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July 7, 2017 - 5:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, news, genesee county legislature, batavia.

Press release:

New York State, as part of the Adopted 2017/18 State Budget, included another mandate on all local governments, and possibly school districts. It is the requirement to discuss and develop shared service ideas and plans for eventual submittal to the Genesee County Legislature in August/September. Then, these must be submitted to the NYS Department of State by Oct. 15.

Part of the process for discussing and developing these public-sector shared-service plans is to have public meetings/opportunities for citizen input. These provide forums to take suggestions on opportunities for possible public-sector shared services that have not already been put forth or are not already in place.

In order to satisfy this public-forum mandate, the GC Legislature will hold an open comment period at the beginning of each of its next three legislative body meetings. These will take place at approximately 5 p.m. on July 12, July 17, and Aug. 9 in the third-floor chambers of the Old Courthouse, located at 7 Main St. in the City of Batavia.

July 7, 2017 - 5:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, accidents, batavia.

A car vs. pedestrian accident with injuries is reported in front of the Movies in Motion shop at 511 E. Main St. between McKinley Avenue and Harvester Avenue. City fire is responding along with an ambulance from Alexander.

UPDATE 5:07 p.m.: Law enforcement arrived on scene and the patient was GOA -- "Gone on Arrival." The scene is clear.

July 7, 2017 - 4:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, crime, news, Grand Jury.

Evan M. Wilson is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class A felony. It is alleged that on May 6 in the Town of Le Roy that Wilson drove a 2006 Toyota on Route 19 while knowing, or having reason to know, that he driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities. He allegedly had three separate suspensions imposed on at least three separate dates for failure to answer, appear or pay a fine. In addition, Wilson is accused of driving on May 6 while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In count two, the defendant is accused of the crime of DWI, as a misdemeanor. In count three, he is accused of the offense of unlawful possession of marijuana on the same date. In count four, Wilson is accused of speeding, a traffic offense, for driving in excess of 55 mph. In count five, Wilson is accused of the offense of refusing to submit to a breath test on that date.

July 7, 2017 - 4:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in GO ART!, Announcements, news, picnic in the park.

Press release:

GO ART! would like to extend an enormous thank you to all who attended our 39th Annual Picnic in the Park presented by the Red Osier. Mother Nature blessed us with amazing weather allowing us the liberties to gather and enjoy the festivities from morning until early evening.

We cannot emphasize enough how much we enjoy having the kids participate in the parade nor how much we enjoy seeing family and friends visiting and laughing as they relaxed in their lawn chairs.

Michelle Cryer and team worked tirelessly to schedule and commit the artisans, vendors, non-profits, stage delivery, trash cans and everything your eyes and ears took in on Tuesday. A big job well done by all.

And how about those bands?! The feedback on the bands has been fantastic. We didn’t expect the headliner Britishmania to take as long as they did to set up, but the wait was worth it. Everyone loved them and they played longer than scheduled to make up for the extra time they took getting into their Beatles mindset.  It was the biggest crowd after 4 pm in over a decade.

Once again… thank you everyone for spending your morning, afternoon and evening with us.

And a big thank you to all our sponsors: The Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant, Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union, City of Batavia, Rotary Club of Batavia, Pinnacle Manufacturing Company, Inc., Quality Inn, Stephen M. Hawley & Assoc. LLC, Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning, Julia Garver & Joseph Ruh, Freed Maxick, Batavia Kiwanis Club, Arc of Genesee Orleans, Bob & Linda Knipe, Carrotman Productions, City of Batavia DPW, CY Farms / Batavia Turf, Diane & Hirman Kasten, DRH Construction, Max Pies Furniture, The Porter Family, Valle Jewelers, WBTA, Bouchard Financial Services LLC, McGinnis Excavating & Plumbing Inc.

July 7, 2017 - 4:31pm

Farmers Market Coupons will be distributed at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St. in Batavia, on:

Wednesday, July 12th – 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Friday, July 14th – 1-4 p.m.

Tuesday, July 25th — 10 a.m - 12 p.m.

Thursday, July 27th – 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Genesee County Office for the Aging also plans to distribute coupons at the Le Roy Farmer’s Market* on Saturday July 8th from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Booklets are available to adults age 60 years and older who are income-eligible. Proof of age identification must be provided.

Income guidelines are as follows: household of one $1,860 per month; household of two $2,504 per month; and, household of three $3,149 per month.

Maureen Estabrooks, Office for the Aging’s coordinator for the program, noted that, “It still remains, that anyone 60 or older in a household may receive a coupon booklet as long as they are income eligible. This means that in a qualifying household, multiple individuals may receive booklets. This program is a wonderful way to help older adults with limited income to purchase healthy fresh produce from our local farmers.”

Questions may be directed to the Genesee County Office for the Aging at 585-343-1611.

*A distribution date for the the coupons at the Downtown Batavia Public Market has not yet been determined.

July 7, 2017 - 3:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, news.

A motorcyclist is down in the roadway after an accident at Bloomingdalew and Griffen roads on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding, and told to come in non-emergency mode. Minor injuries. Traffic control will be needed.

July 7, 2017 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in HP Hood, batavia, business, news, notify.

HP Hood, the Lynnfield, Ma., dairy processor who is taking over the former Muller Quaker Dairy facility, already has human resources staff in Batavia so the company can start hiring immediately for its new dairy plant.

The company hopes to break ground on reconfiguring and expanding the plant this fall, and it won't be until early 2019 that the new plant is in production. But a source familiar with HP Hood's plans said the company is excited about coming to Batavia and is eager to start lining up its workforce.

People interested in applying for a job at the plant can call (1-800) 428-6329 for more information.

According to public documents, Hood plans to hire 250 people locally and expand the plant with a new 100,000-square-foot warehouse.

The source said details are still being worked out, but the plant will be used to manufacture extended-shelf-life beverages, both dairy and nondairy.

It's expected that Dairy Farmers of America, who initially purchased the plant from Muller Quaker for $60 million and held onto it until last Friday, when the cooperative sold the plant to Hood for $54 million, will be at least one of Hood's milk supplier. There are several DFA dairy farmers in the region.

There is still a lot of work and planning to do, but the source said that right now, Hood's focus is hiring a workforce for the plant.

Since DFA acquired the $206 million plant in December 2015, there have been seven to eight workers at the plant helping to keep it maintained and ready for the next producer. That staff has been offered jobs with Hood and our source believes all current workers accepted positions with Hood.

The source said the acquisition process has taken a year and now that the deal is closed, Hood executives are eager to see things move forward and get the plant into production.

Multiple sources have told The Batavian that staff for Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been trying to coordinate a visit by the governor to Batavia to celebrate the acquisition of the dairy plant by HP Hood. That could happen within the next couple of weeks.

Previously:

UPDATE: Here's a video about HP Hood:

July 7, 2017 - 10:58am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in opioids, news, batavia, notify.

There have been multiple lawsuits filed by state and local governments around the nation against major drug manufacturers over their marketing and distribution of opioids, and Genesee County officials are thinking about becoming one of the plaintiffs.

Several counties in New York are part of the effort to pin at least some of the financial burden for the opiate epidemic on pharmaceutical companies.

County Attorney Kevin Earl is researching the feasibility of the county filing suit, either individually as a member of a multi-plaintiff action, against major drug manufacturers to recover current and future damages to the county taxpayers from abuse of opioid pharmaceuticals.

“If you want, [I can] investigate whether it would be better for us to join an existing lawsuit or (file) on our own,” Earl said at the Ways and Means Committee meeting on Wednesday.

Finding out the costs and expenses needed is something Earl will be researching as well.

Earl said most counties are doing research, then bringing a recommendation back to the legislative body.

Committee Member Raymond Cianfrini said every state is beginning to go after pharmaceutical companies in that regard.

“I don’t see a problem with us piggybacking on somebody else in a class-action lawsuit,” Cianfrini said. “But, we need to know who is going to do it, what it’s going to cost us, [and] what are the time frames.”

July 7, 2017 - 10:45am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in cell phones, news, batavia.

Most mobile phone users pay a surcharge that goes to county government, but that surcharge hasn't been paid by about a quarter of mobile phone users -- those who buy phones with month-to-month fees rather than with sign a contract with a carrier.

A public hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. on July 12 at the Old Courthouse in Batavia on a law that would repeal the current wireless communications surcharge and impose new surcharges on disposable phones.

County Manager Jay Gsell said in an interview with WBTA, the change would offer new revenues for the county governments and State of New York.

“Those who are going from established plans where they sign up for contracts through typical carriers now go to a month-to-month disposable phone kind of thing,” Gsell said. “They will see the change in terms of how much that device will cost them because of the 30-cent surcharge.”

With the new law, the county and state would collect from approximately 25 percent of cell phone users who prefer prepaid or month-to-month cel lphone plans.

The money collected will provide funding for local and statewide emergency service communication systems.

“It appears that it would be more equitable for everyone who is using these devices and therefore would come in contact with our 9-1-1 centers,” Gsell said. “They would also be helping pay for a portion of the state revenue distribution that goes out for us operating these public safety answering forums, [also known as] 9-1-1 centers.”

July 7, 2017 - 10:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in kathy hochul, baseball, muckdogs, news, notify.

hochulfirstpitchjuly72017.jpg

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and her husband, Bill, visited Batavia last night so they could attend a Batavia Muckdogs game together. Kathy threw out the first pitch and met with players from the Marlins in the Oakfield-Alabama Little League.

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Catching Kathy's first pitch was Harrison White, from Laguna Beach, Calif., and a graduate of Yale University. He's a 2017 Miami Marlin's draft pick.

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July 7, 2017 - 10:21am

cancerassistancetree2017.jpg

Genesee Cancer Assistance planted its Festival of Hope tree yesterday outside the Wilmot Cancer Institute on Bank Street, Batavia.

Participating were Bev Henning, Lois Gerace, Nickie Fazio, John Morrill and Ed Kirby.

Henning and Kirby are cancer survivors. Gerace is the wife of the late Joe Gerace, cofounder and former board member of Genesee Cancer Assistance. Fazio is with Genesee Cancer Assistance, and Morrill is owner of Bubba's Landscaping.

Below, Sue Underwood and Fazio hang ribbons for cancer survivors on the hydrangea tree.

The event was catered by Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford.

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July 6, 2017 - 4:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia.

Jason M. Guiliani, 38, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Guiliani was charged following a traffic stop at 1:46 p.m. on July 1 on West Main Street in Batavia. Allegedly, a quantity of heroin, cocaine and drug paraphernalia was found in the vehicle and on the defendant. He was issued an appearance ticket for July 3 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Sgt. Dan Coffey, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Jason M. Guiliani, 38, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with: unlawful possession of personal ID -- used in the commission of a crime; second-degree identity theft -- assuming another person's identity and then committing a felony; and criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree -- credit card. Guiliani was located on July 1 after an unrelated traffic stop on West Main Street in Batavia and then arrested after an investigation allegedly revealed he possessed and used a stolen credit card on Dec. 24 on West Main Street. He was jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail -- cash or bond. Guiliani is due in court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Christopher Scott E. Knox, 23, of Old Pike Road, Fitzpatrick, Ala., is charged with: DWI -- common law; DWI -- with a BAC of .08 percent or more; speeding; and refusal to take a prescreening breath test. At about 12:27 a.m. on June 29, Batavia police conducted a traffic stop on Oak Street of a Subaru for an alleged speed violation. Investigation resulted in Knox being arrested for DWI. He was due in City Court on July 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Michael L. Williams, 37, of 332 W. Main St., Room #3, Batavia, is charged with first-degree aggravated criminal contempt. At 3:15 p.m. on June 27, Williams allegedly violated an order of protection by having contact with the protected party on Highland Park, Batavia. Since Willams has a prior conviction within the previous five years for first-degree criminal contempt, he was arrested and charged with the June 27 crime cited. He was jailed without bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack.

Eddie L. Miles Jr., 45, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt, fourth-degree grand larceny, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in the second degree. The defendant was arrested on a warrant out of City Court. The charges stem from an incident at 2:46 a.m. on May 18 wherein he allegedly took a car belonging to another individual without that person's permission. He was jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond and was due back in court today (July 6). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Christopher J. Draper, 46, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Draper was arrested at 5:55 p.m. on July 1 on West Main Street Road after he allegedly entered a business from which he had previously been banned. He is due in City Court on July 11 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen. 

Christopher J. Draper, 46, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with third-degree burglary and second-degree criminal contempt following a trespass complaint on July 1. Draper was allegedly in violation of a court order after being told to stay away from the Rite Aid on West Main Street in Batavia on several occasions. At 1 p.m. on July 5, he was jailed on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond. He is due in court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Andrew Hale, assisted by Officer Kevin McCarthy.

A 17-year-old in the city was arrested on Garfield Avenue at 8:28 p.m. on June 27. Patrols were dispatched to Jackson Street for a disturbance. After an investigation, the defendant was located on Garfield Avenue and arrested. The teen is charged with criminal mischief -- intentional damage of property, and is due in City Court on July 11. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Kim L. Minuto, 56, of Clinton Street Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Minuto was arrested at 10:30 a.m. on July 5 at Tops Market in Batavia and issued an appearance ticket for July 18 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Bolles.

July 6, 2017 - 3:27pm

Press release:

Genesee County is in the developmental stages of a Youth Court to serve youth in the county. Youth Court is the process of being judged by your peers for minor offenses.

Genesee will have a dispositional court with a panel of judges. Youth will serve in all roles – judge, prosecutor, defense, bailiff and court clerk. Referrals will come to the court from law enforcement and schools. The sentencing is individualized to the respondent and the behavior that brought them to court and based on of restorative justice.

The Genesee County Youth Bureau is currently seeking youth to sit on the court in the positions mentioned above. Interested youth, entering grades eight through 11 in Genesee County may apply.

Selected youth must complete 20 hours of training, which will be held in two-hour segments over a 10-week period. Training will begin in October, and the court is expected to begin hearing cases in January.

An application can be downloaded from the Genesee County website www.co.genesee.ny.us, where you will find a link on the Youth Bureau page. If you would like further information or to have an application mailed to you, please contact the Genesee County Youth Bureau at 344-3960. Applications will be accepted on or before Sept. 28.

July 6, 2017 - 2:09pm

One of the Northeast's largest dairy producers now officially has a footprint in Batavia.

HP Hood, based in Lynnfield, Mass., closed on the deed to the former Muller Quaker Dairy plant on Friday, paying $54,216,000 to Dairy Famers of America for the facility.

DFA acquired the property from Muller Quaker in December 2015 for $60 million.

As part of the deal, Hood agreed to take over the obligations of Muller Quaker for the property, which includes making payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) along with paying a variety of fees to Genesee County Economic Development Center.

The GCEDC board has yet to improve a new PILOT agreement for the 363,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art milk processing facility, but is considering providing Hood with more than $7 million in tax abatements over 10 years, with an anticipated total economic benefit to the region of more than $330 million.

Hood will pay GCEDC $1.7 in annual installments of $280,000 over six years, starting with an initial payment delivered Friday at closing.

There is also an annual $1,000 administration fee and a $5,000 annual property maintenance fee to assist with maintenance of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, where the plant is located (next to the Genesee County Fairgrounds on Route 5).

Hood is reportedly planning to add a 100,000-square-foot warehouse to what is already the largest dairy processing facility in the United States.

The plant cost PepsiCo and Theo Muller Group $206 million and Hood is planning to invest significantly more into the plant. Reconfiguring the plant from one that made just Quaker Muller's own take on Greek yogurt and adding the warehouse will create more than 500 construction jobs with a payroll of $26 million. 

While Muller Quaker topped out at 162 jobs created, Hood promises 250 jobs at the plant, with an average annual salary of $47,000.

Hood plans to begin construction this summer and be operational by the first quarter of 2019.

Previously:

July 6, 2017 - 1:41pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, crime, batavia, notify.

Oliver Thomas, 25, entered a guilty plea to attempted burglary in the second-degree on Thursday morning and could face up to seven years in prison as a second felony offender.

Thomas was part of the attack that occurred around 11 p.m. on Oct. 28 at an upper apartment on Central Avenue, involving several people and resulting in the hospitalization of two individuals.

He also pleaded guilty to failure to register change of address as a registered sex offender. Thomas was convicted of rape in 2009 and was required to register as a Level 2 sex offender when he was released from prison.

Thomas was the last of the four men accused of the attack, who was taken into custody after police had been looking for him for five months.

Also charged were Daniel Gilbert, Adante Davis and Marquis Saddler.

Gilbert received a four-year prison term. Davis five years, and Saddler five years.

Thomas will be held without bail until his sentencing at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 4.

July 6, 2017 - 9:33am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, health, notify.

The Ways and Means Committee voted Wednesday to authorize Public Health Director Paul Pettit to apply for a Greater Rochester Health Foundation Community Health Grant, as a pilot to expand the wellness program.

Currently, in Genesee County Building 2, located at 3837 W. Main Street Road, there is a small room for employees to exercise on their breaks. The equipment was donated house equipment to keep employees healthy during the bad weather months, Pettit said.

“We view this more as employee wellness,” Pettit said. “We don’t use the word fitness because we don’t have free weights and all the stuff you would see in a fitness center.”

Committee Member Marianne Clattenburg expressed her concern of the exclusivity of the wellness program to employees in Genesee County Building 2.

“You’re spending time writing grants, but you should be looking at the overall health of all our employees and how this would fit into a program for everyone,” Clattenburg said. “Unless it’s something like that, I’m not going to support it. We need to be thinking of everyone.”

Pettit stressed that the use of the machines is not exclusive to employees in Genesee County Building 2, but later, a member of the committee pointed out that only employees who work in that building have access to the building.

“That would be a door control issue,” Pettit said. “But, it can be done.”

If they receive the grant, the building would receive replacements for their current equipment. They would receive rubber flooring, a new treadmill, an elliptical machine and a bike.

“The [current] treadmill is in decent, working shape,” said Kristine Voos, an educator working on the project. “The other piece of equipment is unusable at this point.”

Voos said she has been working with an intern to decide what equipment to put in the room. Voos said in 2014, she surveyed the employees in the building to find out what they would like to see in the room.

“Instead of getting five pieces for one place, I’d rather see a couple treadmills everywhere,” Clattenburg said.

Another concern from committee members was that currently, those who use the machines, do not sign a waiver in case of injury.

“Currently we do not [have a waiver],” Voos said. “But we do have [waiver] templates.”

Having a wellness program has many benefits during the workday, Voos said.

“The lifestyle management hits on employee productivity,” Voos said. “They’re exercising more, they’re feeling better, they’re more aware and present during meetings.”

July 6, 2017 - 9:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify.

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Press release:

The Town of Batavia Republican Committee held its annual picnic at the Batavia/Kiwanis Park and presented its "Community Service" Award to Gordon Offhaus. This is an annual award to recognize a person or business for service to the Town of Batavia community.

Gordie moved to the Town of Batavia in 1972 -- 45 years ago this year -- and established Offhaus Farms on Oak Orchard Road (Route 98) with 18 cows. He and his son Scott still operate the business now milking 1,200 cows. He has served on the Town Planning Board for more than 30 years representing Agriculture. He is always ready to serve on committees, Comprehensive Plan updates and assist the Town in many ways. He is very deserving of this recognition.

The plaque was presented by Deputy Town Supervisor Dan Underhill. Even though it was a rainy evening, the event has attended by about 100 people.

July 6, 2017 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, schools, education, news, notify.

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The Batavia City School District welcomed three new members to the school board, including Zach Korzelius, appointed to replace the seat vacated by Leslie Johnson. Johnson resigned to accept a job in education in New York City.

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Michal Lullo is the new student ex-officio member of the board.

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Newly elected Board Member Barbara Bowman.

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Newly elected Board Member Tanni Bromley.

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Pat Burk was re-elected by the board to be chairman.

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Pete Cecere becomes the vice-chairman.

July 6, 2017 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news, notify.

Volunteer firefighters from the Le Roy Fire Department are dealing with a hydraulic fluid spill on Wolcott Street and lines arcing at No Finer Diner on Main Street.

The fluid spill has required a partial closure of Wolcott Street. 

The lines arcing are attached to the building.

Caledonia fire has been requested to provide a fill-in at the Le Roy Fire Hall.

July 5, 2017 - 9:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in animals, batavia, animal rescue, pets, news.

A few minutes ago, a deputy was dispatched to check on the welfare of a "big yellow cat in the area of the animal shelter" -- to make sure the feline was "by the side of road" -- (as opposed to being in the road, we're guessing). Once on scene, the officer reported "no sign of Garfield east or west of the road" and then went back in service.

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