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July 11, 2019 - 9:23am
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, Batavia PD, news, notify.

Batavia PD may yet once again have a working police dog and on Monday, Police Chief Shawn Heubusch updated the City Council on efforts to reinstitute the program.

The effort includes receiving donations and seeking funds from Homeland Security.

It's been 20 years since Batavia PD had a working K-9 officer.

If approved, a resolution presented to the Council on Monday would create a K-9 fund in order for the Batavia Police Department to accept donations and funds from the federal government for a canine purchase, training and associated costs. 

The K-9 program’s approximately $23,000 price tag was broken down by Heubusch. He explained to Council members that it will cost $10,000 to purchase the dog and $5,000 to train the canine and its police officer over the course of several weeks. 

“During the regular workday, we’ll give the officer the allotted time for their training,” Heubusch said. “On off-days, we’ll have to compensate the officer for that. We do have some sample MOAs with some different unions to cover that.”

Additional expenses include $5,500 to purchase a vehicle designed to carry the canine, $2,500 for food and veterinarian bills, and $500 for incidentals and supplies.

Heubusch said the K-9 program will be like a specialized tool with a warranty. Beyond regular duties, the officer who receives specialty K-9 training would be called to respond when a police dog is needed for investigations.

“The officer is not dedicated to K-9 duty 100-percent of the time,” Heubusch said. “They would be on the road just like any other officer would be assigned to a patrol zone. We don’t have the luxury of just being able to dedicate an officer to that duty.”

Council President Eugene Jankowski said that, on occasion, the canine may be called for investigations that are not in the City of Batavia. Although it most likely would not happen often, the canine and its owner would be prepared to respond at non-city locations.

BPD is working on an agreement with the Homeland Security Investigation Federal Asset Forfeiture Program to defray some of the canine and training costs. Federal funding is not currently available due to high demand for border patrol canines.

Based on the positive feedback Heubusch received from Council members, this proposed resolution may receive approval at the August business meeting, which would allow BPD to be prepared for the K-9 program when federal funding is ready.

Previously: Batavia seeks Federal funds to bring back a K-9 patrol to the city

July 10, 2019 - 6:06pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, news, st. paul's.

Students, families and staff are celebrating the career of retiring principal Anne Werk and greeting incoming principal Jason Clark at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School, 31 Washington Ave., Batavia.

Werk is retiring after more than two decades as a teacher and principal at St. Paul’s. As of July 1, Clark, who is a lifelong member of St. Paul’s church, received unanimous approval from the school board and church congregation to succeed Werk. 

Clark said his ratification brought him excitement and relief, but also sadness at the departure of Werk and her husband, Allen, who is the pastor at St. Paul’s. Clark will continue to serve as a second- and third-grade teacher in addition to his new responsibilities as principal of grades K–5.

His initial goal is “hopefully just maintaining some stability in this time of change,” Clark said. “Being that I’ve been here for 17 years, it’s not a brand new face leading the school.”

Clark has several initiatives for the school as he steps into his new position. They include increasing funding and sponsorship, incorporating more technology into classroom learning and boosting enrollment.  

“The last couple of years, our numbers have been down a little bit,” Clark said. “So, I’m just looking forward to hopefully building that back up and seeing what we can do for the future of the school.”

The Werks will be moving to Indiana to be closer to relatives. Anne Werk said she will stay updated with school and church events on social media and serve as a resource for Clark when he needs support.

Clark said he will follow Werk’s advice of relying on his faith and school staff as he enters the principal role. He described Werk as a great mentor, both personally and professionally. 

Werk’s career was honored at a retirement celebration June 19. Alumni students spoke about the impact Werk has had on them. Werk, however, feels her most meaningful experiences at St. Paul’s are teaching and overseeing students as they mature.

“I love being a part of the children’s lives and their families’ lives … and seeing growth over the years,” Werk said.

“When you get to retirement age, you start talking about your legacy and about what you’re leaving behind,” Werk said. “I hope that I’ve made a difference in the lives of the kids and their families.”

Anne Werk (left) and Jason Clark (right) in the St. Paul's school library.

Photo by Lauren Leone.

July 10, 2019 - 6:00pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, st. paul's, news.

St. Paul Lutheran School is offering one full-tuition award and one partial-tuition award to two new elementary students during the 2019–20 school year.

The grant money to fund these scholarships was provided by Lutheran Church Extension Society of Buffalo. 

For a student to be eligible for either the full or $400 partial-tuition award, this must be their first time enrolling at St. Paul’s school and their 2019–20 registration must be accepted by school administration by July 31.

The two students whose names are pulled at a drawing Aug. 6 will be contacted by the school board about their tuition awards.

St. Paul’s “will look into ways to get our name out there even more than it already is,” said Jason Clark, the newly hired St. Paul’s School principal.

”We’ve already started that with this grant that we’ve received and are advertising out,” Clark said. “Having a new student be able to come tuition-free for the first year is a great start.”

Registration forms are available at the school’s location at 31 Washington Ave., Batavia, and online here.

July 10, 2019 - 5:58pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, news, St. Joe's.

The premiere Ascension Parish Summer Fest 2019 will be reminiscent of past Batavia traditions, but it promises a fresh take on the classic summer festival.  

The event will occur from noon to 11 p.m. July 20 and 21 on Ascension Parish grounds at 19 Sumner St., Batavia.

Since events like Summer in the City, the Elba Onion Festival and the St. Joseph’s Lawn Fete have been discontinued, Summer Fest hopes to adapt old festival concepts to modern crowds.

“My idea with this is to bring the community together this year,” Father David Glassmire said to volunteers during an informational meeting at the parish Monday. “We’re here — our beer, our bands and our bites. I want people to have fun.” 

Summer Fest volunteers will serve home-cooked international food options like Greek and Mexican food as opposed to conventional festival fare. Food offerings will feature a Polish platter and Italian stand to celebrate the ethnicities of parishioners. 

“You can get a hotdog or a sausage almost anywhere,” Summer Fest Co-Chair Matthew DellaPenna said. “There’s food trucks popping up in town. So, we wanted to do something a little bit different.”

Polka bands, Italian bands and local favorites like The OHMS Band, The Old Hippies and Savage Cabbage will perform live music throughout the two-day event. The festival will also offer a gambling tent, table games, a 50/50 split cash raffle and package raffles.

Ascension Parish is seeking volunteers and community sponsorships for Summer Fest 2019. Individuals can contact (585) 343-1796 or [email protected] for more information.

Ascension Parish leaders and volunteers said they are excited to host this new event and enjoy music, food and fun. Proceeds from Summer Fest will be used to serve the parish and maintain its community outreach in Batavia and Genesee County.

July 10, 2019 - 8:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

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A driver was ticketed for alleged failure to yield the right of way leading to an accident at Lewiston and West Main, Batavia, at 3 p.m. yesterday.

Sharon J. Benty, 73, of Weber Avenue, Oakfield, told Deputy Mathew Clor, who wrote the accident reports, "I had a green light and I thought she would slow down when she saw me."

Benty, according to the report, was driving a 2013 Toyota sedan east on Route 5 when she attempted to make a left-hand turn onto Lewiston Road.

Anna Jane Molnar, 19, of Phelps Road, Corfu, was driving a 1997 Ford sedan was heading west on Route 5. 

According to Clor's report, Benty turned in front of Molnar, who had the right of way.

Benty, Molnar, and Molnar's passenger, 23-year-old Austin T. Geist, all suffered minor injuries and were transported to UMMC for evaluation.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS assisted at the scene.

(Initial Post)

July 9, 2019 - 4:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in sharrows, batavia, bicyclists, news, notify.

Submitted photos and press release from the City of Batavia:

National and Local efforts to incorporate bicyclists in any new road project are finding their way into the City of Batavia.

“Complete Streets” is the term that is used for any street or highway, or any reconstruction of an existing highway, to consider the effect on bicyclists and pedestrians. Where possible, accommodation of these two groups should be incorporated into the project.

This has happened in the City of Batavia, where the most recent update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan encourages a “Complete Streets” approach. East Avenue and Liberty Street now have “sharrows,” or shared lane markings (SLM), meaning that the streets, which have only one travel lane in each direction, are shared with bicycles in a wide (14 feet or more) lane (see road photo).

Shared lane markings are high-visibility pavement markings that help position bicyclists within the travel lane. These markings are often used on streets where dedicated bike lanes are desirable but are not possible due to physical or other constraints.

Shared lane markings are placed in the travel lane to alert motorists of bicycle traffic, while also encouraging cyclists to ride at an appropriate distance from the “door zone” of adjacent parked cars.

If there is enough room, a separate bike lane should be marked. Dedicated bike lanes do impact the ability to accommodate on street parking and often there just isn’t enough room to accommodate them.

Further complicating the issue for bicyclists are streets where parking is allowed, as drivers often open their doors without looking for bicycles approaching from the rear. Bicyclists have been seriously injured by riding into a car door opened by a driver or rear-seat passenger without regard for bicycles.

The “sharrow” pavement markings should be supplemented with a Bicycle Warning Sign (see sign photo).

Federal and state criteria designate where the sharrows and the warning signs should and should not be used.

For bicyclists, where the sharrows are painted on the pavement, it only means that both bicycles and vehicles must use the same lane, and caution should be used by both. Vehicles should give bicyclists plenty of room when overtaking bicycles and bicyclists should realize that vehicles will be passing them.

Providing marked facilities such as shared lane markings is one way of helping to persuade residents to give bicycling a try and remind motorists that the roadway is to be shared with bicycles.

July 9, 2019 - 3:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Pavilion, Oakfield, byron.

Kayla Michelle Yglesias, 19, of Fisher Road, Oakfield, is charged with: falsifying business records in the first degree; falsely reporting an incident to law enforcement in the third degree; operator leaving the scene of a property damage accident; moving from lane unsafely; unlicensed operator; and failure to report a property damage accident. At 8:50 p.m. on July 7, Yglesias was arrested after an investigation of an incident that occurred at 3:45 a.m. June 22 on Fisher Road in Oakfield. She was allegedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident in the Town of Oakfield and left the scene. She then reported the vehicle she was driving as stolen to Sheriff's deputies and falsified information on a supporting deposition. On July 3, deputies recovered the vehicle submerged in a body of water in the Town of Byron. Yglesias was issued appearance tickets and is due in Oakfield Town Court on July 29. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Andre, assisted by Investigator Christopher Parker.

Adam Michael Kreutz, 30, of Franklin Street, Batavia, is charged with falsifying business records in the first degree. He was arrested at 9:50 p.m. on July 7 after an investigation of an incident that occurred at 3:45 a.m. on June 22 on Fisher Road in Oakfield. Kreutz allegedly falsified information on a supporting deposition taken by the GC Sheriff's Office to conceal another crime that was committed. He was arraigned in Oakfield Town Court and jailed without bail. He was due to return to Oakfield court on July 8. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Andre, assisted by  Investigator Christopher Parker.

Parker E. Payton, 20, of Pavilion, was arrested by the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office following a traffic stop on York Road in the Town of Pavilion. He is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs; reckless driving; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; unlawful possession of marijuana; unlawful possession of alcohol by person under 21; possession of a fictitious driver’s license; and multiple other traffic infractions. Payton was observed driving on State Route 63 in the Town of Covington several feet into the oncoming lane while traffic was flowing in the opposite direction past his vehicle. Payton drove his vehicle onto Perry Road then turned on to York Road where deputies were able to conduct a traffic stop. Payton was found to be in underage and allegedly in possession of alcohol in plain view within his vehicle. A subsequent vehicle search found Payton to be in possession of marijuana inside a grinder, concentrated cannabis, and a forged NYS driver’s license. Payton also allegedly failed field sobriety testing and was taken into custody for DWAI Drugs. Payton was taken to the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office where a Drug Recognition Expert performed a drug influence evaluation with Payton. Payton was found to be impaired by cannabis and unable to operate a vehicle safely. Payton was released to a sober third party and scheduled to answer the charges in the Town of Covington Court on July 29.

July 9, 2019 - 3:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, accidents.

A two-car accident with possibly minor injuries occurred a few minutes ago in front of Tops Market in Batavia, at Lewiston Road and West Main Street.

Town of Batavia Fire Department, law enforcement and Mercy medics responded.

July 9, 2019 - 3:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Genesee County Fair, 4-H.

Press release:

Genesee County 4-H members will showcase hundreds of projects at the Genesee County Fair July 13-20, in Batavia. More than 250 local 4-H youth will exhibit projects and participate in activities throughout the duration of the fair.

The 4-H Kennedy Building will feature hundreds of projects in areas including horticulture, fine arts, hobby crafts, sewing, food and nutrition, posters and more.

On display in the 4-H Kennedy Building and throughout the 4-H Animal Barns will be displays made by more than 20 Genesee County 4-H Clubs. Displays will proudly feature the 2019 4-H fair theme “Patriotic.” 

Highlights of the 4-H schedule include the Livestock Costume Contest on Saturday, July 13th at 6 p.m. in the main show ring. 4-H members will compete with their project animals for awards such as Most Humorous Costume, Best Craftsmanship, and Overall Champion Costume. 

The annual fair parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17th. 4-H Clubs will showcase the highlights of their club year by competing with parade floats. 

The Livestock Master Showman Contest will be on Friday, July 19th, at noon in the main show ring. The winners of master showmanship in dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, goats, hogs, poultry and rabbits will compete for the title of Overall Livestock Master Showman.

On Saturday, July 20th at 4 p.m. in the main show ring will be the Market Animal Auction Master Showman Contest. Master Showman winners of the Auction Division shows will compete for the title of Market Animal Auction Master Showman.

The Genesee County Fair will be held July 13-20 at the Genesee County Fairgrounds 5056 E. Main Street Road, in Batavia. For more information about the Genesee County Fair, click here.

July 9, 2019 - 2:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Stafford, GOW opioid task force, pain management.

The speakers for the upcoming GOW Opioid Task Force Quarterly Meeting are announced.

They are:

  • Dr. Matthew Fernaays, MD, PhD, Pembroke Family Medicine/GCASA will be discussing what pain is and how opioids work
  • Patrick Privatera, MS, PT, ATC, president of Village Physical Therapy & Village Fitness will present on non-opioid alternatives to pain management with a focus on non-surgical approaches
  • Dr. Hemant Kalia, MD, MPH, UMMC Pain Clinic/Rochester Regional Health will share his expertise on non-opioid alternatives to pain management with a focus on surgical and medical approaches.

The meeting will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday July 24th, at the Stafford Fire Hall. It is located at 6153 Main St. in Stafford.

Please join us as the following local professionals share their knowledge and expertise on non-opioid alternatives to pain management:

Speakers will begin promptly at 10 a.m. and conclude remarks by 11:30 a.m.

To register for this event please visit our website at: www.gowopioidtaskforce.org and click the link right on our homepage.  

If you are a community agency and have a local event you wish to share with Task Force members please email Allison Parry-Gurak at:

[email protected]

July 9, 2019 - 1:23pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, city council, news, notify, crime, crime task force.

Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch presented City Council with a proposed resolution Monday night for a Memorandum of Understanding among Genesee County law enforcement agencies and the Monroe Crime Analysis Center in Rochester to share information. It received strong support.

Heubusch explained to Council members that over the past few months local law enforcement has coordinated with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services and MCAC to develop the agreement.

He said becoming a member of MCAC is the best approach to access information databases and facilitate crime response and investigation.

“What this memorandum does is it allows us to share information with Monroe Crime Analysis Center and also reap the benefits of them sharing information with us,” Heubusch said.

This new crime analysis system also comes at no cost to city taxpayers.

“Being a member of the crime analysis center in Rochester costs the city zero," Heubusch said. "It’s really about gaining that information and being able to analyze that information in a way that we can’t now."

The chief said that most of the criminal element in Batavia is connected to individuals from the City of Rochester and the Monroe County region. The MCAC memorandum will allow local police to share records with Monroe County law enforcement in real time.

The memorandum includes resources like crime monitoring and background checking information to alert law enforcement of identifying factors when pursuing suspects.

City Council members reacted favorably to the proposed resolution.

“It seems like, according to this, between the state police, the [Genesee County] Sheriff, Monroe County Sheriff and District Attorney, our District Attorney, DCJS — they’re all signed on to this," Council President Eugene Jankowski said. "It’s good to be sharing information.”

Other agencies participating in the memorandum are the Le Roy and City of Rochester police departments and the Genesee County and Monroe County probation departments.

City Manager Martin Moore wants to reduce crime and restore a sense of safety in Batavia. In June, the first Batavia Crime Task Force meeting was held so law enforcement and city leaders could talk about ways to combat crime.

“I want to thank the police department working together with the other police departments," Moore said. "This is one of the things that was brought up in our initial Crime Task Force meeting, and it’s one of the first actions that our police is working on."

The MCAC memorandum is expected to aid in identifying sources of crime, mapping incidents and arrests and following crime trends. MCAC is one of the task force’s first strides toward securing resources to prevent and deal with crime.

The proposed resolution for the memorandum will be forwarded for consideration by Council. The next City Council Conference and Business meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 12 at the City Hall Board Room, 2nd Floor, City Centre.

July 9, 2019 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in David Bellavia, news, notify, NY-27.

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Before the public learned David Bellavia would be awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Iraq War in Fallujah, the Batavia resident was on the short list of possible candidates for the NY-27, even in a possible primary challenge to Rep. Chris Collins.

After the award was announced, when the topic came up, Bellavia demurred. He expressed concern that entering the political fray could tarnish the medal. He said he wanted to serve his country and the best way to do that might be helping the Army recruit new soldiers.

His former political consultant, Michael Caputo, thinks Bellavia needs to hear loud and clear from the citizens of the NY-27 that the best way for the Iraq War veteran to serve his country is as a member of Congress.

Today, Caputo, along with the help of seven political leaders in all seven counties of the district, launched a "Draft Bellavia Campaign," aimed at demonstrating to Bellavia that the people of the district do want him to serve in Congress and it puts in place an organization to support a campaign -- and a list of potential donors -- so that when and if Bellavia does decide to run, he's ready to go.

"We’re at a point in this country here where we need heroes," Caputo said. "When I look around Congress and Washington, I see very few heroes. We have in David Bellavia right here in Western New York -- a hero -- and I think we need to look at our own hero and tell him we want him to run for Congress if he wants to.

"At a time when our country needs heroes like never before, and I think everybody realizes, and we have in our midst a bonafide hero, it is our responsibility as a community to step up and elect one for our own heroes, like it is the responsibility of any community to deliver good, honest leadership." 

Caputo hopes Bellavia will make the decision by the end of October, or at least after the holidays.

The Genesee County chair for the Draft Bellavia movement is City Councilman Adam Tabelski.

"I'm joining to encourage David to run because I care deeply about our country and our government," Tabelski said. "Its future will either be shaped by people who are the best we can find or by somebody else, and I think David is an outstanding individual who is among the best we could hope to represent us in Congress."

Bellavia is currently employed by the Army and traveling on behalf of the military. He cannot participate in a political campaign. Caputo said he informed Bellavia of the "Draft Bellavia" effort and Bellavia neither encouraged nor waived off the effort.

Yesterday, Bellavia returned to his radio show on WBEN in Buffalo for one day and when asked about a potential run for Congress, he again expressed concern that a run for office could be misconstrued now that he's won the Medal of Honor.

"I just I have so much reverence for this award," Bellavia said on air. "I know for the longest time what we do on this show is we stir the pot. We, you know, sometimes antagonize and sometimes poke people we disagree with, and I just I don't ever want anyone to say that this award is being used for anything other than promoting what I think is the most important thing for the future of this republic, which is getting young people to make the decision that myself and all of my friends made, and it made our lives better, and that was serving our country in uniform."

When pressed by cohost Tom Bauerle, however, Bellavia said he will serve his country in whatever way he feels compelled to serve.

"I'm not ruling anything out," Bellavia said. "If I feel compelled to serve, you know, I might if I feel compelled to serve in uniform. I'll get back in shape and grab a rifle and go back. You know, if I'm compelled to run for office I might do that, too. But at this point, I'm the property of the U.S. Army and my job is to get out there and share that story and get as many people from all backgrounds to make a decision to put their country before themselves and get that next generation ready for the fight."

Bellavia first ran for Congress in 2011, in the special election to replace Chris Lee after Lee resigned because of a shirtless post he made on Craigslist. While he eventually endorsed Jack Davis in that race, he began by knocking the Erie County GOP political machine that gave GLOW Tom Reynolds, Chris Lee, Jane Corwin, the GOP candidate that year, and eventually Chris Collins (who was county executive in Erie County at the time). 

Kathy Hochul eventually won the election.

He ran again in the GOP primary in 2012, losing to Chris Collins.

Bellavia has since cited that loss as a reason to believe the people of NY-27 may not want him to run now.

That's another reason Caputo believes Bellavia needs to be convinced there is a strong grassroots effort to back a Bellavia campaign.

The effort includes a website, DraftBellavia.com.

"Our goal is to get 10,000 supporters organized by county all within the boundaries of the district," Caputo said. "We’re about to put up a device on the website to provide an opportunity to send an email to David to give him special encouragement, saying why you back David, what inspires you to do so. That's the kind of input a draft candidate needs. He needs to know how the community feels." 

A big factor in Bellavia's decision, Caputo acknowledged, however, is what Collins decides to do. Publically, Collins, who is under federal indictment on insider trading charges, hasn't committed to a reelection campaign. He is going to face at least one primary challenger -- Chris Jacobs -- and Caputo said Collins and Bellavia are friends. He doesn't believe Bellavia will want to run if Collins is determined to have his own name on the primary ballot.

President Donald Trump could have some say in the race and Caputo, who is friends with Trump and was the one who first introduced Collins to Trump, said Trump will be watching developments in the NY-27 closely. He may or may not weigh in with his own wishes at some point.

Another political factor to be weighed, Caputo said, is redistricting after the 2020 census. New York could lose another Congressional seat. The NY-27 as we know it could become far less of a conservative district if it takes in more of Buffalo or Rochester, or stay red if it picks up more of the Southern Tier.

"David is the best candidate of all those considering running for the NY-27 that preserves the district if the redistricting ax handle falls in Albany," Caputo said. "The NY-27 is less likely to be taken from a Medal of Honor recipient. The voters of the NY-27 have a rare opportunity to select the only Republican candidate who can repel a redistricting raiding party."

As for what kind of candidate and congressman Bellavia might be, Caputo said he believes Bellavia could be the kind of leader that helps heal some of the divisions in the country. While Bellavia has supported the president, his Hall of Heroes speech -- a big hit with conservatives that has drawn no fire from progressives -- was patriotic without being nationalist, Caputo acknowledged. It was anti-war while promising to rain destruction on any nations that attack the United States, and standing before the Army's top brass, Bellavia stood strong for loyalty, equality, and a free press.

After praising the work of combat journalist Michael Ware, and noting the important role journalists play in telling the story of the men and women who go to war, Bellavia said:

"This entire military is one cohesive dedicated force. And the threats to our nations -- they don't sleep. They're watching our every move. Iran. Russia. China. North Korea. ISIS. Al-Qaeda. They may be watching this right now.

"Our military should not be mistaken for our cable news gabfest show. We don't care what you look like. We don't care who you voted for, who you worship, what you worship, or who you love. It doesn't matter if your dad left you millions when he died or if you knew who your father was. We have been honed into a machine of lethal moving parts that you would be wise to avoid if you know what's good for you.

"We will not be intimidated. We will not back down. We've seen war. We don't want war. But if you want war with the United States of America, there's one thing I can promise you, so help me God, someone else will raise your sons and daughters.

"We fight so our children never have to. We fight for one day when our children and our enemies' children can discuss their differences without fear or loathing."

That tempered conservatism reflects Bellavia's beliefs, Caputo said.

"Most Western New York progressives, who are valuable voices in the discussion, in the public discussion, most of them know David," Caputo said. "Some of them are good friends because David made a point when he returned to Western New York to reach out to progressives he respects.  

"The reflexively anti-conservative progressives might not support him but the open-minded, thinking progressives who have been in conversations with David for years now, understand the kind of person he is. 

"If people approach this honestly, there is an agreement on both sides that we're in trouble as a nation and we need to tone this down and become more united. David is the person who can start that conversation from our side."

Photo: File photo, Bellavia's 2012 campaign kickoff announcement.

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July 8, 2019 - 6:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sidewalks, infrastructure, news, general.

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Construction has begun on a nearly $1.2 million Pedestrian Way project that will result in some wider walkways for walkers on State Street and an improved pedestrian crossing at State and Richmond Avenue.

The project includes new sidewalks on Washington Avenue and Bank Street.

Along State Street (photo), the new wider sidewalk will connect Washington Avenue with Batavia High School.

The new crossing system at State and Richmond will include audible signals for the visually impaired.

The gravel path along Richmond Avenue in Centennial Park will also be rehabilitated.

The original project budget was $1.25 million, with a Federal grant covering 75 percent of the cost but bids came in $217,000 over budget. The city will dip in further to its sidewalk reserve fund and available state aid to make the local share 35 percent instead of 25 percent.

Public Works Director Matt Worth previously advised the City Council to accept the higher bid rather than rebid the project because this summer construction costs for such projects have been increasing so a new round of bidding would have likely resulted in even higher costs.

July 8, 2019 - 5:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, general.

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Saturday night this kitten was thrown from a red car on Route 98 near West Saile Drive.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the kitten suffered severe injuries. 

No further description of the vehicle is available but the incident was witnessed at 8:45 p.m., Saturday.

People with information that can assist the investigation are asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.

UPDATE: According to Volunteers for Animals, "Due to the severity of the injuries, the kitten was euthanized per the veterinarian's recommendations."

July 8, 2019 - 5:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, general.
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     William Schultz

A 45-year-old Batavia resident has been arrested and accused of selling crack cocaine on two occasions to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force.

William G. Schultz Sr., 45, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. 

Schultz was arrested on a sealed indictment warrant after appearing at the Batavia PD headquarters on an unrelated matter. 

Following his arraignment today in Genesee County Court, he was jailed without bail.

His arrest is the culmination of a six-month investigation by the task force, assisted by Batavia PD, the Sheriff's Office, and the District Attorney's Office.

July 8, 2019 - 5:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in 4-H, market animal auction, news.

Press release:

The 49th Annual Genesee County 4-H Market Animal Auction will be held Thursday, July 18, at the Genesee County Fair.

The auction will feature chickens, goats, lambs, beef steers, dairy steers and hogs raised by local 4-H members.

Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. in the 4-H Kennedy Building and the auction begins at 7 p.m. in the Main Show Ring at the fairgrounds, located at 5056 E. Main Street Road, Batavia. 

Animals will be auctioned by William Kent Inc. of Stafford. Special thanks to William Kent and family for 49 years of support of the 4-H Market Animal Auction!

For more information, please contact the Genesee County 4-H Office at 585-343-3040, ext. 131, or visit http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/.

July 8, 2019 - 3:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Le Roy, Darien, Alabama, bergen.

Brian Keith Dyer, 52, of North Street, Batavia, (inset photo, right) is charged with second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. Dyer was arrested on July 5 after he allegedly hit another person over the head with a blunt object, causing an injury, during an altercation at 6:07 p.m. on North Street. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed without bail. He was due back in court today (July 8). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

O.V. Murphy, 60, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Murphy was arrested after allegedly striking another person on the front porch of his residence at 14 Highland Parkway at 5:51 p.m. on July 3. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket for July 16 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Linda A. Snyder, 36, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Snyder was arrested after a physical altercation at 14 Highland Parkway. She allegedly struck another person while on the front porch at 5:51 p.m. on July 3. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket for July 16 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Damien Cole Clark, 18, of Lemoyne Avenue, Syracuse, is charged with second-degree harassment. On July 6, Clark was arrested at Six Flags Darien Lake Theme Park after he allegedly slapped an employee in the head. He was issued an appearance ticket for Darien Town Court and is due there on July 23. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor.

William T. Hughes, 62, no permanent address, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. Hughes was arrested at 4 p.m. on July 5 on Spruce Street, Batavia, after being allegedly found in violation of an order of protection. He was located in the residence of the protected party. Hughes was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and jailed without bail. He is due in Batavia City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Wesley Thigpen, 38, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at 4:30 p.m. on July 7 on Vine Street in Batavia after he allegedly had unwanted contact with an individual in violation of an order of protection. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash or bond. He was due back in court this afternoon (July 8). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Samuel N. Sciascia, 47, of Dewey Avenue, Rochester, is charged with four counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, one count of criminal possession of burglar tools, and one count of criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument. He was arrested following a complaint of suspicious activity at the Tops Friendly Market parking lot on West Main Street in Le Roy. Upon arrival by a Le Roy patrol, Sciascia was allegedly found in possession of multiple different types of controlled substances along with a crack pipe and hypodermic needles and a vehicle access tool used to enter locked vehicles. He was arraigned and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of unspecified bail.

Scott D. Higgins, 38, of Ganson Avenue, Batavia is charged with: driving while intoxicated -- with a previous conviction; operting a vehicle without an ignition interlock device; DWI with a BAC of .08 or more; leaving the scene of a property damage accident; and aggravated inlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree. At 2:36 a.m. on July 6, Batavia Police responded to the area of 5 Maple St. for a truck into a utility pole that left the scene. Subsequent investigation located the vehicle and operator on Ganson Avenue and Higgins was arrested. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed without bail. He was due back in court this afternoon (July 8). The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Jonathan Henry Cordeiro, 32, of McIntyre Road, Le Roy, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI -- first offense; expired inspection; aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree. Cordeiro was arrested at 1:33 a.m. after a traffic stop on West Main Street in Batavia. He was issued several tickets and is due in Batavia City Court on July 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Ross Miller, 59, of Rochester Street, Bergen, is charged with driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more, failure to keep right, failure to use designated lane, and illegal signal -- less than 100 feet from turn. Le Roy Police arrested Miller on July 3 after being observed allegedly operating his vehicle erratically and failing to maintain his lane of travel. A subsequent investigation allegedly found Miller to be intoxicated and he was ticketed and released.

Gregory James Savino, 36, of Oak Lane, Lockport, is charged with: aggravated driving while intoxicated; DWI; moving from lane unsafely; failure to keep right; and driving left of pavement markings. At 8:58 p.m. on July 4, Savino was arrested on Alleghany Road, Alabama. He allegedly crossed the center line into oncoming traffic while traveling southbound on Route 77 in the Town of Alabama. Further investigation allegedly determined he was driving with a BAC of .18 percent or more. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Alabama Court on July 24. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore.

Christine M. Wagner, 38, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with having an unlicensed dog and having an unvaccinated dog. Wagner was arrested at 6:11 p.m. on July 1 following an investigation into a dog bite complaint on Jackson Street. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on July 17. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Jodee M. Henderson, 34, of Broadway Road, Darien, was arrested and arraigned in Batavia City Court at 1:45 p.m. July 5 on an outstanding bench warrant. She was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court on July 17. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

July 8, 2019 - 2:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in art, news, ILGR, artists with disabilities, batavia, GOW.

ARTiculations Ability Exhibition® -- a forum for artists with disabilities in Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties to display their work publicly -- will open at Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) in Batavia on July 12.

Titled "Declarations from the Heart," it features the poerty of Jacqueline Fields. Her poetry is being displayed with graphic art provided by the UHAA.

A product of a partnership between ILGR and the University Heights Arts Association (UHAA), the Exhibit will be on display through Sept. 30th. The Opening Reception is Friday, July 12th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at ILGR’s office 319 W. Main St. in Batavia, at the Crickler Executive Business Center (former Pepsi distribution building).

Fields will be present to share information about her work at the reception.

From the artist: "I have been writing poetry for about 41 years which started from simple rhymes I included in letters and cards to friends and family. The gift of expression, especially in the form of poetry, is one of the greatest gifts from God, because I feel that it’s the doorway to the heart and mind."

Other artists with disabilities residing in the area of Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties are encouraged to submit their work to this juried competition, as there will be additional ARTiculations® planned quarterly exhibits in the future.

Independent Living has been “art partnering” for people with disabilities with the UHAA, a group of artists in North Buffalo with a commitment to community that places art in businesses and nonprofits through an established ARTpartnering program.

The organizers are pleased to note that the ARTiculations Ability Exhibitions® have “mapped” into UHAA’s system by placing a plaque with a Quick Response (QR) code scatter bar graph that can bring up information about it when scanned by your smart phone.

For questions on the event, please call Cathy DeMare at (585) 815-8501, ext. 400.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

July 8, 2019 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.75, up 3 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.86. The New York State average is $2.87 – no change from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3.02. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.84 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.86 (no change since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.81 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.85 (no change since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.83 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.78 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.80 (no change since last week)

Nearly 11 years ago to the day, on July 9, 2008, New Yorkers were paying the highest recorded gas prices on record at $4.31 per gallon. That makes today’s New York State average, which has held steady over the holiday week at $2.87, seem bearable.

Demand was high over the past week as travelers enjoyed Independence Day getaways and celebrations, which has led to a decrease in gasoline stocks. As gas stocks continue to dwindle, the busy summer driving season is now underway so elevated demand is expected to continue.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions announced recently that they will permanently close the South Philadelphia refinery this month, which is the oldest and largest refinery on the East Coast. The announcement came following a June fire and explosion at the refinery, which produces 335,000 barrels of crude per day (42 U.S. gallons per barrel). While gasoline stocks from Canada, neighboring refineries, and the Colonial Pipeline will help backfill supply, retailers will likely face increased transportation costs which could drive up prices in the Northeast and surrounding regions.

July 7, 2019 - 3:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Bethany.

A two-car accident is reported at Broadway Road (Route 20) and East Road, Bethany.

One caller reports one serious injury and everybody else is just shaken up.

Bethany fire, with the Bethany ambulance, along with Mercy EMS responding.

The road is blocked and Pavilion is requested to Texaco Town to shutdown traffic.

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