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November 7, 2020 - 9:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, batavia, Joe Biden.
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A small group of local residents drove through Batavia this evening, honking horns in cars adorned with political signs, to celebrate the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris victory in the 2020 presidential election.

November 3, 2020 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Mausoleum, Batavia Cemetery, batavia, video.
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Restoration work on the Richmond Mausoleum was recently completed by the Batavia Cemetery Association.

October 29, 2020 - 5:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, 61st state senate district, video.
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Earlier today, we spoke with Ed Rath, running for the 61st State Senate District on Jackson Street in Batavia.

October 28, 2020 - 7:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, Jackson School, video, batavia, schools.
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First responders turned out to Jackson and John Kennedy schools today to hand out candy to the students.

October 28, 2020 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in TapGlo, business, Bethany, video.
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Tom Stringham, an entrepreneur based in Bethany, inspired by a trip to Burning Man, imagined a new way to play ping-pong: Instead of trying to get the ball past an opponent, a player would instead use touch and finesse to strategically land the ball on colored squares, trying to blackout an opponents squares before the opponent did the same to the player.

The game is called TapGlo and it's manufactured in Bethany. The pandemic has slowed down sales but not Stringham's enthusiasm for the game.

October 24, 2020 - 10:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, video.
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Video from today's rally in Batavia in support of Donald Trump for president in 2020.

October 24, 2020 - 7:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Gardner Society, John Gardner, batavia, news, video, live stream.
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The John Gardner Society's annual October reading of the late Batavia author's work is virtual this year instead of at his favorite restaurant, the Pok-A-Dot.

The reading, and hopefully the livestream, is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.

October 24, 2020 - 2:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jacqui Berger, video, 61st state senate district.
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Last week, Jacqui Berger was in town and we had an opportunity to talk with her while she was in Batavia. Berger is running for the 61st State Senate District.

October 18, 2020 - 3:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, video.
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Dozens of friends and fans turned out Saturday afternoon to bid a fond farewell to Betsy Dexheimer, who at age 85 is moving to Ohio to live with her son, Paul.

Dexheimer was involved with several organizations in Batavia, including her church.

Previously: Drive-by parade tomorrow for beloved Batavian bound for Ohio

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October 17, 2020 - 9:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in ellicott place, downtown, dri, batavia, video.
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Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was on hand Friday for an event commemorating the commencement of construction of another Downtown Revitalization Project, Ellicott Place.

Ellicott Place is converting the building that is currently home for Save-A-Lot and expanding it with retail and apartments. The V.J. Gautieri Construction Company is investing more than $1.5 million in the project with a portion of the city's $10 million state grant, the DRI award, covering the rest of the $3 million project.

October 8, 2020 - 1:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, video, livestream.
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In this interview, Paul Pettit, director of Health for Genesee and Orleans counties, talks about: the recent uptick in cases; the level of community spread; how things are going with the schools; the arrival of flu season; the ongoing difficulty in getting adequate testing locally; and what the future holds.

Regarding the outbreak in Elba, Pettit said:

"What we can see is there is some connection, obviously, on the social side. I do want to say we haven't seen any school spread among these different students in Elba. They're more connected on the community side. There are some different things that we're identifying as some commonality and connections with some of these cases, some of them involved in social gathering, some birthday parties, different types of events that may have lent itself, again, maybe closer contact, prolonged contact that would have potentially led to some of these transmissions."

On guidelines and restrictions:

"We're continuing to advocate daily, locally, here, especially in the rural areas, for the testing capacity or some additional relief on some of these guidelines, some of the closures and capacity issues. We do believe that there should be a little more flexibility in some of these areas, especially with low infection rates overall. So we are advocating. We are working with all of our elected officials, to push back at some of these things."

After talking about eased guidelines for doctors in clearing students to return to school, Petit brought up ongoing issues with testing:

"Ultimately, that leads us into another area which continues to be a challenge for us -- access to testing. This has not improved for us here in Genesee County or pretty much any rural county in the state. We've been beating the drums significantly since the peak in March when we started to see our first cases. Unfortunately, we still are very, very limited with our access to testing. It actually became more restrictive about a month and a half ago when our health care facilities, most of the primary care docs, started doing testing of symptomatic folks only.

"The requirements for screens for going back to college or for people to want to go visit their loved ones in the nursing home now have to have a negative test within seven days. None of our local facilities were offering those types of tests if folks weren't symptomatic. And if they were able to get them, they were getting charged a pretty significant amount. That is not appropriate. It's something that we have, I myself personally advocated for almost every day, really, for our elected officials from local all the way up to our state elected officials to continue to push the governor's office for increased free testing for our residents. I mean, it's essential the way the governor has set up these guidelines with testing requirements and the need to have negative tests for various reasons. It's not rational in that we should be able to meet these guidelines without having the testing. ...

"We have to have the ability to meet the intent of the guidelines. So we're not in violation and we're not putting pressures and challenges on our residents that they have to make choices. Do I get tested to visit a loved one or do I potentially have money to go get groceries this week? ...  

"(We) need to get rapid testing. We need it now and we are working on it. We're working at Oak Orchard, both in Orleans, Genesee County. They do have some of these testing machines and we're just waiting on the test kits antigen to be able to use them. We're also working on getting some rapid testing machines from the state that we could deploy and potentially use more broadly for some of these testing needs. But that's really key. We need to get access to this rapid testing so that we can get folks to where they need to go."

October 4, 2020 - 7:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in plane crash, news, corfu, video.
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This afternoon, Sheriff William Sheron and Coroner Jeff McIntyre held a press conference in Corfu, near the site of Friday's plane crash that claimed the life of attorney Steve Barnes and his niece, Elizabeth Barnes, also an attorney.

Sheron said human remains have been recovered but the search continues. 

McIntyre said the remains will be sent to Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office for positive identification.

Sheron said authorities are certain at this point that Barnes and his niece were on the plane and that they were the only two people aboard the plane.

The plane's impact created a 10-foot deep crater in a swampy area that is prone to fill with water and mud, making recovery difficult.

The recovery at the crash site could take another 48 hours.

The FAA is handling many of the duties that might otherwise be handled by the NTSB investigators and both Sheron and McIntyre are confident the investigation will be handled appropriately.  The NTSB investigators are not traveling because of COVID-19 concerns. The wreckage will be transported to Nashville where NTSB investigators will examine it.

October 3, 2020 - 6:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County ABATE, batavia, Stan's Harley-Davidson, news, video.
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Genesee County ABATE sponsored a "Save the Headlights" fun run today, originating at Stan's Harley-Davidson in Batavia in support of breast cancer treatment and research. Funds raised from the event are being donated to Genesee Cancer Assistance.

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October 1, 2020 - 5:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in workforce development, kathy hochul, UMMC, video, batavia, news.
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Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul visited UMMC on Wednesday to announce the hospital will receive a $200,000 state workforce development grant to help people enter the nursing career. The grant is part of an $18 million statewide project announced yesterday by the governor's office as part of Workforce Development Awareness Week.  

Press release from the governor's office:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that, during Workforce Development Awareness Week, New York State has been awarded an $18 million federal grant to fund educational opportunities that train New Yorkers for in-demand jobs, support entrepreneurs, and help small businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

New York was one of just eight states to receive the funding -- made available through the CARES Act -- and received the most of any state that was awarded a grant. 

"The coronavirus pandemic is far from over, and as we continue to fight against this deadly virus, we must also respond to the economic devastation it has caused," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "With millions of Americans out of work, we must use every resource available to train New Yorkers to compete -- and succeed - in this difficult economic situation.

"Our workforce is the bedrock of our economy, and I know that this funding will help bridge the gap between education and industry, allowing us to build back better by uplifting both individuals looking for jobs and small businesses across the state."  

"We are making success accessible ensuring New Yorkers have the training and skills they need to seek new jobs and opportunities as we continue to battle this pandemic," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Our ongoing workforce development initiative is supporting efforts to improve the economic security of women, youth and other groups that face significant barriers by making job placement more inclusive and leaving no New Yorker behind.

"We are sending a clear message to New Yorkers that they will have the training and skills they need to succeed as we build back better, smarter and stronger for the future."

The New York State Department of Labor will partner with the Office of Workforce Development, Empire State Development, New York's ten Regional Economic Development Councils, the State University of New York, and the City University of New York to allocate the federal grant funding on programs that support New York's continued economic recovery. 

Educational programs will focus on developing the skills needed to succeed in emerging growth industries like tech, logistics, and advanced manufacturing, and supporting entrepreneurs. New York's multipronged approach will include four elements:

1) Education for Hard-Hit NYC: In New York City, which was among the worst-hit COVID-19 communities, the CUNY system will assist in training residents with the digital skills needed for in-demand sectors such as data analytics, cybersecurity, advanced logistics/supply chain, digital marketing and communications, and software development. 

2) "Stay Near, Go Far" at SUNY: At 30 community colleges across the State, SUNY will leverage its existing "Stay Near, Go Far" initiative to train New Yorkers in high growth industries, including technology, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing, and provide them with the entrepreneurial skills needed to open their own businesses.

3) Entrepreneurship Boot Camps: Building on its existing resources, Empire State Development will host a series of intensive workshops and boot camps to train entrepreneurs and small business owners on how to run their own business during - and after - the pandemic. 

4) Industry Focus, Regional Results: The Department of Labor will issue a competitive Request for Proposals and work with New York State's 10 Regional Economic Development Councils to identify industry-driven programs that either train job seekers to meet current local employment needs or are designed to address future economic and workforce development needs.

September 30, 2020 - 7:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, video, Stafford.
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The initial call for an accident on Fotch Road in Batavia indicated a driver was unconscious and not breathing but shortly after first-responders arrived, the man was awake and alert.

By that time, Mercy Flight was already on the ground. 

The driver, the sole occupant of the pickup truck, did not require further medical attention.

After medics finished with him by the side of his vehicle, sitting on its wheels in a field of soybeans, the driver accompanied a deputy back to the roadway and upon reaching the shoulder he told the deputy, "I don't even know where I am."

Following a field sobriety test, the driver was taken into custody.

The Sheriff's Office is expected to release a report later tonight or in the morning with further information.

UPDATE 9:40 p.m.: In the accident report, the driver is identified as James M. Caccamise, 31, of Byron. He was driving a 1999 GMC pickup owned by Phyllis J. Caccamise. According to the report, Caccamise was northbound on Fotch Road when he failed to negotiate a curve in the road and struck a road sign before heading over an embankment. Charges are pending an investigation and the results of a blood test, but the report indicated deputies believe Caccamise was under the influence of a narcotic analgesic. The accident was investigated by Deputy Eric Andre.

September 23, 2020 - 6:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in city centre, mall, batavia, downtown, video.
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Consultant Ed Flynn led a City Centre Feasibility Study open house last night, which was an opportunity for community members to weigh in on the future of the mall.

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September 23, 2020 - 6:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, NY-27, video.
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We spoke with Rep. Chris Jacobs outside the new GOP headquarters at 214 Ellicott St., Batavia, on Saturday.

We asked him about his election opponent Nate McMurray trying to intimidate local reporters and Jacobs condemned such actions, so we asked if he would speak as forcefully against President Donald Trump praising violence against reporters and trying to intimidate reporters and Jacobs would only say that he would never engage in such behavior.  

We also fact checked a previous McMurray press release with Jacobs. In late July, McMurray attacked Jacobs for voting against renaming military bases that are named after former Confederate leaders. Jacobs said McMurray mischaracterized the bill and the vote.

Finally, we asked Jacobs if he supports withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan. He does.

September 23, 2020 - 4:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, video, 139th assembly district.
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After the GOP headquarters opening on Saturday, we spoke with Assemblyman Steve Hawley about his effort to win another term representing the 139th Assembly District.

September 23, 2020 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in 139th assembly district, Mark Glogowski, video.
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Mark Glogowski, candidate for the 139th Assembly District, was in Le Roy on Saturday and we conducted this short interview with him.

September 21, 2020 - 3:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Duane Whitmer, NY-27, video.
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Duane Whitmer, candidate for the NY-27 election in November, made a campaign stop on Saturday at Sweet Betty's in Le Roy.

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