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May 19, 2016 - 1:00pm

Press release: 

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after reports surfaced that health insurers operating in New York’s Obamacare exchanges requested premium rate increases by as much as 89 percent.

“These requested premium increases come on the heels of the total failure of the New York-based, Obamacare-created CO-OP Health Republic, which has already cost taxpayers more than $265 million at the end of 2015,” Congressman Collins said. “The failure of Health Republic forced thousands of beneficiaries onto more expensive plans and, based on the insurer requests, these beneficiaries will see substantial rate increases next year.

“Now Obamacare’s runaway premium costs are devastating families, businesses, and individuals in Western New York. President Obama’s health plan needs to be left behind with the rest of his failed presidency.”

The report detailing the insurer requested rate hikes can be read here. Health insurers in New York requested increased rates hikes of 17.3 percent on average.

May 19, 2016 - 12:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, benefit, quinten betances, River Fanara, news.

(Submitted photos.)

A Spaghetti Dinner Benefit for Quinten Betances and Rivers Fanara will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, at the Salvation Army headquarters at 529 E. Main St. in the City of Batavia.

The boys' mother, Melissa Eichelberger Betances (daughter of Doug and Sherry Mellenthine) passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 16.

Come out and show your suppport for these little ones. Tickets are $10, at the door or prepaid by contacting Tammy Griffin at 356-7631.

There will be basket raffles, 50/50, baked goods for sale, and much more.

May 19, 2016 - 12:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, muckdogs, baseball, news.

Press release:

Single-game tickets for all 2016 Muckdogs’ home games go on sale Monday, May 23rd beginning at 9 a.m. at the Dwyer Stadium Box Office, over the phone by calling (585) 343-5454 or online at muckdogs.com.

Normal box office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The same great, affordable ticket prices are back again in 2016. Tickets range from $8 for box seats to just $7 for adult General Admission tickets and $6 for kids and senior General Admission tickets.

During the season, the ticket office opens on game days at 9 a.m. Monday-Friday and closes at the end of fifth inning. On Saturday and Sunday, the ticket office will open at 10 a.m. and close after the fifth inning.

Season tickets, coupon books, ticket packages, and group tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit Muckdogs.com or call (585)343-5454 and press zero Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Muckdogs open their 2016 home schedule on Wednesday, June 22nd vs. the State College Spikes at 7:05 p.m. In addition to their Pinckney Division rivals, the Muckdogs will welcome the Baltimore Orioles (Aberdeen), New York Mets (Brooklyn), New York Yankees (Staten Island) and the Tampa Bay Rays (Hudson Valley) farm teams to Dwyer Stadium in 2016.

May 19, 2016 - 12:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, tree removal, downtown, news.

Crews from the city Bureau of Maintenance are removing five dead trees along Main Street downtown. The trees will be replaced. They can't simply dig out the trees due to brick paving and utilities underneath such as water pipes and electricity line. So the dirt must be washed from the roots in the extrication process.

May 19, 2016 - 11:26am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, road repairs, water main break, news.

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There's a water main break on Bank Street in the City of Batavia. A portion of the street is closed -- between Main Street and Washington Avenue -- as crews from the Bureau of Maintenance try to repair the problem. But a worker said they haven't located the break point yet, so it's uncertain how long the repair will take.

May 19, 2016 - 9:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education, news.

Amidst concerns that the Genesee Community College Board of Trustees tends to pass budgets before consulting with local legislators on how much the county can afford to contribute, the Public Services Committee yesterday tabled a resolution calling for a $50,000 increase in the county's share of college revenue.

The college is planning a $40.5 million budget for 2016/17, with the county's share totaling $2,586,374.

That's a $50,000 increase over this year's county share.

"It really bothers me that your board has set the budget, rather than come to us first and say, 'hey, look, how much can you afford to come in with," said Ray Cianfrini, chairman of the Legislature and a member of the Public Service Committee. "It bother's me that the board has determined how much we're spending before we even had a chance to look at it."

The county share is mandated by state law, and it can't be reduced below the prior year's share. College President Jim Sunser said if the Legislature reduced the county share by even $1 from the prior year, the college, by law, would be forced to cut tuitions.

"We'd lose 20 percent of our revenue and we'd be out of business," Sunser said.

The college has until July 1 to present its final budget to the SUNY administrators, giving the county time to consider further what it might want to approve and find out if legally whether the county can approve the county share without an increase now, but add more to the pot later in the year when it adopts its own 2017 budget.

One issue, Sunser noted during his initial presentation, because it's come up before, is that the college and the county budget calendars are out of sync. The college operates on an academic year and the county operates on a calendar year.

Sunser suggested the county adopt a five-year plan, knowing in advance that the plan is to increase the county share by $50,000 each year, but that plan can be modified annually if circumstances for the county or the college drastically change.

He also suggested, but it didn't seem to get any uptake from legislators, that the county approve this year's budget with no increase but with a plan to increase the share by $75,000 each of the next two years and than $50,000 in each of the following two years, thereby averaging an annual increase of $50,000 over five years.

One concern committee Chairman Bob Bausch raised is that the county is looking at a mandated pay increase for the district attorney of $27,705. The county is fighting the mandate, but if it loses, the resulting property tax increase, if approved, would push the county to the state's 2 percent cap limit. There would be no room for an additional $50,000 share to the college.

May 18, 2016 - 9:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A two-car collision is reported at West Main Street and Woodrow Road in the city. Mercy medic #2 and city firefighters are responding.

May 18, 2016 - 9:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A car vs. pole accident is reported at West Main and River streets in the city. A first responder on scene however reported no accident. Yet wires are down and pole #40 is split in half. City fire and Mercy medic #1 responded. National Grid is notified.

UPDATE 10:16 p.m.: National Grid is on scene.

May 18, 2016 - 4:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, welfare reform, news.
Press release:
 
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today bashed Downstate members of the Assembly’s Social Services Committee for blocking legislation to curb the bloating and rampant abuse of New York’s welfare programs. The bill, A.3960, authored by Hawley, would place a 90-day residency requirement on individuals applying for social services benefits in the state.
 
“New York is quickly becoming the nationwide safe haven for those looking to live off of our state’s taxpayers,” Hawley said. “Nearly a third of our state’s budget, over $50 billion, is spent on Medicaid alone, and we spent more on Medicaid in 2014 than Texas and Florida combined.
 
"It is for these reasons that people are moving into our state and immediately applying for social services, which places an added burden on taxpayers and perpetuates rampant abuse that people are sick and tired of. By enacting a 90-day residency requirement, we can assure individuals are moving here permanently, will pay taxes for an extended period of time, and contribute to society instead of taking free handouts from the government.”  
May 18, 2016 - 4:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, missing person, news.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help to find a teenage girl missing from Oakfield. Aleesha Johnson is a 15-year-old African-American with brown eyes, brown hair, weighing 183 pounds. She is 5' 5" and may be accompanied by an adult male. They may travel to Rochester.

Anyone with information is asked to call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 or the Genesee County Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000. You can also contact Deputy John K. Dehm at (585) 345-3000, ext. 3575, or e-mail him at [email protected]

May 18, 2016 - 4:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Le Roy, alexander.

Austin Shipley, 17, of East Main Road, Le Roy, is charged with second-degree attempted sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. The subject was arrested on May 17 following an investigation into allegations that the subject had inappropriate physical contact with a 12-year-old at 5 p.m. on April 11 on East Main Road, Le Roy. In a separate case, Shipley is also charged with first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child following an investigation into allegations that the subject had inappropriate physical contact with a 10-year-old at 5 p.m. on April 19 on East Main Road, Le Roy. After arraignment in Le Roy Town Court, Shipley was released under supervision of Genesee Justice. Both cases were handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Graff, assisted by Deputy Rachel Diehl.

Theresa K. Beardsley, 52, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested after allegedly striking a male at an apartment on Walnut Street at 6:53 p.m. on May 10. She was issued an appearance ticket for May 24 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Ashlee S. Thomas, 19, of Liberty Street, was arrested at 7:30 p.m. on May 8 after police responded to a report of a large disturbance in the area of 121 Liberty St. in the city. She is charged with second-degree obstructing government administration and second-degree harassment. It is alleged that she interfered with Batavia police officers who were attempting to arrest another subject. She was issued an appearance ticket for May 24 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Geoffrey M. Anderson, 50, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested following a complaint that he approached a USPS mailman at 12:30 p.m. on May 16 and repeatedly threatened him. He is to appear in City Court on May 24. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

John M. Galit, 29, of Kyser Lake Road, Dolgeville, is charged with common law DWI, unlicensed driver, and DWI. On May 16, city police were notified that an accident occurred in the parking lot of Applebee's by a NYSP investigator who was following the vehicle at the time. Batavia PD stopped the vehicle at 6:25 p.m. on Oak Street. Galit was allegedly found to be operating the 2015 Ford F-250 while intoxicated and he was arrested. He was released on appearance tickets and is to be in City Court on June 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Roy D. Hooten, 55, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested at 11:56 p.m. on May 15 as the result of a complaint from the staff at UMMC in which it is alleged that he damaged hospital property during an incident at 9:58 p.m. on May 15. He was jailed without bail and was due in City Court Monday. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

William B. Gorton, 21, of 8410 E. Main Road, Le Roy, was arrested and charged with one count of third-degree criminal mischief, an E felony. It is alleged that on or about May 17, Gorton damaged an electric door lock at an address on Lake Street in Le Roy when he intentionally struck the door numerous times. The cost to repair the locking mechanism is in excess of $250. Gorton was arraigned in the Le Roy Town Court, released on his own recognizance and is to reappear in town court at a later date.

David M. Pero, 64, of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, is charged with open burning. At 2 p.m. on May 8, police and city firefighters responded to the area of 667 Ellicott St. for the reported unknown-type fire. Upon arrival, an open burn was located. A subsequent investigation was conducted and Pero was issued an appearance ticket for May 17 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by police Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Sara A. Howard, 21, of West Bergen Road, Le Roy, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument and second-degree criminal impersonation. At a traffic stop at 10:20 a.m. on Oak Street in the City of Batavia, Howard allegedly attempted to provide a false name to an officer. She was also allegedly found in possession of a hypodermic needle. She was arrested, arraigned and released under supervision of Genesee Justice and is to appear in City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Devin P. Hofert, 20, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Hofert was arrested for trespass at 11:58 a.m., May 17, on East Main Street, Batavia, after allegedly being on a premise that he was previously advised to avoid. He is to be in City Court on May 24 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Andrew C. Webster, 23, of Gillette Road, Alexander, is charged with trespass. At 7:35 a.m. on May 13, Webster was located in a tent behind 269 State St. and was arrested for trespass and was to appear in City Court on Tuesday. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Lena M. Evans, 28, no permanent address, is charged with trespass. She was arrested at 7:35 a.m. on May 13 following an investigation of a tent that was found on private property on State Street in the city without the landowner's consent. She was issued an appearance ticket for May 17 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Sandra L. Longhini, 55, of South Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with unlicensed dog and dog running at large. On May 12 at 6:30 p.m., Longhini's dog was allegedly found running loose in backyards and on the street and it allegedly is not licensed with the City of Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket for May 17 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Matthew P. Parker, 26, East Center Street, Medina, was arrested on May 12 on an active warrant out of Batavia City Court for allegedly failing to pay a fine issued by that court for excessive noise on May 24, 2015, on Summit Street. Parker was due in court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards.

John Thomas Kingsley, 39, of Royce Road, Varysburg, was arrested on an active bench warrant out of Batavia City Court for allegedly failing to pay a fine for a traffic citation issued on Bank Street in July of 2014. At the time of his arrest, Kingsley was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by Troopers in Rochester. He was subsequently picked up by Batavia PD. He posted bail and is to be in City Court on May 31 to resolve the matter. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards.

May 18, 2016 - 2:09pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Highway Department will conduct a Public Information Meeting to discuss the River Street over Tonawanda Creek Bridge Rehabilitation project in the City of Batavia. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on June 15 in the Council Board Room, 2nd Floor City Hall, One Batavia City Centre in Batavia.

The project will involve the rehabilitation of the River Street Bridge over Tonawanda Creek. The preferred alternative is to replace the existing bridge superstructure while reusing the existing concrete abutments and pier. The rehabilitated structure will maintain the current 34-foot roadway width and the 5-foot wide sidewalk on the east side of the bridge. The project will include new bridge rail and minimal approach reconstruction.

The project is being progressed as Project Identification Number (PIN 4760.62), by the Genesee County Highway Department, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). At present, the project is in the preliminary design phase.  Representatives from the Genesee County Highway Department, NYSDOT, and Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C., will be available at the meeting to answer questions and obtain comments on the proposed project from individuals, groups, officials and local agencies.

Questions regarding this meeting may be addressed to Mr. Timothy Hens, P.E., Superintendent, Genesee County Highway Department at (585) 344-8508.

May 18, 2016 - 2:00pm

From information provided by Genesee Community College.

This year's Genesee Community College Photography Exhibition at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Center officially opened last Saturday and there's a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 20.

Light refreshments will be served while patrons take in the views and just breathe.

The show featuring the photographs of GCC student runs through Sept. 11.

The center is located at 11095 Bethany Center Road in East Bethany.

The art of photography relies on the individual to go to a location and use elements and principles to capture on analog, black and white film or a digital file, a composition of original art.

Compared to how a painter or sculptor works, this is a very different process. A painter can work in a studio for long periods of time to forge their idea from pure thought. The photographer has to create their art by being at the location and have the subject in front of the lens. Cellphone cameras have made it quite easy for folks to snap a picture and post it to one of many social media platforms, but are they really thinking about the longevity and meaning with that effort?

"Throughout the year and through hands-on assignments, students have learned how to create exciting images using manual aperture and shutter speed settings," Joe Ziolkowski, GCC assistant professor of Photography said. "Now they have the opportunity to show off their creations."

For more information, contact Joe Ziolkowski at [email protected] or Shannon Morley, Genesee County conservation education programs coordinator at [email protected] or by calling (585 )344-1122.

May 18, 2016 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, road closures.

Press release from the city's Bureau of Maintenance:

Wood Street and Highland Park will be closed on May 24th and 25th, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. for paving operations. Wood Street will be paved first on May 24th, and Highland Park will be paved on May 25th.

Residents and businesses are not to park on the roadway during paving operations.

Highland Park and Wood Street will be closed to all through traffic. Residents and businesses of these streets, will have limited access to their properties and should expect delays when paving operations are ongoing. If work is postponed by weather, work will be rescheduled for the next calendar work day.

All other traffic is asked to avoid this area and seek alternative routes.

May 18, 2016 - 1:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, education, high school rankings, pembroke, elba, Le Roy.

Press release:

U.S. News & World Report released its current rankings for high schools across the nation recently and several area schools earned spots in the top 225 of New York State.

Pembroke High School ranked 123 out of 1,272 public schools in the state. Elba was also in the top 15 percent, coming in at 172, with Le Roy right behind at 180. Medina (207) in Orleans County and Warsaw (213) in Wyoming County also ranked within the top 225.

The report’s criteria are based on overall performance of students on state tests, participation and performance on advanced placement exams and graduation rates. The goal of these rankings is to provide an unbiased picture of the top performing schools and how well those schools serve all of their students.

U.S. News & World Report has been releasing annual high school rankings since 2007.

US News & World Report New York State High School Rankings

Rank    School                  Student/Teacher Ratio                   College Readiness                  Math Proficiency            English Proficiency

123      Pembroke                    11:1                                                     38.4                                        92%                                   94%

172      Elba                              8:1                                                      29.1                                        95%                                    76%

180      Le Roy                         12:1                                                     27.6                                        86%                                    90%

207      Medina                              14:1                                                     23.0                                         88%                                    90%

213     Warsaw                              11:1                                                     22.1                                         88%                                    92%

*from usnews.com

May 18, 2016 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, flag football.

Want to join a flag football league this summer? Join Batavia Varsity Football Head Coach Brennan Briggs in the "Rising Stars" Flag Football League on Sunday afternoons at 4:30 beginning June 5th.

The league is for current fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade student-athletes from any district.

If you're interested contact Coach Briggs at 585-409-5557. Deadline for registration is Friday, May 27th so don't wait!

May 18, 2016 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, photos.

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A tree and gravel road behind County Building #2, off West Main Street Road, Batavia.

May 18, 2016 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Interagency Council, batavia, news.

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Master Gardener Jane Grehlinger talks about container gardening during the annual joint meeting of the Genesee County Interagency Council at the ARC Community Center in Batavia.

The meeting focused on a "green thumb" theme and included the planting and growing of herbs along with a local chef discussing cooking with herbs.

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May 18, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, United Way, Day of Caring, news.

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Hundreds of Genesee County residents spread out throughout the community today to provide volunteer labor for organizations during United Way's annual Day of Caring.

Above, staff from Graham's manufacturing plant flowers for an elderly resident in Batavia. The flowers and mulch were donated by Pudgie's and the Home Depot.

We also have pictures of employees of Tompkins Financial at the Batavia Peace Garden, members of Kiwanis and Leadership Genesee 2011 at the Youth Center and the Community Garden, and the Lions Club at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle fixing bikes for Genesee ARC.

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Group photo by Kevin Carlson, owner of Carlson Studio.

May 18, 2016 - 7:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, elba, Oakfield, Alabama, schools, education, news.

Here are Tuesday's available election results:

Batavia City Schools:
The Budget - $44,366,439 (increase of $1,258,066 or 2.92%: $0.00 increase in tax levy)

  • Yes - 407  (85.86%)
  • No - 67  (14.14%)

Student Ex-Officio Board Member (non-voting) 

  • Yes -  436  (92.57%
  • No - 35  (7.43%)

Board of Education positions: three positions, with top two votes terms are full term from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019 ,and the lowest vote is a partial term from May 17, 2016 to June 30, 2018 

  • Patrick Burk 385  (May 17, 2016 - June 30, 2018)
  • Peter Cecere - 427  (July 1, 2016  -June 30, 2019)
  • Karen Tomidy - 424   (July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2019)

Elba Central Schools:

Proposition #1 - 2016/2017 Budget - $9,260,316  --   Passed  (129 Yes/38 No)

Proposition #2 - Purchase of one (1) 65 Passenger Bus   --  Passed  (130 Yes/39 No)

One Board of Education Seat, One Candidate: Michael Hare (142 Votes)

Oakfield-Alabama Central School District:

Proposition #1: Budget:  Yes:   293 / No:  44

Proposition #2: Buses:   Yes:  280 /  No:  52

Board Members:  

  • Jeff Hyde (Incumbent) 248
  • Matt Lamb, 170
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