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September 28, 2017 - 2:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's visit to Batavia has been rescheduled and he will be at City Hall at 1:40 p.m., tomorrow.

It's possible -- though no official will confirm it -- that Cuomo is here to announce Batavia is the winner in the Finger Lakes region of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative prize.

September 28, 2017 - 1:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in United Way, batavia, news, notify.

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The United Way of Genesee County has set a fundraising goal for the next year of $388,000 to help support 25 programs run by 20 local agencies.

Director Eric Fix also announced this morning at the kickoff breakfast at the Dibble Family Center an ambitious plan to build "Teen City," a new center to provide activities for teens from throughout Genesee County.

Plans are still being developed, including finding a location for the center in the City of Batavia, but Fix said the goal is to open the doors by fall of 2018.

He's working with Jeff Townsend of the YMCA to develop the center.

"One of the things we've both been told throughout our careers is teen centers don't work," Fix said. "You can't do teens. It just won't work. I personally feel with funding from United Way and other sources, with our community support, and all the great people at the table at the same time coming up with this concept it definitely will work."

Fix also celebrated the events and accomplishments of the past year, which included raising $385,000 in last year's campaign, which was headed by Bill Fritts, who is directing the fundraising effort again this year.

The 10th Annual Day of Caring attracted more than 400 volunteers who worked at 35 sites.

"If you missed it, it's the highlight event Genesee County of all last year," Fix said. "Out of anything that happens in the whole entire county, it was hands down the best event. I think I've seen tie-dyed shirts in my sleep but it was the signature event of the year."

The backpack program starts back up next week and Fix said he's personally excited to get involved in that again, working with clients of ARC at the Salvation Army to fill backpacks with food to help children from needy families get through the weekends each week. There will be 180 to 200 backpacks packed each weekend.

There are two events left in the United Way's 5K series, the Acorn Run this weekend in the Genesee County Park & Forest, and the Stiletto & Sneaker 5K at the YWCA on Thursday.

Fix said all the agencies supported through the annual fundraising drive are making a big difference in our community.

"It's not easy," Fix said. "They can tell you that. I can tell you that from talking to them and working with them. And it's our United Way effort that helps support their organizations and helps them do the work that they do.

"I can't say that they wouldn't exist without it, but I know that their lives would be a heck of a lot harder if they didn't have that money. So we appreciate everybody who gives to the campaign."

September 26, 2017 - 4:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, alexander, notify.

A 7-year-old boy is conscious and alert after being struck by a vehicle at 81-A Colony Run in Alexander. Alexander fire and ambulance responding along with law enforcement.

Also medic #80 from Wyoming County just arrived on scene and Mercy Flight #4 is on in-air standby. A first responder at the scene says the boy has lacerations to the front and back of his head. A Mercy Flight landing zone will be established.

UPDATE 5:04 p.m.: A first responder says the boy was struck by a vehicle going about 20 mph while riding his bicycle. Mercy Flight is airborne and will land at the Alexander fire rec hall.

UPDATE 5:11 p.m.: Medic #80 from Wyoming County is back in service.

September 26, 2017 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, Oakfield, news, notify.

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When the Oakfield Fire Department signed up eight new members a couple of years ago and then came to the village with a request for $18,500 to buy gear for the volunteers, Mayor Jason Armbrewster started to rethink how fire services are funded in Oakfield.

"Eight new members, that should be great news," Armbrewster said. "But to us as a board, we’re like, 'How are we going to come up with $18,500?' That’s when I was like, 'Why should we be controlling that destiny? Why should new members be a hindrance to our fire department?' ”

The village held a public hearing last night -- more of a fact-finding and public feedback process -- to explore the idea of getting the village out of the fire department business and forming either a fire district or a fire protection district.

One village resident wanted to know if this idea would save residents money.

"It’s not about saving money," Armbrewster said. "It’s about providing a better service."

Trustee David Boyle pointed out the idea could help provide both better fire protection and better services through the village for residents. He said the village has already had to cut other services just to keep the fire department going.

Currently, the fire department is part of the village and the Town of Oakfield contracts with the department for fire protection outside the village, paying for it with its own fire district. The fire district is a separate tax for town residents. The town accounts for more than 50 percent of the fire department's budget.

If the village decided to go ahead with the idea, it would need to decide whether to set up a fire district, which would need to happen jointly with the town, because it would cover both the town and the village, or a fire protection district, which would cover only the village. Then both the town and the village would contract with the Oakfield Fire Department (or conceivably, some other department) for emergency services.

The struggles for the department now include replacing aging fire apparatus, maintaining the fire hall at a cost of $18,000 a year, and recruiting volunteers.

Ambrewster said in his talks with other departments where recruiting isn't as difficult, good equipment and recruiting seem to go hand-in-hand.

Dan Luker, a longtime member of the Oakfield department, said he had one simple question: Why?

He said his mind wasn't made up on the proposal, but he was skeptical of the need.

"I don’t see where changing the structure of raising taxes is going to change people wanting to volunteer," Luker said.

Trustee John Igoe said he is also on the fire department board and he isn't sure the fire department will survive under the current arrangement.

Igoe, who said he will abstain on any vote on the proposal, said insolvency in a couple of years is a real possibility. 

"It comes to the point that maybe we have to look at shutting the doors because we don’t have any more money to keep the light and heat on because what we receive as a department isn't enough," Igoe said.

No decisions were reached at the meeting, but after two years of kicking the idea around, Armbrewster said a decision needs to be made soon.

"I either want to move ahead or say we’re not going to do this," Armbrewster said.

Photo: John Igoe and Jason Armbrewster.

UPDATE Sept. 26 5:15 p.m.: John Igoe's name was corrected in the story; it is not John Igor. The Batavian regrets the error.

September 26, 2017 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.
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      Lakara Johnson

An apparent domestic dispute led to two motor-vehicle accidents in Batavia yesterday afternoon and resulted in the arrest of a 27-year-old city resident on assault charges for allegedly trying to run over a man in the parking lot of a business on East Main Street.

Lakara D. Johnson, of Highland Park, was charged with attempted assault, 1st, unlawful imprisonment, 1st, and reckless endangerment, 1st.

The incident started when police were called to Main and Center for a two-car accident. By the time police arrived, one of the vehicles had left the scene. Officers then received a report of a second motor-vehicle involving the suspect vehicle. The driver allegedly tried to hit a male who had managed to get out of the vehicle and instead struck a picnic table at the business.

The vehicle again fled the scene and was located on Howard Street.

Johnson was located on Colorado Avenue and taken into custody.

She was arraigned in City Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice pending further court proceedings.

September 25, 2017 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, pembroke, news, notify.

The Pembroke Dragons get a night off, get to skip a road game and they will pick up a win this Friday because Geneseo High School has forfeited its entire season over an apparent drug scandal.

This Friday's game was supposed to be Geneseo's homecoming game, too.

Geneseo Superintendent Tim Hays announced the district was scrubbing the team's season this afternoon.

"A number of players have been dismissed from the Geneseo High School Varsity Football Team," Hayes said in a statement. "These dismissals stem from serious violations of the District's Code of Conduct and Athletic Eligibility Standards.

"Due to the number of student-athletes involved and the serious nature of this incident, pursuant to our Athletic Code and New York State Public High School Athletic Association standards, the remainder of the varsity football season will be forfeited."

The Livingston County News reported today that police are investigating a report that a player brought OxyContin pills to Friday's game against Bolivar-Richburg. The player allegedly distributed the pills to teammates.

Geneseo won that game on the field 26-24 but that game will now revert to the loss column with the Geneseo Blue Devils giving up that win as well.

Pembroke moves to 5-1 on the season and next plays Attica on Oct. 6 at home.

"The Geneseo Central School District is committed to upholding the highest standards of excellence in all of our academic, extracurricular, and athletic programs," Hayes said. "We will continue to work with all of our student-athletes to ensure that their actions represent the expectations of the District and our community."

September 25, 2017 - 1:58pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Le Roy, news, outdoors, bow hunting, notify, sports.

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Melissa Bender, a resident of Le Roy, made history at the Pennsylvania Bowhunters Festival, after competing with an all-male crowd, becoming the first and only woman to win the steel boar challenge.

The festival is held in Forksville in the middle of September, every year since 1957. It is the oldest gathering of bowhunters in the world.

“People come from all over the place to go,” Bender said.

The three-day event offers a variety of shooting activities and events designed to prepare the Bowhunters for the upcoming archery season. The festival features the famous “Forksville Running Deer” target, mechanical bear and turkey targets, pop-up and moving small game targets, a timed clay pigeon shoot, stationary targets set at variable distances, and three game trails designed with all 3-D targets.

The grand prize for the steel boar challenge, was a wild hog hunt, which drew Bender to competing.

“It was really neat because they had never had a girl win it before,” Bender said. “They were super excited for me.”

Bender’s love for archery began after she went hunting with her husband.

“When I was out hunting, I hit a deer,” Bender said. “We tracked it for two days and we never found it.”

Bender decided that she wanted to be a better shooter, so she started with the help of a local archery organization.

“The people down there [at C&C Archery] are so willing to help anyone,” Bender said. “Especially young people in becoming better shots, either in archery, in competitive form, just for shooting, or just in hunting.”

C&C Archery, in Le Roy, has an indoor archery range, with all different kinds of targets. They offer a variety of services and products to help anyone be successful.

“If I hadn’t gone down there to sign up for [archery] leagues, I obviously would have never had the opportunity to win that challenge.”

Bender hopes to continue strengthening her archery skills to become a more ethical hunter.

“I want to have a better shot so that I don’t have to go through what I went through a year ago,” Bender said.

September 25, 2017 - 10:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Thurway, pembroke, notify.

State Troopers are investigating why a 47-year-old man from Hilton got out of his vehicle on the Thruway at 8:40 p.m., Saturday, and ran into traffic.

William H. Ferguson was struck and killed by a car near the exit of the Thruway in Pembroke.

The accident is being reconstructed by the State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit.

No further information was released.

(Initial Report)

September 24, 2017 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, agriculture, batavia, news, notify.

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Local farmers and other members of the agriculture industry were briefed Saturday on various legislative issues by Rep. Chris Collins and a member of his staff.

The topics discussed included immigration, the new farm bill, the Waters of the U.S. rule and even a couple of non-agricultural items. The meeting was held at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office on East Main Street, Batavia.

Legislative Assistant Taylor Kloustin provided an update on key issues Collins is working on, including the H2A work visa program, workforce legislation, the upcoming effort to pass a new farm bill, and Waters of the U.S. rules.

Collins is meeting next week with the Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, to discuss immigration issues, most notably expanding the H2A visa program to allow workers from other countries to stay in the United States all year long when employed in certain farm jobs, such as dairy and livestock.

She said Collins is also interested in seeing the program revised for temporary workers so that they can get back into the country easier once they've established ongoing employment, such as a TSA-like precheck, perhaps with a biometric ID card.

There's also legislation pending that would move responsibility for farm labor from the Department of Labor to the USDA, which Kloustin said is an agency more familiar with the needs of farmers for labor.

The committee working on the Farm Bill renewal is expected to have language in place by November.

Collins is chair of the specialty crops caucus so his office is working with United Fresh on setting up a specialty crops awareness program in November for House staffers working on the Farm Bill so they can better understand the needs of specialty crop growers.

Dean Norton, an Elba dairy farmer, was one of those who brought the conversation back during the Q&A time to the Waters of the U.S. rule. The rule was approved during the Obama Administration and Trump has rescinded it by executive order. Farmers were upset by the bill because it could be used to regulate the smallest bodies of water on farms.

Norton and other farmers noted that what can be undone by executive order can be reimplemented by executive order in the next administration. They encouraged Collins to pursue legislation that would make Trump's order permanent.

Craig Yunker, CEO CY Farms, expressed concern about the direction the Trump Administration is taking on trade. He's particularly concerned about the seeming protectionist positions of Peter Navarro, a trade advisor to the Trump Administration. Yunker said with the United States pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership there are already trade problems with Japan.

Collins said there's a lot of uncertainty about what will happen with trade during the Trump Administration because we're only eight months into his presidency. He thinks Trump has the right people around him, though, to handle the issue.

"Trump very clear at the U.N.," Collins said. "It’s America first; he’s going to look out for America’s interest. He is going to expect other countries to do their fair share. He's looking for fair trade.

"My worry is your worry," Collins added. "Typically, the retaliation is on ag. That’s the gotcha. Whether it’s Canada or whether it’s Mexico or whether it’s something like apples going to Asia, we do know they retaliate using ag. I share that concern, but the administration knows this. They’re smart guys. To me, it’s too early to tell."

Maureen Torrey, of Torrey Farms, a large grower of produce, said her big concern remains trade restrictions in Canada, which makes it harder to sell U.S.-grown produce north of the border, even though there is no restriction on produce from Canada being sold here.

"It’s pretty sad that within five miles of the border you have 95 percent the population of Canada and the only time I can sell is if they don’t have it and then I have to go through a process to have them to say 'yes, you can ship something', " Torry said. "We need to get that door a little bit more open."

One farmer wondered if the bipartisan spirit displayed by Trump when he reached a deal a couple of weeks ago with Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi is something the GOP leadership in both houses will pick up on and follow.

"To be honest I think Trump is going to lead it from start to finish," Collins said.

While Trump's deal on the debt ceiling and relief for the victims of Harvey and Irma may have shocked and even upset some members of Congress, the leadership is going to have to fall in line, Collins said. 

"I think he's telling Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, 'You better get behind me,' " Collins said. " 'I'm the president. I'm the CEO.' "

Collins said he's solidly behind the president on this point and thinks a lot of what the president wants to get done this congressional term, most notably tax reform, will require bipartisan effort. Even within the GOP, he noted, there are too many divergent interests for the Republicans to act unilaterally. 

"I applauded him for doing what he did, though others just thought it was the worst thing that ever could have happened," Collins said. "There are a lot of folks that want to protect their own turf, if you will, and they didn’t like it. But as I’ve said, 'How did we do on health care?' Not so good, and that’s something we unanimously agreed on until the rubber hit the road and the document’s there. That’s the whole problem."

The other non-farm issue to come up was North Korea.  

" 'Rocket Man', " Collins said with a chuckle. "I’ve got to give Trump credit. He is so good with nicknames. I think Rocket Man is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s poking at Kim Jong-un. It’s getting under his skin. And it’s appropriate. He’s going to be Rocket Man from now on.”

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Dean Norton, dairy farmer from Elba.

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September 24, 2017 - 12:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in freshLAB, batavia, business, news, notify.

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Victor Figueroa's ambition is to open a Puerto Rican restaurant in Batavia specializing in empanadas, and after winning both the Top Competitor Award and the People's Choice Award on Saturday night at the FreshLAB's Foodie Challenge, that dream is a step closer to reality.

Figueroa along with four other top finishers in the cook-off held at BOCES will now be able to take a tuition-free course in restaurant management and then compete in a Shark Tank-like business plan pitch. The top two contestants will be offered spots to try out their restaurant concept in the new FreshLABs facilities inside the former Newberry Building on Main Street along with Eli Fish Brewing Company.

In all,12 aspiring restaurateurs signed up for the Foodie Challenge, eight competed Saturday night and the other finalists were: Gina Bianco, of Middleport, with an Eggplant Busiolo; Judy Hysek, of Batavia, with a vegan mushroom and sage stuffed ravioli with a cashew cream sauce; Rob Rudnicki, of Batavia, with a fish taco; and Ronald Smith, of Rochester, with a pollo de miel (honey chicken).

The contestants are expected to come up with a restaurant concept and menu that is unique to Batavia and Figueroa is counting empanadas as his path to victory. He made a Puerto Rican cheeseburger empanada with a passion fruit chili sauce.

“It’s one of our favorites in Puerto Rico," Figueroa said. "We eat them for lunch, lunch breakfast and dinner every single day. You can walk with them. It’s just one of those things, when we eat it takes you back Puerto Rico.”

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Photo of the winning empanadas by Alex Figueroa.

September 22, 2017 - 4:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, volunteers for animals, batavia, news, notify.

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The trails have not always been happy for "Cowboy," and now, the roads he's traveled have brought him back to the Genesee County Animal Shelter and into the care of Volunteers for Animals.

A couple of years ago, Cowboy was found abandoned in a field with a herd of cows. That's how he got his name. He had health issues, including a broken jaw that required his muzzle to be wired shut.

The volunteers nursed him back to health, but while he was still living at the shelter, a couple allegedly stole him. Cowboy was found with them after the duo allegedly robbed a store in Le Roy and then were involved in an accident on Keeney Road.

Cowboy was returned to the animal shelter. Eventually, he was adopted. His new owner seemed to be doing great with him. She was seen out regularly walking him and Cowboy seemed to be in great shape -- except for maybe wolfing down a few too many calories -- on home visits.

"It was a great adoption," said volunteer Gina Lippa, who was keeping tabs on Cowboy. "I actually went and did home visits for a while. Great adoption. The owner, well there were two owners, but the primary owner was doing wonderfully with him and multiple volunteers had seen her walking around town with him. When I did home visits his coat was clearing right up. She was doing great with him."

After about two months, Lippa lost contact with the owner.

Last week, by coincidence, Lippa found a picture of Cowboy on the adoption page of Fairport-based Lollipop Farm's website.

Arrangements were made to return Cowboy to Batavia and he arrived here at the shelter this afternoon.

It's not clear how Cowboy wound up at Lollypop. The adoptee owner was originally from New York City, so Lippa speculates that she returned to NYC, giving Cowboy to a new owner. At some point, Cowboy was delivered to Lollypop with all of his paperwork intact from the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Lippa said he's available for adoption. He's a sweet and gentle boy and shows no signs of food aggression or other aggression, but he's not at all fond of cats. He gets along with other dogs.

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September 22, 2017 - 12:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.
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      Bennie Wright

Bennie "Beans" Wright, 32, of Jay Street, Rochester, was arrested on a sealed indictment Wednesday night at a residence on Maple Street for allegedly selling drugs in the City of Batavia.

Wright was located and identified as a warrant suspect while police were looking for evidence in a shooting earlier in the day on Thorpe Street.

He is accused of selling crack cocaine to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force.

He is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Wright was arraigned in Genesee County Court and jailed on $25,000 bail.

September 22, 2017 - 9:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Kathleen Mary Barnes, 31, of Gaines Basin Road, Albion, is charged with petit larceny. Following a complaint of shoplifting at the Rite Aid on West Main Street, Batavia, at 12:39 p.m. Wednesday, the suspect vehicle was spotted passing the Sheriff's Office on Park Road and a traffic stop was initiated. It's alleged that Barnes stole $300 worth of dental and oral care merchandise. The driver, Shane Beardsley, was arrested on a warrant. The investigation was conducted by investigators Joseph Graff and Chad Minuto and deputies Chris Erion and Kevin McCarthy.

Elise Mikhalyla Ruckdeschel, 24, of Chestnut Ridge, Buffalo, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding. Ruckdeschel was stopped at 12:46 a.m. today (Sept. 22) in the area of 3194 Route 5, Batavia, by Deputy Howard Wilson.

Ballard Polk Maye, 31, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 4th, and headlight violation. Maye was stopped at 9:26 p.m. Tuesday on East Main Street, Batavia, by Richard Schildwaster.

September 21, 2017 - 6:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, news, notify.

Projects that have received assistance from the Genesee County Economic Development Center for more than a decade have added $4.85 million to local property tax revenue, Steve Hyde told members of the County Legislature yesterday during the Ways and Means Committee meeting.

Hyde, who is CEO of the GCEDC, made his presentation as part of the annual department review for the industrial development agency.

It has helped assist in a build-out of more than 2.5 million square feet of new manufacturing space around the county and another million square feet that have been renovated.

There are currently about 80 projects still within their 10-year PILOT (Payments In Lieu Of Taxes) cycle making payments to local taxing jurisdictions.

"Then there are 64 PILOTS that have actually graduated, so to speak," Hyde said (meaning, they're beyond the 10-year lifespan of their PILOTS). "They've expired and they're back paying full taxes. That aggregate (PILOTS and projects that have graduated) is paying almost five million dollars a year in tax payments to county schools and municipalities."

Hyde said as a return on investment for the county's portion of GCEDC's operating budget, that's about a 22-1 return.

"What's happened really is is that even though our total number of PILOTS have gone down, a lot them have graduated and are paying full taxes," Hyde said. "We're also doing larger projects these days. The shovel-ready strategy has made us more of an ecosystem that is attractive to bigger investment."

The biggest project in the pipeline is WNY STAMP (Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park), which contractors starting working on this past month, bringing in water lines and grading for roads and other infrastructure.

STAMP is expected to be the future home of the solar wafer manufacturing plant of 1366 Technologies, but Hyde said there is a lot of interest in the project.

"We're seeing a lot of conversation about STAMP and it's readiness to market," Hyde said. "We actually have a sales funnel with 10 projects in it right now. These are one- and two-year deals but the promise is there for continued growth."

The challenge for business development in New York, as always, Hyde said, is the reputation the state has for being a poor place to do business. That hasn't changed, but Hyde said there is improvement.

"To the credit of the state and the governor, they've done a lot over the past few budget years," Hyde said. "They've moved income taxes for manufacturing down to zero, so that's really helpful because most of our strategies are around shovel-ready sites. That's about bringing advanced manufacturing back and we've got a much better tax climate in New York to help us be successful."

September 21, 2017 - 3:34pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in corfu, accident, news, notify.

Photo credit: Alecia Kaus/Video News Service

A Corfu man died this morning as a result of injuries suffered during a vehicle accident at the intersection of West Middlebury and East Bethany roads, Middlebury.

The collision occurred around 8:30 when the driver of a 2013 Toyota Tacoma failed to yield to a 2014 International tractor-trailer.

The driver of the Tacoma, Dean M. Dale, 54, of Corfu, was traveling eastbound on West Middlebury Road when he struck the tractor-trailer traveling northbound on East Bethany Road.

Lifesaving measures performed by New York State troopers and Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The State Police collision reconstruction unit assisted in the investigation however, officials say it is still an ongoing investigation.

UPDATE 4:37 p.m.: Dean Dale was an employee of UMMC. UMMC released this statement:

We are deeply saddened to learn of Dean’s passing. He was a valued member of our Radiology team since 2012 and a dear friend that will be sadly missed by many.

Dean’s family, friends and UMMC team are in our thoughts during this difficult time.

September 21, 2017 - 11:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Thorpe Street, batavia, news, notify.

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A suspect has been arrested and charged with attempted murder in the shooting yesterday on Thorpe Street in Batavia.

Being held without bail is Tyshawn King 24, of Maple Street, Batavia.

King is also charged with assault in the first degree.

The shooting was discovered by Batavia police officers after receiving a complaint around 4:50 p.m. of a fight on Thorpe Street.

Upon arrival, officers learned that there had been a shooting and the victim had gone to a house on Evans Street to seek medical attention.

Assistant Chief Todd Crossett said investigators still don't know what started the fight.

Two other people were detained yesterday and after being questioned were released.

The victim, who was shot in the hand and abdomen, is in stable condition at ECMC after surgery last night and is alert and able to talk, Crossett said.

Batavia PD thanked community members for assisting in the investigation.

People in the area of Thorpe and Maple pointed police to the residence where the suspect fled, at the corner of Thorpe and Maple, and shared information about what they saw.

"To them, it is very generic information, but in the big scope of things, when we put the pieces together, it really helps us," Crossett said.

September 21, 2017 - 6:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Carl T. Amesbury, 25, of Jerico Road, Bethany, is charged with petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, 5th, driver's view obstructed. Following a complaint of a shoplifter from Rite Aid on West Main Street Road, Batavia, Amesbury's vehicle was located and stopped by Deputy Kyle Krzemien and taken into custody for allegedly stealing and possessing $201.99 in men's fragrances. (Previously: Tall man wearing Adidas flip-flops and tan summer clothes reportedly flees Rite Aid with cologne)

Triton A. Drock, 23, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and uninspected motor vehicle. Drock was stopped at 6:20 p.m. Sept. 14 on Cedar Street by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Devin P. Hofert, 21, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, running a red light, driving in the wrong direction, and refusal to take breath test. Hofert was stopped at 2:25 a.m. Saturday on School Street, Batavia, by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Micheal Stephen Ryan, 58, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Ryan allegedly stole a credit card and used it to make several snack purchases from a vending machine.

Geoffrey M. Anderson, 52, of Wood Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant, arraigned in City Court, and released on time served.

Carlton L. Beardsley, 22, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Beardsley was charged following a report of a domestic incident at 11:49 on Tuesday.

September 20, 2017 - 6:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, news, notify.

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One person is in surgery at ECMC and three other people are being detained following a shooting near Watson and Evans streets, City of Batavia, shortly after 4:30 p.m.

Chief Shawn Heubusch said one of the three people detained is a possible suspect and the other two potential witnesses.

The victim was shot in the wrist and belly. The victim was flown by Mercy Flight to ECMC.

The three people of interest reportedly fled to a house on Maple Street, which was surrounded by police and the three eventually surrendered.  

Police were initially dispatched to a report of several people fighting on Thorpe Street. When they arrived on scene, officers learned of a shooting victim in a nearby house who was seeking medical treatment. Mercy EMS was called to the scene.

Heubusch said more information will be released when it becomes available.

September 20, 2017 - 8:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, City Schools, schools, education, news, notify.

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As of this morning, Dennis Kenney is the new interim principal at Batavia High School.

Kenney fills the vacancy left when Scott Wilson accepted a position in Churchville.

The school district reviewed several candidates to replace Wilson on a permanent basis but has decided to extend the search.

Kenney will serve as principal until Dec. 22.  

The school board approved his contract in executive session at the start of last night's meeting.

A resident of Warsaw, Kenney has 40 years in education and recently retired as a principal at Iroquois Central Schools, where he worked for 12 years.

His first 18 years in education was with the New York State Division Youth, which is now Child and Family Services, working in residential facilities with kids who had serious emotional issues and learning disabilities.

He's also been a principal at Barker, an assistant in Albion and Canandaigua and served for two-and-a-half years as superintended in Perry.

He has three sons and was on vacation in Virginia Beach with eight of his grandchildren when he got the call from Superintendent Chris Dailey asking if he would be interested in interviewing for the interim position.

"They'll find me a very visible high school principal and very approachable," Kenney said. "I'd like the parents to know that my door is always open, and staff, to come and see me on anything. The students, too. I think we have a great school district here and the high school has a great faculty, good assistant principals, and we're going to work together and keep moving forward."

September 19, 2017 - 8:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in ctiy schools, batavia, schools, education, news, notify.

When district officials asked voters to approve a $27 million capital improvement project they promised the tax levy would go up "0.00 percent" and with the approval of the annual tax warrants tonight, Batavia School District trustees kept the promise.

In fact, because assessed values have gone up about 3 percent for properties in the school district, the 2017-18 tax rate for property owners will go down 79 cents, or 3.54 percent.

The new rate will be $21.46 per thousand of assessed value, Business Manager Scott Rozanski told the board.

It's the second year in a row the district has lowered the tax rate by more than 3 percent.

In six of the past 10 years, the school district property tax rate has gone down from the previous year. Accounting for those years the rate has gone up, the average annual increase is .07 .70 percent.

UPDATE: Scott Rozanski provided these PDFs:

He also told us:


The only thing in the District's control is the levy.  The tax rate is determined by a number of factors outside our control (assessments, equalization rate and county adjustments from prior year such as omitted taxes and exemption removals) 
Also, this will be the fourth consecutive year that taxpayers will receive a rebate check from NYS as a result of our compliance with controlling the taxes (tax freeze).

Just one clarification, the ten-year tax levy increase is 0.70 percent (not 0.07 percent) - as written online.

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