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July 14, 2017 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, darien lake, darien performing arts center, news, notify.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Vans Warped Tour Concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Thursday:

A 16-year-old, of Lake Avenue Lancaster, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Thomas A. Soares, 31, of Smoral Road, Camillus, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Zackery K. Johnston, 21, of Kingsley Road, Rochester, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly entering the fenced in pit area of the venue without permission.

Brittany L. Dumsar, 24, of Anytrell Drive, Webster, is charged with criminal trespass, 3r,d and harassment, 2nd, after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and then spitting in a Live Nation employee's face.

Joseph N. McCarthy, 23 of North Road, Freedom, is charged with trespass after allegedly attempting to reenter the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

July 14, 2017 - 10:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, Tonawanda Creek, batavia, alexander, Alabama, notify, news.

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At 9 a.m., the water level of the Tonawanda Creek, measured behind the courthouse, was 8.5 feet and rising, according to the National Weather Service.

Flood stage is 9 feet.

The creek is expected to crest at 9.4 feet this afternoon.

Impacted areas include Kibbe Park, Law Street and Walnut Street.  

Also, expect flooding in the rural areas of Alexander and the Alabama Swamps.

July 13, 2017 - 7:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news, notify.

The City of Batavia is warning of flooding along the Tonawanda Creek in the areas of Law Street, Walnut Street and Kibbe Park.

The Tonawanda is expected to crest at 9.7 feet, which is above flood stage levels.

Residents in the affected areas are asked to keep vigilant and take precautions to minimize property loss.

July 13, 2017 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Sometimes good people do bad things, Judge Micheal Mohun told Bill Thomas before sentencing him to three years in state prison for menacing a police officer.

With the nearly 14 months already served in county jail, and time off for good time, Thomas should be back home with his family in a little over a year.

Family is a big part of the Thomas story, something Mohun noted during his sentencing remarks.

"You're a lucky fella," Mohun said. "Every time you've come to court, your family has been here. Your family has been very supportive. I see you are one of 10 kids, the second youngest. Your mother died in May while you were in jail. I'm sure that was very hard on you.  It gives me great encouragement that your family is with you and has backed you throughout your court appearances and your trial and now they're here with you today. That is a real testament to the Thomas family.

Then he added, "you're also lucky to be alive."

On the morning of March 16, 2016, Officer Pete Flanigan responded to a home on State Street to investigate a report of a disturbance. Bill's brother Rand answered the door and Flanigan saw Thomas, he testified at trial, with a knife in his hand. He said Thomas came at him with the knife and he thought he would have to shoot Thomas, but Rand, in trying to flee the residence, got in between the officer and his brother.

At a trial last month, Thomas was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon and menacing a police officer.

The mandatory minimum sentence for menacing a police officer is two years in prison, with a maximum of eight. 

Mohun also sentenced Thomas to one to three years on the weapons conviction, to run concurrently to the menacing charge. Thomas will also have a year and a half parole to serve when he's released.

Thomas has a prior criminal record, but nothing in the past 20 years and never had a prior arrest for any kind of violence.

He had been living with his mother, caring for her, prior to his arrest.

While Thomas, 57, was represented at the jury trial by the Public Defender's Office, retained counsel Maurice Verillo appeared for the defendant today. He argued for a minimum amount of time in prison and asked that his client's time in prison be at a facility close to Batavia so his family could easily visit him.

Mohun said he has no control over where the Department of Corrections sends Thomas, but he did attach the request to his file, so it is with him when he is processed, and all of the letters of support from friends and family the court received.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, who usually has something to say when asked what his sentencing recommendations are by a judge, made no statement in court today.

About a dozen members of his family were in court. After Mohun adjourned the case, they all stood. Deputies allowed Thomas to turn and say goodbye to his family.  Family members told him they supported him and loved him.

July 13, 2017 - 12:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.
Jacklyn Ganzhorn
Johnnie Watson

Edward White

Three people have been arrested, all on Class B felony charges, following an investigation by the GC Local Drug Enforcement Task Force in the City of Batavia.

Jacklyn M. Ganzhorn, 30, of South Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree -- heroin/fentanyl; and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (same drug).

Ganzhorn was arrested Wednesday afternoon by Batavia Police while they were investigating an unrelated matter.

She was jailed on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

Uniformed officers of the Batavia Police Department assisted Task Force members with the investigation.

Johnnie M. Watson, 34, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with three counts criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree -- "crack" cocaine; and three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (same drug).

Watson was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputies.

Watson is currently on parole.

He was jailed on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

Uniformed officers of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office assisted Task Force members with the investigation.

Edward J. "Jordan" White, 21, of Michigan Street, Lockport, is charged with one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree -- "crack" cocaine; and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (same drug).

White was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Genesee County Sheriff's deputies.

White, who is also currently on parole, was jailed on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond. 

Uniformed officers of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office assisted Task Force members with the investigation. The Task Force is comprised officers from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Batavia Police NET officers, and the Le Roy Village Police Department.

July 13, 2017 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Creekside Inn, Farmer's Creekside Inn, Le Roy, business, news, notify.

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It's been years of effort and expense for Bill Farmer, but nearly a decade after he acquired the Creekside Inn, after a fire destroyed most of the building, the tavern that is part of so many local memories, is once again welcoming customers.

The 200-year-old building has been completely refurbished from top to bottom and is gorgeous. Farmer has hired a top-notch staff and the Creekside is set to become a local favorite, but a regional dining destination.  

Tavern dining on the second floor and the patio bar are open. The third-floor fine dining won't open for a few weeks yet.

This weekend, during Oatka Fest, the Creekside is not accepting reservations. It is first-come, first-served.

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July 13, 2017 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

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Flooding is reported on Cedar Street and on Route 20 in Alexander.

UPDATE 10:46 a.m.: All available manpower to Bethany Fire Hall for at least two cellar pump details.

UPDATE 10:53 a.m. (By Billie): Le Roy firefighters are called to their hall for cellar pump detail. Route 5 under the railroad overpass in Le Roy is flooded. Le Roy Village highway department is notified. Flooding is reaching the second lane of the roadway at Route 19 and Hilltop.

UPDATE 11:12 a.m.: Photo added. A city worker said the flood waters under the train overpass on Cedar Street was higher before I got there. Even in the time between taking this picture and walking back to my car, the waters completely drained away. However, because of the potential for more heavy rain and more flooding, city workers put up barriers just to encourage people to slow down. City crews will continue to monitor the situation. Flooding is reported in Le Roy at Wolcott and Munson.

UPDATE 11:25 a.m.: There's a report of Warner Road in Le Roy being washed out.

UPDATE 11:32 a.m.: A black SUV is stuck at the "Route 238 viaduct." Help is on the way.

UPDATE 11:36 a.m.: An occupied car is stuck on Attica Street under a bridge in Alexander. Alexander Fire Department is responding along with a deputy.

UPDATE 11:49 a.m.: The car on Attica Road is out of the water and its female driver safe.

UPDATE 12:18 p.m.: A power line is down, lying in standing water on Bartoff Road in Stafford.

July 13, 2017 - 10:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

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A flash flood warning has been issued for Western New York and it will be in effect until 1:45 p.m.

 

At 9:46 a.m., Doppler Radar detected thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the region. 

July 13, 2017 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, corfu, news, notify.

Kimberly Brodsky, 25, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with offering a false instrument for filing, 1st, and grand larceny, 4th. Brodsky is accused of filing a falsified application for assistance with the Department of Social Services in May 2016. Brodsky allegedly received $2,423 in benefits as a result of the falsified application.

Susan Jordon, 54, of State Street, Batavia, was charged with two counts of offering a false instrument for filing, 1st, and grand larceny, 3rd. Jordan is accused of submitting falsified applications to the Department of Social Services in August 2016 and in February (2017). As result, Jordan allegedly received $3,105 in benefits. 

Catherine Spink, 52, Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with 10 counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree and one count of grand larceny, 3rd. Spink is accused of submitting various forms of falsified documentation to the Department of Social Services between March of 2015 and March of 2017, which resulted in Spink receiving $3,756 in benefits.

Arne H. Zipkin, 69, of Woodcrest Drive, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Zipkin is accused of shoplifting from Dick's Sporting Goods. Zipkin allegedly stole $97.99 in merchandise.

Grand Jury Report:

Jason C. Lehnortt is indicted on a count of felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, and speeding. Lehnortt is accused of driving drunk May 3. He was allegedly drunk while driving his 2006 Subaru on the Thruway over the posted speed limit through Stafford while on a suspended license. He is alleged to have had a prior DWI conviction in January 2008, making the DWI a felony charge with three prior suspensions or revocations still in effect.

July 12, 2017 - 11:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Darien, notify.

A hit-and-run accident with injuries is reported in the area of 1499 Sumner Road, near the Employee Road entrance to Darien Lake, Darien.

Darien fire and ambulance dispatched.

July 12, 2017 - 10:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, batavia, notify.

A house at 120 Bank St., Batavia is reportedly charged with smoke with an audible alarm going off.

A neighbor called in the possible structure fire. 

City fire is responding.

UPDATE 10:39 p.m.: Firefighters report the odor of smoke, an audible alarm and are trying to force entry.

UPDATE 10:41 p.m.: Unattended food on the stove. Firefighters are searching the residence.

UPDATE 10:42 p.m.: An ambulance requested to the scene non-emergency to evaluate a person who was found in the residence.

July 12, 2017 - 10:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

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A 40-year-old Batavia resident kept Batavia PD at bay for more than an hour this afternoon while he remained locked in his apartment at 4 Miller Ave. following a report of a domestic incident.

Gordon D. Sprague eventually surrendered and was jailed without bail on charges of harassment, 2nd, obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and criminal mischief, 4th.

The incident began at 2:48 p.m. with a call to 9-1-1 about a physical domestic on Miller Avenue. As police responded, officers received an update that the male subject was continuing to physically attack the female victim.

Upon arrival, the subject reportedly went into the apartment on Miller Avenue and locked the doors.

Sheriff's Deputies provided backup, including the department's K-9 unit, and a police negotiator attempted to communicate with the suspect.

Sprague, behind locked doors, would not respond to either the negotiator or family members.

Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said at the scene that officers did not believe Sprague was armed or presented a threat, but the street was shut down in "overabundance of caution."

Eventually, Sprague agreed to exit the apartment and he was taken into custody.

He was allegedly found in possession of an illegal switchblade knife. Because of a prior criminal conviction, the weapon's charge was elevated to a felony.

Photo by Julia Ferrini.

July 12, 2017 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Capish Brick Oven Pizza Ristorante, Le Roy, business, news, notify.

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Jim Frascati started working on his plans to open an Italian restaurant somewhere nearly two years ago, but the big hang up was finding the right location.

He visited the Village of Le Roy, but the location he looked at didn't seem quite suitable to him. He missed the vacant, 110-year-old building at 49 Main St.

At an event one day, he met a Le Roy resident who asked him if he had looked at the former Pontillo's Pizzeria building.

He hadn't, so he did.

"When I came to see it, once I stepped inside the building, I fell in love with it," Frascati said, a resident of Monroe County. "Even though the condition of the building wasn't great, the outside was very attractive. I think it's one of the best looking buildings downtown."

In the interior, he was taken by the exposed brick on the eastside wall and the big arched window at the front of the building.

That's when he knew for sure he was going to have his own restaurant, he said.

Finding the right name for the business wasn't a straightforward journey, either.

Frascati was born in Sicily, raised by a Sicilian mother. His family immigrated, making an eight-day boat journey, when he was 12 years old. 

He knew his ristorante would have a fired brick oven (really, the way to cook pizza, as far as he's concerned), and feature his mother's homemade Sicilian recipes, so he wanted a name that spoke to his Sicilian roots.

When his father was a young man, he would walk to work with a bag with his lunch in it hanging from a stick, so his nickname became "la caffa." A la caffa is a kind of purse or satchel that was originally designed to hang on donkeys for transporting small items.

So, Frascati planned to use "la caffa" as his business name, but his daughter said "No, dad, that's a stupid name. Nobody will know what it means."

He tried to come up with other names, but none ever seemed quite right. Then one day he was talking with a friend about plans they were making. The friend laid out the summary of the plans and ended his sentence with, "capiche?" Frascati replied almost in rote, "capiche."

Then it struck him. When he was a boy, whenever he would do something bad ("I wasn't always a perfect kid," he said), his mother would scold him, often with threats with words along the lines of, "if you do that again, I'm going to break your legs," and end the threat with, "capiche?"

Frascati told his friend, "Thank you. Thank you so much."

"For what?"

"You just gave me the name of my restaurant."

Capish! Brick Oven Pizza Ristorante, 49 Main St., Le Roy, has been open for about three months now, long enough for Frascati to see if customers return.

"We are starting to see some of the same faces over and over," Frascati said. "We're glad to see them come back. It's a nice testament to our food that they do come back."

Besides pizza, the restaurant has a full bar and a menu filled with a variety of Italian dishes.

Le Roy is starting to become a nice destination village for people who like to eat at good restaurants and Frascati is glad to be part of that mix. He thinks his brick oven offers people throughout the region something different because there is no other brick oven pizzeria close to the area.

Frascati is excited about talk of revitalization along the waterfront of Oatka Creek. That will only help bring people in from Rochester and Buffalo.

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On the mantle above the bar, a model of the ship Jim Frascati and his family spent eight days on when they immigrated to the United States.

July 12, 2017 - 1:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, Oakfield, pembroke, notify.

Michael Thomas Coffey Sr., 48, of South Main Street, Albion, is charged with burglary, 2nd. Coffey was arrested following an investigation into a burglary on Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road in 2012. Coffey is already being held in the Genesee County Jail on unrelated charges.

Michelle Ann Hahn, 53, of Gibson Street, Oakfield, is charged with: DWI; driving with a BAC of .08 or greater; failure to keep right; failure to stop at stop sign; and refusal to take breath test. Hahn was stopped at 10:25 p.m. Tuesday on North Pembroke Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Ryan Young.

July 12, 2017 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, batavia, news, notify.

There is a report of smoke in the "switch gear room" at Genesee Community College.

The building is being evacuated.

Town of Batavia fire responding.

UPDATE 10:32 a.m.: No fire, small amount of smoke in the building. Engine 24 can continue response non-emergency.

July 11, 2017 - 10:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in HP Hood, Andrew Cuomo, batavia, news, business, notify.

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Some businesses fail and some thrive, and if New York is going to grow economically, it needs to take the risk that not every business that receives state aid will live up to expectations.

That was the theme of comments by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Howard Zemsky, president and CEO of Empire State Development, today in Batavia.

Muller Quaker Dairy didn't work out after being promised millions of dollars in state aid (most of which the project never received), but Cuomo and Zemsky are confident HP Hood is a good company for the state to assist as Hood prepares to expand the 363,000-square-foot facility in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

"If you want to be in the economic development business, you have to get accustomed to the adjustments," Cuomo said. "You know, only 50 percent of the businesses that start exist after five years. Fifty percent. By the time you get to the 10-year mark, only one-third are still in business. That's the nature of business.

"In the state of New York, we're doing economic development," he added. "We're creating hundreds of businesses, creating thousands of businesses. Well, then, you have to be prepared to have that number of defaults because that is the way the world works. The trick is to keep the fundamentals sound. Keep taxes low. Stay pro-business."

Both Cuomo and Zemsky said they believe Hood will succeed in Batavia.

"Think about the spectrum of industries out there," Zemsky said. "On the one hand, you've got relatively low-risk industries -- I would consider fluid milk to be a pretty stable. We're not figuring out if consumers like milk or not. You're not breaking new ground and producing milk.

"So milk is a pretty low-risk investment in the whole spectrum of things. On the other side, you've got chip fabs or really next-generation industries. We do take some calculated risk, but I'd say this is very low on the scale of calculating risk."

HP Hood is a 170-year-old company based in Lynnfield, Mass., with four other locations in New York. The company is licensed to produce, or has produced, brand-name dairy and non-dairy products throughout the United States.

Hood’s portfolio includes its own brand, Crowley Foods, Simply Smart Milk, Heluva Good!, Lactaid, Baileys Coffee Creamers, Hershey's Milk and Milkshakes, and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze.

The former Muller Dairy plant is the largest dairy processing plant -- even before Hood adds 100,000 square feet of the refrigerated warehouse -- in the United States and in the middle of Upstate dairy country. It cost PepsiCo and Theo Muller Group $206 million to construct. Pepsi took a $60 million write-off when the plant closed. It's unknown how much money Muller lost on the venture.

Muller Quaker was attempting to enter an already crowded and competitive Greek yogurt market with a product that tried to position itself as Greek yogurt but really wasn't.  

Dairy Farmers of America purchased the plant shortly after it closed in December 2015 for $60 million. News broke in June (as first reported by The Batavian) that HP Hood was acquiring the plant from DFA and last week, Hood closed the deal for $54 million.

To assist Hood with its $200 million investment in the plant, Empire State Development will provide up to $5 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. As with Muller Quaker, these tax incentives are withheld until employment targets are met.

There is also a $2 million capital grant from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center is also amending the current PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes), which will provide Hood with more than $7 million in tax abatements over 10 years.

In return, Hood is planning upgrades and equipment purchases and labor costs for reconstruction of more than $150 million. Construction will create more than 500 jobs. There will be another 230 to 250 permanent jobs at the plant.

The support the state is providing HP Hood has an immediate payoff, regardless of what comes down the road, Zemsky said. He called the support a "no brainer."

"This is huge for the dairy farmers," Zemsky said. "It's huge for the whole footprint of the dairy industry. The returns are immediate. Fifty-four million to buy the plant, about $150 million to repurpose it. Two hundred and fifty jobs. That's more than was here at the peak when it was Muller."

During his public remarks, Cuomo said he's trying to reverse 40 years of Albany's neglect of Upstate's business needs, that includes commiting more than $25 million to the Finger Lakes Region for economic development. He said that's more than any governor in history.

"You keep raising taxes, you make it difficult for businesses to be here," Cuomo said. "I'll tell you what's going to happen at one point -- they're going to leave. And they did. We had what I call a 'hangover New York arrogance.' Well, wait, the businesses will stay here. Where else are they gonna go?

"There are actually other places they can go. You look at a map you will see around the State of New York other shapes squares and triangles. Those are called other states. If you force people, they will leave New York and we have essentially forced people (to leave). It's been a tough business, high-tax environment, high-regulation environment.

He expanded on that theme with the press after his speech.

"We have businesses in New York who just get calls at their desk from other states -- come to my state and you won't have to pay any taxes and we'll send the plane and we'll bring you and your wife for the weekend," Cuomo said.

"It is amazing, the competition. So if you said, 'Well, I'm not going to try to do economic development,' you would just be sitting there as a target for every other state.

"One by one they would pick off your companies, and in a relatively short period of time, you'd be sitting there alone -- losing jobs, losing people, which is what happened to Upstate New York."

Representing Hood at the event was Vice President Jeffrey Kaneb. He is the son of John Kaneb, who first tripled revenue for Gulf Oil to $4.6 billion before selling it in 2005.  The Kaneb family acquired Hood in 1995, growing annual revenue from $600 million to more than $2.3 billion. 

"We're very excited to have this opportunity to grow our business here," Kaneb said. "We are very very grateful for the support that we've gotten from the governor's office, from his staff, from the county, from the entire community, in getting us to this point. We look forward to becoming a supportive member of this community, a good neighbor, and an employer of choice here in Batavia."

Hood is hiring. People interested in a job should call (1-800) 428-6329.

As for STAMP (Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park), the super site in Alabama intended to attract high-tech manufacturers, Zemsky said he thinks it's inevitable that big businesses start to move into that park, because of the location and its access to hydropower and fresh water.

However, Zemsky sounded a cautious tone about whether 1366 Technologies, the solar wafer startup from Massachusetts, that was the first announced tenant for the park, ever breaks ground. 

"I have met with them," Zemsky said. "I haven't talked to them in a while and I think, again, these businesses are competitive. They have to raise capital. I think they have some more capital to raise, so whether or not it happens depends, but it's not going to be all state-financed."

One of the holdups may be the change in presidential administration, from one that supported renewable energy to one that may be more skeptical about the need to support wind and solar. While 1366 has raised substantial private equity, receiving backing from the Department of Energy seems to be a key component of its financial package. The company was previously promised a $150 million loan guarantee from the DOE.

"I think, like anything, the changing of the landscape politically through regulations of the federal government, the vagaries of the financing market, the price of alternative energies -- these are all factors that make being in business really difficult," Zemsky said.

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Hood VP Jeffrey Kaneb.

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July 11, 2017 - 8:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify.

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Batavia's assistant city manager is leaving the area to take a job as city manager in a city of 21,000 people in Alabama at an annual salary of $136,000.

That's more than a $50,000 boost in pay for Gretchen DiFante, who is originally from the State of Alabama.

DiFinate became Batavia's assistant city manager in 2014 and is credited with, among other things, putting together a program to help reduce the cost of flood insurance for local property owners who need it.

She is scheduled to start her new job Aug. 21 in Pelham, Ala., according to the Shelby County Reporter.

The newspaper reported that DiFante was selected over two other finalists candidates who already live and work in the area.

Council President Rick Hayes said DiFante stood out to him as being an excellent communicator and a detailed person who likes to dig in and find the best solution. He said she also brings extensive strategic planning experience, which will be a major asset for the city.

“She has a significant amount of corporate consulting and government experience, which is rare to find,” Hayes said.

From talking to her, Hayes said he could tell that she is a dynamic person who would bring passion to the job.

DiFante holds a bachelor's degree in Communications from Auburn University and a master's degree in Management from Keuka College.

Batavia City Manager Jason Molino said the city will seek to fill the assistant manager position with DiFante's departure. He also issued this statement:

Gretchen has been an outstanding contributor to the community and has set a high standard of leadership in the organization.

Aside from leading the City’s Department of Administrative Services, Gretchen has been responsible for: developing the City’s Strategic Plan that has been recognized as a best practice by the International City/County Management Association; leading the City’s efforts to instill a culture of safety, contributing to a reduction of over $200,000 in workers' compensation premiums; and spearheading the City’s Community Rating Service (CRS) team that reduced flood premiums by 15 percent for property owners in the floodplain, earning the City one of the best CRS ratings in the State.

Most of all, Gretchen and her family have been committed members to the community for over 20 years. She and her family will be greatly missed and we wish them the best on their new endeavors in Alabama.

July 11, 2017 - 3:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Le Roy, notify.

An accident, believed to be with minor injuries, is reported in the area of 8703 Lake Street Road, Le Roy.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance responding.

Traffic is being shut down at West Bergen Road.

July 11, 2017 - 12:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, alexander hs, news, notify.

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A community gathered to come to grips with the loss of one of their own Monday night at Alexander High School in the wake of the death of 17-year-old Brian West Jr.

"We're going to struggle for a while," said Andrew Young, a father of an Alexander student and athlete. "You need to have conversations you’re not used to having. You need talk with your parents. You need to talk with each other. If you don't, you're going to struggle longer than you should."

A group of classmates brought 17 sky lanterns as a way to honor and remember Brian.

"I didn’t know him the best," said one of the girls involved, "but he always had a smile on his face. Since he lived the best 17 years any kid could, we bought 17 paper lanterns."

After a few words by Young and Tim Sawyer, an Alexander teacher and head football coach, the students went down onto the football field and launched the lanterns.

Sawyer encouraged the kids not to take anything for granted.

"What if life were all good?" Sawyer said. "What if we never had an injury? What if we never broke a bone? What if we didn’t have death? What if there was no hunger? What if there were no broken relationships? Would we appreciate any of it? I’m just saying, life is a struggle and we can’t feel cheated by it. I think it’s part of life, and death, it seems final, but if things were good all the time, would we appreciate anything?"

Matt McCracken recalled a game last season just after Brian's grandfather died. The family was devastated, he said, and Brian already had an injured ankle. The opponent that week was Attica, and Brian played.

"He shows up on Friday night and plays the game of his life, and Brian Sr. and Jr., afterward, I’ve never seen a father and son that close, that happy, and that’s something I’ll remember forever," McCracken said.

Then McCracken turned his attention to a group of teens who came through the grades with Brian and pointed to the community of support around them. 

"We're a small community and something like this hits us especially hard," McCracken said. "Don’t forget there are people who care about you."

It's important, Sawyer said, that the community supports each other and the community supports the parents of Brian, Brian Sr., and Jen, but in coming together Monday night, they were doing that.

"I don’t know how long this was going on social media that this was going to happen tonight, two or three hours, but there are a couple of hundred people here, and this is a little town," Sawyer said. "This is a little community. People look out for each other. People share other people’s sorrows. Guys, if it was good and happy and rosy all the time, I don’t know that we would all appreciate each other the way we do."

Previously:

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July 10, 2017 - 10:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, corfu, notify.

A one-vehicle rollover is reported at 24 W. Main St., Corfu.

The car may have struck a house.

There were four occupants in the vehicle. The caller believes all are uninjured.

A chief on scene says Mercy EMS can continue non-emergency.

Corfu fire on scene.

There is a hydrant at the location that was sheared off.

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