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April 19, 2019 - 4:03pm

Willis Floyd Miller Jr., 59, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested on April 18 and arraigned in Pembroke Town Court at 4:30 p.m. for allegedly stealing tools belonging to his former employer on Dec. 5 on Genesee Street in Pembroke. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Pembroke Town Court again on April 30. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Elizabeth Rose George, 28, of Council House Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, is charged with: unauthorized use of a vehicle; leaving the scene of a property damage accident; and moving from lane unsafely. George was arrested on April 18. It is alleged that she drove a vehicle on April 18 without the owner's consent and that she was subsequently involved in an accident at 5:13 a.m. on Bloomingdale Road. It is also alleged that she left the scene of the accident. George was issued traffic tickets and released on appearance tickets. The defendant is due in Alabama Town Court on May 8 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Deputy Travis DeMuth, assisted by Deputy Joshua Brabon.

Brandon Eugene Matteson, 25, of Ellicott Street Road, Pavilion, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree harassment. Following a domestic incident that occurred at 7:56 a.m. on April 17 on Ellicott Street Road in Pavilion, Matteson was arrested and arraigned at 11:41 p.m. on April 17 in Le Roy Town Court. He was jailed in lieu of $500 cash or $3,000 bond. Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer handled the case, assisted by NYS Police.

April 19, 2019 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, notify, crime, Grand Jury, Oakfield.

James A. Chase is indicted for the crime of failure to register a change of address, a Class D felony. It is alleged that this convicted Level 3 sex offender failed to register with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services within 10 calendar days any change of address, including Internet accounts, Internet access providers or Internet identifiers. In this case, he is accused of not registering a specific email account. In count two, he is accused of the same crime for allegedly not registering a Facebook account that used the screen name of John Chase. In count three, he is accused of the same crime for allegedly not registering an Internet access provider he used, in this case Boost Mobile. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Chase is accused of having been convicted of: the crime of failure to register/verify a change of address, as a Class A misdemeanor, on Aug. 18, 2005 in Batavia City Court; failure to register a change of address, a Class D felony, on Sept. 12, 2005 in Town of Oakfield Court; and failure to register/verify change of address, as a Class E felony, on March 10, 2015 in Genesee County Court.

Jacob J. Camerera is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 18 in the City of Batavia that Camerera knowingly possessed stolen property, in this case one or more firearms, rifles or shotguns -- a Marlin .22-caliber model 60 rifle.

April 18, 2019 - 4:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, notify.

Despite a shortage of corrections officers, officials have been able to hold down overtime pay at the Genesee County Jail, Superintendent William Zipfel told members of the County Legislature's Public Service Committee on Wednesday.

Zipfel made his report as part of a Sheriff's Office department review with the committee.

Overtime was more than $17,500 less in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 2018, Zipfel said.

The jail is understaffed by six C.O. positions even with three C.O.'s recently completed training and two more in the pipeline.

"We're constantly doing interviews and background checks," Zipfel said when asked about filling the vacancies.

Because of the vacancies, there hasn't been jail staff available to handle inmate transports, so the task has fallen once again to deputies on road patrol.

The prison population continues to exceed the jail's capacity.  

While there has been an average of 16.16 women (who can't be held locally) incarcerated under Genesee County jurisdiction, which is about two more than last year, there has also been an increase of male prisoners who must be housed at other county jails.

The state seems to be contributing to an increase in the jail population because of new policies that have prison inmates being released on parole sooner and then being picked up on parole violations faster. Those parolees, when found in Genesee County, are held locally until transferred to state prison.

The kitchen is also turning out to be another place the jail is saving money, Zipfel said, praising head chef Bill Cultrara. He said last year in the first quarter, the jail served 20,194 meals at a cost of $30,722, or $1.52 per meal. In the first quarter this year, Cultrara and staff served 4,500 more meals but at cost of $1.15 per meal.

Older inmates, inmates with more health problems, more mental health problems, and substance abuse problems, are driving up other costs, such as prisoner transports to the hospital and other health providers.

Sheriff William Sheron told the Legislature that felony and drug cases in the first quarter were on par with 2018.

He said illegal drugs remain a concern, particularly cocaine, heroin, and LSD. He said there seems to be an increase in LSD use among high school students.

For the concert season at Darien Lake, he said one show is sold out, a few more are likely to sell out, and 17 shows of an anticipated 20 to 25 have been announced. He said he anticipates adequate law enforcement staffing for the shows.

The Sheriff's Office is also expecting the construction of a new communications tower in Attica, actually in Wyoming County, which will eliminate dead spots in Pavilion, Alexander and Darien.

April 18, 2019 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia GOP, news, notify.

Press release:

I believe the local Democratic leadership has lost sight of its responsibility to serve its own constituents. Rose Mary Christian has represented Batavia’s sixth ward for over 28 years. Although I have at times agreed with her on issues and at other times disagreed, I have always respected the fact that Rosemary understands service at the local level and works very hard to serve the residents of the sixth ward. That’s why she’s held her seat for so long. All 28 years she has represented the sixth ward, Rosemary has enjoyed the support of local Democrats. However, that changed this year and it changed for reasons that should trouble any community-minded Batavia Democrat. 

Rosemary was very concerned with the radically liberal abortion/infanticide bill that was passed by Albany and Downstate Democrats and decided to speak out for the unborn. The local Democratic leadership, obviously in lockstep with the radical views prominent in Albany, New York, and Washington decided that an honest objection from a local Democrat who had the courage to speak out was unacceptable. Having endorsed Rosemary just a very few weeks earlier, the leadership decided to rescind her endorsement and suddenly a candidate emerged who tried, unsuccessfully, to challenge her in a primary this June. Isn’t there any loyalty to a local representative who has shown loyalty to her party and her constituents for so many years? Whose interests are to prevail in the Batavia and Genesee County Democratic Party; the local constituents, or the kingmakers in Albany? It looks like the answer is obvious. In addition, I respectfully hope Batavia’s sixth ward Democrats express their independence and send a message to the kingmakers by supporting your long term representative without punishing her for speaking up on an issue that she is passionate about; supporting the lives of the unborn.

If you want a better voice at the local level and an honest commitment to represent your interests first, join our local Republican party. I personally promise that your voice will be heard and respected. We are also committed to doing what’s best for the City of Batavia, even if that requires some sacrifices by our local candidates.

You can contact me or any Republican Committee person and we will happily assist you in making the change.

Sincerely,

David Saleh, Chairman,
City of Batavia Republican Committee

April 18, 2019 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news, notify.

There's nothing "cast in concrete" yet, Information Technology Director Steve Zimmer told members of the County Legislature at the Ways and Means Committee meeting on Wednesday but New York State is considering requiring all counties in the state to segregate the computer networks of elections commissions from any other computer network in the county.

It's not clear yet, Zimmer said, exactly what the state will require but in Genesee County, at a minimum, that might mean a new high-speed Internet line going into County Building #1, where the election commission operates, with new switches, and taking the commission's computers off the network currently in that building.

That will cost at least $20,000, Zimmer said.

What he doesn't know is if he will also be required to install a separate fiber optic from County Building #1 to the main data center to further segregate the elections commission from the rest of the county network.

No official directive has been issued yet but Zimmer expects the state will mandate some change in advance of the 2020 election.

"Everyone is scared to death of the Russian hackers or that something is going to happen with the 2020 election, so the state is coming up with a lot of ‘what ifs’ and 'what do we need to do to improve security in local elections offices,' " Zimmer said.

April 16, 2019 - 3:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, news, notify.

The town board in Alabama has notified that New York Department of Transportation that it opposes a planned $1.8 million roundabout at the intersection of Route 77 and Ledge Road, the site over the years of numerous accidents.

State officials maintain that roundabouts save lives and reduce high-impact, right-angle, serious-injury accidents but town officials in a letter to the DOT said they believe a roundabout at that intersection will make things worse.

"While it may decrease high-impact accidents," the board members wrote, "it will increase low-impact accidents, which will, in turn, increase the amount of emergency calls for our volunteer firemen."

The letter also raises concerns about farmers moving equipment through the roundabout, plowing it in winter, increased noise from trucks slowing and applying their jake brakes, and the danger of traffic slowing as vehicles approach the roundabout.

"The proposed roundabout will be approximately 30 feet from a residence," the letter states. "This poses a significant safety hazard to this property owner."

The town is also concerned that current equipment cannot properly clear the roundabout during and after snowstorms.

"Is the state going to pay for (the town) to purchase the equipment necessary to maintain it?" the letter states, adding later, "Our own highway superintendent is not in favor of this project. It is very difficult to keep this intersection clear in the winter as it is. Adding a roundabout to the mix will make it even more difficult."

The letter is signed by Supervisor Janet Sage, Deputy Supervisor Kevin Fisher, board members Gordon Linsey, Jill Klotzbach and William Cleveland.

April 16, 2019 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, bridges, genesee county, news, notify.

The County Legislature is poised to accept more than $2.5 million in federal grants to help pay for two bridge replacement projects, one in Pembroke and the other in Alabama.

In Pembroke, the current steel girder bridge with a steel grate deck over the Tonawanda Creek will be removed and replaced at a total cost of 2,033,050. A federal grant will pay for $1,651,100 of the replacement with state aid covering $389,200, and the county picking up the final $9,550 of the tab.

In Alabama, the county will replace the Judge Road Bridge over Whitney Creek. The cost is $1,183,000. Federal aid is $946,400, with state aid at $177,450 and a local share of $59,150, which will come from sale tax revenue.

In both cases, the federal aid is capped at 80 percent of the cost of the project.

The Pratt Road Bridge was built in 1971, the Judge Road Bridge in 1978.

Lu Engineers, in Rochester, will be retained as consultants on the Judge Road Bridge at a cost of $162,063.91.

The resolutions for these projects were approved unanimously by the Public Service Committee on Monday and will now go to the full Legislature for approval.

Also on Monday, the committee recommended the county accept a $200,000 grant from NYS Ag & Markets for improvements to the Animal Shelter, which is now 20 years old.

The committee also authorized the transfer, pending full Legislature approval, of $40,000 oil and stone funds to the salt fund. Deputy Highway Superintendent Dave Wozniak said the transfer is necessary to help replenish the road salt supply before the fall and that the transfer would have no significant impact on planned road resurfacing projects this summer. A couple of minor projects, including a parking lot at the County Park, would be delayed for a season.

April 15, 2019 - 5:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

From the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

On April 15, former Genesee County Correctional Officer Justin M. Gugel was arrested on two charges: petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Both are Class A misdemeanors.

It is alleged that on Jan. 19 while employed at the GC Jail, Gugel stole a controlled substance from medication which had been prescribed and alloted for an inmate.

An investigation was opened after pills were reported missing following a routine medication count in the jail.

Gugel was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court at 1 p.m. on May 7. The case was investigated by GC Sheriff's Investigator Joseph Loftus.

April 15, 2019 - 3:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, corfu, bergen, byron.

Jerrol P. Newell, 49, of East Main Street, Corfu, is charged with: driving with a BAC of more than .18 percent; driving while intoxicated; following too closely; leaving the scene of a property damage accident; and unlicensed operation. Newell was allegedly driving on Route 33 when his pickup truck struck another car in the area of Wortendyke Road. The defendant did not stop and continued traveling west on Route 33. The operator whose vehicle was struck followed the pickup and called 9-1-1. Newell was arrested following an investigation then released on appearance tickets. Newell is due in Batavia Town Court on May 16. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Meides, assisted by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Frank L. Morrison, 37, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Morrison was arrested for allegedly spitting on his neighbor following a verbal argument at 2:38 p.m. on April 13 on Bank Street in Batavia. He is to be arraigned in Batavia City Court on April 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Eric Scott Dawson, 29, of 4 N. Spruce St., upper unit, Batavia, is a convicted Level 2 sex offender who is charged with four counts of failure to register a change -- first offense. He is on parole and was being held in Genesee County Jail on a parole violation at the time of his arrest on April 11. Following his arraignment, he was put back in jail on $2,500 bail and is due in Batavia City Court on May 9. The case was handled by Batavia Police Det. Eric Hill.

Leanne Marie Tucker, 47, of Shawnee Road, North Tonawanda, is charged with petit larceny and endangering the welfare of a child. At 6:15 p.m. on April 9, Tucker allegedly stole merchandise from a department store on Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia while in the presence of a person under the age of 17. She was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court on May 6. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore, assisted by Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Kara B. Sass, 24, of Coward Road, Byron, is charged with petit larceny. Sass was arrested on April 10 at 7:51 p.m. on an arrest warrant out of Batavia City Court. She was arraigned, then released under supervision of Genesee Justice. She was due back in court on April 11. The original charge stems from a shoplifting complaint at Tops Market in Batavia at 12:53 a.m. on March 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Amanda Lyle Mcewan, 25, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with: unlawful possession of marijuana; operating a motor vehicle without stop lamps, and operating a motor vehicle without a proper license. At 11:45 p.m. on April 13, Mcewan was arrested on Clinton Street in Batavia following a traffic stop during which a quantity of THC oil was allegedly found in her possession. She is due to return to Batavia City Court on April 24. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Sgt. John Baiocco.

Ryan James Monnell, 31, of East Oneida Street, Baldwinsville, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and a muffler violation. At 1:39 p.m. on April 9, Monnell was stopped on South Lake Road in the Town of Bergen following the observation of a vehicle and traffic violation. It is alleged that Monnell possessed a quantity of marijuana at the time. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Bergen Court on May 8. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

April 12, 2019 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Le Roy, Grand Jury.

Iszon C. Richardson is indicted for the crime of second-degree burglary, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that on Dec. 17 Richardson entered a dwelling unlawfully on Jackson Street in the City of Batavia with the intention of committing a crime. In counts two and three, he is accused of first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony, for allegedly intentionally violating a stay away order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party and subjecting them to physical contact or attempting or threatening to do so on Dec. 17. In count four, he is accused of attempted assault in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly striking the protected party in the face. In count five, he is accused of another count of second-degree burglary for allegedly entering the same dwelling on Dec. 20. In counts six and seven, he is accused of two more counts of first-degree criminal contempt for allegedly intentionally violating a stay away order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party on Dec. 20 and subjecting them to physical contact or attempting or threatening to do so. In count eight, Richardson is accused of second-degree unlawful imprisonment for allegedly restraining the protected party on Dec. 20. In count nine, the defendant is accused of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, a Class A misdemeanor, by allegedly applying pressure on the victim's neck. In count 10, he is accused of second-degree burglary for allegedly entering the same dwelling on Dec. 20 on a second occasion. In counts 11 and 12, he is accused of first-degree criminal contempt for allegedly intentionally violating a stay away order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party on Dec. 20 and on Dec. 16. In count 13, Richardson is accused of first-degree criminal contempt for allegedly intentionally violating a stay away order of protection by being in the presence of the protected party and subjecting them to physical contact or attempting or threatening to do so on Dec. 16.

Shane C. Anthony and Robert N. Pragle are indicted for the crime of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on some time between Jan. 2 and Jan. 3 in the Town of Le Roy that the defendants knowlingly possessed stolen property with a value that exceeded $3,000. In count two, they are accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly possessing crack cocaine.

April 11, 2019 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in farm labor bill, farm labor, news, agriculture, Le Roy, notify.

 

Video Sponsor

Proposed changes to farm labor practices in New York would likely destroy the state's agriculture industry, with a spill-over effect on many other businesses in local communities, and ultimately lead to families getting out of farming, a group of local farms said Wednesday at a press conference at Stein Farms in Le Roy.

The farmers gathered to raise concerns about the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act now making its way through the New York State Legislature.

"We're at the point I think where this has the potential to be the single greatest economic devastating effect on agriculture in New York in my lifetime," said Dale Stein, senior partner at Stein Farms.

The bill's chief sponsor and supporter, Sen. Jessica Ramos, from Queens, is in Batavia today, as a guest of Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, to meet with area farmers and listen to their concerns. The press conference was called in advance of that meeting so farmers could share their concerns with the broader public.

"We just aren't heard now very well by Downstate And it's not they're not good people and don't care. They do. Our people want to work. They don't want 40 hours a week. They don't want eight hours a day as my staff tell me. I don't want to sit home and watch TV. I'd rather come and work. We offer them extra hours if they want they come and work. They don't want us at home. They want to make all the money they can."

Stein, along with Jeff Toussaint, an Albion farmer, and Jim Starowitz, a farm employee in Byron, not only talked about the potential costs of the bill, which would institute new overtime rules, reduce weekly working hours, and other regulatory burdens for farms, but also how unnecessary the bill is because of laws already in place, the above-minimum-wage pay scales in place at farms now, and the desire of farm workers to work while there's money to be made.

The bill would also allow farm workers to join labor unions.

"I'm here to tell you that apples are a perishable crop and I can't emphasize that enough," Toussaint said. "They have to be harvested on time. If apples are left in the orchard too long they become soft and we're unable to store them. In just a matter of a few days of becoming overripe, they can lose 50 to 75 percent of their original value. A strike during harvest season would ultimately be catastrophic."

Starowitz said the increased costs associated with the bill would eventually put a lot of farm workers out of work.

"The costs are an additional $200,000 a year," Starowtiz said. "That equates to an extra $32 a tonne (aka metric ton), or almost a thousand dollars an acre. If all states where there are growers are on the same level, we could pass our cost along like every other business.

"But this is a state law that puts us in a noncompetitive position with other states. It increases labor cost and over time we will be no longer able to raise our vegetables. We'll have to move to a row-crop-only business or close our doors."

Maureen Torrey, co-owner of Torrey Farms, joined the conversation and said besides making it harder for her to compete nationally, the proposed changes will also make it harder to attract farm labor to New York.

"We have a limited pool even of visa workers," Torrey said. "They're going to go work where they can get a minimum of 60 hours or more."

April 10, 2019 - 6:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in notify, news, bergen, batavia, crime.

Guillermo Jose Torres-Acevedo, 22, of Batavia, did not appear in Byron Town Court as scheduled this afternoon at 5 o'clock because federal officers picked him up this morning at Genesee County Jail.

He's been in jail since November, accused of taking an underage girl away from her home in Bergen on Nov. 29 and driving her to Pennsylvania.

Torres-Acevedo was arraigned in Federal Court in Buffalo today on a new charge: transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.

The defendant is already charged with custodial interference in the first degree, criminal contempt, 2nd, endangering the welfare of a child, plus grand larceny, 3rd, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle for allegedly stealing the Dodge Journey he is accused of using to transport the girl.

At the time of the November incident, an Amber Alert was issued for the girl, who was later found with Torres-Acevedo at a Walmart in Mansfield, Pa., through a geolocation ping of her mobile phone.

Torres-Acevedo was arrested in Pennsylvania without incident and the girl was returned to her parents.

The girl and Torres-Acevedo knew each other and Torres-Acevedo had already been arrested in connection with his relationship with the girl and issued a stay-away order, which he allegedly violated, leading to a criminal contempt charge.

UPDATE 7:45 p.m.: Press release from U.S. Attorney's Office in Buffalo:

U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced today that Guillermo Torres-Acevedo, 23, of Batavia, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with transporting a minor across state lines for sexual activity. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie O. Lamarque, who is handling the case, states that according to the complaint, on Nov 29 the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office received a report regarding a missing 14-year-old girl (Victim 1). Surveillance video from Byron Bergen Junior/Senior High School showed Victim 1 exiting a school bus at the school and walking to a blue vehicle and leaving the property. Victim 1 had recently been romantically involved with the defendant.

As a result of this, Torres-Acevedo was arrested and charged by the New York State Police three days prior on Nov. 26 with second- degree rape and second-degree criminal sex act. An order of protection was also issued against the defendant.

Further investigation determined that on the morning of Nov. 29, Torres-Acevedo took his mother’s vehicle against her wishes. The vehicle matched the vehicle that Victim 1 was seen to get into in the surveillance video. As a result, an Amber Alert was issued.

Investigators traced Torres-Acevedo and Victim 1 to a truck stop in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania State Police were contacted and located Victim 1 and the defendant in the parking lot of a retail store. Torres-Acevedo was taken into custody, and Victim 1 was returned to her parents.

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder and is being detained.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eric Laughton; the Pennsylvania State Police, under the direction of Acting Commissioner Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

April 10, 2019 - 4:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Central School District, news, notify.

leroyschoolboardapril2019.jpg

The sound of music will still be heard in Le Roy in the coming school year despite concerns that rippled through choral classes that the Central School District Board of Trustees wanted to scale back the program.

In fact, school officials hit all the right notes in a boardroom packed with music students and parents who came to Tuesday's meeting in response to rumors that a chorus teaching position would be eliminated in the proposed 2019-20 budget.

Board President Jackie Whiting told the group that just as there are six teachers in the music department now, there will be six music teachers at the elementary and middle school/high school next year.

Rather than cutting position, the district is adding the equivalent of two and a half teachers, if the budget is approved by voters, in 2019/20, including a special education teacher specializing in reading for first- and second-graders, and a teacher for business education classes (such as computer science, career and finance, advertising and marketing, and accounting).

Superintendent Merritt Holly indicated that the concerns about the music department seemed to stem from a thorough and exhausting budget process that had the budget and finance committee asking a lot of hard questions about what should stay and what should go and what should be added in the coming school year.

"In our conversations we looked at every area inside this budget to provide a program that is, number one, fiscally responsible, and number two, moves up the level of our students up so they can compete, not only in our region, not just in Western New York and Upstate, but across the country and, in fact, as part of the global economy," Holly said.

Like many school boards, Le Roy's allows a forum for public comment early in its agenda and then the public is not given a chance to speak during board discussions of actual agenda items. So before budget came up for board discussion and the members in attendance actually knew no teachers were being eliminated from the music department, four people stood before the board and made their case for retaining a full complement of music teachers.

Speakers include Rita Pencilla, representing the Music Boosters, Megan Privatera, a senior, Aubry Puccio, an elementary school student, and Matthew Austin, a parent.

They all made points about the importance of music to education, the role music plays in shaping students and improving their grades and test scores, and the importance of Le Roy's music programs to the community.

"We have a large number of students who go on to study music or participate in music after graduation," Pencilla said. "This pattern shows that we are cultivating talent and these students need solid foundations in music before graduating."

She added later, "Many studies support the importance of music education and how it improves language and reasoning skills, and the spatial intelligence needed to solve advanced mathematics problems. Students involved in music education are more successful on standardized tests and get better grades."

Austin admitted he's tone deaf and owns the largest collection of guitars of anybody who can't play guitar, but said he's amazed by the progress he sees over the years of students advancing through the district's music programs.

"I’ve really come to appreciate the teachers because they’re here all the time," Austin said. "They give and they give and they give. They’re not just creating singers or dancers or players. They’re creating future citizens that are going to rock the world."

Before telling those in attendance that the budget did not include music department staff cuts, Whiting explained a bit about the budget process.

"None of the decision making is random," she said. "It’s not rash, and it definately involves our staff. They are the key to what happens here, too. In discussions with staff, scenarios may be thrown out, what if we did this, what if we changed that, what if we thought about this. What would it look like if we had one less staff? And that was a discussion that brought all of you people here today. But it was part of a discussion where there is a lot of options."

The proposed budget is $25,909,998, which is $710,770 more than the current fiscal year.

The state's cap on property tax levies would allow the district to increase its local levy 3.45 percent, said Business Manager Brian Foeller. The district is proposing a tax levy increase of 2.89 percent.

The actual proposed budget has not yet been made available to the public yet but there is a vote scheduled for May 2.

Among the highlights outlined by Holly and staff at Tuesday's meeting is the addition of a reading specialist for first- and second-graders.

"If we don’t have students ready to go at grade level by third grade, then we're fighting an uphill battle in math," Holly said.

He gave credit to Wolcott Principal Carol Messura for advocating for the position, even while he pushed back and challenged her on the need.

"Early intervention is the key and we just do not have enough staff to support that early intervention need down in the primary house," Messura said. "With the addition of a reading teacher, my focus will be my first and second grade. It will make a difference."

High School Principal Tim McArdle made the case for increasing the business instructor core from the equivalent of one and a half teachers to three.

"We've been very methodical with business and allowed the data to speak for itself," McArdle said. "We've looked at the number of students who are interested and who are going to college in this field. We're up now to 140 students for the third straight year, up from below 100, the upper 90s, in previous years."

One piece of consistent feedback alumni give is that they wish there had been more computer science instruction available when they were in school and that every student should take the career/finance course.

McArdle said he hopes to see 90 percent of the graduates with that course on their transcripts.

Holly said he felt now is the right time to expand what the school offers to juniors and seniors in business instruction.

"We’re ready right now to make that next step for our students in offering an elective set at the junior and senior level that I would put up against anybody in our region pound for pound with our student enrollment," Holly said.

leroyschoolboardapril2019-2.jpg

Matthew Austin speaking.

leroyschoolboardapril2019-3.jpg

Jackie Whiting at the head of the table.

leroyschoolboardapril2019-4.jpg

Merritt Holly, superintendent.

leroyschoolboardapril2019-5.jpg

At the start of the meeting, Josh Englerth was recognized for his Section V title in wrestling.

April 10, 2019 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, crime, news, notify.

From the Le Roy Police Department:

A combination of an unusual set of circumstances, DNA technology and old-fashioned police work led to the arrest of 25-year-old Le Roy resident Patrick J. Gonzales by the Le Roy Police Department.

This arrest announced today allegedly solves a two-year-old burglary, which occurred at 1:58 a.m. on March 16, 2017 on Lake Street in the Village.

The burglary occurred when a person entered the victim's building and stole a safe and other items. At the time of the burglary, the alarm activated but the police were accidentally sent to a neighboring business. Because of this error, the patrols found no burglary and were sitting on Wright Avenue talking when a person allegedly identified as Gonzales walked by them, eastbound on Wright Avenue toward Route 19.

The police recognized Gonzales but had no cause to stop him. Once the patrols were advised they were sent to the wrong business, they checked the correct business and located the burglary along with a fresh set of footprints in the snow eventually leading to a wooded area. The footprints were followed and led to the discovery of both the stolen safe and what appeared to be the perpetrator's jacket buried in the snow.

Both were recovered and the footprints were again followed, which led to the same location and direction on Wright Avenue that Gonzales was seen traveling earlier. The footprints led toward a rooming house on Lake Street, in which Gonzales was living at the time. The same footprints were then found on the property of the rooming house.

Eventually enough cause was developed to petition Gonzales to appear in Genesee County Court for a court-ordered DNA test, which was granted in July of 2018. The DNA was secured and compared to DNA evidence found in the jacket buried in the snow and allegedly matched.

During the investigation, Gonzales left New York State twice but returned the first time to surrender his DNA and then returned this past time to turn himself into the Le Roy Police Department and face the charges.

Gonzales was charged with one count each of the Class D felonies of burglary in the third degree and grand larceny in the third degree. He was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

April 9, 2019 - 5:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, notify, jerry brewster.

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Jerry Brewster likes to talk.

He could probably talk the tail feathers off a pheasant.

He's certainly talked a few people into admitting to things they would have rather have kept quiet, such as burglaries, rapes, arsons, and even murders.

Brewster said getting confessions is one of the most satisfying parts of being a criminal investigator, a job he's held since 1988 as part of a 44-year career with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office that ends this week.

"When I was actively investigating cases, I would get a lot of confessions and come Tuesday when there's a grand jury, I might be going into a grand jury four, five, six times talking about different cases that I investigated and they all had confessions," Brewster said. "I remember one day I was in there and at the end of the grand jury proceeding there is an opportunity for the grand jurors ask questions. After about the fifth time I was there one afternoon, ... the district attorney asked if there were any questions and a guy raised his hand and said, 'I don't have any questions (about the case) but I want to know, how does he get those people to talk to him?' "

How many confessions has Brewster coaxed out of reluctant suspects? He couldn't tell you.

"I just never thought about it," Brewster said. "I just don't know. I do what I do and then I move on. I never did the chalk-mark-on-the-wall kind of thing."

However many cases Brewster has cracked, it's surely not bad for a kid from Oakfield who was a math/science major with an eye on a career as a pharmacist when he got a job offer under the Comprehensive Employment Training Act program for an emergency dispatcher position.

He was 22 years old and had worked for Agway and Montgomery Ward.

"The economic situation being what it was, I was doing a balancing act in my mind," Brewster said. "You know, here's a job where the money and benefits are good or going into the unknown. I just had to go into the job at the Sheriff's Office. I didn't know if I was going to like it. It wasn't anything that I had thought about that much but it just kind of grew on me. And apparently, I must have had some skills or was somewhat adept at it so and it ended up being a good fit."

From dispatcher to deputy working in the jail, to road patrol, Brewster's early career moved on quickly.

Road patrol, that was something he liked. It wasn't long before he was promoted to sergeant. But it was also on road patrol where he discovered that he liked helping victims get answers but he also learned that the cases that took the most work -- usually felonies -- were often handed off to investigators.

Brewster was hooked both on helping victims and coaxing confessions when he helped an Oakfield resident, a person he knew, recover a stolen canoe.

"I only had a description of the canoe," Brewster said. "We didn't have serial numbers or anything like that. I happened upon a car over in Four Corners in Byron and here was a canoe that kind of looked like the one we were looking for, and I started talking to (the driver) about it and he had some answers that weren't quite adding up and eventually was I able to get a confession roadside from him."

That experience helped convince Brewster to accept a position -- even though it was a step down from sergeant -- as an investigator. Six years later, in 1994, Brewster was promoted to chief deputy in charge of investigations.

Patience, Brewster said, is the key to being a good investigator. You also need to be intelligent, educated, willing to listen.

"You have to be a good judge of character," Brewster said. "You have to be able to use the eyes in your head and your senses to try and figure out when somebody is not being truthful. Let's face it, in this position in this career that we have chosen, most people don't tell you the truth."

It's interesting, Brewster observed, that most parents teach their children to always be truthful, except when dealing with cops.

"You're in a backseat when dad gets pulled over for speeding and the first thing he says is, 'I wasn't speeding,' Brewster said. "So, it was OK to lie to the police and it kind of pervades today, which is OK. We understand. We're not angry about that. We just realize that most people, when we ask them the first time, they're not going to tell us the truth."

Early in Brewster's career as an investigator, he was called on to look into the death of a woman who was beaten to death inside her home on Route 77 in Indian Falls. After her death, her husband tried to take his own life. He didn't succeed and he was hospitalized. He was in critical condition at first and couldn't be interviewed. On Christmas Day, Brewster learned the man could finally talk so, taking time away from his family, he went to the hospital and interviewed the man for five hours.

He confessed to the murder.

"It was quite obvious that he was not being truthful because, on one hand, he would say he didn't remember and you'd ask him what was on television you could tell exactly what was on television," Brewster said. "So those sorts of things he seemed to remember OK. So we narrow this thing down. (Now it's) 'I remember everything that happened up until this moment' at which point it's a matter of working on that moment."

Much about investigating crime has changed since 1988. Back then, DNA evidence was new and uncommon. Now it's used in many cases. And of course, people didn't have cell phones that could be tracked, and certainly not phones that could easily take video. There was, in fact, very little video evidence. Now, Brewster said, it's hard to convince a jury a suspect did the crime without video evidence. Computers now also finding dots and connecting them much easier.

"Our capabilities are just tremendous," Brewster said. "In cars today, there are computers and they can tell us a lot of stuff about you and your car before an accident. We didn't have that before, or cell phones. They can tell us a lot of stuff.

"Of course, then you have the rights groups saying, 'well I don't want you to know where I go; I don't want you to know who I talk to or where I've been.' But if we need to, we get to work by valid search warrant, and we're doing a lot of search warrants these days, and we can get that information and we are using that sometimes to solve crimes or to exonerate people."

The key to solving any criminal case, Brewster said, is knowing who to look at as a person of interest. Once you determine that, you can figure out a possible motive and know what questions to ask.

"It makes my job a lot easier if I knew who to look at," Brewster said. "Sometimes I would have informants and I would tell them, 'look it, I don't want you to come forward and testify; I just want you to tell me who did it' and then I could start working and I might be able to find a witness who said they saw him there. If I don't know what to look at, it makes a lot harder. Fingerprints can do it. DNA is helping us. It's just like that guy pointing his finger back in the day. I needed to know who was most likely to have done it and then I could solve the case."

But the danger for any investigator, Brewster said, is to approach a crime with a preconceived notion. You can't put the pieces together if you don't see the whole picture. Tunnel vision can kill an investigation.

One of his roles as chief deputy, he said, was to listen to his investigators, let them paint a picture, and then tell them what they were missing.

"Maybe I have a little bit of a luxury as chief deputy because I have the investigators out there doing the digging and the interviews and they're coming back to me and telling you what's going on," Brewster said. "I'm already a little bit detached. Many times I haven't even been out to the scene so things will start clicking in my mind. I'm more of a visual person and if you describe what that scene looked like and then you start talking to me about it, even if I haven't been there, I can say, 'Yeah but what about that? Well, take a look at this. How do you explain what this guy said he saw?' And then they start questioning him. So that's one of the roles I see myself in here."

Brewster's other role, he said, is to stay on top of both changes in technology and in case law. That involves a lot of reading but he doesn't want to see a criminal case get crossed up because an appeals court has changed how evidence can be gathered and cases built.

If you're not current on case law, Brewster said, "you're fishing in the dark and you don't know what you might be doing wrong. What was OK six months ago isn't OK to do now. We need to know that because we might make that mistake."

Solving cases that don't run afoul of Constitutional protections for citizens is critical to good police work, Brewster said.

"If we can't do it legally there will always be another time," Brewster said. "If we don't have it, there will always be another time. For a police officer, time is always on our side. We just have to be patient. These guys that are screwing up will continue to screw up. If we don't get them somebody else will."

With that in mind, Brewster's advice to Joseph Graff, the next chief deputy in charge of investigations, is: read. Read a lot.

Also, be prepared for how demanding the job is. There is no downtime. When you go out with your family, your wife and kids need to be prepared to find their own way home because dad has to go to a crime scene. And the cases you get involved in can be draining emotionally.

"It's pretty hard to detach yourself emotionally from that we do," Brewster said. "That's the hardest part of the job."

That, and leaving the job at the door.

"You have a personal life, too, but when your job is chief deputy you're on the phone and you're working all the time," Brewster said. "There are things that need to be addressed around the clock, 24/7. I've been on call 24/7 since 1994 and it takes its toll on you. When I walk out that door at 4 o'clock, it's pretty hard to detach that. When you talk to the spouses and families of police officers they're all going to tell you the same thing. It's pretty hard for them to leave that at work."

What makes the job worthwhile, Brewster said, is helping people but sometimes even that isn't enough.

"I think that a lot of the things that we do, we have to put up a wall when we get there," Brewster said. "There may be all sorts of death and mayhem and all sorts of gruesomeness and we don't really see that. We're just there to do a job. But we do see how it impacts the people there and their families. We see that and it bothers us a little bit in the back of our mind and eventually, some of this does come back and, you know, it's like a profound sadness for all those people, all those things that you saw that you really couldn't help them with. Maybe you took care of the person that was responsible for causing all this death or mayhem but that doesn't really bring anyone back."

When you talk with Brewster long enough about criminal investigations, it's clear he's not all that ready to give up the work of solving crimes.

"I am going to miss it," Brewster said. "I'm going to miss getting up in the morning with a purpose in mind that I've got this interview, I've got this to do, we're going to get this general order in line for today, you know, those sorts of things. There's a feeling that I'm not useful anymore or valuable anymore but I'll get into it. I'll do fine."

Brewster, who has three adult children from his first marriage and two stepchildren from his second marriage, is 66 now and figures he'll tinker. He's got a new barn at his home in Alexander. He has a boat. He's going to renovate an old pickup for his stepson. There's a neighbor across the way who has an old car that hasn't run in years that Brewster figures he can get running again. 

"I've got a lot of projects," Brewster said. "My wife is pretty good at giving me things to do, which I appreciate. I'm not going to be sitting around. Not at all. If I get bored I'll probably go find something to do."

One thing Brewster doesn't figure to do is sit around thinking about the cases he hasn't solved. You might think the unsolved murders would eat at him but he says that's not the case.

For one thing, many of them won't go unsolved much longer, he said.

Brewster listed off the open murder cases he expects will be closed soon: Bill Fickle, Kisha Sullivan, Anne Lee, Eddie Freson, and Deborah Maniace.

In some of these cases, DNA will play a role, perhaps, even, the use of family tree websites that match DNA among family members (used last year to arrest the suspected Golden State Killer in California). There is also new witness information in some cases. Perhaps there will even be a confession.

"As I'm going out of here there are some major developments coming in some of those cases already due solely to technology," Brewster said. "As I said, it's one of the things where you have to be patient. You are going to see something happening here. I think it will be everyone but one case we've got something, some poker's in the fire. Those cases aren't just sitting in a box rusting away and nobody is looking at them or thinking about them. If you go down the hall to each one of these guys, there are different cases that they're working beside a regular caseload.

"So, yeah, stay tuned."

Those cases, in fact, the whole investigative department, is being left in good hands, Brewster said, with Graff taking over.

"I'm walking out of here with a replacement for myself as the first guy that I've seen in the 20 some years that I've been doing this who I can say, 'Yeah he can take my place,' " Brewster said. "This place is not going to miss a beat with Joe Graff."

April 9, 2019 - 2:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia.

Jerry Riley III, 41, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with: Driving while intoxicated; DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or more; aggravated unlicensed operator in the first degree; criminal possession of a controlled substance; and failure to keep right. Riley was arrested at 2:25 a.m. on April 6 on Pringle Avenue in Batavia. Following his arraignment in Batavia City Court, he was jailed without bail. He was due to return to city court on April 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Ronald Terrance Jackson, 53, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and second-degree harassment. Jackson was arrested at 4 p.m. April 8 on State Street. It is alleged that he pushed another person and applied pressure to their neck during a physical altercation. After his arraignment in Batavia City Court, he was jailed on $1,500 bail, cash or bond. He was due to return to court today (April 9). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Amanda M. Webb, 30, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree reckless endangerment. At 2:49 a.m. on April 8, Batavia polce responded to Maple Street for a domestic incident. Investigation revealed that Webb allegedly threw a knife at a male while he was walking away from the location. She was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court and is due there on April 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Bobby L. Mobley, 34, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree. At 2:55 a.m. on April 8, Batavia police responded to Maple Street for a domestic incident. Mobley was allegedly found to possess about 1.8 ounces of marijuana. Mobley was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court and he is due there on April 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Eric Bolles.

April 8, 2019 - 3:42pm

Paul Orrie Doctor Jr., 45. of Council House Road, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, was arrested at 5:45 p.m. on April 4 and charged with third-degree criminal tampering. It is alleged that he threw a bag of feces onto a vehicle belonging to another person, causing "a substantial inconvenience." The incident allegedly occurred on Bloomingdale Road. He was issued an appearance ticket for Alabama Town Court and is due there at 6 p.m. on April 24. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack, assisted by Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

Tareq Fouad Saleh, 30, of Plymouth Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with: possessing more than 10,000 unstamped cigarettes; fourth-degree criminal tax fraud; speeding; and not wearing a seat belt -- a violation. He was arrested at 9:22 p.m. on April 3 on Alleghany Road in Pembroke following a traffic stop for speeding. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack, assisted by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Krystal Lee Frye, 29, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny -- credit card. She was arrested and will be arraigned on April 9 on the charge following an investigation into a stolen wallet. The incident allegedly occurred at 7:40 a.m. on April 1 at an apartment on Maple Street in the city. Frye was released on an appearance ticket. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Andrea Marie Gray, 41, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. On April 4 at 3:19 p.m., Gray was arrested at the Genesee County Courts Facility for allegedly engaging in a physical altercation with a male. She was arraigned and released on her own recognizance and is due in Batavia City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Heyward Clark Jr., 54, of Locust Street, Lockport, was arrested on April 6 on two Batavia City Court warrants after he was identified as a passenger in a vehicle during a traffic stop. He is charged with third-degree burglary -- entry with intent to commit a crime, petit larceny, and criminal mischief -- intent to damage property. The charges stem from an incident on School Street in Batavia at 10 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2016. Clark was jailed without bail and is due back in Batavia City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Daniel S. Carpenter, 30, of Hickory Manor Drive, Rochester, is charged with: driving while intoxicated as a misdemeanor; moving from lane unsafely; and having alcohol in a motor vehicle. Carpenter was arrested at 10:27 a.m. on April 6 following a one-vehicle rollover crash on Route 19 in the Town of Le Roy. He suffered minor injuries and was released on appearance tickets for Le Roy Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Walter T. Snell, 31, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested at 5:45 p.m. on April 5 on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court for failing to appear in court. He was jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail and is to return to city court on April 10. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Dustin Wyatt Albrecht, 24, of Jay Street, Phelps, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and having no restraint system for a backseat passenger between the ages of 4 to 6. Albrecht was arrested at 4:25 p.m. on April 7 on Alleghany Road in Pembroke following a traffic checkpoint. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Pembroke Court at a later date. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth.

April 7, 2019 - 5:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news, notify.

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Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, received three awards in the annual Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the New York Press Association.

Owens won first place for spot news photography and education coverage and second place for elections/politics coverage.

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The five stories submitted for education coverage where:

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The five stories submitted for elections/politics coverage were:

Mark Gutman, photographer for the Batavia Daily News, was also honored with two awards, including second place for photographer of the year. He also received third place for sports feature photo.

Mallory Diefenbach, staff writer with the Batavia Daily News, won second place for health coverage. Jessica Dillon received first place for agriculture coverage. John Anderson and Zach Lyman won first place for best use of video. John Anderson placed second for best column. John Anderson, Scott DeSmit, and Matt Leader received first place for in-depth reporting. 

The Batavian was judged in Division I. The Batavia Daily News in Division II.

April 5, 2019 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, Le Roy, The Greens of Le Roy, senior housing, notify.

This week The Greens of Le Roy senior assisted living facility announced that it has been acquired by St. Ann's Community, a leading provider of senior housing and health services in Rochester with a 134-year history there.

New signage and papwerork will display its new name, St. Ann's Community at The Greens.

Day-to-day operations will continue as they have and Director Kim Pasquale will continue as the day-to-day point of contact person. The St. Ann's finance team will contact residents and their families soon and provide a new W-9 form.

A letter to stakeholders from officials says: "By bringing together The Greens of Le Roy with St. Ann's Community, we benefit from out collective histories, values and missions to provide residents with the best quality of life.

"It quickly became apparent after working together, that our organization becoming one will enhance our abiluty to serve seniors."

The announcement was made by Michael E. McRae, president and CEO of St. Ann's Community, and A. John Bartholomew, president of Bartholomew Healthcare Group.

St. Ann Community is headquartered at 1500 Portland Ave. in Rochester.

April 5, 2019 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, notify, batavia city school district.

Batavia City School District Superintendent Chris Dailey is moving up the career ladder to a larger school district. He will be formally appointed as the new superintendent of the Gates Chili Central School District on Tuesday, it was announced today.

Gates Chili Board of Education President Jeff Pettenski praised Dailey's leadership skills in an announcement by that district.

Dailey will be officially appointed at the Gates Chili Board of Education meeting April 9.

“We are impressed with his record of accomplishment and commitment to the community he serves," Pettenski said in an announcement. "We are confident he is committed to teaching and inspiring excellence for all learners.”

Dailey's administrative career started with the completion of an internship and being department chairperson at Twelve Corners Middle School in Brighton. He next served as an assistant principal at Churchville-Chili Senior High School before becoming Batavia High School principal. He was quickly promoted by the Batavia Board of Education to deputy superintendent before taking over as superintendent in January 2013.

“I am excited and honored to have been chosen as the next superintendent," Dailey told Gates Chili school officials. "I look forward to working collaboratively with the Board of Education, staff, parents and community to provide a phenomenal education to our students.

"My mission is to celebrate the excellent programs, activities and services that contribute to the student success and outstanding pride that sets Gates Chili schools apart. I commit to modeling the character, integrity and fairness expected of the leader as we write the next great chapter in the tremendous story of the Gates Chili Central School District together.”

Dailey will begin in Gates Chili on July 1, pending contract negotiations.

The Gates Chili Central School District in Monroe County has about 4,000 students, more than 850 employees, and an operating budget of approximately $100 million annually ($24,503 per student).

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