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December 10, 2018 - 1:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Oakfield.

Jeremy G. Ives, 43, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with: felony DWI -- two previous convictions; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; and following too closely. Ives was arrested at 6:23 p.m. on Dec. 8 on West Main Street in Batavia after a traffic stop. Ives was allegedly found to be operating his vehicle while intoxicated and he had a revoked driver's license. He was arraigned and jailed without bail and is due in Batavia City Court this afternoon (Dec. 10). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Quella SM Polk, 37, of Birchwood Drive, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Polk was arrested and issued an appearance ticket on the charge following a domestic incident in the gym at John Kennedy School at 10 a.m. on Dec. 8. Polk allegedly had unwanted physical contact with another person. Polk is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 18 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

James E. Baker, 56, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, DWI with a BAC greater than .08 percent, and driving with no headlights. He was arrested at 9:28 p.m. on Dec. 7 on Summit Street in Batavia after a traffic stop. He was issued appearance tickets and is due in Batavia City Court on Jan. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Elizabeth M. Grattan, 28, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was allegedly observed shoplifting at JCPenney at 11:36 a.m. on Dec. 4. She was arrested and issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 11. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Frank Klimjack.

Darrell J. Holloway, 50, of Farnsworth Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested and issued an appearance ticket after a larceny at JCPenney at 1:36 p.m. on Dec. 4. He is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 11. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

December 8, 2018 - 8:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in walmart, news, batavia, notify.

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More than 50 local children were invited to Walmart today to "Shop with a Cop."

Off-duty officers from the Sheriff's Office, Batavia PD, and State Police volunteered their time to help the children pick presents for their families or themselves.

Funds for the event were donated by Batavia PBA, Genesee County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, New York State Troopers PBA, CSEA, the City’s “Jeans for Friday,” Bonarigo and McCutcheon Law Office, Bohm-Calarco Smith Funeral Home, Town of Batavia Fire Department, and Statewide Machinery/House O’ Laundry.  

Each child received $100 for shopping and Walmart provided staff to wrap the presents.

Top photo: Deputy Andrew Mullen with Dena, 8.

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Sheriff William Sheron had a lot of fun shopping with Will, 14.

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Santa arrives at Walmart.

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Trooper Jeff Bebak.

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Mauler, 7, shopping with Deputy Rachel Diehl.

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Tyler, 4, shopping with Trooper Frank Velletta.

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Deputy Chad Cummings.

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Chastin, 10, shopping with Officer Frank Klimjack and his mother Jen Styer.

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Officer Stephen Cronmiller with Clare, 1.

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Sgt. Jason Saile with Bailee, 6.

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Detective Eric Hill was joined by his wife Nicole and Aubury Towner, an Explorer, to shop with Preston, 9, Isabell, 7, and Estella, 3.

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December 8, 2018 - 3:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Stafford.

Jesus Francisco Macarlo Ixcolin, 26, of Horseshoe Lake Road, Stafford, is charged with second-degree strangulation. He was arraigned then jailed without bail on Dec. 6 for alleged actions at 6:15 a.m. on Sept. 17 on Horseshoe Lake Road. He is due in Stafford Town Court on Dec. 11. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Diehl, assisted by Deputy James Stack.

Maleak Hakeem Green, 25, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with aggravated criminal contempt, a Class D felony, and aggravated family offense, a Class E felony. He was arrested on Dec. 6 for an incident which took place at 3:45 p.m. on Nov. 26 on Main Street Road, Batavia. He has been convicted of first-degree criminal contempt in the preceding five years. It is alleged that Green was in the presence of a female who is the protected party in a Genesee County Court Order of Protection that was served on Green. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Loftus.

Benjamin G. Evans IV, 30, of Evans Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and third-degree burglary. On Dec. 7 following an investigation, Evans was arrested for an incident which occurred at 8:45 p.m. on Dec. 4 at Kohl's Department Store on Veterans Memorial Drive. He was arraigned and jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail and is due in Batavia Town Court on Dec. 17. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jenna Ferrando, assisted by Deputy Austin Heberlein.

Judd Allen Farewell Jr., 27, of West Avenue, Medina, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested on Dec. 6 for allegedly taking property from Kohl's Department Store at 3:07 p.m. that day. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court on Dec. 13. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale.

Aaron Michael Draper, 28, of West Academy Street, Albion, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested following a larceny complaint at Kohl's Department Store. It is alleged that on Dec. 6 at 3:07 p.m. that Draper stole merchandise and walked past the point of sale at Kohl's. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court on Dec. 13. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale.

December 6, 2018 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Lions Club, Lions Tournament, news, sports, basketball, notify.

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The Lions Club of Batavia is promising area basketball players a more competitive tournament this year and for fans that should mean closer, more intense games.

The club has expanded the field this year to eight teams -- four teams in the small-team division and four teams in the large-team division. This should make games more competitive and lead to some potentially interesting matchups.

For example, if Batavia beats Roy-Hart in its first game it would face either Le Roy or Attica, teams that are natural rivals but Batavia rarely if ever plays.

Notre Dame and Elba have one of the most storied rivalries in the region and could potentially face each other in the championship game but both will face tough first-round opponents in Oakfield-Alabama and Mt. Morris.

"Our kids look forward to this tournament every single year," said Buddy Brasky, the Batavia head coach who will be taking a team to the tournament for the 29th consecutive year. "They talk about right from the get-go. They want to know when is the Lion’s Club’s Tournament? Who’s playing? Who’s in it? It’s really important to them.

"We play in Monroe County so we don’t get a chance to play the area schools very often. We see them in summer at camp. We play some spring league. They really look forward to playing the area schools, the tough area schools, in the Christmas tournament."

It's not a foregone conclusion, as it has been in recent years, that Batavia will be crowned champion. Brasky's squad has only five seniors and one of his biggest scorers, Antwan Odom, is out for the season because of legal issues. Brasky also said there have been some key injuries.

Roy-Hart comes from a tough Section VI and is coached by Joe Pawlak, Notre Dame grad who played in the tournament in 2008, with a loss to Batavia, so he knows what to expect.

"I’m really blessed to have been able to play in it and now coach it," Pawlak said.

If Batavia survives Roy-Hart, the Blue Devils will either face Le Roy or Attica.

Le Roy is anchored by four-year starter Reece Tresco, who is a 6-foot, 4-inch guard/forward who is a threat to score from anywhere on the court and tough under the boards.

Attica has 10 seniors on its squad and Coach Rob Crowley said with five or six big guys on the team and five or six guards, he will be able to play whatever brand of basketball an opponent puts on the court, adjusting his team's look to meet any challenge.

"We can mix in different brands of basketball and match every team and be competitive against every team," Crowley said.

In the small-team division, Mt. Morris is coming off a 15-win season and returning almost all its top players from that squad. Head Coach Brian Stout said he's expecting a quality year from his players.

They open against the Elba Lancers, always a tough squad and this year featuring one of the top players in Section V in 6-foot, 4-inch forward/guard Jon Boyce, along with returning stars Colton Dillon and Collin O'Halloran.

"I’m excited to see what his (Boyce's) senior season holds," said Elba Head Coach Ciaci Zambito. "We've gone from young and inexperienced last year to now one of the older teams experience-wise in the area."

Mike Rapone, Notre Dame's legendary head coach, said he's got the biggest team he's ever led. There are nine players on the roaster who are at least 6-foot, 1-inch tall, including 6-foot, 7-inch returning starting center Keith Szczepanski.

That is no guarantee of anything, however, Rapone said, especially after losing last year's two leading scorers.

"That (size) doesn’t necessarily always translate into what we want it to be, but hopefully it will this year," Rapone said.

Oakfield-Alabama is a young team (only two seniors) with a new coach, Ryan Stehlar, so their tournament game will be a test and give fans some idea of what to expect on the season.

The Lions Club Tournament is played at Genesee Community College and that's one reason that the players who get to play in the tournament look forward to it. It's a big stage and prepares them for what they might face in post-season play.

It's also the premier fund-raising event for the Lion's Club, which is another reason you should attend.

The first four varsity games are Thursday, Dec. 27. 

  • Attica vs. Le Roy, 4 p.m.
  • Mt. Morris vs. Elba, 5:30 p.m.
  • Oakfield-Alabama vs. Notre Dame, 7 p.m.
  • Roy-Hart vs. Batavia, 8:30 p.m.

The consolation and championship games will be played Dec. 28, with consolation games at 4 and 5:30 p.m. The championship game in the small-teams division is at 7 p.m. Tipoff for the large-team division is 8:30 p.m.

Top photo: Frank Biscelie, Attica, Joe Martinucci, Batavia, Charlie Birgham, Roy-Hart, and Reece Tresco, Le Roy.

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Spencer Misiti, Notre Dame, Jon Boyce, Elba, Cameron Regal, Mt. Morris, and Joey Burdick, Oakfield-Alabama.

December 6, 2018 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

Snow squalls are expected to pass through the area this afternoon and early evening, according to the National Weather Service.

This could create areas of low visibility, and potential whiteout conditions, at times with brief periods of localized heavy snow and slick, snow-covered roads.

A cold front is crossing the region this afternoon, into early evening, resulting in lake effect snow from both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario that will move inland. This will affect the evening commute, particularly between about 4 to 6 p.m.

December 6, 2018 - 3:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Grand Jury, notify, bergen, pembroke, batavia, Darien, Stafford, Oakfield.

Morgan R. Coles is indicted for the crime of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 26 in the Town of Bergen that Coles knowingly entered or remained unlawfully in The Firing Pin with the intent to commit a crime. In count two, he is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 3 in the City of Batavia that Coles possessed 10 or more firearms. In counts three through 15, Coles is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, Class D felonies, for allegedly possessing firearms which had been defaced for the purpose of concealment or prevention of detection of a crime or misrepresenting the identity of the fireaarm. Respectively, these are: a KelTec model PF-9 9mm pistol; a Glock model 19 9 mm pistol; a Glock model 45 9 mm pistol; a Glock model 27 .40 S&W pistol; a Glock model 19c 9mm pistol; a Glock G17 9mm pistol; a Glock model G43 9mm pistol; a second Glock model 27 .40 S&W pistol; a Glock model G21 .45 ACP pistol; a Glock 30S .45 ACP pistol; a Glock model 17 9mm pistol; a Glock model 22 gen 2 .40 S&W pistol; and a Glock model 24 9 mm pistol. In count 16, Coles is indicted for third-degree criminal possession of stolent property, a Class D felony, for allegedly knowingly possessing 13 stolen firearms and the value of the property exceeded $3,000.

Thomas E. Brenkus is indicted for the crime of first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on June 27 in the City of Batavia that he subjected another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion. In count two, Brenkus is accused of forcible touching, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count two that on the same day in the city that he intentionally or for no legitimate purpose forcibly touched the sexual or intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing the person for the purpose of gratifying the defendant's sexual desire.

Edwin L. Stancliff is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on June 12 in the Town of Pembroke that Stancliff possessed a dangerous instrument -- a crowbar -- with intent to use it unlawfully against another person. In count two, Stancliff is accused of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged in count two, that Stancliff possessed a dangerous instrument -- a crowbar -- with intent to use it unlawfully against a second person. In count three, Stancliff is accused on second-degree menacing, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in counts three and four, respectively, that on June 12 in the Town of Pembroke he intentionally placed or attempted to place two victims in reasonable fear of physical injury or death by displaying the crowbar. In counts five and six, respectively, Stancliff is accused of second-degree harassment for allegedly acting on that day with intent to harass, annoy or alarm the two victims with threat of physical contact. In count seven, the defendant is accused of tampering with a witness in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count seven that, knowing a person is about to be called as a witness in a legal action or proceeding, the worngfully induces or attempts to induce, the person to avoid appearing or testifying. It is alleged that on Nov. 6, Stancliff sent a text message to a witness stating that the witness should not show up for the Grand Jury indictment and that if the person did, the person is "riding for the State" and that if the person was family they would not show up. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Stancliff is accused of having been convicted of third-degree menacing, a Class B misdemeanor, on Feb. 14, 2017 in Town of Pembroke Court and that conviction forms the basis for counts one and two of the current indictment.

Travis E. Kent, Jason N. Mann and David C. Edwards are indicted for the crime of attempted grand larceny in the third degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on July 3 on Broadway Road in the Town of Darien that these defendants attempted to steal property with a combined value in excess of $3,000 -- a Yamaha Wolverine four-wheeler and a Mongoose four-wheeler. In count two, they are accused of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, a Class D  felony. It is alleged in count two that the defendants knowingly possessed stolen property valued in excess of $3,000 -- a 2011 Chevrolet Impala. In count three, Kent, Mann and Edwardsare indicted for second-degree criminal mischief, a Class D felony. It is alleged in count three that the defendants intentionally damaged property belonging to another person and the damage exceeded $1,500 -- the 2011 Impala was damaged. In count four, they are accused of unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly driving the Impala without the owner's consent.

Lisa D. Ayres is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on July 21 in the Town of Darien that she drove a 2007 Chevrolet on Route 77 and on McGregor Road while intoxicated. In count two, she is accused of DWI, per se, a Class D felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count three, Ayres is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony, for driving without a valid license -- which had been suspended or revoked -- and for being under the influence of alcohol or a drug at the time. In count four, the defendant is accused of the crime of circumvention of an ignition interlock device. It is alleged in count four that Ayres drove the 2007 Chevrolet which was not equipped with an ignition interlock device, which was required to have. In count five, Ayres is accused of the offense of refusal to submit to a breath test, a violation. It is alleged in count four that Ayres refused the request made by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer to submit to a breath test on July 21. In count six, Ayres is accused of the offense of failure to yield the right of way on a left turn. It is alleged in count six, that her failure to yield constituted an immediate hazard. In count seven, Ayres is accused of making an unsafe turn, a violation. In count eight, Ayres is accused of the offense of unsafe passing on the left. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Ayres is accused of having been convicted of DWI as a Class E felony on April 24, 2012, in County of Wayne Court. Also, she is accused of having been convicted of DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor on Nov. 18, 2009, in Town of Sodus Court. These convictions form the basis of the crimes alleged in the current indictment and the allegation that she knew her driver's license had been suspended or revoke by authorities due to the convictions.

Danielle R. Dixon is indicted for the crime of aggravated DWI, per se, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 27 on Main Street in the City of Batavia that Dixon rode a Yamaha motorcycle while having a BAC of .18 percent or more. In count two, she is accused of DWI as a Class E felony, in the same incident. In count three, Dixon is accused of operating a vehicle out of class, a violation. It is alleged in count three that the defendant rode the Yamaha without being the holder of a class of license which was valid for the operation of the motorcycle. In count four, she is accused of the offense of speeding at the time.

Joseph F. Chiodo is indicted for the crime of aggravated DWI, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 20 in the Town of Pembroke that Chiodo drove a 2004 Chevrolet on Route 33 while intoxicated and while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count two, he is accused of driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs, as a misdemeanor. It is alleged that when he drove on June 20 on Route 33 his ability to drive was impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs. In count three, he is accused of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly knowingly acting at that time in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years old.

Stacy L. Parks is indicted for the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 27 in the Town of Darien that Parks drove a 2011 Ford on Route 20 while intoxicated and while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count two, Parks is accused of DWI, as a misdemeanor, for the same incident. In count three, the defendant is accused of DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count four, Parks is accused of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly knowingly acting in a manner that day which was likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years old.

Deborah S. Rodriguez is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 1 in the Town of Oakfield that Rodriguez drove a 2005 Nissan on Farnsworth Avenue while her driver's license was suspended and that she did so while impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs. In count two, she is accused of driving while ability impaired by a drug, as a misdemeanor, for driving on Aug. 1 while her ability to do so was impaired by the use of a drug. In count three, the defendant is accused of driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs. It is alleged in count three that Rodriguez drove on Farnsworth Avenue that day while her ability to do so was impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and drug or drugs. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Rodriguez is accused of having been convicted of DWI, per se, on July 5 in City of Batavia Court and her license was suspended. That suspension was still in effect on Aug. 1 pending prosecution of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Jay M. Blatchley is indicted for the crime of driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or alcohol and any drug or drugs, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on July 28 in the Town of Stafford that Blatchley drove a 2016 Toyota on Route 5 while his ability to do so was impaired by the combined influence of drugs. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Blatchley is accused of having been convicted of driving while ability impaired by drugs on Nov. 10, 2009, in the Town of Pembroke and that conviction was within 10 years of the crime alleged in the current indictment.

Michael J. Reeves is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a misdemeanor. It is alleged that on Aug. 4 in the Town of Pembroke that he drove a 2009 Lincoln on Route 77 while intoxicated. in count two, he is indicted for DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count three, Reeves is accused of first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, a Class E felony, for having no valid driver's license, because it was suspended or revoked, at the time and while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, the defendant is accused of having been convicted of driving while ability impaired by the consumption of alcohol, an infraction, on Jan. 15, 2008, of Town of Sullivan Court. That conviction forms the basis of the driver's license revocation referred to in count three of the current indictment.

Andrew M. Cerrillo is indicted for the crime of drivng while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 14 in the Town of Stafford that Cerrillo drove a 2003 Toyota on Route 5 while intoxicated. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Cerrillo is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on April 17, 2014, in the Town of Grand Island Court, and that conviction was within 10 years of the crime alleged in the current indictment.

December 5, 2018 - 4:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, notify.

Students in the Batavia City School system are showing slow, steady progress in proficiency on that state's standardized tests, Molly Corey, executive director of Curriculum and Instruction, told trustees Tuesday night during her report.

One way Corey tracks the district's progress is a comparison to scores in other small city school districts.

For the second year in a row, Batavia ranks #1 in eighth grade in the English Language Assessment, and first in seventh grade, compared to 14th a year ago. The district is second in third, fifth and sixth grades and fourth in grade four.

For math, the district is second in third grade, first in fourth, fourth in fifth, third in sixth, fifth in seventh, and in grade 12, eighth.

There are 15 other schools in the ranked comparison, though the names of the schools are blanked out in Corey's report.

Overall, Corey indicated she is happy with the improved performance of district students.

"I’m a believer having continual improvement," Corey said. "Though we want things to change dramatically, it’s that slow, steady climb that will get us there."

In ELA performance, the district is showing improvement in grades three through eight, with grade three going from 22 percent proficiency in 2012-13 to 46 percent this year. Grade four, has gone from 34 percent to 39 percent, grade five, 28 to 32 percent, grade six, 32  to 47 percent, grade seven, 26 to 35 percent, and grade eight, 35 to 45 percent. 

In math, there's an improvement at every grade level except eighth grade. For third grade, from 25 percent to 55 percent; grade four, 37 to 64 percent, grade five, 27 to 42 percent, grade six, 17 to 43 percent, grade seven, 24 to 35 percent.

In eighth grade, the students have gone from 10-percent proficiency to 8 percent, though the eighth-grade students achieved 18 percent in 2014-15 and 21 percent in 2015-16.

To help improve math performance, Corey is planning on taking a leadership team to a seminar at Stanford University where a nationally recognized math teacher will provide instruction on deep mathematical thinking. The goal she said is to make mathematical thinking a bigger part of the learning culture in the district.

"We have a solid team throughout the district that got us here and we want to be thinking about what we can do above and beyond to change that culture, to change that mindset, and it starts with the leadership team," Corey said. "We have our dream team here in Batavia and I'm excited to see what is going to happen in each and every building."

December 5, 2018 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, notify.

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This fall, not only were Batavia High School sports teams finding success in competition, the athletes were succeeding as well in the classroom, Athletic Director Michael Bromley told the school district board at their regular monthly meeting Tuesday.

Across 10 fall sports, the school had 75 students qualify as scholar-athletes, Bromley said, meaning they scored at least above 90 percent in academic standing. Many of the athletes, he said scored ranked over 95 percent.

"Only five kids this fall were on academic probation," Bromley said.

Bromley's presentation was an annual review of the athletic department.

Each fall, there are seven girls sports programs in grades seven through 12 with 17 total teams (including JV and modified), and there are three programs for the boys in the fall with eight total teams.

In the winter, there are four girls programs, 10 teams, and six boys programs, 15 teams; and in the spring, two girls programs and seven teams and five boys programs and 13 teams.

In all, there are 78 coaches in the district.

"It's always a challenge to find coaches who are available to do the work at the time of day that we do what we do," Bromley said.

For grades seven-12, 53 percent of the students participate in at least one sport during the school year. That's higher than the 39 percent rate in 1999 but lower than the highest level of the past 10 years, which was 57 percent.

For all this activity, athletics isn't even 2 percent of the district's total budget.

In some sports, such as hockey, the school combines with other schools to create a team. In the case of gymnastics, BHS wouldn't even be able to offer the sport if not for merged programs since there are only five girls participating.

The merged wrestling program -- with Attica -- has won consecutive Section V championships, which has helped the program retain athletes while attracting new participants. There are now 15 wrestlers at the school and the merged program is moving up to Division 1 where they expect to continue to be competitive.

One thing Bromley looked at doing was using the gym walls to bring more recognition to players who achieved All-State or All-Greater Rochester honors. But realized that could get expensive so he found a program that allowed him to put a touch-screen TV outside the gym. It contains a wealth of information about BHS athletics, including the latest schedules, pictures, and recognition for all of the school's standout athletes and Hall of Fame members.

It has the added bonus of being available online.

Bromley said that as far as he knows, this is the first such touch-screen TV for school athletics in the state.

December 5, 2018 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jail, news, notify.

A committee assigned with selecting an engineering and architectural firm to plan and oversee construction of new Genesee County Jail has narrowed their search to two closely matched firms, Assistant County Manager Matt Landers told members of the Public Service Committee on Tuesday.

The two firms -- out of four that initially applied for the job -- are both so competitive, Landers said, that the committee has sent them more questions and asked for reference checks.

Rather than getting just references suggested by the companies, which will tend to be references from those believed to be positive, the committee is requiring reference contacts for the most recent jails the companies have been involved in building in New York.

"It's a good problem to have," Landers said. "They both scored very well."

Once the reference checks are done, the committee will interview the firms one more time and the committee hopes to have a recommendation to the County Legislature by the end of July.

Besides designing the jail, the firm selected will help with the site selection process and with hiring a construction manager.

The county has been moving toward building a new jail for a few years with cost estimates ranging from $35 million to $52 million.

The current jail doesn't meet current state standards, has damage related to age, lacks modern features, is undersized, and can't house female inmates.

Landers and Sheriff William Sheron cochair the jail committee. Of the eight other members, two are members of the Legislature and the remaining members are key county department heads.

December 4, 2018 - 1:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Stafford, notify.

Douglas Goodwin Sr., 67, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal tampering. Goodwin was located at his residence and arrested for allegedly throwing clothing and furniture that belonged to his Bank Street tenant outside at 11:20 a.m. on Oct. 28. This is said to have created a substantial inconvenience for his tenant to clean up and repair his property. Goodwin is due in Batavia City Court this afternoon (Dec. 4). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence.

A 17-year-old male who lives on Walnut Street in Batavia is charged with: endangering the welfare of a child; second-degree harassment; two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief; and first-degree coercion. The teen was arrested following an investigation into a domestic dispute that occurred at 8 p.m. on Nov. 30 on Lewis Place in Batavia. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed without bail and was due back in City Court on Dec. 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Kevin J. Fickel, 37, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny following an incident at JCPenney at 3:14 p.m. on Nov. 20. It is alleged that Fickel took two sets of cookware and exited the store without paying for the items. He is due in Batavia City Court this afternoon (Dec. 4). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards.

Dalton C. Kelley, 21, of Chase Park, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Kelley was arrested at 3 p.m on Nov. 27 following an investigation into a report that he grabbed another individual and scratched them. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 11. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Leonard T. Masters, 49, of Split Rail Road, Painted Post, is charged with: DWI; aggravated DWI; failure to keep right; improper left turn; and failure to obey traffic control device. Masters was arrested at 12:52 a.m. on Nov. 23 on Ellicott Street in Batavia following a traffic stop. He was released on appearance tickets and is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Andrew D. Vicary, 27, of East Main Road, Stafford, is charged with DWI, unsafe backing, and following too closely. He was arrested at 4:04 p.m. on Nov. 1 following an investigation into a three-car accident that occurred at the intersection of East Main Street and Swan Street in Batavia. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance. He was due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kyle Krtanik, assisted by Officer Catherine Mucha.

Alyssa M. Harnish, 30, of Ellsworth Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 28 following a shoplifting complaint at Tops Friendly Market in Batavia. She was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court this afternoon (Dec. 4). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Jessica L. Holtz, 35, of Williams Street, Batavia, was arrested on Nov. 28 on a bench warrant for alleged failure to appear in Batavia City Court. She was arraigned and put in jail and is due in back in court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Aretha Jackson, 41, of Main Street, Oakfield, was arrested on Nov. 20 on an active bench warrant issued out of Batavia City Court. It is alleged that Jackson failed to appear for a court date scheduled on Sept. 5. She was arraigned in City Court and jailed in lieu of $250 cash or bond. She was due back in court on Nov. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Jessica L. Connolly, 40, of Bank Street, Batavia, was arrested on Nov. 28 on a bench warrant after allegedly failing to appear in Batavia City Cpourt for a traffic misdemeanor and other traffic violations. She was released on her own recognizance and was due back in court on Nov. 28. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Brandon D. Brewer, 29, of Maple Avenue, Medina, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Brewer was arrested at 2:54 a.m. on Nov. 18 on East Main Street in Batavia while patrols were investigating an accident. He is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 5 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

December 4, 2018 - 9:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, schools, education, news, notify.

Voters in Alexander yesterday rejected a $12.6 million capital improvement project that would have allowed the school district to build a new bus garage, upgrade some elementary school classrooms and install lights on the football field.

The ballot proposition failed by a 61 to 39 percent margin, or 183 no to 117 yes.

School officials said the current bus garage is beyond repair and its location and configuration is a traffic safety hazard. 

Critics accused the Alexander CSD of using the community's long-standing request for lights on the football field as a way to bribe voters into approving the expenditure.

The projects were going to be funded by $1.9 million from capital reserves (money designated for such projects), $705,000 from other reserves, and more than $10 million in state aid.

Passage of the measure would have required the district to take out $10 million in bonds, with state aid making the bond payments, over the 15- and 30-year life of the bonds.

Officials said the bus garage is in such bad condition that state officials will soon force its replacement.

Previously: Alexander needs new bus garage, classroom upgrades, football lights go along with it, residents told at forum

December 3, 2018 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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      Adam McGill

A Batavia resident who has served three prior prison terms was arraigned in County Court this morning on a sealed grand jury indictment for alleged drug dealing.

Adam McGill, 40, is charged with single counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd.

He is accused of selling narcotics on an occasion in February.

McGill first prison term came after a conviction in Genesee County on charges of attempted criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, and attempted burglary, 3rd, in 2001.

In 2003, he was convicted of criminal possession of a forged instrument and sent to state prison again.

His last felony conviction was for criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, in 2012 in Wyoming County. He served three and a half years at Groveland and was released from parole in February 2017.

In arguing for $10,000 bail for McGill, Public Defender Jerry Ader pointed to McGill's nearly two years of unsupervised freedom since then, but Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell countered that McGill has 19 total arrests, which includes 15 felony counts, and three failures to appear on prior court cases, including one that required an arrest on a warrant.

Judge Charles Zambito set bail at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond.

NOTE: There's been no press release yet from the law enforcement agency that investigated this case. When there is one we will update this post with any new information.

December 3, 2018 - 2:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Basom, Darien, Pavilion, Alabama, pembroke, Le Roy.

David J. Somerton, 36, of Kelsey Road, Batavia, (in photo above) is charged with possession of obscene sexual performance by a child and use of a child in a sexual performance, both felonies. He was arraigned on the charges on Nov. 29 in Batavia Town Court. Somerton was initially arrested and arraigned on five counts of disseminating indecent material to a minor on Oct. 31 after investigation into a sex offense that occurred in the Town of Batavia Oct. 13. The new charges stem from further investigation and additional charges are pending. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Investigator Howard Carlson, assisted by Investigator/Youth Officer Timothy Westcott. The Genesee County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division was assisted by the FBI Buffalo field office.

Alvin Ezra Way, 57, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at 9:06 p.m. on Dec. 1 on Colonial Way in Batavia for allegedly violating an order of protection by having personal contact with the protected party. He was issued an appearance ticket for Dec. 17 in Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth, assisted by Deputy Erik Andre.

Christie Lynn Daniels, 22, of Council House Road, Basom, is charged with: DWI, speeding in excess of 55 mph, and unlicensed operation -- driving without a license. At 1:59 a.m. on Dec. 2 on Lewiston Road in Batavia, Daniels was stopped by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young for allegedly speeding. After an investigation, it is alleged that Daniels was driving without a license and while intoxicated. She was issued appearance tickets for Dec. 17 in Batavia Town Court. Deputy Young was assisted in the case by Deputy Austin Heberlein.

Trisha A. Park, 26, of Le Roy, was arrested in the evening on Nov. 30th by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with: aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child passenger under 15 years of age inside the vehicle, a class E felony; operating a motor vehicle impaired by drugs and endangering the welfare of a child -- both misdemeanors; unlawful possession of marijuana and inadequate headlights on a motor vehicle, both violations. At approximately 5:45 p.m. on Nov. 30th, patrols observed a vehicle operating without a headlight on Wolcott Street in the Village of Le Roy. Patrols initiated a traffic stop and interviewed the operator. While speaking with the operator, patrols allegedly noticed a strong marijuana odor emanating from the vehicle. A vehicle search would allegedly reveal marijuana as well as marijuana paraphernalia. After a brief investigation it was allegedly determined that Park was impaired by drugs. Park was taken into custody without incident and was evaluated by a Drug Recognizant Expert. Park was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and released under supervision. Park is due back in court on Dec. 20th.

Frank L. Cortright, 60, of Route 77, Alabama, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. It is alleged that at 12:15 p.m. on Nov. 30 on Pratt Road in Pembroke that Cortright intentionally damaged property belonging to another individual. He was issued an appearance ticket returnabled to Pembroke Town Court on Dec. 11. The case was handled by Genesee Coounty Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth.

Stephen Michael Milroy, 24, of Perry Road, Pavilion, is charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana. At 3:42 a.m. on Dec. 1, Milroy was arrested on Park Road in Batavia after investigation into a report of an unconscious male sleeping in his vehicle in the Batavia Downs' parking lot. Milroy was processed at the jail and issued appearance tickets returnable to Batavia Town Court on Dec. 17. The case was handled by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Christopher Jai Shawn Middleton, 24, of Dumont Avenue, Brooklyn, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. The defendant was stopped at 8:35 a.m. on Sumner Road in Darien on Nov. 29 for allegedly speeding. Investigation allegedly revealed he possessed marijuana. He was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Town of Darien Court on Dec. 11. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

December 3, 2018 - 12:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify.

Michelle Ann Case, whose criminal case goes back to 2011, still owes her former employer, HomeCare & Hospice, in the neighborhood of $14,000 but her restitution has yet to be placed on a payment plan by a judge and such a plan was delayed again in County Court this morning.

The 50-year-old Case has been through two trials, convicted twice but the first conviction was overturned on appeal.

This morning Judge Charles Zambito ordered Case to prepare a financial affidavit to help him determine appropriate monthly payments and set a hearing for 9:45 a.m., Dec. 18.

Meanwhile, Public Defender Jerry Ader, representing Case, is challenging Zambito's jurisdiction to order restitution payments.

Because Case has moved a couple of times since her jury trial conviction in July 2016 her probation was transferred to Erie County and then to Niagara County.

She is no longer on probation.

Ader contends that since she was last on probation in Niagara County, the county court in Niagara County has jurisdiction over restitution. He said there is no legal mechanism to transfer jurisdiction back to a court in Genesee County.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman disagrees. He argued that legal precedent doesn't cover jurisdiction over restitution just other matters related to probation.

Ader said he will prepare a written memo for Zambito on his interpretation of legal precedent for Zambito to consider prior to the Dec. 18 hearing.

Case was convicted of falsifying business records in order to increase her compensation from HomeCare & Hospice. She said the inaccurate records were not her fault.

December 1, 2018 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dr. Matthew Landfried, news, Jerome Foundation, batavia, notify.

ummchumanitarian2018.jpg

The admiration for Dr. Matthew Landfried ran deep Friday at Terry Hills for the presentation of the Jerome Foundation's Health and Humanitarian Award but there was also a bit of humor along the way, including a giant bumblebee that delivered an honorary proclamation from State Senator Michael Ranzhofer along with a bouquet of flowers.

In the end, Landfried expressed his appreciation for the award.

"This doesn’t say what I do," Dr. Landfried said. "This tells me what the community thinks of who I am. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much."

Dr. Landfried is currently the medical director of Surgical Services and chairman of the Department of Surgery at UMMC, and serves on multiple committees at UMMC and its partner Rochester Regional Health. 

He also volunteers his time with Batavia and Notre Dame high schools, assisting on the sidelines of sporting events, serving as a team doctor. He's also been involved in several community organizations and supported many local causes financially. 

Greg McAlister introduced Dr. Landfried before the award presentation and his remarks along with a tribute video recalled many of accomplishments of Dr. Landfried's medical career, including remarks by a woman who recalled how Dr. Landfried stepped in to assist with a case after her father contracted sepsis after surgery.  The woman said she didn't want to return to the original surgeon. She said Dr. Landfried spent hours researching the case and trying to assist. When her father took a turn for the worse he tried to refer the case to a specialist in Rochester but none of the doctors he contacted would take the case.

"I begged Matt to try one last time and he did and he got a specialist to take the case," McAlister said, quoting from the unidentified woman's letter. "Because of Matt’s determination, my dad lived another 15 years.”

Dr. Landfried is a member of the Trauma and Critical Care response team of National Disaster Medical System of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, he has volunteered in Haiti, Texas, and other disaster sites supporting the critical medical needs of the communities struck by disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. He assisted at an orphanage in Haiti and remains in contact with them and provides financial help as well.

As part of Friday's festivities, each guest of the luncheon received a small jar of honey and a small wooden honey wand, which, along with the bumblebee costume, recognizes one of Dr. Landfried's hobbies: raising honey bees. He and his wife also grow apples, grapes and make wine on their farm property on Shepard Road.

In addition from a proclamation from Ranzenhofer delivered by a bee, Dr. Landfried received proclamations from Assemblyman Steve Hawley's Office, the County Legislature, delivered by Legislator Shelly Stein, and the Batavia City Council, delivered by Councilman Bob Bialkowski.

"People like you," Bialkowski said, "with your commitment, your dedication, all your time and contributions, you make Batavia a great place to live."

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November 30, 2018 - 5:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, notify, crime, Pavilion, batavia, Stafford.
jackbensonmug2018.jpg
      Jack Benson

A 60-year-old Pavilion man has been arrested and accused of illegally selling fentanyl in Genesee County.

Jack E. Benson, of St. Mary's Street, Pavilion, is charged with three counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

Benson was taken into custody on an arrest warrant stemming from a sealed grand jury indictment following a traffic stop this afternoon in Stafford.

He is accused of selling fentanyl to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force on three different occasions. 

At the time of the stop, he was allegedly in possession of 24 doses of heroin and $1,300 in cash. 

Jolynn M. Gorski, 38, of Batavia, was reportedly a passenger in Benson's vehicle at the time of the stop. She was allegedly found in possession of drug paraphernalia and charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

Benson was arraigned in County Court by Judge Charles Zambito and ordered held in the Genesee County Jail without bail. 

Additional charges are pending.

The arrest was the result of an investigation by the Local Drug Task Force. The task force was assisted by Batavia PD and the District Attorney's Office.

November 30, 2018 - 2:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, alexander, batavia, bergen, Pavilion.

A 16-year-old male who lives in Bergen was arrested and charged with second-degree harassment at 12:40 p.m. on Nov. 14. He allegedly grabbed and shook a teacher's head during class at Byron-Bergen High School. He was arraigned in Bergen Town Court and an order of protection was issued for the teacher. The teenager is due in Bergen Town Court at 5 p.m. on Dec. 12. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Butler.

Rodney Scott Schwartz, 53, of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with: DWI -- second offense within 10 years; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; and open container of alcohol in a vehicle. Following an investigation into a domestic incident at 6:55 p.m. on Nov. 25, Schwartz was arrested on these charges and jailed on $1,000 cash bail or $2,000 bond. He was due in Alexander Town Court on Nov. 29. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack.

Sara Rae Tombari, 21, of Roanoke Road, Pavilion, is charged with third-degree bail jumping. She was arrested after failing to appear for a scheduled court appearance. She was arraigned at 1 p.m. on Nov. 27 in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 bail. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello, assisted by Sgt. Ronald Meides.

Joseph Michael Smith, 42, of Colonial Lane, Bath, is charged with third-degree bail jumping. He was arrested after failing to appear for a scheduled court appearance. He was arraigned at 12:50 a.m. on Nov. 28 in Batavia Town Court and jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Andre.

November 29, 2018 - 7:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, crime, byron, notify.

A 14-year-old Byron girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert earlier today has been located safe, according to Sheriff Bill Sheron.

He said more information will be released soon.

The 22-year-old man, Guillermo Torres-Acevedo, suspected of taking her away from a location on West Bergen Road, Byron, has also been located.

UPDATE: The girl and Torres-Acevedo were located in Mansfield, Pa., by Pennsylvania State Police. Torres-Acevedo was taken into custody on a warrant and is being held pending extradition. The girl is returning to Genesee County. 

Assisting in the investigation, the New York State Police and U.S. Secret Service. Additional charges are pending.

November 29, 2018 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron, news, notify.
guillermo_torres-acevedo_updated_photo_0.jpg
        Guillermo Torres-Acevedo

UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: Amber Alert canceled. The girl has been located and is safe. The suspect has also been located.

The suspect in the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl from Byron shaved his head before this morning, according to Sheriff Bill Sheron.

This evening, the Sheriff's Office released an updated photo of Guillermo Torres-Acevedo with short hair and a trimmed Van Dyke-style goatee. 

According to the Sheriff's Office, Kamerie Elliot willingly got into Torres-Acevedo car at about 8 a.m. today and left with him and hasn't seen since.

She is considered in "imminent danger or serious harm and/or death" and an Amber Alert has been issued.

The suspect vehicle is a blue Dodge Journey are New York HHP5458.

Kamerie currently has hair that is dyed cotton-candy blue.  

If you have information or spot the vehicle or either individual, call 9-1-1 or (585) 343-5000.

For more information, our previous story: Girl from Byron missing after leaving with man ordered to stay away from her

amberalertcarnvo2912018.jpg

This is not a picture of the vehicle but it looks like the vehicle in this photo.

November 29, 2018 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander csd, news, alexander, schools, education, notify.

alexandercapexbus2018.jpg

alexanderbeckycapex2018.jpg
Becky Cokelet, SEI Design Group

A $12.6 million capital improvement proposal for the Alexander Central School District truly is a collaborative effort by members of the local community, Superintendent Catherine Huber, Ed.D., told residents at a community forum Wednesday night.

"The committee worked tirelessly for several months and really came up with a plan that represents the voices of the community," Huber said. "The work was nothing but true collaboration and this plan really does represent the voices of our community."

The plan calls for a new bus garage, four upgraded classrooms in the elementary school building, and lights for the football field.

There are some in the community, including Toby Wade, who had a lot to say at the forum, who suspect the lights for football is a sort of bribe of the community to get approval for the bus garage.

"There is a perception out there by some people, and I admit, I'm one of them, who think you are just throwing them a bone so you can get the rest of the stuff you want," Wade said. 

Huber said the football lights were included because lights on the football field are a long-standing request of the community. She said it was one of the first things brought up to her by community members when she joined the district two years ago. The need for a new bus garage and dealing with the classroom situation is driving the need for a capital project, and that creates an opportunity to wrap in lights for the football field.

"We feel like this plan is not a matter of throwing a bone to anybody," Huber said. 

The state requires school districts to do a facilities review every five years and identify potential issues that need to be addressed. To comply with that requirement, Huber said, the district formed a committee -- any member of the community was able to participate -- and committee members toured the entire district property.

"When we came back from our site tour, almost everybody in that room knew what our priorities should be," Huber said. "When we toured the transportation facility, we realized what dire straits that transportation facility is in. We had no idea what condition the classrooms were in on the garden level but flooding was happening there regularly. The transportation facility and the elementary school building, we knew we had to do something about that. That was our jumping off point."

The current bus garage is beyond repair, Huber said. Bricks are deteriorating, there are other structural problems, and modern buses don't fit in it well.

There is also a persistent complaint about the safety of the current location. The current configuration means buses must back up into both car and pedestrian traffic areas.

Another long-standing request from the community, Huber said, is for a sidewalk connecting the high school with the elementary school in order to improve safety.

The proposed new transportation facility would eliminate indoor parking for buses (a configuration the state would not fund), create bays for bus maintenance, and a second floor for offices for transportation staff.

The transportation facility would be on a raised elevation, creating separation from pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk next to the football field.

Huber said the district decided to build a new transportation hub at the present location of the bus garage because there was no other available space on school district property and with declining enrollment, it made no sense for the district to acquire off-campus property for buses.

"We looked at several locations on campus and everywhere we ran into issues -- slops, water flows, traffic," Huber said. "It's a very complicated space."

Becky Cokelet, project consultant, from SEI Design Group, explained the situation with the elementary school classrooms.

There is a problem with flooding in the lower southwest area of the building because of soil conditions and that has caused damage to the building. 

The plan also calls for eliminating the bathrooms in each classroom and converting those to storage closets. Two new multi-stall bathrooms will be added where there is currently a classroom. 

The classrooms will be updated with modern fixtures and features and module desk units purchased. There will also be new lockers installed in the hallway.

Funding for the $12.6 million projects will come from a variety of sources:

  • $1.9 million from capital reserves;
  • $750,000 from other reserves;
  • and, 79 percent funded by state aid.

There will be no tax increase in either the near-term nor the long-term related to the project, Financial Director Tim Batzel said.

The district will be required to take out a 15-year bond on the classroom renovations and a 30-year bond for the new building but there will be no increase in the tax levy as a result.

The bonds will be repaid over the years by reimbursements from the state, not out of district funds (after the allocated reserves are spent).

While the statutory language of the ballot measure voters are being asked to approve Monday discusses using tax levy funds to pay for the project, that is language required by state law. In reality, Batzel, future tax levy money will not be used for the project. The expense of the project is completely covered by existing reserves and state aid.

If voters approve the project, Cokelet and her SEI colleagues will need until June 2019 to draw up architectural plans, then state officials will need to approve those plans -- a process that takes several months -- so construction won't begin before 2020 and then will take 10 to 12 months to complete.

Toby Wade said it seemed like there were a lot of unanswered questions about project details, particularly around the design of a retaining wall that he and others thought could present a safety issue.

Huber assured the audience that there is no way the district would approve plans that didn't adequately address safety issues.

As for the lack of detailed design plans, Cokelet said the stages of development are driven by state regulation. First comes the assessment, then a preliminary plan, which requires state approval, and then that plan is presented to the school board for approval. After the board approves it, it is brought to district voters for consideration.

It's only after voters approve it that architects can begin to actually design the buildings and infrastructure of the project.

Wade said that process is a problem because the district voters have been burned before.

"The year 2000 building project was a complete failure," Wade said. "We had to go through lawsuits and it was a huge disservice to people. I can respect that you're trying to do what is needed, but a lot of people in the community aren't going to trust that you're doing your due diligence and trust that it's all going to turn out right."

Cokelet didn't deny the previous project had numerous problems but she said she wasn't involved in the 2000 project, nor was her company.

"I'm ashamed on a professional level, on behalf of my profession, how that firm represented (and) handled that project, but thankfully that firm is out of business," Cokelet said.

However, the district won't be able to maintain the garage much longer. Soon the state will require it be replaced.

"I understand this requires faith and trust but I hope you will look at our most recent projects and I hope you see the great work that was done on limited budgets," Cokelet said.

Voters in the Alexander Central School District can vote on the capital improvement project at the school on Monday (Dec. 3) from noon to 8 p.m.

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