chemical test for driving under the influence of alcohol is pretty straightforward. Blood alcohol content is scientific, objective and reliable. Busting a driver impaired by marijuana is more of a judgment call, and getting such a charge to stick in court requires officers who are trained as drug recognition experts.

It's an expensive proposition to have a DRE on a department's force. The Sheriff's Office has six currently. Batavia PD, only two.

It takes an experienced officer six months of training before obtaining DRE certification.

"In the law enforcement realm, the DRE program is one of the most difficult and time-consuming certifications that you can obtain," said Undersheriff Bradley Mazur.

During a recent interview, Deputy Ryan DeLong (top photo), who is DRE certified, discussed the process involved in making an arrest of a driver suspected of driving while impaired by a drug.

First, there needs to be probable cause to make a traffic stop. Second, the officer must observe something about the driver that indicates he or she is either high or intoxicated. Then the officer can initiate a field sobriety test.

If the officer isn't DRE certified but has a good reason to believe the driver is impaired by marijuana or another drug, then the officer will require the assistance of a DRE officer.

"The first thing that we do really doesn't change and that's just the administration of standardized field sobriety testing," DeLong said. "At the roadside, we're doing the battery of tests --  horizontal nystagmus (follow a pen with your eyes), walk and turn, and the one-legged stand. If we determine that the person is intoxicated or impaired by drugs, we take them into custody and start the process of bringing in a drug recognition expert. The drug recognition expert's job is to do three things: Determine is a person impaired? Is the impairment a medical impairment or a drug-induced impairment? And what category of drug or drugs is a person under the influence of, and how the DRE determines that is a 12-step process."

The process involves question, observation, and chemical testing (and those results can take some time to come back from the lab).

"What we're looking for, is there an abnormal dilation of the pupil for the lighting conditions or an abnormal constriction of the pupil and also how the pupil will react to a light stimulus," DeLong said. "We're looking at their muscle tone. We're going to check to see where it's most rigid or flaccid. We're checking for any injection sites for intravenous drug use throughout this whole process, and also just conducting an interview as we're interacting with the person.

"We're looking for observable signs of a drug usage such as somebody being on the nod, as we call it, where they're basically falling asleep in front of us, or different body tremors, or different signs of impairment. If we determine that this person is under the influence of a drug and what category of drug they are under, they'll go for a blood test or spittle test and (depending on the results) they'll be charged accordingly."

When it comes to law enforcement, marijuana legalization and the correlating expenses, the potential need for more DREs, aren't the only concerns for the county.

The Sheriff's Office has two new K-9s coming into service and of course, today's K-9s are trained to detect marijuana. That's a skill a K-9 won't unlearn, so there is some question about whether weed-sniffing dogs can remain in service.

Gsell is also worried about how legalization might impact Federal grants. The county receives more than $11 million a year from the Federal government and many of those contracts are contingent on the county maintaining a drug-free environment. Even if the state decriminalizes cannabis, that won't change Federal law or policy.

"As far as where federal money is used to fund positions and things of that nature, we have to provide assurances, like we do with our CDL drivers at the County Highway Department, that there are random drug tests done and there is a zero tolerance with regard to persons having any of that stuff in their systems," Gsell said.

While the state is promising an increase in revenue if marijuana sales become legal, a share of that revenue will only be available to counties that don't opt-out of legal pot sales within their borders. Given the anticipated increase in expenses, Gsell suggested the county will have little choice to allow local sales even if the additional revenue doesn't totally offset the additional expenses.

"The prospect of revenue or increased revenue is an ephemeral situation at this point," Gsell said. "There's no way to predict what that is and the things that we see from the state are not what I would call vetted enough, nor necessarily what I believe is actually going to come to reality."

March 28, 2019 - 7:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, Stafford.

A one-vehicle rollover accident is reported in the area of 8810 Morganville Road (Route 237) in Stafford. It is blocking traffic. Stafford Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medics. A first responder on scene says the occupant is conscious and alert and has facial injuries.

Mercy Flight in Batavia is on ground standby. The vehicle is said to have rolled over several times.

March 28, 2019 - 5:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, BCSD, business, Top Workplaces Award.

Press release:

The results are in on workplace satisfaction and, for the second year in a row, the Batavia City School District was recognized as one of the best places to work in the Rochester area.

In addition to receiving a Democrat and Chronicle 2019 Top Workplace Award at a celebration event held at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, the District also received an “I Love My Job” award in the large business category for the quantity and quality of the employee responses to a satisfaction survey.

Each year, the Democrat and Chronicle partners with a research and consulting firm to administer an anonymous employee survey on which the awards are based. All employees are invited to respond to questions that cover a variety of workplace factors such as meaningfulness of work, confidence in leadership, availability of training and support, inter-departmental cooperation, evidence of ethics and values, communication, and fair wages and benefits.

For Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey, the results of the anonymous and voluntary survey confirmed what he already believed to be true: “Our administration, faculty and staff are outstanding,” he said. “Together they create a culture that is dedicated to helping each student in our schools achieve his or her potential in every aspect of personal growth.

"In addition, our Board of Education, backed by our community, supports the administration in creating a positive environment for our students and staff to work, learn and grow.”

“This independent survey of all of our employees is an excellent recognition that defines our district as a great place to have a career that makes a difference in our world."

The future, he noted, will hold more of the same.

“We offer very competitive salaries and benefits to our employees, and outstanding professional development opportunities for their continued growth and development," the superintendent said. "BCSD also has tremendous facilities for enabling our employees to positively impact the lives of our students, and our 2020 Vision Capital Project will serve to enhance that.”

March 28, 2019 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, batavia, crime, news, notify, Le Roy.
     Sylvan Grayson

On March 25, the Le Roy Police Department arrested 19-year-old Sylvan P. Grayson, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, and charged him with one count each of burglary in the second degree, a Class C felony, and grand larceny in the fourth degree, a Class E felony.

The arrest stems from a complaint that during the evening hours of March 4, people unlawfully entered a residence on Lake Street in Le Roy with intent to commit a crime and stole property while the tenants were away. It is alleged that Grayson stole more than $1,000 worth of property. 

He was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and released on his own recognizance.

Thomas L. Crawford, 29, of Dorstone Road, Rochester, is charged with third-degree assault -- intent to cause physical injury. Crawford was arrested at 2:30 p.m. on March 25 on Liberty Street in Batavia after he allegedly struck a person in the forehead during an argument, causing a large laceration. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 bail. He was due back in city court on March 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Ryan Christopher Northup, 35, of Chamberlain Street, Rochester, is charged with: aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree -- mandatory suspension; operating a motor vehicle with without a required ignition interlock device; leaving the scene of a property damage accident; and unlicensed driver -- license revoked. On March 24 in the Town of Bergen, Northup was arrested during a vehicle checkpoint conducted by GC Sheriff's deputies on Route 33. It is alleged that Northup, while attempting to avoid the checkpoint, pulled into a driveway and missed it, striking a drainage culvert and causing damage. He then left the scene of the accident and was arrested at 4:36 p.m. He was arraigned in Town of Bergen Court and put in jail on $1,000 cash bond. He is due in Town of Bergen Court on April 17 to answer the charges. The case was handled by GC Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan, assisted by Deputy Travis DeMuth. Subsequent to his arrest on the above charges, Northup was arrested at the jail and charged with introduction of dangerous contraband into a prison in the first degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. On March 24, while being processed at the jail, Northup was allegedly found with a white substance tucked into his wallet. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail on those two charges without bail. He is due back in city court at a later time and date. The contraband case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale.

Teesean T. Ayala, 20, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree burglary. Ayala was arrested March 19 on a grand jury warrant following an investigation into a residential burglary that occurred on Hutchins Street in Batavia at 9 p.m. on Aug. 2. Ayala was jailed without bail and is due in Genesee County Court in May. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Det. Thad Mart.

March 28, 2019 - 4:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, pembroke. grand jury.

Laura L. Dutton, AKA Laura Godlewski, AKA Laura L. Godlewski Dutton-Pontillo, AKA Laura Dutton, is indicted for the crime of filing a false instrument in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on May 4 at the Genesee County Clerk's Office that Dutton filed a NYS Pistol-Revolver license application knowing that it contained false information, and with intent to defraud she offered it to a public servant for filing to become part of the public records.

Dennis S. Rogers Jr. is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 3 in the Town of Pembroke that Rogers drove a 2003 Chevrolet on Route 5 while he was intoxicated. In count two, Rogers is accused of DWI, per se, as a Class E felony, for having a BAC of .08 percent at the time. In count three, the defendant is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree for driving that day when his license was suspended or revoked. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Rogers is accused of having been convicted of DWI as a misdemeanor on June 30, 2011 in County of Monroe Court and also on Sept. 16, 2002 in City of Rochester Court. Those convictions and an additional suspension of Rogers's privilege to drive on July 27 last year, based on failure to pay child support, forms the basis for the suspension or revocation referred to in count three of the current indictment.

March 28, 2019 - 4:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.
stonebrakermug2019.jpg leemugmarch2019.jpg batemanmugmarch2019.jpg wilcoxugmarch2019.jpg
    Nikki Stonebraker      Marquise Lee      Angela Bateman      Derek Wilcox

      Joseph Burr



Probation officers reportedly found 56 bags of crack cocaine along with drug paraphernalia and drug packaging material during a check of a residence on Liberty Street, Batavia, yesterday and as a result of a joint investigation by the Probation Department, Child Protective Services, and the Local Drug Task Force, five people were arrested and charged with multiple crimes.

Investigators reported also finding unidentified pills and currency.

Charged were:

  • Marquise L. Lee, 36, of Hobart Street, Rochester, with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, a Class B felony, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia 2nd;
  • Angela R. Bateman, 46, of East Main Street, Batavia, with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, a Class B felony, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd;
  • Nikki L. Stonebraker, 30, of Liberty Street, Batavia, with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, a Class B felony, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, endangering the welfare of a child;
  • Joseph T. Burr, 25, of North Lyon Street, Batavia, arrested on a warrant for alleged violation of probation and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, a Class B felony, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd;
  • Derek E. Wilcox, 30, of Congress Avenue, Rochester, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, a Class B felony, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd.

All five suspects were arraigned in Batavia City Court.

Lee was ordered held without bail. Ball was set at $50,000 or $100,000 bond for Burr, who was also ordered held on $5,000 bail for the violation of probation charge. The other three suspects had their bail set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

March 28, 2019 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, grants.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is excited to announce the recipients of the 2018-2019 winter cycle of Community Youth Grant Awards.

Grants have been awarded to the following organizations for their commitment to facilitating community youth activities for children under age 18 in the Western New York region:

  • Warsaw Junior Tigers Youth Football Program: $1,600
  • Batavia Middle School -- “B Squad” Running Program: $1,100
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. John the Baptist Church “Kids to Camp” Program: $1,000
  • Batavia Girls Fastpitch Softball/Batavia Stingers: $1,500
  • Genesee County Business/Education Alliance Summer Career Exploration Camps: $1,000

The summer round of the annual grant cycle will begin soon.

Summer 2019 Funding Cycle:

●  Application form available (online only) on May 1;

●  Applications are due July 1;

●  Award notices will be sent to applicants by Aug. 1.

The online application will be available here. There are no geographic limitations for recipients, but preference may be given to the Western New York region. Organizations may receive one grant annually. Requests for program advertising will be directed to the appropriate grant cycle.

Upcoming Foundation Fundraising events:

The eighth annual Derby Day Gala 2019 will be held on Saturday, May 4, at Terry Hills Restaurant & Banquet Facility from 4 to 9 p.m. For ticket information go to www.michaelshope.org

About the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation Inc.

It was established in 2007, is in memory of Michael C. Napoleone, the 8-year-old son of Mark and Laurie Napoleone from Batavia, who died from Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer. During Michael's illness, the community rallied around the family to assist with food, gas, medical bills and other necessities.

The not-for-profit foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, was created to give back to those who cared, to give forward to those in need, and to support research efforts in finding a cure for childhood cancer.

March 28, 2019 - 3:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in Steve Hawley, news.

Press release: 

As Assembly leadership began its yearly tradition of unveiling budget bills Tuesday with the introduction of the Debt Service Bill, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) voted against the legislation that would have perpetuated Albany’s reckless spending habits, leading to a state debt of nearly $54 billion.

“Let’s talk about the facts, New York has $53.6 billion in debt and ranks as the second most indebted state behind only California,” Hawley said. “That’s $3,153 that every single person would be responsible for paying if and when the state comes calling.

"This bill calls for our budget to allocate $10.2 billion just to service our debt for one year – money that should be invested in roads, bridges, schools and tax relief efforts, not paying state creditors.

“This is the consequence of extreme tax and spend policies in Albany. No family, business or organization across our state would ever put the kind of spending on a credit card the way that New York State does.

"I will continue to hold the line on responsible spending and total transparency throughout the remainder of our budget process this week. It is time that we ditch the old way of doing things in Albany, and embrace a new vision of fiscal responsibility and pro-growth policies that will allow our state to prosper for decades to come.”

March 28, 2019 - 2:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Richmond Memorial Library.

Due to a sewer backup and loss of access to running water, the Richmond Memorial Library closed at 2:45 p.m. today.

Tonight's movie and other programs are cancelled.

We all regret the inconvenience, but we are expecting to reopen at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

Thank you.

Bob Conrad,

Library Director

March 28, 2019 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department is looking to identify the person in this photo.

We believe she might be able to assist us with a found purse at a local business.

If anyone knows who she is, please contact Officer Jamie Givens at 585-345-6350. 







March 28, 2019 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Stafford, news.

Stafford Fire Department is dispatched to the area of 6305 East Bethany-Le Roy Road, Stafford, for a report of a grass fire.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.: A tanker from South Byron requested to the scene.

March 28, 2019 - 9:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Spring fever may be in the air, but American motorists already have summer road trips top of mind. AAA’s latest Gas Price survey found that if gas prices remain low, one in three Americans (33 percent) would likely plan another summer road trip, while 27 percent would increase the distance of one – with Generation X more likely to do both than Baby Boomers. AAA expects the national gas price average this spring to reach $2.75, a savings of nearly 20 cents compared to last spring’s high of $2.92.

“Cheaper crude oil prices have helped to keep pump prices lower this winter,” said Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations at AAA Western and Central New York. “While we are seeing the national gas price average increase and mirror prices from this time last year, spring pump prices for the majority of motorists are not expected to elevate to the nearly $3/gal level of last May.”

In New York State, the average is already at $2.72, compared to $2.75 last year. Western and Central New York is likely to see prices rise at least another 10 cents. However, motorists on the West Coast and in the Rockies region will likely see prices reach or exceeded $3/gal, which is similar to last year.

In addition to increasing the number or mileage of summer road trips, the AAA survey shows that Americans said lower gas prices would encourage them to spend or save more, but this varies based on generation and region:

  • The majority of Millennials (53 percent) and Gen X (49 percent) would put aside money for savings as compared to Baby Boomers (44 percent).
  • Generation X is more likely to increase shopping/dining out, drive more on a weekly basis or use more expensive gas as compared to compared to Baby Boomers.
  • Motorists in the South (11 percent) and West (10 percent) say they would use more expensive gas while 5 percent of those in the Midwest and 7 percent in the Northeast would be willing to upgrade fuel type.

Springing Gas Prices
While the first few months of this year ushered in daily national gas price averages that were, at times, as much as 35-cents cheaper than a year ago, pump prices since the middle of March have been mostly similar to prices at this time last year. Today’s national gas price average is 4 cents more expensive than a year ago.

“Historically, early spring triggers an increase in pump prices due to an increase in demand as Americans put the winter blues behind them and drive more. Another factor pumping up the price is the switchover to summer-blend gasoline, which is more expensive for refiners to produce,” added Carey.

The difference between summer- and winter-blend gasoline involves the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) of the fuel. RVP is a measure of how easily the fuel evaporates at a given temperature. The more volatile a gasoline (higher RVP), the easier it evaporates. Summer-blend gasoline has a lower RVP to prevent excessive evaporation when outside temperatures rise. Reducing the volatility of summer gas decreases emissions that can contribute to unhealthy ozone and smog levels. A lower RVP also helps prevent drivability problems, especially in older vehicles. Summer-blend is more expensive to produce and that cost is passed on to the consumer each spring.

Oil Dynamics

Motorists benefitted this winter from lower crude oil prices, which comprise approximately 50 percent of the prices paid at the pump. Crude prices ranged between $48 and $56 per barrel this winter, while winter 2018 saw consistent prices between $60 and $65. This difference helped to keep pump prices mostly cheaper this winter, but crude prices are likely poised to increase this spring possibly back to $65, which will propel gas prices higher as gasoline demand increases across the country.

Moreover, moving into spring, crude prices will likely increase as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continues to implement its agreement with other global crude producers to cut production by 1.2 million b/d, which remains in effect through June. OPEC has announced that it will not meet in April to discuss the pact; instead, it will meet on June 25 and 26 and may announce a decision to end or extend its agreement at that time. OPEC and its partners will likely look toward global pricing trends around the time the cuts are set to expire as well as global crude demand forecasts, and how well members of the reduction pact have adhered to the production cuts to determine if it should extend its pact beyond June. If it does and crude prices rise dramatically, American motorists could see pump prices spike later in the summer. 

Additionally, U.S.-imposed sanctions meant to curtail crude exports from Iran and Venezuela will likely tighten global supply and help crude prices inch up this spring. The exact price impact will be determined by how stringently the United States enforces the sanctions. Some market observers believe the United States, which is now the world’s leading crude producer, could help meet global demand because of its newfound export prowess. However, growth in domestic demand for crude, particularly during the high-demand driving season this summer, may limit just how much the United States is able to contribute to the global crude market.

Summer Look Ahead
AAA expects summer 2019 gas prices to be on par with prices during summer 2018, with May seeing the highest prices of the year. Heading into summer, a variety of factors, including U.S. supply-demand levels, U.S. production and crude prices will help better shape the summer forecast.

March 27, 2019 - 5:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

One of the two men arrested in connection to thefts from local liquor stores, where one man would distract the store clerk and another would enter the back room to steal cash or credit cards, admitted to his crimes today in front of County Court Judge Charles Zambito.

The way career-criminal Edward F. Perdue, 58, seemed to figure it when he walked into County Court today, unless he could persuade Judge Zambito to be a bit lenient with him, he won't get out of state prison until he's 67 years old.

Perdue, arrested in Batavia for entering the backrooms of local liquor stores and stealing cash and credit cards, is currently serving three to six years in the Orleans Correctional Facility on a burglary conviction in Monroe County.

Zambito's choice today was to send him to prison, based on his guilty plea to grand larceny, 4th, in November, for either one and a half to three years or for two to four. Perdue added another twist with his own request of the judge: make his Genesee County sentence concurrent to his Monroe County sentence.

The reason the five-time felon should get a break, according to the felon himself, is that he tipped police to a threat against the life of District Attorney Lawrence Friedman. Perdue said he overheard another inmate on a bus make a threat against Friedman (whose name he kept pronouncing "fryedman" and noted that "I never saw him before today").

"I'm not asking to be released," Perdue said. "I'm asking for my time to be concurrent with the time I'm doing now. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time."

During his talk with the judge, Perdue claimed both that officers did not talk with him about his tip and he also said he spoke with investigators and provided them with the name of the person who he said made the threat.

"The cops said they would help me," he said.

"The detectives said they would come and talk with me and they never did," he said.

"The cops said they would talk with me and I would rather talk with them," he said.

He indicated he thought he deserved a break because he's been labeled a snitch in Orleans.

Friedman, outside of court, said state authorities did investigate Perdue's allegations and found the allegations unfounded.

Zambito noted during sentencing that Friedman asked for the maximum term for Perdue and never mentioned giving him any consideration for his cooperation with police, and without evidence of Perdue's claims, he said he couldn't really consider the request.

What he could consider is Perdue's criminal record going back to 1976 and includes multiple burglaries and other property crimes, a criminal contempt and a manslaughter conviction.

"You're a career criminal," Zambito said. "A career thief." 

He told Perdue, "there's no reason not to give you the maximum allowable sentence and hope that protects society."

The sentence: two to four years consecutive with the term Perdue is currently serving.

Perdue will, in fact, likely spend his 67th birthday in prison.

"I never burglarized anything," Perdue said before he was led from court in a statement that garnered no response from Zambito."Isn't a burglary when you break into some place? I just walked into the backroom of places."

March 27, 2019 - 4:15pm

Meet Boots, an adult neutered male domestic shorthair cat that is available for adoption at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Boots loves attention, in fact he craves it. But he's not pesky about it -- he's too cool and easygoing for that. You won't find him losing his dignity by dashing spastically around his dwelling, which screams "I'm sooo needy! I'm going mad from this dearth of activity and affection!"

Volunteers For Animals note that he "seems to like everyone." The key word in the descriptor is "seems." Merriam-Webster's Dictionary tells us it means (1) "to appear to the observation or understanding" or (2) "to give the impression of being."

This is a remarkable personality trait that should not be underestimated. The ability to seem to like everyone when in fact you do not or, at best, you harbor an impalpable but distinct qualm about a person and his character, yet mingle amiably with that person/dog/cat and no one is the wiser, speaks volumes about Boots's competence in jibing with others.

That is a great quality to have in a pet; coupled with his striking black and white bib and tucker and a dashing all-white moustache -- it makes for one fine speciman.

The dog here is Tessie, a spayed, adult female boxer mixed breed who straight up likes to be a household's one and only pet. She only has eyes for you and she needs you to only have eyes for her.

She does not share the limelight. She does not take a backseat to any other four-legged friend. And she does not equivocate about it.

She is loyal and true, but the key to her heart is all about fun and playfulness. Fetch? Walks? Yes! Yes! Tugs? Yes! Purposeless goofiness? Doggone right --100-percent. 

The flippy, bouncy ears tell you all of that, especially when matched with the eager eyes that say your mere existance is her pure joy.

Tessie, too, is available for adoption at the shelter.

Visit the shelter:

3841 W. Main Street Road, Batavia
Phone is 343-6410.

Feel free to drop off some needful items such as Little Friskies cat kibble or Purina Dog Chow, or bleach, paper towels, small soft blankets, etc.

Adoption Hours:
Sun, Mon, Tues, Fri  1 - 3 p.m.
Wednesday  1 - 3  & 7 - 9 p.m.
Saturday  11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Speaking of the shelter and the indefatigable volunteers there...

"Volunteers For Animals is always in need of monetary donations for the animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter. Our largest expense is veterinary care for sick and injured animals.

"A great deal of our money is spent spaying and neutering as many animals as possible BEFORE they leave the Shelter. Spaying and neutering animals is the ONLY way to reduce the number of homeless animals. In addition to vet care, we also purchase FIV/FeLV tests for cats and heartworm tests for dogs.

"Please consider making a donation today. All donations to Volunteers For Animals, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, are tax-deductible."

You can make a donation through PayPal or mail a check to: 

Volunteers For Animals
P.O. Box 1621
Batavia, NY 14020

March 27, 2019 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Oakfield-Alabama School District, music, cabaret.

From Oakfield-Alabama Central School District:

The Oakfield-Alabama Music Department will be presenting a “Cabaret” concert tonight, March 27, as part of the Music In Our Schools Month initiative.

Performing groups will include Middle School Band and Chorus, Sr. High Band and Chorus, Swing Choir, and Jazz Ensemble. Numerous small ensembles and student soloists will be featured as well.

The atmosphere for this event will be energetic yet casual and will be highlighted with music ranging from cinematic to jazz to contemporary hits. The concert starts at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium with reception to follow.

Suggested donation for admission is $5 for adults, $1 for students. Proceeds go to the Music Department Boosters.

The school is located at 7001 Lewiston Road in Oakfield.

March 27, 2019 - 1:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, fire, news.

A brush fire 100 feet from a house is reported in Le Roy at 8751 W. Bergen Road. Le Roy fire and ambulance are responding. The location is between Quinlan Road and Lake Street Road.

UPDATE 1:27 p.m.: Bergen's brush truck is called to provide mutual aid.

UPDATE 1:56 p.m.: Fire is out.

March 27, 2019 - 11:26am
posted by Billie Owens in scanner, news, batavia.

Batavia cops are on the lookout for a loose chicken in the vicinity of 111 Washington Ave. in the city. The caller to dispatch is the owner, who says it made its escape this morning.

UPDATE 1:39 p.m.: "Rooster secured at 127 South Swan," a dispatcher tells a patrol, now en route to that location. The officer says he'll try to speak with the person who captured the fowl.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: No word yet on how the rooster got across busy East Main Street and continued in a southeasterly direction, a trek totaling about a mile -- which Google Maps says is a four-minute drive. Here's a map of the driving route(s); but of course it's most likely the bird hoofed it.

March 26, 2019 - 6:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Central Schools, music education, news.
Press release:
The NAMM Foundation has designated Le Roy Central School District as one of the 2019 Best Communities for Music Education in the nation.
This designation by the foundation for the National Association of Music Merchants is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Le Roy is one of 623 districts in the United States receiving the prestigious award in 2019.
Congratulations to the Le Roy music teachers, administrators, students, parents, and community leaders on this distinguished designation!
Le Roy has received this designation 13 out of the last 14 years and continues to thrive in providing music education through many opportunities throughout the district. The program supports 320 students in chorus and 190 students in band throughout our district offering vocal and instrumental performance ensembles for students in grades 4-12 as well as a competitive marching band.
Annually, the program produces a 6th grade musical and a Jr.-Sr. High musical. In the classroom, general music and a variety of Sr. High electives are also offered each year.   
"On behalf of the Board of Education and the entire Le Roy Central School District, we are extremely proud to be recognized again as a 2019 Best Communities for Music Education. This prestigious honor signifies the continued dedication and passion our teachers and students have each day to excel in music education. Congratulations to our administrators, teachers, students, parents, and community for setting high expectations in order to achieve this tremendous accomplishment!" 
Merritt Holly -- Le Roy Superintendent   
"Wolcott Street School is proud to congratulate and celebrate our wonderful students, staff, and parents for earning "lucky number 13" - Best Community for Music Education! Our K-12 program works tirelessly to provide an exceptional learning experience for ALL students. We are privileged for this wonderful distinction for another consecutive year." 
Carol Messura -- Wolcott Street School Principal  
"We are so proud of our music students and staff who year in and year out produce high-level performances on our stages, in the pit, in competition, and on the field across many places throughout the region. Our program is so successful because of the dedicated teachers, families, and our community who continue to offer so many opportunities for our students. We thank our students for their commitment and willingness to perform at such a high level. We are a small school that continues to produce big results, and our music program is one of the many special aspects of being an Oatkan Knight!" 
Tim McArdle -- Jr.-Sr. High School Principal  
"We are honored to receive this wonderful designation for a 13th year, which casts a national spotlight on what all of us in the Le Roy community already knew; that the parents, teachers, school administrators, board of education, and members of this community work together tirelessly to provide a multitude of first rate musical outlets, educational opportunities, and experiences for the growth and benefit of our students. Thank you NAMM Foundation for this recognition!" 
Matt Nordhausen -- Le Roy Music Department Chair  
For more information, click here.
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