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March 13, 2019 - 6:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, news, notify.

A grand jury stenographer has allegedly been audio recording grand jury proceedings, which isn't legally permissible, and the attorneys for Jennifer L. Serrano think the stenographer's actions are enough to get a second-degree vehicular manslaughter charge dismissed.

The 48-year-old Serrano was charged following the Aug. 11 death of 18-year-old Connor Lynskey after a Jason Aldean concert in Darien.

"I was not aware of the recordings until recently and as a matter of an ethical obligation, I notified the defense attorneys involved," said District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

While attorneys Frank LoTempio III, and Jack Sanchez have filed a motion seeking dismissal of the grand jury indictment against Serrano, Friedman doesn't believe the recordings jeopardize the case.

"We do not believe, regardless of what the court decides, it will result in the dismissal of the indictment or lead to anything that would delay the case."

Friedman has until April 5 to file his answer to the motion with the court and Judge Charles Zambito may conduct a hearing on the motion April 25 at 1:30 p.m. LoTempio and Sanchez have asked to put the stenographer on the stand at the hearing. It will be up to Zambito to decide if there should be a hearing and whether to call the stenographer to the stand.

The recordings, if made, are a potential violation of New York's Judiciary Law, though Friedman disagrees with the analysis by LoTempio and Sanchez that the recordings rise to the level of a misdemeanor. Friedman isn't anticipating any charges in the case.

Friedman's office had no prior knowledge of the recordings and did not benefit from the recordings. The stenographer is an independent contractor and is not employed by the District Attorney's Office.

The stenographer was using a shorthand machine manufactured with the recording capability built right into the device, which is why the DA's office was not aware of the recording being made. Such a mahcine may be permissible in other legal proceedings but in New York, not in a grand jury proceeding.

Assistant District Attorney Shirley Gorman discovered the fact that the recordings were being made and brought it to Friedman's attention.

Friedman and the ADAs in his office have notified defense attorneys about the recordings but he didn't have a count for how many cases that might involve. As for as his own cases, only one other defense attorney has filed a motion related to the recordings.

"The bottom line, I really believe, is this is not going to be an issue that is going to impact cases," Friedman said. "We’re not concerned that we’re going to have indictments dismissed or any that severe as a result of this."

As for Serrano, if the case does go to trial, LoTempio said the defense is ready to proceed. They plan to bring forward an expert witness who will testify that Lynskey was intoxicated and either walking or running in the lane of traffic when he was struck.

The defense will argue that Lynskey was at fault in the accident, LoTempio said.

They also believe there is evidence to indicate that Serrano didn't know she had struck a person and therefore didn't have the requisite knowledge to be charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

The accident occurred Aug. 11 on Sumner Road. Lynskey was with friends and family at the Aldean concert at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. They were camping at Darien Lakes State Park. After the concert, the group started on foot back to the campground. The Sheriff's Office report of the accident indicated Lynskey decided to run ahead and catch up with a friend. When both groups were back at the camp, they realized Lynskey was missing. Law enforcement searched the area that night but did not find Lynskey. His body was found the next day in a ditch by the side of the road.

Serrano had been stopped and charged that night with a DWI. The accident may have occurred about a half hour before she was arrested. Through leads, Sheriff's investigators identified her as a suspect in the fatal accident.

March 13, 2019 - 4:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, crime, batavia.

Josselyn A. Scott, 57, of Back Creek Road, Boston NY, is charged with driving while intoxicated with a previous conviction within the last 10 years, and driving with an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle while on the highway. Scott was arrested at 5:31 p.m. March 10 for felony DWI and drinking in her car after she was allegedly observed leaving the scene of a property-damage accident on the Thruway, then seen sitting in the parking lot of 200 Oak St., Batavia, with her vehicle running. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court then jailed without bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Timothy D. Eastridge, 41, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with: endangering the welfare of a child; unlawful possession of marijuana; and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree -- previous felony conviction. Eastridge was arrested following a Child Protective Services home visit at 11:24 a.m. on March 8. Eastridge allegedly had smoked marijuana in close proximity to his children and he was allegedly found to possess a .22-caliber rifle. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence.

Stephanie M. Hartgrove, 30, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. She was arrested at 11:24 a.m. on March 8 after a Child Protective Services investigation where Hartgrove allegedly allowed her live-in boyfriend to smoke marijuana in close proximity to "their children in common." She was issued an appearance ticker and is due in Batavia City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence.

March 12, 2019 - 4:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Le Roy, crime, notify.

On March 10, the Le Roy Police Department arrested 22-year-old Andray P. Bair of Thorold, Ontario, Canada (inset photo) and charged him with one count each of: vehicular assault in the first degree (a Class D felony); vehicular manslaughter in the second degree (a Class D felony); driving while intoxicated and driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more (unclassified misdemeanors); speed not reasonable and prudent and moving from lane unsafely (violations).

The charges stem from a fatal motor-vehicle accident, which occurred on Feb. 24 at about 3:30 a.m. at the intersection of Wolcott Street and Clay Street (Route 19) in the Village of Le Roy when the vehicle Bair was driving left the roadway and struck the house at 79 Clay St.

The vehicular manslaughter charge alleges that Bair, while operating a motor vehicle and as a result of intoxication or impairment by the use of alcohol, operated a motor vehicle in a manner that caused the death of Handel Jamal Love, age 22, also of Canada, by veering his vehicle out of the driving lane and crashing it into the house.

The charge of vehicular assault alleges that Bair, while operating the motor vehicle while intoxicated and as a result of such intoxication or impairment, operated the motor vehicle in a manner that caused serious physical injury to more than one person, specifically the two passengers, Anuoluwa T. Makinwa, age 22, of Canada, and Handel Jamal Love, by veering the vehicle out of the driving lane and crashing it into the house.

At the time of the collision, Love was pronounced dead at the scene, while Bair flown to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight and Makinwa was transported by ground ambulance to Strong Hospital.

Bair was released from the hospital on March 10 and arrested and arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash/$50,000 bond.

Makinwa was transferred from Strong Hospital to a Canadian hospital for continued medical treatment.

The Le Roy Police Department was assisted at the scene by the Le Roy Fire Department, Le Roy Ambulance Service, Caledonia ambulance, Mercy Flight Ground Ambulance and Helicopter, New York State Police Crash Management, Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Genesee County Coroner and the Genesee County District Attorney's Office.

March 11, 2019 - 4:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in warrants, news, batavia, notify.

The following people are wanted on warrants issued out of Batavia City Court. If you have any information on the whereabouts of these subjects, please contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350.

Do not make any attempt to apprehend these individuals on your own.

If you have an active warrant and want to avoid ending up on a WANTED list like this, the Batavia Police Department would be more than happy to assist you on resolving the warrant.

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Dakota O. Irvin, age 27
Charge(s):  Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 3rd degree; operating a motor vehicle w/o insurance and with a suspended registration; bail jumping, 3rd.
Jason J. Raffel Jr, age 26
Charge(s):  Obstruction of governmental administration, 2nd degree
Justice D. Osborne, age 23
Charge(s):  Aggravated unlicensed pperation of a motor vehicle, 2nd degree; operating a motor vehicle w/o insurance and with a suspended registration.

 

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Justin T. Stephenson, age 34
Charge(s):  Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 3rd degree; and operating a motor vehicle w/ a suspended registration.
Robert L. Jordan (AKA Jackson), age 72
Charge(s): Petit larceny
Shante R. Williams, age 35
Charge(s):  Resisting arrest
March 11, 2019 - 2:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, Darien, Oakfield.
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     Shane Zimblis

Shane Zimblis, 48, of South Swan Street, Batavia, turned himself into the Batavia Police Department on March 9 on a warrant out of Batavia City Court. He is accused of damaging property belonging to another person and causing injury to another person by use of a baseball bat at 12:15 p.m. Feb. 19 on South Swan Street, Batavia. He is in GC Jail charged with: second-degree harassment; fourth-degree criminal mischief; second-degree assault -- injury with a weapon; and criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use. The case was handled by Batavia Police OfficerJason Ivison.

A 17-year-old male who lives on Ellicott Avenue in Batavia is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested on March 9 for allegedly hitting an 11-year-old male with a piece of wood, causing physical injury. The incident occurred on Maltby Road in Oakfield at 3:20 p.m. on Feb. 28. He is due in Oakfield Town Court at 6 o'clock this evening (March 11). The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor.

Monica Jane White, 20, of Sunset Park, Oakfield, is charged with issuing a bad check. On March 8, following the investigation of a bad check, White was arrested, issued an appearance ticket, and is due in Town of Oakfield Court at 6 p.m. on March 25. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Brabon, assisted by Sgt. John Baiocco.

Douglas Antwon Spencer IV, 37, of Park Road, Batavia, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI; open container; and unlicensed operation. Spencer was arrested on Park Road after being found sitting in his vehicle in the middle of the GC Sheriff's Office parking lot entrance with an open container, allegedly driving while intoxicated. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack, assisted by Sgt. John Baiocco.

Woodrow C. Horseman, 42, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. On March 8, Batavia police responded to Tops Market in Batavia for a reported larceny. Responding patrols located the suspect on West Main Street and Woodrow Road. He allegedly stole three alcoholic drinks. Horseman was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on March 12. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Benjamin Jacob Skubis, 24, of Colby Road, Darien, is charged with third-degree bail jumping. Skubis voluntarily turned himself into Alabama Town Court on March 7. He was due there for an unspecified incident on June 7. He was released on his own recognizance and is to reappear in Alabama Town Court at a later date. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Sanfratello.

Joseph W. Freeman, 34, no address noted, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested Feb. 27 on a bench warrant issued Jan. 31 for an unspecified incident. Freeman was released on his own recognizance was due to return to Batavia City Court on March 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Frank Klimjack.

March 9, 2019 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in warrants, news, notify, crime.
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Karaya D. Cummings, age 29, Black female 5’4” 130 lbs., black hair brown eyes, LKA Griffith Street Rochester, NY

 

Bench warrant for criminal possession of a controlled substance 5th PL 220.06-1 (Felony)  Genesee County Court DOW 10/3/18

Antonio J. Goodson, age 28, Black male, 6’2” 155 lbs., black hair brown eyes, LKA Wood Street Batavia, NY

 

Bench warrant for criminal contempt 1st  PL 215.50-3 (Felony) Genesee County Court DOW 2/15/19

Robert J. Moulthrop, age 51, White male, 5’11” 170 lbs, bald with hazel eyes, LKA Alexander Street, Rochester, NY

 

Bench warrant for DWI/Drove W/.08% BAC or more VTL 1192-2,3 (Misdemeanor) Byron Town Court DOW 2/12/18

 

 

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Donald H. Piechocki, age 54, White male, 5’11” 150 lbs., brown hair blue eyes, LKA Cattle Drive Kissimmee, FL

 

Arrest warrant for DWI/Drove W/.08% BAC or more VTL 1192-2,3 (misdemeanor) Alexander Town Court DOW 10/11/05

Ramon A. Quinones  AKA Casilla R. Quinones, age 24 Hispanic male, 5’6” 150 lbs., black hair brown eyes, LKA 8170 Batavia-Stafford TL Road Batavia, NY

 

Bench warrant for petit larceny PL 155.25 (misdemeanor) Batavia Town Court DOW 2/9/16

 

Arrest warrant for bail jumping 3rd PL 215.55 (misdemeanor) Batavia Town Court DOW 10/26/17

Scott E. Staubitz,  age 37, White male blond hair, hazel eyes, 5’10” 170 lbs., LKA Union Road, Cheektowaga, NY

 

Bench warrant for criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th PL 220.03 (Misdemeanor) Darien Town Court DOW 10/18/18

 

Arrest warrant for bail jumping 3rd PL 215.55 (misdemeanor) Darien Town Court DOW 12/4/18

 

If you are able to assist the Sheriff's Office in locating these people, the Sheriff's Office asks that you do not approach these people and that you call (585) 343-5000 with information that may assist in locating the suspects.

March 9, 2019 - 9:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Joseph Ellicott, batavia, Bontrager Auction, news, notify.

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About a year ago, Dale Vargason, from Wayland, purchased a cache of documents from the late 18th, early 19th centuries and when he got them home, he found a surprise -- a deed to a piece of property in what is now Ontario County signed by Joseph Ellicott.

Yesterday, he dropped the deed, framed, at Bontrager's Auction on Wortendyke Road, Batavia, where Todd Jantzi said he will present it in a consignment auction featuring antiques and historical documents. A date for the auction has not yet been announced.

"As soon as I saw the Joseph Ellicott I dropped everything else and said, ‘oh, my gosh’ and I started researching it," Vargason said. "I knew who he was but I wanted to figure out how much was this worth but I couldn’t find any comparables so I decided, ‘we’ll see’ and I thought I would hang onto it. When I mentioned it to Todd, his eyes lit up."

Jantzi said it's a fairly rare document and should go for $600 to $800. The deed is from 1813.  

Ellicott was an agent for the Holland Land Company from 1800 to 1821. He laid out the first plans for the Village of Batavia and the Village of Buffalo. He signed many land deeds during those years.

Documents of this much historic value don't come into the auction house often, according to Jantzi.

"We might see it maybe once every three to five years," Jantzi said.

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March 8, 2019 - 7:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, notify, workforce development.

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The keynote speaker today at the Genesee County Economic Development Center's annual meeting at Batavia Downs was Jeremy Bout, founder and CEO of Edge Factor.

It's an education resource company that makes video and training materials to help attract students to STEM -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math -- fields and then guide them through a career path.

Bout said his life was changed as a teen when he was given access to advanced manufacturing tools that were really beyond what most 18-year-olds get access to while in training. That eventually led him to seek ways to make STEM careers more attractive for students and help bridge the gap between what today's employers need to hire and what careers young people are choosing.

"I realize I was one of the lucky ones," Bout said. "I was the one that came out of high school that didn't get lost in the shuffle. I found meaningful work and meaningful employment.

"I went on to study many different things but it was that opportunity with the real-world intersecting my education that gave me that gateway into my passion." 

Bout and his team make videos that tell the stories of how technology impacts lives. They also make highly engaging training videos that help young people prepare to enter the workforce.

"We want to use media and technology because there are new methods for a new generation," Bout said.

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The Genesee Valley Education Partnership received GCEDC's Economic Development Partner of the Year Award.

GCEDC works with GVEP on workforce development in 22 school districts in the region, serving 24,000 students.

"For those of you who are here today, whether you're an educator, a legislator, or a business owner, business developer, or a board member, or whomever or whatever you represent, I think we all have one collective goal," said Kevin McDonald, district superintendent.

"And that is to make Genesee County and our region a great place to live, work and play. We hope our contributions will only provide opportunity and encouragement for our younger generations to make the choice to live, work and play in our community."

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley spoke of the regulatory and tax challenges businesses and taxpayers face in New York but said in Western New York, we continue to have a positive outlook.

He also said not all of his colleagues in Albany obstruct business development. He noted that when Amazon decided to pull out of a planned second headquarters in Queens, he immediately put out a press release, and sent a letter to Jeff Bezos inviting Amazon to STAMP -- Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park -- in Alabama.

That action, he said, received some notable support in Albany, particularly from Crystal Peoples Stokes, the current majority leader.

"She went out of her way and walked up to me and said, 'I don't know if you saw it or not, but I put out a statement supporting you and supporting STAMP for Amazon to locate here in Western New York,' Hawley said. "That's a huge thing.

"So we're not giving up. We're going to tell people around this country and around the world that we're open for business."

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State Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer said there is a new wind blowing through Albany, one that is much more focused on social issues and much less focused on taking care of business in New York.

One big example, he said, is the shuttled Amazon deal in Queens. Another is the push to extend prevailing wage provisions to private-sector economic development.

There's also more focus on things like voting rights and abortion. Albany is dealing with these issues at this point in the legislative session rather than what in past years has been the top focus -- the state budget.

"These are the things that are out there," Ranzenhofer said. "They were never really a concern. They were never going to happen. But they are happening each and every week in Albany and they are directly impacting this community. My message to you is that you have to, and we all collectively have to, be vigilant more so than in the past."

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Steve Hyde touched on several activities of GCEDC during his remarks but especially STAMP -- noting the continued progress to make the site shovel ready for large, high-tech manufacturers and the state's continued support of the project.

"I never knew when I started this journey, actually in the fall of 2005 were the first steps, when I kind of started on this vision of trying to create a big, huge high-tech mega site to create better opportunities for kids," Hyde said. "I never knew that that was going to be a career-defining project."

March 8, 2019 - 2:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Le Roy, bergen, pembroke, Alabama.

Axel E. Antongiorgi-Colon, 32, of Prospect Street, Lockport, is charged with second-degree criminal mischief. On Dec. 8 at 10 p.m. on Main Road in Pembroke, the defendant allegedly damaged a vehicle in the parking lot of his ex-girlfriend's residence. He is due in Pembroke Town Court on March 21 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Investigator Christopher Parker, assisted by Deputy David Moore.

Cynthia H. Owens, 43, of Rochester Street, Bergen, was arrested on March 4 on three separate outstanding bench warrants out of Batavia City Court. She was also charged with three separate counts of third-degree bail jumping. Owens was arraigned in city court then jailed with bail set at $5,000 cash or bond on each warrant. She was due back in city court on March 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Nicole M. Albrecht, 35, Pleasant Street, Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested for allegedly stealing a television from Target at 1:27 p.m. on Feb. 8. She is due in Batavia Town Court at 1 p.m. on March 14 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Investigator Christopher Parker.

Douglas Mitchell Smith, 39, of Tara Drive, High Point, N.C., is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree. Smith was arrested on a bench warrant out of Town of Alabama Court after he failed to answer a summons to appear in court Jan. 31 for allegedly operating a motor vehicle while his privilege was suspended in New York. He was arraigned on March 7 and sentenced to time served. He is to reappear in Alabama Town Court on Oct. 3 to pay his fines and surcharges. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute.

Zachary G. Garigen-Johnstone, 22, or Birch Circle, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, running a red light, unregistered motor vehicle and uninspected motor vehicle. Garigen-Johnstone was stopped at 12:44 a.m. on East Main Street in Batavia for a traffic violation. Upon further investigation, he was allegedly found to have a grinder containing marijuana and a marijuana pipe. He was processed roadside and issued three traffic tickets. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court to answer the unlawful marijuana charge on March 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Miah Stevens, assisted by Jason Davis.

Joshua Patrick Johnson, 21, of Redfield Parkway, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and a window tint violation. He was arrested following a traffic stop at 9:42 p.m. March 2 on Lewiston Road in Batavia. He was released on an appearance ticket and in due in Town of Batavia Court on March 18. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

March 8, 2019 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.
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      Quinton Spinks
      (2010 photo)

Quinton L. Spinks, 33, thanked Judge Charles Zambito in County Court today for the state prison time he was about to receive on a drug-dealing conviction.

"I would like to say first, I apologize to my family and to the community for my actions," Spinks said. "I would also like to thank you for this time because I was out there hurting myself and hurting my family. I appreciate the time to rehabilitate myself and get my life back on the right path and back to doing the right thing."

Under the terms of a plea agreement reached in April, when Spinks admitted selling drugs to agents of the Local Drug Task Force, his sentence was capped at two years in state prison. Zambito said he was bound by that agreement and handed down that sentence.

This will be the second stint for Spinks in state prison for selling drugs in Genesee County. He was arrested in 2010 and committed in 2012 to two years in prison on a criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th, conviction.

Spinks also faces federal charges in Maine, where he is named in an indictment along with several other individuals. In the federal indictment, he is named in only count one of the indictments, for conspiracy to distribute a mixture of heroin and cocaine.

As part of his sentence, Spinks must make a $200 restitution payment to Genesee County for payments he received from an agent of the Local Drug Task Force.

March 7, 2019 - 1:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, notify, STAMP.

Since 2004, the Genesee Economic Development Center has assisted companies in adding 12.6 million square feet in commercial space in Genesee County, GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde told the Ways and Means Committee during an annual department review Wednesday.

That's a 37-percent increase in commercial space in the county, Hyde said.

There are 30 companies operating in the seven industrial parks developed by GCEDC.

The big park with the biggest vacant area, of course, is the 1,200-acre Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park or STAMP project in Alabama.

The project lost a chance to land direct-wafer solar pioneer 1366 Technologies a year ago and has yet to land a new company for the park but Hyde said there is one big project pending that may yet sign and another in early-stage discussions.

The state has already invested about $10.9 in STAMP for initial infrastructure development. Those funds were approved in the 2014 state budget but released until 1366 signed on as the site's first tenant. The infrastructure work was started before 1366 withdrew from the project because of its inability to reach terms with the Department of Energy on a loan guarantee. Last week, 1366 announced the anticipated opening of its production facility in Malaysia.

At Wednesday's meeting, Hyde announced that the Empire State Development has just authorized another $8 million for major infrastructure -- sewer and water -- for STAMP. The upgrades in infrastructure plans are necessary, Hyde said, because the companies exploring the site now are going to need more infrastructure capacity. 

The state is also providing another $2 million grant for the Corfu/Pembroke sewer project.

During Wednesday's meeting, Hyde expressed some concern about the future of the economy, with some economists warning that tariffs and the trade war with China is taking its toll on growth both here and aboard.

GCEDC is forecasting IDA-backed projects in 2019 will create only 90 new jobs. That's a conservative number because companies have become more conservative in their job creation estimates for incentive-backed expansions because of clawback provisions initiated in state law a couple of years ago.

A clawback is a requirement for a company to return some incentive money if they fail to meet job creation guarantees.

"Companies are unwilling to be as aggressive in forecasted jobs so they tend to under-promise and over deliver," Hyde said.

A clawback is at the local IDA's discretion and Hyde said the GCEDC's board is hesitant to initiate a clawback if there is a reason outside of a company's control for not reaching job projection numbers, such as a slowing economy.

"We don't like to kick a company when it's down," Hyde said. 

He said the board has canceled incentives when companies have failed to perform but only when there is a sound reason to believe the company has failed at its obligations absent of external business cycle factors.

"That's not anything we're afraid to do," Hyde said.

Much of what Hyde presented will be part of GCEDC's annual meeting at 11:30 a.m., tomorrow, at Batavia Downs.

March 7, 2019 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in prevailing wage, economic development, GCEDC, news, notify.

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Downstate labor unions are pushing legislation that would require private-sector construction projects that receive even $1 of government assistance to pay "prevailing wage."

If this law goes into effect, it will kill economic development in Upstate, GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde told the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday.

"This is just over the top," Hyde said. "You can go back in history across the U.S. and see that when government tries to mandate wages and tries to tinker with the mechanisms of free market systems, you get bad results."

Prevailing wage is the amount of compensation, including benefits, the Department of Labor sets for workers employed by companies doing projects for government agencies.

Supporters of the proposed change in the law equate prevailing wage with market-rate wages but that's just factually incorrect, Hyde said. A prevailing wage requirement would drive up the cost of projects backed by an IDA (Industrial Development Agency) by 25 to 30 percent.

That will drive business out of the state, Hyde said.

For small companies looking to expand, it will make projects financially unfeasible and for companies looking to locate new plants to New York, it will make the state even less competitive.

The IDAs in Ulster County and Yonkers have previously tried imposing similar requirements on projects they helped finance and in both cases, the IDAs had to back off the prevailing wage requirement because economic development came to a grinding halt in those jurisdictions.

"This is really a 'turn the lights out' for economic development if this were to happen in New York State," Hyde said.

With less development, Hyde said, there will be fewer jobs and the fallout would hurt huge sectors of New York's economy, from construction to architects and engineers.

While the major push for the bill is coming from Downstate labor unions, Hyde said he hasn't heard what position, if any, labor unions in Western New York are taking. One of the bill's cosponsors is from Rochester, Assemblyman Harry Bronson.

A similar bill has previously passed the State Assembly but died in the then-Republican-controlled State Senate. Now that Democrats control the Senate, the bill's defeat is far less certain.

Hyde asked members of the Legislature to write to state representatives expressing their opposition to the bill in the hope that it could be defeated.

Photo: Jim Krencik, marketing and communications director for GCEDC, and Steve Hyde, CEO.

March 6, 2019 - 3:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, news, arts, notify, batavia.

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Members of Human Services Committee expressed satisfaction with the job Gregory Hallock has done as director of GO ART! since being appointed to the job in July 2017.

Since Hallock was promoted, he's instituted a number of new and innovative programs, expanded gallery shows, acquired a liquor license for beer and wine sales at Seymore Place, instituted profitable fundraisers, and generally raised the profile of GO ART! in the community.

"We've had a new philosophy," Hallock said. "In the past, the philosophy was just to stay alive so they stopped doing some things to save money. Now we do things so people see us doing things and then they support what we're doing."

In each of the past year, GO ART! has taken in more money than it has spent but because of depreciation on Seymore Place, the organization officially lost money, at least until 2018, when GO ART! was in the black by $40,000.

All of the organization's debts, except for a mortgage on Seymore Place, taken out for building maintenance, have been paid off.

One of the most successful fundraisers for GO ART! over the past year was the celebrity bartender challenge. Various prominent community members competed as celebrity bartenders with tips going to GO ART! as donations. The series of nights with celebrity bartenders bought in $13,000.

Hallock said he wants to continue the concept by bringing in a celebrity bartender every Thursday. One of the benefits is the guest bartenders invite a bunch of their friends. 

Nearly 40 percent of the people who attended these events last year had never been to GO ART! before, Hallock said, and the events also helped attract a younger audience, which has been hard for GO ART! to reach in recent years.

The director is continuing to pursue big plans. He wants to get an elevator installed in the building and wants to expand the art garden behind the building. He is seeking grants for both projects.

"You've done an excellent job to bring exposure to GO ART! and the building," said Andrew Young, chairman of the committee. "It's heads and shoulders above what we've seen in recent years. I see and hear about GO ART! activities everywhere and it seems to be paying dividends for you."

Hallock said the credit doesn't belong to just him alone.

"We have an awesome board and staff," Hallock said. "I'm the only one with a degree but everyone is passionate about it."

March 5, 2019 - 5:23pm

From Thomas Hancock, on behalf of Batavia High School Class of '86:

On Aug. 31st, Michael A. Tenebruso, 50, succumbed to the complications of battling cancer for the better part of six years.

During those six years, Mike had many setbacks but continued his courageous and valiant fight by focusing on his many victories.

Victories such as: putting his cancer in remission for a time; being hired as a principal at Hillary Park Academy within the Buffalo Public Schools; being asked to be the guest speaker for the Pink Hatters; and most importantly, raising his three beautiful children Nick, Anna and Nate.

The positivity that he invoked in others was awe-inspiring. Not only was he a role model to his family and friends, but to the thousands of young lives that he impacted through his educational leadership.

It is with that in mind, the members of the Batavia High School Class of 1986 want to honor Mike's memory with an ongoing educational scholarship.

Over the last six years, through multiple fund-raising efforts and events, people have come to aid Mike and his family through his ongoing battle against cancer.

The love and support present at each of the events was overwhelming, but of course well placed, because it was for Mike.

For those of us who were blessed enough to know Mike, we knew him for the following traits: positivity, tolerance, belief in others, friendship, passion, and his love for his fellow man.

Cancer was not a trait that I ever thought of when I thought of Mike. Granted, that insidious disease eventually took him from us, but it never defined him.

"The challenge and benefit of physical, mental and emotional growth isn't realized when you're knocked down. It comes when you decide, beyond all obstacles, beyond all naysayers, and beyond all pain to rise up and say 'AGAIN!' " -- Michael Tenebruso

Going forward we would like to celebrate Mike’s passion for education and life through a memorial scholarship in his name.

To do that, we are asking for your support.

I know we are just one of the many organizations and fundraisers that you support, but we would appreciate your donation to the March 30, 2019 Michael A. Tenebruso Scholarship bowling event. Currently it is a one-time event, but the goal is to make it an annual event until the scholarship can be self-funded.

About the Michael A. Tenebruso Scholarship bowling event hosted by BHS Class of 1986:

  • When and Where: Saturday, March 30 starting at 2 p.m. at T.F. Brown's Bowling Lanes (Registration starts shortly after 1 p.m.);
  • Who benefits: BHS Class of 1986 Michael A. Tenebruso Memorial Award;
  • Cost: $25 per bowler -- Teams of five, adults only, No Tap Tourny;
  • To sign up: email [email protected] or [email protected];
  • What's included in registration: Three games of bowling (nine pins=strike) and shoes, pay cash prize to top three places for both men and women ($150/$100/$75);
  • What will be available to buy: Your own food and drinks, Chinese auction chances, special items, Strike Pot, 50/50, gift certificates, additional raffles.

Attention Business Sponsors*:

  • Business sponsors of $250 or more get their name at the end of a lane on a 3' X 5' sign and registration for five bowlers.
  • Business sponsors of $150 to $249 get their name above a lane on 2' X 2' sign.
  • Business sponsors of $100 to $149 get their name above a lane on 1 1/2 ft. by 1 1/2 ft. sign.
  • Business sponsors of $50 to $99 get their name on an 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch sign.

*In addition, please email a digital copy of your company’s logo to Tom Hancock at:  [email protected]

Questions? Call Tom Hancock at (814) 758-9220.
 
DEADLINE -- no later than Friday MARCH 15th. Please make all checks out to the Batavia High School Class of 1986 (Memo: MAT Bowling Event) and send to: Ms. Rachel Berardini, 228 Grandview Terrace, Batavia, NY 14020.
 
About the BHS Class of 1986 Michael A. Tenebruso Memorial Award
 
Type of scholarship/award: One-time award for payout over eight semesters.
 
Sponsor name, contact(s), address, email, phone number:
  1. BHS Class of 1986, Rachel Berardini, (585) 409-4838  email: [email protected]
  2. BHS Class of 1986, Thomas Hancock, [email protected]  /  phone (814) 758-9220

Recipient is chosen by: High School Scholarship Committee.

Amount of Award: To Be Announced.

Criteria:

  • Student pursuing an education at SUNY College at Brockport;
  • High school GPA of 85 or better;
  • Must possess positivity, tolerance of others, belief in others, passion & love to mankind just as Mike did;
  • An essay describing the candidate's qualifications for this award is required.

Other information:

  • This award is to be used for non-tuition-related expenses (ie: books);
  • The recipient will receive the award each semester he/she remains in the education field during undergraduate studies (to a maximum of eight semesters);
  • The recipient must submit to the Batavia City School District Foundation Inc.** an unofficial transcript, copy of syllabus listing textbooks/required materials and receipts;
  • The recipient's name will be shared with other members of the BHS Class of 1986;
  • For reading and/or presenting the award to the recipient, first preference will be given to Mike's children and/or parents.

**The BCSDF is a nonprofit organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). Your donation may be tax deductible. For more information about BCSDF click here.

March 5, 2019 - 5:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in health department, news, notify.

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New York's proposed budget for the coming fiscal year includes several public health policy changes that health officials support, Paul Pettit, director of Health Services for Genesee County, told the Human Services Committee during a department review Monday.

But the changes don't necessarily come with flexible or increased funding to help pay for the programs.

This could create new unfunded mandates for the county.

Providers for the Early Intervention Program haven't received a raise in 20 years and the governor's budget includes a 5-percent increase in the reimbursement rate but the burden for the additional expense will fall largely on the county.

"Providers have been loaded with additional administrative responsibility without additional resources and funding resulting in a continued exodus of providers, creating waiting lists, especially in rural areas like Genesee County," Pettit said.

The state is also looking at changes in residential lead monitoring programs. Currently, pediatricians able to conduct blood test for lead poisoning rates -- though not all pediatricians provide this service and not all parents take advantage of the service -- and those results are reported to a state database. County officials are then able to identify children with higher levels of lead in their system. A five-part level leads to a health worker contacting the family to provide education and information on best practices to avoid lead poisoning.  

Action to remediate exposure to lead isn't required for the property owner -- whether the family is renting or owns the home -- unless a level of 15 mg/dL is detected.  

The state is proposing lowering the rate -- thereby prompting more costly intervention -- to 5 mg/dL. This would mean an additional 50 to 60 inspections each year for the county with no additional funds from the state to cover the costs.

The Preschool Supportive Health Program remains the department's most expensive locally supported program, Pettit said. The state has been slow to provide mandate relief. There is a shortage of providers and reimbursement rates set by the state are not competitive. 

"This shortage creates a waiting list for children who have been identified as needing our providers," Pettit said.

There needs to be changes in the program, Pettit said.

The state's county health directors continue to work with the governor's office on these and other issues, Pettit said, in an attempt to bridge the gap between mandates and funding.

March 5, 2019 - 4:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Grand Jury, alexander, batavia, Le Roy.

Ranelle E. Reuben is accused of driving while intoxicated, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Dec. 18 she drove a 2010 Dodge on Route 5, Route 98 and Batavia-Elba Townline Road while intoxicated. In count two, she is accused of aggravated DWI, per se, for having a BAC of .18 percent or more at the time. In count three, she is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony, for driving while her driver's license was suspended or revoked and while she was intoxicated. In count four, she is again accused of aggravated unlicensed operation -- for driving without a license while knowing it was withdrawn because she refused to submit to a chemical test, and while she was under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In count five, the defendant is accused of circumvention of an interlock device for driving a vehicle which was not equipped with a court-ordered ignition interlock device. In count six, Reuben is accused of following too closely in violation of vehicle and traffic law. It is alleged in count six that Reuben followed another vehicle more closely than was reasonable and prudent, in regard to speed, traffic and roadway conditions. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Reuben is accused of having been convicted of DWI as a Class E felony on Dec. 20 2012 in Genesee County Court. That conviction forms the basis for the suspension or revocation referred to in count three of the current indictment; and she knew or had reason to know about the 2012 conviction and the subsequent loss of her driver's license.

Rodney S. Schwartz is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 25 in the Town of Alexander that Schwartz drove a 2014 Ford on Route 20 while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, also a Class E felony, for driving that day without a driver's license, which had been suspended or revoked. In count three, Schwartz is accused of second-degree obstruction of governmental administration, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count three that he intentionally obstructed, impaired or perverted the administration of law or other governmental function by means of intimidation, physical force or interference, or by any independently unlawful act. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Schwartz is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a Class E felony, on April 16, 2010 in Supreme Court, City of Buffalo, Erie County and that conviction forms the basis of the suspension or revocation referenced in the current indictment.

Trisha A. Park is indicted for the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 30 in the Town of Le Roy that Park drove a 2012 Chevrolet on Wolcott Street while her ability to do so was impaired by the use of a drug and while a child 15 years of age or less was a passenger. In count two, she is accused of driving while ability impaired by drugs, as a misdemeanor. In count three, she is accused of endangering the welfare of a child by knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years old.

March 4, 2019 - 2:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, corfu, batavia, Le Roy.

Brian Wilson, 30, no address noted, of Corfu, was arrested on two counts of reckless endangerment after deputies say he was driving in wintry conditions without his headlights on. Wayne County Sheriff's deputies said he drove without headlights in two separate incidents on Route 104 and Lake Avenue in Williamson early this morning in the predawn hours (March 4). Deputies allege he was driving at a high rate of speed on Lake Avenue. Both of those incidents, deputies say, took place before sunrise and during snowy weather conditions, with roads covered in snow. Wilson was put in Wayne County Jail on $250 cash or $500 bond.

Armando M. Teruel, 35, of Black Spruce Court, Amherst, is charged with second-degree contempt. He was arrested on Feb. 25 on a Batavia City Court warrant. He is accused of violating a stay away order of protection that was issued on May 13 by contacting the protected party. He was released on his own recognizance. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Spencer Alan Luthart, 22, of Mill Street, Middleport, is charged with: driving while intoxicated -- first offense; DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or more; unlawful possession of marijuana; operating a motor vehicle without an inspection certificate. Luthart was arrested at 1:32 a.m. on March 3 on Wolcott Street in Le Roy after he was stopped for alleged traffic and vehicle violations. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Le Roy Town Court on April 11. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Jenna Ferrando.

Aiken R. Ahdeosun, 20, of Ellicott Avenue, Batavia, was arrested March 1 by Batavia police after he was spotted walking on Thorpe Street. He had a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court for failure to appear on a charge of petit larceny that occurred at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the M&T Express Mart at 100 W. Main St. in Batavia. He was also charged with bail jumping back in September for failing to appear in court on another matter in August. After his arraignment, he was jailed in lieu of $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond. He was due to return to city court today (March 4). The cases were handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Stephen Quider.

Joseph W. Freeman, 34, no address provided, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested at 10:27 a.m. on Feb. 27 at Tops Market in Batavia after allegedly shoplifting. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and found to have a bench warrant issued Jan. 31 for failure to appear concerning an unspecified incident. After arraignment, he was jailed in lieu of bail and is due in city court on Tuesday (March 5). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Frank Klimjack.

March 3, 2019 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chamber Awards, chamber of commerce, news, notify.

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It was a celebratory evening at the Quality Inn and Suites on Saturday as the Chamber of Commerce honored local businesses and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the community. 

For more on each award winner, click on the story links below:

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Dan Fischer, emcee.

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Jay Gsell, emcee, with the "Genesee Is Great Already" (GIGA) hat that he introduced at the event and gave to each honoree.

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Tom Turnbull, president of the Chamber of Commerce.

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Bob Stocking and Penny Arnold.

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Larry Webster and Mike Davis representing Upstate Niagara Cooperative.

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The Harrower family, Genesee Lumber.

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Jim McMullen and Sue Schuler representing the Rotary Club of Batavia.

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Videos, produced by Paul Figlow, were used to introduce each award winner.

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Bob Stocking's hat.

March 3, 2019 - 3:08pm

Brian Carl Falk, 36, of 12 Irving Parkway, Oakfield, is charged with second-degree criminal tampering. On Feb. 26, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office was contacted by the Village of Oakfield Department of Public Works for the report of a larceny. It was alleged that a resident in the village unlawfully made a connection with the main water line to his residence after being advised that the connection was terminated. Following an investigation, it is alleged that Falk, without having any right to do so, nor any reasonable ground to believe he had such right, made a connection with the Village of Oakfield's water line. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Oakfield Court at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 4, to answer the charge. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Ronald G. Besemer-McLean, 37, of Portland Parkway, Rochester, was arrested on Saturday, March 2, by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with: one count of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, a Class E felony; one count of tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony; and one count of resisting arrest, a class A misdemeanor. On Saturday at approximately 8:12 a.m. the on-duty patrol was requested to respond to the area of Route 19 and the onramp to the Thruway entrance for the report of a subject passed out at the wheel of a vehicle in that area. Upon arrival, the officer found Besemer-McLean asleep in the driver’s seat. During the investigation, it is alleged that he drove there after leaving an unknown location in Greece. Besemer-McLean has a revoked NYS driver’s license. When attempting execute the arrest, Besemer-McLean allegely failed to comply with the officer’s orders and a struggle ensued. Besemer-McLean allegedly took an item that was evidence pertaining to the investigation, placed it in his mouth and swallowed it. A portion of the investigation was conducted by members of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Officer and NYS Police also assisted. Additional charges are pending. After arraignment in Le Roy Town Court, Besemer-McLean was jailed in lieu of $15,000 bail. He is to return to the Le Roy Town Court on March 5 to answer to the charges. The report says: "The Le Roy Police Department would like to say a special thank you to the citizens that took the time to stop and assist the officer."

Philip Joseph Severino, 42, of Pratt Road, Pembroke, is charged with second-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child less than 17 years old. Severino was arrested March 1 after an investigation into a domestic incident involving an assault victim and two children that occurred at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 on Pratt Road in Pembroke. After his arraignment in Town of Batavia Court, the defendant was jailed in lieu of $2,000 cash or $4,000 bond. He is due Town of Pembroke Court on March 12. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Deputy Mathew Clor.

Lawrence John Isaac, 66, of Brant Reservation Road, Irving, is charged with second-degree harassment -- physical contact. Following an incident that occurred on Bloomingdale Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation on Feb. 16, Isaac was arrested on Feb. 28. It is alleged that he shoved a person while at the Community Center. He was arraigned in Town of Alabama Court and is due to return there on March 7. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Eric J. Bratcher, 30, of Fargo Road, Stafford, was arrested on March 1, by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, and one count of harassment in the second degree, a violation. The Le Roy Police Department investigated a complaint alleging that Bratcher made threats to harm another individual, at the time the incident occurred Bratcher was holding an 18-month-old child. After a brief investigation, Bratcher was located and taken into custody without incident. Bratcher was arraigned in the Le Roy Town and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. He is to return to the Le Roy Town Court on March 14 to answer to the charges.

Jessica R. Sylvester, 26, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, was arrested on Feb. 28 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with three counts of criminal contempt in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor. The Le Roy Police Department investigated a complaint alleging that on three occasions Sylvester violated a court order restricting her contact with the victim. Sylvester was arraigned in the Le Roy Town Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. She is to return to the Le Roy Town Court on March 14 to answer to the charges.

Derrick E. Pickard, 59, of Genesee Street, Le Roy, was arrested on March 1 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with: one count of driving while impaired by drugs, a misdemeanor; one count of consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, a violation; and one count of failure to keep right, a violation. On March 1 at about 11:24 a.m. the Le Roy Police Department was notified by an off-duty patrol that they had almost been struck head on and had the operator of the vehicle detained. It is alleged that Pickard failed to maintain his lane while operating his motor vehicle, almost causing an accident. Following a brief investigation, it was determined that Pickard was allegedly operating the motor vehicle under the influence of drugs. He was taken into custody without incident. He was issued several tickets and turned over to a family member. Pickard is to appear in the Le Roy Town Court on March 14 to answer the charges.

Jason Jonathan Forte, 47, of Trelawne Drive, Irondequiot, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI; and failure to yield the right of way when entering the roadway. Forte was arrested following the investigation of a motor-vehicle accident which occurred at 7:48 p.m. on Feb. 28 on West Main Street Road in Batavia. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack, assisted by Deputy Mathew Clor.

Elizabeth Mary Johnson, 39, of Batavia, no address noted, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on a highway. Johnson was arrested at 1:24 a.m. on March 2 on Indian Falls Road in Pembroke after she was allegedly found by law enforcement while she was asleep in a motor vehicle with its engine still running. Johnson is due in Town of Pembroke Court on March 21 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Austin Heberlein.

March 2, 2019 - 8:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, batavia, notify, upstate niagara, ag park.

An executive with Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc. announced that it has signed a purchase agreement to buy the Alpina Foods plant in Batavia.

Larry Webster, chief executive officer of Upstate Niagara, broke the news at tonight's Genesee County Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony at Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia.

The Alpina plant is located in the Genesee Valley Agri-business park at 5140 Ag Park Drive West. The plant operated by the yogurt maker closed in January.

UPDATE 10:20 p.m. (by Howard): After tonight's Chamber awards, Webster said Upstate's immediate plans for the former Alpina plant aren't settled but that acquiring an ultramodern dairy-processing facility in a strong milk shed where Upstate has been looking to expand was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

"The way I termed it, it's the farm next door," Webster said. "When it came up for sale we were looking to expand and so it just kind all worked out well."

The plant represents a $60 million investment by Alpina, a Colombia-based company that attempted to crack the U.S. greek-yogurt market by opening the plant in the Genesee Valley Ag-Business Park five years ago. Webster said Upstate will pay somewhere in the neighborhood of the $20 million to $25 million asking price on the plant but said he wasn't ready to disclose the purchase price.

"We just knew that it was an opportunity to pick up a production-ready plant in our area and so we did," Webster said. "We're not 100-percent sure exactly what we're going to do there yet."

The plant will be filled, Webster said and he expects that the plant is ready to employ 40 to 60 people, and more if the plant expands. Part of what attracted Upstate to the property is that while the plant sits on a 10-acre parcel, there is a 10-acre parcel next to it that is vacant but is included with the purchase.

"That makes room for expansion, which we were interested in," Webster said. "It's in the right place at the right time and ready to go. We've got some customers that we think could fit in there quite well and we could utilize it fairly quickly."

Frequently, Upstate operates on a co-packing basis with clients who need a production facility for their dairy-product brands. Webster indicated he expects that's how the former Alpina plant will be used.

The purchase offer was signed Thursday and is contingent on a due-diligence process but Webster didn't expect any issues to arise before the acquisition is final.

The project will likely also be eligible for an incentive package from the Genesee County Economic Development Center, which also provided more than $700,000 to Alpina to build and expand the plant, according to a source who was at Saturday's dinner. The scope and nature of the incentive package has not yet been settled on. 

When Massachusetts-based HP Hood bought the former Muller Quaker plant, which is also in the ag park, it also negotiated an updated tax-abatement package with GCEDC.

Webster said he doesn't expect Upstate will follow the example of Dairy Farmers of America, which purchased the former Muller Quaker plant across the street and flipped it to HP Hood a year later without ever producing any product at the plant.

"That's not in our plans at all," Webster said. "We bought it for our use and our history is just that. We've been operating plants for quite awhile and didn't buy it because we thought it was cheap and we could turn around and resell it or anything like that. We felt we paid a fair price for it but it's for our use."

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