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June 4, 2016 - 10:33am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, animal rescue.

A deputy is responding to 7673 Bank Street Road, Town of Batavia, for a report of an eagle on the front lawn.

UPDATE 10:58 a.m.: The animal control officer returned to the shelter. No word on the eagle.

June 4, 2016 - 8:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, batavia, schools, news.

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John Kennedy School hosted its annual Sons and Mothers Mud Run yesterday, with new obstacles, a DJ and a visit by the city fire department.

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June 4, 2016 - 8:00am

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The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club (BBPW) 2016 Scholarship Committee awarded scholarships Thursday to five Genesee County high school, two Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) and one Genesee Community College students. They were presented at the club's June Banquet at Batavia Country Club.

The 2016 Scholarship Award winners pictured from left above are: Jennifer Yuhnke (GVEP), Heidi Young (GCC), Emily Sherman (Notre Dame HS), Alyssa Wilson (GVEP), Noelle Bartz (Batavia HS), Luca Zambito (Notre Dame HS), Jordan D’Alba (Oakfield HS). Also pictured are Vicki Wolak (president of BBPW) and Brenda Chapell (chairwoman of BBPW Scholarship Committee. Recipient Emma Patterson (Pembroke HS) is not pictured.

The high school students each received a $750 check to support their educational and career goals. These scholarships are open to Genesee County high schools seniors (male or female). Each student maintained a grade-point average of 85 percent or higher, completed a one-page BPW application with a letter of recommendation from a school staff member, and submitted a personal essay discussing their achievements and future goals, as well as an essay from a parent. The finalists were interviewed by the BBPW Scholarship Committee in May and were notified by one of the scholarship committee members.

The Genesee Community College (GCC) adult student received a $500 scholarship award. The selection process for the GCC award is completed by the Genesee Community College Foundation.

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) students each received a $250 scholarship award. These students were selected through the GVEP, Student Services Committee.

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Additionally, BBPW club members voted at their May Meeting on the Service Awards to be distributed and this year. Four $300 checks were awarded. Pictured from left are: President Wolak, Luann Henry (chairwoman of BBPW Service Award Committee), Patricia Arnold (Genesee Cancer Assistance), Anne Barone (Crossroads House), Ed Spence (Operation Injured Soldiers), Jim Duval (Bethany Volunteer Fire Department). To be considered for the service award, a letter written on appropriate letterhead had to be sent to the BBPW requesting consideration.

To find out more about BBPW scholarships and service awards visit this web page:  http://bataviabpw.wordpress.com/scholarship

The next fundraising event is Oct. 15 -- the Basket & Live Auction and Dinner being held at the Ascension Parish Hall on Sumner Street in Batavia. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6. Basket drawings and live auction to follow. The theme is Mexican Fiesta. Tickets are on sale now for $20 or two for $35. All proceeds from this event benefit Genesee County scholarships and the service organizations.

To purchase tickets or donate to the auction, please contact Michelle at 585-297-0779 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

June 3, 2016 - 6:25pm

A male was bitten in the eye by a snapping turtle and is now in the clubhouse at the Chestnut Hill Country Club awaiting evaluation by medics. It is located at 1330 Broadway Road in Darien Center. Darien ambulance is responding.

June 3, 2016 - 5:44pm

A grant to pay for a historic marker for the boyhood home of Civil War-era Major General Emory Upton was approved, and the news was relayed to the Human Service Committee when it met Tuesday at County Building #2.

The Syracuse-based William G. Pomeroy Foundation agreed to provide $1,000 for a standard historical marker, mounting pole and shipping costs. Since 2006, the foundation's Historic Roadside Marker Grant Program has funded more than 282 markers in 46 New York counties.

The home at 9244 Upton Road in the Town of Batavia was built in 1823 by Emory's parents, Daniel and Electa Upton. The date has not been set, but there will be an unveiling ceremony/dedication after the marker is installed, attended by veterans groups, according to County Historian Michael Eula.

He has overseen the installation of three other markers during his tenure; there is a total of 19 in the county so far, one of which is in storage (for Rolling Hills Asylum in East Bethany).

The historian went on to outline what's happening in his department.

"I'm excited and optimistic about this department," he told the committee.

An average of eight visitors a month spend time in the History Department. Requests for information are up 2 percent; the only resulting uptick in revenue comes from copying fees. 

But the reputation of the Genesee County History Department is widening, Eula said, garnering attention outside the region, even outside the state.

The one area of concern that keeps the historian up at night, in fact that gives him nightmares, is the very real prospect of running out of shelf space for documents and records.

"Worst-case scenario is three years of shelving left," Eula said, "best case, four maybe five years."

He is tasked with storing documents from the Probation Department, the District Attorney's Office, the Public Defender's Office, and more.

But he has no idea in any given year how many documents will need to be archived.

It is only with the aid of a part-time microfilm clerk that he is "able to stay afloat."

"The more backup we have, the better I sleep at night," Eula said.

To that end, he applied for a grant last year to pay for more clerk hours to transfer documents onto microfilm. It was declined.

"I have to resubmit it," Eula said. "There is a learning curve on my part."

The specialized language of grant writing for record management is something he's still finessing, he admitted, noting that it is more challenging -- nuanced differently -- than that required for purely historical matters.

If he succeeds in getting grant money for more clerking assistance, he said he would like to retain the person now doing the job and already familiar with the department. Besides, he worries about confidentiality.

"Bringing in an outsider, a third party, raises confidentiality issues," Eula said.

After the meeting, Eula gave the Human Service Committee a tour of the History Department and County Building #2. With fans blowing and walls stripped of baseboards in many places, there was residual evidence of the flooding with occurred on a bitterly cold winter night when a frozen pipe burst and water damaged the building. It would have been much worse, but an employee happened to stop by over the weekend and caught the flooding early. 

A contractor is working to paint and retile and make other repairs and the county's insurer is paying for it.

June 3, 2016 - 3:01pm

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) has announced that the overwhelming success of its "Medicaid 101" introductory seminars in May, and public demand for more, has prompted the Agency to hold additional sessions, monthly, from June to October.

Once again, the general public is invited to attend any of the FREE hour-long seminars on the benefits, requirements and application procedures for health care assistance for low-income individuals from New York State Medicaid.

The classes will take place from 2 to 3 p.m., on the first Tuesday of the month at ILGR’s office, 113 Main St., Suite 5, Batavia, starting June 7th.

Those interested can receive more information, get a Resource Packet with Medicaid materials, and sign up for the seminars by calling David Dodge at (585) 815-8501, ext. 415. But please be sure to RSVP if you are interested! If no one signs up for a particular month’s seminar in advance, it will be cancelled!

The instructor, ILGR facilitated enroller David Dodge, has described the seminars: “Medicaid 101 will be a presentation designed to help the community better understand Medicaid and the benefits that come with Medicaid coverage. In addition, our Medicaid Application Assistance Program (MAAP) will be discussed, so participants can be informed about the option to have someone assist them with their application should they choose to apply.

“This would also be an opportunity for folks to schedule an appointment with me. However, we would not be providing actual Medicaid application assistance at this event, due to its public nature and our HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) government-mandated privacy obligations.”

June 3, 2016 - 2:50pm

A TV monitor that scrolls a continuous loop of ads for local businesses and things of interest in the county will soon be found in the Batavia DMV Office.

On Wednesday, the Ways and Means Committee approved County Clerk Michael Cianfrini's request for permission to install an AdMonitor on a wall inside the DMV, at no cost to the county, other than the electricity used to run it.

"I'm really interested in advertising the motor vehicle office, to (encourage people to) renew locally," Cianfrini said. "We found that a lot of people have no idea that if you go online and do your transactions, that the county gets nothing. They assume it's the same whether you do it in an office or out of office. So it's a good way to get the word out."

The system is prerecorded, with the information provided to AdMonitor, which supplies the equipment, services it and replaces it if need be.

The monitor will feature advertising for local businesses and the county will have five ad spots to call attention to whatever they'd like to call attention to -- from reporting welfare fraud and notifying the public of upcoming immunization clinics, to Youth Bureau activities or happenings at the fairgrounds or the county Park & Forest.

"They also intersperse trivia and other little things to keep people entertained while they wait," Cianfrini said.

Wait? What wait?

"The times I've been in your office, I didn't have to wait," said Committee Chairman Bob Bausch. "I think you move us through pretty doggone quick!"

Whatever is displayed can be switched up and changed from time to time, of course. 

"I've seen this in several restaurants. It does grab your attention. Because I like to play trivia, it's kind of cool," Committee Member Ray Cianfrini. "But you may have a captive audience, like the Department of Social Services, where you have a waiting-room situation, and it soothes the crowd."

Committee Member Rochelle Stein asked if there is any opportunity to make money with it.

No, the county clerk said, but by calling attention to specific activities or promotions, there's the potential to increase foot traffic and participation .

More AdMonitors are possible down the road, the clerk and committee members said, possibly at the DSS and the Office of the Aging on Bank Street.

June 3, 2016 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in art, Film, music, GCC, news, festival.

Press release:

The Genesee Community College Center for the Arts will welcome Beaver Alley Studios, Inc., and the Western New York Film, Art and Music Event (FAME) from Friday, Aug. 12, until Sunday, Aug. 14, for a three-day festival that will include local and international films, performances, art displays, educational workshops, vendors and networking.

As filmmakers, FAME understands the burden of high festival fees and the frustration of low audience turn out. The group keeps fees low and has created an event with mass appeal. The festival treats film makers, musicians and artists like celebrities with an audience Q&A or panel discussion and encourages active audience participation by allowing attendees to choose some of the awards. Festivalgoers can also take a break to get food, browse vendors, sit in on workshops, or join in the music festival fun.

The mid-August festival at GCC has already received nearly 300 film, music and photography entries from all over the world. The deadline for submissions is June 15. The organization is also seeking workshop presenters, sponsors and vendors. Vendor tables cost $100 for three days, but are discounted to $75 if booked by June 30th.

Tickets for the event are available on a per-block or workshop basis all the way to full VIP all-access. Tickets range from $10 – $60 and more information can be found on the festival Facebook page and the Film Freeway website: http://www.facebook.com/WNYAFAME/http://filmfreeway.com/festival/WNYFilmArtandMusicEventFame. The contact phone number is 585-798-2815 or e-mail: [email protected]

The festival schedule is as follows (subject to change):

Friday, Aug. 12 -- Fright Night -- Scary and Bloody Films:

• 4:00 -- Vendors Open- Opening Band TBD

• 4:15 -- Dmon Productions (Zombie Face painting)

• 4:30 -- Documentary Block

• 5:00 -- Movie Block 1

• 6:30 -- Band - Kamp Crystal Lake

• 7:00 -- Movie Block 2

• 9:00- After Party – at TBD

Saturday, Aug. 13 -- "Girl Power" A focus on films by female writer/directors or strong female leads:

• 11:00 -- Vendors open

• 11:30 -- Workshop -- Shawn Essler -- Becoming a Filmmaker.

• 12:00 -- Movie Block 3

• 1:00 -- Band -- Creative Spirit

• 1:30 -- Workshop B

• 2:00 -- Movie Block 4

• 3:00 -- Band -- Jim Candytree

• 3:30 -- Workshop C

• 4:00 -- Movie Block 5

• 5:00 -- Band -- Anonymous Willpower

• 5:30 -- Documentary Block in Classroom

• 6:00 -- Movie Block 6

• 8:00 -- After Party at TBD Band "The Lonely Ones"

Sunday, Aug. 14 -- WNY films and Family Friendly Films:

• 11:00 -- Vendors open

• 11:15 -- Cosplay Trivia Contest

• 11:30 -- Workshop D

• 12:00 -- Movie Block 7

• 12:15 -- Dmon Productions (Face painting)

• 1:00 -- Band -- The Nigh

• 1:30 -- Workshop E

• 2:00 -- Movie Block 8

• 3:00 -- Band -- Genesee Johnny

• 4:00 -- Movie Block 9 and Awards and Raffles/ Costume Contest

• 6:00 -- Movie Block 10 -- Beaver Alley Studios, Inc., Film "Lonely Bananas"

Beaver Alley Studios, Inc., is a nonprofit organization established for the purpose of facilitating the production, promotion, distribution, exhibition and celebration of independent art in all forms, especially art from a female perspective. The organization offers services such as screenwriting and script consultation, cinematography, editing, film reviews, film school, and packages for events, commercial use, music videos and short films.

Beaver Alley Studios, Inc., was founded by Rhonda L. Parker, a recent GCC graduate who earned degrees in Communications and Media Arts and as well as Paralegal Studies. She graduated with President's List Honors earning a GPA of 3.75 or higher. A resident of Albion, Parker is an active filmmaker and produced the full length movie, "Friends Don't Let Friends - Date Friends" in 2014. She has also written and produced the feature films "Lonely Bananas," "Message in a Bottle," a number of short films, and appeared as a "Walmart mom" in a television commercial.

"We are very excited about hosting an event like no other," Parker said. "Three days of regional and international films, performances from local singers and songwriters, art displays, educational workshops-and of course, the all-important networking giving all attendees the opportunity to explore, exchange and share ideas and inspiring artists to continue their work."

Anyone under the age of 18 will not be admitted without an adult and children must be supervised at all times.

June 3, 2016 - 1:28pm

The Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force, comprised of officers from the Sheriff's Office, Batavia Police NET, and the Le Roy Villege Police Department, along with Genesee County Sheriff's deputies, arrested at Florida man on June 1 who had active warrants our of Oseola County, Fla., and East Aurora.

Charles D. Macey, 35, of Finwick Court, Kissimmee, Fla., had three felony warrants for trafficking methamphetamine, sale of meth and heroin, and sale of a controlled substance. He also had an active warrant in New York (East Aurora) for criminal possession of stolen property, 5th.

He was turned over the the East Aurora Police Department.

June 3, 2016 - 1:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, Stafford, raffles.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced Thursday that he has signed on as a cosponsor of new legislation, coined the Charitable Gaming Act of 2016, which would allow charitable organizations and raffle holders to accept credit and legal tender for raffles as well as advertise and sell tickets online.

Hawley has also introduced his own legislation, A.10516, to remedy New York’s archaic and detrimental gaming laws.

“I am eager to see this bill come to the floor for a vote,” Hawley said. “It is scheduled to pass through committee today, and being authored by a Majority member gives it that much more potential to move through the legislative process.

"As I’ve said before, this is an issue that affects communities and benevolent organizations all across the state. Our statutes need to catch up with technology before more damage is done, and that is exactly what this legislation aims to do.”

June 3, 2016 - 1:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, Eugene Jankowski Jr., shooter.

Submitted photo and press release:

Eugene Jankowski Jr. has advanced from 3-Gun Nation Semi-Pro to the 3-Gun Nation Pro Series Event 8 to be held at Virginia International Raceway, Alton, Va., the end of this month.

A total of eight Pro events are held and each event comprises one, half-hour episode of 3-Gun Nation television airing sometime in July. This will be Jankowski’s first event as a 3-Gun Nation Professional Competition shooter.

The 3-Gun Nation Pro Series is the first of its kind, featuring the top shooters in the sport of 3-Gun. Each shooter competes in the same division, Practical, in a heads-up race to qualify for the season-ending finale. The final match features the top qualified shooters from the Pro Series, who compete in a seeded bracket to determine the final winner of the $50,000 grand prize. 

To compete on the Pro Series, each year a qualifier is held – and the top 16 competitors earn a slot. To earn an invitation to the qualifier match, competitors must be signed up as a Semi-Pro in the previous year, compete in at least one 3GN Regional event and place within the top 25 in the Semi-Pro standings for the season.

Jankowski finished 18th in the 2015 semi-pro season and earned this year’s Pro Series slot at the October national qualifier. Jankowski is currently ranked 14th midway through the 2016 semi-pro season.

June 3, 2016 - 12:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in basketball, news, sports.

Press release:

Bataiva High School Coach Buddy Brasky will hold a basketball camp at Batavia City schools this summer. This basketball camp will be held from July 5 through Aug. 12. (Location(s) to be announced later.)

This six-week program will emphasize offensive skill development. The program is open to anyone, male or female, from grades seven to college.

Cost is $375. For an application, call Coach Brasky at 356-4050 or e-mail him at:   [email protected]

Brasky will be joined by: 

  • Tim Sullivan
  • Tom Redband -- Girls Varsity Coach at Elba High School
  • Matt Shay -- Boys Varsity coach at Pembroke High School
  • Bill Pitcher -- Longtime area basketball player and coach
  • Billy Truitt -- Former Division I and professional basketball player

There will be two sessions:

1)  Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon for boys in grades nine to college;

2)  Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon for boys in grades seven and eight, and girls in grades seven to college.

June 3, 2016 - 6:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen, news.

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A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Buffalo Road and South Lake Road, Bergen.

Bergen fire and Bergen ambulance dispatched.

Reader-submitted photo.

June 2, 2016 - 4:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, Ways and Means Committee, news.

The amount of funding Genesee County will contribute to the local community college is expected to remain the same as last year, for now. The college is planning a $40.5 million budget for 2016/17, up 1.53 percent, and sought a $50,000 increase in the county's share -- a total of $2,586,374.

Last month, the legislature's Public Service Committee tabled a resolution seeking the increase because of concern that there was a lack of communication or consultation with legislators about how much the county could afford prior to the request.

On Wednesday afternoon, Genesee Community College President James Sunser assured the Ways and Means Committee that henceforth dialog will begin much earlier so that an update can be forthcoming as early as March, well before any funding requests are made.

The Ways and Means Committee voted to recommend approval of the funding request as previously submitted, with no increase in the county's share. (The county share, mandated by state law, can't be reduced below the prior year's share.)

They also set a public hearing on that at the Legislature's next regular meeting, the evening of June 8.

Sunser said he and Legislator Marianne Clattenburg spoke and they have an idea to help get information to county representatives earlier, starting next year. They would like to set up a meeting to talk preliminarily about budget matters, to ask what the county might be able to do to support the college.

That way, even though hard figures would be absent, there would be a working blueprint to go forward with, two months before May when things are being finalized.

He said attendees should include himself, the college's CFO, chair of the board of trustees, chair of the college trustees' Finance Committee, and the chair of the Legislature, chair of the Ways and Means Committee, legislature-college liaison Clattenburg, and the County Manager.

"Obviously, that would predate having solid information from the state," Sunser said. "But we would look at multiple scenarios and have different ideas and make adjustments -- kind of the same way we are now -- but a little earlier on. Hopefully, that helps. That way we get some county input and that will be before we go to the board of trustees of the college for approval, and hopefully, we could have a more solid sense of where the county could be (in terms of its funding ability).

"I'm open to doing whatever I can do as frequently as needed to keep the county in the loop on what our thinking is and our current plan," Sunser said.

Earlier talks would be beneficial, said Committee Member Ray Cianfrini.

"I think it's a great idea that we have the opportunity to get our discussion started earlier," Cianfrini said. "I mean, that's something that can only be helpful. Again, with the understanding that the college and the legislature are kind of handcuffed, at that early stage because you're not going to have figures; it's certainly an early stage for us to even being thinking about where we stand with our budget.

"But if you've got any insights you can give us, some direction you think you're going in, that's helpful. I do agree that opening the discussions early is a good way to do it."

Sunser replied: "I'm happy to do that. And again, I think one of the things that we can do is...I know it's a very busy time when you're dealing with the whole county budget in the fall...but even if it's through communication (by) e-mail or memo to say 'This is how things are looking at this point' and 'This is what we would be thinking about for the next year.' Because we'd be toward the tail end of your actual fiscal year when we're receiving these funds. So if that helps, we're happy to try to do that as well."

The college has until July 1 to present its final budget to SUNY administrators. Full-time students will pay $1,975 tuition per semester during the 2016-2017 year, up $25 from the current rate.

Meanwhile, the county can mull what it might be able to approve, and find out whether, legally, it can allocate more to the college later in the year when it adopts its own 2017 budget. (One issue previously cited is that the college and county budget calendars are out of sync: The college operates on an academic year; the county on a calendar year.)

From there, it was asked about the progress of the building projects at the Batavia campus.

The 18,748-square-foot Student Success Center will be located adjacent to the Conable Technology Building. The 56,614-square-foot Richard C. Call Arena will be located at the northwest end of the parking lot. The Arena will house the largest expanse of flexible, open floor space in the Genesee-Livingston-Orleans-Wyoming county region.

Sunser said good progress is being made and said the biggest thing people are talking about is the amount of rock (under the construction areas), especially by the Arena, where they've had to do some blasting to create retention ponds, a real sight to behold from the Thruway. That got a laugh from the committee members.

The footers have been poured for the student center. The goal is to have the new facilities 90-percent enclosed by November when cold weather starts to set in and then they can continue working through the winter. Both buildings are expected to be completed in early summer 2017.

June 2, 2016 - 2:23pm

Press release:

Over the next four weekends (until July 3) Genesee County will host more than 10,000 baseball and softball players, coaches, families and fans at the “Sixth Annual Darien Lake Tournament Series.”

The tournament, which began on May 27, is produced by Pitch ‘n' Hit Events and Darien Lake Amusement Park, will take place at numerous ballfields throughout Genesee County.

The tournament will feature 300 teams from numerous states and Western New York. The ages of the players range from 10 years old to 18 years old, and include both baseball and fast-pitch softball.

The influx of visitors is expected to create more than a $1,005,000 economic impact during the span of both tournaments through staying in hotels and visiting local restaurants and shops. The tournament will generate over 2,160 room nights at our area hotels.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will assist visitors in finding local destinations by providing the new dining guide, maps, visitors guide and area coupons.

June 2, 2016 - 2:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, opioid addiction, heroin, news.

Press release: 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined legislators and public activists at a press conference in Albany held by Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) on Wednesday calling for legislation to address the state’s growing heroin and opioid addiction problem. The Senate recently passed a package of 41 bills and recommendations to combat the issue.

“Our children are dying due to this deadly epidemic and the Assembly hasn’t passed a single bill this year to address it,” Hawley said. “Our conference held a series of statewide forums to gather input from people affected by addiction only to have our comprehensive solutions sit dormant in the Assembly. How many more families need to be torn apart before Assembly leadership steps up and brings solutions to the table?

"Addiction is a disease that knows no bounds, but we can defeat it by empowering recovery at the local level and providing resources to those on the frontlines. My hope is that legislative solutions will come to fruition before session adjourns for the summer in two weeks.”

June 2, 2016 - 1:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in Tencar, business, news.

Press release:

TenCar, a woman-owned medical devices and equipment company founded by Genesee County resident Georgann Carrubba, RN, has launched a crowdfunding campaign as the company looks to start the evaluation and initial manufacturing phase of its Choice Cap product.

Funds generated will be used to build initial evaluation units for further customer feedback prior to pilot production in 2017.

TenCar’s Choice Cap is prosthetic appliance for active-lifestyle colostomy and ileostomy patients. It provides patients with a simple but secure attachment method, which includes a lightweight, airtight, molded waterproof cap to be worn with or without the traditional soft inner pouch. This added protective barrier offers greater resilience to motion and activity, giving the wearer protection against leakage and escaped odors that are common in everyday activities.

TenCar is the first start-up company to come out of the Genesee County Economic Development Center’s Innovation Zone which was launched in 2015. The company is interested inkeeping manufacturing in Batavia.

“We feel a strong obligation to the local community as a result of the great support we have received in getting our company off the ground,” Carrubba said. “We are confident that a crowdfunding initiative will receive similar support as we look to advance the company to next level of growth, which in turn will create new jobs.”

Crowdfunding is commonly used to generate funds and often involves a number of people making donations to a venture or business initiative. Crowdfunding presents the opportunity for individuals to support a company in its early stages of startup to bring their products and/or services into the marketplace. In this instance, those who support TenCar’s crowdfunding will be recognized and acknowledged by the company as well as receive gifts for their support, but will not receive shares in the company.

“While we are a small community we love when one of our own has a great success story to tell and in this instance it’s about someone who has developed an innovative medical product that could lead to the creation of new jobs,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC.

Carrubba is a Batavia native and graduate of the Genesee Community College School of Nursing. She has been working with various groups and organizations, including the GCEDC, High Tech Rochester, Launch NY, and the University at Buffalo’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS), as well as many other partners at the Innovation Zone at MedTech Center for the past year.

Below are links to the Indiegogo crowdfunding website and a video from TenCardescribing its revolutionary new medical device the Choice Cap System:

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9k6MRnvWpww

Learn more about TenCar’s crowdfunding campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/choice-cap-system-a-better-ostomy-device

June 2, 2016 - 1:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, veterans, news.

Press release June 1 from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“I would like to thank Gov. Cuomo and my fellow legislators for finally stepping up and making the veteran buy-back credit a reality. This is a great example of bipartisanship. Our vets have waited far too long to receive the recognition they deserve, and the opportunity to purchase back their service time from the state is a small show of gratitude for those who have sacrificed more than we can imagine.

"As a veteran, son of a veteran and Ranking Member on the Assembly’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I can attest to the hardships and commitment of our servicemen and women and will continue to fight for more programs and services to help those who have fought for our liberty and freedom.”

June 1, 2016 - 9:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Marshall, batavia, old court house, news, movies, entertainment.

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With a cast and crew into the dozens of people in Batavia today, scenes for the upcoming bio-pic about Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, were completed today at the Old Courthouse in Batavia.

There are no pictures here of Chadwick Boseman, who is playing Marshall, because producers asked photographers not to take pictures of him in costume. They want to preserve the mystique of Boseman in character until the film is released, one of the co-producers said. We were free to wander the set and take pictures of all other aspects of the production.

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The interior of the Old Courthouse was dressed up to look like a county courthouse in Oklahoma in the 1940s. Light switches were removed and the holes covered, the exit sign removed, an old clock and fans installed and pictures hung on the wall suitable to the time and location. There were also a 48-star U.S. flag behind the bench and the Oklahoma state flag.

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Carl Hicks, who grew up in Le Roy, is interviewed by Mike Patinella for the Buffalo News. Hicks was the construction supervisor for the set.

June 1, 2016 - 6:47pm

Say a middle-school student habitually sasses a teacher and repeatedly winds up in the vice principal's office. Or maybe a teen is often truant from school or acts out in a way that might get him or her in trouble with the law, perhaps already has.

In many cases, there's a voluntary way to make amends and square things with authorities. It's the Genesee County Youth Court -- an alternative for young people who face disciplinary action through school or law enforcement. The goal is to decrease behavior problems and increase "citizenship skills."

On Tuesday afternoon, the local legislature's Human Service Committee was given an agency review of the Youth Bureau by Director Jocelyn Sikorski, which includes the Youth Court.

She told them that referrals are up. There were 32 last year and there have been 17 to date this year.

With a success rate of 90 percent or better, there are cost savings to the county because this reduces the caseload in the juvenile justice system, Sikorski said.

Eligible young people are referred by either their school or law enforcement. Parents and guardians are involved throughout and everything is kept confidential. Sentencing is individualized and there's no permanent record in the youth’s file or record.

Youths who want resolution through the Youth Court, fill out an application. If approved, the defendant appears before a court of peers.

A "prosecutor" representing school and community interests argues their side and makes a sentencing recommendation. The defense acts on behalf of the teen in question and also makes a sentencing recommendation. A clerk-bailiff maintains court records, administers the oath, and makes sure the court runs smoothly. A panel of three teen judges listen to both sides of the issue and recommends a sentence based on what is heard in the courtroom.

This process gives the wrongdoer a chance to learn from mistakes through early intervention and positive peer pressure.

Those who voluntarily serve in the Youth Court learn about public speaking, group decision making and the justice system.

It began in 2008 and costs about $16,000 a year to run. Funding is provided by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), a component within the U.S. Department of Justice. Chelsea Dillon is the coordinator; she works collaboratively with the Probation Department, law enforcement agencies, the Dept. of Social Services and schools in the county.

Another program administered by the county Youth Bureau is the federally funded "Youth Opportunity Program," an AmeriCorps offshoot, now in its second year here.

The fledgling program enrolls at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth in direct service projects sponsored by AmeriCorps.

"We had a lot of learning in our office," Sikorsky said of the inaugural year. "We're getting better. There are challenges with the youth being served."

Steps are being put in place to prevent problems encountered initially. But through no fault of the county, future funding is not assured for its continuance here or elsewhere.

The federally funded AmeriCorps Program was also reviewed for the committee by Sikorski. It focuses on creating jobs and providing paths to opportunity for young people about to enter the workforce. Through AmeriCorps, participants learn valuable work skills, earn money for education and develop an appreciation for citizenship by working in community service helping others.

Going forward, a concern with the AmeriCorps program is the higher minimum wage of $9.70 an hour in 2017.

"We still will be competitive with that," Sikorski said, because with their education award and their bi-weekly stipend, an AmeriCorps participant makes $9.85 an hour.

"2018...(we) believe that we will struggle to recruit AmeriCorps members with the raise in the state minimum wage, with the money we have to give our AmeriCorps members. Our hands are tied based on that program."

The grant cycle is every 15 months, and Genesee County next cycle runs from October through the end of 2017, when the minimum wage is set to become $9.70 an hour. Each cycle requires a competitive grant application process to secure funds.

"The minimum wage I think will hit us in 2018," Sikorski said.

Committee Chair Rochelle Stein asked if the minimum wage requirement applies to AmeriCorps at all.

"If this is a government program, though, isn't that exempt?" Stein asked. "Because I thought that governments were exempt from the minimum wage increases. I could be wrong."

Sikorski replied: "My understanding is we're exempt (as county government) from the fact that we have to raise the wages to coincide with the raise in the minimum wage. Correct."

County Manager Jay Gsell said "But that may not apply to this program because it's not necessarily with public entities. That's one of those things that you'll have to look at. We'll have to look into that."

Gsell said the minimum wage hike requirements and any future budget impacts on various programs are still being determined.

Regardless of wages, all AmeriCorps members gain an education benefit. A 900-hour volunteer would get, for example, a $2,650 education award upon completion. A parent or grandparent can allocate it to their child or grandchild; you can use it to pay for your own tuition; and, student loans incurred during AmeriCorps participation can be deferred, and no interest will accrue on them.

In another Youth Bureau initiative, Sikorski happily reported that the Kiwanis Club provided $200 to buy "Halloween kits" last October for 90 boys and girls who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to dress up at school or go trick-or-treating in costumes with friends and family. A total of 40 went to children in one of the city's two elementary schools, and 50 went to underprivileged kids in the other.

"Oh, my gosh, it was so much fun!" she said.

The goal is to make this amusing seasonal holiday outreach travel -- next on one side of the county, then the other, then back to the city.

Stein asked about the back-to-school supplies and was told annually, they are able to help between 30 and 50 children with supplies.

Following Sikorski's presentation, the committee agreed to give permission for the Youth Bureau to apply for a grant from the U.S. Tennis Association to fund a summer tennis program. If granted, it would provide $1,900 to pay for a tennis instructor, mileage and some equipment.

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