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September 28, 2022 - 7:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in COVID-19, news, notify.

For the first time since late spring, there have been more than 100 new COVID-19 cases reported in Genesee County in back-to-back weeks.

For the week of Sept. 14, there were 123 new positive tests reported to the Genesee County Health Department. For the week of Sept. 21, there were 115.

New case reports were well below 100 most weeks throughout the summer.

The county only has data on cases reported from labs or people who did at-home tests and took it upon themselves to report their positive tests to the county.  People who test at home but don't report their results are not included in the count.  The total number of lab-based positives for the past week is 91.

One death from COVID-related causes was reported in the past week, bringing the total number of Genesee County residents who have died from the disease to 201.

According to the CDC, the county's current transmission risk is "medium." 

September 28, 2022 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, byron, notify.

Alone one night in a car in the Target parking lot with a teenage girl, Shawn D. Myers made a decision that he and the girl will have to deal with for the rest of their lives, Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini told Myers before sentencing him to five years in prison this afternoon.

In July, a jury convicted Myers of first-degree criminal sexual act, a Class B violent felony.  

By all accounts in Court this afternoon, except for that one decision, the Byron resident had led a pretty exemplary life up to that point -- a volunteer in his community, including a volunteer firefighter.

On Jan. 28, 2021, Myers forced the girl to have sex with him, the jury said.

His attorney, Jeremy Schwartz, argued that the evidence in the case, despite the jury's verdict, didn't really support the assertion of forcible compulsion, though Myers, now 21, admitted that he had sex with a person less than 17 years of age.

First Assistant District Attorney Joseph Robinson said the victim suffered physical injury as a result of what Myers did and is still dealing with the emotional fallout of the sexual abuse. 

More than two dozen community and family members attended the hearing in support of Myers.  

The victim and her mother were also at the hearing.

In his statement, Myers said he knew he made a mistake but expressed concern about being sent to prison because he is being treated for PTSD, anxiety, and depression, and during his time in the criminal justice system, he and his attorney said, he's already suffered one disruption to his medication regime. 

Cianfrini, who could have sentenced Myers to up to 25 years in prison, said that she would note in documents that will go with Myers to the Department of Corrections, that Myers has prescription medication he must take.

She encouraged Myers to use his time in prison to learn that he can't force people to do things against their will and to learn a trade.

Myers said during his statement that he loved being a volunteer firefighter and regretted that he had ruined his firefighting career by his decision.  He promised Cianfrini that never again will he make a mistake that lands him back in jail.

September 28, 2022 - 8:08am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, city council, audit.


Although there were no “reportable findings” from the city’s 2021-22 audit, that doesn’t mean the municipality is out of reach from a dangerous situation, Matt Montalbo says.

Cyber security — or a lack thereof — is a “pretty substantial” item for the city’s checklist, Montalbo said during an audit presentation Monday at City Hall.

The world is rife with Internet scams, and no one is immune, he said.

“I want to highlight some pretty substantial challenges that governments are seeing right now, one being related to cyber security risks and the risks of being subjected to a cyber attack,” he said. "So A lot of the associations related to government entities … they partnered together and put out a cybersecurity primer back in February of 2022, just to highlight how significant government entities are being targeted in cyber attacks. They put out a lot of statistics just to educate those charged with governance.

“So we have that in our management letter, as it’s just an additional precaution to look at cyber security risks, and almost kind of do a mock scenario where, if you were subjected to a cyber attack, what processes do you have in place? You know, how prepared are we because, really, the statistics are pretty staggering,” he said. “It’s not a matter of if it's going to happen, it's a matter of when, so be as prepared as possible is what we would recommend.”

That is perhaps no startling news, as cyber attacks have been fairly ubiquitous to our high-tech times.

Still, Montalbo, a certified public accountant with the city’s new auditing company Drescher & Malecki, strongly suggested that the city needs to assess its own cyber risks, related processes, and what measures may need to be taken to bolster the cyber fence to keep predators out.

Batavia may be a small city, but according to governing.com, the amount of data that municipalities deal with has grown exponentially, but smaller entities often operate on a shoestring budget, meaning they rarely have dedicated cybersecurity experts and instead rely on their IT team to ensure security. Not having and investing the required funds to prevent cyber attacks can often leave local municipalities more vulnerable, the site states.

City Manager Rachael Tabelski was not surprised by the warning and auditor’s findings, she said. The city has an ongoing process that includes a system in place for safeguards against cyber crimes, she said.

“The City has NYS training in place for cyber security for employees, and works hard to remain diligent to constant email threats of phishing and other scams,” she said to The Batavian Tuesday. “We work with our independent IT consultant, Alternative Information Systems, for a variety of security functions and monitoring to help keep city assets safe. We are always looking to add new security measures to our IT systems to better protect the city.”

A second area for caution was the influx of pandemic-related monies being given to municipalities, especially “a lot through the stimulus plans out there,” he said.

“So the American Rescue Plan, the Cares Act, there are a lot of new opportunities, but with that comes a lot of challenges, in not only understanding the compliance requirements for these funds, but also tracking and monitoring the statements,” he said. “Just looking at how you're set up to do that, whether you have a grant administration function or the ability to monitor those new fundings as well as the current funding going on.”

City Council previously agreed to add the position of a grant administrator, and the city is in progress with seeking candidates for the job.

Montalbo, who was with senior accountant Erica Handley, shared the city’s financial picture, which included a $1.3 million fund balance increase. For once, the word COVID carried a positive connotation.

“Your fund balance went from about $808 million at this point in 2021 to $9.4 million at the end of 2022. You did have, and we've been seeing these trends across the state, your sales tax come in a little bit higher than anticipated. We saw a little bit of the economic recovery after the COVID years,” he said. “So that bump is pretty consistent with the trends we're seeing statewide. You also were able to have some budgetary savings within your public safety and transportation areas … So that was the main reason for the increase, and your total fund balance being that $9.4 million.”

Photo: New city auditors Matt Montalbo and Erica Handley of Drescher & Malecki present the city's 2021-22 audit report during Monday's conference session at City Hall. Photo by Joanne Beck.

September 27, 2022 - 11:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy, news.

A fire is reported at 3 Platt St., Le Roy.

All occupants are being shown out of the structure.

Le Roy Fire and Le Roy Ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 11:44 p.m.: It's a stove fire.

UPDATE 11:49 p.m.: City Fire requested mutual aid.

UPDATE 11:53 p.m.: Le Roy Fire on scene.  Fan needed on second floor for ventilation.  

UPDATE 11:56 p.m.: City's First Platoon recalled to headquarters while City Fire responds to stove fire in Le Roy.

September 27, 2022 - 10:50pm


Elba Central School may be the last district in Genesee County to bring a school resource officer on board, but it has been part of a post-pandemic plan for the district, Superintendent Gretchen Rosales says.

With an eye on priorities, Rosales felt this was the right time to add an officer as part of a deliberate process once she became superintendent in 2021. The district’s additional personnel — a social worker, school resource officer and prevention educator — are to not only ensure physical safety, but also that “our mental health needs were being met,” she said.

“All schools have to carefully watch spending, but small rural schools often carry an extra burden.  There are many mandates we need to cover, along with making sure that we have top-notch academic programs and well-rounded extracurricular activities. Elba has steadily built this strong foundation,” Rosales said in response to The Batavian’s questions about hiring a SRO. “When we began to come out on the other side of the pandemic, we first wanted our focus to be on a comprehensive mental health program. COVID really opened our eyes to the unique struggles that our students and their families were facing.  This became my focus in my first year as superintendent, and my first step was to hire a full-time social worker. 

"We have also contracted with GCASA to have a prevention educator on staff on a weekly basis," Rosales said. "Once we had these pieces in place, we were ready to consider moving toward hiring a school resource officer.”

Ally Terranova was hired for the social worker position this year, and she “has already made great strides in supporting the students and families,” Rosales said. Deputy Ryan Young was more recently hired through Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Adding the extra supports began in late spring of this year, and the process included communicating with the community, teachers, staff, and students as “an important part of determining the need.”

The district sent out bilingual surveys to ensure the “considerable Spanish-speaking population” was included and able to respond. Interested parties were asked to join a related committee and there was “a lot of listening involved, and engaging in rich dialog about what our district really needed,” Rosales said. 

“We took our time with this process because we wanted to make the right decision and hire someone who would best support the Elba community,” she said. “My school community has been incredibly supportive.  I have had a steady stream of communication via phone, email, and in-person by family and community members who have expressed appreciation that the District has a fully dedicated law enforcement officer on staff.  To have a person with their eyes on security and safety is a critical part to ensuring that students can focus on learning.”

“Deputy Young has already fully integrated himself into the school community; he's visited all of the elementary classrooms as well as the secondary social studies classes,” she said. “He has lunch with the students, attends leadership meetings, chaperoned the homecoming dance, and has met the community at games. It is safe to say that our school resource officer is a full-fledged Lancer already.”

Elba now joins Alexander, Batavia, Byron-Bergen, Le Roy, Oakfield-Alabama, Pavilion and Pembroke school districts in having at least one school resource officer at the district. Batavia City Schools added a second officer this year. The positions add about $80,000 to $100,000 in salary and benefits each to a district budget.

Photo of Deputy Ryan Young, Elba's new school resource officer, submitted by Elba Central School.

September 27, 2022 - 10:00pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, fairgrounds, GLOW With Your Hands, batavia, notify.


As promised, Genesee County Fairgrounds was overrun with kids — more than 1,000 of them — for most of Tuesday.

But instead of it being some kind of free-for-all riot, the students from 30 school districts were there to focus on work. As part of a GLOW With Your Hands initiative, the event offered several stations where kids could not only see and hear about various careers in the work world but also get hands-on experience to get a real feel for what the different fields are like.

This was the fourth such event, and with an ever-growing attendance, Co-Chairman Chris Suozzi said.

“In 2019 we had over 800 students, and this year we had over 1,000. Then we had 50 vendors, today we have 65 vendors,” Suozzi said. “Students can start exploring careers that work with your hands, and by the way, all of these careers are local. It’s a whole day of getting out of the classroom … and exploring different careers, especially for kids who are career-focused. It’s all about getting kids to focus on these great careers that we have locally.”


School districts represented the four counties of GLOW — Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming. Organizers consider it the region’s largest hands-on career exploration fair that provided interactive experiences with skilled trades, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage manufacturing, construction and agriculture fields.


Another plus was that kids also met with professionals in those fields, and potential future employers, organizers said.

“While the record participation of our students and businesses is welcome, the true success of GLOW With Your Hands is the having a youth arrive at our event and discover a passion for a career that they may have never considered before,” Co-Chairman Jay Lazarony said in a press release. “Our exhibitors, volunteers, sponsors and organizers are dedicated to supporting students today, and throughout their path to success.”

Students rotated through stations where they were able to operate backhoes and excavators, compete in nail driving and construction competitions, and test their skills on dairy farming and welding simulators.


Chris Suozzi

“It’s incredible to see so many students that are excited about careers right in their own backyard,” Suozzi said. “Our companies are growing, and today demonstrates that the national workforce challenge can be solved locally.”

Students weren’t the only ones to enjoy the fun of digging in the dirt, as state Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon visited the fairgrounds and acknowledged her fascination with excavators. She encouraged the young participants to pursue one of the many careers they glimpsed during the day.

“This is an opportunity for young people to come into a career fair and really experience things with their hands I was over at megatronic station, they can do the circuitry, the air pressure, there’s all kinds of animal husbandry on one side, moving excavators, bucket trucks for young people not to just read about a skill, or have somebody talk about it, but doing it themselves,” Reardon said. “They’re petting the cows and calves, and doing all the megatronic set-up. It’s great to watch them interact with each other and interact with these skill sets. They’re really excited. We need these kinds of career fairs so these young people can make a really smart career path that will sustain their lives.”

She thanked event organizers for hosting the career fair, and reminded the public of the 96 career centers throughout New York that have online training and job resources.

Click here for more information about GLOW WithYour Hands


Roberta Reardon






Top Photo: A student takes control of an excavator after getting some hands-on lessons during Tuesday's GLOW With Your Hands event; students from 30 school districts within Genesee, Orleans, Livingston and Wyoming counties learn about everything from milking a cow and performing utility work on a pole to mechanical repairs, food chain occupations and laying bricks during the fourth GLOW event at Genesee County Fairgrounds. Photos by Stephen Ognibene.

September 27, 2022 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
Devon Wright

A Batavia man who disappeared for seven months after being released from custody following a weapons conviction had his scheduled sentencing delayed for three weeks today so his new attorney can get up to speed on his case.

Nathan Pace, who is now assigned council for Devon Wright, asked for an adjournment.  

County Court Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini granted the request. The new sentencing time and date is 3 p.m. Oct. 18.

Wright was a co-defendant in November in a case involving a gun deal gone bad at the Days Inn six months earlier when he entered a surprise guilty plea to counts of attempted criminal possession of a weapon 2nd, and attempted criminal possession of a weapon 3rd. He also entered guilty pleas to assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor, attempted assault 1st, a Class C Violent Felony, and criminal sexual act, also a felony.

The pleas satisfied charges from multiple arrests over the previous 12 months and came with a 10-year sentence cap. When he failed to appear for his initial sentencing date and became a wanted man, he jeopardized his sentencing cap.

Wright was located in Lockport in July and has been held in the Genesee County Jail since his arrest. 

In the November trial Wright's co-defendant, Jacob Sponaugle, was found guilty by the jury of:

  • Attempted Murder 2nd, a Class B violent felony
  • Assault in the first degree, a Class B violent felony
  • Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a Class C violent felony
  • Aggravated criminal possession of a weapon, a Class C violent felony
  • Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony
  • Criminal using a firearm in the first degree, a Class B violent felony
  • Criminal using a firearm in the first degree, a Class B violent felony

Sponaugle was sentenced in December to 15 years in prison.

September 27, 2022 - 6:28pm
posted by Press Release in news, Ellicott Station, batavia, Ellicott Trail.


Press Release

The bike path located at endpoints of Evans and Jackson streets, South of Route 63, Ellicott Street and North of Salvation Army Family Store in Batavia will be closed to pedestrian and bike traffic for ground and civil construction activities from approximately Oct. 3, 2022 to May 31, 2023.

Traffic will be detoured around the area for the scheduled duration of the project. Local access to businesses will be maintained. Please see the attached reference map for more information.

All construction areas will be marked by barricades and road closure signs. Please abide by all signage and follow designated traffic routes. This scope of work is scheduled to start on Oct. 3 and will be completed by May 31, 2023. The typical hours of construction will be 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

September 27, 2022 - 4:48pm
posted by Press Release in health, health department, news, lead poisoning.

Press release:

Lead is a metal that is toxic to our bodies. It has been found in many products including lead-based paint, plumbing, leaded gasoline, toys, ceramics, and more. No amount of lead in our bodies is safe. Young children under 6 years old are most at risk for lead poisoning because their bodies are rapidly developing. A child with lead poisoning can experience learning difficulties, lower IQ, difficulty paying attention, organ damage, and anemia. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.

“The effects of lead poisoning are irreversible, but there are ways to decrease lead in our blood,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “Eating food high in vitamin C, iron, and calcium can help reduce lead being absorbed from the digestive system into the bloodstream.”

Vitamin C absorbs iron and can remove lead from the body. Lack of iron has been associated with higher blood lead levels; however, eating enough iron-rich foods will help reduce lead absorption. Lastly, calcium helps to build and maintain strong bones. Eating enough calcium will reduce the amount of lead being stored in bones.

You can include many foods with vitamin C, iron or calcium in your diet.  

Foods containing vitamin C include fruits and vegetables such as:

  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Raw Spinach
  • Melon
  • Peppers

Foods containing iron include types of meats, seafood, beans, fruits, and vegetables such as:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Spinach
  • Red kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Enriched and fortified breads and cereals

Foods containing calcium include dairy products and some seafood such as:

  • Milk
  • Cheese and yogurt
  • Dark leafy green vegetables such as collard greens and kale
  • Pinto beans and lentils
  • Canned salmon and sardines
  • Calcium-fortified beverages (juices, almond milk)

For any questions and more information on Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health) Lead Program, contact the Genesee County Health Department at (585) 344-2580 ext.5555 or [email protected]. You can also visit the GO Health website at www.GOHealthNY.org.

September 27, 2022 - 4:20pm


Press release:

Batavia First United Methodist Church, 8221 Lewiston Rd., Batavia, will be holding a Rummage & Estate Sale on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

There will be many estate and household items for sale, in addition to toys, furniture, holiday items, books & fresh produce. 

A bag sale begins at 1 p.m. 

Submitted photo. Pictured are rummage sale helpers Jackie Wilson, Judy Humphrey, Grace West, Gia Mangino and Kathy McAllister.


September 27, 2022 - 3:49pm
posted by Press Release in Genesee County Ag Society, fairgrounds, news.

Press release:

On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Genesee County Fairgrounds will host one of the largest sports card and collectible shows in the region. 

There will be roughly 100 vendor tables full of sports cards, autographs, supplies, hobby boxes and non-sports-related collectibles. 

The show/sale will be from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and have free admission. 

There will also be a food truck available on site.  

September 27, 2022 - 1:13pm


Five Finger Death Punch singer Ivan Moody, in various recent interviews, has revealed that four years ago, he died for three and a half minutes before being resuscitated – his body’s reaction to quitting drinking cold turkey.

His bandmate, guitarist Zoltan Bothery, knows what Moody experienced, disclosing he briefly died when was 12 years old.

“I was on my bicycle and I used to get behind big trucks because I could go faster...You’re getting in the draft (of the truck),” Bathory recalled in a phone interview. “The bicycle started to get to a speed when it was really not stable anymore.”

That’s when Bathory briefly took his eye off of the truck.

“I just plowed into the truck,” Bathory said. “I spent some time trying to find it (the truck). And at first I noticed, I can look behind a wall and I can look behind a bush. So I realized in that moment I had an out-of-body experience.”

After a bit, Bathory regained consciousness, and he actually walked away from the scene, much to the astonishment of onlookers who had gathered.

Bathory said he is talking about the incident because the new Five Finger Death Punch album, “AfterLife,” deals in part with this unique experience he and Moody share.

Specifically, the album includes the song “Judgment Day,” which Bathory said was meant to be “a soundtrack to the process of dying.”  Moody’s reaction when Bathory gave him the music was all he needed to see.

“I gave the song to Ivan to write the lyrics,” Bathory recalled. “He freaked out. He said ‘I’m not writing this song. I don’t want to (relive it).’” 

Eventually, Moody remembered he was actually at peace while he was dying, and he completed the lyrics. With that, all 10 songs were done and “AfterLife” was ready to be the ninth studio album from this popular hard rock/heavy metal band – seven of which have gone gold or platinum.

Headlining at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center tonight, Five Finger Death Punch is bringing out a visually elaborate show and playing lots of the hits.

“When you put in new stuff that people are not familiar with, it changes the vibe (of the show),” Bathory said. “They can’t sing along because they don’t know the song ...So you can put in new songs, but you have to be careful and you have to be very smart where you put them in the set.”

Photo by Travis Shinn.

September 27, 2022 - 8:10am


The Carr’s Reborn project for the former C.L. Carr Department Store on Main Street has met another goal to get the project moving.

Approved by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Committee earlier this month, the project received City Council’s blessing Monday to be part of a Restore NY grant application for $2 million.

No one spoke during a public hearing about the application, and City Council later voted to pursue the grant. Cities with a population less than 40,000 can apply or up to $2 million, and it is available for projects to “demolish/deconstruct and/or rehabilitate/reconstruct vacant, abandoned, surplus and/ore condemned residential, commercial and/or mixed-use buildings.”

The former Carr’s site is expected to accommodate several upper floor apartments and business/office use on the ground floor.

Consultant David Ciurzynski previously described the site’s future: renovating the upper two floors for apartments, installing arched windows in the front overlooking Main Street, preparing the lower levels for commercial space by removing asbestos and making them more enticing for prospective businesses to invest in the site.

Ciurzynski also included a vision for the project, aptly titled Carr's Reborn.

“We can restore the former landmark to its former glory,” he said during the DRI Committee’s Sept. 13 meeting.

The project would take $1 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant funding and $4 million from property owner Ken Mistler. Possible uses for the main floor have not been determined, and it’s about “what does downtown Batavia need?” Ciurzynski had said.

During the prior meeting, DRI Committee members approved a motion to move the project forward. They were: City Council President Eugene Jankowski, Steve Hyde, Dr. James Sunser,  Craig Yunker, Tammy Hathaway,  Erik Fix, Tom Turnbull, Susie Ott, Paul Battaglia, Marty Macdonald and Nathan Varland.

After Monday’s conference session, City Council voted to submit an application for this sixth round of the Restore NY Communities Initiative Municipal Grant Program.

File Photo of the former C.L. Carr Department Store on Main Street in downtown, Batavia. 

September 27, 2022 - 8:05am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, city council, Wing Ding, picnic in the park, notify.


Sometimes remarks have to be said even though they might upset people.

City Councilwoman Patti Pacino gave that warning during Monday’s conference session as the council discussed using leftover event money for a proposed Wing Ding. What she was going to say would probably anger her colleagues, Pacino said.

“While I think the Wing Ding is fabulous and it is an event open to everyone, we used to fund the Picnic in the Park, which is also for everyone,” she said in the Council Board Room of City Hall. “GO Art! had to cancel the picnic.”

Proposed by Assistant Manager Erik Fix, the amount of $9,188 remaining from the city’s Centennial Celebration in 2015 could be transferred into a Wing Ding account if council approved the move. Former Centennial Committee members Krysia Mager and Chairman Paul Battaglia had agreed to the use of funds in addition to others Fix had spoken to, he said, and some members of the resurrected air show had said they would help with the city’s event.

The city used to contribute money — about $2,500 — to the annual Picnic in the Park, but began to cut back over the last few years, and did not fund it in 2019, 2021 or 2022. The Original Red Osier Landmark restaurant presented the event in 2019, and a virtual picnic -- sponsored by several entities including the city --  was shown on YouTube in 2020. The picnic was canceled in 2021 due to COVID protocols and lack of sponsorship, and canceled again in 2022 due to lack of sponsorships.

Pacino said she would vote for the Wing Ding and transfer of money, but expected support when a request for Picnic in the Park funding came around again.

City Manager Rachael Tabelski explained that “we realized that if we were ever to use those funds, it had to be run by the city,” she said.

The $9,000 and change came from corporate donations for the Centennial shindig on Dec. 31, 2014. Although some council members suggested getting the Business Improvement District involved, those unexpended funds need to be spent by the city during an event under the city’s authorization, Tabelski said.

Why not do it? said Councilman John Canale. He saw no reason not to move forward with a Wing Ding to coincide with the air show next fall.

“People loved it,” Canale said.

Councilman Bob Bialkowski questioned the input from a couple of former committee members as being a major reason for moving forward. Canale rebutted that it’s “only common courtesy” to include them since they worked on the former event. Both Battaglia and Mager gave their blessings to the Wing Ding receiving $9,188.

Council members discussed how future Wing Dings would be paid for, and agreed with Tabelski’s assessment that this would be a “one-time” transfer and that nearly $10,000 for the Wing Ding wasn’t going to be a yearly budget item.

After reiterating her stance that she is looking for future support on the Fourth of July picnic, Pacino summarized how important it is to her.

“I’ve been waiting four years to say that,” she said.

Council members agreed to move the matter to a vote during a future business meeting.


Top Photo: City Councilwoman Patti Pacino expresses concerns Monday evening about the city not funding Picnic in the Park while considering an infusion of $9,188 of leftover centennial event money into a future Wing Ding event. Above, Council President Eugene Jankowski, Paul Viele and Patti Pacino discuss the issue with remaining council members not pictured during a conference session at City Hall. Photos by Joanne Beck.

September 26, 2022 - 8:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, notify, news, Le Roy, Stafford.
Ronald Washburn

Ronald M. Washburn, 62, of Stafford, is charged with Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child Less than 13, 2nd. Washburn is accused of having sexual conduct with a child on two or more occasions while babysitting the child in the City of Batavia between July 2008 and July 2012. The case was investigated by Det. Jason Ivison. Washburn was arraigned in City Court and released under supervision.

Samantha M. Kent, 29 of Le Roy, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd, following too closely, failure to stop for a school bus, and driving while ability impaired by drugs. Kent was reportedly the driver involved in a school bus accident on Sept. 13 at 6:59 a.m. on Ellicott Street, Batavia. She was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance.

Kevin D. Wolff, 51, of Sweetland Road, Stafford, and Cherie L. Bender, 52, of Sweetland Road, Stafford, are both charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Deputies responded to a call of a disturbance on Aug. 25 and as a result of an investigation Wolff and Bender were arrested on Sept. 22.  Both were released on appearance tickets.

Jessica B. Eschenlauer, 33, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 1st, assault 3rd, and unlawful imprisonment 2nd. Eschenlauer is accused of violating an order of protection and punching another person during a disturbance reported on  Sept. 16 at 10:30 a.m. at a location on Eleanor Place, Batavia. She was arraigned in City Court and ordered to return at a later date.

George J. Horner, 33, of Batavia, is charged with burglary 2nd and criminal contempt 2nd. Horner is accused of entering a residence on Bank Street on Sept. 21 at 7:10 a.m. in violation of an order of protection. Horner was arraigned in City Court and ordered jailed on $2,500 bail, $5,000 bond, or $10,000 partially secured bond.

Matthew R. Taylor, 39, no permanent address, is charged with burglary 3rd and petit larceny. Taylor is accused of stealing property from a business on Oak Street, Batavia, on Sept. 11 at 11:11 p.m. Taylor was arraigned in City Court and ordered held pending his next court appearance. 

Albert G. Platton, 76, of Batavia, is charged with forcible touching. Platton is accused of touching a staff member of a facility on Richmond Avenue, Batavia, in a sexual manner.  He was issued an appearance ticket.

Nancy E. Chatt, 77, of Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Chatt was allegedly driving a vehicle that struck a utility pole on Jackson Street on Sept. 18 at 8:52 p.m. She was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance.

Brittanee J. Hooten, 33, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Hooten is accused of shoplifting from a business in the City of Batavia on Sept. 17 at 11:30 a.m. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Rachel S. Wright, 18, of Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd and criminal trespass 2nd. Wright is accused of trying to fight with another person on Sept. 18 at 4:54 p.m. at a location on North Street, Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Christine M. Caplis, 42, of Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant on Sept. 18 at 12:30 p.m. She was released with an order to appear in City Court on Sept. 22.

Shyanna M. Williams, 19, of Hamburg is charged with aggravated harassment 2nd. Williams was arrested on a warrant based on a complaint filed on May 6. She was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance. 

Amanda L. Huber, 40, of Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. Huber was arrested on a warrant following a police investigation into an incident on West Main Street, Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket ordering her to appear on Sept. 15.

Jamie S. Schlonski, 50, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Schlonski was arrested by State Police in connection with an incident reported at 5 p.m. Sept. 22, in the Town of Batavia. Schlonksi was released on an appearance ticket. No further information was released.

September 26, 2022 - 4:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news.


Diane Burroughs took this photo this morning of what looked like a curtain of clouds coming down on Call Parkway in Batavia.

September 26, 2022 - 4:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oatka Trail, Le Roy, news, accident.

A two-car motor vehicle accident is reported in the area of 7581 Oatka Trail, Le Roy.

One vehicle is smoking, and the other one is rolled over.

Le Roy Fire, Le Roy Ambulance, and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 4:14 p.m.: Fire police requested to shutdown traffic in the area.

September 26, 2022 - 1:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, news.


Photo submitted by Joanne Meiser.

September 26, 2022 - 8:10am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, city council, Wing Ding, Restore NY, notify.


Market rate housing, the resurrection of Wing Ding, a craft beer festival and Alzheimer’s awareness walk, the Jackson Square redesign and a public hearing are all on tap for City Council’s conference meeting this week.

And that is to be followed by a special business meeting for several votes and an executive session to discuss “employment matters and real estate.”

The conference meeting is set for 7 p.m. Monday in the Council Board Room, second floor of City Hall.

Assistant City Manager Erik Fix is expected to outline a plan to create single-family homes and market-rate rentals to help supply Genesee County’s future housing needs of more than 4,800 units, according to a memo from Fix to City Council. The demand for housing is anticipated in correlation with the WNY STAMP project in the western part of the county.

“With low vacancy rates and free houses available for sale, if a surge of development attracted employment into the region, workers would need to look outside of the county for housing,” Fix said.

He is proposing that the Batavia Home Fund be established to capitalize Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) payments from project investors and land sales to plump up the fund.

The city will also be exploring a Core Housing Owner Incentive Exemption program based on a similar program in Rochester that provides exemptions for multi-family homes to convert to single-family homes, and for construction of new housing stock, Fix said.

As Genesee County, via a related committee, pursues hosting an air show once again, the city is considering resurrecting the Wing Ding that ran in conjunction with the former Wings of Eagles air show at Genesee County Airport. Fix is also expected to review the potential for a Wing Ding weekend, and transfer a leftover amount of $9,188 from the Centennial Celebration and move it into a Wing Ding account.

Air show committee leader and county highway superintendent Tim Hens has said that several people have asked that the air show be brought back, and many folks have shared fond memories from each event on opposite sides of the county -- at Genesee County Airport on Saile Drive and in downtown Batavia.

After years of committee meetings, investigation and talk about the potential for Creek Park, situated behind the ice arena, city officials are also expected to discuss the option of performing an environmental review for it to house a future business operation.

Eli Fish apparently doesn't want the fun to stop and has applied for a craft beer festival in Jackson Square later next month. That event, and an Alzheimer's awareness walk on Oct. 1 are up for review by council during its conference session. 

File photo of a previous air show. 

September 26, 2022 - 8:08am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, City Schools, batavia.

Batavia City School District residents are invited to offer comments and/or ask questions regarding the district’s proposition to use $95,000 from the Repair Reserve Fund.

A public hearing about expending the funds has been set for 6 p.m. Monday in the Superintendent’s Conference Room at Batavia High School, 260 State St., Batavia.

There will be a presentation about the emergency replacement of two water boilers, and the related contract for the $95,000 cost of repair. Business Administrator Scott Rozanski is to be on hand to answer questions and review the scope of work and contract award.

If approved by the board, the cost will be transferred out of the reserve fund to pay for the high school work.

Other agenda items include presentations from Trisha Finnigan, Dr. Molly Corey and board member Barbara Bowman; votes on several faculty appointments; contracts with groups and individuals related to transportation, personal day approval for the Custodial Association, an administrator’s retreat, clarifying payment eligibility for Batavia Teachers’ Association, and tuition for children with disabilities.

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