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March 6, 2021 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in girls basketball, sports, pembroke, Shooting for a Cure, notify.

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In the midst of a pandemic, when attendance was limited, Pembroke's annual "Shooting For A Cure!" fundraiser has raised at least $39,200, said organizer Mike Wilson.

That amount breaks last year's record-breaking total of $33,000.

Donations are still trickling in and Wilson is hoping the event goes over $40,000 by Monday morning when he'll announce the final results.

The funds benefit cancer research at Roswell Cancer Institute.

The basketball game itself saw another record fall. Serene Calderón scored 16 points, giving her a career total of 822, a new school record.

For the Lady Hornets, Makena Reding scored 16 points and Josie Reding scored 10 points.

The final score was 49-43, Hornets.

To get an idea of how many people turn out for the event when there are no coronavirus pandemic restrictions, watch our video from a year ago.

Video Sponsor

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more photos click here.

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March 6, 2021 - 9:46am

A contract to execute a grant for $193,500 for the City of Batavia to secure engineering and other related services at the City Centre and Harvester (Avenue) campuses is “complete and ready for execution,” according to a memo to City Council from Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski.

In preparation for Monday night’s City Council sessions (a Special Conference Meeting followed by a Business Meeting) at City Hall Council Board Room, Tabelski updated Council on the Brownfield Opportunity Area Pre-Development Grant that the municipality applied for in July 2019.

The New York State Department of State awarded the grant to the city in December 2019 and now that contract awaits approval through the passing of a resolution on Monday’s agenda.

Tabelski’s memo indicates the grant will cover the majority of the project budget of $215,000, with the remainder coming from in-kind staff support from the city manager’s office, public works director, maintenance supervisor and the Batavia Development Corporation director.

Pre-development activities at both sites include preliminary engineering and architectural studies; legal and real estate services; zoning updates; marketing, and developer communication.

She wrote that the grant will set the stage for utilization of the $1 million state Downtown Revitalization Initiative award to renovate the City Centre.

“This will include a full infrastructure review to accommodate more development on the campus, parking reviews, potential redesign of Bank Street … and a full Generic Environmental Impact Statement that will allow future pre-permitted development,” she wrote.

As for the Harvester Campus, engineering work will target potential site layouts, subdivision plans, and legal, real estate and demolition strategy and analysis.

“This work could allow a systematic redevelopment of the 23-acre site into a vibrant campus of commerce in the city,” she wrote.

Other resolutions to be considered at the meetings, include:

  • Adding the GLOW YMCA to the building space lease agreement with City Church at 114 Liberty St. if City Council approves, as anticipated, a resolution to enter into a contract with the YMCA to provide services for the city’s afterschool and summer recreation youth program beginning April 1.
  • Adopting the 2021-22 budget ordinance as well as a local law to establish new water rates, meter fees and a capital improvement fee.

As previously reported, the spending plan of $27.78 million ($16.855 million general fund) calls for an increase in the property tax rate of 14 cents per thousand of assessed value – from $9.59 to $9.73.

Water rates and meter fees would increase by 3.5 percent while capital improvement fees would go up by 10 percent.

  • Extending the lease agreement with Firland Management LLC to operate the Batavia Ice Rink through March 2023 with downward adjustments to the lease and rink capital improvement fund payments paid by Firland to the city.
  • Adopting the city’s police reform plan under the governor’s executive order No. 203, which mandated that localities with police departments assemble a stakeholder advisory group and develop policies and procedures that address “the particular needs of the communities served by such police agency and promote community engagement to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy, and to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.”
  • While not official resolutions, approving requests for the Living Waters Apostolic Ministries’ community outreach on July 18 at Austin Park and the GLOW YMCA Corporate Cup 5K Run on Aug. 5 at Centennial Park.
March 5, 2021 - 5:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in coronavirus vaccine, covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

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We asked the State Health Department for a statement on why the GCC vaccination clinic was not open to just Genesee County residents and here is the response:

  • As with other non-FEMA, state-run mass vaccination sites, these are open to all eligible New Yorkers.
  • As the press release said, these are “short-term mass vaccination sites” – as more vaccine doses become available, we will review how these sites functioned to determine future allocations at these sites or at other short-term sites we may establish across the state.

Previously: 

Photos by Jim Burns

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March 5, 2021 - 2:44pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia City Council, Rachael Tabelski.

tabelski.jpgThe Batavia City Council has selected lifelong Genesee County resident Rachael Tabelski, who has been serving as the interim city manager since June 22nd of last year, as its permanent city manager, and is prepared to offer her a three-year contract starting at an annual salary of $110,000 plus benefits.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. today said he has been impressed by Tabelski’s job performance, especially during a difficult time.

“I supported Rachel for the position because she is doing a great job under extraordinarily tough circumstances, and she’s also a local person who has been in the community for many years and is familiar with Batavia and the surrounding area,” Jankowski said today. “And she has served as our assistant city manager since August 2019.”

Jankowski said Tabelski has worked hard to deliver a budget for 2021-22 and was instrumental in the success of the City of Batavia Police Collaboration Stakeholder Group.

“She’s doing well with getting the city back on track, hitting goals, on strategic planning, and all that important stuff we look forward to as a community,” he added.

Council is expected to formalize the selection at its Business Meeting on Monday night at the City Centre Board Room. A Special Conference Meeting will precede it, starting at 7 o’clock. The resolution on the agenda of the Business Meeting stipulates that Tabelski's employment as city manager will begin on that date.

Contacted minutes ago, Tabelski said she would comment on the appointment during Monday's proceedings.

Tabelski's experience in the public sector arena includes serving as a Bergen Town Councilwoman, legislative aide to Assemblyman Steven Hawley, director of marketing & communications for the Genesee County Economic Development Center for eight years and director of economic development for the Batavia Development Corp. for a year before beilng hired as assistant city manager. 

Jankowski shared details of the search process coordinated by a committee of Council members Patti Pacino and John Canale, (former DPW Director) Matt Worth and Human Resources specialist Dawn Fairbanks, working in conjunction with The Novak Consulting Group of Cincinnati, Ohio.

The city had contracted with Novak for the search that brought Moore to Batavia in August 2018.

“The committee met with Novak and they started the process, which consisted of advertising and setting up the job requirements,” Jankowski said. “Initially, there were 35 applications and all applicants were screened to make sure that they were qualified. At that point, it came down to three people for final Council interviews, but one of the three people dropped out.”

That left two finalists – Tabelski and another candidate.

“I’m not at liberty to mention the other person’s name.

Council and three city department heads -- DPW Director Ray Tourt, Police Chief Shawn Heubusch and Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano -- conducted extensive interviews in executive session last Thursday (Feb. 25) with the two candidates, Jankowski said.

“While Council members were interviewing one candidate, department heads were interviewing the other candidate, and then we switched candidates – with the entire interview process taking about four hours. All told, the executive session went from 8:30 a.m. to 1:42 p.m.,” he said.

Additionally, Council engaged in a phone conference with the city’s psychologist, Jay Supnick, Ph.D., who had previously met with Tabelski and the other candidate to conduct a character/temperament evaluation.

“This is normal procedure during the hiring process for key positions of the city,” Jankowski advised.

After final discussions among Council members and the department leaders, Council decided to direct Fairbanks to start contract negotiations with Tabelski.

“The offer we are making is the same one that we made to Martin Moore when he started in 2018,” Jankowski said, noting that the contract will commence on Monday after the final vote by Council. “The agreement includes a salary increase of $2,000 in 2022 and again in 2023.”

Canale said that he preferred to comment after Monday's meeting, but did say that the residents of Batavia will be pleased to learn of the process used by Council to reach a decision.

Moore and the city departed ways on June 20, 2020, prompting Tabelski to move up from her assistant city manager role while a professional search for a permanent manager was taking place.

Advertising and other costs to the city came to approximately $5,000, he said, noting that expenses were kept in check because prior interviews and meetings were held via Zoom videoconferencing and there were minimal travel costs.

Previous: Acting city manager's deep roots, varied past converge in path to make a better, brighter future

Previous: Acting City Manager Tabelski: A prepared, in-tune team player working toward a common goal

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As the Yellow Zone restriction was lifted from Batavia, this meeting will be open to the public with appropriate facemasks, social distancing and temperature screening upon arrival.

Options for viewing the meeting:

Batavia News Service Youtube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOdvZ9lGH0FiD9ADz6Cg6EQ

Streamed LIVE on Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/bataviany/

Spectrum Channel 1301 – Wednesday, March 10th  at 9:00 a.m. and Friday, March 12th at 8:00 p.m.

The agenda is posted on the City website under the City Council page.

The Batavian file photo of Rachel Tabelski.

March 5, 2021 - 12:55pm
posted by Press Release in GOW, covid-19, news, GCC temporary mass vaccination site, notify.

NYS Mass Vaccination Clinic Targeting the Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming County Region Update:

The New York State-run temporary mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic scheduled for Friday through Tuesday at Genesee Community College (GCC) in Batavia opened for appointments on Thursday, March 4th at 7:59 a.m. and within 90 minutes all were accounted for. 

We encourage those who are still seeking vaccination to periodically check the state vaccine site as some may cancel their appointments. You can check for appointment availability here or call 1-833-697-4829.

“After careful analysis of the registrations, what we expected to happen once we were told the clinic was open to anyone eligible, regardless of residency, did happen…The GOW region will be receiving less than 25 percent of the allotted 3,500 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

“For those in the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming (GOW) region who were able to register for this weekend’s state-run temporary mass clinic we understand how challenging it was. For those who live in our GOW region and were shut out of this clinic, we will continue to advocate for vaccine for our residents.”

Here is the breakdown by county of residence for those who will be receiving the 3,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine at GCC over the next five days:

  • Erie County -- 1,666 spots or 47.6 percent;
  • Genesee County -- 596 spots or 17.03 percent;
  • Niagara County -- 446 spots or 12.74 percent;
  • Monroe County -- 326 spots or 9.31 percent;
  • Orleans County -- 169 spots or 4.83 percent;
  • Wyoming County -- 99 spots or 2.38 percent;
  • Livingston County -- 73 spots or 2.09 percent;
  • Ontario County -- 45 spots or 1.29 percent; and
  • 15 other counties and out-of-state residents each had less than 1 percent.

“The purpose of our request was to help increase our vaccination rate, and provide for our county residents who have been shorted throughout this pandemic," Pettit said. "This clinic assuredly did not significantly impact our rates.

"With only 864 of the 3,500 doses of vaccine remaining in our three counties, we are still well below the current statewide vaccination rate. We will continue to seek additional allocations to bring parity for the counties’ vaccination rates.”

March 5, 2021 - 10:57am

The director of Emergency Communications for the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is getting his ducks in a row, calling upon the Genesee County Legislature to appropriate funds to advance a public safety capital project that includes the building of a communications tower on Molasses Hill Road in the Town of Attica.

Speaking at the legislature’s Ways & Means Committee meeting Wednesday, Steven Sharpe presented a resolution that calls for the reallocation of $301,835.67 in unexpended funds and unanticipated revenue to the public safety communications tower project.

“As we are building the tower on Molasses Hill Road, which is just over the Wyoming County line, we’d like to move money from the original capital project for the radio system that was created in 2013, and move the balance of funds from that 2013 capital project into the more recent public safety communications tower project,” Sharpe said.

He indicated that the Molasses Hill site will fill “a dramatic hole that we’ve had since we put the 800-megahertz system back in in 1991 as we’ve always had problems along Route 98 and along Route 238 going into Attica.”

Sharpe said a settlement involving Nextel has resulted in an additional $255,243.86 in unanticipated revenue coming into the county. The resolution also includes the sum of $46,591.81 that has yet to be spent from the 2020 communications operational budget and the 2013 800-megahertz radio upgrade capital project.

The Ways & Means Committee approved the measure, which now goes before the entire legislative body on Wednesday.

Sharpe said the total cost of the project is $1.9 million, which is about $200,000 more than what is currently in the capital project budget. But, he added, that he is waiting to hear about funding from the Statewide Interoperability Communications Grant program and that the $1.9 million figure includes “some contingencies in case we run into something that we don’t expect.”

“Right now, this allows us to make sure we’re paying the bills until that next round of money comes in, and once we have that money we will reimburse against it,” he explained, adding that grants will cover most of the project cost.

When asked about the timeline of the Molasses Hill work, Sharpe said language is in the contract to have the tower connected to the radio system network by April 30.

“They have to have the microwave equipment completely done by August 6th and we’re hoping that once they’re connected to Darien and we’re talking to the network, we’re going to start optimization in May or June,” he said. “We’re looking at doing coverage analysis in June and July so we have full coverage of the trees, make any adjustments in August and final acceptance, hopefully, in September …”’

The committee approved a second resolution that authorizes amending a “zero dollar” lease agreement with American Tower Asset Sub LLC, of Woburn, Mass., to upgrade the public safety radio system equipment on a tower on South Lake Road in Pavilion.

Sharpe said this is necessary because the Cedar Street (Batavia) tower is overloaded.

The County is changing its originally planned microwave link from Darien to Molasses Hill to Cedar, which would have reused an existing microwave link.

“Instead what we’re doing now is going from Darien to Molasses Hill to Pavilion,” he said. “What that does is allows us to have a parallel path for our radio system, and in the future as we have to do any work or upgrade or replace the Cedar Street, we won’t have to take the whole network down and we’ll still have a parallel path.”

He said the lease agreement gives the county greater flexibility.

“Back in 1998, the town and the county had the wisdom, as far as zoning rules, to negotiate for free access for our equipment on that tower. There are some minor costs, such as structural analysis and if we have to change the tension on those guy wires,” he said.

Sharpe said there are nine towers in Genesee County, one in Albion that connects to the Orleans County system and one in Chili that connects to the Monroe County system.

“Verizon just built a tower on Hundredmark Road in the Town of Elba, so that might be a future site, which would give us 10 sites within the county that are transmit sites to go along with our two dispatch centers at 14 West Main Street in the city and one at the dispatch center on Park Road,” he said.

March 5, 2021 - 6:51am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, notify, Batavia High girls basketball.

Batavia Coach Marty Hein knew that it would be a “tall order” for his Lady Blue Devils girls’ basketball team to defeat Our Lady of Mercy on Thursday night, considering that the visitors’ frontline featured 6-foot-5 senior center Katie Whitaker and 6-foot sophomore Audrey Hintz.

While the height disadvantage inside was too much for Batavia to overcome, the home team battled the Class AA Lady Monarchs the entire way in a 62-42 loss.

The Lady Devils, 7-4, close out their regular season Saturday afternoon before preparing to host a Section V Class B1 Tournament game on Tuesday night against an opponent to be determined.

Hein said he scheduled the nonleague game against Mercy, now 8-3, in anticipation of possibly facing Dansville, which is led by 6-foot-2 Arayana Young (16 points per game), in the sectionals.

“When we found out on January 19th that the season would be happening and that our first practice would be February 1st, it didn’t give us much time to schedule games,” Hein said. “That’s when we set up the game with Mercy with the idea we may face Dansville, who also has a ‘big.’ ”

As it turned out, Batavia will not face Dansville this season as the Lady Mustangs are in Class B2.

In last night’s game, Whitaker scored 20 points – all of them on layups after taking high-arcing passes from her teammates or from put backs after she grabbed an offensive rebound.

The Lady Devils, with no player over 5-10, made it tough on her, however, with double- and triple-teaming, and drew a couple offensive fouls in the process. They also employed a full court press most of the game in an attempt to slow down the Lady Monarchs.

Mercy led 14-8 after the first quarter before expanding its lead by outscoring Batavia 22-10 in the second quarter. Whitaker scored six points in the period, but junior guard Libby McDonough really hurt the Lady Devils by scoring 11 of her 19 points in the quarter, including two three-point shots.

Mackenzie Reigle scored nine of her 19 points for Batavia in the second quarter.

A pair of three-point shots by Bryn Wormley and a free throw by Reigle pulled Batavia within 36-25 early in the third quarter. Mercy stretched the lead to 16 when McDonough sank another three-pointer – and was fouled on the shot -- and Whitaker rebounded McDonough’s missed free throw for a layup. Whitaker finished with 15 rebounds.

Reigle and Wormley provided all of Batavia’s 18 points in the quarter – scoring nine each – as the Lady Devils cut the deficit to 50-36.

Reigle’s steal and layup to start the fourth quarter pulled Batavia within 12 before Whitaker sank three shots from close range around a pair of free throws by Hintz to seal the outcome.

For the game, Batavia made just 14 of 48 shots from the field.

Wormley finished with 15 points and now needs 31 more to join Reigle as a 1,000-point scorer for her varsity career. She’ll have a chance to add to her total when the Lady Devils visit Greece Odyssey for a 2:15 p.m. game Saturday.

March 4, 2021 - 10:56pm

Following a frustrating 3-2 loss to Brockport this afternoon at the Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex in Rochester, Notre Dame Coach Marc Staley reflected upon what otherwise has been a successful ice hockey season thus far for the Fighting Irish, who will play a final regular season game on Saturday before hosting a Section 5 Class A Tournament next Tuesday.

“If you would have said to me five weeks ago that we were going to have a season, I would have been thrilled,” Staley said. “If you said to me five weeks ago that we were going to be 7-2-1 and be the No. 1 seed in Class A, I would have said you’re crazy.”

Both the No. 1 overall seed in Class A and the Section V Division 3 championship are in reach for Notre Dame.

A victory over division rival Irondequoit, 8-2-1, on Saturday (7 p.m. at Lakeshore Hockey Arena and Sports Center in Rochester) will give the Fighting Irish the league title while a win or a tie will enable them to retain their current place as the top seed in Class A.

“We’re playing in the highest class in New York State hockey against teams (from large schools) like Webster Schroeder and Hilton,” Staley said. “I think they (Section V officials) looked at our scores early in the season when we won big (and placed us there). But I don’t care where they put us. There’s not a lot of difference between Class A and Class B.”

Today’s game showed that as Brockport, a Class B entry, burst out of the gate, peppering ND’s freshman goaltender Frank Falleti with 13 shots in the first 10 minutes and cashing in on two of them – a goal by Jeremiah Rausch at 6:54 and a power play goal by Henry Schultz at 9:58 (assisted by Rausch).

Notre Dame had a couple of great chances late in the period but the team’s leading scorers, Gavin Schrader and Vin DiRisio, were stymied by Brockport goalie Joseph Volpe. Brockport outshot Batavia 18-8 in the period.

It didn’t take long for the Irish to cut the lead in half as Schrader flipped a backhand shot past Volpe just 33 seconds into the second period for his 17th goal of the season. Vin DiRisio assisted on the goal. ND tied the score about six minutes later when freshman Joe DiRisio made a nifty move to get past the defenseman and found the back of the net.

Brockport, now 7-3-1, responded, however, tallying what proved to be the game’s final goal with 48 seconds left in the period as Tyler Henshaw put away the loose puck in a 4-on-3 power play after Falleti had turned away shots by Rausch and Jonathan LoMonaco.

In the third period, ND drew a couple of early penalties, including a four-minute major, but was unable to capitalize. For the game, they were 1 for 9 on the power play.

Notre Dame kept the pressure on in the final seven minutes, turning a 32-27 deficit in shots on goal to a 37-32 advantage, but Volpe was equal to the task. In the end, Volpe stopped 37 shots while Falleti had 31 saves.

“It was two different games, right,” Staley said. “We were very flat to start the game and, to their credit, they’re up after the first and we had to reassess the situation. What kids are struggling with is that we can’t sneak up on anybody anymore. When you start the season 6-0, 7-1, everyone is looking for you; they’re going to give you their best games and kids are getting up to play us.”

Staley gave the team credit for clawing back from the 2-0 deficit.

“We bounced back and found some energy down the stretch, but we didn’t execute on the power play as well as we needed to,” he said. “We had chances, but their goalie played great and their defense did a nice job of clearing pucks and winning face-offs.

“We got beat on face-offs most of the night and that is a huge stat. Every face-off is eight seconds of possession in hockey. You win 20 draws a game, you’re talking about an extra three minutes of puck possession.”

He singled out the two freshman, goalie Falleti – “in a year or two he’s going to be something,” he said -- and Joe DiRisio, who has 11 goals this season.

“We have so many good players – and they're young,” Staley said. “We only lose five players (after this season).”

March 4, 2021 - 6:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, notify, schools, education.

If he could open Batavia city schools up to in-class learning five days a week any time soon, he would, Superintendent Anibal Soler told the Board of Education at its regular meeting on Monday.

He said he knows some neighboring districts are going to daily in-person instruction, but he said the district won't violate any state or CDC guidelines to make it happen in Batavia.

"From our standpoint, if we can put more kids on the bus, we already would have done it," Soler said. "If we could get more kids in a class, we already would have done it."

He said he is staying abreast of guidelines and if changes are announced, the district will be able to work quickly and diligently to adjust.

Also during his superintendent's report on Monday, he said guidelines on masking have changed. Under the new policy, if you have your mask on and the other person has his or her mask and you're not within six feet of each other, you're not going to be subject to quarantine if the other person tests positive for COVID-19. Under the previous policy, anybody in the same enclosed space, such as a classroom, even if 20 feet apart, would be subject to quarantine. 

"This is meant to limit the number of kids and limit the number of teachers who get quarantined," Soler said. 

Soler also updated the trustees on testing.  

The U.S. Department of Education denied the state's request to waive all required state testing for students in grades 3-8 and the Regents test for grades 9-12. As a result, the district will be required to test all in-person learning students, third grade and up, in Math, ELA, and the Regents exams. The state has said these tests will only be used for diagnostic purposes and will not harm school accountability reports. The state is considering not using Regents exams as a requirement for graduation. 

Soler said the district expects to receive more information on testing and graduation and when that information is released, principals will be communicating directly with students, families and staff.

Finally, photo below, Officer Jason Davis, who has served recently as the district's resource officer, was honored by the district as approaches retirement for his service to the community and the district.

img_5612davis.jpg

Photo courtesy of Anibal Soler.

You can help support local news by supporting The Batavian.

March 4, 2021 - 4:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, Stafford, news, notify.

From the NYS Police:

On March 4, at 11:12 a.m., Troopers out of SP Batavia responded to a two-vehicle collision on State Route 237 and East Morganville Road in the Town of Stafford.

Further investigation revealed that a 2010 Kia was traveling east on East Morganville Road and stopped at the stop sign at State Route 237. The Kia proceeds into the intersection, not yielding the right of way and was struck on the driver side by a 2002 Peterbilt refuse truck traveling south on State Route 237.

The operator and only occupant of the Kia, Ann K. Wood, 73, of Le Roy, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Collision Reconstruction Unit assisted in this investigation.

This is still an ongoing investigation.

March 4, 2021 - 2:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, alexander, Alabama.

Michael Anthony Flatley, 33, of Sage Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with: driving while intoxicated -- with a previous conviction within 10 years; aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree; operating a motor vehicle while having a BAC of .08 percent or more; and failure to keep right on a two-lane road. At 1:12 a.m. March 3, Flatley was arrested on the charges after a traffic stop on Alleghany Road in Alabama. He was arraigned in Alabama Town Court and released on his own recognizance. He is due in Genesee County Court on May 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush, assisted by Deputy David Moore.

Jeffrey Richard Doherty, 45, of Timberpoint Road, East Islip, is charged with: aggravated driving while intoxicated; DWI; driving left of pavement markings; and improper signal. At 6:65 p.m. on March 3, Genesee County Sheriff's deputies conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle on Buffalo Street in Alexander and Doherty was subsequently arrested. He was issued an appearance ticket to be in Alexander Town Court on April 27. The case was handled by Deputy Erik Andre, assisted by Sgt. Andrew Hale.

March 4, 2021 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, coronavirus vaccine, notify.

Press release:

The New York State-run temporary mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic was opened for appointments this morning at 7:59 a.m. By 9:20 there were no appointments available, however that has been fluctuating. We encourage those who are seeking vaccination to periodically check the site as some may cancel their appointments or the system catches up.

“We realize this may be disappointing and frustrating for our local county residents as it is to us," said Paul Pettit, director of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. "We will continue to advocate for increased vaccine allocations moving forward.” 

“Every dose of vaccine that comes to our counties are administered within the week of receipt. We will continue to call on the state to increase allocations to rural counties as our vaccination rates continue to lag in comparison to surrounding counties.”

As a reminder, these clinics are for those in priority groups 1A and 1B, and those 65 and older, or under 65 but at least 18 with co-morbidities.

You can check for appointment availability at https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or call 1-833-697-4829.

March 4, 2021 - 8:50am

Assemblyman Steve Hawley's statement to The Batavian this morning regarding the mass vaccination clinic at Genesee Community College:

"We sent out a letter to the governor and the (New York State) Department of Health commissioner -- our friends, Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Zucker -- indicating our extreme dismay over the fact that it is going to be open to anyone. The rural counties in New York State, the percentage of completion of vaccines is way, way below the state average, and our surrounding counties' average.

"I think at last count, a couple days ago, the state was at over 15 percent completion of shot one and Orleans County was at about 8 percent, and I don't remember Genesee's (which is slightly higher than Orleans) or Wyoming either. But they're all way below and we've got a pandemic going on here.

"We've got people who can't find appointments. I get 20 to 25 calls every day from people who are trying to find a place to go on. If you're working or are caretaking or whatever, you can't sit in front of a computer all daylong, and if you don't have broadband, you can't get on.

So, this is very, very disheartening. We're New Yorkers, too. This is our health -- life and death in many cases, unfortunately, as we've come to learn. Very, very disappointed. I asked them to change their minds and I haven't heard back."

March 4, 2021 - 8:11am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, covid-19.

UPDATE: All vaccination appointments for clinic at GCC booked in less than 90 minutes

In what is turning out to be a good news, not-so-good news situation for citizens of Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties, Genesee Community College officially has been designated as a COVID-19 mass vaccination site, beginning this Friday, but the five-day clinic will be open to those who reside outside those counties.

In reaction to this morning’s announcement, Genesee County Manager Matt Landers is urging Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming residents to act fast by logging on to this website -- New York Covid-19 Vaccine (ny.gov).

“It was already going to be competitive because we know the demand is there for our three counties,” Landers said. “It was already going to go fast. Now, it will go even faster.”

Landers said local government leaders are “disappointed” in the decision in that they were led to believe the clinic at GCC would be only for the tri-county residents. 

“I’m 100-percent saddened and want to do all I can to make sure our folks get access," he stated. "We definitely expected this to be restricted to only Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming residents. We were informed that it would be open to anyone at 9:30 on Tuesday night (after officials had commented for the press release below)."

On Feb. 22, legislative leaders and public health directors in the local tri-county area sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo urgently requesting the designation of a regional mass vaccination clinic at the GCC campus to provide the vaccine exclusively to residents of the rural counties.

The letter, in part, read that “Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties have consistently been left out of the COVID-19 response with delays in testing supplies and now with very limited vaccine allocations. All three counties are medically underserved and having a regional clinic with less than a half-hour commute would benefit these communities."

Landers said the reason for getting a clinic at GCC is because the vaccination rates in the rural counties are lower.

“That was the whole point of this," he said. "This is what gave us some hope. This is what the letter was asking for. It’s unfortunate that at the last second that it’s going to be open to everyone because that isn’t going to directly improve the numbers when folks right on the border of Erie and Monroe can flood into our zone.”

Landers said the plan is to distribute 500 doses on Friday, 1,000 doses on both Saturday and Sunday, and 500 doses on both Monday and Tuesday.

------------

Here is the press release issued by New York State this morning:

BATAVIA, NY – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health have agreed to host a temporary regional mass vaccination clinic at Genesee Community College (GCC) main campus center (1 College Road, Batavia) to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to rural counties.

The announcement comes after the legislative leaders and public health directors of Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties sent a letter last week to the Governor urgently requesting the designation of such a clinic to serve rural populations in the region. 

“We are pleased to see this allocation for the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County area,” stated Lynne Johnson, chairperson of the Orleans County Legislature. “Our three counties have been underserved throughout this pandemic, especially with the lower vaccine allocations, which in turn produces lower vaccination rates.”

This state-run clinic, expecting to vaccinate 3,500, is targeted to Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County residents who are in the state eligible groupings. The state has confirmed, as of 03/02/21, the vaccine will be the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) one-dose vaccine. The clinic is located at the GCC Athletic Center where signs will guide those with appointments to the entrance. The clinic will be held starting:

  • Friday, March 5th from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday (March 6th and 7th) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Monday and Tuesday (March 8th and 9th) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Appointments must be made via the New York State "Am-I-Eligible" webpage https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or by calling the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-697-4829 only. 

“We are pleased to be a part of this mass vaccination clinic,” stated Rebecca Ryan, chairwoman of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors. “This will help put a dent in our priority groups.”

“To say this COVID vaccination site is necessary is an understatement, as I speak with constituents daily who are told they have to travel hours in some cases just to get their vaccine,” said New York State Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

“I am hopeful we will see progress made toward opening this site for the convenience of all who wish to receive the vaccination in the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County communities. We need to do all we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout New York State.”

"I am very happy that GCC will be serving as a vaccination site for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties," said New York State Senator Edward Rath. "In the joint legislative health hearing this past Thursday, I specifically requested Commissioner Zucker establish a vaccination site at GCC.

"I am pleased that this all is happening very quickly, and we can work to get residents in our rural counties vaccinated. Thank you to our local leaders for their leadership on the issue."

“We hope this is just the beginning of our region getting an equitable share of the vaccine,” stated Rochelle Stein, chairperson of the Genesee County Legislature. “In order to continue to provide vaccine to those in rural counties, we encourage the state to continue to provide these limited mass vaccination clinics to assist our counties and get the vaccine in the arms of our residents who choose to get it.”

March 3, 2021 - 9:29pm

At the suggestion of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s tourism staff and Airbnb officials, County Attorney Kevin Earl and Manager Matt Landers today led a discussion about changing a local law to impose a “bed tax” on residents who rent out their homes on a limited basis.

Speaking at the legislature’s Ways & Means Committee meeting, Earl said he is communicating with representatives of Airbnb, the popular vacation rental online company that helps (for a commission) homeowners arrange lodging for tourists.

His proposal, if supported by the legislature, would generate additional income for the Chamber to run its tourism operations.

“First of all, the Airbnb proposed agreement applies to occupancy taxes – bed taxes as we call them … and the second thing is the important discussion we have to have (because as of now) our law has an exemption for under six units,” Earl advised.

The attorney said a house being rented out for travelers would be considered as one unit.

“So, we would have to have the consent to go ahead and change that to allow the law to apply for under six units,” he said. “Number three is a corollary of that, if we do that, we want to make sure that if somebody rents their house or apartment for a couple days, a couple weekends or one week, that they don’t have to go through all of the process (of) collecting and enumerating bed tax to the county.”

Less Than Six Units, More Than 10 Nights

He then suggested changing the law so that it would apply to less than six units, but only under circumstances when they are rented for more than 10 nights during an entire calendar year.

By modifying existing law, the 3 percent bed tax currently in place for motels and hotels would also be charged to the rental units (homes, apartments and even the small structures at campgrounds).

The hotel adds this charge to the customer’s bill (which also includes an 8 percent sales tax) and remits this occupancy tax payment on a quarterly basis to County Treasurer Scott German, who then appropriates it to the Chamber for tourism purposes.

A nickel of each dollar generated is kept by the county as an administration fee and the remaining 95 cents goes to the Chamber..

Landers said the proposal “has been expressed to us as a matter of fairness because this is something that would even the playing field. Hoteliers have to pay this and (there are) people who are utilizing Airbnb services throughout our county.”

He also mentioned that he did a “quick search” a couple summers ago and found that there were 28 of the Airbnb-variety units in the county, giving him reason to believe a change in the law would be warranted.

“If there was one or two, maybe it wouldn’t be worthwhile but there is enough out there and something that our Chamber of Commerce has expressed interest in exploring,” he said.

He reported that Airbnb has similar contracts with other New York counties.

Landers: Looking for a Consensus

“Kevin and I didn’t want to go through the process of making all these changes – it’s a policy change – if the legislature didn’t have the desire to go forward with these changes,” Landers said. “We can come back again in the future with actual recommended changes of the local law and go to a public hearing … if there is a consensus.”

Legislator Gary Maha asked Landers if he has an estimate of the amount of revenue that would be realized by such a change. The county manager said he did not, referring back to the 28 units he identified a couple years ago but didn’t have a breakdown of the dollars received.

“It’s nothing that would come to the county … the lion’s share goes directly to the chamber,” he said. “This is an area I think will only grow in the future. Airbnb is getting more households and is easier to deal with, and revenue is probably going to be growing. I can’t tell you an estimate of how big it is right now, but if I had to place a guess, it’s only going to go up.”

Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein asked if the modified local law would have an effect on campsites “where folks have those little houses that folks can rent.”

“If they rent those through Airbnb at a campground will that be impacted? And are campgrounds that have those little chalets, I’ll call them tiny houses, are they already paying a bed tax and a sales tax?”

German responded affirmatively, noting that Darien Lake’s campground has “several of those little huts and they are being taxed at 3 percent.”

Law Would Target Booking Companies

Earl said wording of a new law would have general language that would define Airbnb as well as businesses such as Flipkey, HomeAway and VRBO as booking companies.

“So, this will apply to any that are now known or any in the future. We will make the definition broad enough so that if XYZ company comes in as a booking agent – and even realtors (who) could possibly book houses,” he said.

Committee Chair Marianne Clattenburg asked if the new law was implemented, would the Chamber help promote those individuals and companies offering homes for rent by including them in a list available to the general public. Landers said he would expect that to be the case and would share her view with the Chamber staff.

Still, at first sight, she sees the proposal as “more regulation” and said she needs more information before supporting it.

Legislator Christian Yunker asked who is responsible for keeping track of the number of nights and the revenue -- Airbnb or the homeowner?

Landers said that while Airbnb captures the money and remits the funds to the county, individual owners would have to provide a report to the treasurer’s office for reconciliation purposes. Hotels and campgrounds also are subject to that requirement, he added.

Klotzbach contended that Airbnb should be responsible for reporting, but Landers and Earl said the company just wants to pass the money along and is not in favor of a process where individual homeowners’ identities are disclosed.

There's a Cost of Doing Business

At that point, Landers shifted the debate by offering to change the time period.

“Instead of 10 days, if we really want to capture people that do this a lot, then it could be over 30 days or over 60 days,” he said. “I guess at that point you should know if you’re renting a place out for that many days in a row that’s a cost of doing business versus maybe two weeks out of the year, you rent the place out or you’ve got a room that you’re renting out and it’s something you don’t think about.”

He said the county doesn’t seek to be “overly regulatory” but acknowledged the request from the tourism agency “that was hit particularly hard during COVID as a way to capture revenue from people outside of our area to assist with tourism.”

Legislator John Deleo said he didn’t have a problem with someone trying to make some extra money to “keep the water level below their nose” but agreed with Clattenburg that more information is needed before deciding.

Earl said there is no time limit, but is ready to move forward when the legislature approves. Clattenburg then asked Landers and Earl to provide further details while Ways & Means does its own research.

March 3, 2021 - 4:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify.

travissackett.png

UPDATE: Statement from U.S. State Department:

The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State. We are aware of a U.S. citizen missing in Ecuador. When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with families however we can.

A Batavia resident with years of volunteer service locally and overseas, including the Peace Corps, is reportedly missing in Ecuador.  

Travis Sackett has reportedly been missing since Feb. 21 after going on a hike to the Imbabura Volcano.

Recently, he has been a volunteer at a farm in Ecuador.

The U.S. Embassy in Ecuador has reportedly been notified that Sackett hasn't been heard from since he left for the hike. Local search efforts began on Feb. 25.

The Batavian has been unsuccessful in attempts to confirm his status either through a family member or by contacting the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador or the U.S. State Department. 

Cassie Toulet-Crump has set up a GoFundMe page to assist his mother, Lucy Sackett, with expenses related to the search for Travis, including a reward. 

The GoFundMe page says Sackett's parents are offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the safe return of their son. Donations will help increase the possible amount of the reward.

Word of Sackett's possible disappearance and the GoFundMe page has been spread widely in the community over the past 24 hours over social media and local email chains.

March 3, 2021 - 1:46pm

The Batavia Town Board Tuesday night tabled action necessary to advance a community solar project on Ellicott Street Road – the pros and cons of which have been dissected and discussed by engineers, developers, planners and neighbors for the past year and a half.

Introduced in June 2019, the proposal from Cypress Creek Renewables LLC calls for placement of two solar farms on property owned by Don Partridge at 5117 Ellicott Street Road.

One, Trousdale Solar I, is a 5-megawatt array on 18.2 acres of a 65-acre parcel, and the other, Trousdale Solar II, is an adjacent 4-megawatt system on 19.6 acres of a 71-acre parcel of farmland off Route 63, southeast of the city.

Town planners at their meeting via Zoom videoconferencing last night were looking to proclaim a negative declaration for the State Environmental Quality Review, which deals with the projects’ combined effect on the land, and also to approve separate site plans and special use permits for the two tracts.

During the SEQR process, however, Steve Tanner, a planning board member, said it would be wise to get an updated visual impact study as he had concerns over the proposed screening of the layout from neighboring properties.

Cypress Creek representatives Jerry Leone and civil engineer Nick Hawvermale indicated that they had addressed the town’s request to mitigate any visual impacts by moving a portion of screening (trees, etc.) further south, closer to a neighbor’s property.

After hearing Tanner’s request for photos to be taken from the neighbors’ view, Leone asked Town Engineer Steve Mountain for assistance in obtaining access. Mountain said that would be possible, noting that landowners have been accommodating to the town on other projects.

With an eye on making this happen before the board’s next meeting on Feb. 16, Leone said his company is “prepared to move quickly.”

Planning Board Chair Kathleen Jasinski brought up tabling everything until the supplemental photo documentation was obtained, prompting Partridge, a planning board member, to advise that he had taken more pictures that day from the border of neighboring fields.

“I don’t know what difference it will matter getting up next to their house another 30 feet to visualize something that will be behind the trees that are on Folger’s (property),” he said. “And we have a presentation where they have the driveway and the trees on that. Now if you go to the other side of Folger’s with that tree line … it’s going to be the same kind of visualization on the knoll behind the Smiths' and the ARC properties.”

A motion to table was presented, however, with Town Building Inspector Dan Lang suggesting to “err on the side of caution” before Tanner reiterated his call for “a complete set of documents that show everything we are asking for” – views with screening and without screening.

Planner Jonathan Long supported that, referring to a question on the SEQR application that points to the solar farm being inconsistent with the character of the natural landscape and surmising that proper screening would mitigate potential issues.

Hawvermale took several minutes to go over the renderings of the two solar farms, making planners aware of the placement and types of screenings and buffers.

When questioned about the number of utility poles on the layout, Leone said that is within National Grid’s “purview” and leaves Cypress Creek little flexibility. Hawvermale did provide specifics, indicating that there will be five utility company poles and three others to be put up by Cypress Creek.

Jasinski said the town will contact National Grid to get information about the number of poles in writing, adding that the power company has permitted a fewer number on other projects.

Planners also asked about glare, with Lang stating that a study came back showing no glare at all on the site. Still, he is requesting further research because that is the first time a report came back with that result.

When voting on the proposal does occur, Partridge will be required to abstain.

In recent weeks, neighbors and others living on Ellicott Street Road have spoken out about Partridge’s plan, citing impacts on the land and property values, and questioning whether two 20-acre side-by-side arrays violate the maximum limit imposed by the Town of Batavia.

Previously: Ellicott Street Road resident challenges Town of Batavia's 20-acre solar limit as nearby project moves forward

March 2, 2021 - 6:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in K-9 Batu, Batavia PD, batavia, news, notify.

k9batu.jpg

dejon.smithmugmar2021.jpg
         Dejon Smith

After a passenger in a vehicle stopped by a Batavia police officer bolted from the car at 6:01 p.m., Feb. 25, K9 Batu was pressed into service helping with his first apprehension of a fleeing subject.

Handler Stephen Quider and Batu started patrol duties together earlier this year. 

Taken into custody was Dejon. J. Smith, 21, of Rochester. He was apprehended after a brief foot pursuit. Batu reportedly located Smith behind a residence on Ellicott Street.

Crack cocaine and marijuana were recovered at the scene of the traffic stop and police report finding additional crack cocaine inside the storage shed.

Also taken into custody was Germayne D. Session, 27, of Rochester.

Smith is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell; criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th; burglary, 3rd; unlawful possession of marijuana, 2nd; tampering with physical evidence; resisting arrest; and obstruction of governmental administration. 

Session was charged with driving a vehicle with a revoked or suspended registration, unlicensed operation, unlawful possession of marijuana, 2nd.

Smith was turned over to Irondequoit Police Department on an unrelated warrant and Session was released on an appearance ticket.

March 2, 2021 - 3:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, batavia, Stafford, Darien.

Cody A. Bush, 35, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with: two counts of third-degree assault; fourth-degree grand larceny; and two counts fourth-degree criminal mischief. Bush was arrested Feb. 14 after an investigation into physical domestic incidents at an upper apartment on Walnut Street at 5:09 p.m. and again at 6:03 p.m. that day. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and put in jail (bail, if any, unspecified). He was due back in city court Feb. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Officer John Gombos.

Terry Marvin Conrad, 57, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree menacing -- with a weapon, and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree -- with a previous conviction. Conrad was arrested after police responded to a domestic incident involving weapons that occurred on South Main Street at 11:59 a.m. Feb. 21. After an investigation it is alleged that Conrad menaced a person with a knife after engaging in a physical altercation with that person. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released on his own recognizance. Conrad is due to return to city court on April 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Jamie A. Dutton, 28, of South Platt Street, Albion, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Dutton was arrested Feb. 27 after a lab report was received by the Monroe County Crime Lab. The defendant was allegedly found to possess 1.081 grams of cocaine after an incident at 8:04 p.m. Feb. 23 on McKinley Avenue in Batavia. Dutton was issued an appearance ticket to be in City of Batavia Court on April 20. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Connor Borchert.

Cody Lee Pahuta, 29, of Alleghany Road, Darien, is charged with: driving while intoxicated -- first offense; refusal to take a breath test; and failure to keep right on a two-lane road. At 12:53 a.m. Feb. 27, Pahuta was arrested after a traffic stop on Alleghany Road. After an investigation, he was allegedly found to be driving while intoxicated by alcohol. He was released with appearance tickets and is due on Darien Town Court March 16. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush, assisted by Deputy Erik Andre.

Dustin Corey Herzog, 32, of Albion Eagle Harbor Road, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested Feb. 23 and is accused of stealing property from a business on East Main Street in Batavia on July 1. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and then released on his own recognizance. Herzog is due back in city court April 1. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Antonio Joseph Pisa, 19, of Hollow Hill Lane, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana in the first degree. At 1:10 a.m. Feb. 19 on Clinton Street Road in Stafford, Pisa was allegedly found in possession of marijuana, homemade marijuana pills and crystallized THC following a traffic stop. Pisa was released on appearance tickets and is due in Stafford Town Court March 18. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy David Moore, assisted by Deputy Nicholas Chamoun.

March 2, 2021 - 2:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Le Roy.

Jennifer D. Abrams and Tarus O. Fluitt are indicted for third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 16 in the Town of Le Roy that the defendants unlawfully entered the Kwik Fill on West Main Street Road intending to commit a crime. In count two, they are accused of third-degree criminal mischief for alllegedly intentionally damaging the property of another person in an amount exceeding $250 -- the front glass door of the Kwik Fill. In count three, Abrams and Fluitt are accused of fifth-degree conspiracy, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally agreeing to engage in conduct that constituted a felony.

Alex S. Dumbleton is indicted for the crime of first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Dec. 11 Dumbleton violated an order of protection while at a residence on Pearl Street in the City of Batavia. It is alleged that on that day he acted to intentionally harass, annoy, threaten or alarm a person protected from him by a court order and did this by striking, kicking, shoving or subjecting the victim to physical contact, or threatening to do so. In count two, the defendant is accused of second-degree criminal contempt, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count two that Dumbleton intentionally disobeyed an order of protection issued on April 26 by Batavia City Court. In count three, he is accused of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly acting that day in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child under age 17. In count four, Dumbleton is accused of fourth-degree attempted criminal mischief, a Class B misdemeanor. It is alleged in count four that the defendant attempted to damage another person's property -- the driver's side door of the victim's vehicle. In count five, Dumbleton is accused of second-degree harassment for allegedly intentionally harassing, annoying or alarming another person by striking, shoving, kicking or otherwise subjecting a person to physical contact.

Cody A. Bush is indicted for the crime of third-degree assault, a Class A misdemeanor. On Feb. 14 in the City of Batavia he accused of intentionally causing physical injury to a person. In counts two and three, Bush is accused of fourth-degree criminal mischief, for allegedly intentionally damaging another person's property -- a bedroom door and a cell phone, respectively. In count four, the defendant is accused of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony, for allegedly taking a cell phone from a person. In count five, he is accused of a third count of fourth-degree criminal mischief for allegedly intentionally damaging an entryway door. In count six, he is accused of first-degree burglary, a Class B violent felony, for entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime and then allegedly causing physical injury to a second victim. In count seven, Bush is accused of third-degree assault, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally causing physical injury to the second victim.

Warren D. Post is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on May 24 in the Town of Batavia that Post drove a 2003 Chevrolet on Pearl Street while his license to drive was suspended or revoked by authorities and while he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In Special Information filed by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Post is accused of having been convicted of driving while ability impaired by consumption of alcohol on June 18, 2018 in Town of Coxsackie Court. That conviction forms the basis for the license revocation referred to in count one of the current indictment.

Roy A. Newton is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 30 in the Village of Le Roy that Newton drove a 2009 Hyundai on Main Street while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of DWI, per se, also a Class E felony, for having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time. In Special Information filed by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Newton is accused of having been convicted of driving while ability impaired by drugs, as a misdemeanor, on Nov. 22, 2017 in Town of Perry Court. The convicted was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

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