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March 22, 2016 - 5:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia, news.

An accident with minor injuries is reported on West Main Street, Batavia, in front of Castilone Crystler, Dodge, Jeep. A person is complaining of side pain. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

March 22, 2016 - 4:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee County Sheriff's Office, news.

Press release:

Due to numerous retirements, promotions, and vacancies over the past year, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has seen several personnel changes within all its divisions during fiscal 2015-16.

“These individuals are excellent additions to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and will reflect the professionalism of this agency," Sheriff Gary Maha said. "Those promoted are well qualified and will enhance our public safety services."

Here is a personnel update:

Road Patrol Division

  • Promotion -- Deputy Sheriff John L. Baiocco was recently promoted to Sergeant on Jan. 23. He is a 24-year veteran who started his law enforcement career as a Correction Officer on Aug.19, 1991, and on April 13, 1993, he was hired as a Deputy Sheriff.

Appointments

  • Deputy Sheriff Michael J. Lute is a 2000 high school graduate from Starpoint Central School in Lockport. Following high school, he received an associate degree in Applied Science Degree in Retail Business Management from Niagara County Community College in 2003. Deputy Lute graduated from the Rural Police Training Academy at Genesee Community College in 2012, and was previously employed as a part-time police officer by the villages of Akron and Corfu police departments. Deputy Lute has also been a Seasonal Deputy Sheriff with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office for the past three years.
  • Deputy Sheriff Ryan W. Young is a 2006 high school graduate from Clarence Central School and a 2008 graduate from Erie Community College with an associate degree in Applied Science in Business Administration. Deputy Young graduated from the Erie Community College Law Enforcement Training Academy in 2012. He was previously employed as a part-time police officer with the villages of Eden, Attica, Le Roy and Corfu. Deputy Young also has been a seasonal Deputy Sheriff with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office for the past three years.
  • Deputy Sheriff Eric J. Meyer is a 2006 Regents high school graduate from Alexander Central School. He attended Genesee Community College for studies in Criminal Justice and transferred to SUNY Brockport where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 2011, graduating magna cum laude. Deputy Meyer graduated from the Erie Community College Law Enforcement Training Academy in 2015 and was previously employed as a police officer with the SUNY College at Buffalo Campus Police.

(Photo above of Michael J. Lute, Ryan W. Young, Eric J. Meyer.)

The following three Deputy Sheriffs graduated from the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy at Niagara University on Dec. 18 and have recently completed their 14-week Field Training Officer Program.

  • Deputy Sheriff Rachel M. Diehl was the class president of her graduating class at the Academy. She is a 2009 high school Regents graduate of Pavilion Central School and continued her education at the University of Pittsburgh receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science in 2013. Deputy Diehl was previously employed as a Criminal Justice teacher’s aide at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and was a sergeant with Darien lake Theme Park and Camping Resort’s security.
  • Deputy Sheriff Ryan M. DeLong received the "Sergeant Jeff Juron Defensive Tactics Award" at the Academy graduation. He is a 2004 high school graduate of Batavia Central School. Deputy DeLong continued his education at Genesee Community College where he earned an associate degree in Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 2008. He was previously employed as a Detention Officer by the Valley Metro Barbosa Group, which was the company who supervised detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia.
  • Deputy Sheriff Kevin P. Forsyth received the "Joseph E. Steblein Memorial Award" and the "Top Gun Award" at the Academy graduation. He is a 1998 Regents graduate of Notre Dame High School in Batavia. After high school, Deputy Forsyth enlisted in the Army for four years where he earned numerous medals and badges such as an Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal (twice), the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Lapel Button, the Army Service Ribbon, the Sharpshooter Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar and the Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver–W Bar. Forsyth then continued his education at Niagara University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology/Criminal Justice with a minor in History. Deputy Forsyth was previously employed as a Genesee County probation officer.

(Photo above of Rachel M. Diehl, Ryan M. DeLong, and Kevin M. Forsyth.)

Criminal Investigation Division

Investigator Promotions

  • Deputy Sheriff Joseph M. Graff was promoted on Aug. 31, 2015. He is a 12-year veteran who began his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 28, 2004.
  • Deputy Sheriff Chad J. Minuto was promoted on Sept. 26, 2015. He is an 11-year veteran who began his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on March 30, 2005.
  • Deputy Sheriff Bradley D. Mazur was promoted on Feb. 1, 2016. He is an 17-year veteran who began his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on January 31, 1999.

Communications Division

Promotion

  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Michael T. Sheflin was appointed to Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher on Jan. 9. He is an eight-year veteran who began his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on March 1, 2008.

Full-time Appointment

  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Zachary W. Czudak was appointed from part-time to full-time status on Jan. 9.

Part-time Appointments

  • Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher James E. Tripp retired on Dec. 26 after 22 years of service, and was appointed part time on Dec. 31.
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Andrew Z. Mullen was appointed on Feb. 7.

Jail Division

Promotion

  • Correction Officer Darrell J. Klein was appointed to Senior Correction Officer on Jan. 14. He is a 22-year veteran who began his career on May 24, 1993.

Part-time Appointments

  • Correction Officer Corey J. Cieszki was appointed on Feb. 13.
  • Correction Officer Jason M. Buck was appointed on Jan. 23.
  • Jail Cook Debra M. Horton was appointed Feb. 6.

New Graduates

Correction Officers that graduated from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Basic Corrections Academy at Erie Community College City Campus on Nov. 20 include:

  • Correction Officer Howard O. Wilson is a 2004 Regents diploma graduate from Batavia High School.
  • Correction Officer Jenna R. Barber is a 1998 graduate of Batavia High School. She was hired part time and was appointed to full-time status on March 15.
  • Correction Officer Cody D. NiCastro is a 2012 Regents diploma graduate from Pavilion High School. He continued his education at Genesee Community College and earned an associate degree in Applied Science in Criminal Justice in 2014. He was hired part time and was appointed full time on May 2. He was previously employed as a security guard by the Darien lake Theme Park and Camping Resort. NiCastro was the salutatorian of his Academy Class.
  • Correction Officer Cassidy N. Longhini is a 2010 graduate from Byron-Bergen High School and a 2013 graduate from Genesee Community College.  Longhini received an associate degree in Applied Science Degree in Physical Education Studies.
  • Correction Officer Nicholas J. Bender is a 1998 graduate of Lancaster High School. He was hired part time initially and was appointed full time on Jan. 14.

(Photo above of Howard O. Wilson, Jenna R. Barber, Cody D. NiCastro, Cassidy N. Longhini, and Nicholas J. Bender, and Jail Superintendent William A. Zipfel.)

New graduates of Niagara County Basic Corrections (a five-week Academy held at the Niagara County Jail on Tuesday, March 8)

  • Correction Officer Dani M. Stone is a Pembroke native and was appointed full time on July 11. She was previously employed for more than 20 years with Hess Corporation.
  • Correction Officer Dawn M. Fooks is a 1987 high school graduate of Albion Central School and then joined the Air Force where she served for 10 years. In 2007, she graduated from Genesee Community College with two associate degrees in Science: Criminal Justice and Business Administration. In 2009, Fooks earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Keuka College; and in 2011, she earned a Master of Arts Degree in Forensic Psychology from Argosy University. Fooks was appointed from part time to full-time status on Sept. 5.

(Photo above of Jail Superintendent William A. Zipfel, Undersheriff William A. Sheron Jr., Dani M. Stone, Dawn M. Fooks, and Sheriff Gary Maha.)

Genesee Justice / Justice for Children Advocacy Center

  • Genesee Justice Program Coordinator Theresa Asmus-Roth was appointed on Nov. 5. She is a 1995 high school graduate from Akron Central School. Asmus-Roth earned an associate degree in Applied Science in Human Services from Genesee Community College in 2000, and continued her education at SUNY Empire State, graduating in 2005, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community and Human Services. She was previously employed part time with Catholic Charities of Batavia as a Domestic Violence Offenders Program Class Facilitator for four years and was also employed by Planned Parenthood of Central & WNY as a Rape Crisis Service Area supervisor for Restore. She is a past president and has been a Kiwanis Club member since 2011.

(Photo above of Theresa Asmus-Roth.)

Appointments

  • Nicole Ficarella was appointed from a Community Services/victim advocate position to a case manager on Feb. 1. 
  • Erin Martin was appointed part-time Community Services/victim advocate on Nov. 30.
March 22, 2016 - 4:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee County health, news.

Press release:

The seventh annual County Health Rankings were released last week by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The rankings allow each county to see how healthy their community is compared to other counties within and now outside their state, too, based on many factors measured, including but not limited to education, transportation, housing, violent crimes, jobs, diet and exercise.

The County Health Rankings are a snapshot of the impact that the measured factors have on the health of each county. The rankings for New York State are out of the 62 counties.

There are five main categories and the factors that make up each category are measured and ranked. These are:

  • Health Outcomes (Today’s Health): which includes length of life, premature death, sickness, mental health and low birth weight;
  • Health Factors (Tomorrow’s Health): including health behav- iors: adult smoking, adult obesity, food environment index, phys- ical inactivity, access to exercise opportunities, excessive drink- ing, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, sexually transmitted dis- ease and teen births;
  • Clinical Care: including uninsured, primary care physicians, dentists, mental health providers, preventable hospital stays, dia- betic monitoring, and mammography screening.
  • Social and Economic Factors: including high school graduation, some college, unemploy- ment, children in poverty, social associations, children in single-parent households, violent crime and injury deaths;
  • and Physical Environment: including air pollution, drinking water violations, severe housing prob- lems, driving alone to work, and long commute – driving alone.

The County Health Rankings are compiled from many different types of national data sources. The county with the lowest score (best health) gets a rank of #1 for that state and the county with the highest score (worst health) is assigned a rank corresponding to the number of total counties ranked in each state.

Results for Genesee County are as follows:

  • 27th in overall Health Outcomes
  • 22nd in overall Health Factors
  • 55th in Clinical Care
  • 11th in Social and Economic Factors
  • and 20th in Physical Environment

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County Health departments continue to implement the 2013- 2018 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) developed to address some of the issues noted in the County Health Rankings, as well as community residents’ concerns noted in the Community Health Assessment Survey conducted in 2013.

  • With the assistance of our hospitals and community organizations, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties chose two priority areas from the New York State Department of Health Preven- tion Agenda to work toward improving. These priority areas are Preventing Chronic Diseases and Promoting Mental Health and Preventing Substance Abuse.

“An update of this plan will occur this year and these Rankings are helpful as it gives the community a quick-look of the strengths and the weaknesses we can improve upon,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans counties.

It is important to note that this year should not be necessarily compared to those previous as the way data is collected in some of the categories has changed.

The Health departments continue to partner with community organizations, faith based organizations, businesses and community members to work toward decreasing obesity, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and nicotine related illnesses. They are also in the process of promoting SpeakYourMind211.com, a new resource for the public and providers who are searching for local mental health and substance abuse services.

The Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) is now using four types of classifications to provide important information to medical and public health professionals, and to other interested persons:

  • Health Alerts convey information of the highest level of importance which warrants immediate action or attention from New York health providers, emergency responders, public health agencies, and/or the public;
  • Health Advisories provide important information for a specific incident or situation, including that impacting neighboring states; may not require immediate action;
  • Health Guidances contain comprehensive information pertaining to a particular disease or condition, and include recommendations, guidelines, etc. endorsed by GCHD;
  • Health Updates provide new or updated information on an incident or situation; can also provide information to update a previously sent Health Alert, Health Advisory, or Health Guidance; unlikely to require immediate action. 

To learn more about the NYS Prevention Agenda visit: http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/ prevention_agenda/2013-2017/?utm_source=doh&utm_medium=hp- button&utm_campaign=prev_agenda

To get a detailed look at the 2016 County Health Rankings visit: http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/

For information about health department services:

Genesee County Health Department call: 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit the Web site at www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/health/index.html

March 22, 2016 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in farm bureau, news, agriculture, business.

Press release:

Genesee County Farm Bureau, in collaboration with Monroe Tractor, will be offering a NYS DOT Truck Rules and Regulations Training Program on Thursday, March 31, for area agriculture producers and their employees.

This training program is designed for producers and farm employees to become familiar with and review laws and regulations regarding proper truck operation throughout the year. It will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Elba Fire Hall, 7143 Oak Orchard Road, Elba.

There will be presentations by New York State Police about the legalities of driving farm equipment on our roads, as well as identify major problems with truck rules and regulations. Weather permitting, the training will conclude with a truck walk-around to identify problem areas and checkpoints.

Following the morning session, a DEC pesticide recertification program will also be offered at the same location from 1 to 4 p.m. This afternoon program will include discussions on weeds, diseases and insects in corn and soybeans, prepping your sprayer for the upcoming season, and an update on pesticide regulations. Bring your pesticide card to earn 2.5 recertification points.

There is no need to register for these trainings. For more information, contact James Kingston, Batavia Monroe Tractor Branch Manager at 585-746-1670.

March 22, 2016 - 1:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee ARC, Care-A-Van Ministries, food pantries, news.

 

(Photos and information submitted by Claudia Nigro for Genesee ARC.)

As part of the MLK (Martin Luther King Jr.) Service Project, which runs Jan. 18 through September, individuals from Genesee ARC participate in a food drive and have been volunteering to give back to their community.

They work very hard coordinating drop-off locations for donations and to distribute goods to local food pantries throughout Genesee County.

In pictures taken Monday, are individuals assisting Paul Ohlson (with mustache), of Care-A-Van Ministries, with loading the food truck, one of many recipients of donations in support of the MKL Service Project.

Genesee Arc is one of 10 grant recipients for this national effort. The “Healthy Future” initiative is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.  The purpose of this ongoing MLK Project is to focus on food insufficiency and healthy eating for our local community.

March 22, 2016 - 12:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, college readiness, news.

Press release:

"Buffalo Business First" magazine recently ranked Elba Central High School students first in Genesee County and 12th best of 97 schools in Western New York for college and career readiness.

The report is based on Aspirational Performance Measures (APM) for high school students from 2011-2015.

APM takes into account the percent of graduates who score at least a 75 on the English II Regents, an 80 on a math Regents and graduates with a local, Regents or advanced Regents diploma. The Upstate average is slightly over 42 percent, with Elba being one of only 12 school districts in WNY achieving 60 percent or higher.

"We’re proud of our results and 60 percent is a nice accomplishment," said Elba Superintendent Keith Palmer. "But when you recognize that these percentages represent the success of our students, we really can’t be satisfied until 100 percent of our graduates are ready for college and career. That’s what a high school diploma should represent."

For the full report visit http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/new/2016/01/21/apmchart.html

March 22, 2016 - 12:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy, news.

James Daniel Kavanagh, 26, of Stenwick Drive, Churchville-Chili, is charged with operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more, driving while intoxicated -- first offense, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 1st, and stopping/parking on a highway. Kavanagh was arrested at 2:56 p.m. March 20 following an investigation of a report of a person passed out in a vehicle at a stop sign on Route 19 (Lake Road) in the Town of Le Roy. He allegedly had a BAC of .08 or more at the time. He was processed at Genesee County Jail, then released on appearance tickets for a later date in Town of Le Roy Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings, assisted by Le Roy Police.

March 22, 2016 - 11:28am
posted by Steve Ognibene in swimming, sports, batavia sea devils, news, steve ognibene's blog.

swimming_states_ymcabt.jpg

Pictured above are members of the Batavia Sea Devils who competed in YMCA New York State Swim Meet held this past weekend at University of Buffalo.  

It was an outstanding and the Sea Devils had four swimmers that brought home championship titles.

Maiya Reinhart won the 13-14 girls 50 free, 100 free, and the 100 fly; Chris Lemley won the 15-19 boys 100 backstroke; Jackson Fix won the 9-10 boys 50 backstroke; and Aaron Trelevan won the 9-10 boys 100 free.

Maiya set a new state record in the 50 free with a time of 24.51. In addition, the following individual Y records were set: Lauren Hume (15-19 girls) 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free; Alex Kunes (15-19 boys) 500 free and 100 breast; Maiya Reinhart (13-14 girls) 50 free; Cooper Mattice (11-12 boys) 200 IM; and Jackson Fix (9-10 boys) 50 back. 

Batavia Y records were broken in the girls 15-19, 200 Free relay by Maddie LaGrou, Elle Fulton, Lauren Hume, and Maiya Reinhart

The relay team of Reagan Bifarella, Norah Janes, Elle Fulton and Maiya Reinhart broke two relay records for the girls 13-14 age group, the 200 Medley Relay and the 200 Free Relay.

For all the results go to: http://www.yswimmingnewyork.org/ 

To learn more about joining the Batavia Sea Devils go to their Facebook page here: Batavia Sea Devils

Photo and info provided by parents of the Batavia Sea Devils.

March 21, 2016 - 6:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in minimum wage, agriculture, news.

Press release:

Small business owners and family farmers joined together today at a press conference in Batavia to ask state lawmakers to oppose the $15 minimum wage. The April 1st budget deadline is just days away, and the coalition remains united in its efforts to defeat what will be a tough blow to local employers.

The consequences of a 67-percent wage hike are far reaching. The small businesses shared their personal stories of what this will mean to each of them, including the decisions that will have to be made to compensate for the major increase in labor costs. A reduction in the number of employees and an increase in automation are on the table should this proposal pass in Albany.

The impacts will be felt statewide. A recent report conducted by the former director of the Congressional Budget Office, found that at least 200,000 jobs will be lost across the state. A separate independent analysis by Farm Credit East estimates a $15 minimum wage in New York State would cost farmers between $387 and $622 million in 2021 at the peak of the wage rollout and nearly 2,000 farms would no longer be profitable.  Businesses that can’t make money, don’t stay in business.

Because of the statewide ramifications, today’s event coincided with more than a dozen others happening in communities across New York. It is a final push to make the compelling point to lawmakers that there are serious consequences, from job loss to higher consumer prices, should New York pass a $15 minimum wage. The small business owners asked their local lawmakers to vote no on $15.

“Businesses will be forced to raise prices to compensate. As a farmer, I cannot do this. I am a price taker not a price maker. This will make me uncompetitive with surrounding states, like Michigan and Pennsylvania, whose labor costs will be half what they are in New York. This will put some farms out of business or force them to move to a different state which will hurt our economy,” said Pat McCormick, NYFB District 2 Director and dairy farmer from Java Center.

March 21, 2016 - 5:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Stafford.

Chauncy J. Anderson, 34, of Joseph Avenue, Rochester, is charged with first-degree attempted assault, second-degree reckless endangerment, and second-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested on a Genesee County Superior Court Arrest Warrant, which stemmed from a domestic incident in Batavia on Oct. 3. He was located by State Police after a traffic stop at 1:47 p.m. on March 18 in the Town of Stafford. He was jailed on $50,000 bail and is to appear in GC Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence.

Christina A. Cotter, 23, of McKinley Avenue, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree harassment. At 7:44 p.m. on March 15, Cotter allegedly had a verbal argument which turned physical with another adult, while in front of a 3-year-old child. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to return to Batavia City Court Tuesday afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Jennifer A. Pansy, 39, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree menacing. She was arrested at 10:35 a.m. after an incident in which she allegedly threatened someone with a knife for looking into her kitchen from the roadway. She is to appear in Batavia City Court on March 29. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

Gabrielle Marie Silva, 18, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with second degree burglary -- illegal entry into a dwelling, and fourth-degree criminal mischief. Silva was arrested in the 200 block of Bank Street in Batavia at 11:33 p.m. on March 16. The arrest was made after an incident on Bank Street wherein a window was smashed. State Police located Silva at her residence and she was taken to Batavia PD headquarters, then arraigned in court and released on her own recognizance. She was to appear later in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Darryle Streeter, aasisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Nicholas C. Blatt, 23, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental justice. He was arrested at 12:56 a.m. on March 20 as the result of an investigation into an incident that occurred at a residence on East Main Street, Batavia, throughout the day. He was jailed on $1,500 bail and was to appear in Batavia City Court this afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanigan, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Anthony S. Morse, 35, of West Main Street Road, Arkport, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested at 3:59 p.m. on March 15 following an incident in the 100 block of Bank Street in the City of Batavia. It is alleged that he threw a chair and broke antoher. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Batavia City Court on March 29. The case was handled by Patavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Joseph M. Marsceill Jr., 30, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with unlicensed operator and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operator. The charges stem from a traffic-related matter on Swan Street in the City of Batavia in which Marsceill was allegedly observed driving a vehicle and it was known that he did not possess a valid lisence and that his driving privilege had been revoked. He was jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail and was to appear later in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards.

Shayla L. Sharrock, 30, of Stowell Drive, Rochester, is charged with speeding and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation -- alcohol related. Sherrock was arrested at 10:31 p.m. on March 18 on Clinton Street in Batavia after a traffic stop. Sharrock was released on her own recognizance and was scheduled to appear this afternoon in Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Darryle Streeter, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Joan L. Johnson, 30, is charged with speeding and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. Johnson was arrested at 4:59 p.m. on March 16 after being stopped on Oak Street in Batavia for allegedly speeding. Johnson was allegedly found to be operating in a revoked NYS driver's license and subsequently jailed without bail. She was to appear later in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Gerald Zachary Watts, 31, of North Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with running a red light, DWI -- first offense, operatinga motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more -- first offense, and refusing to take a breath test. Watts was arrested at 4:13 p.m. on Richmond Avenue in the City of Batavia, released, and is to be in city court on March 30. The case waa handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Joey Robert Tatro III, 21, of Main Street, Attica, is charged with failure to pay a fine imposed by court. The defendant was arrested March 19 on Alexander Road in Batavia on a bench warrant out of Town of Batavia Court alleging failure to pay a fine. Tatro was jailed on $100 bail and is to appear in Town of Batavia Court on March 28. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Rachel Diehl, assisted by Deputy Howard Carlson.

A 16-year-old who lives on Washington Avenue in Batavia was arrested on a bench warrant for allegedly failing to appear in court on the scheduled date after being charged with second-degree harassment. The charge stems from an incident on West Main Street in Batavia at 1 p.m. on Feb. 9. The teen was jailed on $500 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Ward E. Royse, 40, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested on March 19 after allegedly failing to appear in court concerning an incident which occured Jan. 7. He was jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail and was to appear in court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Rashaad M. Jones, 25, of Milton Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Jones was arrested at 4 p.m. on March 18 after a traffic complaint on Ellicott Street, Batavia, wherein Jones was allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana inside his vehicle. He is to be in city court on March 29. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Elizabeth Lindner, 29, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She is accused of stealing the Batavia Daily News from Marchese Computer Products, located at 220 Ellicott St., at 6:56 a.m. on March 12. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear at 1 p.m. on Tuesday in Batavia City Court. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

March 21, 2016 - 2:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Kiwanis, Easter, news.

Submitted photo. Information from Matt Landers.

These K-Kids -- little Kiwanis -- recently helped stuff more than 4,000 plastic eggs for the big Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by the Batavia Kiwanis Club.

It will be held this Saturday, March 26, at Centennial Park in the City of Batavia and starts at 9 a.m. sharp.

There will be three age groups -- 0-3, 4-7, and 8-10 -- with three Golden Prize eggs in each age group. The Golden Prize eggs get the winner a chocolate bunny from Oliver's Candies.

Standing in the back row, from left, is Mrs. Case, the St. Joe's teacher who is the K-Kids coordinator, Matt Landers and Jeanne Walton. That fuzzy critter with the big whiskers and floppy ears is none other than the Easter Bunny, who was very enthusiastic about the preparation project.

March 21, 2016 - 11:29am
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Onion Festival, news.

The nearly 80-year-old Onion Festival held in Elba every summer is already just a memory.

Proceeds from it helped pay for Elba's fire equipment and supplies. Now what?

"We are going to look at other money-making options," said Elba Fire Department President Ken Miller this morning. "But without rides, without a car raffle, can you call it the Onion Festival? We haven't decided 100 percent what we're going to do, what we can do. But the festival is done."

What, if anything, will take place there in mid-August has yet to be decided. Miller said the board of directors for the all-volunteer fire company will meet and discuss the situation in a couple of weeks.

More and more, ride operators are skipping the small-town events that last a couple days, like the one in Elba, and sticking with bigger venues where they can turn a profit after they pay for insurance, wages and others costs of doing business. The result for places like Elba is fewer attendees -- not enough to buy tickets, only sold locally, to raffle off a new car.

Other little fire companies are facing similar circumstances.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley has introduced legislation to allow charitable organizations holding raffles to accept checks and credit cards and to allow them to advertise raffle tickets online, thereby boosting sales and reaching more people. Hawley is also going to introduce a constitutional amendment to allow nonprofit organizations more fundraising flexibility.

March 19, 2016 - 12:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in flu, county health department, news.

A Flu Alert has been issued by the Genesee County Health Department:

ALERT: Over the last few weeks, flu cases are on the rise locally and throughout New York! The flu virus tends to spread from October to May, with most cases occurring in January or February.

“It is important to note that vaccinations can be given at any time during the flu season," said Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. "Even getting a vaccination later in the season (December through March) can still help protect you from influenza."

For information on positive influenza laboratory results reported to the New York State Department of Health by season, click on the link below:

http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/influenza/surveillance/2015-2016/flu_report_current_week.pdf

It is important to call your doctor, pharmacist or health department to make sure they have a supply of flu vaccine in stock before going.           

Everyone six months and older should be vaccinated against the flu. The vaccine can help protect you from getting the flu, and it can help protect the ones you love.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you get the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available to you, even if you got vaccinated last season.

There are two main reasons for getting the flu vaccine every year. The flu viruses constantly change, so vaccines are often updated from one season to the next to protect against the most recent and the most common viruses going around. The other reason is, the protection a person gets from receiving a flu vaccination declines over time. For example, if you are vaccinated in November, 10 months down the road your protection against that year’s flu is not as strong as it was when you originally were vaccinated.

Anyone, even healthy people, can get sick from the flu. This illness can be very serious, and can lead to hospitalizations and even death. According to the CDC, each year in the United States a range of 3,000 to 49,000 people die from the flu or flu-associated illnesses.  http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm

“Being vaccinated every flu season is especially important for those at high risk for serious flu-related complications. It is also as important for those who live with or care for people who are at high risk,” said Paul Pettit, director of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

People with higher risks for flu-related complications are:

  • Pregnant women (can only receive flu shots, not the nasal-spray flu vaccine) to provide protection for themselves and their babies;
  • Children younger than five, but especially children younger than 2 years old;
  • Adults age 65 and older;
  • Individuals with a chronic medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, HIV, etc.;
  • Residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;
  • People who life with or care for those at high risk of complications from the flu, including health care personnel, household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children younger than 6 months (these children are too young to be vaccinated), and caregivers of infants in Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

Flu-related complications can result in hospitalization and occasionally result in death. Complications include pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus or ear infections. The flu also can make chronic health problems worse. For example, those who have asthma, often experience more asthma attacks when they are ill with the flu.

It is also important to know there are some people who should not be vaccinated. They include:

  • Children younger than 6 months;
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past;
  • People who have developed Guillain- Barré syndrome within six weeks of getting a flu vaccination;
  • If you have a severe allergy to chicken eggs, you can get the flu shot, but you will need to be supervised by a health care provider for at least 30 minutes after vaccination;
  • People who are sick with fever.

More information about the flu is available at the State Health Department Web Site at: www.health.ny.gov/immunization.

For information about influenza or health department services contact:

March 19, 2016 - 12:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in michael ranzenhofer, news, education.
Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has been appointed to serve as a member of the Joint Budget Subcommittee for Education.

Over the next several weeks, Senator Ranzenhofer will work with members of the Senate and Assembly to finalize the education portion of the 2016-17 State Budget.

“One of my priorities is getting rid of the GEA budget cuts. As a member of this committee, I will be pushing to eliminate the GEA once and for all,” Ranzenhofer said. “Abolishing the GEA in this year’s budget will finally restore millions of dollars to our schools and build a better future for our children.”

Nearly $434 million in Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) cuts remain for schools in 2016-17. The Senate’s one-house budget resolution, passed earlier this week, ends the GEA this year.  Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a phase-out of the GEA over two years.

The GEA was first imposed in 2010 by former Governor David Paterson and the Democrats who controlled the Senate and Assembly. Senator Ranzenhofer voted against the GEA because it made severe cuts to the bottom lines of school districts in Western New York.

Since it was first approved, Senator Ranzenhofer has been leading the charge to eradicate the GEA and deliver major funding increases to help mitigate its devastating impact on education. In the past five years, the GEA cuts have been reduced by approximately 85 percent. Last year alone, Senator Ranzenhofer successfully pushed for an additional $603 million to help schools overcome the GEA challenge.

March 19, 2016 - 12:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, pembroke.

Morgan Lee Cox, 48, of Scribner Road, Pembroke, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt. On March 19, Cox was arrested following an investigation of a domestic incident at 11 p.m. on March 18. It is alleged that Cox violated a court order of protection. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings, assisted by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Kenneth James Henning, 24, of Main Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and failure to stop at a stop sign. He was arrested as the result of a traffic stop at 8:20 p.m. on March 18 on West Main Street Road, Batavia. He was released on an appearance tickets for Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

March 19, 2016 - 12:21pm

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The second production of Shakespeare’s "As You Like It" finishes up the last show tonight at 7:30 at Harvester 56 Theater, located at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia. The show is directed by Michele Stamp who has directed two shows there.

It’s one of Shakespeare’s comedies, placed in the Forest of Arden. A mother was a duchess who had a sister whose younger sister had usurped the kingdom and banished the older sister. Her daughter remains in court because she is best friends with the usurping duchess's daughter. 

Another story line is where a father has died and his three sons are left to their estate and the oldest son is supposed to be taking care of the younger sons, but he is only taking care of the youngest so he is banished.  All of these people end up in the Forest of Arden. 

The next production at Harvester 56 will be "On Broadway VII" with five musical hits running for two weekends in April. The dates are on April 1-2, with a special dinner theater at Terry Hills Restaurant on April 3, then again at Harvester 56 on April 7-9.

Tickets for tonight’s final show of "As You Like It" can be purchased at the door; $13 adults $10 students/senior citizens or online at Showtix4u, search Batavia Players. Also go to: Batavia Players for more info.

For more photos go to: Steve Ognibene Photography

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March 18, 2016 - 6:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCASA, news, batavia.

A person is stuck in an elevator at 430 E. Main St. in Batavia due to a power outage. City fire is responding. The location is GCASA.

March 18, 2016 - 5:44pm
posted by James Burns in hlom, batavia, Batavia Downs, news.

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Running until 8 tonight and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is the Batavia Antique Sale and Show in the Paddock Room at Batavia Downs. Admission is $5 dollars per person with proceeds going to the HLOM Museum. Free entry Saturday with proof of Friday admission.

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March 18, 2016 - 5:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in howard, news.

Howard's microsurgery to fix the detached retina in his right eye was performed Monday and the results are excellent. He saw the eye surgeon today and was told he won't be able to return to work until April 1. Until then, he can't read -- not e-mails, or books, or anything on the computer.

That's a week longer than we expected, but we'll get through this.

It will be possible because of the loyalty of our readers, the dedication and hard work of staff, especially our marketing coordinator Lisa Ace, and sales rep Lucie Griffis, Wyoming County Free Press Community Editor Julia Ferrini, and the aid of terrific freelancers like Jim Burns and Steve Ognibene. Our news partner WBTA has helped a lot, too.

Thanks all, and have a great weekend!

March 18, 2016 - 3:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, news.

Two white teenaged males reportedly just ran through Richmond Memorial Library wearing masks and screaming they were going to rob the place.

They then left and were seen runnning westbound on East Main Street. One is wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt, the other is wearing blue jeans, black T-shirt and a red bandanna.

City police are responding. "The names are in the job," a dispatcher told officers.

The library is located at 19 Ross St.

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