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July 8, 2017 - 2:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, batavia, news, notify.

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The Sheriff's Office dedicated two new signs in the garden outside the department's Park Road office this afternoon to the memory of William H. Johnson, who died in 1895, and Raymond F. Thompson, who died in 2002.

Pictured above, Deputy Brian Thompson on the left, with Undersheriff Greg Walker, and on the right, other members of the Thompson family with Sheriff William Sheron.

Brian Thompson is Raymond's brother. Raymond served eight years in the USAF in Security Police, then returned home, working in a couple of different manufacturing jobs before joining the Sheriff's Office as a corrections officer. He died on duty a few years later of a heart attack at the age of 37.

The dedication service comes on the third anniversary of the death of Deputy Frank Bordonaro, who is also honored with a sign in his memory in the garden.

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The ceremony was followed by lunch for all in attendance, with hot dogs, hamburgers and sausage grilled by, from left, Undersheriff Greg Walker, Chief Deputy Jerry Brewster, and Sheriff Bill Sheron.

July 8, 2017 - 2:09pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Hearth & Soul, batavia, news, business, notify.

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Saturday morning, Siobhan Larkin (left) and Jennifer Petry (right) celebrated their grand opening of a holistic home goods store, Hearth & Soul, located at 214 Ellicott St. in Batavia.

Hearth & Soul offers handmade Bohemian décor, holistic accessories, jewelry, organic skin care, clothing and more. 

Petry said the building recently got a new coat of paint, just in time for the grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

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Visitors enjoyed wine tastings, courtesy of Christine Crocker, owner of The Yngodess Shop on Main Street, music from local artist Justin Reynolds, and light hors d’oeuvres.

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July 8, 2017 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alexander Fire, alexander, tractor pulls, news, notify.

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The Alexander Fire Department's annual carnival and tractor pull is back this weekend.

Today, the grounds open at 4 p.m. The kiddie parade is at 4 p.m. and pulls start at 7 p.m.

There will be music in the beer tent, starting at 9 p.m., with Red Creek.

The grounds close at 2 a.m.

The annual carnival dates back to 1938 and more than 22 years ago, the department added tractor pulls.

Top Photo: File photo.

Below, a photo by Nate Fix from the pull last night:

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July 8, 2017 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen, news, notify.

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Local law enforcement is looking for a blue, four-door sedan with front and driver-side damage that investigators believe was the cause of an accident in Bergen last night that sent six people to the hospital.

The accident was reported at 9:15 in the area of 7762 Clinton Street Road.

The initial investigation by the Sheriff's Office indicates that the blue sedan passed a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan unsafely and struck an eastbound 2010 Ford F150.

The collision forced the pickup truck off the road on the south shoulder where it came to rest facing north, resting on its passenger side.

The Caravan swerved to the right to avoid the collision and it traveled off the south shoulder, where it struck a large utility pole, continued west and struck a large tree.

Volunteer firefighters, when they arrived on scene, began a lengthy extrication to get the driver of the Caravan, Hailee N. Callicutt, of Prune Street, Batavia, out of the vehicle. She suffered a broken leg and was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight.

The five other passengers in the Caravan suffered minor injuries and were transported by ambulances to Strong.

No information was released on whether the driver of the pickup truck, John F. Gurtler, of Swamp Road, Bergen, was injured.

Responding to the scene were Bergen fire, Byron fire, Churchville fire, Le Roy ambulance, and Mercy EMS. 

The accident is being investigated by Sgt. Jason Saile, Deputy Ryan DeLong, and Trooper Chad Bea. 

To provide information about the blue sedan that may assist in the investigation, call the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.

(Initial Post)

Photo: Courtesy Alicia Kaus/Video News Service.

July 7, 2017 - 9:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, bergen, news, notify.

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A motor-vehicle accident with possible entrapment is reported at 7762 Clinton Street Road, Bergen.

Bergen fire, Bergen ambulance and Mercy EMS dispatched.

There's a rollover and another vehicle reportedly struck a pole. Wires are reported down.

UPDATE 9:24 p.m.: Mercy Flight on ground standby.

UPDATE 9:25 p.m.: Confirmed, one person trapped.

UPDATE 9:26 p.m.: A second Mercy ambulance requested to the scene. Mercy Flight out of Olean is on in-air standby.

UPDATE 9:31 p.m.: Byron ambulance requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:35 p.m.: Churchville requested to set up a landing zone at Dublin Road and Route 33 for Mercy Flight. Mercy Flight may be coming from Canandaigua. 

UPDATE 9:41 p.m.: Landing zone changed to Farm Market at Route 33 and Route 19.

UPDATE 9:45 p.m.: Le Roy ambulance requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:53 p.m.: Alexander ambulance requested to stand by in quarters because so many ambulances in the county are tied up at the moment.

UPDATE 9:55 p.m.: Darien ambulances requested to stand by in quarters. Four-minute ETA on Mercy Flight.

UPDATE 9:56 p.m.: An ambulance is in route to Strong with two patients.

UPDATE 9:58 p.m.: Bethany requested to have ambulance crew stand by in quarters.

UPDATE 10:03 p.m.: Mercy Flight on the ground.

UPDATE 10:07 p.m.: Churchville's engine requested to the scene with extrication tools.

UPDATE 10:29 p.m.: All victims extricated.

UPDATE 11:04 p.m.: Bergen back in service.

UPDATE: Video from the scene from our news partner 13WHAM.

UPDATE: Photos courtesy Alecia Kaus/Video News Service

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July 7, 2017 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, bergen, Bethany, batavia, news, notify.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider approving incentives for three projects at its meeting on Thursday, July 13, in the Innovation Zone board room on 99 Medtech Drive, starting at 4 p.m.

The Board will vote on whether to approve incentives for a $7.1 million expansion for a new 40,000-square-foot warehouse and service center for West Seneca-based Freightliner Western Star.

The expansion will create 24 new jobs and the center will be located adjacent to the New York State Thruway and next door to the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP).

The GVEP graduates are seen as an "ideal" workforce for the new facility. Freightliner Western Star is seeking approximately $662,000 in sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions.

The popular Coach Tony’s, which makes a wide variety of food sauces, is seeking to expand its operations in the Town of Bergen. The company is expanding and planning on constructing a 5,000-square-foot building on three acres at Apple Tree Acres. The project will create three new jobs. Coach Tony’s is seeking approximately $50,000 in sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions.

The third project for consideration by the GCEDC is a $170,749 GAIN! loan fund for First Light Creamery in East Bethany. The loan will be used to assist with its existing production of goats' milk cheese from local distribution to regional distribution by adding to their barn, and associated infrastructure, to house more goats.

The GCEDC Board meeting is open to the public.

July 7, 2017 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in HP Hood, batavia, business, news, notify.

HP Hood, the Lynnfield, Ma., dairy processor who is taking over the former Muller Quaker Dairy facility, already has human resources staff in Batavia so the company can start hiring immediately for its new dairy plant.

The company hopes to break ground on reconfiguring and expanding the plant this fall, and it won't be until early 2019 that the new plant is in production. But a source familiar with HP Hood's plans said the company is excited about coming to Batavia and is eager to start lining up its workforce.

People interested in applying for a job at the plant can call (1-800) 428-6329 for more information.

According to public documents, Hood plans to hire 250 people locally and expand the plant with a new 100,000-square-foot warehouse.

The source said details are still being worked out, but the plant will be used to manufacture extended-shelf-life beverages, both dairy and nondairy.

It's expected that Dairy Farmers of America, who initially purchased the plant from Muller Quaker for $60 million and held onto it until last Friday, when the cooperative sold the plant to Hood for $54 million, will be at least one of Hood's milk supplier. There are several DFA dairy farmers in the region.

There is still a lot of work and planning to do, but the source said that right now, Hood's focus is hiring a workforce for the plant.

Since DFA acquired the $206 million plant in December 2015, there have been seven to eight workers at the plant helping to keep it maintained and ready for the next producer. That staff has been offered jobs with Hood and our source believes all current workers accepted positions with Hood.

The source said the acquisition process has taken a year and now that the deal is closed, Hood executives are eager to see things move forward and get the plant into production.

Multiple sources have told The Batavian that staff for Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been trying to coordinate a visit by the governor to Batavia to celebrate the acquisition of the dairy plant by HP Hood. That could happen within the next couple of weeks.

Previously:

UPDATE: Here's a video about HP Hood:

July 7, 2017 - 10:58am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in opioids, news, batavia, notify.

There have been multiple lawsuits filed by state and local governments around the nation against major drug manufacturers over their marketing and distribution of opioids, and Genesee County officials are thinking about becoming one of the plaintiffs.

Several counties in New York are part of the effort to pin at least some of the financial burden for the opiate epidemic on pharmaceutical companies.

County Attorney Kevin Earl is researching the feasibility of the county filing suit, either individually as a member of a multi-plaintiff action, against major drug manufacturers to recover current and future damages to the county taxpayers from abuse of opioid pharmaceuticals.

“If you want, [I can] investigate whether it would be better for us to join an existing lawsuit or (file) on our own,” Earl said at the Ways and Means Committee meeting on Wednesday.

Finding out the costs and expenses needed is something Earl will be researching as well.

Earl said most counties are doing research, then bringing a recommendation back to the legislative body.

Committee Member Raymond Cianfrini said every state is beginning to go after pharmaceutical companies in that regard.

“I don’t see a problem with us piggybacking on somebody else in a class-action lawsuit,” Cianfrini said. “But, we need to know who is going to do it, what it’s going to cost us, [and] what are the time frames.”

July 7, 2017 - 10:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in kathy hochul, baseball, muckdogs, news, notify.

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Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and her husband, Bill, visited Batavia last night so they could attend a Batavia Muckdogs game together. Kathy threw out the first pitch and met with players from the Marlins in the Oakfield-Alabama Little League.

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Catching Kathy's first pitch was Harrison White, from Laguna Beach, Calif., and a graduate of Yale University. He's a 2017 Miami Marlin's draft pick.

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July 7, 2017 - 10:21am

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Genesee Cancer Assistance planted its Festival of Hope tree yesterday outside the Wilmot Cancer Institute on Bank Street, Batavia.

Participating were Bev Henning, Lois Gerace, Nickie Fazio, John Morrill and Ed Kirby.

Henning and Kirby are cancer survivors. Gerace is the wife of the late Joe Gerace, cofounder and former board member of Genesee Cancer Assistance. Fazio is with Genesee Cancer Assistance, and Morrill is owner of Bubba's Landscaping.

Below, Sue Underwood and Fazio hang ribbons for cancer survivors on the hydrangea tree.

The event was catered by Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford.

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July 6, 2017 - 2:09pm

One of the Northeast's largest dairy producers now officially has a footprint in Batavia.

HP Hood, based in Lynnfield, Mass., closed on the deed to the former Muller Quaker Dairy plant on Friday, paying $54,216,000 to Dairy Famers of America for the facility.

DFA acquired the property from Muller Quaker in December 2015 for $60 million.

As part of the deal, Hood agreed to take over the obligations of Muller Quaker for the property, which includes making payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) along with paying a variety of fees to Genesee County Economic Development Center.

The GCEDC board has yet to improve a new PILOT agreement for the 363,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art milk processing facility, but is considering providing Hood with more than $7 million in tax abatements over 10 years, with an anticipated total economic benefit to the region of more than $330 million.

Hood will pay GCEDC $1.7 in annual installments of $280,000 over six years, starting with an initial payment delivered Friday at closing.

There is also an annual $1,000 administration fee and a $5,000 annual property maintenance fee to assist with maintenance of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, where the plant is located (next to the Genesee County Fairgrounds on Route 5).

Hood is reportedly planning to add a 100,000-square-foot warehouse to what is already the largest dairy processing facility in the United States.

The plant cost PepsiCo and Theo Muller Group $206 million and Hood is planning to invest significantly more into the plant. Reconfiguring the plant from one that made just Quaker Muller's own take on Greek yogurt and adding the warehouse will create more than 500 construction jobs with a payroll of $26 million. 

While Muller Quaker topped out at 162 jobs created, Hood promises 250 jobs at the plant, with an average annual salary of $47,000.

Hood plans to begin construction this summer and be operational by the first quarter of 2019.

Previously:

July 6, 2017 - 1:41pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, crime, batavia, notify.

Oliver Thomas, 25, entered a guilty plea to attempted burglary in the second-degree on Thursday morning and could face up to seven years in prison as a second felony offender.

Thomas was part of the attack that occurred around 11 p.m. on Oct. 28 at an upper apartment on Central Avenue, involving several people and resulting in the hospitalization of two individuals.

He also pleaded guilty to failure to register change of address as a registered sex offender. Thomas was convicted of rape in 2009 and was required to register as a Level 2 sex offender when he was released from prison.

Thomas was the last of the four men accused of the attack, who was taken into custody after police had been looking for him for five months.

Also charged were Daniel Gilbert, Adante Davis and Marquis Saddler.

Gilbert received a four-year prison term. Davis five years, and Saddler five years.

Thomas will be held without bail until his sentencing at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 4.

July 6, 2017 - 9:33am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, health, notify.

The Ways and Means Committee voted Wednesday to authorize Public Health Director Paul Pettit to apply for a Greater Rochester Health Foundation Community Health Grant, as a pilot to expand the wellness program.

Currently, in Genesee County Building 2, located at 3837 W. Main Street Road, there is a small room for employees to exercise on their breaks. The equipment was donated house equipment to keep employees healthy during the bad weather months, Pettit said.

“We view this more as employee wellness,” Pettit said. “We don’t use the word fitness because we don’t have free weights and all the stuff you would see in a fitness center.”

Committee Member Marianne Clattenburg expressed her concern of the exclusivity of the wellness program to employees in Genesee County Building 2.

“You’re spending time writing grants, but you should be looking at the overall health of all our employees and how this would fit into a program for everyone,” Clattenburg said. “Unless it’s something like that, I’m not going to support it. We need to be thinking of everyone.”

Pettit stressed that the use of the machines is not exclusive to employees in Genesee County Building 2, but later, a member of the committee pointed out that only employees who work in that building have access to the building.

“That would be a door control issue,” Pettit said. “But, it can be done.”

If they receive the grant, the building would receive replacements for their current equipment. They would receive rubber flooring, a new treadmill, an elliptical machine and a bike.

“The [current] treadmill is in decent, working shape,” said Kristine Voos, an educator working on the project. “The other piece of equipment is unusable at this point.”

Voos said she has been working with an intern to decide what equipment to put in the room. Voos said in 2014, she surveyed the employees in the building to find out what they would like to see in the room.

“Instead of getting five pieces for one place, I’d rather see a couple treadmills everywhere,” Clattenburg said.

Another concern from committee members was that currently, those who use the machines, do not sign a waiver in case of injury.

“Currently we do not [have a waiver],” Voos said. “But we do have [waiver] templates.”

Having a wellness program has many benefits during the workday, Voos said.

“The lifestyle management hits on employee productivity,” Voos said. “They’re exercising more, they’re feeling better, they’re more aware and present during meetings.”

July 6, 2017 - 9:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify.

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Press release:

The Town of Batavia Republican Committee held its annual picnic at the Batavia/Kiwanis Park and presented its "Community Service" Award to Gordon Offhaus. This is an annual award to recognize a person or business for service to the Town of Batavia community.

Gordie moved to the Town of Batavia in 1972 -- 45 years ago this year -- and established Offhaus Farms on Oak Orchard Road (Route 98) with 18 cows. He and his son Scott still operate the business now milking 1,200 cows. He has served on the Town Planning Board for more than 30 years representing Agriculture. He is always ready to serve on committees, Comprehensive Plan updates and assist the Town in many ways. He is very deserving of this recognition.

The plaque was presented by Deputy Town Supervisor Dan Underhill. Even though it was a rainy evening, the event has attended by about 100 people.

July 6, 2017 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, schools, education, news, notify.

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The Batavia City School District welcomed three new members to the school board, including Zach Korzelius, appointed to replace the seat vacated by Leslie Johnson. Johnson resigned to accept a job in education in New York City.

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Michal Lullo is the new student ex-officio member of the board.

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Newly elected Board Member Barbara Bowman.

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Newly elected Board Member Tanni Bromley.

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Pat Burk was re-elected by the board to be chairman.

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Pete Cecere becomes the vice-chairman.

July 6, 2017 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news, notify.

Volunteer firefighters from the Le Roy Fire Department are dealing with a hydraulic fluid spill on Wolcott Street and lines arcing at No Finer Diner on Main Street.

The fluid spill has required a partial closure of Wolcott Street. 

The lines arcing are attached to the building.

Caledonia fire has been requested to provide a fill-in at the Le Roy Fire Hall.

July 5, 2017 - 5:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Stafford, notify.

Isaac C. King is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Jan. 9 in the City of Batavia that King knowingly and unlawfully possessed a controlled substance, Suboxone, with intent to sell it. In count two, King is accused of the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. It is alleged in count two that on the same day, the defendant knowingly and unlawfully possessed a controlled substance, Suboxone. In count three, King is accused of unlicensed operation in the third degree, a misdemeanor. It is alleged in count three, that on the same day, King drove a 2017 Nissan on Swan Street while knowing, or having reason to know, that his driver's license was suspended or revoked by authorities.

Darrel T. Wilder is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, per se, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on April 29 in the Town of Stafford that Wilder drove a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Route 33 while he had a BAC of .08 percent or more as shown by a chemical analysis of his breath. In count two, he is accused of DWI as a Class E felony for allegedly driving on the same day on the same road while intoxicated. In count three, Wilder is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count three that the defendant drove on that day on that road while knowing, or having reason to know, that his driver's license was suspended revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities and that he did so while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In count four, Wilder is accused of the crime of circumvention of an ignition interlock device, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count four that the defendant, while subject to a court-ordered ignition interlock device, operated a vehicle that was not equipped with this device.

George J. Budzinack is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on March 14 in the Town of Stafford that Budzinack operated a 2001 Chevrolet Venture van on Route 33 while knowing, or having reason to know, that his driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities. It is also alleged that the defendant was operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In count two, Budzinack is accused of driving while intoxicated, as a misdemeanor. In Special Information filed by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, the defendant is accused of having been convicted of DWI on March 3, 2004, in Genesee County Court. The document states the defendant knew, or had reason to know, that his driving privilege was suspended or revoked as a result of the conviction and that the revocation or suspension was still in effect at the time of the crimes alleged in the indictment.

July 5, 2017 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, news, notify, batavia, Stafford, elba, pembroke.

Bryan D. Bates Jr., 37, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and Andrea Gray, 39, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with falsely reporting an incident, 3rd. The charges stem from a domestic disturbance July 1 at a residence on Lake Street, Le Roy. Bates was allegedly violating a stay away order issued out of Batavia City Court. He was jailed in lieu of an unspecified amount of bail. Gray allegedly falsely reported to a neighbor that Bates had committed suicide, causing the neighbor to call 9-1-1. Gray was also jailed on an unspecified amount of bail.

Kevin William Dart, 59, of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with unlawfully dealing with a child. Dart allegedly allowed people under age 21 to consume alcohol during a party at his house.

Todd Alan Kendall, 54, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Kendall allegedly struck another person in an incident reported at 5:56 a.m. Monday at a location on Main Road, Stafford.

Susan Ann Minardo, 28, of Shelby Road, Kings Mountain, N.C., was arrested as a fugitive from justice. During an investigation by Deputy Chad Cummings of a call at the TA Travel Center in Pembroke, Minardo was located and identified as the subject of a warrant out of Pennsylvania. Minardo was jailed without bail.

Christopher James Draper, 46, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Draper allegedly entered Rite Aid on West Main Street Road, Batavia, after being previously advised he was not allowed on the property.

July 3, 2017 - 5:33pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in GO ART!, batavia, arts, news, notify.

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Gregory Hallock began the transition as the new executive director of the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council five weeks ago, after former Executive Director Jennifer Gray resigned.

Hallock grew up in Delevan and went to Genesee Community College. He graduated with a Theater degree and from there, went to Brockport to get his bachelor’s degree in Acting, with a minor in Dance. He received his graduate degree from the University at Buffalo and started working for GO ART! a year and a half ago as the assistant director.

As the executive director, Hallock’s schedule changes from day to day. He works on events, finances and the Decentralization Grant Program.  

“I’m getting paid to be involved with the arts,” Hallock said. “It’s the most incredible thing in the world. Most people, arts is a luxury. It’s something that they can only hope they can get somewhere. I get to do it as my job.”

Since 1962, GO ART! has been dedicated to developing the cultural life in Genesee and Orleans counties by facilitating the creation, presentation and experience of art, heritage and traditions.

GO ART! is in the midst of hiring a new assistant director to take over the grants program. Hallock said he hopes the new director will start Aug. 1.

Gray resigned from the position for personal reasons, but still volunteers, Hallock said.

“She is still completely passionate about us,” Hallock said. “She is still dedicated to us.”

Hallock said his immediate goal is to increase the membership to 600 members by June 2018 and he also wants to increase awareness of GO ART!

“I’ve been trying to attend every event possible,” Hallock said. “Once I am done with the transition [into the new position] I am going to start going to board meetings all over the place.”

Picnic in the Park, at 11 a.m. on July 4, is one of Hallock’s big projects. He is in charge of the event at Centennial Park, and said he is excited for this year’s theme, “Summer of Love.”

Hallock said he is more than willing to meet with anybody or talk to anybody about GO ART!, and arts and culture in general. He wants to get more people into the building, known as Seymour Place, located at 201 E. Main St. in Batavia, to see the artwork.

“This building is our biggest expense,” Hallock said, of the historic brick property downtown. “It’s an amazing building and I want to utilize it to its fullest potential. I want to get people in this building and have art hanging on every wall.”

Hallock said working under Gray was extremely beneficial for his transition to the new position.  

“Working with her has been amazing,” Hallock said. “I’ve made the connections I didn’t previously have. I got to see how things worked here before I got to dive in.”

Anyone can visit GO ART! from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturdays and every second Sunday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

“We may not be the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, but we have some pretty amazing stuff here,” Hallock said.

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July 3, 2017 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, batavia, notify.

A shed fire is reported at 219 S. Swan St., Batavia.

City fire responding.

UPDATE 10:44 a.m.: Fire is out. 

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