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July 23, 2016 - 1:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy Manor, Le Roy, news.

Multiple law enforcement units, including deputies and troopers, were dispatched a few minutes ago to Le Roy Manor, 8678 Lake Street Road, Le Roy, after a resident there reported a shooting.

As officers responded, dispatchers were able to reach a supervisor who informed them there was no shooting or other violence at the facility. It appears to be a mental health issue.

Le Roy Manor is a county-run adult-care facility.

July 23, 2016 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in law enforcment, batavia, steve hawley, news.


While at the GOP convention in Cleveland, Assemblyman Steve Hawley said he decided to organize an effort to honor the men and women of law enforcement, so he called on people in New York on Friday to wear blue.

Yesterday afternoon, Hawley, along with County Legislator Ray Cianfrini and City Councilman Adam Tabelski met at the Sheriff's Office on Park Road, Batavia, to tell representatives of the Sheriff's Office, State Police and Batavia PD that they appreciate their service to the community.

"I couldn't be prouder of what you do every single day, whether you're in the City of Batavia, whether you're in the County of Genesee or in Monroe County or the State of New York," Hawley said. "It's not an easy job. It never has been. When you put on that badge and uniform today more than ever you never know what's going to happen."

Hawley's call for support of local law enforcement comes in the wake of tragedies in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La.

"I can't imagine what you go through every time you put on the badge," Hawley said.

Tabelski said he appreciating the dedication police officers bring to their jobs.

"When you're hired as a police officer, it's more than just a job," Tabelski said. "It's a calling. It's something you are passionate about. We know about the difficulties you have to deal with and all the inconveniences you have to deal with, a lot more than just having to wear long sleeves on a hot day, so on behalf of the city, I just want to say, 'thank you.' "

Below, Hawley with members of the California Highway Patrol in Cleveland (photo submitted by Steve Hawley).



The staff at Tompkins Financial also expressed their support Friday by wearing blue.



Staff of Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C., Law Offices on Harvester Avenue.

July 22, 2016 - 9:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A caller from Washington Towers reports seeing three youths on bicycles, two black and one white, steal cones that were around an excavator on Jefferson Avenue. 

Jefferson near Washington is closed this week for repair work.  

The youths were last seen heading south on Jefferson.

July 22, 2016 - 6:22pm

Press release:

4-H Market Steer Show: Grand Champion Showman – Becky Kron, Reserve Grand Champion Showman – Tyler Jirovec Grand Champion Market Steer – Becky Kron, Reserve Grand Champion Josie Reding.

4-H Dairy Show: Master Showman – Emily Mikel, Reserve Master Showman – Mary Sweeney.  Supreme Champion – Emily Mikel, Reserve Supreme Champion – Mary Sweeney.

4-H Market Goat Show: Grand Champion Showman – Melissa Keller, Reserve Grand Champion Showman – Samantha Weber. Grand Champion Market Goat – Melissa Keller, Reserve Grand Champion – Samantha Weber.

4-H Meat Goat Show: Best Meat Goat in Show – Samantha Weber, Best Breeding Doe – Samantha Weber.

4-H Sheep Show:  Grand Champion Showman – Melissa Keller, Reserve Grand Champion Showman – Becky Kron.  Supreme Ram – Brendan Pimm, Supreme Ewe – Becky Kron.

4-H Market Lamb Show: Grand Champion Showman – Melissa Keller, Reserve Grand Champion Showman – Ashley Ehrmentraut. Grand Champion Market Sheep – Melissa Keller, Reserve Grand Champion – Madelyn Pimm.

4-H Swine Show: Grand Champion Showman – Melissa Keller, Reserve Grand Champion Showman – Cole Carlson. Overall Champion Non-Market Hog – Melissa Keller,  Reserve Champion – Cole Carlson.

4-H Market Hog Show: Grand Champion Showman – Melissa Keller, Reserve Grand Champion Showman – Cole Carlson. Grand Champion Market Hog – Emily Mikel, Reserve Grand Champion – Caleb Carlson.

4-H Rabbit Show:  Champion Senior Showman – Christopher Swartzenberg, Champion Junior Showman – Clare Mathes. 

4-H Poultry Show: Champion Senior Showman – Teagan Mathes, Reserve – Mark Anauo.  Champion Junior Showman – Clare Mathes, Reserve – Cheyanne Isaman.  Champion Bird in Show – Mark Anauo, Reserve Bird in Show – Jillian Brewer.

4-H Western Horse Show: Showmanship Champion – Emily Boldt, Reserve – Paige Klotzbach.  Versatility Trophy Winner – Emily Boldt, Reserve – Madeline Keem. Western Trail Champion – Emily Boldt, Reseve – Taylor Scholfield.

4-H English Horse Show: Showmanship Champion – Emily Boldt, Reserve – Paige Klotzbach.

4-H Gymkhana Horse Show: 3 Year Cloverleaf Barrel Challenge Trophy Winner – Bekki Allen, Reserve – Caroline Pelton.

July 22, 2016 - 6:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, batavia, news.

A two-car accident is reportedly tying up traffic a bit at Jackson and Ellicott streets. No injuries. City fire, police and Mercy medics responded.

July 21, 2016 - 6:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, pembroke.

A motorcyclist reportedly crashed in the front yard of a residence at 644 Knapp Road, Pembroke, and "is experiencing chest pain." The location is near Lake Road. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments and Mercy medic #2 are responding. Mercy Flight is requested to the corner of Knapp and Lake Road.

July 21, 2016 - 4:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron, news.

A plea offer is on the table for a 55-year-old Byron resident accused of firing a rifle at a Sheriff's deputy who was sitting in his patrol car March 7.

David O'Connor appeared in County Court today for a scheduled Huntley hearing, which is based on a defense motion to dismiss statements O'Connor may have made once he was in custody. But O'Connor's attorney, Thomas Burns, dropped the motion and O'Connor waived the hearing after being told of a plea offer from District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

The specifics of the plea offer were not discussed in open court.

O'Connor has until Aug. 1 to decide whether to accept the offer.

He is charged with attempted aggravated murder of a police officer. He was initially charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree criminal mischief.

O'Connor is accused of firing a single round from a .22-caliber rifle from the window of his apartment at the Byron Hotel at Deputy Andrew Hale, blowing out the windows of Hale's patrol vehicle, while Hale was performing a traffic stop in the parking lot of the Byron Arrow Mart.

No one was struck by the projectile and there were no injuries.

Previously: Single gunshot in Byron highlights the dangers of modern law enforcement

July 21, 2016 - 4:07pm

Press release from the Monroe County Water Authority:

Boil Water Notice for Western Genesee County -- Boil Your Water Before Using

The Boil Water Notice only applies to the towns of Pembroke, Darien and the Village of Corfu.

Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA) purchases its supply of water for Western Genesee County from Erie County Water Authority. A loss of pressure in northern parts of the Erie County system may affect the supply to our customers in Western Genesee County.

While the loss of pressure was never experienced in the MCWA system, we are exercising an abundance of caution and request you do not drink the water without boiling it first until we post on our website (www.mcwa.com) that we are confident there is no risk.

What should I do?

  • DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice on the MCWA website (www.mcwa.com)

What happened? What is being done?

  • The main break in Erie County has been isolated and pressure has been restored to normal. We are currently testing water quality throughout the area. This will take several days and test results will be reviewed by the Department of Health. It is likely that you will need to boil water for two or three days until we can confirm the water quality. You will be informed on our website when you no longer need to boil water.
  • We anticipate confirmation from our laboratory that there is not a problem within 48 hours.

For more information, please contact MCWA Customer Service at (585) 442-7200.

July 21, 2016 - 4:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
       Bill Thomas

A Batavia man whose apparent domestic dispute ended after he allegedly threatened a police officer with a knife has chosen to take his case to trial rather than accept a plea agreement.

The agreement would have limited his prison term to three and a half years in exchange to a guilty plea to menacing a police officer.

Bill Thomas, 56, of State Street, was arrested in March after an early morning stand-off with the Emergency Response Team.

He was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

Thomas turned down the plea offer last week, but was back in Genesee County Court this afternoon because a police officer witness won't be available at the time of the original trial date. The new date for jury selection to start the trial is Oct. 11.

July 21, 2016 - 3:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Darien.

Joel Bert Shorts, 55, of Stewart Street, Canisteo, is charged with third-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child.

Shorts was arrested at 11:30 p.m. on July 20 at Darien Lake Theme Park Resort following an investigation into an allegation that he engaged in oral sexual conduct with a 15-year-old male.

He was arraigned in Darien Town Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Bradley Mazur, assisted by Deputy Howard Carlson.

July 21, 2016 - 3:17pm

Press release:

Whether you are just learning or have some experience on the mound, this camp is designed to take you to take the individual pitcher to the next level of performance. From beginner to advanced, camp members will be be able to refine their mechanics and gain new drills for individual pitches. Cost is $50.

Each pitcher must supply their own catcher.

For more information or to register, please contact Coach Kevin Walkowski at 716-983-5809.

WHAT: Blue Devil Softball Pitching Camp
WHEN: Aug. 10th - 12th from 9 a.m. - noon each day
WHERE: Batavia High School Softball Field, 260 State St., Batavia

July 21, 2016 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs, news.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs:

A new era gets underway at America’s oldest lighted harness track on Monday (July 25) when Batavia Downs raises the curtain on its 70th season of live harness racing action.

Opening night features the $100,000 New York Sires Stakes division for 2-year-old trotting fillies along with free racing programs and magnetic racing schedules for the fans on track. Post time is set for 6:15 p.m.

The 2016 season (that runs through Dec. 10) features 70 race dates and includes seven matinees and three twilight programs.

Live racing will be presented on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights to begin the season with a new post time of 6:15. Sunday afternoon will replace Monday night beginning on July 31.

Holiday matinees include Labor Day (Sept. 5) and Columbus Day (Oct. 10). All matinee post times are 1:15. A special Breeders Cup program on Saturday (Nov. 5) begins at 3:30 p.m.   

The renaissance begins with the new "Hotel at Batavia Downs," which is located trackside between the grandstand and the paddock. Racing fans can check into this fantastic 82-room facility and access the track and the gaming floor for the duration of their stay without ever having to leave the premises.

Half of the rooms in the hotel overlook the home stretch of the track and members of bataviabets.com can watch and wager from their room. There are even four balcony suites facing the track. 

The hotel is slated to open in September. 

Fans will see the best racing possible after the Downs invested $125,000 in racetrack improvements under the guidance of new track Superintendent, Peter Arrigenna.

Arrigenna designed and directed the re-banking of the turns, leveling of the straightaways and then topping it off with 5,000 tons of new surface material to provide the fastest and safest racing strip possible. Once the track sets up, the competition should produce record speeds all year.

"These are very exciting times for Batavia Downs" said Todd Haight, director/GM of Live Racing. "There has been a lot of money invested in the racing side of this facility this year between the new hotel and track improvements and the entire management and staff cannot wait for our customers to come out and enjoy them." 

More than $1,000,000 in purse money will be up for grabs in stake races during the meet and that will draw some of the top horses and drivers in North America to the Genesee County oval.

Eight divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) each going for an estimated $100,000 will highlight the best youthful performers in the Empire State this year and that should provide competition for the fans that is both exciting to watch and profitable to wager on.

NYSS divisions by age, sex and gait will be at Batavia on Monday (July 25, opening night), Aug. 7, 13, 20 and 31, and Sept. 3, 10 and 14. And eight New York County Fair finals, each vying for $10,000 will be contested on Wednesday (Sept. 7).

Batavia Downs signature stake, the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace, will be held on Saturday (Oct. 8) and will draw some of the top older Open pacers from the Northeast. This race has become a highly anticipated event by the fans as it presents an opportunity to break the all-age track record each year.

During the 70 cards of racing there will be 25 major promotions scattered throughout the year. Highlights of these special events include Sunday Dollar Days in August, the very popular wiener dog races and Family Fun Day, the first ever Racing Under Saddle (RUS) non-wagering exhibition at Batavia Downs (pending NYS Gaming approval), the Labor Day driver's bike race, a Columbus Day Chicken BBQ and another "Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend" promotion, when the racetrack will be giving away a pair of diamond earrings valued at $4,000.

There are buffet specials in the clubhouse every racing night all year, and the chef will once again be serving up his famous prime rib, crab leg, and shrimp buffet every Saturday night for the entire meet. All clubhouse buffet specials include gaming free play offers.

"We have put together the most aggressive entertainment package possible and believe we offer something for every member of the family all year," Haight said. "Between the caliber of horses that will compete over the new surface and the new amenities our customers will enjoy, we are looking for our 70th year of racing to be the most memorable one yet."

For more information and updates as they happen, log onto the track's website at www.bataviadownsgaming.com and click on “Live Racing” and follow us on Facebook as well.

July 21, 2016 - 3:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, performance management, Milestones.

Press release:

The City of Batavia received notification this week from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) that it will be recognized for its performance management efforts with a Certificate of Achievement from the ICMA Center for Performance AnalyticsTM.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said “Providing the public with access to information we use to make decisions as well as monitoring our progress is a critical part of ensuring we are transparent in how we operate the City.”

The City regularly updates its Strategic Plan outcomes and performance management system on the City’s website at http://www.batavianewyork.com/office-of-the-city- manager/pages/strategic-plan.

City Manager Jason Molino added, “Over the past six years the City’s Strategic Plan and performance measurement system has been a great tool to demonstrate a use of the City’s resources, meeting service demands and improving our service levels.”

“The certificate program recognizes communities that have demonstrated leadership in continuous improvement and community engagement using performance analysis,” said ICMA Executive Director Robert J. O’Neill Jr.

“Performance analysis is an integral component of professional local government management, and jurisdictions meeting the certificate qualifications serve as examples for other governments to follow.”

ICMA assesses a local government’s performance management program and encourages analysis of results by comparing to peers and gauging performance over time. Performance management aids in cost reduction, program prioritization, and quality improvement. It also encourages accountability and transparency. Certificates are awarded at the levels of Achievement, Distinction, and the highest level, Excellence.

Batavia is one of 53 local governments being recognized across the nation, and only the second in the State of New York to receive this type of recognition. 

About ICMA

IMCA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government worldwide. The organization’s mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and fostering professional management to build better communities. ICMA identifies leading practices to address the needs of local governments and professionals serving communities globally providing services, research, publications, data and information, peer and results-oriented assistance, and training and professional development to thousands of city, town, and county leaders and other individuals and organizations throughout the world. The management decisions made by ICMA's members affect millions of people living in thousands of communities, ranging in size from small towns to large metropolitan areas.

About the Center for Performance Analytics

Center for Performance Analytics is dedicated to helping local governments use performance information to better the lives of the people they serve. The Center encourages the use and public reporting of comparative performance data in a positive, continuous-learning environment in order to foster organizational cultures that deliver results that matter. For more information on the center, please visit: www.icma.org/performanceinsights

July 21, 2016 - 2:50pm

Press release:

The Genesee Community College’s Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) Program and Genesee County Youth Bureau are partnering to offer Genesee County sophomores, juniors and seniors the Genesee County Youth Lead Program.  

We are currently recruiting our fifth class and are looking for 15 youth representing our nine high schools who would like to improve their leadership skills and expand their knowledge on the community and resources therein.

Genesee Youth Lead is designed to help our youth assess their strengths, weaknesses and potential for personal and intellectual growth. We provide the opportunity for students to develop their leadership skills by being a part of a team, the community and by hands on learning within the county. Last fall, students were able to take field trips, speak directly with government officials, and so much more.

The Youth Lead Program will take place at Genesee Community College & Genesee County Youth Bureau beginning Oct. 15th at GCC with a Meet & Greet and then class to follow.

The class sessions are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays; Oct. 15, 22, 29; Nov. 5, 12, 19; Dec. 3 and 10.

The program will cost $55 and the students will earn one college credit through Genesee Community College. If there is an economic hardship please contact the Genesee County Youth Bureau.

The areas of the community to be explored during the fall program are Government & Law Enforcement, Health & Human Services, and Agriculture.

Applications for the program will only be accepted until Oct. 5th and can be found at: http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/youthbureau/. Please contact Chelsea at the Genesee County Youth Bureau with questions at (585) 344-3960 or at [email protected]

July 21, 2016 - 2:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in muckdogs, sports, baseball, youth baseball camp, news.

Join the Muckdogs at Dwyer Stadium Aug. 18th, 19th, and 20th for our youth baseball camp!

Kids ages 6-14 will receive two days of on-field instruction from the Muckdogs players and coaches on August 18th and 19th from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Children will learn from the pros in the areas of hitting, fielding, pitching, catching, base running and bunting. Then on Aug. 20th, campers will be able to come back to Dwyer for a private autograph signing with the team 30 minutes before the gates open (5:30 p.m.) and then be recognized on the field prior to the Muckdogs game vs. the West Virginia Black Bears (Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate).

Campers will also receive a special T-shirt not available in the team store, a camp photo, two tickets to the Aug. 20th game, as well as daily lunch, all for only $70. Registration forms are available at Dwyer Stadium and online at muckdogs.com. Space is limited and all registrations and payments must be turned in by Friday, Aug. 5th


The Batavia Muckdogs are the short-season, Class A affiliate of the Miami Marlins and are the lone remaining founding members of the New York-Penn League, dating back to 1939. The Batavia Muckdogs are operated by the neighboring Rochester Red Wings.

Location: Dwyer Stadium, 299 Bank Street, Batavia, NY 14020

Phone: 585-343-5454; Fax: 585-343-5620

Website: www.muckdogs.com

July 21, 2016 - 2:37pm

A letter from Pastor Jim Morasco, in submitted photo above, of the Morganville United Church of Christ:

I would like to thank all who contributed to my bike ride from Pittsburg to Washington, D.C., raising money for Crossroads House. Your prayers and thoughts of encouragement were warmly felt and supported me as I peddled in the heat and humidity. Together, so far, we raised over $600, and donations are still coming in.

Blessings to you all.

July 21, 2016 - 1:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, alexander, batavia, bergen.

Erin Marie Van Dorn, 28, of Alexander Road, Alexander, is charged with two counts of harassment. She was arrested following a harassment complaint in the Town of Batavia. She allegedly repeatedly called and messaged two people, harassing them about an incident that occurred at 11 a.m. on West Main Street Road over the Fourth of July weekend. She was released with an appearance ticket to be in Town of Batavia Court on Aug. 4. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Rachel Diehl, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Shane H. Houseknecht, 24, of Churchville, was arrested by State Troopers on July 19 and charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, controlled substance in a non-original container, both misdemeanors, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, and speeding. Houseknecht was allegedly observed speeding on Route 33 in the Town of Bergen. Investigation revealed Houseknecht had a suspended driver’s license. Troopers allege they located three Adderall pills and a suboxone strip. Houseknecht was transported to SP Batavia for processing. He was issued an appearance ticket and uniform traffic tickets returnable to the Town of Bergen Court on Aug. 3.

July 21, 2016 - 1:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, news.
      Eric Watson

A bail hearing in City Court today was continued to Aug. 4 for a man accused of having sexual contact with a mentality disabled family member because the suspect declined a bail evaluation interview with Genesee Justice.

Assistant Public Defender Lisa Kroemer explained to Judge Robert Balbick that her client, Eric Watson, declined the interview because he didn't understand the purpose or know anything about Genesee Justice.

Genesee Justice is a county agency that provides supervisory services on behalf of the court as well as assistance to crime victims.  One of the tasks of staff at Genesee Justice is complete a bail evaluation, which a judge can use to set an appropriate amount of bail for each defendant. The scoring system is intended to help judges determine the likelihood a defendant will make it to future court appearances.

Rather than set bail today for Watson, without that information, Balbick continued the case to the next available court date.

Watson is in custody and entered the courtroom dress in an orange jail uniform, moving slowing and balancing with a walker. As he approached the bench, Kroemer told him, "take your time, Mr. Watson."

Watson is accused of having sexual contact with a family member who was unable to consent due to mental incapacity to provide consent.

He is charged with second-degree rape, second-degree criminal sexual act, and second-degree incest.

July 21, 2016 - 1:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, news, farmers market coupons.

Press release:

Farmers Market coupons will be distributed by the Genesee County Office for the Aging at the Le Roy Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 23Booklets are available to adults age 60 years and older who are income-eligible. Proof of age must be provided.

Income guidelines are as follows: household of one -- $1,832 per month; household of two -- $2,470 per month; and, household of three -- $3,108 per month.

Maureen Estabrooks, Office for the Aging’s coordinator for the program, noted that, “We were pleased to find out that this year 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.

(UPDATED 2:30 p.m.: Farmers Market Coupons will be distributed by the Genesee County Office for the Aging at the Genesee Country Farmers Market at Bank Street and Alva Place from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Aug. 5th.)

July 21, 2016 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Christian Community Project, lccp, news.

Statement from the board of directors for LCCP:

After 18 years of providing after-school programs in our community, the Le Roy Christian Community Project is sad to announce that as of September 2016, we will not reopen our After School Program, Teen Drop-In Center or Summer Day Camp.

The Le Roy Christian Community Project will continue to operate the Backpack Program and Grace’s Kitchen.

We are so grateful for the support that the community has shown us and for the families and children that we were blessed to work with throughout the years.

Thank you to Susan Wakefield and Jana Pritchett for 18 years of dedication to these programs. We are proud of our staff for providing quality after-school enrichment programs that have served this community for a very long time.

Thank you for your past support of our programs for the youth of our community and your ongoing support of our remaining programs.

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