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January 18, 2021 - 3:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, bergen.

Nathan P. Rich, 32, of Sherman Court, Atlanta, Ill., is charged with second-degree strangulation. He was arrested after a domestic incident that occurred at 7:40 a.m. Jan. 6 on South Swan Street in Batavia. It is alleged that Rich put his hands around the victim's throat and applied pressure, causing stupor in the victim. He was taken to Genesee County Jail and processed, then virtually arraigned in Batavia City Court. He was put in jail on $10,000 bail, $20,000 bond, or $40,000 partially secured bond. The case was handed by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Erica Lynn Frith, 37, of Gateway Drive, Batavia, is charged with: operating a motor vehicle while having a BAC of .08 percent or more -- first offense; driving while intoxicated; leaving the scene of a property damage accident; moving from lane unsafely; and violating the conditions of a restricted driver's license. Frith was arrested after an investigation into a property damage accident that occurred at 1:26 p.m. Jan. 10 on South Main Street in Batavia. It is alleged the defendant was driving in a westerly direction on South Main Street when her vehicle struck a parked City of Batavia Police car. She is accused of then leaving the scene. She was issued traffic tickets and is due in Batavia City Court on March 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Sgt. Dan Coffey, assisted by Officer Adam Tucker.

Wayne D. Potter, 37, no permanent address, was arrested on Jan. 12 and charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and second-degree menacing. He was arrested in connection to a disturbance that occurred at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 11 on Liberty Street in Batavia. It is alleged that Potter brandished a knife during the disturbance. He has previous felony convictions and was ordered put in jail wiothout bail after his arraignment in Batavia City Court. He is due to return to court Feb. 25. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Connor Borchert, assisted by Officer Adam Tucker.

Alexandro Rodriguez, 24, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: second-degree criminal contempt; second-degree burglary -- of a dwelling; second-degree harassment; and unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree. At 1:29 a.m. on Jan. 13, Batavia police responded to Dellinger Avenue after being notified that Rodriguez was allegedly back at a residence of a victim who had been issued an order of protection against him the previous day. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in Genesee County Jail on $1,000 cash bail, $2,000 bond, or $4,000 partially secured bond. He was due back in city court late in the morning of Jan. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

James F. Perry Sr., 35, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17 years old; disobeying a mandate ordered by a judge; aggravated family offense -- more than one offense within five years; and first-degree criminal contempt -- violation of an order of protection, with physical contact. Perry was arrested at United Memorial Medical Center at 12:52 p.m. Jan. 12 on a warrant out of Batavia City Court. The warrant stems from a domestic incident on Oct. 7 on State Street in Batavia. He was transported to jail and arraigned in city court, then put in jail on $1,000 bash bail, $2,000 bond, or $2,000 partially secured bond. He is due back in court on Feb. 18. The case was handed by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Jose Antonio Rivera, 34, of Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt and second-degree burglary. He was arrested Jan. 10 after an investigation into a domestic incident that occurred at 4:09 a.m. that day on Swan Street. It is alleged he violated an order of protection and burglarized a house. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in Genesee County Jail with bail (unspecified). He is due back in court on Feb. 17. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Samuel Freeman, assisted by Officer Austin Hedges.

Michael Robert Price, 35, of Pearl Street Road, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. On Jan. 13, Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Price after a domestic incident at 8:50 p.m. in which it is alleged Price damaged a victim's property during an argument. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and an order of protection was issued for the victim. He was then released on his own recognizance. Price is due back in city court on March 4.

Paula G. Pierce, 28, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. She was arrested at 6:39 p.m. on Jan. 14 after an investigation of an incident in which it is alleged that Pierce intentionally damaged the property of another person during an argument. She was released from custody with an appearance ticket to be in Batavia City Court on March 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer John Gombos, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Michael James Denning, 38, of Owens Road, Brockport, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief, fourth-degree criminal mischief, and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested at a residence on Leroy Street in the Village of Bergen after the investigation of a physical domestic incident reported at 8:09 p.m. on Jan. 14. It is alleged that he broke a female's $700 cell phone while she attempted to call 9-1-1. This allegedly occurred in the presence of a 4-year-old child. He was arraigned in Genesee County Court on Jan. 15 and a stay away order of protection was issued for the victim. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor.

Jamie Lee Broadbent, 38, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and endangering the welfare of a child. Broadbent was arrested after a shoplifting complaint was made at a store on Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia at 3:55 p.m. on Jan. 17. It is alleged that Broadbent stole property and passed all points of purchase without paying. The defendant allegedly did this while in the presence of a juvenile. Broadbent was released with an appearance ticket to be in Town of Batavia Court on March 4. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

Charles J. Rodriguez, 44, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree bail jumping. Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Rodriguez after the defendant allegedly missed several appearances in Batavia City Court. After his arraignment, Rodriguez was released under supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due back in court Feb. 25. Batavia Police Officer John Gombos assisted Post in the case.

January 16, 2021 - 12:12pm

The Batavia City School District is asking families to make a final selection of which learning model — in-person hybrid or 100-percent remote — they want for their children in preparation for the start of the second semester of the 2020–21 academic year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Jan. 13 statement from the district, Superintendent of Schools Anibal Soler Jr. requested that families submit changes to their students’ learning modalities by Jan. 22. He said that this deadline will afford the district enough time to make adjustments to academic programming and transportation services before the semester begins Feb. 1.

“It may not change our numbers a lot, but at least we know moving forward that that is the final in-person hybrid and the final remote rosters that principals could use to kind of lock in the rest of their year,” Soler said at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.

Families that would like to select a different learning method for the semester should complete the second semester Learning Model Form for each child in their household who seeks the change. Requests for changes can also be made via phone call to students’ respective schools. Those who do not want to modify their students’ academic format do not need to take action.

This survey process aims to strengthen the teacher-student experience for both in-person hybrid learners and remote learning students. The statement said that this learning model selection will allow teachers and administrators to plan more effectively for a stable end to “a difficult and fluid” school year.

“We don't want to burn out our teachers because they've already flip-flopped so much in the way that they teach,” Board Member Tanni Bromley said. “So if they can have a consistent roster, it would be easier for them to decide how they're going to move forward.”

The district’s in-person hybrid students shift between receiving face-to-face and at-home online instruction based on the cohort they are in. All remote-only learners complete their classes entirely in a virtual setting. Board members said at Monday’s meeting that some families have switched between these models multiple times throughout the first semester.

“Consistency for the student is probably best, too, in that if a parent chooses one, then it would be best to kind of ride that out,” Board Member Shawna Murphy said. “Get them through this year and hopefully we won't even be dealing with this next year. But the flip-flopping for the kid isn't good either.”

As of Jan. 15, BCSD reported that 92 individuals, on or off campus, among its students, teachers and staff members are currently testing positive for COVID-19. The district’s statement noted that it may need to transition to 100-percent virtual instruction for all students if an issue related to COVID-19 arises during the second semester. 

BCSD previously switched to fully remote instruction from Dec. 7, 2020 to Jan. 4, 2021 because of staffing shortages related to a rise in positive COVID-19 cases among its students, teachers and staff, and throughout Genesee County. An influx of family requests to move children from hybrid to remote learning was cited as a challenge the district faced in the days leading up to this switch.

“All of our teachers are feeling burned out,” Soler said. “I mean it is tough to navigate this virtual and remote, and it's just a harder year. So our teachers are working like maniacs. They're planning. They're trying to prepare.”

Changes to instruction methods will take effect Feb. 1 and remain in place for the duration of the school year. However, according to the statement, a student’s school may contact parents and guardians at any time during the semester to suggest a modification to the child’s learning format to accommodate their academic needs.

In terms of exceptions to learning model commitments, Soler said he wants families to understand “that if there's a situation that comes about, that they would need to go through their principal first, prior to seeking approval to change, but that only extreme extenuating circumstances would be considered.”

A mandatory quarantine period does not alter the second semester learning method of an in-person hybrid student who tests positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone who receives a positive test result.

“If that child is quarantined, then he has to go out,” Board Member John Reigle said. “If they test positive, they're out for a certain period. But that person committed to in-person [instruction]. Once they're cleared, they can come back.”

Board members expressed optimism at Monday’s meeting about the sense of normalcy and ease of mind that the second semester learning model selection can potentially bring to everyone.

“To kind of know what's going to be happening for the rest of the school year in February, I think that's a good thing because it's kind of getting back to normal,” Murphy said. “Regardless of what you choose, it's going to stay the same.”

The next board meeting will be livestreamed at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 on the school district’s Board of Education YouTube channel.

January 16, 2021 - 11:55am
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, Batavia City Council, news, notify.

In the coming weeks, Batavia City Council members will engage in a review process to finalize the city’s 2021–22 budget based on Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski’s recommended cutbacks to municipal services amid COVID-19 financial challenges.

At Monday night’s City Council business meeting, Tabelski presented a proposed pathway to economic recovery that summarized city revenues and expenses. She said that despite her pride in generating a financially sound budget, it was difficult to put together a fiscal plan because of income losses related to pandemic shutdowns and the subsequent economic downturn.

“I can honestly say that none of us like this budget,” she said. “The restraints and restrictions forced upon us by reduced revenue and state aid will not allow the city to operate as business as usual. There are services that will need to be reduced or cut altogether if we are to achieve a budget within the tax cap.”

She said city budget shortfalls have been compounded by a projected 20-percent decrease -- $350,000 -- in aid and incentives for municipalities. State and federal relief measures have focused on providing businesses with loans and grants, and individuals with stimulus checks, unemployment benefits and eviction and foreclosure moratoriums.

“Within the latest stimulus bill that was passed, there was yet no aid to local governments,” she said. “There is potential for local government funding relief with the new administration, but at this time there are no guarantees and it is not reflected in the fiscal ’21–’22 budget.”

Resident service scalebacks include reduced staffing levels at the local police and fire departments, community policing, arts funding, academic development, special police details and community events. Administrative services, public works and government personnel expenditures will also experience significant cost reductions.

“Restorations of these services will ultimately depend on the economic recovery of the nation as a whole or re-examining priority services for the city,” Tabelski said.

Though cuts and hiring freezes have occurred across departments, increases in city employee wages and expenses, like Social Security and retirement costs, will leave a $1.2 million gap between revenue and expenditures in comparison to the previous fiscal year.

The prospective budget includes the layoff of an ordinance enforcement officer, a retirement incentive for a police officer and several unfilled jobs. Tabelski said the city remains committed to investment in workers compensation and health insurance, budgeted at $294,000 and $2.6 million, respectively.

The property tax rate increase is slated to be 1.38 percent, which would change the rate from $9.59 to $9.73 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value. This year, the city saw a $175,000 decrease in sales tax — its largest single source of annual revenue — and a general fund decline of approximately $800,000.

“The current conditions in the general fund are unsustainable,” Tabelski said. “Future budgets will depend on the ability of the economy ... to recover lost state aid, for us to find sources of revenue.”

Tabelski said the city should become less dependent on the fund balance, reserves and water fund revenue in budgets going forward. She suggested to council members that renovations to commercial and residential properties throughout the community could serve as valuable income streams.

“Despite these difficult economic times, the City of Batavia continues to see investment and economic development in terms of construction and building improvements,” she said. “There are many active developers looking at our city for market-rate housing projects that will draw new small businesses downtown.”

The interim city manager praised Batavia government leaders for their efforts and expressed confidence in their planning to deliver the services that city residents and employees require.

“I anticipate that our budget work sessions to follow will be extremely detailed and filled with proactive conversations so the city can achieve the budget that meets the needs of the organization, the employees and our residents,” she said.

In other action, City Council:

  • Endorsed a Batavia Business Improvement District application to the 2020 New York Main Street Anchor Grant for a multipurpose events and entertainment space. If awarded the state grant for up to $500,000, the funding would be used to renovate the external façade and interior of the Batavia Showtime movie theater at 6 Alva Place.

  • Approved a resolution that authorized Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. to sign the amended Dwyer Stadium leasing agreement. This is a five-year agreement in which the Batavia Regional Recreation Corporation will lease the stadium to CAN-USA Sports LLC. 

  • Heard from City Attorney George Van Nest that local code enforcement deadlines are being delayed by the state legislature’s COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act. The act extends New York’s eviction moratorium until May 1 for tenants who have endured pandemic-related hardship.

The first budget work session will be held after the council’s next conference meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 25 in the Council Board Room on the second floor of City Hall, followed by a second session Feb. 1.

January 15, 2021 - 4:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, crime, batavia, Le Roy, Stafford, news, notify.

Donna Hartman is indicted for the crime of second-degree identity theft, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on July 6 in the Town of Dalton, Livingston County, that Hartman knowingly and intentionally assumed the identity of another person in order to benefit herself monetarily in an amount exceeding $500. It is alleged in the first count that she presented herself to Livingston County Ambulance staff as a person residing on Fargo Road in Stafford, resulting in an ambulance bill for $835 to be sent to the victim. In count two, she is accused of the same crime at Noyes Memorial Hospital, resulting in a bill for hospital service to be sent to the same victim for $732.65. In counts three and four, Hartman is accused of falsifying business records in the first degree, also a Class E felony, for her actions to cause ambulance service records and also hospital business records to reflect false information regarding her name and address.

Jorge L. Rodriguez is indicted for the crime of second-degree criminal mischief, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 22 on the Thruway that he intentionally damaged property belonging to another person -- a 2017 Chevrolet -- in an amount exceeding $1,500. In count two, Rodriguez is accused of second-degree reckless endangerment. It is alleged that he drove recklessly that day, in a manner that created substantial risk of serious physical injury. He is accused in count two of purposely ramming his vehicle into the victim's vehicle while another victim was standing between the two vehicles.

Amanda M. Webb is indicted for the crime of criminal mischief in the third degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 1 in the City of Batavia that Webb intentionally damaged property belonging to another person -- a 2009 Chevrolet -- in an amount exceeding $250. In count two she is accused of second-degree harassment. It is alleged in count two that Webb, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person, struck, shoved, kicked or otherwise subjected a victim to physical contact or threatened to do so.

Lawrence D. Williams is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree, a Class C felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 4 while at Walmart in Batavia that he passed a counterfeit $100, knowing it was not real, with the intent to defraud.

Joshua G. Bachorski is indicted for second-degree burglary, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 9 Bachorski knowingly entered or remained unlawfully in a dwelling on Pearl Street in the City of Batavia with the intent to commit a crime. In count two, he is accused of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony, for likewise entering an outbuilding at the same address on that date with the same intention. In count three, he is accused of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly stealing a lawnmower owned by the victim.

Taylor K. Laird is indicted for the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, per se, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on May 28 in the City of Batavia that she drove a 2002 Dodge on Pearl Street while having a BAC of .08 percent or more, and while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count two, Laird is accused of aggravated DWI, a Class E felony, while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count three, Laird is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, another Class E felony, for driving that day while her license was suspended or revoked by authorities, and while she was under the influence of alcohol or a drug.

Chad M. Putney is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a misdemeanor. It is alleged that on March 30 in the Town of Le Roy that Putney drove a 2008 Ford on Route 5 while he was intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of DWI, per se, as a misdemeanor, for having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In count three, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony, for having in effect three or more suspensions at the the time, imposed on at least three separate dates: Feb. 3, 2018; Dec. 8, 2018; and July 15, 2019 for failure to answer, appear or pay a fine.

January 14, 2021 - 11:29am
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, batavia, notify.

Chad Michael Johnston, 34, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree -- a stimulant. At 1:07 a.m. on Jan. 14 Johnston was arrested. He was observed by Genesee County Emergency dispatchers in the vestibule of the Sheriff's Office on Park Road in Batavia. While there, he was allegedly observed on video footage using a lighter in the corner. Upon further investigation, he was allegedly found in possession of seven baggies of crack cocaine. It was also found that Johnston allegedly used the lighter to light a glass pipe to smoke the crack cocaine while inside the vestibule. He was held in county jail and arraigned at 9 o'clock the same morning in Batavia City Court. Bail, if any, or status not provided. The case was handled by Deputy Jacob Gauthier, assisted by Sheriff James Stack.

Tawnya L. Muscato, 30, no address provided, of Batavia, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree; and speeding. She was arrested by the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office after a traffic stop on Route 98 at School Street in the Town of Sheldon on Dec. 27. Moscato was stopped for allegedly speeding -- driving at 56 mph in a 35-mph zone -- on Route 20A. During the traffic stop she was allegedly found to possess five bags of suspected fentanyl and multiple pieces of drug use and packaging paraphernalia. In addition, she allegedly performed poorly on roadside sobriety testing and was taken to the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office for processing. While there, a Drug Recognition Expert from Warsaw Police Department evaluated her and allegedly determined Moscato was impaired by drugs and unable to drive a vehicle safely. She was released to a sober third party after being issued appearance tickets to be in Town of Sheldon Court Jan. 11. The case was handled by Sgt. Colin Reagan.

January 11, 2021 - 2:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Oakfield, Pavilion.

Judy Kaye Ward, 69, of East Park Road, Albion, is charged with criminal trespass. On Jan. 5 at 7:50 p.m. Genesee County Sheriff's Office was called to an address in the first block of Sunset Parkway in Oakfield for the report of a burglary. After an investigation, it was allegedly determined that the landlord of the property -- Ward -- entered the residence of the victim through a side door and remained unlawfully on the premises. She was arrested then released with an appearance ticket to be in Oakfield Town Court on Feb. 8. The case was handled by Deputy Kyle Tower, assisted by Deputy Erik Andre.

Walter Bernard Hale Jr., 43, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with: felony driving while intoxicated -- with two previous convictions within 10 years; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree; use of a motor vehicle with an ignition interlock device; refusal to take a breath test; drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle while on a public highway; and having no front license plate. At 5:29 p.m. Jan. 9, Hale was arrested after a traffic stop on Ellicott Street Road in the Town of Pavilion. It is alleged that Hale drove a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and while his driver's license was revoked. He was jailed without bail after arraignment in Pavilion Town Court and is due in Genesee County Court on Feb. 8. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jordan Alejandro, assisted by Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush.

Mark L. Farley, 52, of Harvester Avenue, Batavia, is charged with: unlawful imprisonment; criminal obstruction of breathing; and criminal contempt in the first degree. He was arrested after a domestic incident at noon Dec. 31 on Harvester Avenue, arraigned in Batavia City Court, then put in Genesee County Jail with bail set at $1,000 cash or $2,500 bond or $5,000 partially secured bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

David N. Hanna, 44, no permanent address, Batavia, is charged with obstructing a government official and failure to obey a police officer. On Jan. 6 at about 2 a.m., Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis noticed a vehicle in the area of Jackson and Center streets driven by a person allegedly exhibiting suspicious behavior. After some time, McGinnis approached the driver to investigate the possiblity of intoxication. Hanna reportedly immediately attempted to flee in his vehicle from the officer, but was stopped short of doing so when other officers arrived on scene. "Hanna was highly uncooperative with officers and refused to get out of his vehicle." Hanna was arrested, arraigned in Batavia City Court, then released on his own recognizance. He is due back in city court on Feb. 16. McGinnis was assisted by Officer Arick Perkins in the case.

John A. Cabrera, 53, of Mill Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass and harassment. Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Cabrera on Jan. 6 after the defendant allegedly pushed a person during an argument at 4:21 p.m. that day at a rooming house on Mill Street in Batavia. Cabrera was arraigned in Batavia City Court then released on his own recognizance. He is due back in city court on Feb. 25. Post was assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Linda A. Styer, 34, of Clay Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested on Jan. 5 after she allegedly pushed a shopping cart into another person after an argument at 4:58 p.m. at a business on East Main Street in Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket for Feb. 23 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson.

Kyle A. Scheuerlein, 28, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested on Jan. 1 at a lower apartment on Washington Avenue in the City of Batavia after being observed at 3:50 p.m. New Year's Day at the residence of a person who has a stay away order of protection. The officers were investigating another incident at the time when they spotted Scheuerlein. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail on $7,000 cash bail or $15,000 bond or $25,000 partially secured bond. He is due back in court Feb. 4. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Samuel Freeman. 

Kyle A. Scheuerlein, 28, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested on Jan. 1 at a lower apartment on Washington Avenue in the City of Batavia. It is alleged that on Dec. 18 he spit on a person during an argument at 10:55 p.m. He was processed, arraigned in Batavia City Court, released on his own recognizance but held on charges relating to a separate incident. He is due back in court on Feb. 4. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Samuel Freeman.

Kyle A. Scheuerlein, 28, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt and second-degree burglary. He was arrested on Jan. 1 at a lower apartment on Washington Avenue in the City of Batavia. It is alleged that on Dec. 19 at 12:25 a.m. that he was observed at the residence of a person who has a stay away order of protection. The officers were investigating another incident at the time. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail on $7,000 cash bail or $15,000 bond or $25,000 partially secured bond. He is due back in court Feb. 4. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Samuel Freeman. 

Jason William Whitehead, 23, of Shady Lane, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested on Dec. 31 after an incident that occurred at 2:42 p.n. Dec. 30 on East Main Street in Batavia. It is alleged that Whitehead damaged another person's vehicle during an argument. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Samuel Freeman.

Randy K. Wilmet, 44, of Bank Street, Batavia, was arrested Jan. 1 on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court for allegedly failing to appear in court Nov. 10 on a charge(s) from a previous arrest (unspecified). He was put in jail after arraignment and bail set at $5,000 cash, $10,000 bond or $20,000 partially secured bond. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Cassandra  M. D'arconte, 22, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. She was arrested after the investigation of a violation of an order of protection that occurred at 2:14 a.m. on Dec. 31 on North Street in the City of Batavia. She was issued at appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson.

Justin Thomas Stimson, 33, Hartshorn Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. On Jan. 8, after an investigation into the alleged fraudulent placement of several firearms on a pistol permit, Stimson was arrested. The incident allegedly occurred on Main Street in Batavia on June 22. Stimson was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released on his own recognizance. He is due back in city court March 4. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Nicole Lee Cramer, 31, of Albany Street, Buffalo, is charged with petit larceny. At 10:02 a.m. on Jan. 6, Cramer was arrested on a warrant out of Town of Batavia Court for an incident reported at April 16 on Clinton Street in Batavia. She was taken to jail then arraigned in Genesee County Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings.

David Paul Haka, 57, of Bowerman Avenue, Scottsville, is charged with petit larceny. Batavia Police Officer Peter Post arrested Haka on a warrant out of Batavia City Court for an incident reported at 2:21 p.m. Sept. 28 on East Main Street in Batavia. Haka was arraigned in Batavia City Court then released on his own recognizance. He is due back in city court Feb. 24.

Frank James Morrocco, 64, of Grant Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested Jan. 4 on a warrant out of Batavia City Court. It is alleged that on March 14 that Morrocco stole merchandise from a business on West Main Street in the City of Batavia. He was arraigned in city court then released under supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due back in court on Feb. 25. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

January 8, 2021 - 5:39pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received 68 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in the:
      • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
      • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield)
      • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
  • Sixty-six of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Twenty-six of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Three of the new positive cases are residents at Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
  • Three of the new positive cases are residents at the Batavia VA Medical Center.
  • One of the new positive cases is a resident at the New York State Veterans’ Home at Batavia.

 

  • Orleans County received 32 new positive cases of COVID-19.
  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
    • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon).
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s.
  • Six of the individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Forty-eight of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Fourteen of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.

covidchartjan82021.png

January 8, 2021 - 12:23pm

The Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee has agreed to give Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein the authority to sign documents related to the COVID-19 pandemic that need prompt attention without prior formal consent of the full board.

At a meeting via Zoom videoconferencing on Wednesday, Stein referred to a memorandum of understanding from the New York State Health Department that “came very quickly (this week) and in order for Genesee County to receive COVID vaccine this had to be turned around immediately,” she said.

“This is actually on our agenda today as a ratification of my prior signature. This really helps the public health department to keep the process rolling so that Genesee County has the opportunity for that vaccine to be delivered here locally.”

Stein reasoned that while in the pandemic, the county must act quickly and prudently to support the health department.

“So, in consultation with our public health department and our county manager and the county attorney – once having all of their approvals to sign this MOU – I did provide my signature,” she said. “If there are other COVID-related agreements that need to be signed very quickly, such as this, I think that I would feel better as the chair having the weight of the rest of the legislature with me as I take that on.”

Therefore, she asked for the committee’s approval to sign these types of documents, only as they relate to COVID-19.

Committee members were in full agreement, with Ways & Means Chair Marianne Clattenburg noting that she believed Stein already had this authority during emergency situations.

“And she’s not going to sign anything where any funds are expended or anything like that,” Clattenburg added.

The recent MOU with the state DOH to ensure distribution and administration of the vaccine by the Genesee County Health Department was time sensitive, prompting County Attorney Kevin Earl to render an opinion “that under these exigent circumstances to obtain vaccine that is crucial to the health and welfare of Genesee County residents, the Chair could sign the MOU, subject to ratification and approval of the terms and conditions by the full Legislature.”

Legislators Gary Maha, Christian Yunker, John Deleo and Gregg Torrey spoke in favor of the request, with Torrey asking if a formal resolution was needed to put this plan into action.

At that point, Earl said he was first looking for a consensus and then will draft a resolution to be considered at the next full legislature meeting (on Jan. 13).

Legislator Gordon Dibble said he wanted to make sure that the legislature was informed in a “timely fashion” when these situations arise and Stein assured him that would be the case.

Clattenburg, speaking directly to Stein, said lawmakers have “total confidence in you and you’re doing a great job.”

“We want to thank you on behalf of all our citizens for the work that you are doing as the chair. This is something that I know you didn’t anticipate last January,” Clattenburg added.

Stein thanked legislators and county employees for pulling together during some trying times.

“We could not do this without a full team effort and everyone working on behalf of the citizens of Genesee County,” she said. “It really is amazing what you can do when you decide to work together.”

January 7, 2021 - 4:17pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received 59 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in the:
      • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
      • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield)
      • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
  • Thirty-nine of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Twenty-six of the positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Three of the new positive cases are residents at Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
  • One of the new positive cases is a resident at the Batavia VA Medical Center.
  • One of the new positive cases is a resident at the New York State Veterans’ Home at Batavia.

  • Orleans County received 78 new positive cases of COVID-19. 
  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
    • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon).
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
  • Three of the individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Twenty-eight of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Fourteen of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • One of the new positive individuals is a resident of The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehab and one of the new positive individuals is a resident of Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
  • We removed one individual from yesterday’s total due to the person not being a resident of Orleans County.

covidchartjan72021.png

January 7, 2021 - 3:25pm

The Batavia City Council on Monday night will be asked to consider a proposal from the owner/operator of the Elmira Pioneers, a team in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, to place a PGCBL club at Dwyer Stadium for the 2021 summer season.

Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski this morning informed The Batavian that Robbie Nichols will make a presentation during Council’s Special Conference session to take place via Zoom videoconferencing at 7 p.m.

It will be followed by a Business Meeting where the board – if it likes the idea – is expected to vote on a lease agreement with Nichols’ enterprise, known as CAN-USA Sports LLC. Nichols and his wife, Nellie, also own the Elmira Enforcers of the Federal Prospects (Ice) Hockey League.

“Robbie Nichols has been approved by the (PGCB) League to start and operate a team here in Batavia,” Tabelski said. “He has been interested in putting together a second team in the league and, with things happening the way they did with Major League Baseball, he actually had reached out to the (New York-) Penn league, and the NY-P put us in touch with him.”

Tabelski said representatives of other teams contacted her, “but none had league backing already -- nor a record of success in owning a team in this league.”

According to a memo from Tabelski to City Council dated Jan. 4, the terms of a new lease agreement to use Dwyer Stadium are as follows:

  • A five-year lease;
  • Rent from Year 1-3, $1; Year 4, $7,500 (placed into the Dwyer Stadium Capital Reserve Fund); Year 5, $10,000 (placed into the Dwyer Stadium Capital Reserve Fund).
  • Operator pays for the field maintenance and utility costs to operate.
  • Operator will allow use of the field, as appropriate, to community groups, Little League, high schools, etc.

The City has had long history with a Batavia professional baseball franchise, starting in 1939 with the Batavia Clippers as an original member of the Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York (PONY) League.

The Batavia team later was named the Indians, Pirates, Trojans and Clippers (again) before taking the Muckdogs name in 1998 based on a fan poll that chose the nickname and logo.

In 2019, Batavia celebrated its 80th anniversary as the only founding member of the league still in existence.

Since then, MLB has taken control of Minor League Baseball and discontinued short-season competition, with the Muckdogs not among the teams invited to remain as a Major League affiliate.

Tabelski wrote that the PGCBL was founded in 2010 by eight summer baseball teams across Upstate New York in conjunction with Perfect Game USA, baseball’s premier scouting service. The league’s eight founding members were in Albany, Amsterdam, Cooperstown, Elmira, Glens Falls, Mohawk Valley, Newark and Watertown.

Per its website, current teams are located in Watertown, Adirondack (Boonville), Newark, Mohawk Valley, Utica, Oneonta, Albany, Saugerties, Geneva, Elmira, Amsterdam, Glens Falls and Jamestown.

Due to COVID-19, the league cancelled its 2020 season.

For more information about the league, go to www.pgcbl.com.

A telephone call to Nichols was not returned at the time of the posting of this story.

January 6, 2021 - 5:19pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, coronavirus, notify.

Press release:

Data update for Jan. 6, 2021:

  • Genesee County received 53 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in the:
      • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
      • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield) 
      • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
  • Forty-seven of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Twenty-five of the positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Sixteen of the new positive cases are residents at Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. 
  • Seven of the new positive cases are residents at the LeRoy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility.
  • Two of the new positive cases are residents at Genesee Senior Living. 
  • One of the new positive cases is a resident at the New York State Veterans’ Home at Batavia. 
  • We are saddened to report the COVID-related deaths of two residents, one whom resided at Genesee Senior Living and one whom resided at the LeRoy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility. Both of the individuals were over 65 years old. We will not be releasing any further information to protect the privacy of the individual and their family. Our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of these individuals during this difficult time.

 

  • Orleans County received 34 new positive cases of COVID-19.
  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby) 
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre) 
    • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon).
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s.
  • Six of the individuals was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Forty-two of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Seventeen of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • We removed one individual from yesterday’s total due to the person is not a resident of Orleans County.
January 6, 2021 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, notify, 2020 presidential election.

Rep. Chris Jacobs, who previously issued a statement rejecting an attempt to overturn the presidential election, today said he will object to certification of the Electoral College results. 

When Texas filed a lawsuit attempting to invalidate election results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, Jacobs said he would not sign onto the effort because he respected federalism and states' rights.

Today, in a statement, Jacobs contradicted that stance saying, “There is no question the presidential election was contentious and conducted under trying circumstances, leading several states to make unprecedented changes to their electoral systems without the authorization of their respective state legislatures as the Constitution dictates."

There have been multiple lawsuits contesting changes in state voting procedures in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. All of them have been rejected by their respective courts, primarily because the plaintiffs did not file their lawsuits prior to the election but instead waited until after residents in these respective states voted in good faith under the guidance provided by state officials.

States such as Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas -- states Trump won -- also made accommodations for voting during the coronavirus pandemic but Republicans are not contesting the results in those states. 

Jacobs said disputes over the election have not been adjudicated; however, 59 lawsuits have been thrown out by state and federal courts either because of timeliness or lack of evidence, including two that reached the Supreme Court. The current composition of the court includes a majority six Republican-nominated justices, including three appointed by Trump.

Today, both bodies of Congress are meeting in joint session to open and tally the electoral college votes, which have been certified by states, giving Joe Biden a 306 to 232 vote victory. Jacobs will not be the only Republican refusing to accept the results of the election. Several senators and other House members are joining in.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been a strong ally of the president over the past four years, criticized that effort in a floor speech today.

“Voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken — they’ve all spoken,” McConnell said. “If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever.”

In opposing Biden's victory, Jacobs breaks with fellow Republican from the Southern Tier, Tom Reed.

"It is clear to me that the U.S. Constitution calls upon our elections for president to be done at the state level, and that if there are issues of fraud, if there are issues of whether or not those elections are carried out lawfully, they are to be adjudicated at the state level," Reed said. "No state legislature has asked us to intervene in Congress in this process, and that being said, I will not be objecting to the state electors tomorrow, based upon my commitment to the U.S. Constitution."

Here is the full statement from Jacobs:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) released the following statement regarding the objections to the certification of the Electoral College.

“There is no question the presidential election was contentious and conducted under trying circumstances, leading several states to make unprecedented changes to their electoral systems without the authorization of their respective state legislatures as the Constitution dictates.

This troubling fact, along with countless reports of election irregularities, has left many Americans with valid concerns about the integrity of the November 3rd presidential election because these concerns have yet to be properly adjudicated.

“I have a duty to represent my constituents and a constitutional duty to ensure the security and integrity of our elections. I do not take this decision lightly, but for these reasons feel it necessary to object to the certification of the electoral votes from contested states.

“The American people must have confidence in their elections, and I intend to work to restore that trust. As such, I will support efforts to achieve a full review of the actions taken by states that have led to the widespread distrust that now exists. I feel it is imperative to allow for this crucial national conversation to be debated in public on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

January 6, 2021 - 2:10pm

An attorney representing The Batavian is leaving the door open for an appeal after a Niagara County Family Court justice ruled against the online publication’s request for a transcript of a portion of a Genesee County Family Court hearing that dealt with a potential conflict of interest situation involving current Batavia City Court Judge Durin Rogers.

“We respectfully disagree with the Court’s decision and are considering our options for appeal,” said Heather E. Murray, managing attorney for the Local Journalism Project at the Cornell Law School First Amendment Clinic.

The Dec. 24 ruling by Niagara County Family Court Judge Erin P. DeLabio pertains to a hearing on Nov. 26, 2019 when DeLabio closed her courtroom to reporter Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian.

After he was locked out of the hearing, Owens sought to obtain a transcript as he believed the public’s right to know outweighed any other factors since Rogers, representing the Genesee County Attorney’s office, also was serving as a sitting, part-time City Court judge while a defendant in the Family Court matter also was facing criminal charges in City Court.

Rogers was elected as the full-time City Court judge in November 2019 and sworn in Dec. 20, 2019.

Attorney Thomas Burns, who was representing a woman accused of hitting her child with an object, filed a motion alleging Rogers’ conflict of interest as the latter had access to City Court documents and was able to interact with other members of the county’s criminal justice system.

DeLabio, in her ruling, cited “confidentiality” concerns that outweighed The Batavian’s contention – as outlined in its “moving papers” – that the public has a right to know if an elected official is acting in an inappropriate manner.

The judge also wrote that it was “disconcerting” that the publication’s motion “was never served upon the very attorney (Rogers) who is the subject of the motion” and … as such, “service of this motion was defective.”

Owens said that DeLabio’s ruling has not changed The Batavian’s position on this issue.

His complete statement follows:

“As a local news publisher, I believe one of my roles in the community is to stand up for the First Amendment and public access to the public’s business, whether that’s through the state’s open meeting laws, public information laws, or the state’s provisions for ensuring courtrooms and court documents remain open to the public.

“Democracy does not work if the government can operate in secret.

“All of New York’s courts, including Family Court, are open to the public and the law is very clear that a courtroom can only be closed based on specific findings based on supporting evidence revealed in an open hearing on the matter.

“It’s been our position all along that Judge Erin DeLabio failed to follow the law when she closed her courtroom on Nov. 26, 2019. It is undisputed that the judge did not hold an opening hearing when she closed her courtroom.

“Since the portion of the hearing The Batavian sought to monitor involved an accusation made in court documents of a possible conflict of interest involving a public official, one who is no less than an officer of the court, we felt this matter was of significant public concern.

“And though this hearing happened more than a year ago, The Batavian’s position on this issue has not changed. With the help of the Cornell First Amendment Clinic, we appealed DeLabio’s ruling and felt we made a strong case.

“All we requested was a redacted transcript (to protect the privacy of the family involved in the case) so we were surprised and disappointed in DeLabio’s decision. As to her position regarding notice of service of Durin Rogers, this is a technical legal issue we will leave to our attorneys to address in our appeal. 

“Most troubling in her ruling is her statement, ‘The motion was heard AFTER (her emphasis) the local elections. Reporting anything that the (sic) Batavian thinks is relevant to the election after the fact, would have no impact on the election …’”

“Judge DeLabio is not employed by The Batavian. She is not an editor. She is a judge. It is not her place to pass editorial judgements on what is newsworthy.

“The public concern of this case has little to do with the election and everything to do with the fact that Durin Rogers is a public official in a position of public trust. This is why we reported on the issue in the first place and continue to maintain interest in the issue until it is publicly resolved. The public has a right to be informed on all matters involving a public official being accused of a conflict of interest. It is not incumbent upon Judge DeLabio to determine what is editorially relevant and her statement in the ruling amounts to prior restraint.

“We are appealing this ruling for the very fact that until the transcript is released, it remains a matter of public concern and is therefore newsworthy. It is newsworthy today and it will remain newsworthy in six months or two years, or however long it takes for justice to be served.

“We wish to see New York’s laws ensuring open courtrooms protected for the good of all citizens of New York.”

Previously:

Motion asks deputy county attorney to be removed from case over alleged conflict of interest

Judge blocks press from covering conflict-of-interest motion

January 5, 2021 - 4:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received 91 new positive cases of COVID-19.
      • The new positive cases reside in the:
        • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
        • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield)
        • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford)
      • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
      • Thirty-five of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
      • Twenty-one of the positive individuals are hospitalized.
      • One of the new positive cases is a resident at the LeRoy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility.
      • We are saddened to report the COVID-related deaths of two residents, one whom resided at Genesee Senior Living and one whom resided at the LeRoy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility. Both of the individuals were over 65 years old. We will not be releasing any further information to protect the privacy of the individual and their family. Our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of these individuals during this difficult time.

  • Orleans County received 25 new positive cases of COVID-19.
  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • Nineteen of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
    • Twenty of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
    • One of the individuals was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s.
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
    • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon).

screen_shot_2021-01-05_at_4.27.21_pm.png

screen_shot_2021-01-05_at_4.43.21_pm.png

January 5, 2021 - 3:41pm

chelsea_elliiott_2.jpgGenesee County is calling upon one of its own to provide experience and support while it conducts a search to fill the vacant youth bureau executive director position.

The legislature’s Human Services Committee on Monday voted in favor of creating a deputy youth bureau executive director, a temporary title that County Manager Matt Landers said will be given to Chelsea Elliott, (photo at right), who has worked for the county for the past seven years.

“Chelsea currently is our youth program coordinator and she is very capable,” County Manager Matt Landers said. “She runs our Youth Court and also coordinates the education piece on the youth side of the STOP-DWI program.”

The vacancy occurred last month when Jocelyn Sikorski stepped down to become executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, effective Jan. 25.

Landers said Elliott will be working with Sikorski over the next couple weeks to review the executive director’s responsibilities.

“We realize that there is going to be a period of time that the position is vacant, and looking at the need for somebody in house to transition us, this seemed like the most appropriate fashion (to proceed),” Landers said. “… with this being a union employee that would be stepping up into the role … we feel like this is a justified and prudent move for us to do.”

Landers said the resolution passed by Human Services (and subject to a vote of the full legislature) calls for the full-time deputy position to run for up to six months.

“We don’t anticipate it taking six months. We have spoken with Chelsea and she is agreeable to step up, and then once the director position is filled, the temporary position will be eliminated,” he said. “If Chelsea does have an interest (in succeeding Sikorski), this is something where we will have an opportunity to view her in the role. Certainly, she is eligible to throw her hat into the ring.”

The deputy executive director position provides additional pay for Elliott since her duties will increase, Landers said.

The change at the top of the county’s youth bureau comes as the City of Batavia, which has shared the county executive director for its youth programming, explores the possibility of contracting with an outside agency to provide city youth services.

January 5, 2021 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, notify.

Rep. Chris Jacobs voted last week in favor of President Donald Trump's request to give every eligible American an extra $2,000 in a COVID-related stimulus payment but the CASH Act remains stalled in the U.S. Senate.

Whether those payments will land in taxpayers' bank accounts in the coming weeks seems to hinge on today's runoff election in Georgia.

Two Senate seats are up for grabs and all four candidates support passage of the CASH Act but getting the bill through the Senate isn't just a matter of lining up enough votes.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, as majority leader, has the power to block a floor vote on the bill.

McConnell has argued that some of the direct payments would go to families who don't need it and would cost about $464 billion.

The House-passed bill, McConnell said, "has no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate," vowing that the chamber would not be "bullied into rushing out more borrowed money."

Jacobs doesn't see it that way.

“Additional COVID-19 relief has been my priority since I took office this summer," Jacobs said in a statement. "I voted to deliver $2,000 stimulus checks to Western New Yorkers who have been hardest hit by arbitrary shutdowns, unemployment, and economic downturn. I commend the President for signing the bipartisan relief deal last night and for his support of increased stimulus checks.” 

The CASH Act was approved last week by the House in a 275-134 vote. Fourty-four Republicans supported the measure.

The $2,000 payments were first suggested by Trump. He said he wasn't happy with Americans getting only $600 each in the last stimulus bill.

While campaign for the Democrats in Georgia's special election yesterday, Joe Biden, winner of the Nov. 3 election, said the $2,000 stimulous checks would be sent to Americans immediately if the Democrats win both seats today.

The race pits Kelly Loeffler against Raphael Warnock and David Perdue against Jon Ossoff.

Biden supports Warnock and Ossoff.

"If you send Jon and the Reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door, restoring hope and decency and honor for so many people who are struggling right now," Biden said. "And if you send (Perdue and Loeffler) back to Washington, those checks will never get there," Biden said. "It's just that simple. The power is literally in your hands."

Even though Perdue and Ossoff both support the stimulus payment, even with the two Republicans seated in the Senate, McConnell could still block the bill from coming up for a vote.

A victory for two Democrats would mean the end of McConnell's reign as majority leader and, according to Biden, mean there would be no possibility of Republicans blocking the direct payments.

A Democratic victory today would also give the party control of both houses and the White House for at least the next two years and leave Republicans with little power to block the Democratic agenda.

The amplified power of congressional leadership to control floor votes has long been a target of complaints from the former Congressman from Wisconsin, and former Republican now Libertarian Justin Amash. He tweets about it frequently.

January 5, 2021 - 1:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, corfu, elba.

Derek Francis McQueen, 33, of Phelps Road, Corfu, is charged with: second-degree vehicular assault; driving while ability impaired by combined influence of drugs; third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation; following too closely; and unlicensed operator. At 1:04 p.m. Sept. 16, the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received a report of a two-vehicle collision with injury on Batavia Elba Townline Road in the Town of Elba. Following an investigation into the accident, it was determined that McQueen -- operator of the striking vehicle -- was at fault. A license check found the NYS driver's license was revoked. During the course of the investigation, it was suspected that McQueen was under the influence of drugs. Field sobriety tests were administered and he was subsequently arrested. The defendant was taken to the Genesee County Jail where City of Batavia Police Detective Matthew Wojtaszczyk, a certified Drug Recognition Expert, administrered a drug influence evaluation, which allegedly determined McQueen to be under the influence of multiple categories of drugs. On Monday, Jan. 4, he was charged in the case due to the injury sustained by an occupant of the other vehicle involved. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Elba Town Court at a later date. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

January 5, 2021 - 12:27pm

Antiquated. Obsolete. Restrictive. Unfair.

Those were some of the adjectives used by members of the Genesee County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative to describe the New York State Department of Civil Service during its meeting on Monday night via Zoom videoconferencing.

And, going beyond sharing their opinions of Civil Service, the committee agreed that now may be the “perfect opportunity” to reform the system that administers tests for government jobs.

“There has been a push throughout New York State for years now about reforming the Civil Service requirements and the testing procedures,” Sheriff William Sheron said, responding to a question from committee member Julie Carasone about changing the procedure to ensure more diversity in hiring. “I guess my best answer to that is to push on our state senator and assemblyman to try to change that or put pressure on New York State to change their Civil Service regulations.”

Sheron said he is speaking on behalf of administrators in various job sectors who are hamstrung by Civil Service’s restrictive guidelines.

“That you have to select from the top three individuals, to me, makes no sense in the world. I think there should be more of a test and interview process rather than a guarantee that if you’re in the top three – that we have to try to choose from the top three,” he said. “Many times, the individuals that you have to choose from are not satisfactory but it’s very difficult to get them removed from the list.”

The sheriff said it would take a unified front consisting of government, municipal and community leaders to put pressure on Albany, noting that “it’s definitely time for some type of Civil Service reform.”

Committee Member Gregory Post, who is the Batavia Town supervisor, said it was his belief that Civil Service “hasn’t had a total rehab since Teddy Roosevelt was president.”

Post: Collaboration Can Make a Difference

“But, that being said, this is the perfect opportunity now because there has always been, in my 45 years in the public sector, one component -- which is generally the employers or the management side petitioning the governor and Albany and some of the more partisan politicians on the east and Downstate to amend Civil Service policies to address our reality.”

“This opportunity that has been presented to us in the past year, I think for the first time in several decades, empowers this organization to ally with the constituents and in a combined manner (with) all parties involved …working collaboratively. It shouldn’t just be county officials and legislators. They’ve been asking for this for a hundred years.”

Post said he would like to see a partnership involving “constituents who are most impacted and most benefitted from this change, and the only way we can do that is to involve them and engage them, and I think we need to invite the press to be participatory in that. … Being in the top three has not served us as well as trusting our instincts and giving people a chance that otherwise wouldn’t have one.”

Sheron noted that a deputy sheriff’s position is opening soon and said his plan is to get the notice out to the public as quickly as possible, working with Human Resources to reach the minority communities. He also said he is enlisting the services of the Genesee County Career Center to help those interested in taking the test, including resume preparation and interviewing techniques.

Sheron and County Manager Matt Landers concurred that the county’s ability – or inability -- to find worthy minority candidates for law enforcement and other positions has been a stumbling block.

“I think the starting point for us is to trying to go down the avenue of getting the word out about our test coming up and providing individuals the education and the tools to be able to be successful in taking the tests,” Sheron said, adding that only a few members of the minority community have taken the deputy sheriff’s test and even fewer have passed it.

Landers: We Can Do Better

Landers said finding a path to change Civil Service would be a major challenge, considering the bureaucracy involved, but emphasized that he didn’t want to downplay the effort to reform it.

“But at the same time, we can’t lose sight of the fact that we can do better with our recruitment and advertising efforts,” he said, “I think that’s something that we control in our own hands that we don’t need outside help with. We can try to reach out to segments of our population and do a better job of education and better job of notification.

“We can change the rules all we want -- from (the top) three to five to 100 – but if we don’t get diversity in people in taking the test, then it doesn’t do any good at all.”

Landers also criticized the time gap in the Civil Service process, noting that it sometime takes up to year to fill the position after the taking of the test.

“The way Civil Service works – it’s kind of a unique situation – a person signs up for a test, it’s taken three months later and the results come out three months later – where an opportunity might open up six months later,” he advised. “It’s such an antiquate process, in general, that it’s kind of like a secret in some ways that people have to be planning way ahead.”

As far as reaching the minority population, he suggested that the sheriff reach out to groups such as Just Kings in the City of Batavia to “spread the word and that might have more of an immediate effect.”

Sheron: Let's Put it in the Report

While Genesee County ramps up its effort to reach a more diverse audience, Sheron said it is important that this committee include its evaluation of the Civil Service process in the report it will send to New York State by April 1.

“We recognize that there are problems with Civil Service and should incorporate it right into our report to the state,” he said.

Post agreed, adding that the chance to see a change would be possible “if we can get 5 percent (of Genesee County residents) to support some kind of petition to address this as a vital component of what they’re asking us to do here. We need to strike while the iron is hot … as the whole system is corrupt and obsolete.”

County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein said she supports moving on this immediately.

“Right now is the time, with the leadership in Albany, to grab a hold of this and update the entire process of Civil Service,” she said.

Committee member Gary Maha, former Genesee County sheriff, said Civil Service would be a “very difficult nut to crack” and called upon the New York State Association of Counties, Conference of Mayors, county managers and city managers … “to get the attention of our (state) legislature.”

Sheron and Undersheriff Brad Mazur opened the meeting by presenting an outline of three areas mentioned in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order on police reform – Violence Prevention & Reduction Intervention, Model Policies and Guidelines Promulgated by the NYS Municipal Police Training Council, and Standards Promulgated by the NYS Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.

  • Violence Prevention & Intervention

This involves removing or reducing underlying causes and risk factors, such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, gang activity, illegal weapons possession and domestic conflicts.

The sheriff’s office currently works with professionals from several sectors in this effort, including the YWCA, Genesee County Mental Health, Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, school resource officers, Crisis Intervention Team, PAARI (Public Safety Assisted Addiction and Recover Initiative), Independent Living Continuum of Care and Criminal Justice Advisory Council.

  • Model Policies & Guidelines

The sheriff’s office follows Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) model policy – as well as policies of other accredited law enforcement agencies -- in various aspects of police operation.

Not every model policy is suited to adoption by every agency, Sheron said. Many agencies develop their own policies and procedures by studying model policies from many sources, and by studying actual policies being successfully used by other law enforcement agencies around the country.

  • Standards Promulgated by the NYS Accreditation

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department has been an accredited agency with the New York State Law Enforcement Agency Accreditation Council (LEAAC) since 2000, and currently is accredited through November 2025.

The sheriff's office has developed a Citizen Comment Form for positive comments, as well as legitimate concerns and/or constructive criticism, regarding the Sheriff’s Office or Sheriff’s personnel. 

The next meeting of the Genesee County Police Reform Collaborative is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 19.

January 4, 2021 - 8:14pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received 166 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in the:
      • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
      • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield)
      • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
  • One hundred and forty one of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Eleven of the positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Three of the new positive cases are residents at the Batavia VA Medical Center.
  • Two of the new positive cases are residents at the LeRoy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility.
  • One of the new positive cases is a resident at the Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
  • We are saddened to report the COVID-related deaths of two residents who did reside at the LeRoy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility. Both of the individuals were over 65 years old. We will not be releasing any further information to protect the privacy of the individual and their family. Our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of these individuals during this difficult time.

 

  • Orleans County received 101 new positive cases of COVID-19.
  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
    • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon).
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
  • Eight of the individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Sixty five of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Sixteen of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • We are saddened to report the death of one of our community members. The individual was over 65 years old. We will not report any other details out of respect for the person and their family. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this person during this very difficult time.

Genesee County's seven-day average positivity rate is 12.4 percent.

covidchartjan42020.png

January 4, 2021 - 6:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, east bethany, Pavilion.

Juan M. Mendez, 20, of Holley, no address provided, is charged with first-degree rape -- sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless. It is alleged that at midnight on Sept. 4 on Batavia Stafford Townline Road, in Batavia, that Mendez had sexual intercourse with a female who was incapable of consent due to her level of intoxication, rendering her helpless. He was put in Genesee County Jail following his arrest and arraignment and his bail was set at $2,500 cash or $10,000 bond. Mendez is due in Town of Batavia Court on Jan. 28. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Office Investigator Joseph Loftus.

William Richard Kapelke, 38, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal obstruction of breathing. On Dec. 31, he was arrested after the investigation of a domestic incident that occurred at 8 a.m. on West Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia. It is alleged that Kapelke choked a female durihg a verbal and physical altercation, and that this occurred in the presence of the victim's child, who is under the age of 17. He was arraigned in Genesee County Court and released on his own recognizance. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Tower, assisted by Deputy Mathew Clor.

Dylan S. Pehrson, 18, of Franklin Street, Batavia, is charged with: criminal mischief in the fourth degree; criminal mischief in the second degree; grand larceny in the fourth degree; and third-degree robbery. The arrest follows a domestic incident that occurred at 3:06 p.m. Dec. 20 on Franklin Street. It is alleged that the defendant forcibly took items from the victim and broke property at the residence. After arraignment in Batavia City Court, Pehrson was released on their own recognizance and is due back in city court on Feb. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Officer Wesley Rissinger.

Joanne K. Harper, 56, of Pavilion, no address provided, is charged with: failure to keep right; driving while ability impaired by drugs; and driving while ability impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol. At 3:27 p.m. on Dec. 20, the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office Emergency Dispatch Center received a report of a two-car head-on collision with injury on Old State Road near Silver Lake Road in the Town of Covington. It was also reported that one of the drivers was trapped and could not get out of the vehicle. Responding deputies observed two vehicles that had collided on the north shoulder of the westbound lane on a blind curve. Deputies freed the entrapped driver and both drivers were medically evaluated by Perry and Monroe ambulance medics. The eastbound vehicle appeared to have swerved into the westbound lane, causing the head-on collision. The driver of the eastbound vehicle, Harper, was given field sobriety testing and arrested. She was taken to Attica Police Department for evaluation by the NYS certified Drug Recognition Expert, who reported that she was allegedly under the influence of multiple drugs and could not operate a vehicle safely. Harper is due in Town of Covington at a later date. The case was handled by Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputy Austin Harding.

Morgan Elizabeth Rector, 21, of Pickthorn Drive, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. She was arrested after an investigation into a domestic incident that occurred on Pickthorn Drive at 2:53 p.m on Dec. 27. It is alleged that she damaged property. Following her arrest, she was released on an appearance ticket to be in Batavia City Court on Feb. 23. The case was handled by Bataiva Police Officer Samuel Freeman, assisted by Officer Austin Hedges.

Cassandra M. D'arconte, 22, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and criminal contempt in the first degree. She was arrested on Dec. 23 after the investigation of a domestic incident that occurred at 4:31 p.m. that day on North Street. It is alleged that she violated an order of protection that was issued the same day. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under supervision of Genesee Juctice. D'arconte is due back in city court on Feb. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Taylor M. Peyman, 29, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more; unsafe backing; aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree; and DWI -- common law. On Dec. 19, Peyman was arrested after an investigation into an accident that occurred at 8:20 p.m. in the area of Jackson Square. Peyman was released with appearance tickets and is due in Batavia City Court on March 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Samuel Freeman.

Tammy Rene Daigler was arrested at 3:55 a.m. on Jan. 1 on Wiard Street in the City of Batavia for driving while intoxicated -- first offense. She was stopped for a vehicle and traffic law violation and, following an investigation, allegedly found to be impaired by alcohol and to have a suspended driver's license. She is due in Batavia City Court on Jan. 13. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush, assisted by Deputy James Stack and City of Batavia Police.

Michael Shane Lytle, 31, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree -- with a previous conviction, and unlawfully selling fireworks with a value of $500 or more. He was arrested at 12:03 p.m. on Dec. 21 on State Street after an investigation by Genesee County Probation Department and city police. It is alleged that he possessed an illegal metal knuckle knife and more than $500 worth of illegal fireworks. He was arraigned in Genesee County Jail virtually by Batavia City Court and released inder supervision of Genesee Justice. Lytle is due to return to city court on Feb. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Austin Hedges.

Casey Thomas Vaughn, 31, of Prune Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Vaughn was arrested on Dec. 28 after an investigation into a larceny that occurred Dec. 20 at 5:08 p.m. at the Mobile Gas Station on East Main Street in Batavia. It is alleged the defendant stole products from the convenience store. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Feb. 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Samuel Freeman, assisted by Officer Sean Wilson.

Richard J. Burdick, 42, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested on Dec. 26 after allegedly stealing a shipping cart full of goods from Tops Market in Batavia at 10:29 a.m. He was processed on scene and released with an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court on Feb. 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen

Robert C. Strollo, 60, of Bethany Center Road, East Bethany, was arrested by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post after Strollo turned himself in on a bench warrant for petit larceny out of Batavia City Court.

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