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March 24, 2019 - 2:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, bergen, Le Roy.

Amanda Marie Bowles, 33, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with: second-degree forgery -- four counts; first-degree identity theft -- four counts; criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree -- five counts; and one count of third-degree identity theft. Following an investigation of multiple credit cards stolen out of the Town of Batavia, Bowles was arrested on March 20 for allegedly using the stolen credits cards at multiple locations around the City of Batavia. She also allegedly completed some transactions by forging the signature of the credit card owner. She was arraigned on March 21 in Batavia City Court and jailed without bail. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack.

Woodrow Clarence Horseman, 43, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and petit larceny. He was arrested March 22 for allegedly stealing a wallet at 5 a.m. on March 21 at a location on West Main Street Road, Batavia. The wallet contained nine credit cards and other personal documents. He was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and put in GC Jail on $2,500 cash or bond. He is due back in court on April 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack.

Yacuzzo Salvatore, 73, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at 12:30 p.m. on March 21 on Red Mill Road, Le Roy, for allegedly violating a stay away order of protection. He was issued an appearance ticket for Le Roy Town Court and is due there April 11. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor.

Richard Dean Neal, 29, of Roosevelt Highway, Kent, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. Neal was arrested on March 18. It is alleged that at 5:28 p.m. on March 16 that he damaged another person's vehicle while in the Walmart parking lot. He was released on an appearance ticket for April 1 in Batavia Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth.

Aaron Lee Heale, 38, of North Lake Road, Bergen, is charged with: introducing dangerous contraband into prison in the first degree; fifth-degree conspiracy; and falsifying business records in the first degree. On March 14, Heale allegedly conspired to have drugs brought into the Genesee County Jail. He is currently incarcerated there. He is due in Batavia City Court tomorrow (March 25) to answer the charges. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

Amethyst Rose McCracken, 31, of North Lake Road, Bergen, is charged with: introducing dangerous contraband into prison in the first degree; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; and fifth-degree conspiracy. It is alleged that at 9:48 p.m. on March 14, that she brought drugs into the GC Jail. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court on March 23 and is due back there tomorrow (March 25). The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

Joseph G. Sumeriski, 27, of Batavia, was arrested by deputies of the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office on March 16 in the West Municipal Parking Lot in the Village of Warsaw on a warrant for allegedly failing to pay restitution ordered by Warsaw Village Court. He was arraigned in Village of Warsaw Court then posted cash bail. Warsaw police assisted at the scene. The case was handled by Wyoming County Sheriff's Sgt. Colin Reagan and Deputy John Button.

March 24, 2019 - 6:21am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, Darien.

A working garage fire is reported at 541 Bell Road, Darien. The structure is about 40 to 50  square feet and is "on the ground" -- burned up -- at this point, but there are several exposures to other structures that firefighters will deal with, says a first responder on scene. There's a gap of 20 to 30 feet between the garage and another structure.

The city's Fast Team was called, then canceled. All available manpower from Darien is responding, along with mutual aid from Alexander, Pembroke, Corfu and Indian Falls.

There's a pond on Bell Road that firefighters may be able to access; it's estimated to be 1,050 feet from the fire.

The location is off Fargo Road and it's at the dead end of the street.

UPDATE 6:26 a.m.: Alexander is to fill in at Darien's Fire Hall. There's a live power line in front of the garage, firefighters are told.

March 23, 2019 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in warrants, news, crime.
ashleyhaydenmug2019.jpg kaniponderwarrant2019.jpg  

Ashley N. Hayden, age 27, white female, 5’6” brown hair, green eyes LKA  Upper Clark Ave VanEtten, NY

Bench Warrant – Wanted for harassment 2nd PL 240.26-3 (violation) Darien Town Court DOW 7/14/15

Kani Ponder, age 22, black female, 5’00” 115 lbs., black hair, brown eyes LKA Berlin Street, Rochester, NY

Arrest Warrant – Wanted for criminal impersonation 2nd PL 190.25-1 (misdemeanor) Pembroke Town Court DOW 2/5/19

 

horatiocolemanawarrant2019.jpg adamdolbywarrant2019.jpg  

Horatio Coleman,  age 64, black male 5’11” 155 lbs., black hair, brown eyes, LKA Oak Street, Batavia, NY

Arrest Warrant – Wanted for petit larceny PL 155.25 (misdemeanor) Batavia Town Court DOW 8/27/15

Adam M. Dolby, age 35, white male 5’8” 240 lbs., brown hair, green eyes, LKA Telephone Road, Pavilion, NY

Arrest Warrant – Wanted for escape 3rd PL 205.05 (misdemeanor) Pavilion Town Court DOW 4/7/15

Miguel Hernandez-Gonzalez, age 35, hispanic male, 5’6” 140 lbs., brown hair, brown eyes, LKA  East Road, Bethany, NY (No photo available) Arrest Warrant – Wanted for DWI & Drove W/.08 percent or more BAC, VTL 1192-3 & 1192-2 (misdemeanors) Bethany Town Court DOW 1/9/19.

Robin S. Johns, age 55, white female, 5’3” 120 lbs., brown hair, blue eyes, LKA  Fisher Road, Oakfield, NY (No photo available) Arrest Warrant – Wanted for issuing a bad check, PL 190.05 (misdemeanor) Oakfield Town Court DOW 6/21/16.

If you are able to assist the Sheriff's Office in locating these people, the Sheriff's Office asks that you do not approach these people and that you call (585) 343-5000 with information that may assist in locating the suspects.

March 23, 2019 - 3:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in spring fling, GO ART!, fundraiser, Genean Awards, news.
GO ART! will host its Spring Fling from 7 to 10 p.m. on Satruday, April 27.
 
This will be a 1950s themed evening of music and appetizers with a cash bar. The Genean Awards will be presented that evening.
 
Tickets are $20 per person for non-members and $15 per person for members.
 
Tickets can be purchased at GO ART!, 201 E. Main St., Batavia or by calling 585-343-9313.
March 23, 2019 - 2:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, Pizza with Pros, education.

Press release:

The National Center for Education Statistics estimates 80 percent of college students in the United States change their majors at least once. Some fall in love with another discipline while taking electives, some experience personal life tragedies or triumphs that inspire new directions, and some just simply didn't know enough about their major when they picked it.

In alignment with its long-standing dedication to student success, Genesee Community College has established a new speaker series called "Pizza with the Pros" to help students make educated decisions about their majors and career aspirations.

GCC's Alumni Affairs office in collaboration with the Student Success Center and AEOC designed "Pizza with the Pros" to tap into GCC's vast pool of successful alumni, identifying experts (Pros) from a variety of industries who would be willing to come to campus and spend time chatting with current students from different majors.

During these sessions, the Pros share their journeys from college to career, and answer students' questions about their field.

"The 'Pizza with the Pros' series came about in an effort to expose our students to as much of their individual areas of interest as possible," said Jennifer Wakefield, assistant director of Alumni Affairs. "From new products, events or initiatives, to the mundane tasks of everyday work-these sessions give our students a view of the real world, with real stories from real people they can relate to.

"Beyond learning, these events present excellent and valuable networking opportunities for both students and alumni."

All events in the "Pizza with the Pros" series are free to GCC students. Each session will begin at 11:30 a.m. and wrap up by 1:30 p.m. in the Student Success Center on GCC's Batavia Campus.

"It is our hope that students take advantage of this networking opportunity where they will likely learn some successful strategies across many disciplines," Wakefield said. "And who knows, maybe even some resume sharing will come out of it, too."

  • Wednesday, March 27: Explore Science and Technology/Information Technology with pros Serena Cooke ('92), online learning specialist at GCC and Keith Ward ('13), IT administrator at Keuka College.
  • Wednesday, April 3: Explore Health and Physical Education with Beth Felix, GCC Nursing School and Krystal Forsyth, Health and Physical Education educator at Brighton Central School.
  • Wednesday, April 10: Explore Business and Commerce/ Health Care with Missy Marsocci, entrepreneur and Lina LaMattina, Ph.D., director of Business Programs at GCC.
  • Wednesday, April 17: Explore the Creative Arts with Trace George ('95) of VSP Graphic Group and GCC's Alumni Council, and Kim Argenta, owner and artist at Art Ah La Carte.
  • Wednesday, April 24: Explore Law and Criminal Justice with Todd L. Tryon, retired assistant field office director and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Michele M. Kraynik, RN, Esq., the director and professor of Health Administration/School of Business at Roberts Wesleyan College, Benjamin Bonarigo ('79), Esq., GCC Board of Trustees and Alumni Hall of Fame inductee, and John Michalak, 2019 Alumni Hall of Fame inductee, retired Batavia police officer, FBI sergeant and Army veteran.
March 23, 2019 - 2:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in volunteers, volunteer transportation center, news.

Press release:

Volunteer drivers are needed throughout Genesee County. The Volunteer Transportation Center Inc. (VTC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing transportation to non-emergent medical appointments through a network of volunteer drivers.

Transportation is provided specifically to those who have Medicaid through a partnership with Medicaid Answering Services, the local Medicaid transportation broker.

“Becoming a volunteer driver is extremely rewarding,” says Luanne VanBrocklin, new program implementation director. “What better way to give back to the community than to give a few hours of your time ensuring someone in need receives the medical care they deserve.”

All volunteer drivers must complete an application process which includes a background check, and extensive training. Volunteers are then issued a tablet on which trips are assigned to them to serve local residents. For each trip completed, there is mileage reimbursement of $0.545 per mile for miles driven. However, there is no cost to the client for the transportation.

“Our goal is to make a difference in people’s lives by giving access to the health care they need,” says VanBrocklin.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a volunteer driver, call the Volunteer Transportation Center at (585) 250-5030 or click here to complete an application today. (Administration for Genesee County volunteers is handled in Watertown, in Jefferson County.)

The Volunteer Transportation Center Inc. (VTC), was established in 1991 in Northern New York. Over the last 20 years, this essential nonprofit organization has provided rides to medical destinations. The staff, Board of Directors and volunteer drivers look forward to a time when transportation to services is accessible to all regardless of economic or special needs.

March 23, 2019 - 2:38pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Earlier this month the SAGA (Sexuality and Gender Acceptance) Student Club at Genesee Community College announced it would host the its first-ever drag show, "The Battle in Batavia," on Saturday, March 30, in the Batavia Campus's Stuart Steiner Theatre.

On Friday, the contest judges were named. Presiding over inaugural show will be:

  • Gregory Hallock, Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council executive director;
  • Rachel Kropczynski, owner of Monroe's Boutique;
  • Thomas Priester, Ph.D., GCC associate vice president of Student Success;
  • Kristen Schuth, GCC athletic director;
  • Donna Rae Sutherland, GCC associate director of Marketing Communications;
  • A sixth Drag Show Contest judge is yet to be named.

On Thursday, one of the professional show participants, Cassanova Theking (on left in photo above), was on campus to help to promote the show, and generate awareness of LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Questioning) community as well as support GCC's new scholarship program.

All proceeds from the drag show will fund the College's first and only LGBTQ Scholarship, which will provide financial assistance to eligible students facing emergency situations, or helping to offset financial hardships by covering the cost books, tuition, child care, or other obstacles to academic success. The scholarship will be available to students of the LBGTQ community at GCC facing such hardships and is the first of its kind.

"The Battle in Batavia" will feature a drag queen and king competition where professional drag artists from Buffalo and Rochester will skirmish amongst amateur drag queens and kings from the campus community.

Anyone interested in entering the fun-filled competition under the Amateur and GCC Alumni categories can easily sign up and there is no cost to enter. Click here to sign up.

The show begins at 6 p.m. with a reception in the Lobby of the Stuart Steiner Theatre where attendees can meet some of the contestants already in character. Refreshments will be provided.

At 7 p.m., the battle is on! Each contestant will perform his or her piece to music of their choosing. There will be two acts, and during the intermission a question-and-answer session will allow the audience to interact with the stars of the show.

Purchasing advance tickets is strongly advised! A single advance seat is just $5 in advance or $6 at the door, if available.

Discounted group rates are also available. A group of 10-19 people is $40; and a group of 20 or more people is $75. Tickets are available by calling (585) 345-6836; or emailing Kate Trombley, director of the TRIO Adult Educational Opportunity Center and advisor for GCC's Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) [email protected]; or by stopping by Office D208 at GCC's Batavia Campus.

This show is recommended for mature audiences only as it may include strong language or sexual innuendo.

Those not interested in competing, or unable to attend -- but who would like to support the important cause, can contribute as a sponsor or make a charitable donation. In addition, volunteers are being sought to work at the event and will receive free admission to the show. For further information contact Katherine Trombley, director of GCC's Adult Educational Opportunity Center at [email protected] or by calling (585) 343-0055, ext. 6836.

March 23, 2019 - 2:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.
mugkeithwhitemarch2019.jpg
     Keith White

An inmate in the Genesee County Jail is accused of introducing dangerous contraband into the jail after receiving a birthday card allegedly containing a controlled substance.

Keith White, 47, of North Tonawanda, faces numerous other charges. Besides introducing dangerous contraband, a felony, he is charged with 16 counts felony falsifying business records, 1st, criminal solicitation, 4th, conspiracy, 5th, and 60 counts of falsifying business records, 2nd. 

White, who is being held on a petit larceny charge from July, is accused of using the PIN numbers of other inmates to make telephone calls.

The date and time of the incidents were between November and February.

Deputy Ryan Young is leading the investigation.

White was arrested last July in Batavia, accused, along with Jeffery P. Wozniak, of Niagara Falls, of stealing steaks, lobster, shrimp, a roast and several household items from Top's Market. That case is still pending.

He is being held on the new charges without bail because of prior felony convictions. He's been incarcerated three previous times on burglary and robbery charges. His most recent stint in state prison was from 2001 to 2016 on a robbery conviction in Niagara County. He was released from parole in February 2018.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. with additional information about the case.

March 23, 2019 - 1:57pm

Press release:

Spring is a season when thoughts often turn to Earth. It is thus fitting that the Genesee Chorale celebrates nature and the planet in its April 5 and 7 concerts, “Voices of the Earth.”

The April 5 concert begins at 7 p.m. at Pavilion High School, 7014 Big Tree Road, Pavilion.

The April 7 concert begins at 4 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main St., Batavia., and will have the added feature of a display of art work by area students created in connection with GO ART!

In a time of concern about climate change the future of our planet, “Voices of the Earth” was a theme that came easily to Ric Jones, who directs the 70-member Chorale.

“As a lover of nature and spending time outdoors, I am always drawn to themes of nature in music,” he said. “As I was researching music, I found myself selecting music with themes of nature, and music that centered around beautiful poetry.

"It was a natural step from there to decide to make a program focused on the Earth. And with the devastation we are seeing in our world, I think it is important to draw attention to it, and our responsibilities for it.”

He looked for music that would challenge singers, and that would be both enjoyable and inspiring for singers and audience. Several of the selections are taken from poetry. For example, “There Will Come Soft Rains” and “The Cloud” are poems by Sara Teasdale, and “The Peace of Wild Things” is a poem by Wendell Berry.

Another poem, “Little Birds” by Octavio Paz in Spanish, was set to music by Eric Whitacre, who incorporated bird calls into the piece, as well as a surprise ending.  Listeners may also be surprised by special effects in “Whispering Waters.”

“I think the audience will really enjoy some of the nontraditional things we are doing with the choir,” Jones said. “Bird calls, sounds of water, etc. I also think they will really enjoy our special guest musicians, Bob Holley on bongos and Fran Woodworth on flute. The bongos help give 'Gently (Walk on the Earth)' a pop/world beat feel."

More traditional pieces include “The Pasture,” which invokes a pastoral America; “Linden Lea,” a Dorset (a coastal county in Southwest England) folk song; “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” an Anglican hymn; and an arrangement of “For the Beauty of the Earth.”

“I most want the audience to listen to the words,” Jones said. “The text is so important in these works. There are many moving words and much poetry designed to make us, as humans, stop and think  about the world around us.”

Tickets are $10 each. They may be purchased via credit card or PayPal through Chorale’s website box office, www.GeneseeChorale.com. They are available as “will call,” or from Chorale members, or at the door. Further information is available on Chorale’s website.

March 22, 2019 - 8:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, notify, news.

 

Video Sponsor
 

 

balckshearmugsamuelmarch2019.jpg
  Samuel Blackshear

When Samuel Blackshear shot Nathaniel Wilson on Central Avenue one evening last May, Blackshear was exercising "street justice" Judge Charles Zambito told the young man today at his sentencing on an illegal weapon conviction.

It wasn't a matter of self-defense, as defense attorney James Hinman contended, Zambito said. The judge said he believed there was a prior dispute between Blackshear and Wilson, even before Wilson showed up with a knife and stabbed and killed Terry Toote, and that Blackshear knew a woman he was with had a gun and that he expected to be handed the gun if he needed it.

Blackshear was denied youthful offender status and sentenced to three and a half years in state prison followed by two and a half years on parole, which is the mandatory sentence for a conviction on a count of criminal possession of a weapon.

The father of Samuel Blackshear, who was 17 at the time of the incident, said he was disappointed that Zambito denied his son a chance to go to school, get a job, and try to get on a path toward a productive life.

"I came here today expecting justice for my young son," Billy Blackshear said. "I'm not trying to make excuses for him. I'm not saying that he was in the right for how he reacted, but considering the factors that placed him in that situation...with him being a young person, you have the influence of television, you have the influence of peers, you have so many negative influences that could have carried him even worse than the way he reacted and he did not."

Before sentencing Blackshear, Zambito meticulously reviewed the law, the criteria that must be met for a finding youthful offender status, and the circumstances of the case.

Many new details about the murder of Toote and the shooting of Wilson on Central Avenue on May 17 came out during today's hearing.

Youthful offender status is reserved for those cases, Zambito said, where there are mitigating circumstances and where the defendant may have acted in haste and thoughtlessly. The judge making a Y.O. determination must consider the gravity of the circumstances, the defendant's prior record, prior acts of violence, the reputation of the individual, whether the defendant cooperated with police and prosecutors, the defendant's attitude, and whether the defendant has displayed respect for the law.

Y.O. status is mandated if the perpetrator is between 15 and 19 years old at the time of the offense but the conviction is for a misdemeanor. In this case, Blackshear admitted to a felony.

If the case involves an armed felony, as this was, Zambito said, then mitigating circumstances come into play.

In their remarks to Zambito prior to Zambito discussing his decision, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said there were no mitigating circumstances and dismissed assertions by the defendant's attorney, Hinman, that Blackshear acted in the defense of himself and others. Hinman passionately and exhaustively argued that there were mitigating circumstances and this his client did act in defense of himself and others.

Friedman argued that Blackshear, who had little experience, he said, with handguns, and no prior training in defending others, acted recklessly and without regard to the safety of others in the vicinity when he fired three shots at Wilson. After Wilson attacked Toote, he said Blackshear walked over to a nearby car, took a gun from the driver, and immediately turned around and started firing.

"That wasn't self-defense the first time he fired it," Friedman said. "It wasn't self-defense second time he fired it. It wasn't self-defense the third time he fired it. That was not self-defense."

If it was self-defense, Friedman argued, then why didn't Blackshear stick around after the shooting? Why did he flee instead of talk to the police? Why wasn't he cooperative with investigators once he was located? Friedman asserted the Blackshear has been unwilling to help police locate the handgun he used and that the gun is still missing.

Hinman argued that all available physical evidence, in particular, a video camera mounted on a utility pole on Central Avenue at the time of the shooting, shows Blackshear acted in defense of himself and others. He said it showed Wilson arrive on scene and within 10 seconds, attack Toote, kill him, and then immediately brandish the knife at other people in the area.

Other than his possession of the gun, Hinman said his client did nothing illegal. He suggested the other charges against Blackshear -- attempted assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree -- where satisfied in the plea agreement because Blackshear could have made a credible case to a jury that he acted within New York law to defend himself and others.

"Maybe he (Wilson) would have stabbed other people if he had not been shot," Hinman said. "That doesn't make Mr. Blackshear a hero but he stopped illegal acts."

As for Blackshear's leaving the scene of the shooting before police arrived, Hinman said that's the normal reaction of a black youth today.

"I would submit that a young black man in this day and age has a good reason to not stick around and talk to police," Hinman said. "Nor does he have the obligation to stick around and talk with police."

As for helping police find the gun, Hinman said his client told police that he handed the gun to a third party to take care of and that he has no direct knowledge as to the gun's whereabouts. He said that third party may have cooperated with police in locating the gun but since that person wasn't assured immunity from prosecution he hasn't cooperated. He did say police learned the gun may have been dropped from a bridge into a creek and a search was undertaken to try and locate the gun but it wasn't found. None of that, Hinman said, could be blamed on his client.

Hinman disputed statements Wilson made in a presentence probation interview where Wilson apparently asserted that Blackshear shot him because of a prior dispute and that Blackshear was looking for a confrontation with Wilson.

"It's nothing more than an attempt by Wilson to make himself a victim," Hinman said. "He's the one who set everything in motion."

Zambito, however, gave some weight to Wilson's account of the incident.

"I have no sympathy for Nathaniel Wilson," Zambito said. "He is convicted of murder and he is in jail for a long time, and deservedly so."

But, Zambito said, some of Wilson's statements are corroborated by the evidence on the pole cam video recording as well as mobile phone recordings by witnesses.

In order to find mitigating circumstances, Zambito said he would have to be convinced that Blackshear acted on the spur of the moment to defend himself and others but Zambito said the evidence suggested otherwise.

For example, well before Wilson arrives, a black sedan is seen on Central Avenue. At one point, the driver gets out and retrieves what appears to be a handgun from the trunk of the vehicle. Later the car leaves Central Avenue and returns. The car leaves again and reappears just before Wilson shows up. After Wilson stabs Toote, Zambito said, Blackshear is seen moving toward Wilson, who is turning to leave, and then sees the sedan and walks over to it and is immediately handed a gun by the driver of the vehicle.

"That tells me," Zambito said, "that he (Blackshear) was looking for that car and he expected to be handed the gun."

He said audio from mobile phones show that several people cried out "Sam," which Zambito took as a verbal attempt by witnesses to tell Blackshear to not fire any shots but that Blackshear fired anyway.

Wilson contends he and Blackshear had a prior dispute over Wilson hitting a girlfriend and that Wilson had tried to apologize and Blackshear refused the apology. He said even in a phone call earlier that day, Blackshear had refused the apology and hung up on him.

He said Blackshear had referred to himself as a member of the "L Gang" and that members of the "L Gang" would be looking for Wilson (outside of court, Friedman said "L Gang" may refer to a group of youths who grew up on Lewis Place and applied that moniker to themselves).

While acknowledging that Blackshear's natural impulse may have been to leave the scene and that he had no obligation to stay at the scene, his failure to do so did display a lack of cooperation with police, and one of Zambito's findings must include cooperation with police for Youthful Offender status. Further, Blackshear did not come forward voluntarily the next day. When he was located, he was at the residence of the adult who gave him the gun, playing video games.

As for Blackshear's criminal record and good conduct, Zambito said Blackshear had been arrested once, granted youthful offender status once, and was on probation at the time of the May 17 incident. He also said that Batavia PD and Sheriff's Office reported 26 negative contacts with Blackshear in the prior two years. He said Blackshear had been accused of shooting another person with a BB gun.

"And he's only 17 years old," Zambito said.

Citing district official at BOCES, Blackshear was characterized as having us vs. them attitude, of disrespecting authority, of hanging out with other youths who caused trouble.

In the presentence report, probation officers recommended against Y.O., and detectives Thad Mart and Kevin Czora, the lead investigators on this case, also recommended against Y.O. status.

"It was only by sheer luck that his reckless behavior didn't result in killing or seriously wounding a bystander," Mart wrote in his letter to the court.

Zambito said he took all of that into consideration in coming to his conclusion.

"The defendant attempted street justice," Zambito said. "He put at risk an entire neighborhood. Even Nathaniel Wilson recognizes the loss of life in this incident was over something very senseless and I have to agree with him. I have to believe this defendant was complicit."

Billy Blackshear said his son was raised well, as the grandson of a beloved local pastor, the late Reverend Oraid Blackshear of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church on Ellicott Street, and as the son of a man who has never been arrested or spent a night in jail.

But outside court he said he can't help but wonder if he did enough to prepare his son for dealing for life in today's society.

"As a parent, I wish I would have done more," Billy Blackshear said. "I think that's something that maybe a lot of parents say when bad circumstances happen. I said the same thing about my brother when he passed. I wish I could have had a chance to say goodbye to him. I wish there were words that I could have said to him had I known that would be the last time I saw him.

"I didn't get that chance and I feel that same sense of sadness and remorse in this particular case. I wish I could have spent more time or that I could have done or something, or something I could have said that would have better prepared him for such horrendous circumstance."

There's a lesson in this case for all of us, Billy Blackshear suggested.

"I think that young people are too busy being raised and being influenced by outside forces that gave other people monetary value," Blackshear said. "You know there's money to be made on telling kids you should be this way, to have a violent attitude, or look at, you know, you don't have to listen to the rules or anything like that. I'm not saying that's what Samuel was influenced by (that) but I'm saying that there is more negative input than ... positive.

"And so we as parents have to step up. I think the system has to step up as well. Hand-in-hand cooperate in order to be a counterbalance to the things that are steering our young people into the feeling hopelessness and anger and just frustration. We need to start putting hope back inside these young people. We need to start giving them better options. We could do more. There's always more that can be done." (View the full video at the top of this story for all of Mr. Blackshear's comments after the hearing.)

Zambito thinks it's time for Samuel Blackshear to step it up and use his time in prison to take advantage of programs that will help him be more productive and move his attitude away from "us vs. them."

"If you don't," Zambito said, "you're either going to spend a lot of your life in jail or you're going to wind up dead like Terry Toote."

March 22, 2019 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in HEAP, news.

Press release:

HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) funds remain available for clean and tune services for the primary heating equipment of eligible homeowners.

Clean and tune services provide for the cleaning of primary heating equipment, but may also include chimney cleaning, minor repairs, installation of carbon monoxide detectors or programmable thermostats, if needed, to allow for the safe, proper and efficient operation of the heating equipment.

Benefit amounts are based on the actual cost incurred to provide clean and tune services. To qualify, households must not exceed the program’s income guidelines.

Households can apply by contacting Genesee County Department of Social Services at 585-344-2580.

2018-2019 HEAP Benefit Gross Monthly Income Guidelines

Household Size

Maximum Gross Monthly Income

1

$2,391

2

$3,127

3

$3,863

4

$4,598

5

$5,334

6

$6,070

7

$6,208

8

$6,346

9

$6,483

March 21, 2019 - 7:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, fire, corfu.

All available manpower is called by East Pembroke Fire Department to a cornfield on fire 50 yards from a residence at 1688 Indian Falls Road in Corfu.

The location is between Little Falls Road and North Pembroke Road.

March 21, 2019 - 6:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, east pembroke, news.

A car. vs. tractor-trailer accident with minor injuries in reported on the eastbound Thruway at mile marker 397. East Pembroke Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

March 21, 2019 - 3:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, batavia, news, schools, education.

The district superintendent for BOCES says a student complaint about an instructor with an unauthorized pocketknife on campus was taken seriously and dealt with promptly after the student contacted The Batavian to complain about what she perceived as an inadequate response.

Kevin MacDonald said as soon as the Batavia principal was contacted by the student the situation was dealt with and that the instructor involved felt "horrible" about the mistake. The pocketknife is something she normally carries with her off campus and forgot it was clipped on the pocket of her utility pants, making it clearly visible to students.

The student who contacted The Batavian said she was concerned the issue hadn't been dealt with and MacDonald suggested the student wasn't aware of what went on after she spoke with a principal.

While sharp objects -- knives, saws, scissors, and other items -- are part of the instructional environment on the Batavia CTE campus, neither students nor faculty are allowed to bring knives onto campus.

The parents of three students who expressed concern about the knife were contacted by phone by school officials, MacDonald said.

"I'm confident our staff handled the situation very well," MacDonald said.

Here is a statement from District Superintendent Kevin MacDonald:

On Wednesday, March 20, a student who attends the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center, reported that an instructor was carrying a knife that was visible to students.

Administration was notified of the report and the student’s concerns. A conversation was had with the instructor who was carrying a knife. She immediately removed the knife from the building. She apologized noting that it was an honest mistake. Administration met with the student who reported the incident. Parents were notified of the situation that occurred.

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership has a board policy that states that weapons are not allowed on campuses, however, the policy does note that tools and other equipment, like knives and scissors, are allowed as long as the implement is part of the approved career and technical education program. The welfare of our students is of utmost importance and we take reports like this seriously.

March 20, 2019 - 5:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, online education.

From SR Education Group:

Genesee Community College ranks number 11 among New York's 22 community colleges that offer an online associate degree or certificate, according to SR Education Group, which helps prospective students find the right online college.

Each community college was ranked by several important factors, including retention rate, graduation rate, percentage of online enrollment data, and the number of online associate degrees offered. SR Education Group also provides a manually researched tuition rate that is based on the college's website.

SR Education Group, a leading education research publisher founded in 2004, released the first-ever online community college rankings categorized by state last week.

In order to develop rankings, the organization only considered states with at least three regionally accredited schools offering at least one fully online associate degree. The rankings include a nationwide Best Overall Community College ranking and 38 state-specific rankings, featuring a total of 423 schools.

Each community college highlighted on the rankings lists received a score based on several important factors, including retention rate, graduation rate, and percentage of online enrollment data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The number of online associate degrees offered was collected from school websites and considered in the ranking score as well. All ranked schools scored 70 percent or higher. 

Since 75 percent of online college students live within 100 miles of their school’s campus, the 2019 Online Community College rankings by state are an especially valuable resource for prospective community college students. Many students may choose to stay in state because of tuition discounts, familiarity with the school, or flexibility for classes that may have hybrid, in-person requirements.

New York is home to 22 community colleges that provide opportunities to earn an online associate degree or certificate. Of the schools on this list, 19 cost less than $5,000 per year, including GCC, which typically averages $4,150 in yearly tuition, and they all cost less than $6,000 per year.

Students interested in a part-time, full-time, or accelerated-pace online learning program can earn an associate degree (10 options) or certificate (four options through Genesee Community College’s e-learning platform.

Many programs are 100-percent online; however, some are 75-percent and 50-percent online. Classes are conducted both synchronously and asynchronously. Communication with instructors is done via the internet, phone, and teleconferencing. Online students have access to presentations, labs, textbooks, video lectures, and online discussions. Degrees offered online include an AS in Business Administration, Criminal Justice, and Liberal Arts and Sciences.

March 20, 2019 - 5:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A car vs. bicyclist accident in reported in the intersection of Washington Avenue and Willow Street. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

March 20, 2019 - 3:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia.

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported in the city at West Main Street and Woodrow Road. It is blocking traffic. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

March 20, 2019 - 2:18pm
Above, Killelea's "Casper Barn."
 
Submitted art and press release:
 

The Batavia Society of Artist is hosting artist Michael Killelea from 7 to 9 p.m. on April 9th at GO ART! inside Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia

Killelea is going to demonstrate how at add a figure or animal in a completed watercolor painting to add interest and help the composition.

Non-members welcome for a $5 fee.

Killelea: About the upcoming demo

"Painting en plein air has some obvious drawbacks. One problem is that compositional flaws sometimes aren't clear until some time has passed. Since landscapes or buildings rarely move they make great still life subjects.

"But they can sometimes seem a bit lifeless, so adding some live thing often makes sense. I try to keep the “add life” idea in mind as I paint, even if I don’t incorporate it as I paint. I do that by adding an animated figure of some kind, even after the painting is done.

"I look for a place to add that figure in the composition like birds, animals or people. In watercolor that might mean scrubbing out a particular area to add a figure, or adding a darker figure into a light area.Obviously the figure can be positioned anywhere for maximum impact, and that’s what I’ll demonstrate."

About Michael Killelea

He is an artist, author, teacher and traveler whose "exquisite watercolors" from a trip to China were featured in American Artist's "Watercolor" magazine.

This Long Island native currently lives among the cows, cornfields and farms of Western New York where he divides his time between painting, teaching and lecturing. But he paints anywhere and everywhere, at home and around the world.

Killelea is a signature member, on the Board of Directors, and Secretary to the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA). He’s also a signature member as well as program chairman for the Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society, and is a signature member of the Buffalo Society of Artists.

He paints weekly with the All Weather Gang in Genesee County. Killelea is a graduate of SUNY Farmingdale and has attended Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts.

His artwork is in numerous private collections and is featured in two books he wrote and illustrated about Long Island's rural North Fork. Killelea's work and biography have been included in the Smithsonian Institution's Library for the American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery and have become the basis for a permanent file on him there.

Below: Killelea's "Potter Lumber."

March 20, 2019 - 1:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, scholarships, GCC, news, Genesee Promise Plus.

Press release:

Since 2008, Genesee Community College has offered the Genesee Promise Plus (GPP) scholarships to help remove financial barriers to higher education for citizens in the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming (GLOW) counties.

Qualified individuals, from students in high school to adults who have never taken a college course before are encouraged to apply for up to two summer semester courses tuition-free at GCC!

"Summer is a perfect time for new GCC students or students in our Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) program to jump-start their college coursework," said Lindsay Gerhardt, assistant dean for Recruitment and Admissions. "The GPP program provides a wonderful opportunity for college-bound students to cost effectively earn up to eight transferrable credits.

"Courses can be prerequisites, general education courses or beginner courses in specific fields of study that give students a head start on a degree program."

GPP is available to GLOW region citizens who are high school juniors (rising seniors), graduating high school seniors or new adult college students who have never attended college before.

With more than 100 courses being offered this summer, in two summer sessions both online and at GCC's seven campus locations, there are ample opportunities for all eligible applicants in these categories: 

High school juniors (rising seniors) and qualifying homeschool students are eligible for scholarship funding to take one course. 

Graduating high school seniors are eligible for scholarship funding to take one or two courses

Adults who have never attended college are eligible for scholarship funding to take one course. This includes adults who have received a GED prior to May 1, 2019 or graduated from a GLOW area high school on or before December 2018. GCC will require a copy of high school transcripts.

GPP scholarship applications are being accepted until June 21 for the 2019 summer session.

The complete list of courses available this summer is available here. The wide array of different subjects includes Basic Math Skills to Statistics and Pre-Calculus, History to Healthy Living, Psychology to Sociology, Business to Biology, and unique courses including Females Roles in Film (CIN242) and Hiking, Walking and Backpacking (PED260), plus many others.

Applications, qualification criteria and additional information are available here.

All interested individuals are encouraged to contact the office of admissions at [email protected] or by calling (585) 345-6805 today!

March 20, 2019 - 1:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, GCC job fair, employment.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is pleased to announce another exciting annual Spring Job Fair with more than 50 companies expected on Thursday, April 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the College's centrally located William Stuart Forum.

Genesee's Student Success Center continues to solicit businesses from all types of industries to join the popular, two-hour event that introduces potential new employees to employers, and also provides businesses an opportunity to present their trade and services to the local community.

The event is free to employers and attendees. Employers must register; job seekers are not required to register prior to the event but must sign-in upon arrival.

As of March 19, the following employers are scheduled to be in attendance:

Participating employers include:

  • ARC of Genesee Orleans
  • Aveanna Healthcare 
  • Batavia Downs Gaming 
  • Barnes & Noble College 
  • Brookdale Brockport
  • City Year Buffalo
  • Coast Professional Inc.
  • Combined Insurance
  • Darien Lake Amphitheater Legends Hospitality
  • Delaware North
  • Dept. for Corrections & Community Supervision
  • Dept. for Exceptional Children, Monroe 2-Orleans
  • ESL Federal Credit Union
  • Everdry Waterproofing
  • Farm Fresh LLC
  • Genesee ACE Employment
  • Genesee Community College
  • Genesee Community College -- The BEST Center
  • Genesee County Human Resources
  • Heritage Christian Services
  • Hidden Valley Animal Adventure
  • Highland Hospital
  • HomeCare & Hospice & Totale Senior Care
  • Independent Living of the Genesee Region
  • Jewish Senior Life
  • KR Communications
  • Leisure Care East/The Village at Unity/The Village at Mill
  • LiDestri Food, Beverage & Spirits
  • Lifetime Assistance Inc.
  • Lifetime Care
  • Live Nation
  • Living Opportunities of DePaul
  • Manpower
  • Mariner Finance
  • Monroe County Sheriff's Office
  • Monroe Veterinary Associates 
  • New York National Guard
  • NY Air National Guard
  • People's Inc.
  • Pioneer Credit Recovery 
  • Premier Designs Inc. 
  • Real Agent Pro LLC
  • Remedy Staffing
  • Rochester AmeriCorps
  • Rochester Psychiatric Center
  • Rolling Hills Asylum
  • Sherwin Williams
  • Showcase Sound
  • Six Flags Darien Lake
  • Southern Tier Security & Event Management
  • Sutherland Global Services
  • Tahoe Pines Custom Sewing & Design
  • Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES
  • Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP 

For more information, visit: http://www.genesee.edu/career/events/. For a detailed listing of job opportunities by employer, please email a request for the list to [email protected].

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