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January 28, 2023 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A driver has reportedly fled the scene after his car struck a pole in the area of 8113 Lewiston Road, Batavia.

The pole is down and wires are down.

Town of Batavia Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 10:26 a.m.: Oakfield Fire requested for traffic control at Galloway Road.

 

January 27, 2023 - 7:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Winter Storm Elliott, Sheriff's Office, news.

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Today's annual awards at the Sheriff's Office recognized a wide range of contributions and good police work throughout the department, but the vast majority of awards were generated by one event: Winter Storm Elliott.

The extra effort to save lives went well beyond just a few individuals.

Photos by Howard Owens.  Top photo: Nate Fix and Anthony Johnston of Genesee SnoPackers and Deputy Kevin McCarthy were recognized for their initiative to use the Snopackers' grooming machine and a snowmobile to make it possible for a convoy of rescuers to make it to stranded motorists, resulting in multiple lives saved. Some of those rescued clearly would have perished in the following 30 to 60 minutes if the team of rescuers hadn't reached them when they did, Sheriff Wiliam Sheron noted.

Press release:

2022 BLIZZARD ELLIOTT AWARDS:
The following are being recognized for their heroic actions during historic Blizzard Elliott that occurred December 23 – December 25, 2022.  Blizzard Elliott inflicted sub-zero wind chill temperatures and blinding lake-effect snow that left numerous highways and roads impassable.  Multiple motorists were stranded in their vehicles for several hours and were not easily accessible by emergency first responders.  Without hesitation for their own safety, these employees worked considerable additional hours to rescue motorists.  Their brave actions that holiday weekend, undoubtedly, saved many lives. 

They are to be commended for their actions which have brought great credit upon themselves and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

COMMENDATIONS:

  • Undersheriff Bradley D. Mazur
  • Deputy Sheriff Rachel M. Diehl
  • Deputy Sheriff Jonathan M. Dimmig
  • Chief Deputy-Criminal Investigations Joseph M. Graff
  • Deputy Sheriff Eric J. Meyer
  • Deputy Sheriff Kyle J. Tower
  • Chief Deputy-Road Patrol
  • Brian M. Frieday
  • Deputy Sheriff Ryan W. Young
  • Deputy Sheriff Zachary P. Hoy
  • Sergeant Jason E. Saile
  • Deputy Sheriff Robert C. Henning
  • Deputy Sheriff Morgan C. Ewert
  • Sergeant Andrew B. Hale
  • Deputy Sheriff Jeremy M. McClellan
  • Deputy Sheriff Ryan J. Mullen
  • Sergeant Michael J. Lute
  • Deputy Sheriff Travis M. DeMuth
  • Deputy Sheriff Alexander R. Hadsall
  • Sergeant Mathew J. Clor
  • Deputy Sheriff James D. Stack
  • Deputy Sheriff Carlos O. Ortiz Speed
  • Sergeant Kyle D. Krzemien
  • Deputy Sheriff Andrew Z. Mullen
  • Deputy Sheriff Ayrton J. Blankenberg
  • Investigator Erik B. Andre
  • Deputy Sheriff Joshua A. Brabon
  • Deputy Sheriff Jacob A. Kipler
  • Deputy Sheriff Patrick J. Reeves
  • Deputy Sheriff David D. Moore
  • Deputy Sheriff Mason S. Schultz
  • Deputy Sheriff Richard S. Schildwaster
  • Deputy Sheriff Jordan M. Alejandro

Deputy Sheriff Kevin R. McCarthy assisted rescue efforts by operating his personal snowmobile to reach stranded motorists in their vehicles.

Blizzard Elliott generated over 3,200 total phone calls and 953 distinct calls for service, resulting in the busiest day in the history of the Genesee County Emergency Services Dispatch Center.  The following communications personnel played a vital role in addressing the tremendous demands placed upon the 9-1-1 Center during this extraordinary event and are to be commended for their actions which have brought great credit to themselves and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

COMMENDATIONS:

  • Director of Emergency Comm. Francis A. Riccobono
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Andrew K. Merkel
  • Public Safety Systems Manager Justin T. Allen
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Samantha L. Conibear
  • Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Emily K. Young
  • Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Jason W. Holman
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Shelby M. Turner
  • Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Michael T. Sheflin
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Matthew F. Grimes
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Stephen R. Smelski
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Shaylene S. Kilner
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Peggy D. Richardson
  • PT Emergency Services Dispatcher Cady E. Glor
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Kelly E. Smith
  • PT Emergency Services Dispatcher Marie A. Vaughn

Emergency Services Dispatcher Nathan L. Fix, while off duty and in his capacity as Vice-President of Genesee Sno Packers, played a crucial role in securing the use of its Tucker snow grooming machine that led a convoy of first responders to reach stranded motorists who had been in their vehicles for multiple hours.

CERTIFICATES OF APPRECIATION:

  • Anita Cleveland for welcoming one of our deputies who was stranded on the road in front of her house,  along with two motorists that he previously rescued from their stranded vehicle, into her home where she provided comfort, food and shelter.
  • Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Jeffrey R. Bartz, his wife, Jami, and Grace Baptist Church.   Multiple motorists were stranded for several hours in their vehicles and once rescued were in need of a place to shelter until the blizzard passed and roads opened.  Chaplain Bartz, without hesitation, assisted with the opening of Grace Baptist Church as a warming shelter, and he and his wife spent the holiday weekend providing comfort, food, and shelter to strangers in need.       
  • Genesee Sno Packers provided its Tucker snow grooming machine to lead a convoy of first responders to reach multiple stranded motorists. 
  • Anthony Johnston is a member of the Genesee Sno Packers, and he volunteered his time to drive its Tucker snow grooming machine, jeopardizing his own safety to assist patrols.

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January 27, 2023 - 7:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, Officer of the Year, news.

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In an awards ceremony Friday -- the first one at the Genesee County Sheriff's Office in a couple of years because of the pandemic -- Deputy Kenneth A. Quackenbush, III, was named Officer of the Year by Sheriff William Sheron.

The entire command staff provides advice and input in selecting each year's honorees, which also includes meritorious service and commendation awards. 

Quackenbush thanked his family and his co-workers for their support, and his mentor, a detective he didn't name, for pointing him in the right direction toward becoming a better police officer.

See alsoSheriff's Office awards recognize life-saving efforts during Winter Storm Elliott

Photos by Howard Owens

Press release:

Officer of the Year Award – Kenneth A. Quackenbush, III
Deputy Sheriff Kenneth A. Quackenbush, III has distinguished himself in the performance of service to the citizens of Genesee County during 2022. 

Deputy Quackenbush is a six-year member of the Sheriff’s Office, with almost four of those years on Road

Patrol.  Deputy Quackenbush consistently displays a professional, positive attitude and unwavering work ethic.  He is level-headed and has received accolades for his calm demeanor and de-escalation during tense situations.  Deputy Quackenbush has been a leader in traffic enforcement, which often leads to larger cases, including those for impaired driving.  He had several notable felony arrests in 2022, which included illegal weapon and drug possession cases.   Deputy Quackenbush has developed trust within the department as shown by him being a Field Training Officer, Drug Recognition Expert, a member of the Emergency Response Team and is looked upon for other special assignments. 

Deputy Sheriff Kenneth A. Quackenbush, III has reflected great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and most deserves to be named Officer of the Year. 

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Distinguished Service Award – Principal Financial Clerk Margaret A. Sheelar

Principal Financial Clerk Margaret A. Sheelar has distinguished herself as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office for over 20 years. 

Principal Financial Clerk Margaret A. Sheelar began her career on August 1, 2000.  During her career, she was the recipient of two Meritorious Service awards for her dedication in the performance of her duties. 

Margaret’s professionalism, coupled with her knowledge of Sheriff’s Office operations, has been a source of pride for this Agency.  This year, as in previous years, Margaret continues to pay diligent attention to the financial needs of the Sheriff’s Office.  She frequently assists the administration with tasks that go well beyond her listed duties to ensure smooth operations and is always willing to take on additional responsibilities without hesitation.

Principal Financial Clerk Margaret A. Sheelar reflects great credit upon himself and the Genesee County

LONGEVITY AWARDS:

Correction Officer Lewis A. Henning

10 years

Program Coordinator Tracy L. Ranney

10 years

Correction Officer Michael A. Cox

15 years

Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp

20 years

Emergency Services Dispatcher Beth A. Hynes

20 years

Correction Officer Michael F. Lindsley

20 years

Sergeant Thomas A. Sanfratello

30 years

Jail Superintendent William A. Zipfel

40 years

Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr.

45 years

MERITORIOUS AWARDS:

Sr. Correction Officer James M. Smart
Senior Correction Officer James M. Smart has distinguished himself by Meritorious Service as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. 

Senior Correction Officer Smart has been instrumental in maintaining the inmate telephone system and tablets.  He has worked diligently to reorganize the inmate files and the file room, which is no small task.  Senior Correction Officer Smart has voluntarily taken on these additional responsibilities while continuing to do a stellar job with his normal duties.

Senior Correction Officer James M. Smart has brought great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher John W. Spencer, II
Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher John W. Spencer, II has distinguished himself by Meritorious Service as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. 

Senior Dispatcher Spencer continues to demonstrate excellent leadership of his shift and provides guidance for dispatchers, especially newer dispatchers.  He performs additional duties, including schedule management, and emergency medical call reviews, and is a Certified Training Officer.  Additionally, Senior Dispatcher Spencer demonstrates his commitment to providing excellent service to the public and to first responders, along with a willingness to adapt to meet new challenges.

Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher John W. Spencer, II has brought great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. 

Deputy Sheriff Nicholas R. Chamoun
Deputy Sheriff Nicholas R. Chamoun has distinguished himself by Meritorious Service as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. 

Deputy Chamoun’s outstanding dedication to law enforcement is apparent year after year.  He is a Drug Recognition Expert and a member of the Emergency Response Team.  Deputy Chamoun is always eager to learn by way of formal training, researching, and learning on his own.  He takes the knowledge he gains and shares it with other members in the department.  Deputy Chamoun is aggressive in his vehicle traffic enforcement and puts his knowledge to use on his patrol in order to look “beyond the ticket” to identify criminal activity.  His efforts have resulted in felony arrests for illegal drugs and weapons on a consistent basis, thus making our community much safer. 

Deputy Sheriff Nicholas R. Chamoun has brought great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigator R. Pete Welker
Investigator R. Pete Welker has distinguished himself by Meritorious Service as a member  of the

Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigator Welker began his career at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in 1994, and has

dedicated 22 years to the Genesee County Drug Task Force.  Investigator Welker has consistently brought forward the highest-quality narcotics investigations leading to successful criminal prosecutions.  Investigator Welker’s efforts and dedication to narcotics enforcement have significantly reduced the potential of violent crime in Genesee County.   

Investigator R. Pete Welker has brought great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

Community / Victim Services Counselor Rosanne M. DeMare
Community / Victim Services Counselor Rosanne M. DeMare has distinguished herself by Meritorious Service as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

Rosanne continuously puts victim interests first and foremost and spends countless hours comforting victims in distress and providing them with the emotional support needed to work through the complex criminal justice process.  She is compassionate and knowledgeable and is determined to ensure that victim rights and needs are met with the utmost respect and dignity. 

Community / Victim Services Counselor Rosanne M. DeMare has brought great credit upon herself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

COMMENDATIONS:

Correction Officer Matthew M. Luce
Correction Officer Matthew M. Luce is being recognized for a Commendation Award for his added responsibility of maintaining the inmate property room. 

Unclaimed inmate property is documented and inventoried, and once sufficient time has passed, paperwork is initiated to destroy the abandoned property.  Correction Officer Luce’s diligence keeps the property room free of clutter and makes for a more orderly property storage area.  He has voluntarily taken on this additional responsibility while continuing to do an excellent job with his normal duties.   

Correction Officer Matthew M. Luce is to be commended for his actions which have brought great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

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Emergency Services Dispatcher Shelby M. Turner
Emergency Services Dispatcher Shelby M. Turner is being recognized for a Commendation Award for her actions during historic Blizzard Elliott that occurred December 23 – December 25, 2022.

The blizzard inflicted sub-zero wind chill temperatures and blinding lake-effect snow that left numerous highways and roads impassable.  This event generated over 3,200 total phone calls and 953 distinct calls for service.  This was the busiest day in the history of the Genesee County Emergency Services Dispatch Center.  Dispatcher Turner played a vital role in addressing the tremendous demands placed upon the 9-1-1 Center during this extraordinary event.     

Emergency Services Dispatcher Shelby M. Turner is to be commended for her actions which have

brought great credit upon herself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Sheriff Jeremiah W. Gechell
Deputy Sheriff Jeremiah W. Gechell is being recognized for a Commendation Award for his actions while on duty May 7, 2022.

At approximately 0300 hours, Deputy Gechell observed a vehicle driving in an erratic manner in the City of Batavia.  Deputy Gechell initiated a traffic stop and found the driver was acting in a suspicious manner and providing inconsistent information.  Deputy Gechell’s instincts prompted him to investigate further by individually interviewing all three occupants in the vehicle.  Deputy Gechell found there to be several discrepancies in each of their explanations which prompted him to call for assistance from the K-9 unit to search the vehicle.  A large quantity of narcotics was discovered, which included cocaine, fentanyl, and methamphetamine, resulting in felony arrests of the three occupants of the vehicle.  More importantly, high quantities of dangerous narcotics never made their way onto the streets.  Deputy Gechell’s instincts and investigation are to be credited and commended for this.

Deputy Sheriff Jeremiah W. Gechell is to be commended for his actions which have brought great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

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Chief Deputy Joseph Graph participating in Friday's awards ceremony.

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Dispatcher Robert Tripp was congratulated by Sheriff William Sheron.

January 27, 2023 - 7:08pm
posted by Press Release in jim owen, GO ART!, batavia, news.

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Press release:

GO ART! will be celebrating the life of James R. Owen on Sunday at 1 p.m. All are welcome to attend. The mic will be open for anyone that wants to speak or share a story about Jim.

The beautiful white baby grand piano in the Owen Library, donated by Mr. Owen, will be played with any and all welcome to sing along. Jim would sit for hours in the Library sharing stories, talking about his father and music, and doing his best to entertain. And entertain, is what we plan to do during this celebration. Food will be provided, and the bar will be open.

When Mr. Owen donated the funds to make the library a reality, he did not want his first name associated with it. He said it was because he did not want to ruin his reputation as a frugal man, but we all know it was because he was humble and did not want the credit. He made GO ART!'s director promise that his first name would not be associated with it while he was alive. Please join GO ART! at this celebration of life event in the renaming of the Owen Library to the James R. Owen Library.

The event will be held at GO ART!'s Seymour Place, 201 East Main Street, Batavia, NY 14020, on Jan. 29 at 1 pm.

January 27, 2023 - 7:02pm

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Brian Cousins, the new president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, mingles with local business owners and community leaders on Thursday at Eli Fish Brewing Co. at a meet-and-greet set up so community members who might not yet have met Cousins could get a chance to shake his hand and say hello.

He's been on the job for about a month so we asked him the best part of the job so far, and the worst part.

"The best part is learning something new every day," Cousins said. "The worst part is learning something new every single day."

Previously: Second career path means representing 'best place on earth' for former Darien Lake executive

January 27, 2023 - 6:25pm
posted by Press Release in news, Batavia City Centre, Mall Market, downtown.

Press Release:

The Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) is looking for vendors to participate in the City Centre Concourse Mall Market.

The Mall Market’s mission is to assist in revitalizing the Batavia City Centre Mall and we invite residents to attend the market and to aid in supporting our local businesses.

The Mall Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays starting February 4  through May 27, 2023. (It will be closed April 15.)

BDC welcomes home business vendors, crafters, farmer market stands, etc. to apply and promote their business products.

The vending registration fee is $20 per Saturday, with the first vending visit being free.

Anyone interested in endorsing their business or promoting their products is encouraged to apply HERE.

Have questions, contact BDC Director Tammy Hathaway at (585) 345-6380.

January 27, 2023 - 6:12pm
posted by Press Release in COVID-19, news, Claudia Tenney, NY-24.

Press release:

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) today reintroduced the Health Freedom for All Act to prevent the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from overstepping its congressional authority by enacting a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

In September of 2021, the Biden Administration, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) attempted to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees of businesses with 100 or more employees and require weekly testing for those who remain unvaccinated.

While this mandate was blocked by the Supreme Court, this legislation will stop the Biden Administration from ever attempting a COVID-19 mandate through OSHA again. The bill finally clarifies that under existing law, OSHA does not have the authority to implement rules requiring Americans to undergo COVID-19 vaccinations or testing.

The Health Freedom for All Act was co-sponsored by Congressman Matt Rosendale (MT-2), Congressman Bill Posey (FL-8), Congressman Greg Steube (FL-17), Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13), Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (CO-3), and Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-2).

January 27, 2023 - 6:04pm
posted by Press Release in Bethany, news, Elections.

Press release:

The Town of Bethany Republican Committee is seeking registered party members that are interested in being selected as the endorsed Republican candidate for the following offices in the November General Election:

  • County Legislator District #6 (Alexander, Bethany and Pavilion)
  • Town Supervisor
  • Town Highway Superintendent
  • Town Board -- two seats
  • Town Clerk

All the above offices are four-year terms.

Those interested, please send a letter of intent and resume by Feb 10 to: Gregg Torrey - 6005 Torrey Rd Stafford, NY 14143, or contact at 585-507-8139 – [email protected]

January 27, 2023 - 5:04pm
posted by Press Release in coroner, Genesee County Republican Committee, news.

Press release:

In the November 2023 election, the Office of Genesee County Coroner will be on the ballot for a four (4) year part-time term.

On Feb. 23, the Genesee County Republican Committee will be meeting to interview any Genesee County resident that may wish to serve our County in this very important position.

Preferable candidates should be able to serve 24/7 and should send a letter of intent and resume to:

Richard E. Siebert, Chairman
Genesee County Republican Committee
PO Box 171
Batavia, New York   14021

For questions or more information, please call Richard Siebert on his cell at (585) 356-9333

January 27, 2023 - 4:58pm
posted by Press Release in 4-H, news.

Press release:

Join the Genesee County 4-H Program for a series of hands-on youth workshops at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Office in Batavia.

  • Potholder Workshop – Create and take home a potholder with 4-H Volunteer Alicia. Open to youth ages 5-18. Held on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Scrapbooking Workshop – Learn tips and tricks for improving your scrapbooking skills with 4-H Volunteer Kim. Open to youth ages 12-18. Participants are asked to bring photos and a scrapbook if they have one. All other supplies will be provided. There is a $5 fee for this workshop. Held on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Chapstick & Lotion Bar Workshop – Make a beeswax chapstick and lotion bar with 4-H Volunteer Joy. Open to youth ages 12-18. Held on Tuesday, Fe. 21, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Barn Quilt Painting Workshop Series – Make a barn quilt-styled wood painting with 4-H Volunteer Melissa. Open to youth ages 11-18. This is a three-part series held at 6:30 – 8 p.m. on March 8, March 22, and April 5.

For more information and to register for any of these workshops, please contact the 4-H Office at [email protected] or (585) 343-3040 ext. 131. Registration is required and space is limited. Youth must be enrolled in 4-H to participate. Youth who are not currently enrolled in 4-H are welcome to join anytime during the year.

4-H is a nationwide youth program that connects youth aged 5-18 to a variety of hands-on learning opportunities.  For more information about joining the Genesee County 4-H Program, visit our website at  http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/4-h-youth-development/how-to-join-4-h

January 27, 2023 - 4:38pm
posted by Press Release in hlom, history, news.

Press release:

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce its next Trivia Night at the Museum on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. The topic for February is the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Admission is $5/$3 for museum members. If you would like to attend, please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or [email protected].

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the next edition of its Guest Speaker Series on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. We welcome Patrick Ryan of the Buffalo History Museum as he presents on William Wells Brown, Buffalo's preeminent black abolitionist. Admission is $5/$3 for museum members. If you would like to attend, please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or [email protected].

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the next edition of its Java with Joe E. series on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 9 a.m. This month's speaker is Sharon Burkel of the Historic Batavia Cemetery Association, as she presents on Watson Bullock. Watson Bullock was an African-American man who moved to Batavia in the 1880s and went on to make significant impacts on many local organizations during his life. He is buried in the Historic Batavia Cemetery. Admission is free, and coffee and donuts will be provided. If you would like to attend, please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or [email protected].

January 27, 2023 - 4:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sports, basketball, oakfield-alabama, news, Notre Dame.

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Oakfield-Alabama beat Genesee Region rivals Notre Dame on Thursday in Boys Basketball, 75-49.

Scoring for the Hornets: 

  • Kyle Porter, 17 points, 7 rebounds
  • Noah Currier, 13 points, three steals
  • Brayden Smith, 13 points, 10 rebounds
  • Colton Yasses, 11 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks
  • Avery Watterson, 9 points, four  rebounds

For the Irish:

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick, 11 points
  • Jaden Sherwood, seven points
  • Jordan Welker, seven points

"Tonight was a battle against a solid team," said O-A Coach Ryan Stehlar. "Their gym is never an easy place to play in, and Coach (Mikey) Rapone always has his team ready. I'm glad the boys locked in early. They really focused on defense and made big plays down the stretch. This is good momentum for a tough week coming up in our schedule."

The Hornets are now 12-2. The Irish are 11-5.

Other games in Boys Basketball on Thursday:

  • Dansville beat Le Roy 65-58. Merritt Holly scored 27 points. Holly now has 395 points on the season.
  • Attica beat Elba, 63-43
  • Pembroke beat Kenmore East, 83-34

In Girls Basketball:

  • Elba beat Batavia, 60-44. Sydney Reilly scored 17 points and had five steals.  Mariah Ognibene scored 10 points and had nine rebounds. Halie Scouten had six blocks. Madison Thompson had seven rebounds. After losing seven of their first nine games, the Lancers have won five straight.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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January 27, 2023 - 10:01am
posted by Press Release in River Street, batavia, news, infrastructure.

Press Release:

The City Batavia Water Department is working to repair a water main break on River Street. Water has been shut off Between West Main Street and South Main Street on River Street.

Traffic in the vicinity will be congested while crews access the break and make the repair. If possible, please use an alternative route when traveling through the City today.

Residents in other parts of the Batavia Water Plant Service Area may notice issues with water pressure. Residents in affected areas will be without water until the repair is made. The length of time the water will be off is unknown.

As always, when the water is restored, it may be discolored. Please refrain from doing any laundry until the water runs clear.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and the public’s patience is greatly appreciated. 

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: The water main break is repaired. Road work is continuing. Traffic remains congested in the area.

January 27, 2023 - 8:05am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, weather, Winter Storm Elliott, genesee county.

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From plowing roads and driveways, digging out stranded motorists, transporting people to safer locations, getting food and medical care to those in need and extending a warm and friendly hand of hope to people who had quite literally felt their lives were in danger, Genesee County officials and emergency responders took some moments this week to celebrate bravery, extraordinary efforts and well-deserved kudos for their ongoing work during Blizzard Elliott in late December.

County legislators read proclamations honoring each district within the county, as emergency responders gathered in camaraderie to share highlights of that three-day ordeal. The breadth and scope of the rescues, though attempted through stories, news reports and online posts, have still probably missed some of the myriad elements involved during those blindingly snow-blanketed days.

Once Elliott blew through the northwest corner of the county, “raging its fury on the Town of Alabama and surrounding areas, causing life-threatening circumstances to many travelers and farm animals,” the proclamation begins, “and Blizzard Elliott debilitated this district in a very short time, causing roadways to be unpassable. With the quick action of so many, it is easy to say we have heroes amongst us.”

Genesee County assisted more than 700 travelers, with dispatch taking 1,021 service calls and first responders rescuing 125 people. Approximately 240 cars and 60 tractor-trailers were stuck in drifts as high as 10-feet, county officials said, and 12 warming shelters were opened in surrounding areas. Hundreds of vehicles were pulled out of ditches by tow trucks, farmers, firefighters and good Samaritans.

“The Genesee County Legislature recognizes and admires our dedicated law enforcement, firefighters, emergency management, highway, elected leaders, food banks, schools, churches, tow truck operators, snowmobile clubs, local businesses and citizens who all rose to the occasion when others needed help,” the proclamation states. “Now, therefore, be it resolved the Genesee County Legislature would like to thank you ALL for the available forces of manpower, equipment and community helping hands that came together. The goal of preserving life was focused on and achieved. Volunteers who left their families to search for and save visitors are our most valued community members.

“Thank you to the warming shelters for providing safety, food and care to stranded visitors, thus demonstrating the high level of dedication we have for humankind in Genesee County. We extend our gratitude and respect for your community response to Elliott,” it states.

Likewise, Sheriff William Sheron, Emergency Management Services Coordinator Tim Yaeger and County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens shared about the high level of cooperation and collaboration amongst the county’s emergency service and highway providers, and how that made such a difference in the results during that winter storm. There were no fatalities.

“Thank you for the service we have here in Genesee County,” Sheron said. “Undoubtedly, you have saved lives. We wouldn’t be able to survive without you guys. What a team effort. I can’t thank you enough, from the bottom of our hearts.”

Hens also thanked everyone and said he was proud to represent the town and village highway superintendents and city public works. Everyone “put aside barriers” and got the job done to ensure that roads were cleared when possible.

“I want to recognize their efforts. They all came to the call,” he said. “It’s truly remarkable how our community comes together.”

A nod of thanks and appreciation was also given to County Manager Matt Landers, who worked throughout that Christmas weekend helping to rally friends for food donations and, with his daughter as sidekick helper, drove around to pick up items and get them to the staging area of the city fire station.

Photos by Howard Owens  Top Photo of Emergency Management Services Coordinator Tim Yaeger at the podium as Sheriff William Sheron looks on during the proclamation ceremony.

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County Legislators John Deleo and Marianne Clattenburg watch a video about Winter Storm Elliott that was produced by the Town of Alabama Highway Department.

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Legislator Marianne Clattenburg with (not in order) Gary Patnode, Alabama Fire Chief, David Boyle, Village of Oakfield, Nate Fix and Anthony Johnston of SnoPackers, Sean Downing, Oakfield Fire Chief, and Oakfield Assistant Fire Chief Chad Williams; 

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Legislator Christian Yunker with (not in order) Vito Muoio, South Byron Fire, Jeremy Rassel, South Byron Fire, Garett Dean, Bergen Fire, Robert Mruczek, Byron Fire Chief, Nick Esten, Elba Fire Chief, and Gretchen Rosales, superintendent of Elba School District. 

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Legislator Gordon Dibble with LuAnne Mileham, Ed Mileham, Indian Falls/Pembroke Assistant Fire Chief, Greg Lang, Corfu Fire Chief, and Jeff Luker, Darien Fire Chief.

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Legislator Brooks Hawley with (not in order) Christopher Scopano, LeRoy Ambulance, Tim Eckdahl, Stafford Fire Chief, Craig Johnson, LeRoy Fire Chief, and Paul Dibble, Town of Batavia Fire Chief.

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Legislator Gregg Torrey with Jeff Fluker, Bethany Fire Chief, left, Carl Hyde Jr., Bethany Town Supervisor, right.

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Legislator John Deleo, Euguene Jankowski Jr., City Council President,  Jeffrey Bartz, Grace Baptist Church,  Bob Fix, City of Batavia Fire, and Christopher Camp, Batavia City Assistant Police Chief.

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Legislator Gary Maha, with (not in order) Pam McCarthy, Mercy EMS, Sheriff William Sheron, Undersheriff Bradley Mazur,  Sgt. Kyle Krzemien, Deputy Jonathan Dimming, Deputy Jacob Kipler, Highway Superintendent Tim Hens,  Superintendent, Tim Yaeger, Emergency Management Services Coordinator, Frank Riccobono, Communications Director,  Scott Hultz, NYSDOT Resident Engineer for Genesee & Orleans Counties, and  Jeff Braley, NYSDOT Resident Engineer for Genesee & Orleans Counties.

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Sheriff William Sheron.

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County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens

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Marianne Clattenburg thanks County Manager Matt Landers for his efforts and leadership during the storm

January 26, 2023 - 9:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Alexander.

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Alexander Fire, along with Mercy EMS and Attica's ambulance, responded to a two-car accident at about 8 a.m. in the area of 10799 Alexander Road.

Two people were transported to UMMC for evaluation and treatment.

No information has been released about the accident.  Reader submitted information and photo.

 

 

 

January 26, 2023 - 8:00pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, UR Medicine, batavia.

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UR Medicine at 7995 Call Parkway plans to reopen for all services beginning Jan. 30, staff member Kim Hally-Hettrick says.

Hally-Hettrick had the unfortunate duty to inform patients in late December that the Batavia-based facility would be closing due to frozen pipes and resulting flooding. The site is now ready for business, she said. 

Practices include Primary Care 585-345-1779; Allergy and Immunology 585-486-0930; Medical Oncology 585-602-4050; Neurosurgery 585-225-5767; Otolaryngology and Audiology 585-758-570; and Urology 585-275-2838.

File Photo by Howard Owens.

January 26, 2023 - 7:35pm
posted by Press Release in news, Alzheimer's Association, Black History Month.

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Press Release:

In honor of Black History Month, the Alzheimer’s Association is offering a free live webinar “Alzheimer’s & Dementia Conversations: Changing the Face of Research” on February 1 at 3:30 p.m. ET. The one-hour webinar will feature a robust discussion on the historical inequities in clinical trials and their lasting impact on Black Americans and other underrepresented populations. Currently, there are more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. Among Black Americans age 70 or older, more than 1 in 5 (21%) are living with Alzheimer’s.

Panelists will include Dr. Reuben Warren, Director Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Healthcare, Reverend Dr. Ann Marie Bentsi-Addison Posey, Senior Director of Faith Based Initiatives, New York City Health and Hospital Corporation and Reverend Dr. Miriam J. Burnett, Medical Director, International Health Commission, African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) Church.

According to the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures report, nearly two-thirds of Black Americans (62%) believe that medical research is biased against people of color. A history of exclusion from clinical trials and a lasting history of discrimination from the medical establishment contributes to high levels of mistrust of clinical trials among Black Americans.

“We know that Alzheimer’s disease disproportionately affects Black older Americans,” said Dr. Carl V. Hill, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Alzheimer’s Association. “We are committed to continue engaging underrepresented communities.”

To register, visit “Alzheimer’s & Dementia Conversations: Changing the Face of Research”.

Submitted photo of Dr. Carl V. Hill.

January 26, 2023 - 6:05pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, city council, batavia, ARPA.

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Editor's Note: This article has been updated on 1/26/23 to include details of the future facility upgrades.

A project at two major city facilities that began more than five years ago is finally coming to fruition after City Council approved the use of post-COVID funds for the work this week.

During a special business meeting on Monday, council approved reallocating $635,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds for upgrades at the City Fire and Bureau of Maintenance department facilities. Funds of $400,000 and $235,000 are being diverted from prior projects of Cohocton water and Austin Park’s playground, respectively.

ARPA money was from 2021 Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to assist municipalities with post-COVID measures to rebound from financial losses.

These two capital projects were first eyed in 2017 and were then put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“We finally got a project engineered and out to bid. It came back much higher,” City Manager Rachael Tabelski said.

She recommended taking funds previously allocated for the Cohocton Water and Austin Park playground projects and reroute them to the fire station and Bureau of Maintenance projects.

She wasn’t suggesting scrapping the other projects, but to finance Cohocton Water and find other grants for the playground later on, she said.

The city received a total $1,474,764.79 of ARPA funding, $722,000 of which has already been spent at the fire station for water system engineering, apron accessibility, a new sewer camera and water meter reader, she said.

Public Works Director Brett Frank outlined details of both new projects.

Fire Department work is to include:

  • General Improvements
  • Fire Suppression System
  • Fire Alarm System
  • New generator
  • Plumbing improvements
  • Electrical improvements
  • HVAC improvements

Bureau of Maintenance work is to include:

  • Completely reconstructed trench drain
  • Plumbing tmprovements
  • HVAC improvements

A total price tag of nearly $1.9 million for the fire station and bureau of maintenance projects includes that $635,000 reallocated from ARPA, $1,100,000 from facility reserves, $55,000 from FEMA and another $100,000 from ARPA.

citycounciljan232023-15_1.jpgPreviously, when the city received the ARPA funds, the city was only allowed to spend those funds on water, wastewater, or public health-related expenses,” Tabelski said in a memo to the council. “The definition of allowable use has been expanded, and I recommend that we utilize ARPA funds to complete this project. The total construction will cost $1,472,315 (after HVAC change order), while design, engineering, bidding, and construction inspection is estimated to cost $415,475 for a total project cost of $1,887,790.”

The Cohocton Water project includes the potential to remove an existing line and replace the waterline on Walnut Street as well, she said. That project has now swelled to $2.6 million and will need to be financed by a bond, she said. The park playground has an opportunity for future grant funding, so she recommended taking both ARPA funds for the facility improvements.

In related votes, council approved contracts with Camco General Contracting, Inc. for general contractor, DG Messmer Corporation for plumbing, and Concord Electric Corporation for electrical.

Council also reviewed additional future expenses to be completely financed, including $1.5 million for a new ice rink chiller and Zamboni ice machine, $1.7 million for a street light LED conversion, $1 million for sanitary line work at Maple and Mill streets, and $12.5 million for a new police facility.

Top Photo of city fire station from City of Batavia; above of CIty Manager Rachael Tabelski by Howard Owens.

January 26, 2023 - 11:31am

Press release:

Officials at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse have expanded the qualification criteria of the nonprofit agency’s annual Foundation scholarships.

GCASA Chief Executive Officer John Bennett has announced that four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded in May to students enrolled in schools or colleges located in Genesee and Orleans counties.

“The major change is that now students enrolled in a Genesee County or Orleans County school can apply for the scholarship even if their primary residence is in a different county,” Bennett said. “Previously, the scholarship eligibility stipulated that the high school students had to live in Genesee or Orleans.”

While one scholarship will go to a student in Genesee and another to a student in Orleans, the other two scholarships will go to a technical/trade school student and an adult student pursuing a bachelor’s and master’s degree who will be attending college in the fall of this year.

Bennett said the GCASA Foundation was established to support the work of GCASA and other human service agencies who are working to improve community health.

“The board of directors of both GCASA and GCASA Foundation are committed to providing quality services,” he added. “Educated, skilled employees and board members are the necessary ingredients for effective service delivery systems in the behavioral health field.”

Applications are available on the GCASA website – www.gcasa.org – or can be obtained by contacting Diane Klos at Diane Klos at 585-815-1883 or [email protected]. Completed applications must be received via email or postmarked by 3/10/2023.

Other pertinent scholarship information is as follows:

• Applicant must be accepted at an accredited college or university and enrolled in or matriculated in an eligible program/major.

• Eligible programs or majors include: Social Work, Nursing, Health Science, Mental Health Counseling, Psychology, or Human Services.

• Current GCASA employees, board members and GCASA Foundation board members are NOT eligible.

• Relatives of GCASA employees, board members and GCASA Foundation board members ARE eligible.

• Applicant must provide academic history such as high school and/or college transcripts.

• Applicant must provide two letters of recommendation from someone who knows the applicant’s work/volunteer/academic history. Letters from relatives will not be accepted.

• Applicant must provide a resume or personal biography including work history, volunteer experiences, and extra-curricular activities.

• Applicant must provide an essay that addresses educational and employment objectives as they relate to the mission of GCASA. Financial need, volunteerism, employment history and civic involvement will be given careful consideration.

• The scholarship recipient will be announced at GCASA’s annual membership meeting in May 2023 upon verification of acceptance into an accredited college or university.

• The scholarship monies will be awarded upon completion of the fall semester. The award recipient must provide a copy of their transcript demonstrating at least a 2.0 GPA.

• Applicant may be invited for an interview before final awards are made.

January 26, 2023 - 8:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

A Monroe County man injured in a motorcycle accident at 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 9, 2021, is suing the Town of Batavia, alleging that a sign on Batavia Stafford Townline Road was pointing in the wrong direction causing him to misread a curve in the roadway.

Daniel W. Felix, Sr., is claiming he sustained significant injuries as a result of the crash.

Attorneys for the Town of Batavia have filed a response denying many of the allegations in the lawsuit.

According to the suit, filed in June, Felix was directed to the right by a road chevron sign when the road actually curved left.

The suit states, "The improper and unsafe right-facing road chevron sign existed for a sufficient period of time prior to the crash to serve as actual and/or implied constructive notice of the defect which existed through negligence, carelessness, and recklessness."

The suit does not state for how long a period of time the plaintiff believes the chevron pointed in the wrong direction.

The suit also states that double yellow lines also indicated he needed to move further to the right on a left curve, "causing him to exit off the road to the right with his motorcycle."

Felix is represented by C. Daniel McGillicuddy of Williamsville.

The town's answer was filed by Michael P. McLaren and Peter L. Powers, of Buffalo.

In the response, the town "explicitly denies any negligence, culpable conduct, or liability."

The filing advances a number of defenses.  Some of them are technical in nature.

Among them:

  • "Pursuant to applicable statutes, ordinances, rules and/or regulations, the Town of Batavia is liable only if, prior to the alleged incident complained of, the Town of Batavia received written notice of the alleged effect proximately causing the alleged injuries to the Plaintiff. No such written notice was ever received by the Town of Batavia."
  • "The condition of the area at issue was the result of certain various municipal planning decisions, thereby providing the Town of Batavia with immunity from suit and/or liability."
  • "Upon information and belief, Plaintiff's alleged injuries and damages were caused in whole or in part by his own negligence, carelessness, or want of care."
  • "Plaintiff crashed his vehicle in the Town of Stafford, outside the jurisdictional limits of the Town of Batavia; therefore, Plaintiff fails to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted against the Town of Batavia." 

The attorneys call upon the court to either dismiss the case entirely or reduce the Plaintiff's damages if any.  The town also asks to recover its attorney fees if it prevails.

The County, Town of Stafford and Town of Elba were all originally named as codefendants, but the action against those agencies was discontinued by stipulation last month.

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