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September 17, 2016 - 7:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, schools, education, batavia, news.


John Kennedy School hosted its annual Community Night on Friday evening.








September 16, 2016 - 3:03pm

Press release:

YWCA of Genesee County has decided to step things up with its annual Domestic Violence Awareness Walk by offering a USATF (Track & Field) certified 5K for runners and walkers alike.

Described as a mostly flat and fast course, this race will also include family activities, Limited Edition purple baseball caps, a few words from Notre Dame High School Principal Wade Bianco and a purple powder finish line celebration. Bianco recently earned an honored spot in the Coaches category for the Section V Football Hall of Fame.

The event is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at YWCA, 301 North St.

“We don’t ever want to lose sight of why we started the walk in the first place: to honor victims and survivors of domestic violence,” Executive Director Jeanne Walton said. “But we are also aware that people love 5Ks! Three miles is just far enough for serious runners to feel competitive and not too far for walkers to enjoy as well. We strongly encourage people of all ages to wear some purple and help us to highlight Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”

A professional timing company will be on site with an inflatable arch and results will be available to participants during and after the event. Prizes will go to overall fastest male and female finishers and to the top two male and female finishers in each age category: 19 and under; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69 and 70-plus.

Perhaps the most notable aspect will be the haze of purple powder as participants engage in friendly interaction of tossing the clothing-safe powder on one another and in the air. Purple is the signature color of domestic violence awareness and will play a key role in coloring the day, organizers said.

For those that may work up an appetite, the YW’s traditional Harvest Supper will also be served that day from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Takeouts will be available. The supper is a way to highlight the area’s agricultural industry with hearty soups, stew, crusty breads, fresh fruit desserts and many other items that highlight ingredients provided by local farms and ag producers.

Cost is $25 for the 5K, $8 for the supper, or $30 for both events. Kids 10 and under may walk for free and Limited Edition 5K baseball caps will go to the first 150 paid registrants. For more information, go to https://results.score-this.com/RegisterThis.php?raceid=20161006STIL or call (585) 343-5808.

September 16, 2016 - 2:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news.

Press release:

At this time next year -- in 2017 -- Genesee Community College will formerly introduce the "plus-minus" grading system replacing the old structure that has relied solely on A, B, C, D and F, the College's Board of Trustees learned at its monthly meeting on Monday night.

The broader grading range will include A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- and F, and "will provide a more accurate reflection of student achievement," according to GCC President James M. Sunser.

The process to convert the grading structure has been a multi-year effort that began in 2015. In her report to the Trustees, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Kathleen M. Schiefen explained that GCC is now among the very few educational institutions nationwide that uses the five-letter grading scale. In May 2015, the College's Academic Senate approved the proposal to add the plus and minus letter grades to the College's student evaluation system, and began the multiyear process to change the grading structure.

Expanding the grading system reinforces the College's number one priority which is student success and completion. Next fall, the grading system will break down into the following letter grade to grade point averages: A = 4.0; A- = 3.67; B+ = 3.33; B = 3.0; B- = 2.67; C+ = 2.33; C = 2.0; C- = 1.67; D+ = 1.33; D = 1.0; D- = .67; F = failure.

"Using the plus–minus grading scale encourages students to do better by giving an added incentive to keep working," Dr. Schiefen explained. As an example, a student with a 70 average and another student with a 79 average will both receive a C. However, as students realize that by working a little harder they might receive a C+ they will be inspired to work hard through to the final assignments or examinations.

Plus-minus grading also helps the admissions selection process distinguish between the various levels of student achievement. Programs such as nursing that have strict admission criteria can better determine the students who are most apt to succeed in the more rigorous academic settings.

But introducing the new grading system is a rigorous task in itself and warranted a careful, two-year plan to ensure all departments change over their systems appropriately. From each academic division to the Records and Business Offices, all full-time and adjunct faculty members, as well as every page of the College's website, the Student and Faculty Handbook, College Catalog, the Banner database system and each and every course syllabus are being carefully culled to ensure a comprehensive conversion to the plus-minus structure.

In other business, the Board of Trustees:

Heard Richard Ensman, executive director of the Genesee Community College Foundation report on College Village, which has owned and operated the student residential community adjacent to the College's Batavia Campus for 16 years. With occupancy at more than 80 percent this semester, College Village continues to expand and improve the facility by increasing and improving its scope of services. College Village has introduced the "coaching model" through a combination of active engagement and proactive programming to increase student retention and graduation rate. Five college courses, as well as seminars, tutoring and referrals are available at College Village, many in the new "Root" which is located in the basement level of the Hemlock Building. In addition, College Village has expanded public transportation opportunities into the City of Batavia to further engage the student residents in the life of the local community with service now running on Friday nights from College Village to various points in the City.

Heard Garth Swanson, GCC professor of History, report GCC's Academic Senate, where he has recently assumed the role of president. As a governing body with broad, college-wide representation, the Senate is the primary voice for faculty and staff and operates under four standing committees: Curriculum, Academic Innovation, Academic Standards and Student Success and Retention. The fifth ad hoc committee Emerging Initiatives, addresses the many issues facing community colleges overall, and could likely become a permanent part of the organization under Swanson's leadership. Among the Senate's 2016-2017 priorities are strengthening campus-wide communication; creating an integrated strategy for rapid responses to the changing academic environment; broadening the faculty's role in academic innovation; and supporting GCC's accreditation process with Middle States Commission for Higher Education. The Senate meets every fourth Tuesday of the month, and Senate committees meet every second Tuesday of the month, both at 12:45 p.m. Prof. Swanson welcomed the Board of Trustees to attend.

Heard Virginia Taylor, Ph.D., vice president for Student and Enrollment Services, report that 133 international students are enrolled at GCC this year representing Japan (58), Netherland Antilles / Carousel Islands (24); United Kingdom (14); Korea (five); Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Nigeria (all four each); Bangladesh (three); China, Timor Leste, Ukraine (each two), and one student is enrolled at GCC from each of the following countries: France, Ivory Coast, Jamica, Malaysia, Russian Federation, Spain, Turkmenistan and Vietnam.

Approved the following donations: Bridal gowns and social occasion dresses of assorted sizes valued at more than $12,000 to be used and potentially repurposed by the College's Fashion Program; and a pulmonary function testing machine valued at $6,000 for the College's Respiratory Care Program.

Welcomed Jenna Curcio as the 2016-2017 student trustee. Curcio, from Rochester, is a pursuing a Fashion Business degree with aspirations of transferring to Fashion Institute of Technology.

Heard of the appointment of Eric Edwards as a new temporary, grant-funded student support services technical specialist. Coming from Hilbert College with eight years of experience as an admissions counselor, she has extensive knowledge in the transfer process, financial aid, career counseling and academic advising. She is a GCC alumna with a Human Services, AS; and also earned a BS from Hilbert and an MS from St. Bonaventure.

Welcomed the following new GCC employees who attended the post-meeting reception: Shelitha Williams, Ph.D., associate vice president for Student Success; Dr. Laurel Sanger, director of Nursing; Jennifer Wakefield, program director of The BEST Center; and Maureen Spindler, visual communication specialist in the Marketing Communications Office.

September 16, 2016 - 2:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, byron.

Matthew Arthur Harder, 19, of Geddes Street, Holley, is charged with fourth degree criminal mischief. Harder was arrested following an investigation into damaged property in the parking lot of Genesee Community College at 9:15 a.m. on Sept. 9. He was arraigned on Sept. 15 in Town of Batavia Court and is to appear there at a later date. He was also issued an Order of Protection to stay away from the victim whose property was damaged. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Richard Todd Harter, 40, of Townline Road, Byron, is charged with second-degree harassment. On Sept. 15, Harter was arrested on a bench warrant for the charge, out of Holley, and turned over to Holley PD. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings.

September 16, 2016 - 2:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Grand Jury.

Julie L. Dutton was indicted Sept. 14 for the crime of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony. She is accused of stealing U.S. currency having a value in excess of $1,000 on April 21. 

September 16, 2016 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, schools, education.


Campbell Anderson, a senior at Batavia High School, pictured with Principal Scott Wilson, has qualified as a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. As far as Wilson knows, he's the only semifinalist in the region and one of only 99 in Western New York.

Anderson is a candidate for West Point and the Air Force Academy. He's also a standout in track and cross-country. Wilson said one of Anderson's unique accomplishments was completing all of the match courses offered by the high school, including advanced placement calculus, by the end of his sophomore year. The school has arranged his senior schedule so he can also take classes at Genesee Community College. He remains at the top of his class.

Photo and info provided by Scott Wilson.

September 16, 2016 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in County Airport, batavia, business, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $1,411,200 in federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for the Genesee County Airport, located in Batavia. The grant will assist the Genesee County Airport in funding the final phase of its airport construction project. The airport is building an aircraft-parking apron, a taxiway extension, and removing of a number of runway obstructions.

“Using federal funds to support local infrastructure projects will help establish an environment that promotes future economic development and employment opportunities,” Congressman Collins said. “This $1,411,200 grant will provide Genesee County with the funding it needs to complete the final phase of its project. Grants like these allow for more efficient and effective airport operations that will benefit our region for years to come.”

“This crucial FAA grant will allow Genesee County to complete Phase 3 of our Airport project, which includes the removal of the old terminal building and hangar,” said Raymond Cianfrini, chairman of the Genesee County Legislature. “We appreciate our partnership with Congressman Collins and look forward to giving him and our community a tour of the completed project.”

The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any local government pursuing a federal grant.


September 16, 2016 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GLOW Corporate Cup, Freed Maxick, batavia, business, news.


As part of the GLOW Corporate Challenge last month, organizers put together a T-shirt design contest and this year, based on volunteer votes, Freed Maxick came up with the winning design. The prize was a $500 donation to the charity of their choice, and staff chose the UMMC Foundation and the Justice for Children Foundation.

Photo: Sam Schafer, Carmela Piazza, Liz Renz, Lori Aratari, Steve Tufts, Jason Armbrewster, Kim Mills (who also had the fastest women's time), Olivia Engel and Tim Moag. Aratari is with UMMC, Ambrewster with Justice for Children, Tufts and Piazza are with Merrill Lynch representing GLOW Cup, and the others are with Freed Maxick. Each charity received $250 and the balance of the proceeds from the event benefit the YMCA.


September 15, 2016 - 6:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba, news.


Somebody knows who was driving this vehicle at 10:40 a.m., Saturday, when it T-boned a car with two small children in it at the intersection of North Byron Road and Transit Road, Elba.

The driver fled the scene and the vehicle was found in a wooded area the next day off of Spoil Bank Road, in the mucklands.

The car had Ohio plates that didn't match the VIN number. There were receipts for Verizon calling plans in the vehicle.

Peggy Zambito, the grandmother of the two children, said her family is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver.

It's a miracle and only through the grace of God, she said, that she, her daughter, Mercy Caparco, and her two grandchildren, Maggie, 5, and Molly, 2, were uninjured in the accident.

The Ford Explorer Caparco was driving rolled over multiple times and narrowly missed hitting a fire hydrant and a tree.

The other driver, Zambito said, was speeding and though they saw him coming, couldn't avoid getting hit.

"I knew he was going so fast he wouldn’t have been able to stop if he tried," Zambito said.

Zambito said the safety features of the vehicle -- strong seatbelts and side airbags -- helped keep them all safe.

"I will always be haunted by the face of my daughter looking, craning her neck as we're rolling over to look (at her children)," Zambito said. "She said, 'Mom, I don't see blood. I don't see blood.' That will haunt me to my dying day."

She was able to find her mobile phone and call 9-1-1 as soon as the car stopped rolling over.

"I'm a retired nurse," she said. "I tend to stay calm in an emergency and then fall apart later."

The rear axle with a tire attached snapped off and landed 30 feet from the vehicle.

"It's a miracle we were able to just get out of that vehicle," she said.

Incredibly, the insurance company originally said it wouldn't total the car, but only pay for repairs, but then later today, Zambito said, she got word the decision was being reconsidered by another department.

Zambito realizes the red SUV that struck them may have been driven by a migrant worker, perhaps undocumented, which is why he fled, but she also realizes, she said, most migrant workers are decent, hard-working and family oriented. Perhaps if this story makes the rounds or a worker sees the posters the family plans to post at the Yellow Goose in Elba, somebody will come forward and identify the driver.

Apparently, one person did tell a deputy who he thinks usually drives the vehicle, but that person has witnesses who say he was at work at the time of the accident, Zambito said.




September 15, 2016 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in County Airport, news.

The newly constructed terminal and hangar at the Genesee County Airport received the Phil Brito Airport Project of the Year award last night from the Aviation Management Association.

File photo.

September 15, 2016 - 1:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Pavilion, accident, news.

Alan J. Hargrave, of Pavilion, died this morning about 20 minutes after arriving at UMMC following an accident reported at 9:47 a.m. on Angling Road, Corfu.

Hargrave and his brother, John S. Hargrave, had just dropped off a load of scrap at Ed Arnold Scrap Processors and were heading south when Alan suffered some sort of medical issue that caused him to lose control of the vehicle.

The truck, which was hauling an empty flatbed trailer, struck a tree.

Alan Hargrave was unconscious and not breathing when Deputy Lonnie Nati first arrived on scene.

Nati and Don Newton, chief of the East Pembroke Volunteer Fire Department, extricated Hargrave from the vehicle and began CPR and deployed a defibrillator and Alan Hargrave began breathing.

He was placed in a Mercy EMS ambulance for further emergency treatment before being transported to UMMC.

Coroner Karen Lang was requested to respond to UMMC, where she pronounced that Alan Hargrave had died.

John Hargrave, who suffered cuts and abrasions in the accident, was transported to ECMC for evaluation.

The accident is being investigated by the Sheriff's Office. Corfu fire and East Pembroke fire and Indian Falls fire assisted at the scene.

September 15, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, Alabama, news.

Elizabeth Michelle Grattan, 26, of Wood Street, Batavia, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in the third degree, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and unsafe backing. Grattan was arrested on a warrant after being located at a residence in the City of Batavia by Genesee County Probation. An arrest warrant was issued by the Town of Alabama Court to answer the charges stemming from an incident at 1 a.m. on Aug. 1 on Judge Road. She was arraigned  Sept. 14 in Town of Oakfield Court and put in jail on $500 bail. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

September 15, 2016 - 12:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in Cornell Cooperative Extension, news, Announcements.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County will host its annual meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. at Terry Hills Restaurant, 5122 Clinton Street Road, Batavia.

The meeting is free and open to the public but venue space is limited. Those planning to attend should RSVP by Oct. 11 to Samantha Stryker at [email protected] or (585) 343-3040, ext. 123.

September 15, 2016 - 12:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Emory Upton, news, Announcements.

Michael J. Eula, Ph.D., Genesee County historian, will be giving a talk entitled "Emory Upton and the Formation of Modern America" at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21st.

It will take place at the Le Roy United Methodist Church, 10 Trigon Park, in Le Roy. It is sponsored by the Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable.

September 15, 2016 - 11:51am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A three-car accident with injuries is reported at Ellicott and Evans streets. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 12:01 p.m.: The only injury may be to a child who was shaken up by the collision and is being evaluated by medics.

September 15, 2016 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, news.


The County Legislature took its show on the road on Wednesay, holding its regular full body meeting at the Oakfield Community and Government Center.

It was a chance for the Town of Oakfield to show off its expanded and remodeled Town Hall.

Barry Flansburg, town accessor, said town officials wanted the new facility to be more than just a town hall, instead one could host multiple agencies and services as well as community groups and serve as an emergency command center if needed.

That's why it's called, now, officially, the Community and Government Center.

"This is the ultimate shared facility," Flansburg said.

As an example for the planned flexibility, Flansburg noted, the panel seating area has 10 chairs, not just the five necessary for the town board. This gives the Legislature room to meet there, and it also allows all town officials a seat at the table, so to speak, for town meetings, which Flansburg said helps foster better communication and collaboration.

The new courts facility not only hosts the Town of Oakfield Town Court but the Town of Elba's, as well. The facility is certificated to a standard that it could host the County Court if ever required to do so.

The board just approved on Tuesday night a request by the court of the Town of Alabama to hold a jury trial in the courtroom next month, since Alabama's court isn't really well suited to jury trials.

There is also a small kitchen (and break room for staff) that will be available to community and civic groups that want to use the community/meeting room for events or meetings.

The highway department also has expanded space and motion-controlled LED lights have been installed in the bays.

Flansburg said that when visitors come into the town offices, they notice that all of the officials have offices and desk space no bigger than what they had before and are surprised.

"This wasn't about giving us bigger offices," Flansburg said. "This is a community space and we wanted it to be for the whole community."

The offices did receive new carpet, wallpaper, paint and fixtures. There's also improved security in the foyer.

The project cost $3.1 million. The town planned it for eight years, saved money to help fund it, and are able to pay the bonds through existing cash flow and the rent the Town of Elba pays for the courtroom. There is no new tax burden on Town residents to pay for the facility, Flansburg said.




September 15, 2016 - 10:50am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

City police are responding to an apartment in the 100 block of South Main Street for the larceny "... of cigarettes."

September 15, 2016 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, accident, corfu.


A serious injury accident is reported in the area of 2164 Angling Road, Corfu.

A victim is trapped in the vehicle.

Corfu fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

The accident is reported as car vs. tree.

UPDATE(S) 9:56 a.m. (By Billie): Mercy Flight is called to the scene and a landing zone is to be set up just east of the location, possibly in the roadway.

UPDATE 10 a.m.: Traffic is to be shut down at Route 33 and Angling Road.

UPDATE 10:01 a.m.: The helicopter will land on property next to a barn, off the roadway.

UPDATE 10:02 a.m.: Mercy Flight has an 8 minute ETA.

UPDATE 10:06 a.m.: The address given now is 2176 Angling Road. A second Mercy ambulance is called in non-emergency mode for a subject with lacerations.

UPDATE 10:21 a.m.: Mercy Flight was canceled. A 56-year-old male will be taken by ambulance to UMMC after suffering a heart attack. Another is being treated at the scene for cuts and abrasions. A source at the scene says two brothers had just finished taking a load of scrap metal to a processing company when the driver seemed to suffer some sort of medical condition and appeared to faint, which caused the truck to veer into a tree head on.

UPDATE 10:28 a.m.: The ambulance, in which medics have been treating the patient, is now leaving the scene for UMMC.

September 15, 2016 - 6:00am


In the photo above, senior Maggie Cecere is kicking in her second goal of the afternoon at Batavia High School, breaking a girls and boys soccer school record that was held since 1996 by Julie Redband Varland with 37 goals in a high school career.

Her 38th goal was recorded in the second half of the game with 14 minutes left and assisted by Junior Sophia Dinehart. Batavia won 2-0 over Honeoye Falls-Lima.

Maggie tied the school record scoring 20 minutes into the first half off a pass from senior Ali Moore. Shots on goal after the half were 9-1 Batavia.

Batavia came out a little sluggish in the second half but their defense held tough. Second-half shots were 7-5 Batavia.

Maggie's father, Assistant Coach Peter Cecere, embraced his daughter at the completion of the game along with teammates who celebrated their first home win; their record increases to 5-1. Batavia Head Coach Roger Hume is very proud of his team starting off strong and hope it continues into their next game -- away vs. Eastridge, Friday night at 7.

To view more photos and to purchase prints click here.








September 14, 2016 - 8:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.


Heather M. Ace, 25, was arrested today and charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to a press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

The arrest comes after an investigation into a structure fire at 8157 State Street Road, Batavia, which occurred on May 20 and claimed the lives of twins Micah and Michael Gard.

The children were inside their bedroom at the residence at the time. The investigation determined that the fire originated either inside of, or in close proximity to, the children's bedroom. The cause of the fire remains undetermined.

Ace is accused of leaving her 2-year-olds home alone inside her residence for a period of time estimated to be about an hour and a half, without providing, nor arranging for, supervision for them.

The case was investigated by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Genesee County District Attorney's Office, Genesee County Emergency Management Office and the Town of Batavia Volunteer Fire Department.

Ace was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to be in Town of Batavia Court at 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3.                                                                                                                                                                        


According to Genesee County Sheriff's Investigator Jerry Brewster, Ace cooperated with law enforcement personnel during the investigation.

"She met with us at the (Genesee County) Jail for processing," he said. "We know the places she went (to), what she did and with whom during that time period. Since charges have been lodged relative to all of this, I am not at liberty to say more at this time.

"I will say, however, that she remained in Batavia. Additionally, she did not go to a bar."

Joe Burke, owner of the home where Ace lived with her sister, and also of the home next door where her parents lived, said the boys deserved better.

"She should have been charged with more than that (endangering the welfare of a child)," he said. "Those little boys certainly had the right to live."

Her parents no longer live next door, having relocated to Stafford, Burke said.

Property owner Joe Burke stands next to the two trees planted as a memorial to Micah and Michael Gard at the State Street Road location. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

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