Local News

Afternoon News Brief


The extended deadline for motor vehicle registrations and licenses is coming up next week.  Governor Cuomo signed an extension because of the Coronavirus so that people would not have to get their renewals done while sheltering in place.  November 3rd, election day, is also the last day to get these done if you were supposed to before now.  You may have trouble getting license or registrations renewed now as many shops are saying they are booked solid through the 3rd.

Congressman Chris Jacobs is calling on Governor Cuomo and Albany to release the 3 billion dollars from the SMART act that has yet to be used in New York State Jacobs says that 1 billion of that money can be immediately sent to towns and counties that hadn’t received funding yet.  Of the 500 billion dollars sent out by the SMART act 161 billion is earmarked for communities that are smaller than 500 thousand people.  Most smaller counties in New York have yet to see any of that money.

There is a public hearing scheduled to go over the Genesee county budget on November 4th at the old county courthouse.  The hearing will be at 6pm on Wednesday.  You can pick up a copy of the budget at the county clerks office.

Judge and active community volunteer David Saleh has passed at 67 years of age after a short battle with brain cancer.  Saleh was a Batavia city court judge, the president of the Batavia lions, the committee chair of the city of Batavia republican party, and had been a lawyer for more than 40 years.  He used his law knowledge and expertise to help the Corfu volunteer fire department and the village of Corfu.  He is survived by his wife and 4 children.

COVID Update: Genesee county has 12 new cases and Orleans county has 1 new case.  1 person has recovered in Orleans county.  18 new people are on travel quarantine in Orleans county.  A staff member at Lyndonville central schools has tested positive.  The last day they were in school was last Friday.  There are 30 active cases in Genesee county and 36 in Orleans.

Genesee county police are working to make Halloween a bit safer by cracking down on impaired driving.  The statewide STOP-DWI effort starts today and will involve police and sheriffs being out in force checking drivers for alcohol and drug impairment.  Police checkpoints and more police vehicles on the road are expected to drop driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.  Police say to have a plan, don’t drink and drive, find a safe way home or you may never get home at all.

The city of Rochester is at the highest rate of gun related deaths since they started tracking the statistic in 2010.  275 people have ben killed with guns so far this year in the flour city.  Rochester city councilman Willie Lightfoot says this is the new normal.  “It’s not uncommon for me to be in my barbershop and hear gunshots.”  Rochester is 35th in murder rate in the nation and Buffalo is 14th tied with Philadelphia.

Local Agencies Participate in Halloween DWI Crackdown

The Genesee County STOP-DWI Coordinator announced that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the Village of LeRoy Police Department is participating in the special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving.

Halloween is meant to be scary, but not when it comes to driving. When it comes to drunk driving Halloween can turn the roads into a horror fest. While we spend time trick or treating and hosting parties with our loved ones, law enforcement officers across New York State are taking to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives. The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts starts TODAY, October 30, 2020 and will end on Sunday, November 1, 2020.  New York State Police, County Sheriff and municipal law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force.

Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.  Sobriety checkpoints play a key part in raising awareness about the problem.

The STOP-DWI Halloween Weekend Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by STOP-DWI NY and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.  Throughout the remainder of the year the Statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign will also target Thanksgiving and the national Holiday Season in December.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.

You can help to make a difference by having a Sober Plan!  Download our mobile app – “Have a Plan” and you will always be able to find a safe ride home www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp Impaired driving is completely preventable.  All it takes is a little planning. Have a safe and happy Halloween Weekend!

Afternoon News Brief

The law that makes seatbelt use mandatory for all passengers 16 and up in New York State goes into effect on Sunday November 1st.  Currently, passengers 16 and older are only legally required to wear seat belts in the front passenger seat of a vehicle.  “We’ve known for decades that seat belts save lives and with this measure we are further strengthening our laws and helping to prevent needless tragedies,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.  All children under the age of 16 must wear seat belts and children younger than 8 years old must use a proper child system.

Governor Cuomo has handed the power to enact and enforce mask mandates in schools to the towns and counties.  Local governments will now be responsible for whether the school districts will have to wear masks and what rules they must follow.  No word on how this will effect private schools.

There has been a much larger early voter turnout than normal in western New York and across the country.  As of yesterday at 4pm about 1 tenth of registered voters in Genesee county have voted already.  Just over 49 hundred absentee ballots were sent out and about 33 hundred have been returned.  So far 61 million people have voted early in the US mostly in Texas, Florida and California.

COVID Update:  Genesee county has 4 new cases and 13 new people are on travel quarantine.  Orleans county has 6 new cases and 16 new people are on travel quarantine.  2 people have recovered.  There are 18 active cases in Genesee county and 38 in Orleans.  Elba’s pre kindergarten program will be going to 100 percent distance learning until November 9th after 1 student at Elba elementary tested positive for COVID 19.  1 student in Albion Middle school tested positive, the health department says that the student was not on campus after October 22nd and contact tracing has been completed.

Sheriff Sheron has received an endorsement from the Genesee county Sheriffs office Administrative staff.  In a press release Sheron say “I am sincerely humbled by the endorsement of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Administrative staff.  I thank them for their support of re-election to Sheriff of Genesee County and for their complete dedication to the citizens of Genesee County.”

Wendy’s is giving out free chicken sandwiches from now till November 8th.  You can get 1 a week by downloading the Wendy’s mobile app and ordering anything off the drive thru menu or using their app to order then showing the qr code at the restaurant.

The Buffalo Sabres have signed Victor Olofsson to a 2 year 3.05 million dollar a year contract.  The 25-year-old had 42 points in 54 games in 2019-20 before the regular season was cut short. His goals per game ranked seventh in franchise history while his points per game ranked 10th.  Despite missing 15 games because of an injury, Olofsson earned a spot on the league’s all-rookie team. Before his injury, he led all NHL rookies with 16 goals and 35 points.

Morning News Briefing

Orleans County Sheriff’s deputies are releasing new information regarding the case of Natale Huntington, as they say they continue to look for the child’s parents. Deputies say they were called to a home in Clarendon Wednesday morning for the report of a missing 15-year-old and a missing 2-month-old. Following an investigation, an AMBER Alert was issued. They say Natalie was found safe in Auburn with extended family members. She is currently in the custody of Orleans County Child and Family Services. The whereabouts of the child’s parents, 16-year-old Kevin Huntington and 15-year-old Alyssa Bel, are currently unknown. Deputies say they fled on foot after leaving the child in Auburn.

Genesee County’s proposed budget for next year will keep taxes below the state mandated cap. The 2021 recommended General Fund (operating) budget is $110 million, that’s down from the current year spending plan. The county manager says he is proposing a tax increase of 1.28%. The recommended budget will tap into the county’s ‘rainy day fund,’ technically called the unappropriated fund balance to the tune of $2.3 million. Officials say it is entirely appropriate to dig a little deeper into the account during the current pandemic.

The City of Batavia Police Department has been made aware of small denomination counterfeit bills being passed at local businesses. The Batavia Police Department is reminding everyone to check their money carefully. If you feel that you may be victim in receiving counterfeit bills, please report it to the Police Department. Information on the current counterfeit cases is not being release at this time due to the ongoing investigation.

Health officials have documented four new COVID-19 cases in Genesee County. The newly confirmed infections involve people from Batavia, Bergen, Darien and LeRoy. The ages range from under 20 to over 70 and include one elementary school student. Orleans County reports six new cases while Wyoming County confirms two additional cases.

One million New Yorkers cast ballots over the first four days of early voting, state elections officials said Wednesday. People around the state have been enduring wait times of up to several hours to cast votes since early voting started Saturday. About 8% of New York’s roughly 13 million registered voters have turned out over the four days, according to the unofficial figures from the state Board of Elections. The number of voters statewide has increased each day since Sunday.

The U.S. Department of Justice has requested data related to the number of nursing home residents in New York who died due to COVID-19, which has been shrouded in secrecy for months. The request seeks the number of residents who died from COVID-19 inside private nursing homes as well as those who died after being transferred to a hospital, other medical facilities or any other location, according to a letter first reported by the New York Post.

Afternoon News Brief

California has been added to the quarantine list joining 44 other states that qualify for restrictions.  Massachusetts also meets the requirements but joins new jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut as states that are meeting the criteria but will not be on the quarantine list.  Cuomo has announced that he is weighing scrapping the quarantine and implementing rapid covid testing for travelers.

As more and more kids are getting online with or without their parent’s supervision the Batavia Police department has released a video presentation to help parents keep their kids safe from internet predators and prevent sexting and cyber bullying.  The video is available to view on our website wbtai.com.

Governor Cuomo says that NY has the 2nd lowest infection rate of all 50 states.  The hot spots are down to 3.8 percent and the state as a whole is at 1.5 percent.  Cuomo cautioned people making plans for Thanksgiving that they should not travel across state lines or they would have to quarantine.  Cuomo warns that small gatherings can spread covid as much as large gatherings.

COVID Update: Genesee county has 4 new cases ad 25 new people on travel quarantine.  Orleans County has 6 new cases and 4 new people are on travel quarantine.  9 people in Orleans county have recovered.  There are 14 active cases in Genesee county and 34 in Orleans.  The Genesee Orleans health departments announced yesterday that a wedding in clarendon on the 17th is the source for many covid cases and they are asking people who went to the wedding to contact the health department.

Schools are warning parents who have remote learning at home to be on guard for fake school workers.  A man in Scottsville went to a students home and identified themselves as a school worker and said their child was supposed to go on a field trip with them.  They were asked to leave and police were called.  The man was described as Caucasian, in his 40s about 200 lbs, balding with glasses and driving a dark gray Honda Civic.

A nationwide poll has found that bills fans, specifically the bills mafia ranks number 3, in complaining.  According to MI Bets, the Bills fan base ranks third in the NFL among fans who complain the most behind the New England Patriots at number two, and the Dallas Cowboys at number one.  The poll surveyed 5000 NFL fans from around the country.

BPD Releases Internet Safety Presentation for Parents

The Batavia Police Department has released an Internet Safety Presentation for Parents and Community Members today. The presentation is in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Netsmartz.org.

It features several tips for parents on how to help keep their children safe in the online world, and prevent sexting / cyberbullying.

The presentation can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5Q81gRAKFQ.

Counterfeit Bills Being Passed in the Area

The City of Batavia Police Department has been made aware of small denomination counterfeit bills being passed at local businesses. The Batavia Police Department is reminding everyone to check their money carefully. If you feel that you may be victim in receiving counterfeit bills, please report it to the Police Department at 585-345-6350.

A few simple items to check for on US Currency that are hard to recreate on counterfeit bills:

 – Color Shifting Ink – the bill denomination on the bottom right hand corner has the right color shifting ink.

Raised Printing – To detect raised printing, take your fingernail and run it carefully down the collar/jacket. You should feel some vibration on your nail from the ridges.

Blurry Borders/printing/text – significantly blurry borders, printing, or text, it is an automatic red flag.

Red & Blue Threads – If you take a close look at an authentic bill, you will see that there are small red and blue threads woven in and out within the fabric of the bill.

Watermark – In many of the new bills, the watermark is actually a replica of the face on the bill.

 Information on the current counterfeit cases is not being release at this time due to the ongoing investigation.

Afternoon News Brief

Tis’ the season to be thankful, that you are allowed to go home. SUNY schools are implementing a new policy which is supposed to protect the families of students who are going home for the holidays. In order for the students to leave campus they have to test negative for COVID 19. Students will be tested at most 10 days prior to leaving campus. If they test positive they will be required to quarantine on campus till they test negative before going home. There has been no announcement on how this will be enforced and the plan for testing will be announced by November 5th.

Byron, Pavilion and Stafford are getting more money t help with water infrastructure. Byron will get nearly 10 million dollars half in a grant and half in a loan to extend safe potable water to about 600 people. Pavilion will get 567 thousand dollars as a loan to build a new 300 thousand gallon water tank and pipeline to serve 2495 people. Stafford is getting 3 million dollars about half and half loan and grant to extend water to 185 residents who don’t have safe drinking and cooking water. This money is coming from the USDA and is part of 891 million dollars being sent out by the Trump Administration to 43 states.

COVID Update: Genesee county has 5 new cases and 13 new people are on travel quarantine. 2 people have recovered. The case at premiere Genesee tested negative soon after testing positive so has been removed from the numbers for Genesee county. Orleans county has 19 new cases and 16 new people on travel quarantine. 5 of the new cases are students at Albion elementary, middle and high school. 4 of the students were not in school all of last week. Contact tracing has been completed for the 1 student who was in school. There are 19 active cases in Genesee county and 37 in Orleans.

It may just be a piece of plastic and metal but for many people the political yard signs are an expression of their first amendment right to free speech. For other, they are so offensive they can’t help themselves. Police in communities across western NY are reporting a rash of political sign thefts in the last 2 weeks. At least 4 people have reported signs stolen in Batavia. Others have reported signs stolen in Amherst, Niagara county, Chautauqua County, Rochester and Buffalo. The majority of thefts have targeted trump signs but at least one occurrence here in Batavia was teenagers stealing Biden signs. Stealing political signs in NY is a misdemeanor punishable with a fine of up to 1000 dollars and up to 90 days in jail.

The case of the 2 teens who were arrested after the deadly shooting in Lockport a week and a half ago has been turned over to a grand jury. One of the boys has confessed to the shooting saying that they were trying to hit 2 people they knew were at the Halloween party. The shooting killed one person and injured 5 others.

The City Council wants to build a new police station on the Alva Place parking lot, the Genesee country Farmers Market is not pleased with that plan. The market has moved 11 times in the past 15 years and each move costs them organization and customers. According to Elizabeth Carr, representative for the Market, “it takes at least two years “to ramp back up to full capacity.” City Council President Eugene Jankowski says he is surprised by the displeasure as they had proposed the police station months ago and no one complained.

Morning News Briefing

The Batavia Police Department accepted almost 300 pounds of prescription drugs during the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Take Back Day. Police accepted drugs from 142 vehicles. This year, the department partnered with staff from United Memorial Medical Center who were on hand to accept sharps. The service was free and anonymous, no questions asked. This month’s event was the DEA’s 19th nationwide event since its inception 10 years ago. Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced that remaining Deer Management Permits in several of the State’s Wildlife Management Units will be available to hunters beginning Nov. 1. He says “New York’s hunters are setting records this year, but there are still opportunities for Deer Management Permits across the state. Deer populations are generally at or above desired levels.”

Genesee County health officials now report another five new positive COVID-19 cases. The new positive cases involve residents from Alabama, Bergen, Bethany, and LeRoy. The individuals are in their 20s and 60s. Confirmed cases in Orleans County jumped by 19 while in Wyoming County, six new cases were reported.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office says a husband and wife were killed Sunday afternoon in a vehicle crash in the Town of Geneseo. 85-year-old Mary Beardsley of Dansville pulled in from of a farm vehicle. She and her husband, 84-year-old Willard Beardsley were killed. The other driver sustained minor injuries and was taken to Strong Memorial. The crash remains under investigation.

Local Results of Drug Take Back

News Release

The Batavia Police Department accepted almost 300 pounds of prescription drugs during the DEA’s Drug Take Back Event held in the Alva Place parking lot on October 24th. Between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM, officers accepted drugs from 142 vehicles. This year, the department partnered with staff from United Memorial Medical Center who were on hand to accept sharps. The Batavia Police Department would like to thank UMMC and all the citizens who participated to help keep these drugs off the streets!

Victims Identified in Geneseo Double-fatal Crash

News Release

GENESEO-Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty advises of a double fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday October 25, 2020 at approximately 3:07 pm, Sheriff’s Deputies and emergency personnel responded to the intersection of Triphammer Road and Pole Bridge Road in the Town of Geneseo for a two (2) vehicle motor vehicle crash with reported serious injury.

The preliminary investigation revealed that a passenger vehicle being operated by Mary J. Beardsley, age 85 from Dansville NY, had been travelling southbound on Pole Bridge Road along with her husband 84 year old Willard A. Beardsley. Mary Beardsley came to a stop at the intersection of Triphammer Road before entering into the intersection to continue going south and pulled into the path of an oncoming farm truck.

Responding emergency personnel had to extricate Mary and Willard Beardsley from the vehicle. Willard was pronounced deceased at the scene. Mary Beardsley was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced deceased.

The driver of the farm truck was identified as David. G. Vandeweert, age 56 from Geneseo NY. Vandeweert was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Investigating for the Sheriff’s Office were members ofthe Command Staff, Patrol Division, Criminal Investigations Division, Forensic Identification Unit (FIU), Communications Bureau, Commercial Vehicle Unit (CVU), Drone Unit, and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Unit, all under the Incident Command of Sergeant Matthew Orman of the Patrol Division. Responding emergency personnel included members from the Geneseo Fire Department, Geneseo Ambulance, Livingston County EMS, Lima Fire Department, East Avon and Avon Fire Departments.

The crash remains under investigation by our Office with the preliminary findings being non-criminal in nature and instead a horrible accident

Halloween Safety Tips from the City of Batavia Fire and Police Departments

It’s Fall and the Halloween celebration will soon be upon us. As in the past, there will be children dressed in costumes excitedly running door to door to trick-or-treat, festive decorations like glowing jack-o-lanterns, paper ghosts and dried cornstalks adorning front porches –these are some of the classic hallmarks of Halloween that make the holiday special for kids and adults alike.

Unfortunately, these Halloween symbols and activities can also present risks that have the potential to become truly scary. But by planning ahead, you can help make this Halloween a safe one.

Taking simple fire and personal safety precautions can help ensure your holiday remains festive and fun.

Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano of the City Fire Department, Chief Shawn Heubusch of the City Police Department in conjunction with the United States Fire Administration,National Safety Council along with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) would like to offer the following safety tips;

• Please follow and adhere to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 guidelines for Halloween celebrations, which include;

Having a virtual Halloween costume contest

Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

 Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.

• Stay in groups while trick-or-treating while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
• Costumes should be well fitting, flame resistant, highly visible and free of long trailing fabric
• Always test makeup for potential skin allergy before applying
• Remember to look both ways when crossing streets
• Always stay on sidewalks
• Provide children with flashlights and glow sticks for visibility
• Avoid dark houses
• Examine all treats before eating
• Enjoy with caution
• Motorists are reminded to take the following precautions;
watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
Chief Napolitano highly recommends keeping Halloween decorations away from any open flames, light bulbs and heaters. It is very easy for decorations such as dried flowers, cornstalks, crepe paper to catch on fire.Additionally, Napolitano recommends keeping exits clear of any decorations so as to not block your exits in the event of a fire and testing your smoke detectors to ensure that they are working or request fire department staff to inspect and test for you.
Chief Heubusch advises that a 9:00 P.M. curfew is in place for all trick-or-treating activities. Those that do go out for the evening are reminded to ensure that they are dressed in reflective clothing and that young trick-or-treaters are always accompanied by an adult. See and Be Seen. Also, do not attempt to go to porches that are dark or otherwise not welcoming to trick-or-treaters and respect other’s property. Lastly, if a resident has any questions or concerns regarding any of these tips, they can contact the City of Batavia Fire Headquarters at 585-345-6375.

Morning News Briefing

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate a vehicle crash that left one person seriously injured. It happened shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday night on Main Road in Pembroke. According to authorities, a red Mustang went off the roadway, struck a pole, a garage, and then went into a creek. The back half of the vehicle was sheared off. The driver was not coherent after being extricated and was transported to ECMC by Mercy Flight with an apparent serious injury.

Sheriff’s deputies say two people were hurt, one seriously, when two vehicles crashed Sunday on State Route 33 in Stafford. 17-year-old Ryan T. Ledermann of Webster was driving westbound on Route 33 when he attempted to pass an uninvolved tractor-trailer. The vehicle left its lane of travel and entered into the eastbound lane. The vehicle struck the front driver side of an oncoming pickup driven by 56-year-old Charles P. Fales of Batavia. Ledermann was taken to Strong Memorial with apparent serious injuries. Fales sustained less serious injuries and was also taken to Strong. The crash remains under investigation.

The state is gearing up to spend big money for highway projects in Genesee and Orleans counties. Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state will spend $357 million for the renewal of roadways in every region of New York State. These infrastructure renewal projects will incorporate the use of environmentally conscious construction techniques. $1.3 million has been earmarked to resurface Route 98 from Route 20 to the City of Batavia (South Limit) in the Towns of Alexander and Batavia. $1.2 million has been authorized to resurface Route 237 from the Genesee County Line to the Village of Holley (South Limit) in the Towns of Clarendon and Murray in Orleans County.

Congressman Chris Jacobs has cosponsored the Preexisting Conditions Protection Act of 2019 (H.R. 692). He calls the measure critical to the well-being of the most vulnerable in our community. The Act would preserve access to health care for people with preexisting conditions if the Affordable Care Act is significantly changed or repealed.

A grand jury has handed down a six-count indictment charging two people with theft at the Target store in the Town of Batavia. One of the top counts facing Kahel Suttles and Ericka McBride is felony third-degree grand larceny. They’re accused of stealing $3,200 in merchandize in February. The pair is also accused of possessing stolen property from Dick’s Sporting Goods and Marshalls. It is alleged in count five that they possessed tinfoil that they used to cover security tags to prevent sensors from being activated when merchandise was taken from the stores.

From the courthouse…Paul Hussey is indicted for the crime of bail jumping in the second degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 24, 2019 Hussey did not appear in Genesee County Court in connection with a charge against him.

Court action is pending for a Batavia man facing a felony charge. Batavia police arrested 19-year-old Christopher Good, charging him with first-degree burglary. Police said Good allegedly unlawfully entered a home and caused physical injury to an occupant. He was arraigned and released under supervision pending further action by a court.

We’ll know more later today about a deadly car crash in the Town of Geneseo Sunday afternoon. The sheriff’s office confirmed there was a fatality but wouldn’t say much more.

Weekend News Brief

Ready for some pricey popcorn with extra butter?  Movie theaters are back open across New York State.  Theaters are only open at 25 percent and many have not opened yet but legally they can open now.  Many theaters have completely online or app based ticketing, refreshment ordering, socially distanced seating and check in.  Find out what’s playing near you.

An audit of waterways across new York state put together by the comptrollers office found that 83 water treatment or sewer systems do not report overflows which is illegal.  What this means to the people living in those areas is that there is no report when sewage backs up into the groundwater or even the drinking water.  They didn’t release which municipalities are not signed up but said that the public can get alerts on water issues if you sign up for NY Alerts.  Get the link to sign up on wbtai.com.


COVID Update:  From Friday afternoon, Genesee county has 2 new cases and 5 new people are on travel quarantine.  Orleans county has 3 new cases and 14 new people are on travel quarantine.  There are 7 active cases in Genesee county and 23 in Orleans.

The Batavia police collaborative advisory stakeholder group met for the third time to talk about the topics restorative justice Genesee Justice, implicit bias training, the juvenile diversion program, and procedural justice standards of conduct, community relations, and biases in policing.  Experts on each of these subjects addressed the committee and talked about how they are already being addressed in the Batavia police department.

Congressman Chris Jacobs penned a press release praising the USDA on releasing another 500 million dollars to support the farmers to families food box program.  This is the fourth round of purchases for the program that will award contracts for deliveries between Nov. 1st and Dec. 31st. The program was launched on May 15 in response to COVID-19 and to date has delivered more than 110 million boxes to American families.

Governor Cuomo praised the Liberty Square 14.5 million dollar construction project on east main st in Batavia as an “exciting new project in the City of Batavia that will help our veterans who have given so much for our nation. Providing them and other area residents with new housing will provide comfort and financial security during a difficult time.” The new building will have 55 apartments and 28 of them are set aside for formerly homeless veterans

Afternoon News Brief

Governor Cuomo announced Thursday that he is weighing the option of changing the way people coming from states that have a 10 percent or higher COVID testing positivity rate are handled when coming into New York state.  Cuomo said they may transition to rapid testing for all people entering the state from quarantine states instead of requiring a 14 day self quarantine.  Cuomo said this after New Jersey and Connecticut began having a high enough rate to warrant the 14 day quarantine for travelers and Cuomo said it would be impossible to ask them to quarantine as so much work travel goes between New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  The governors of New Jersey and Connecticut said they will change how they handle the quarantines to adjust which states are on the list.

There is a Pro-Trump pro 2nd Amendment and pro police rally Saturday starting at 3:15 in the afternoon in front of the Batavia City hall.  The Rolling Patriots will start out at Walmart at 2 o clock and do a slow parade to City Hall where there will be speakers including pastors.  Care a Van ministries and Extreme Streetwear will be there.  At 330 there will be a march down main street and Batavia police will be blocking off the roads.  This event is organized by Anne Scalia the head of Glow4Babies.

COVID Update: Genesee county has 0 new positive cases and 8 new people are on travel quarantine.  1 of the people who tested positive on Wednesday is a resident at premiere Genesee.  Orleans county has 1 new case and 8 new people are on travel quarantine.  Genesee county has 7 active cases and Orleans has 23.

The NTSB has released its preliminary report on what lead up to the plane crash that killed Steve Barnes and His niece in Pembroke NY on October 2nd.  Investigators say before the plane started to fall, Barnes, who was piloting the plane, told a radar controller “everything’s fine.”  They say the controller saw the plane falling quickly at a speed of almost 14,000 feet a minute and lost contact with Barnes.  According to the report, the plane made a 360-degree right turn before it lost contact with radar.  The NTSB says they’re still investigating and this is not their final report.

19 year old Olivia Cinquino of Clarence has been charged with petty larceny after she was caught stealing trump signs form front yards.  The person who called police followed Cinquino in their car and when police arrived they saw many signs in her vehicle.

South Byron and Elba Fire departments are both having chicken barbeque fundraisers on Sunday starting at 11:30 till sold out.  Cost is the same, 12 dollars for both.  Go to the Elba firemen’s recreation hall or the South Byron Fire hall to get some chicken!

Morning News Briefing

Genesee County Board of Elections says they’ll be rolling out their new electronic poll books for the upcoming election, beginning with Early Voting tomorrow. The new election management tool allows jurisdictions to see voter turnout in near real-time, monitor the status of the Poll Pads, and remotely lock or disable a Poll Pad if there is a security issue at a polling place. Voters will have the ability to check into their polling location just as they always have — by giving their name and address to the Inspectors. The difference is now they will sign the poll pad instead of the big books. Voters will continue to use paper ballots for all voting.

Tomorrow (10/24) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Genesee County law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. There will be two drop-off locations on Saturday – Pembroke Town Hall, Route 5 at Route 77 in Pembroke and Alva Place Parking Lot in Batavia (across the street from Batavia Showtime movie theater located in the Genesee Country Mall). The Batavia location will also accept sharps. The service is free and anonymous; no questions asked. Collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations, which includes masks for citizens dropping off medication.


For more than 20 years, Genesee Community College has invited the public to its Main Campus in Batavia on Veterans Day for two very important events — welcoming potential new students with a virtual Academic Open House and honoring veterans for their service to our country with a Veterans Day Ceremony. However, COVID has mixed things up this year. This year the college has prepared a video recognition that will be accessible to all on GCC’s website at any time on Wednesday, Nov. 11. In addition, potential students of all ages and their families are strongly encouraged to register and join GCC’s Virtual Open House also on Nov. 11 beginning at 9:30 a.m., which includes a schedule of virtual presentations and Q&A sessions.

Open Enrollment for those on Medicare continues until Dec. 7. The NY Connects/Genesee County Office for the Aging continues to be a resource that has information on all plans available for Genesee County residents. Even during COVID-19, they’re still helping you with your choices. Just call the office weekdays between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Genesee County deputies arrested 41-year-old Aurello Aragon-Figueroa, of Chapel Road in Byron. He was charged with third-degree grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing, both felony crimes. He was arrested after allegedly not reporting income that he was earning and filing applications that were used to determine eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits without citing that income. As a result, it is alleged he received $9,321 in SNAP benefits that he was not entitled to.

Thirty-year-old Jillian Hupp of LeRoy was sentenced this week to a one-year conditional discharge in Batavia Town Court, after pleading guilty to one count of petit larceny. An investigation by the Genesee County Department of Social Services allegedly revealed that Hupp failed to report that the father of her children was also residing in the home, and she failed to report his wages. Hupp subsequently received $2,776 in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) she was not entitled to. Hupp accepted a plea deal to the reduced charge of petit larceny.

Afternoon News Brief

Afternoon Update: The Orleans county health department says that a Holley High School student has tested positive for COVID 19.  They were last on campus on Wednesday morning and were sent home.  They are a member of the white hawk cohort and were not physically at school Monday or Tuesday.  Contact tracing has begun.

There is a lack of trust between Genesee county and the towns because of the revenue disbursement agreement stoppage and then resumption.  Even though the disbursements have started again the town of Bethany received 16.2 percent less than was promised to it in the initial agreement.  Bethany town supervisor Carl Hyde Jr said that he’s not convinced that the municipalities will receive the amounts the county has publicized for 2021, either.  “Until it shows up in the town’s bank account, I’m not taking them at their word for it. They took an agreement that all the towns (and villages) worked hard at to come up with and signed and agreed to, and they just threw it away.”  Genesee county has announced that it will send 10 million dollars to the towns and villages in 2021.

An Erie county man has been arrested and charged for a rape in Darien back in august of 2014.  Genesee county sheriffs deputies say that 35 year old Nicholas Turnquist of west falls has been accused of a multitude of sex offenses across Genesee Wyoming and Erie counties.  He was arraigned Wednesday and is held without bail in Wyoming county jail.

Two Lockport teenage boys have been arrested and charged in the shooting that took the life of 20 year old Cheyenne Farewell of medina and injured 5 others at a Halloween party on early Saturday morning.  Security camera video from across the street show the two boys walking up to the closed door of the garage and blind firing 6 shots through the door before running off around the next door house.  The boys are 16 and 17 and their identities have not been released.  They are each charged with intentional homicide and criminal possession of a weapon.  They are held on 500 thousand dollar bail or 1 million dollar bond.

COVID Update: Genesee county has 3 new cases and 2 people have recovered.  5 new people are on travel quarantine.  Orleans county has 6 new cases and 3 new people are on travel quarantine.  1 of the positive cases is a student at Albion elementary school.  The health department says they were not in school 48 hours before becoming symptomatic and there has been no direct contact in school.  There are 7 active cases in Genesee county and 23 in Orleans.


The Batavia Town Board is gearing up for public hearings on a budget as well as water and sewer rates. The public hearing on the $5.1 million preliminary spending plan is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Town Hall. As reported first on The Batavian last week, the board raised the amount of its unexpended fund balance to be allocated to balance the 2021 budget after receiving news that Genesee County authorized a final $1 million revenue distribution payment for 2020 and pledged about $1.7 million for 2021. The budget public session will follow a 7 p.m. public hearing on the sewer rate for District No. 1 and No. 2 in the town, and a 7:05 p.m. public hearing on the water rates.

The Alexander Central School District board of education will be conducting a superintendent job search to replace Catherine Huber, who has accepted the position of district superintendent of the Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES in Delaware County. Board President Brian Paris confirmed that she has left the Genesee County school after nearly four years as its chief administrative officer.

The City of Batavia Fire Department joins fire departments nationwide in promoting the annual “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” campaign on Sunday. Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano encourages all residents to adopt the simple, life-saving habit of changing smoke alarm batteries when they change their clocks back from daylight saving time to standard time. Today’s home fires grow in size faster than ever, typically allowing as little as one to two minutes to escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds, due to current home furnishings burning faster and producing more toxic gases and smoke.

New COVID-19 cases have returned to Genesee County. In Wednesday’s update, officials said three new cases were confirmed. The latest infections involve people age 40-70. Five new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. Health officials say six new cases were identified in Orleans County while officials in Wyoming County confirm six new cases as well.

An Elmira-based bank is extending its reach to the Buffalo market. Chemung Canal Trust Company has announced that it will expand its lending operations to serve the City of Buffalo, as well as Erie and Niagara Counties, with the intention of opening a Loan Production Office in the near future. Chemung Canal Trust Company, headquartered in Elmira is a full-service community bank with full trust powers. Established in 1833, it is the oldest locally-owned and managed community bank in New York State.

Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Tom Reed and Congressman Josh Gottheimer, along with 26 of their colleagues within the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, sent a letter to Congressional leadership and President Trump urging both sides to work together to get a bipartisan COVID-19 relief deal across the finish line as soon as possible. The group of lawmakers said they are just days away from the election, after which the prospect of moving stimulus legislation forward is very dim until early February. The lawmakers said in a press release every day that passes, is another missed opportunity to deliver relief for American families and businesses who will continue to suffer needlessly as a result of Congress failing to do its job.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is celebrating his endorsement and continued partnership with the Business Council of New York State as he continues his reelection campaign. Hawley says he is both thrilled and humbled to continue his push for better business laws and fair treatment in government with the backing of the Business Council.

The City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee this week approved a special use permit that opens the door for the creation of two apartments on the second floor of the Main Street Pizza building at 206 E. Main Street. The next step is to finalize the engineering drawings and move the project into the construction phase.

Morning News Briefing

For the second day in a row, Genesee County reports no new COVID-19 cases. However, fourteen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. Once again, the news is not as good to our south and north. Wyoming County reports two new cases of the virus. In Orleans County, four new cases were reported. Three new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that Arizona and Maryland have been added to New York’s COVID-19 travel advisory. No areas have been removed. Neighboring states Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania now meet the criteria for the travel advisory — however, given the interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport, the top dog says a quarantine on these states is not practically viable. That said, New York State highly discourages, to the extent practical, non-essential travel to and from these states while they meet the travel advisory criteria.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is celebrating his endorsement and continued partnership with the National Rifle Association (NRA) as he continues his reelection campaign. Hawley, a gun owner himself and a firm believer in the Second Amendment, is proud to continue his relationship with the NRA.

Although COVID-19 mandates are forcing students and teachers to cover their faces, they “can’t mask the Batavia pride,” according to Kathie Scott, public information coordinator for the Batavia City School District. On Monday, Scott posted information about “Can’t Mask the Batavia Pride!” on the district’s redesigned website, writing that the campaign is “in response to all the reorienting that has been required to reopen school – from social distancing and face mask mandates, to hybrid and virtual learning and sport delays/cancellations.” The school Superintendent informed the school board about the campaign at its meeting Monday night. Scott said the campaign “has been in the works for a while,” with discussions taking place with the fire department, police department and others throughout the community to make it happen.

St. John Fisher College has announced it will be transitioning to remote learning for the remainder of the fall semester. This comes a day after the college reported 52 cases of COVID-19 in the campus population over the past nine days. Tuesday, the college reported a total of 64 cases since Oct. 10. In a statement to the college community, the school said that wastewater surveillance demonstrates increasing rates of the causal agent of the virus. It added that, while the college is at a level of confirmed cases that does not require it to take action by the state, it is taking this measure out of an abundance of caution for students, staff and the community.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is urging the Senate to pass the bipartisan Act, called the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020…of course, it’s the Restaurants Act. The Act would create a $120 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund to address the unique long-term challenges of food service and drinking establishments and ensure they can maintain operations, pay workers, and keep their doors open. It would provide economic relief to independent restaurants navigating unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic.

Afternoon News Brief

Drug treatment professionals are on alert after a person in Oneida tested positive for the drug carfentanil.  The highly addictive and in many cases deadly man-made opioid is considered to be 10 thousand times more powerful than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl.  In normal use the drug is used as a tranquilizer for elephants.  Drug dealers usually mix it with other drugs to make them stronger and this leads to overdoses at higher rates.  Oneida county officials say a single grain of salt sized dose can kill.  Chief Clinical officer for GCASA Kathy Hodgins says they are prepared to test anyone suspected of using carfentanil but there have not been any cases reported in Genesee or Orleans counties.  Officials warn that the drug is so powerful that even multiple doses of Narcan may not be able to stop an overdose from killing the person.

COVID update:  Genesee county has no new cases and 8 people have recovered.  There are 8 new people on travel quarantine.  Orleans county has 8 new cases and 13 people have recovered.  There are 10 new people on travel quarantine.  There are a total of 9 active cases in Genesee county and 13 in Orleans.

Governor Cuomo announced today that 5 more states although he didn’t say which ones, are now on the travel quarantine list.  According to the rules that Cuomo put in place along with the governors of Connecticut and New Jersey both of those states would have to go onto the list starting this week as they are also experiencing higher than 10 percent positive rates.  But Cuomo says that imposing the quarantines on new jersey and Connecticut would be unworkable as there is too much work travel between the three states.  The governor of Connecticut says that he will change the rules for travel restrictions as quarantining ¾ of the united states is unmanageable.  43 states are now on the travel quarantine list as case numbers have been skyrocketing across the country. There is good news though, as the number of cases may be going through the roof the number of deaths per day continues to fall going from an average of a thousand a day in September to less than 700 a day average.

Batavia city schools have unveiled their new Batavia pride campaign called Cant mask Batavia pride!  The campaign seeks to instill pride in Batavia and the community and is giving away Batavia devil head on a stick masks and asking people in the community to record a 30 second or less video with the mask.  People are encouraged to say a positive and encouraging message for the students, staff or families of Batavia CSD.  There is also a new app available on android or iPhone called Batavia CSD, NY.

The bills failed to topple the champion chiefs on Monday night in a 26 to 17 loss.  The bills got a field goal and 2 touchdowns but couldn’t keep up with the chiefs running game.  Buffalo still leads the AFC East and will play the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon.

Morning News Briefing

Residents of the Town of Bergen can share their thoughts on the new adopted 2021 Preliminary Budget one week from today during a public hearing. The public hearing on the tax cap override will be at 7 p.m., followed by public hearings on the Bergen Volunteer Fire Department budget at 7:15 and on the 2021 Town budget at 7:30. Facing an unprecedented loss of revenues from the county as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board began cutting 2020 expenses this past spring. Board members took a reduction in pay; some personnel appropriations were trimmed; projects and equipment purchases were put on hold. The moves helped offset a 14.4-percent loss in revenues from Genesee County and 20-percent withholding in various state aid. Again, those hearings are October 27th.

Unlike a bunch of areas west of Binghamton, Genesee County reports no new cases of COVID-19. Eight people have been placed in precautionary quarantine because of travel from restricted states. It’s a different story in Orleans and Wyoming Counties. Eight new cases have been reported in Orleans while seven new infections have been reported in Wyoming County.

In a time when there is no certainty, one thing is clear – local gas prices are holding steady…for now. It is 2020, after all. AAA of Western and Central New York says right now that Batavia gas prices are $2,20 a gallon, which represents no change since last week. The New York State average is $2.25 – the same as last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.70.

The Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging at Rochester Area Community Foundation is introducing new ways to connect with the great services it supports for older adults in Genesee County. A new website, askmarshall.net, shares how the Marshall family of programs supports healthy aging and also provides easy access to resources for aging well.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is holding its 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 24 at locations across the country. The nationwide event aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Collection sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for legislation to support live event venues and small- and mid-sized businesses that are struggling to recover after months of limited operations due to the coronavirus crisis. The bipartisan Act would create a new loan program to fund six months of employer and operating expenses for businesses that have lost substantial revenue and need support that the Paycheck Protection Program has been unable to adequately provide. The NY Senator said…the recent uptick in coronavirus cases across New York is a reminder that this pandemic will be with us well into next year.

Afternoon News Brief

Governor Cuomo announced that the COVID 19 hotspots in New York are getting better.  The hotspot’s rate of infection is down to 3.3 percent from 5.5 last week.  The state rate is down to 1.2 percent or 1.1 percent if you facto out the hotspots.  Cuomo also noted the unemployment rate is down to 9.7 percent form the 16 percent we saw at the height of the pandemic.  The National unemployment rate is now below 7.9 percent.

How do you like them apples?  Apparently quite a lot as over 5000 dollars worth of honeycrisp apples were stolen from a western NY apple orchard back on September 23rd.  Sanger Farms in Niagara county lost hundreds of apples, owners say the trees were picked clean and no apples were left on the ground.  The trees were in an area where the public was not allowed to do u-pick.  New York State Police are investigating.

Gas prices have not changed at all from last week across most of western NY.  Gasbuddy.com says that this is because of the lack of movement both on the road and in Washington DC on a new stimulus package.  Batavia has an average price of 2.20 and last year that was 2.65.  The national average is 2.17.

The Transit Authority Police Benevolent Association has announced its endorsement of David Krzemien for election as Genesee county sheriff.  Krzemien is a retired member of the association, was their president for 3 years and served on the union board for 7 years.

Morning News Briefing

We can all look forward to some encouraging news later this week. Gov. Cuomo says movie theaters outside NYC can reopen, with limitations. Theaters can only open in counties that have COVID-19 positivity rates of less than 2 percent on a 14-day average and do not have any cluster zones. Theaters will be subject to rigorous state guidance and enforcement.

Ski resorts can reopen with 50 percent indoor capacity and with strict health and safety protocols under state-issued guidance starting Friday, November 6. There are rules and regulations, of course…masks required at all times, except when eating/drinking or skiing; Social distancing between parties required at all times; Lifts are restricted to members of the same party and ski lessons are limited to no more than 10 people. Resorts must also reduce outdoor capacity on mountains by 25% during “peak” days or if multiple trails are closed due to unseasonable conditions.

Another familiar retail staple is gone. J.C. Penny in Batavia closed up shop at 5 p.m. Sunday. J.C. Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May after years of sales declines and months of disruption from the coronavirus pandemic.

The single use plastic bag ban is coming back after months of not being enforced. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that the DEC will begin to enforce the ban on single-use plastic carryout bags today. According to the DEC, the ban was not enforced due to an agreement with a plastics company. The timing also coincided with COVID-19 as many stores refused to allow reusable bags.

Batavia Police Department continue to investigate a burglary at Batavia Bottle and Can Retrieval Center at 563 E Main Street. Investigators confirmed that property was removed. If anyone has any information, you’re asked to reach out to police.

The Batavia Development Corporation will gavel into session Thursday morning. The meeting begins behind closed doors where members will discuss the employment of an individual as well as a property deal. During the public portion of the meeting, they’ll discuss the sexual harassment policy and board members confidential evaluations.

The Buffalo Bills take the national stage for the second straight week, this time for a matchup with the reigning Super Bowl champions. It will be a meeting of two prolific offenses, headlined by quarterbacks Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. Allen ranks second in the NFL in passing yards; Mahomes ranks fourth. The game will air nationally at 5 p.m. Both teams sport a 4-1 record.

Weekend News Brief

The Bergen C Store cigarette caper from the beginning of September is apparently part of a wider criminal enterprise says the Genesee county sheriffs department.  3 people arrested in victor on September 28th had allegedly participated in more than 30 smash and grab type burglaries across 6 counties including the Byron Crosby’s, the Leroy Kwik fill, the Batavia Crosby’s and pavilion farms.  Back in September 2 of the 5 member crew were caught trying to rob the Batavia Crosby’s, Jennifer Abrams and Tarus Fluitt.  The other 3,  Kristina Marble, Eric Smith and Jose Cruz-Rosado were caught robbing a gas station in victor and chased down and arrested, one tried to swim the Erie canal to escape but started drowning when officers jumped in and saved them.  All 5 are on multiple felony charges.

Police are looking for help with the identities of the people who broke into and stole property from the Batavia Bottle and can Retrieval Center on East Main street late Thursday night.  Police have pictures of the white van used in the break in and you can check them out at our news partner The Batavian.  If you have information call Detective Sergeant Matt Lutey at (585) 345-6311 or call the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

COVID Update: As of Friday afternoon Genesee county had no new cases and 2 people had recovered.  There are 25 new people on travel quarantine.  Orleans county had 1 new case and 2 people had recovered. There are 3 new people on travel quarantine.  Genesee county has 17 active cases and Orleans has 18.  One student at Batavia BOCES has tested positive and is on quarantine and contact tracing is being done.

Local health departments are applauding the distribution of over 400,000 rapid testing kits for COVID 19 across the state but the ability to use them is in doubt.  Paul Pettit, health director for Genesee Orleans county health departments, says that with new testing requirements they don’t have “a full understanding of the details of the new requirements and a lack of support and capacity to meet them.”  The ramped up testing means more people doing the testing, people most counties don’t have available. “Who will provide the staff and resources necessary to administer the tests?” 2 State level Health Directors have asked Albany to send people and financial to the counties to help.

The Pavilion Central School District has chosen a new Superintendent.  Mary Kate Hoffman, the principal of York Elementary School is the former director of curriculum and instruction at Pavilion central Schools and was a 2nd grade teacher in Pavilion as well.  Hoffman says she is “honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve the Pavilion Central School District as Superintendent,”

Afternoon News Brief

Genesee county wants a new flag, and wants you to design it.  As part of the counties public engagement strategy Genesee county planning director Filipe Oltramari is inviting residents to participate in a design competition.  “We’re calling it Genesee 2050, a vision strategy for the next 30 years for our county,” he said.  The original comprehensive plan was written in 1997.  Oltramari says that the contest will be open to everyone and a committee will select the best designs and the community will vote online for their favorite.  Rules, guidelines and starting date will be announced.

There is a frost advisory for Genesee county and most of Western NY tonight.  Frost could kill sensitive outdoor vegetation if left uncovered.

Governor Cuomo announced today that the new York national guard is going to be stationed at New York airports starting today to enforce the travel restrictions on people coming from 36 states and 2 US territories.  Guards will be in uniform but will not be armed, they will be assisting in the screening process for incoming travelers to allow healthcare workers to do other tasks.

COVID Update:  Genesee county has 4 new cases.  Orleans county has 4 new cases and 1 person has recovered.  4 new people are on travel quarantine in Orleans county.  There are a total of 19 active cases in Orleans county.  The Genesee Orleans county health departments continue to have a computer problem so the statistics are still not up to date for Genesee county.

Morning News Briefing

A Batavia man is in trouble with the law after investigators say he tried to steal $17,000 from a relative. 65-year-old Thomas Ditzel is charged with attempted grand larceny. He was arrested as a result of an investigation into the misappropriation of funds as a Power of Attorney in 2018. Ditzel allegedly attempted to take funds by closing an investment account of a family member and have the check sent to an address where he allegedly planned to retrieve it. However, another family member intercepted the check. Court action is pending.

The Batavia Board of Education will be asked to accept two resignations and approve four leaves of absence when it meets Monday night. The resignations involve a teacher aide and a data processing clerk. The Board will also be asked to approve the appointment of a probationary Deputy School District Treasurer. The meeting is Monday night at 6:30 p.m. in the high school library.

Genesee County ends the week with four new cases of COVID-19. Those newly infected live in Batavia and Pembroke. Their ages span from under 20 to over 60. Orleans County is also reporting four new cases. Four new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. Three new cases have been confirmed in Wyoming County.

A Batavia woman faces multiple felony counts after a social services investigation. 41-year-old Ifrah Armstrong of Bank Street is charged with third-degree grand larceny and four counts of offering a false instrument for filing, all Class E felonies. Armstrong was arrested after allegedly not reporting income that she was earning and also filing an application that is used to determine eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits without including the income. As a result, it is alleged Armstrong received $5,200 in SNAP benefits that she was not entitled to.

The U.S. Marshals are alerting the public of several imposter scams involving individuals claiming to be U.S. Marshals. In the past few weeks, there have been several reported scam calls to Rochester citizens. Law Enforcement is urging people to report the calls right away. During these calls, scammers have attempted to gain banking information and credit card numbers. Telling the victims that their social security number has been used in a criminal act and this information is needed within an hour or they will be arrested. On Wednesday, a report was made to the U.S. Marshals office in Rochester. The victim reported that a caller told him there was a warrant for his arrest. The victim was told to transfer funds and if he did not comply, he was threatened with arrest and seizing of his property.

Genesee County deputies say they’ve arrested 27-year-old Ana Uribe of Batavia. She has been charged with felony counts of grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing. It is alleged that at the time of her application for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, she did not report income she was earning, which is used to determine eligibility.

Afternoon News Brief

The Genesee county Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative met for the first time on Wednesday night with 15 members attending.  The meeting was opened by County legislature chair Rochelle stein who asked that the committee would be unified and respectful.  Members introduced themselves and then county manager Matt Landers read the executive order that mandated the creation of the group.  The timeline of the future meetings was handed out and will deal with topics such as use of force, implicit bias, de-escalation training and violence prevention.  They anticipate meeting through the beginning of January.

Governor Cuomo and several other governors are asking for a meeting with President Trump about how the vaccine for COVID 19 will be distributed.  The governors are asking what the states role will be in distribution and how up to 20 million doses will be efficiently given out in New York.  “It is a massive, monumental undertaking,” Cuomo said Thursday, “and if you listen to the White House, it could be just weeks away.”

COVID update: There have been 5 new cases in Genesee county this week.  Statistics are not yet available because of an ongoing computer problem at the health department.  Orleans county has 2 new cases and 15 new people are on travel quarantine.  There are a total of 32 active cases in Genesee county and 16 in Orleans.

Governor Cuomo signed into law an official new holiday in New York state.  Juneteenth, the date that commemorates when the last slaves received word that they had been freed in 1865, more than 2 years after the emancipation proclamation, will now be celebrated on June 19th every year for all New Yorkers.  Cuomo made it a holiday earlier in the year for state workers.

Morning News Briefing

The day begins with better than expected news on the tax front… a decrease in the Genesee County property tax rate and a much smaller than anticipated increase in the Town of Batavia property tax rate. County Manager Matt Landers says he’ll propose a county budget that includes a tax rate decrease, dropping the rate to $9.80 per thousand of assessed value. Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post has encouraging news as well, reporting that his current budget calls for about a 39-cent increase – from $2.45 per thousand to $2.84 – which is considerably less than the potential 89 percent increase that was bandied about a couple weeks ago.

So far this week, five new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Genesee County. More than three dozen people are on a precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. Orleans County reports two new cases, both from Albion. Meanwhile, Wyoming County also reports two new cases of COVID-19.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that New York State will withhold funds for localities and schools in COVID-19 cluster zones that fail to enforce public health laws. The New York State Department of Health will send a letter warning local governments in cluster zones that they will lose state funding if they fail to enforce state limits on gatherings and the closure of schools.

A drive-thru chicken barbecue to benefit the Elba Volunteer Fire Department will be held on Sunday, Oct. 25 at the fire rec hall on Route 98 in Elba. It starts at 11:30 a.m. and goes until sold out. Cost is $12. Coronavirus protocols will be observed. Please wear a face mask and remain in your vehicle.

Congressman Chris Jacobs has cosponsored the State Municipal Assistance for Response and Transition (SMART) Act. He says “many local governments in Western New York did not meet the 500,000 resident threshold to receive coronavirus funding from the CARES Act.” He notes that “without additional aid to state and local governments our hospitals, first responders, and schools are facing the risk of layoffs and cuts to critical services they provide our communities.” The SMART Act would provide $500 billion for a Coronavirus Local Community Stabilization Fund to provide aid to state, local, and tribal governments.

New York’s Worker’s Compensation Board announced its new online claims system: OnBoard. The project website for the new system includes frequently asked questions and links to information webinars. The Worker’s Compensation Board has been developing the system over recent months. They say it features new technology and functionality, like 24/7 access, improved prior authorization requests, and real-time data validation.

From the ‘kinda saw this coming department…’ The Metropolitan Transportation Authority or MTA, is facing the greatest crisis in its long history, with few viable options without federal funding to avoid cuts in service and staff, additional fare hikes and long-lasting damage that could impair regional transit for decades…that cheery news from New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli in his annual report on the MTA’s finances.

The newest person to take the helm of the Rochester Police Department was sworn into office Wednesday morning at City Hall. Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan will lead the department on an interim basis pending a national search for a permanent replacement for the chief. She was chosen last month by Mayor Lovely Warren.

Afternoon News Brief

The city council of Batavia has no plans to cancel or limit trick or treating this year.  Interim City Manager Rachel Tabelski did say that residents should be informed of the CDC trick or treat guideline.  The CDC says that people handing out candy should avoid direct contact with trick or treaters, should hand out the candy outdoors or give out pre bagged treats, wash their hands and wear a mask.  The CDC has marked Genesee county as an area safe for trick or treating.

Governor Cuomo announced 3 more state have been added to the list of states that travelers coming from into NY will have to quarantine.  Ohio, Michigan, and Virginia make the list 38 states.

COVID Update: due to a technical issue at the County health department we do not have numbers for Genesee county but Orleans county has 11 new cases over the long weekend and 10 new people are on travel quarantine.  There are 17 active cases in Orleans county.  Genesee county information will be updated for tomorrows broadcast.

Congressman Chris Jacobs has cosponsored the smart act to allocate 500 billion dollars to local and tribal governments that did not meet the threshold of 500 thousand residents.  This money would be given to states which would be required to release one third of that money to local governments.

The city of Batavia fire department will be flushing hydrants north of main street  and east of bank street Thursday and Friday.  This could result in discoloration of water in homes and businesses nearby.  If you have discolored water wait a bit to do laundry.  Running the taps for 5 minutes or so may clear the water.

Morning News Briefing

The City of Batavia was expecting to take a huge financial hit from COVID-19, but today, the future doesn’t look as grim. Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski is slightly more optimistic. What that means is, it’s still bad, just…not as bad, which is good for taxpayers.

The Batavia City School District has created an executive director of operations position as part of a reshuffling of jobs that has reduced the number of employees on its administrative leadership team. The district saved about $70,000 in the move.
Due to the Columbus Day holiday, both the Genesee and Orleans County health departments were closed Monday. There were no map, website or media updates over the weekend or on Monday. Updates were supposed to resume Tuesday but technology issues got in the way.

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 1.3 percent in 2021…that from the Social Security Administration. The cost-of-living adjustment will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2021. Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount.

Another statewide shutdown is possible, but not guaranteed, according to Gov. Cuomo. The state is keeping a close eye of clusters of COVID-19 hotspots that have emerged. Cuomo notes that hospitalizations are up, some because of the hot zones.

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing & testing fire hydrants tomorrow and Friday from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the general area of North of Main Street and East of Bank Street. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration of your water, run cold water for about five minutes or until clear.

In Batavia…Citywide leaf collection will begin Monday and will continue until Nov. 20. Residents are asked to rake leaves into piles and leave them in the parkway (unbagged). Do not pile leaves around fire hydrants, trees or sign posts. Leaf piles should only contain leaves and no branches, grass clippings or other materials.

Morning News Briefing

A Batavia man, on parole after serving prison time, has lost his battle to have his felony conviction overturned. 42-year-old Jason Carpenter was found guilty in Genesee County court in January 2018 of felony assault. The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo filed the appeal claiming that Carpenter was deprived of a fair trial because, even in the absence of a for-cause challenge from either side, County Court should have excluded two prospective jurors who purportedly exhibited actual bias and another prospective juror who had an implied bias. The State Appellate Division of the Fourth judicial District wasn’t swayed. In a three-page decision, the Appellate Court rules that… contrary to Carpenter’s contention, the sentence was not unduly harsh or severe.

According to the latest statistics, New York State’s COVID-19 positivity rate without the Red Zone focus areas included was 1.05%. The state’s overall positivity rate is 1.12 percent. In “Red Zone” focus areas, the positivity rate for test results is 3.70 percent – down from the 6.13 percent average from last week. Gov. Cuomo says despite the numbers, this is not a second wave (cuomo1). The “Red Zone” focus areas are home to 2.8 percent of state’s population, yet had 17.6 percent of all positive cases reported last week to New York State.

From the crime and disorder department…46-year-old Brenda Lee Draper of Batavia has been charged with two felonies. Police charged her with grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing. Authorities say she wasn’t totally honest when she filed an application for Supplemental Nutrition Assistant. Reports claim she failed to mention some income which allowed her to receive some benefits she was not entitled to.

The current national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.19, the same as one week ago (and the same as the week before that.) New York State average is $2.25 – down 1 cent since last week. AAA Western and Central New York says Batavia gas prices are down a whopping penny…at $2.20.

Some good news for a local restaurant manager… Holly Carney runs the McDonald’s Restaurant located at 587 E. Main Street in Batavia. She has been selected to receive McDonald’s Outstanding General Manager Award. This is an accolade that recognizes only the top performing 10 percent of McDonald’s Restaurant Managers. Carney was one of only 33 McDonald’s Restaurant managers from New York State to receive the honor which includes a cash prize and a trophy.

A 27-year-old man is in jail after he led State Troopers on a short chase before crashing into another vehicle in Rochester. Police said Jose Rivera was tackled after he attempted to run away. Rivera was allegedly found to be in possession of 109 bags of Fentanyl and a bag of cocaine. The parolee was charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. A violation of parole warrant was lodged and Rivera was taken to the Monroe County Jail.

Former congressman Chris Collins is expected to begin his 26-month sentence today at a Florida prison. He has been trying to get his prison time postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Collins is set to serve his time at a federal prison camp in Pensacola. He pleaded guilty last year to federal insider trading charges.

Morning News Briefing

The Genesee County Health Department will resume sending out COVID-19 updates tomorrow. There were no weekend updates and there won’t be any today, because of the Columbus Day. According to the Department, the last report showed one new coronavirus case in the county. The latest patient is in their 20’s and lives in Elba. Sixteen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. One of the positive individuals is hospitalized. Orleans County also reports one new case.

We should know tomorrow whether or not Batavia’s Assistant Manager will get a bump in pay. When the city council meets tomorrow night, they’ll vote on a resolution to authorize additional compensation for interim city manager Rachel Tabelski. Martin Moore left the Manager’s position in July. The additional pay would be retroactive from July 20 and continue until the city manager post is filled.

After two consecutive days of negative tests, a Tennessee Titans coach tested positive for the coronavirus Sunday morning. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the team released a statement saying a staff member tested positive and that their facility is temporarily closed. The Titans have currently received a total of 24 positive test results, including 13 players dating back to Sept. 24. The Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans game was moved from Sunday to Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. after an uptick in COVID-19 cases. According to ESPN, Tuesday’s game is now in jeopardy.

The public will weigh in later this month on a plan by the Batavia Town Board to override the state property tax cap. A public hearing is scheduled for October 21st at 7 p.m. The session will be held at the Batavia Town Hall on West Main Street Road. A copy of the proposed local law is on file at the Batavia Town Clerks office and is open for inspection during regular office hours.

Effective today, the bridge over Whitney Creek on Judge Road in the Town of Alabama will close so that the span can be replaced. The bridge is immediately west of Crosby Road. There will be a detour posted onsite for the duration of the project, which is expected to take approximately two to three months to complete.

Elba Central should resume to a hybrid instructional format tomorrow. In recent weeks, a number of students tested positive for COVID-19. The school superintendent said after learning of the test results September 28th, the Health Department ordered that over 20 staff members and over 100 students needed to be quarantined. Last Friday, another 10 staff members and nearly 40 more students were going to be quarantined again based on another confirmed case.

Letchworth State Park closed to new guests over the weekend after reaching capacity under COVID restrictions. It was a peak foliage weekend. The park recommends if you plan on visiting that you avoid the hours of 12 to 4 p.m., as that’s when the park is busiest. Anyone visiting a state park is asked to wear a face covering and maintain social distance.

Weekend News Brief

Governor Cuomo announced Friday that rapid COVID testing will be available across all of New York State.  Starting with 400 thousand tests which will be distributed to local health departments, hospitals and primary care providers for free these tests can have results within 15 minutes instead of the normal 48 hour tests most providers have right now.  Under the new rules for schools in areas having a spike, areas designated yellow zones will have to test 20 percent of students faculty and staff once weekly beginning next Friday.  These tests will make getting results from that testing much faster.

As COVID cases are on the rise in New York some businesses were never allowed to open and are starting to use their empty properties to fight against Governor Cuomo.  Movie Theaters across New York state are using their Marquees to post messages asking the governor to allow them to reopen.  Regal theaters, which closed all US locations again on October 5th, is posting the message “48 states have reopened theaters so far. Why not New York, Gov. Cuomo?” on their fronts and on the sidewalks in front of the theaters.  “We are owed an answer. We’ve answered every question. He said theaters would be next, but that was almost a month ago. And then crickets,” said Joseph Marsher, president of the New York chapter of the National Association of Theatre Owners.  Also all Broadway theaters will be closed until at least may costing New York up to 13 billion dollars.

The Genesee county planning board sent a request to the Byron town board to ensure that property values of land near the new solar farms will not drop once the farms are in place.  The Byron solar farm projects have come under fire from Byron residents for using up prime farm land and lowering property values.  Byron town board members have defended the projects as opening up Byron to money that it would otherwise have no way to receive.

COVID Update: As of 4 o clock Friday Genesee county had 1 new case and 16 new people are on travel quarantine.  Orleans county has 1 new case and 2 new people are on travel quarantine.  There are a total of 27 active cases in Genesee county and 9 in Orleans.

45 year old Buddy Moore Jr of Leroy has plead guilty to charges of sexual contact with a child under 13.  He was arrested after a victim came forward saying that Moore had committed the crimes against them from 2003 to 2011.  Moore is sentenced to 15 years in prison and 5 years post release supervision starting in December.

St Paul Lutheran church and school is holding a fundraiser Chicken BBQ Sunday the 11th from 11:30AM till its gone.  Tickets are 12 dollars a dinner which includes chicken, potato salad mac salad and a roll with butter.  The event will be drive through.

Afternoon News Brief

Governor Cuomo announced new restrictions for COVID hotspots in the Empire state closing schools imposing a max limit of 10 people in synagogues and churches and imposing restrictions on businesses.  Genesee county is not one of these hotspots and the finger lakes region is still under 1 percent infection.  The counties and communities having to face these restrictions are all in or near New York City at this time.  Officials are warning that schools being open and the flu season may cause increased spread in all areas.  New York state had over 1800 new cases yesterday and 9 deaths.  The united States continues to have from 30 to 50 thousand cases daily although the number of deaths compared to cases has been dropping since June.

Congressman Brian Higgins is asking the federal government to meet Canadian officials halfway with opening up the border between the US and Canada at least to family members and those who own property on the other side.  Earlier this week Canadian officials announced that they wanted to open the border to extended family members including long term dating relationships before the Canadian thanksgiving.  Higgins also sent a letter to President Trump asking for some leniency in the border restrictions.

COVID Update:  Case numbers in Genesee county continue to rise with 8 new cases in Alabama, Batavia, Elba and Stafford.  21 new people are on travel quarantine.  One of the new cases is a resident of the veterans home.  In Orleans county there are 2 new cases and 7 new people are on travel quarantine.  There are a total of 26 active cases in Genesee county and 8 in Orleans.

Genesee community college is offering new fast paced classes starting October 26th.  These classes cover everything from College composition to textiles and will take only 7 weeks.  The courses are meant to help students meet their general education and program course requirements and are able to be completed entirely online.

Independent living of the Genesee region is running its walk run and roll 5K or 10K race and fundraiser from October 18th to 31st.  It is completely virtual so participants can choose their own route.  There is also a scavenger hunt involved where participants are challenged to locate particular sights and sounds of nature, city life, and Halloween decorations in a unique feature to the “race.”  The entrance fee is 25 dollars and participants get a t shirt.  You can sign up on the independent living Facebook page or by calling independent living at 585 815 8501 extension 411.

Congressman Christ Jacobs dropped a press release criticizing his opponent Nate McMurray for supporting packing the supreme court.  McMurray tweeted on Monday that he would pack the courts to save choice, marriage equality and preexisting conditions and Jacobs responded by saying that this would be very dangerous for the future of our democracy, undermining the separation of powers and independence of the judiciary.  Jacobs called on all people to denounce the radical and destructive agenda championed by McMurray.  Vice President Biden and Kamala Harris have refused to say whether they would or would not pack the supreme court if elected.

Morning News Briefing

The number of COVID-19 cases in Genesee County continues to mount. In the latest update, health officials report eight new confirmed positive cases, involving residents from Alabama, Batavia, Elba and Stafford. Two of the positive individuals are under 20, one is in their 40s, are in their 50s, one individual is in their 60s, and two are in their 80s. Three were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive. Health officials say twenty-one more people are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. One of the individuals is a resident at the New York State Veterans Home. Meanwhile, Orleans County reports two new cases and Wyoming County reports one new case.

The NFL has announced changes to the Buffalo Bills schedule. The Buffalo at Tennessee Titans game will now be played on Tuesday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. on CBS. The scheduling decision was made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts. Should the Buffalo-Tennessee game be played on Tuesday night, the Week 6 Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills game scheduled for Thursday, October 15 will be moved to later in the weekend.

Troopers responded to a two-vehicle crash on West Bergen Road in the Town of LeRoy around 5 p.m. Thursday. Preliminary investigation reveals that a car traveling northbound lost control, crossed into the southbound lane and was T-boned by a pickup truck. After extrication, the driver of the car was taken by ambulance to Strong Memorial Hospital in critical condition. The driver and a passenger in the pickup truck, which was not heavily damaged, were taken to UMMC in Batavia for evaluation. The investigation is still pending.

New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider isn’t happy with the stalled federal stimulus negotiations. In a statement released Thursday, he said… schools are laying off teachers and staff. Some students in grades 7-12 are being forced to learn entirely remotely, due to inadequate funding. The federal government needs to get serious and provide the necessary relief.  Lawmakers should return to the bargaining table and provide the funding crucial for our schools to operate effectively. The education of millions of schoolchildren in New York and the livelihoods of thousands of teachers and staff are hanging in the balance.

Batavia-based funeral director Michael Scott Tomaszewski was arraigned on 15 new charges in Genesee County Court Thursday as a result of the continuing investigation of his business practices. On July 23, the 48-year-old was charged with 91 counts of failure to deposit monies paid in advance in connection with agreements for funeral merchandise or services for 91 customers. Since his initial arrest, 11 additional victims came forward. The latest charges include eight counts of felony grand larceny. He was arraigned by a judge and released on his own recognizance.

Nate McMurray, Democratic candidate in New York’s 27th Congressional District, has won the endorsement of the United Auto Workers (UAW), Region 9 in this election.  The Union covers a vast area, including Western and Central New York. Members work in automotive, aerospace and steel industries, and include members at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

After nearly two years under a federal investigation, prominent Rochester developer Robert Morgan and three others who were indicted on fraud charges have had their cases dismissed. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford handed down an 83-page decision Thursday afternoon, dismissing the 114-count federal indictment. In the decision, Wolford said it was “self-evident and cannot be reasonably disputed” that prosecutors mishandled evidence in their investigation.

Afternoon News Brief

Additional charges were filed today against 48 year old Batavia Funeral Director Michael Tomaszewski based on 11 victims who said they pre-paid funerals and grave markers Tomaszewski did not use the money the way they directed.  These people came forward after he was arrested.  Tomaszewski was charged with 91 counts of grand larceny for similar accusations at the time of his arrest.  He was arraigned virtually and released on his own recognizance.

The Village of Leroy police reform and reinvention collaborative met for the first time and the 15 member group talked about several subjects important to the community.  Police Chief Hayward talked about how the police have been falling behind in record keeping and have very little ability to discipline the officers if there is a complaint or transgression.  The committee said they would work on those things and attempt to raise public trust in the police which they said was at an all time low.  The Batavia committee meets tonight.

COVID Update:  Genesee county has 2 new cases and 1 person has recovered.  Orleans county has 3 new cases and 7 new people on travel quarantine.  There are 19 active cases in Genesee county and 6 in Orleans.

Governor Cuomo warns New Yorkers that the COVID rates are rising in the empire state. After the statewide rate of infection was below 1 percent for several weeks it is now at 1.01 percent with hotspots getting as high as 5.8 percent. Western NY is at 1.4 percent. This is out of the 145 thousand tests taken on Wednesday. Cuomo says he will impose shutdowns on areas where there are outbreaks and cited shutting down Jewish synagogues and churches if they don’t social distance and wear masks.

Morning News Briefing

A Monroe County man faces multiple felony charges stemming from an incident in the Town of Bergen. Batavia-based Troopers arrested 33-year-old Shamir Aslam of Mendon. He was charged with aggravated family offense and first-degree criminal contempt, both class E felonies. He was also charged with aggravated harassment. He was initially detained pending action by the court.

Genesee County is dealing with two more COVID-19 cases. In both cases, the infected people live in Elba and are under the age of 20. The county has had a total of 326 confirmed cases to date. One of the individuals who tested positive is in the hospital. Meanwhile, Orleans County reports three new cases.

The Wyoming County Public Health Administrator says COVID-19 cases are increasing in Wyoming County and community transmission is occurring. With weather changing, gatherings are moving indoors where it may be more difficult to maintain social distance. Fall is the beginning of traditional cold and flu season and the Wyoming County Health Department is reminding everyone to maintain social distance, wear a face covering, practice good hand hygiene and stay away from sick people. One new positive case has been reported, bringing the total to 147.

Former state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who presided over the chamber for 14 years, died Tuesday. He was 91. He ruled at a time when Republicans had a stronghold on the state Senate across upstate New York, giving them extraordinary power to control legislation and control hundreds of millions of dollars in state money to dole out to pet projects in their districts.

Genesee County Job Development Bureau is hosting a Virtual Job Fair via Zoom on Thursday, Oct. 15th from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Register by Oct. 14th at (585) 344-2042. Whether you are hoping to find a fresh start, a better job, or a new career direction; job seekers will find some exciting opportunities at the Virtual Job Fair. Local employers will be in attendance, eager to hire for immediate openings in a range of occupations. The job fair is open to the entire community.

Genesee Community College will host two virtual Open House events this fall for students and families to learn all about what the College has to offer. The first event will take place online from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17, where participants will be able to listen to and watch presentations from all types of areas of the College including various Academic Departments, the Admissions team, Athletics, Financial Aid, Student Success, Student Engagement and Inclusion, and more. These special Virtual Open House events will also give virtual attendees an opportunity to ask questions and get answers. Register now at www.genesee.edu/VisitGCC to attend either GCC Fall Virtual Open House on Saturday, Oct. 17 or Wednesday, Nov. 11.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Employee’s Association, the Sheriff Office’s largest union, announces its endorsement for William A. Sheron Jr. for Sheriff. A press releases says…In these trying times of misinformation and anti-law enforcement, we need a Sheriff with strong leadership, knowledge, experience, and integrity. Sheron checks off all these boxes. He has worked in all aspects of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and has served in multiple supervisory capacities throughout his 43 years within the department, including 21 years as Undersheriff. He is also a lifetime resident of Genesee County.

National Fuel Gas says it is fully prepared for the winter heating season, and based on potential weather conditions and modest increases in natural gas commodity pricing, the utility anticipates a slim increase in customer bills during the winter heating season months – November through March – of slightly less than $10 per month when compared to last year’s unseasonably warm winter. While last winter may be difficult to remember with everything else that has taken place, temperatures were 10.8% warmer than the usual Western New York winter. While the season started fast and furious with an early November snowstorm and frigid temperatures, November 2019 was the only month of last winter that finished colder than normal.

Afternoon News Brief

The election won’t be decided on November 3rd says University at Buffalo Associate Professor of Political Science and elections expert Jacob Neiheisel.  He says this years general election could be 2000 all over again times a few.  With so many absentee ballots in the air and so many allegations of fraud this election will require patience.  There have been 78000 absentee ballots requested in Erie county so far.  Neiheisel says we definitely won’t know what happened on election night.

COVID Update: Genesee county has 1 new case and 1 person has recovered.  There are currently 2 active cases in the Elba Central School district.  Orleans county has 2 new cases and 2 people have recovered.  17 new people are on travel quarantine.  There are a total of 18 active cases in Genesee county and 3 in Orleans.

A Genesee county man has been arrested for assaulting a police officer in Gainesville.  26 year old David Schmieder had police called on him for walking down the middle of the road and acting irrationally on rt 19 on September 23rd.  When police arrived Schmieder refused to follow deputies orders and allegedly punched a deputy in the head.  Deputies say he had drugs in his mouth.  He is charged with Assault in the second degree, Tampering with physical evidence, Obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, Resisting arrest, and Disorderly conduct – obstructing traffic.

The Buffalo Zoo announced that Sampson, the 5 year old giraffe, has passed away after a medical procedure.  Sampson had a dental procedure done as he had a problem that was making it difficult for him to eat and failed to recover after the procedure was over.  The zoo is asking for the public to share pictures and memories of the giraffe to the zoos Facebook page.

Sheron Endorsed by Sheriff’s Employee’s Association

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Employee’s Association, the Sheriff Office’s largest union, proudly announces our endorsement for the Republican candidate for Sheriff, William A. Sheron, Jr.

In these trying times of misinformation and anti-law enforcement, we need a Sheriff with strong leadership, knowledge, experience, and integrity.  William Sheron checks off all these boxes.  He has worked in all aspects of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and has served in multiple supervisory capacities throughout his 43 years within the department, including 21 years as Undersheriff.  He is also a lifetime resident of Genesee County.

William Sheron is the most-qualified person for this position and is the clear-cut candidate.  His proven leadership offers the stability, transparency, and integrity that Genesee County residents demand and deserve going forward.

Kevin Wolff

Genesee County Sheriff’s Employees Association President

NYS Deputy Sheriff’s Association Executive Board Member

Morning News Briefing

Hang on to your hats today. The National Weather Service has a wind advisory in effect for much of the day. Wind gusts to near 50 mph are possible. What does it mean? Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

Batavia City Schools…looking at a $5.5 million revenue shortfall, thanks to state funding hold backs, because of the coronavirus pandemic. The district has experienced a funding cut of 20% so far. The state says it is “withholding” the funds but there’s no guarantee the funds will be backfilled nor that there won’t be more “withholding” during the remainder of the year. The state is facing a $16 billion budget shortfall and the deficit over the next four years is expected to grow to $66 billion. That doesn’t bode well for the future of school funding.

Genesee County has one new case of COVID-19. The latest patient lives in Elba and is in their 50’s. As of this morning, there are two active cases at the Elba school. Orleans County also reports two new positive cases.

There will be a chicken BBQ fundraiser for the South Byron Volunteer Fire Company beginning at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 25 until sold out. It will be held on a drive-thru basis at the fire hall, located at 7389 Route 237 in South Byron. Cost is $12 per person. Please wear face mask and remain in vehicle.

New York’s municipalities collected nearly $17 billion in sales tax revenue in 2019, representing 9.7 percent of all local government revenue, according to a comprehensive report on local sales tax just released by State Comptroller DiNapoli. Every county and city in the state, along with many towns and villages, depend on these funds to pay for essential services and operations, revealing the statewide impact of the revenue losses from the pandemic. DiNapoli says “COVID-19 has decimated local sales tax revenue this year, blowing holes in the budgets of municipalities across New York State. ” He said just as our Main Street small businesses can’t rebuild alone, our local governments don’t have the means to do this themselves. Direct aid from the federal government is needed to help communities recover.

Congressman Chris Jacobs has cosponsored four pieces of legislation that he says will help drive economic recovery – the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, a bill extending coronavirus aid for airlines, the Small Business Expense Protection Act of 2020, and the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act.

Afternoon News Brief

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo has decided to take a firmer hand with COVID restrictions in local governments after saying on Monday that local officials are not enforcing the mask mandate and social distancing.  New York State’s average positivity rate is up to 1.22 percent with several areas seeing spikes in cases.  While he praised the low rates across the state, Cuomo says that he will send state enforcement to those areas experiencing spikes and close schools and possibly churches and synagogues if the case numbers don’t go down.  The 5 areas experiencing spikes are mostly in or near New York City and Erie County.

In an update on the crash of Steve Barne’s airplane which killed him and his niece on Friday morning in Corfu officials are now saying that there was no black box on the plane.  The investigation into what happened when the plane veered off course and then dropped 17000 feet may take up to a year.  All wreckage has been recovered and is on it’s way to the national transportation safety board.

The COVID Alert NY app is now available.  This is a free smartphone app for anyone 18+ that lives or works in New York available for download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The COVID Alert NY app notifies users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

COVID Update: Genesee county has 9 new cases with 3 of them being students from the Elba Central School District.  8 new people are on travel quarantine.  Orleans county has no new cases and 5 people have recovered.  11 new people are on travel quarantine.  There are 18 active cases in Genesee county and 3 in Orleans county.

Morning News Briefing

The engine of an airplane that went down in a swampy and wooded area off Boyce Road in Corfu has been recovered after being dug out from under more than 10 feet of mud. Sheriff William Sheron says the search for pieces of the airplane, which disintegrated on impact is complete and the parts are being shipped to Nashville for further investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. The search for human remains continues today. Attorneys Steve Barnes and Elizabeth Barnes died in the crash at about noon Friday. The cause of the crash remains undetermined.

The Genesee County Health Department has received three additional positive COVID-19 tests from students at Elba High School. The individuals have been placed under mandatory isolation where they will remain until they are fully recovered. The Genesee County Department of Health said contact tracing is in process. Students and/or staff will be notified and placed under quarantine if they were identified as a close contact. Ned Dale is the school superintendent – he says the district continues to work with the Health Department in identifying close contacts and testing symptomatic students. Overall, the county reported nine new coronavirus cases, impacting Alabama, Elba, LeRoy and Oakfield.

A Pembroke woman faces multiple felony counts. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 32-year-old Allissa Winder of Pembroke. She was charged with first-degree identity theft and grand larceny. Winder allegedly opened several credit card accounts in another person’s name and charged over $3,000. She was arraigned and released pending further court action.

Court action is pending for a Batavia man charged with second-degree strangulation. 27-year-old Montell Cunningham was arrested by Batavia police after an investigation into a domestic incident on Tracy Avenue in Batavia. After arraignment in Batavia City Court, he was initially put in jail on cash bail. A stay away order of protection was issued for the victim. Cunningham is due back in city court on Oct. 29.

Congressman Chris Jacobs is announcing he is now accepting nominations for his Congressional Veteran of the Month program. To nominate a veteran who is a current resident of the 27th Congressional District to be recognized, constituents can visit Jacobs congressional website. He says he is eager to launch this program.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren was arraigned Monday afternoon on charges related to campaign finance misconduct. Charges include scheme to defraud and violating election law. Warrens attorney entered a not guilty plea. There is no estimated timeline for the trial.

In his daily briefing Monday Gov. Cuomo noted that this Friday is the last day New Yorkers can register to vote in the 2020 Election. You can register in person at the county board of elections or at any New York State agency-based voter registration center. For more information call 1-800-FOR-VOTE.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.19, the same as one week ago. One year ago, the price was $2.66. The New York State average is $2.26 – no change since last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.72. AAA Western and Central New York says Batavia prices remain unchanged at $2.21 a gallon.

New York has again extended the expiration date of annual vehicle inspections, registrations and driver’s licenses that otherwise would have lapsed during the coronavirus pandemic, validating them for at least another month. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order early Monday making the change, allowing the documents to remain valid until Nov. 3. The order, which had been set to expire Monday, applies only to those that lapsed since March. But the order made clear expired registrations and non-driver identification cards — which can be renewed entirely online — will not be extended again beyond Nov. 3.

Afternoon News Brief

The Department of environmental conservation is asking hunters to watch for deer that may have EHD. Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is effecting deer across New York state and at least 750 deer have been found dead from the disease. It is spread by bites from a small fly and humans cannot catch it. Symptoms include swelling of neck, tongue eyelids and head. Deer may appear lame or dehydrated and many deer with this disease will seek out water and die near water sources. If you see any deer that may have this disease call the DEC.

The border between Canada and the US remains closed but there may be some wiggle room for people wanting to cross.  The Canadian minister of immigration Marco Mendicino tweeted Friday that a process will be created to allow extended family of Canadians to enter the country.  This will “include people in an exclusive, long-term dating relationship and their dependent children; as well as adult children, grandchildren, siblings and grandparents,” said Mendicino.  Canadian Authorities want families to be able to be together for Canadian thanksgiving on October.

The university of Rochester has a new Nobel Prize alumnus in Harvey Alter.  Alter received the nobel prize for medicine for his work with 2 others on the discovery of Hepatitis c.  Alter graduated from U of R in 56 with his bachelors degree and again in 60 with his MD.

Gas prices are holding steady in western NY with prices not changing from 2.21 a gallon since last week in Batavia.  The national average price is the same as last week as well staying at 2.19.  Last year the price was 2.66.


Fire Prevention Week

The City of Batavia Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) —the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years —to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” The campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice-president of outreach and advocacy. “Staying in the kitchen, using a timer, and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes.”

The City of Batavia Fire Department encourages all residents to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme.

“The most important step you should take before making a meal is to “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” said Stefano Napolitano, Fire Chief. “A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.

”The City of Batavia Fire Department wants to share safety tips to keep you from having a cooking fire.

 Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.

 If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.

 You have to be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.

 Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
 Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
The City of Batavia Fire Department is hosting a series of events in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”, including virtual events at schools via and socially distant visits. For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention visit: www.fpw,org

Morning News Briefing


The federal investigation continues today after Attorney Steve Barnes, who founded the nationally-known Cellino & Barnes personal injury law firm, died in a small plane crash along with his niece, Elizabeth Barnes. It happened Friday in Corfu. The National Transportation Safety Board says it won’t be traveling to the scene of the crash, in part because of Covid-19 safety considerations. The FAA has been on scene investigating. Congressmen Brian Higgins and Chris Jacobs are calling on the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to send investigators to the scene of fatal airplane crash in Genesee County. 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. Officials say it will be another day to two before all of the plane is removed.

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing & testing fire hydrants on Wednesday and Thursday from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Friday from about 9 a.m. to noon in the general area of south of Main Street and west of Jackson Street. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area.

Local governments have not done an effective job of enforcement in some COVID-19 hot spot ZIP codes in New York…that was the comment Sunday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In a weekend statement, Cuomo said the State will be doing aggressive enforcement starting today. As officials saw with bars and restaurants, the Governor said when the State initiated enforcement actions, compliance greatly increased. Cuomo said he is concerned about the lack of testing in the schools. If the localities do not do testing immediately in the schools in those areas, the State will close them immediately.

A Saratoga County woman faces charges following a vehicle crash in the Town of Pavilion. State Troopers listed the driver as 53-year-old Lynn Perry of Halfmoon, NY. Perry wasn’t hurt, but was charged with DWI.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is expected to be arraigned in court this afternoon after she was indicted on two felony campaign finance charges. Warren and two campaign associates are charged with first-degree scheme to defraud and election law offense for illegally coordinating activities and expenditures. It all stems from her 2017 reelection campaign. Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley says…this was not a political witch hunt. The nearly 2 years long investigation into the campaign irregularities was initially started by the Board of Elections…who passed it on to the DA’s office…for criminal charges.

The Buffalo Bills are 4-0 for the first time since 2008. The Bills beat Las Vegas, 30-23. Josh Allen completed 24 of 34 passes for 288 yards, threw for two touchdowns, and rushed for another. Up next for the Bills is a game next Sunday with the Tennessee Titans, who are dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that is now up to 20 cases, including 18 positive tests since Tuesday.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that 21 names will be added to the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial Wall at the Empire State Plaza to honor the memory and heroism of these first responders who gave their lives in the line of duty. Due to the pandemic, a tribute video for the honorees and their families has been created. The families of all 2020 honorees will be invited to attend the 24th Annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial in 2021 so their loved ones can be recognized at a traditional in-person ceremony.

Weekend News Brief

An airplane carrying Steve Barnes of law firm celino and barnes and his niece from new Hampshire to buffalo crashed in Corfu at around 11:45 in the morning Friday.  An Air Traffic control recording from Buffalo Airport shows the plane drifting off course and then going into a steep dive before they lost radar contact.  Last recorded speed was 513 mph. The plane disintegrated on impact with the largest piece found being a wing segment less than 3 feet long.  Genesee county sherriff William Sheron tells us what the crash was like.  Both the Barnes Firm and his law partner Cellino issued statements of condolences after the crash.  Cellino and Barnes were breaking up their law firm and Barnes was set to make a major announcement on Monday October 12th.

A New Jersey truck driver has been arrested in connection with a double fatal hit and run crash on the Thruway.  Quentin Campbell is charged with two counts of second degree manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal collision.  Troopers say on the morning of Sept. 4, Campbell was driving near the Ontario rest stop, between exits 46 in Henrietta and 47 in LeRoy. They say he crossed multiple lanes to make a U-turn. A car slammed into the back of the trailer, sheering the roof off the car. Two people in the car, both from Tennessee, were killed.

The mayor of Rochester has been indicted on campaign finance violations for her 2017 mayoral campaign.  Lovely Warren, along with Albert Jones Jr. and Rosiland Brooks Harris, were each charged with first-degree scheme to defraud and violation of Election Law 14-126(6). Both counts are Class E felonies. If convicted, each person could face 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison, or a range of sentencing options from probation to restitution.  The charges allege that Warrens PAC donated over 115 thousand dollars over the legal limit to her campaign.

Another student in the Elba central school district has tested positive for COVID.  The schools in elba which were going to be shut down until Friday October 2nd will now remain in full virtual learning till Monday October 12th.  The hybrid schedule will resume on October 13th.

COVID update: As of Friday afternoon Genesee county had 3 new cases and 6 new people are on travel quarantine.  Orleans county has 1 new case and 3 new people are on travel quarantine.  3 people have recovered in Orleans county.  There are 13 active cases in Genesee county and 8 in Orleans.

Crossroads house is doing their fundraising garage sale on October 9th and 10th.  They say that it will be smaller than their regular garage sale to due to covid restrictions but the show must go on.  The sale will be from 9 to 2 on Friday and 9 to 12 on Saturday.

UPDATE: Pembroke Plane Crash

Catalog photo of Socato TBM 700 aircraft

BULLETIN: 4:00PM The Buffalo News has now confirmed that Buffalo Attorney Steve Barnes was piloting the plane and is presumed dead. Genesee County Sheriff William Sharon confirmed two bodies – a man and a woman – were inside the aircraft, but he did not reveal their identities. Sheron said removal of the remains could take, “quite a while.” He said officials from the FAA and NTSB were on scene.

UPDATE  3:45PM The aircraft that crashed in Pembroke was owned by Steve Barnes, a partner in the former Celino & Barnes law firm. It is unknown if Barnes was on board. Local authorities have yet to release any official information.

Just before noon a small airplane went down near 9115 Boyce Rd in Corfu.  The crashed plane is a 6-seat 2009 Socata TBM 700 that left from Buffalo Airport on the way to Manchester, New Hampshire.  Fire police closed Boyce Rd from rt 33 to rt 5.  Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments responded with Amherst and Erie County standing by.  The Mercy Flight helicopter was doing aerial search for the occupants as they were not located at the site of the crash.  There is an impact crater in the swampy ground.

The Greece man who sent threatening messages to representative Charles Schumer and Congressman Adam Schiff has been sentenced to 6 months in prison.  Salvatore Lippa the 2nd plead guilty to 2 charges of threatening to assault and murder a federal officer on account of the performance of their official duties and interstate communication of a threat.

The attorney for the Rochester city police officers suspended over the death of Daniel Prude in March which has spawned several demonstrations, some of them violent, has publicly defended the officers actions in dealing with Mr Prude.  He cited voluntary PCP use as the cause of Prude’s death and showed through video and personally demonstrating that the methods the officers used to retain and hold Prude were in keeping with their training.  When asked why they didn’t try to warm Mr Prude in the cold he said that the pcp was causing prude to cook from the inside out and trying to put him in the car or cover him up would have been the worst thing they could have done.  Daniel Prude lost consciousness at the scene and died 7 days later in the hospital.

The Foodlink and church sponsored fresh food giveaways on Wednesday mornings at St Anthonys Catholic Church and Northgate Freewill Methodist Church are reporting that they have food to spare and want to make sure the word is going out that people can come get free food Wednesdays starting at 9am.

Angry Charlies Carolina BBQ which has a food truck and bbq cooker set up near Settlers Family Restaurant is going to be moving to a location on Ellicott St on the location of the former Pasquales Italian eatery.  The restaurant will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.  There will be indoor dining for about 25 people and some outside dining.  The change will also allow Angry Charlie’s to free up its food trailer for catering and events.  There will also be a couple of menu changes: brisket every day, smoked haddock on Fridays, and (whether permitting) BBQ chicken on Saturdays. There will also be a children’s menu.

UPDATE: Plane Crashes in Pembroke

A single engine turbo prop aircraft has crashed into a swampy area in the Town of Pembroke.

The Socato TBM 700 is capable of carrying of six persons, including the pilot. It is unknown how many were on board the plane that crashed.

First responders say the aircraft has disintegrated.

A reliable source at the scene, who did not want to be identified, said there were no survivors.

The plane left Buffalo Airport shortly before Noon bound for Manchester, New Hampshire.



PHOTO: Socato Model TBM 700 aircraft



The location of the crash is near Boyce Road between Route 5 and Route 33.

Authorities have blocked traffic on Boyce Rd between 5 and 33.

The site is described as a swampy area…and difficult to reach.

This is a breaking story…We will report confirmed information when available.

Plane Crash in Pembroke

A small plane, capable of carrying up to six passengers, has crashed in a swampy area in the Town of Pembroke.

First responders say the aircraft is extensively damaged – another first responder reported that the plane had disintegrated.

The crash was reported to Genesee County authorities shortly before Noon by the Buffalo Airport.

The aircraft, according to the airport, can hold up to six passengers.

It is unknown how many are actually onboard.

The location of the crash is near Boyce Road between Route 5 and Route 33.

Authorities are blocking off traffic on Boyce Rd.

The site is described as a swampy area…and difficult to reach.

Another first responder said the impact in the ground is apparent but no victims have been located.

This is a breaking story…We will report confirmed information when available.

Morning News Briefing

A Batavia man faces an attempted murder charge stemming from a stabbing episode last month on Lehigh Avenue. 28-year-old Jamie Dutton is also charged with felony first-degree assault and felony criminal possession of a weapon. Police say the victim sustained a life-threatening injury to his chest. The alleged crime happened outside the water plant on Lehigh Avenue. The Batavia resident is currently being held in the Orleans County Jail on unrelated charges. His bail on the current charges is $100,000 cash bail.

Two more cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Genesee County. The new infections involve people who live in Batavia and Elba. The individuals are in their 40s and 50s. Health officials say four new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

The Genesee County Health Department will host a free drive thru anti-rabies immunization clinic Oct. 15. Last month, Orleans County had two exposures from feral cats that tested positive for rabies and resulted in unnecessary and costly post exposure treatments. It is an important reminder that all dogs, cats and ferrets are to be updated on their rabies vaccines. The Genesee County clinic will be on Thursday, Oct. 15th from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Genesee County Fairgrounds (5056 E. Main Street Road, Batavia). The Genesee clinic will only be for Genesee County residents.

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants on Monday and Tuesday from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the areas north of Main Street and west of Bank Street. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration of your water, all you need to do is run cold water for about five minutes or until clear.

A Western New York school is among the recipients of a nationwide grant from the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge has awarded $3,500 to Oak Orchard Elementary School in Medina for a socially distant fitness trail. Awarded to schools across the country, the grants continue the American Heart Association’s commitment to help educators make whole-body wellness a priority. Grant recipients are now able to implement a variety of wellness activities with additions such as physical activity equipment, CPR training resources, water bottle filling stations and educator training opportunities on their campuses. Julie Webber, Principal at Oak Orchard Elementary, says their hope is to install a fitness trail that can be used by the students during the day and also the community after school hours.

Tomorrow (10/3) there will be a fun motorcycle ride for a good local cause — raising money for Genesee Cancer Assistance and supporting breast cancer victims. Called “Save the Headlights,” it will be hosted at Stan’s Harley Davidson in Batavia and the run is hosted by Genesee County NY ABATE, or “American Bikers Aimed Toward Education.” Registration is from 10 to 11:45 a.m. and kickstands go up at noon. Cost is $20 per rider and $10 per passenger. According to The Batavian, there will be 50/50 raffles, basket raffles, door prizes and special item raffles, plus food trucks and more. Stan’s is located at 4425 W. Saile Drive, Batavia.

New York is introducing a new tool in the fight against COVID-19, and it can be downloaded directly to your phone. State leaders announced the creation of the COVID Alert NY app. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the app will be able to tell a person whether they have been within close contact for an extended period of time with someone who is COVID-positive. The app is free and available on Apple and Android devices.

With cold weather just around the corner, customers will be firing up furnaces and other appliances for the first time this season. NYSEG and RG&E urge the public to recognize the potential signs of a natural gas leak and review safety about what do if a leak is suspected. It’s important that customers know the warning signs to protect themselves, their families, homes and businesses. Knowing how to detect and respond to natural gas leaks can help protect both individuals and property. A natural gas leak is usually recognized by smell, sight, or sound.

Afternoon News Brief

Governor Cuomo announced today that a new app called COPVID alert NY will make fighting coronavirus easier and smarter. Once downloaded the app can track your phone and if you have been diagnosed with covid will send a message to everyone who also has the app who has been within 6 feet of you for more than 10 minutes.  While it is tracking you and updating your covid status Governor Cuomo says it has no access to personal information such as names.

28 year old Jamie Dutton of Batavia has been charged with the stabbing of a man in late August near the Water Plant on Lehigh Avenue.  Police say that Dutton stabbed the unidentified man in the chest on August 25th.  He was taken by family to UMMC and received life saving medical attention.  No motive has been given for the attack.  Dutton is being held on 100-thosuand dollars bail. He is currently in the Orleans County Jail on unrelated charges.

The Orleans county sheriffs say they have found the missing 15 year old Dakarai Hilliard and he is safe.   He went missing yesterday morning at 5:30 in the morning and police had asked for help finding him.

COVID Update:  Genesee county has 1 new case and 15 new people are on travel quarantine.  Orleans county has no new cases and 6 new people are on travel quarantine.  1 person has recovered in Orleans county.  There are 11 active cases in Genesee county and 10 in Orleans.

The women of the moose in Leroy had their pig roast and chicken bbq event in August and used the money to buy coats and boots for kids k-6 at the Leroy Wolcott street school.  The clothing items were delivered via drive through event on Tuesday and will be distributed by the school.

The Toronto Blue Jays have been beaten out of the postseason by the Tampa Bay Rays.  On Wednesday the Rays beat the Jays 8 to 2 in a wild card round.  This was the first time they had been in the postseason since 2016.

Lehigh Ave Attempted Murder

News Release

Jamie Dutton

On August 25th Batavia Police were dispatched to UMMC for the report that a patient had arrived with a stab wound to his chest.  The victim sustained a life-threatening injury which would have resulted in death had the victim not received immediate medical attention.  Officers, through evidence and speaking with the victim, determined that the stabbing occurred outside the Water Plant on Lehigh Ave.

Jamie Dutton was arrested following an investigation and is being charged with attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the first degree, and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.  Jamie Dutton was arraigned on September 29th, 2020 at 1:00 PM and is being held on $100,000 bail / $200,000 bond.  Jamie Dutton is currently being held in Orleans County Jail on unrelated charges.

The Batavia Police Department would like to thank the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, Orleans County Probation and Orleans County Jail for their assistance in apprehending Jamie Dutton and aiding with the arraignment.

If anyone has information relevant to this investigation and has not yet come forward, please contact Detective Jason Ivison at (585)345-6312.

 The Batavia Police Department can be reached at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370 or online at


Morning News Briefing

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul – in Batavia – saying, she can feel the energy. Houchul, along with numerous dignitaries were on hand Wednesday for the groundbreaking for a $1.1 million redevelopment project in the City of Batavia. This project will rehabilitate a three-story, 7,500 sq. ft. building built in 1865, in the downtown area. Lt. Gov. Hochul. Batavia City Council President Eugene Jankowski, Jr said, “The Downtown Revitalization Initiative award is critically important in our efforts to revitalize downtown Batavia. It’s vital that we continue working with our partners at the state and local level to continue the momentum of the private and public sector investment in the county’s urban core.

Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post left the door open for a downward adjustment of a proposed $2 million tax levy in 2021, a dollar amount that would nearly double the property tax rate charged to homeowners in the municipality. He addressed the Board and community at a special meeting to release the tentative budget. Post emphasized that “this is a starting point.” Post’s tentative general budget for the 2021 fiscal year calls for $2 million to be raised by property taxes, while using $135,899 from the town’s unexpended fund balance.

Judge Road between Crosby Road and Griffen Road in the Town of Alabama will be closed Oct. 12th through approximately Dec. 31st for a bridge replacement project. The road will NOT be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted. The public will be notified when the road reopens.

A woman from Alexander can forget shopping at any Tops Market for the foreseeable future. Wyoming County deputies say 41-year-old Leah McCabe was caught on a Tops store camera in Warsaw pushing a fully loaded shopping cart out of the store…without offering a dime. Authorities said the cart was loaded with $338 in merchandise. She was located at her home and charged with the theft. McCabe was issued a trespass notice banning her from all Tops Friendly Markets locations. She’ll chat with a judge in Warsaw on Monday.

Congressman Chris Jacobs signed a discharge petition this week to force a vote on a bill that would release the over $130 billion in unspent Paycheck Protection Program funds currently available. In a press statement, Jacobs said “American small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges, and we have an excellent opportunity to deliver them critical aid now.” Jacobs said. The congressman said he was proud to cosponsor the bill.

Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron Jr. says he is pleased to announce that the Sheriff’s Office has completed the reaccreditation audit of its law enforcement bureau. An accredited law enforcement agency is reassessed every five years and must show they have been in compliance with the 133 standards during that time period. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office received its initial accreditation in year 2000.

A 14-member Village of Le Roy Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative advisory group will conduct its first meeting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Le Roy Village Hall. Police Chief Chris Hayward says the mandate requires municipal police departments to adopt a plan and submit it to the state by April 1 to avoid risking future state funding. Hayward said he is finalizing the agenda for the meeting, adding that the public is welcome but due to COVID-19 restrictions, seating is limited. The City of Batavia Police Advisory Stakeholder Group, which has 20 members, held its first meeting on Sept. 24 and has scheduled its next meeting for Oct. 8.

Women of the Moose in LeRoy Buy Winter Clothing for Students

PHOTO: From Left: Catherine Campbell, Martha Bailey, Assistant Principal Jamie Clark and Shelley Nichols

The women of the Moose in LeRoy, held their pig roast and chicken event in August. The proceeds were used to buy new outerwear for K-6 at the Leroy Wolcott Street School. Today we delivered the items. The Women of the Moose are proud to make a difference and help our children. We would like to extend our thanks to the community for coming out and supporting our event.

Due to Covid, it was a drive thru event, but we made the best of it. We would also like to recognize the Men of the Moose for their help and support as well. The outerwear will be distributed to those in need by the school counselors and nurse. If a family is struggling and could use some help with winter wear, they should contact the school.

Genesee County Isssues Voter Information

News Release

Absentee Voting Options & Drop-Box Information
Requests for absentee ballots for the General Election can be processed over the phone at 585 815-7804, besides mailing, emailing us at election@co.genesee.ny.us or faxing your application to 585 344-8562.

You have many choices as to how you wish to return your ballot after it is completed.

  • You may mail your ballot — don’t forget to sign the ballot envelope and put a stamp on the outside.
  • You may hand deliver your ballot to our office at County Building 1, 15 Main St., Batavia, NY 14020.
  • There will be a designated Board of Elections drop box installed on the south side of County Building 1 (Ellicott St. side), until installation is complete, you may use the secure DMV drop-box on Court St.
  • You may bring your ballot any day of Early Voting where you can drop off your ballot into a designated absentee drop-box. A poll worker will assist you. See the dates and times below.
  • You can bring your absentee ballot to any polling place on Election Day where you can drop off your ballot into a designated absentee ballot drop-box. A poll worker will assist you.

Early Voting
The General Election Early Voting begins on Saturday, October 24th and will run for nine days prior to the General Election. The Early Voting location is at County Building 2, 3837 West Main St. Rd. Batavia NY 14020. The schedule for Early Voting is as follows;

Oct. 24th 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Oct. 25th 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Oct. 26th   9:00am – 5:00pm
Oct. 27th 12:00pm – 8:00pm
Oct. 28th 12:00pm – 8:00pm
Oct. 29th   9:00am – 5:00pm
Oct. 30th   9:00am – 5:00pm
Oct. 31st 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Nov.1st 12:00pm – 5:00 pm

Registration and Absentee Application Deadlines
The last day to register in-person at the Board of Elections is Oct. 9th. The last day to post mark a registration form is Oct. 9th and must be received by Oct. 14th. The last day to postmark an application for an absentee ballot is Oct. 27th and the last day to postmark an absentee ballot is Nov. 3rd (Election Day).

Orleans County Sheriff Looks for Missing Boy


The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office is asking for assistance with locating a missing 15 year old male, Dakarai Hilliard.  Dakarai was last seen on today’s date at 0530 hours at his home on Bills Road in the Town of Carlton. Dakarai is a black male approximately 5’6”, 130 lbs. and was last seen wearing a green hoody and blue jeans.  Dakarai has a birth mark on his forehead.  Dakarai could possibly be with friends in the City of Rochester.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Orleans County Sheriff’s Office at 585-589-5527.

Afternoon News Brief

Starting today New York State is banning the so called pink tax on consumer goods and services.  A Pink tax is a disparity in price for something marketed to women or girls that is the same as a good or service marketed to boys or men.  An example of this is if an item is pink or blue and the price is higher for the pink item.  Experts say that the pink tax costs women over 2 thousand dollars more than men every year.  This does not include changes in price due to amount of time or cost of materials it takes to manufacture items or increases in labor for some things over others.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul in Batavia this morning.  The state’s number two executive was here for the formal start of construction on a 1.2-million dollar project to renovate 99 Main Street.  That 150 year old building was purchased by Dr. Kumar Neppalli.   He will located his dental practice on the first floor, general offices on the second and two residential apartments on the third floor.

COVID Update: Genesee county has 5 new cases in Alabama Elba and Oakfield and 14 new people are on travel quarantine.  Orleans county has no new cases and 9 new people on travel quarantine.  There are 10 active cases in Genesee county and 11 in Orleans.

The village of Leroy has its own police advisory group now and it is called the police reform and reinvention collaborative advisory group.  It is made up of 14 people including the mayor and chief of police as well as lawyers, clergy and citizen representatives.  Their first meeting will be held October 7th.

Governor Cuomo is set to tour the buffalo bills stadium to determine if the fans can come back into the stands.  Cuomo said in a conference call what he is eager to work out the situation.  A major concern is getting fans into and out of the stadium while social distancing.  Other teams such as the Miami Dolphins have begun letting fans back in.

The Toronto Blue Jays lost their game against the Tampa Bay Rays 3 to 1 at Tropicana field.  If they lose the next game they will be out of the post season.  Game starts tonight at 4:07.

Morning News Briefing

National Grid has filed a customer assistance proposal with its New York regulator that would provide up to $50 million in financial assistance to support its most economically vulnerable residential customers as well as businesses that are struggling because of the pandemic’s financial impact. John Bruckner is National Grid’s New York president and says…National Grid’s relief package offers an important opportunity to provide customers with financial assistance to lessen their hardship. Bruckner noted that funding for the programs will be targeted to customers who are in arrears and/or unable to pay their energy bills due to financial hardship stemming from the pandemic.

Five new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Genesee County. New infections involve residents from Alabama, Elba and Oakfield. Two are under the age of 20, one is in their 20’s, another in their 30’s and the fifth person is in their 60’s. Fourteen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. One of the positive individuals is hospitalized.

Federal investigators have found that the 2018 limo crash in upstate New York that killed 20 people was likely caused by poor maintenance that resulted in brake failure. The crash was the deadliest transportation disaster in the United States in a decade. The stretch limousine careened through an intersection in the town of Schoharie and crashed into a parked SUV, killing a group of people out celebrating a birthday, along with the driver and two bystanders. The NTSB found that ineffective state oversight also contributed to the deadly crash.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested 36-year-old Kamie Marie Sedore of Rochester. She was charged with felony counts to include second-degree forgery and falsifying business records in the first degree. Sedore was arrested following a complaint at the Genesee County Jail in Batavia. She allegedly identified herself as another person and signed paperwork stating that the fingerprints she provided were for the false identity provided. She was issued an appearance ticket for Nov. 10 in Batavia City Court.

Although the City of Batavia’s general fund ended with a deficit for the 2019-20 fiscal year, the municipality is in good shape when it comes to fund balances – not only for the general fund, but for the water and sewer funds as well. That is the assessment of Laura Landers, a certified public accountant who conducted an audit of the city’s basic financial statements for the year ending March 31. Landers gave her final audit report to City Council earlier this week.

One state has been added and two states have been removed from New York’s travel advisory…that word from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. On Tuesday, Colorado was the state added to the list. Virginia and Arizona were removed.

The Bills have played two home games in a mostly empty Bills Stadium this season due to the pandemic. There was hope that could change before the team’s next home game on Oct. 15 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Monday that conversations were happening, and continuing Tuesday, to try and get some fans in the stands. But the Bills said, for now, fans will not be able to watch the team play in person at the Bills Stadium, per current state regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former Chief Deputy Endorses Sheron

News Release

Dear Genesee County Registered Voters:

As a recently retired Chief Deputy from the Genesee County Sheriff ‘s Office, I formally endorse William A. Sheron, Jr., for the position of Sheriff of Genesee County for the next term of office.  After 43 years of service with the Sheriff’s Office, starting as a civilian Dispatcher and ending as Chief Deputy overseeing the Criminal Investigation Division, I have first-hand knowledge and experience about the operations of the Office and feel confident endorsing candidate William A. Sheron, Jr.

Throughout his career, Bill has constantly strived to better himself and the Sheriff’s Office through promotional exams, training, securing grants and networking for much-needed equipment.  Being Sheriff requires one to be a master of police work and criminal law, get your personnel the very best equipment/training, and hire the very best people to work for the Office.  It also requires one to be thoroughly versed in Correctional best practices, Correction Law and Civil Law.  To be an effective Sheriff, one must possess all of these things.  This is not a job that most can “learn on the go” as the consequences can literally be life or death.  In this litigious era, a simple mistake can cost the County (and taxpayers) millions of dollars in a lawsuit.  It is critical that a seasoned employee with years of experience lead the Office in these difficult times.

I have known Bill Sheron longer than anyone currently at the Sheriff’s Office, and I have worked side-by-side with him throughout a multitude of crime scenes including homicides, fatal car crashes, bank robberies, sex crimes, drug investigations, and search warrant executions.  Specifically, I would like to highlight our first officer-involved shooting in the Town of Pembroke a few years ago as a prime example of Bill’s commitment to the citizens of Genesee County.

While Sheriff Sheron was attending the National Sheriffs’ Institute’s “training for new Sheriffs” in Colorado, he was the second person I spoke with while responding to the scene.  I had several more conversations with him from the scene, whereupon, he caught the first flight home the next day, was back in Genesee County that afternoon, and was briefed by me (as Chief Deputy of CID, I was tasked with the oversight of all officer-involved shootings).  I know Sheriff Sheron, how he reasons, and where his priorities lay.  They have ALWAYS been to make the best decisions on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, Genesee County, and its citizens.

Genesee County requires such a person for Sheriff, and I sincerely endorse William A. Sheron, Jr., for that position.  It’s the right decision for the citizens of Genesee County, members of the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies dealt with on a daily basis.

Morning News Briefing

A four-member search committee has been appointed to execute the initial tasks necessary to find the next permanent manager of the City of Batavia. City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. announced that the committee would include two council members, the Public Works Director and a Human Resources Specialist. The committee will begin its work in the next couple weeks. Martin Moore left the position in June.

The Batavia City Council is on board with a plan to convert the community-owned street lighting system to LED technology and potentially cut costs substantially in the process. Public Works Director Matt Worth presented the plan last night to contract with the New York Power Authority to purchase new street light fixtures for all 772 city-owned lights on the four arterial routes. The city could realize annual savings of more than $42,000 after paying off a 14-year loan. The arterial roads are Routes 5 (Main Street), 33 (Pearl Street), 63 (Ellicott Street) and 98 (Oak Street). The city is expected to give final approval when it meets October 13th.

Batavia city lawmakers have agreed to offer a resolution next month to transfer a foreclosed residence at 50 Oak St, to Habitat for Humanity for rehabilitation. The organization plans to invest between $58,000 and $62,000 to renovate the one-family house, which is assessed at $62,000. Council members praised Habitat for Humanity for its continuing efforts to provide affordable housing in the city.

The Genesee County Health Department has received 3 positive cases of COVID-19 from students in the Elba Central School District. There is one case at the Elementary School and two cases in the High School. The individuals have been placed under mandatory isolation where they will remain until they are fully recovered. One individual was last present in the building on September 15th and two individuals were last present in the building on September 17th. The Genesee County Department of Health is conducting contact tracing that is in process. Students and/or staff will be notified and placed under quarantine if they were identified as a close contact. Ned Dale, Superintendent of Elba Central School District stated that…due to the number of contacts out of abundance of caution the school will be going remote though Friday, October 2. In person learning is planned to resume on Monday, October 5.

No injuries were reported when a vehicle struck a house on North Street in Batavia early Monday. Police identified the driver as 39-year-old Patrick Spikes. The impact dislodged a National Fuel line from the residence and damaged the chimney. The home was evacuated. Spikes was issued several tickets.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region has announced the promotion of Kristen Lazarony to Independent Living Specialist in the RapidRehousing Program, where she will be helping individuals with disabilities in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties to obtain housing in the homes and communities of their choice. Prior to joining Independent living, she served in varied positions in the medical field with several local companies including United Memorial Medical Center, WellNow Urgent Care, and Pembroke Family Medicine.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the State’s Tenant Safe Harbor Act will be expanded until January 1st to protect additional residential tenants from eviction if they are suffering financial hardship during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Executive Order extends the protections of the Act to eviction warrants that existed prior to the start of the pandemic. Cuomo said “As New York continues to fight the pandemic, we want to make sure New Yorkers who are still struggling financially will not be forced from their homes as a result of COVID.” Governor Cuomo first announced a State moratorium on residential and commercial evictions on March 20 to ensure no tenant was evicted during the height of the public health emergency. The Governor signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act on June 30 which became effective immediately as well as additional legislation providing financial assistance to residential renters and landlords.

Elba Schools Go To All Remote Learning

News Release

The Genesee County Health Department has received 3 positive cases of COVID-19 from students at Elba Central School District.There is one case at the Elementary School and two cases in the High School.The individuals have been placed under mandatory isolation where they will remain until they are fully recovered.

One individual was last present in the building on September 15th and two individuals were last present in the building on September 17th. The Genesee County Department of Health is conducting contact tracing that is in process. Students and/or staff will be notified and placed under quarantine if they were identified as a close contact.

“Individuals identified by the health department as being close contacts will be expected to follow the New York State Department of Health quarantine guidelines,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County.

Ned Dale, Superintendent of Elba Central School District stated that “Due to the number of contacts out of abundance of caution the school will be going remote though Friday, October 2,2020. In person learning is planned to resume on Monday, October 5, 2020.

“Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms and keep children home if they are sick,” Pettit said. “If your child does develop symptoms, please contact your child’s healthcare provider immediately.”Symptoms of COVID-19 include but are not limited to: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.

For information on school statistics, please visit the New York State COVID-19 Report Card

Morning News Briefing

The Batavia City Council meets tonight and the Council President will provide an update on the City Manager position. The Council will also consider transferring a foreclosure property at 50 Oak Street to Habitat for Humanity. The organization says it will invest about $60,000 to renovate the single-family home which was built in 1924. The parcel is located on a main thoroughfare and identified in the Comprehensive Plan as a target area for improvement. Habitat for Humanity has rehabilitated numerous foreclosed properties in the city. The Interim City Manager supports the measure and will encourage the Council to make the transfer. If approved, the property could be rehabilitated within 18 months. Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Fourteen more people were hospitalized Sunday in New York State for COVID-19. Right now, 541 people statewide are waking up today in a hospital room. 155 people are in the Intensive Care Unit…that number is down by nine patients. Six more deaths were also reported yesterday. The Finger Lakes Region, which includes Genesee County had an infection rate of 0.7% – slightly higher than previous days. Of the nearly 85,000 test results reported to New York State over the weekend, 866, or 1.02 percent, were positive. Genesee County reported two new cases, Orleans had three and Wyoming County had one additional case.

Police reform, across the country, with new action announced over the weekend. In Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren naming a new interim police chief following protests over the death of a Black man who died after a controversial arrest earlier this year. Mayor Warren says former Rochester police officer Cynthia Harriet Sullivan will be the first woman to head their police department.

The Buffalo Bills remain undefeated. They beat the Rams Sunday 35-32.

The M&T Bank branch at 1 E. Main St., in the Village of Corfu, is closing its lobby and offices but keeping its ATM… according to a spokeswoman for the company. Customers were just informed. The spokesperson said they have no plans to close any other branches in Genesee, Orleans or Wyoming County. The decision to close the branch was difficult, however officials said the closure will help improve efficiency and help the bank serve customers where they are located.

American Red Cross blood donors have a new opportunity to help patients battling this coronavirus. The plasma from whole blood donations made at any Red Cross blood drive or blood donation center that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusion. Previously, convalescent plasma could only be obtained through a special donation at one of more than 170 Red Cross blood donation centers across the country, but recently, the Red Cross began secondary testing of all donations that come back positive for COVID-19 antibodies to confirm test results for donors. This means the COVID-19 antibody-positive plasma from whole blood donations may now be used for coronavirus patients.

Genesee County deputies last night arrested 29-year-old Leanne Lathrop of Wyoming, NY. She was charged with criminal possession of stolen property and unlicensed operation. Deputies said Lathrop had property stolen from Target. She’ll appear in Batavia Town Court next month.

Weekend News Brief

Monday nights city council meeting will include a plan to fill the vacant city manager position.  The choices before the council are to use the NOVAK consulting group which would be free as city manager martin Moore was not in the position for more than 2 years.  There are expenses to do with advertising and other minutiae that could total over 20 thousand dollars.  The other option is to promote interim city manager Rachel Tabelski into the role.  Other topics to be taken up at the meeting include giving a house to habitat to humanity for a dollar, approving Christmas in the city including the parade, and a n audit presentation.

Over 130 billion dollars of coronavirus relief money is unallocated and Congressman Chris Jacobs is demanding it be released for a second round of paycheck protection programs.  Jacobs says that the PPP saved over 50 thousand jobs in Western NY and 50 million jobs in the whole US and more could be helped if the money was released.

COVID Update:  Genesee county has 2 new cases and 3 people have recovered.  Orleans county has 3 new cases and 4 new people are on travel quarantine.  6 new people are on travel quarantine in Genesee county.  There are 3 active cases in Genesee county and 9 in Orleans.

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants in the southeast quadrant of the city on Monday. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. This can cause discoloration of water in that area.  Please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored. If your water is discolored, run cold water for about five minutes or until clear.

The police stakeholders had their first meeting on Thursday night and the majority of the time was given to Police Chief Shawn Heubusch as he gave a history of policing and an overview of the policies of the police department.  Members of the group asked questions about bodycam use by officers, the hiring process, and use of force policy.  One member of the group raised the issue of holding officers accountable for bad behaviors.  There is a comprehensive write up and videos of interviews with Police Chief Heubusch and representative from the Just Kings Victor Thomas over at our news partner the Batavian.

Police in Buffalo are now allowed to cover their nametags as they are dealing with a criminal activity where their identities are at stake.  At demonstrations people are video taping and taking pictures of officers and then using their nametags to find out where they live or where their families and children work and go to school and harassing them and threatening them.  This doxxing and harassment is illegal and prosecutable.  Officers are now putting tape over their nametags.

Afternoon News Brief

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo has weighed in on the case of Breanna Taylor in Louisville Kentucky who died in a police raid on her home back in March.  Cuomo called it a murder and said that that makes the police murderers and saying he understands the outrage.  Demonstrators took to the streets once again in Rochester and Buffalo and most other cities across the united states to demand charges against the police involved in the raid and also say that if they don’t get what they want they will take it by force.  The attorney general of Kentucky Daniel Cameron defended the actions of the officers who were returning fire after being shot at and wounded by Taylor’s boyfriend when she was killed.

Governor Cuomo also says he doesn’t trust the federal governments decisions about the vaccine coming out for COVID and is appointing a commission to test its safety and effectiveness.  Dr. Anthony Fauci and Assistant secretary for heath administration Brett Giroir both said they would take it and have their families take it with no hesitation.  The FDA has said that they are putting the vaccine through every scientific test and will not release a faulty vaccine.  At the same time Cuomo and Michigan Governor Whitmer are calling for an investigation into President Trumps handling of the coronavirus.

Buffalo native Michael Caputo who took a leave of absence from the position of Health and Human services director for the Trump administration has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a metastatic head and neck cancer.  “He is now home in Western New York, resting in the loving arms of his family, under the watchful eye of Jesus Christ,” said New York State Assemblyman David DiPietro on behalf of the Caputo family.

Genesee county sheriff William Sheron has announced that 4 officers have graduated from corrections training.  These Correction Officers recently graduated in a class of 18 from the Livingston County Basic Corrections Academy. Correction Officer Davis was one of two team leaders of the class. The six-week training included instruction in the care and custody of inmates, inmate supervision, defensive tactics, firearms training, and other topics pertaining to corrections.

COVID update:  Genesee county has 0 new cases ad 2 people have recovered.  Orleans county has 1 new case and 1 person has recovered.  9 new people in Genesee county are on travel quarantine and 5 new people in Orleans county are on travel quarantine.  There are 4 active cases in Genesee county and 6 in Orleans.

Batavia 1st Presbyterian church is helping out local schools with a bit of music.  The church worked with Home Depot, Valu center and Walmart to donate bags full of instruments to elementary students at Jackson school.  Each bag contained a drum, rhythm sticks, maracas and a tambourine.  These instruments will be used for music class.

Morning News Briefing

Twenty-two local governments were designated in fiscal stress for 2019, according to State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System. The scores were based on financial information reported by local governments operating on a calendar year basis for 2019 (pre-pandemic). Designated in “moderate stress” was Oakfield in Genesee County and Yates in Orleans County.

Despite attendance limits at Batavia Downs Gaming and fewer dates on the horse racing schedule, wagering through services provided by the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation is way up. And officials of the public benefit company say they are amazed. Officials said in gaming, they’re at 25-percent occupancy rate (due to COVID-19 restrictions imposed by New York State) and they’re achieving 90 percent of last year’s numbers.” The Chief Financial Officer reported a “net win” of $2.2 million since the gaming site reopened on Sept. 9.

Health officials in Genesee County reported no new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. Two of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation. Nine new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants in the southeast quadrant of the city, that’s south of East Main, east of Jackson Street today and Monday. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. These tests may result in temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration of your water, run cold water for about five minutes or until clear.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that New York will create an independent clinical advisory task force as the state looks ahead to a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The governor says he is concerned about potential politicization surrounding the vaccine. He says the state will put together a task force related to effectiveness and safety of the vaccine. In addition to reviewing the safety of the vaccine, Cuomo also announced Thursday he is appointing a committee to help handle logistics of vaccine distribution. With talk of each person potentially needing two doses to be fully vaccinated, that means New York would need 40 million doses.

One Southern Tier county continues to be ravaged by COVID-19. 32 new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday in Steuben County. It includes a student at Campbell-Savona school, which is closed today for cleaning.

LeRoy Central To Vote on Capital Projects

On Wednesday, October 28, residents of the LeRoy Central School District will be asked to participate in a
capital project referendum. Two separate capital project propositions will be offered on the ballot for your
consideration and vote.

A complete explanation of the two propositions can be accessed HERE from the LeRoy Central School Website

Morning News Briefing

A Corfu woman employed as a mail carrier has been charged with acting as a money mule for internet scammers and sending thousands of dollars to Africa. U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. announced that 55-year-old Julie Keller was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with mail fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. A cursory look into Keller’s banking history revealed that she had a pattern of suspicious cash, check, money order and wire activity totaling in excess of $150,000.00 dating back to 2014. Her activities included the use of national and local banks, as well as Western Union and MoneyGram. Keller made an initial appearance in federal court and was released on conditions.

A Grand Jury has indicted Stephen Esposito on the charges of felony aggravated vehicular assault and driving while ability impaired by drugs. The charge dates back to an incident February 7 on Route 98 in the Town of Batavia. Esposito allegedly engaged in reckless driving and caused serious physical injury to another person.

Derrick R. Kio has been indicted for first-degree criminal contempt, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Feb. 21 in the Village of Le Roy, Kio intentionally disobeyed or resisted a stay away order of protection. In count two, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree. It is alleged that day Kio operated a vehicle in the Village of Le Roy while his driver’s license was suspended or revoked by authorities.

The Genesee County Legislature Wednesday approved a resolution authorizing changes to a pair of projects designed to increase the county’s water supply capacity under Phase 2 of the Countywide Water Supply Program. The first adds $125,000 to a contract with Randsco Pipeline for the installation of reinforcing sleeves on five connections along the transmission main on North Road in the Town of Le Roy. The second, which has no financial impact, allows Villager Construction to take up to 90 more days to perform installation work, primarily at the Chestnut Ridge water transmission main in the Town of Chili and the pump station offsite water mains in Mumford and Churchville.

Genesee County health officials say there were no new reported COVID-19 cases in the county Wednesday. However, six new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. In Orleans County, two new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Batavia Cemetery Association Board of Directors has decided to cancel the annual Halloween Candlelight Ghostwalk for October 24. After much discussion, the board felt the safety of the participants and the public could not be guaranteed when people must stand so closely together to hear the presentations. The Association says this is a financial blow, as the ghost walk is a major yearly fundraiser for the upkeep of the cemetery. One of the oldest maple trees in the cemetery was brought down by winds in January. During the same storm, a large branch came down from another maple in front of the Ellicott monument and that tree needs to be removed. Several stones were damaged and need repairing.

Ghostwalk Cancelled

News Release

With heavy hearts and out of an abundance of caution, the Batavia Cemetery Association Board of Directors decided to cancel the annual Halloween Candlelight Ghostwalk for October 24, 2020. After much discussion, the board felt the safety of the re-enactors and the public could not be guaranteed when people must stand so closely together to hear the presentations.

This is a financial blow, as the ghost walk is a major yearly fundraiser for the upkeep of the cemetery. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, and the cemetery has suffered great losses as well. One of the oldest maple trees in the cemetery, and probably in Batavia, was felled by winds in January. It is reckoned to have been approximately 200 years old. During the same storm, a large branch came down from another maple in front of the Ellicott monument and that tree needs to be removed. Several stones were damaged and need repairing.

In September, a large maple along the driveway was split in half by high winds and took down two new maple trees on the other side of the driveway that were planted several years ago. It has cost several thousand dollars so far to remove three large trees. Three other maples that have reached the end of their lives and three ash trees that have been killed by ash bore must be removed to prevent further stone damage.

The board hopes to remove the dead trees this fall and begin a project next summer to grind out the stumps and replace the stately maples along the driveway. To accomplish this will require community help. Any donations would be gratefully accepted, and may be made to Batavia Cemetery Association, 22 Fisher Park, Batavia, NY 14020.

Please come and have some spooky fun in October, 2021 at the next Halloween Candlelight Ghostwalk!

Afternoon News Brief

Are your kids doing virtual learning only?  They still have to have their shots.  Parents are being caught off guard as schools are telling them their kids aren’t allowed to join virtual classrooms if they aren’t vaccinated.  Many parents did not keep up with their children’s regular checkups as dr’s offices switched to virtual checkups or suspended all visits unless the patient was deathly ill.  The New York State Department of Health law requires all students to be caught up with their vaccinations in order to attend school both in person and using a virtual classroom.

Your COVID update:  Genesee county has 1 new case and 2 new people are on travel quarantine.  Orleans county has 1 new case and 5 new people are on travel quarantine.  Albion Central School District has 1 positive student who has been put on isolation at home.  There are 6 active cases in Genesee county and 4 in Orleans county.

The interpretive center at the Genesee County park and forest is offering science experiences for kids 3 years old through 12th grade.   Students explore the natural world and discover the fascinating lives of forest animals and plants at the Interpretive Nature Center. Hikes, outdoor scavenger hunts, and handmade crafts are all part of this adventure.  The classes are on Wednesdays and Thursdays and go from today through December 9th.  Preregistration is required and students are 5 dollars a class or there is a discount for taking the whole series of classes.  Call (585) 344-1122 for details.

Sheron endorsed by Retired Chief Deputy

Former Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble endorses Sheron for re-election

“Over my 43-year career at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, I had the privilege of working under four different Sheriffs, including current Sheriff Sheron, each a good man in his own right.  This fall, Sheriff Sheron is running for a second term.  In today’s world, many great police agency leaders are leaving the profession, feeling frustrated and unsupported.  In my opinion, we are fortunate that Sheriff Sheron is willing to take on another term.

In these times when law enforcement is under such intense scrutiny and criticism, experienced, educated, and proven leadership is extremely vital.  I watched Bill Sheron work his way up within the Sheriff’s Office, having held many key positions:

  • Dispatcher
  • Deputy assigned to the Genesee County Jail
  • Deputy assigned to Road Patrol
  • Sergeant – Road Patrol
  • Sergeant – Drug Task Force
  • Investigator
  • Chief Deputy of Road Patrol
  • Undersheriff
  • Sheriff

As illustrated, he has a wide variety of law enforcement knowledge and experience.  He has faced many challenges during his career and honorably acquitted himself through them all.

I support William A. Sheron, Jr.  He has done a great job.  I urge you to vote to re-elect him to office so that he may continue to provide the consistent leadership that Genesee County needs during these uncertain times.”


Master Gardeners Post Fall Programs

News Release

Join the Genesee County Master Gardeners as we “Catch the Gardening Bug” this fall.  We will be offering a series of noon time, gardening themed programs via Zoom.  If you are looking for garden inspiration and know-how, check out these classes.

On October 1 join us for Garden Talk ‘Easy Preserving.’  Catherine, our CCE Master Food Preserver volunteer, will show us some quick and easy ways to preserve fall bounty from the garden.  Catherine will demonstrate how to safely prepare infused flavored oils and flavored vinegars.  She will also demonstrate how to make sauerkraut at home!

Got Dahlias?  Not sure what to do with them at the end of the season?  Join Master Gardener Brandie on October 15 as we explore “What to do with those Dahlias.”  Brandie will explain how she manages her dahlia collection.  She will cover when to dig them up, how she overwinters her dahlias and how to divide them.  Get your dahlia questions answered!

October 28 finds us exploring “A Witches Garden” with Master Gardener Connie.  Witches were once considered wise women and healers.  They used plants they grew or found in their environment to cure ills as well as cast spells.  You too may have your very own witch’s garden…come explore the folklore and plants of the witch.

This series is free and open to all.  Pre-registration is required.  You can register at our website http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/events.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to join the program.

Future topics and other Master Gardener events will be posted on the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County website at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/ and also on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CCEofGenesee.  Contact 585-343-3040 x101 for more information about this or other CCE programs.


Morning News Briefing

Former Genesee County Emergency Dispatcher James Tripp has been sentenced to 90 days behind bars for possessing more than 70 sexually explicit images of girls under the age of 16. Tripp reported to the County Jail on Tuesday afternoon after he was allowed to drive his wife home from his sentencing earlier in the day. The county’s probation department recommended a sentencing of probation with no jail time. The prosecutor demanded three-months, which Judge Charles Zambito ultimately handed down. Tripp was arrested by State Police in December 2017 after investigators traced one of images back to his home computer.

New York State Police will be hosting a child passenger safety seat event by appointment only at Troop A Headquarters in Batavia on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Highway safety and motorcycle detail will be at this event to answer questions. Child safety seat technicians will be on hand to assist with the installation of your child’s safety seat and answer any questions. To make an appointment for this event, contact the State Police Traffic Division at 344-6228 or Atraffic@troopers.ny.gov.

A group of citizens gathered on the steps of the Old County Courthouse in Batavia to honor the memory and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Among the speakers last night was the Executive-Director of the Genesee County YWCA – Millie Tomidy-Pepper. Justice Ginsberg passed away Friday evening. She was 87 years old.

The United States Department of Agriculture USDA is investing $268 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across 28 states, and the funds include local projects. The expenditure includes $13.5 million in loans and grants to three Genesee County towns: Byron, Pavilion and Stafford. In Byron, the project will extend public water service to 608 people in the town who currently do not have safe potable water; In Pavilion, the loan will be used to build a new 300,000-gallon water storage tank and over one mile of water supply pipeline. The new water storage tank and pipeline will serve 2,495 people. And in Stafford, the mix of loan and grant funds will be used to create Water District #12 in the Town of Stafford. This project will extend public water service to 185 residents in the town who currently do not have safe potable water. Water quality testing indicates a significant portion of residents’ individual wells have coliform and E. coli contamination, which the health department indicates do not meet standards and are a threat to the health of the residents.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that five states—Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Wyoming—have been added to New York State’s COVID-19 travel advisory. No areas have been removed. The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The governor also announced that New York State has now conducted 10 million COVID-19 diagnostic tests. The new infection rate currently stands at 0.89%.

Genesee County reports one new COVID-19 case. The person infected in in their 50’s and lives in Bethany. Meanwhile, two new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

Afternoon News Brief

President Trumps administration announced that the USDA is investing 268 million dollars into infrastructure related to drinking water and waste water across 28 states.  This includes over 13 and a half million dollars in grants and loans for Byron, Pavilion and Stafford.  In Byron it will reportedly be used to get safe water to 608 people who don’t have potable drinking water.  In Pavilion the money will go towards a300 thousand gallon water storage tank and supply pipeline.  And in Stafford the money will be used to get water to 185 people who’s wells have tested positive for e. coli and coliform.

5 more states have been added to the list for travelers having to quarantine if they come to New York State.  Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island and Wyoming were added today, no states were removed leaving 34 states and one territory on the list.  Of the 5 states Arizona and Minnesota averaged more positive cases that New York over the last week.

Your COVID Update: Genesee county has 5 new cases and one person has recovered.  Orleans county has 2 new cases and 3 people have recovered.  22 new people are on travel quarantine in Genesee county and 9 new people are on travel quarantine in Orleans county.  There are 5 active cases in Genesee county and 3 in Orleans.

32 year old Cody Bohn who is homeless has been arrested by Orleans county sheriffs deputies after a string of larcenies.  Police were notified of a theft from a cash box stand on Ogden rd. in Holley on Monday, and 5 minutes later they received a call about a man going through vehicles at the Holley cold storage.  Deputies arrived and arrested Bohn.  Bohn has been charged with burglary, criminal mischief, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, petit larceny and harassment. Other charges are said to be pending.

The group free the people roc which has been responsible for many protests in the last three weeks and a sit in in front of the Rochester city hall has announced that they will be ending the occupy city hall protest which has been going on for almost a week.  They say they will plan different protests in coming weeks.

Check Your School for COVID Infections

New York State is making it easier for parents to keep track of the number of COVID-19 cases in their child’s school.
A database is now online that will reveal if students or staff members at a particular private, charter or public school have tested positive for the illness.
The information can be found by searching for a school’s name, zip code or address.
If you’d like to check the website out for yourself, visit this site

Morning News Briefing

Genesee County has received five new positive cases of COVID-19. The new cases involve people living in Alexander, Batavia, Byron and Oakfield. One of the new positive cases is a resident at the NYS Veterans Home. One of the positive individuals is less than 20 years old, one is in their 30s, two are in their 50s and one is in their 80s. Twenty-two new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. Orleans County received two new positive cases of COVID-19. The COVID stats were released Monday afternoon.

Congressman Chris Jacobs encourages area residents to participate in Small Business Week, which runs through Saturday. Jacobs said…small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and cornerstones of the Western New York communities. National Small Business Week was started in 1963 by President Kennedy to highlight the outstanding contributions of small businesses to America. The week seeks to promote shopping and spending in local economies, and honor American innovation. As of 2019, the 13,227 small businesses in the 27th congressional district accounted for 95.6% of employers.

The Genesee County 4-H Program is now accepting new youth members for the upcoming 4-H year that begins Oct. 1. 4-H is a nationwide youth program that connects youth age 5-18 to a variety of hands-on learning opportunities. There are many different clubs and programs offered by the Genesee County 4-H Program. Project areas include animal sciences, sewing, leadership, community service, gardening, public speaking and more. Enrollment fees for Genesee County residents are $25 per youth or $50 per family of two or more youth. For more information about joining the Genesee County 4-H Program, please contact the 4-H Office.

The deadline for completing the 2020 Census form is September 30, and state officials warn that New York’s population is in danger of being undercounted. The U.S. census is mandated in the Constitution and has been conducted every ten years since 1790. Census data is used to decide how many members of Congress each state can have and to allocate federal funding for education, infrastructure and more.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an Executive Order extending the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures an additional month, until October 20th. This measure extends protections already in place for commercial tenants and mortgagors in recognition of the financial toll the pandemic has taken on business owners, including retail establishments and restaurants. The extension of this protection gives commercial tenants and mortgagors additional time to get back on their feet and catch up on rent or their mortgage, or to renegotiate their lease terms to avoid foreclosure moving forward.

Afternoon New Brief

Police continue to search for several gunmen who shot over 40-rounds into a crowd of partygoers after an argument broke out killing Two teenagers, both 19-years old early Saturday morning.  Police say they were not the intended targets. 14 more people – ranging in age from 17 to 23 – were injured.  This is the 4th largest mass shooting this year in the United States.  Police Captain Umbrino said that He’s not surprised that violence is on the rise because of violent criminals being released back onto the streets and laws not being enforced because police are either afraid or politicians tell them not to enforce the law.

The woman who attempted to mail the poison Ricin to President Trump and several locations in Texas has been arrested attempting to come into the US from Canada over the peace bridge.  She is being held in Buffalo and Canadian Royal Mounted police are conducting an operation in St Hubert linked to the mailings.

Gas Prices are still way down from where they were last year and a little down from last week.  Last year the New York State average was 2.67 and this week it is 2.27.  Gas in most areas including Batavia is down 1 penny from last week.

The Toronto Blue Jays are looking to inch closer to the playoffs as they host the New York Yankees at Sahlen Field in Buffalo for a four-game series. The two teams are currently locked in a battle for second place in the American League East. During their series in the Bronx last week, the Yankees hit 19 home runs off Blue Jays pitchers on their way to sweep. New York has already clinched a spot in the postseason. First pitch tonight is set for six-37 p-m.

Call for Chamber Awards Nominations

The Genesee County Chamber’s Annual Awards Committee has announced the “2020” Annual Award Ceremony will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at The Quality Inn & Suites, Park Road, Batavia. This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism.

Please note that a brief write up will qualify your nominee for consideration. Nominations are now being accepted for Business of the Year, Entrepreneurial Business of the Year, Agricultural Business of the Year, Innovative Enterprise of the Year, Special Service Recognition & Geneseeans of the Year. Business Nominees must be a Chamber Member (If unsure of your nominee, call the Chamber to verify).

Nomination forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia and can also be down loaded from the Chamber Website at www.geneseeny.com.

Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY December 30, 2020 to be eligible for consideration.

If you would like more information, feel free to call or email Kelly J. Bermingham, Director of Member Relations & Special Events at the Chamber office, 343-7440, ext. 1026, kbermingham@geneseeny.com.

Morning News Briefing

Alexander Central School officials aren’t really disputing the findings in a state audit of the district’s financial management. Auditors determined that while the board and district officials used $3.1 million in excess reserve funds as a financing source for a capital project, they did not do so in accordance with applicable statutes. Appropriations were overestimated by a total of $7 million from 2015-16 through 2018-19. An average of $500,000 of fund balance was appropriated each year, but was not used to finance operations. In addition, when unused appropriated fund balance is added back, surplus fund balance exceeded the limit each year by 2 to 3 percentage points. The Comptroller’s office said district officials generally agreed with the findings and recommendations and indicated they have initiated or planned to initiate corrective action.

A vehicle crash in Pembroke resulted in charges filed against a teenager. It happened on Alleghany Road. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office said 18-year-old Jacob William Cobti wasn’t injured, but was issued tickets for leaving the scene of a property damage accident, driving while ability impaired by alcohol and refusal to take a breath test. He’ll appear in town court October 21st for arraignment.

The Batavia Central School District, out with an important reminder for school families – On all days when your children are schooling from home, they are still eligible for school meals (breakfast and lunch). Meal pick-up takes place Monday through Friday any time between 9 -11:30 a.m. at both Jackson Primary (Hutchins Street bus loop only) and John Kennedy Intermediate (Vine Street/main office entrance). It doesn’t matter what school your child attends; choose whichever location is most convenient. If the time frame poses a hardship for your family, just call your child’s school principal.

Police in Rochester – a city rocked by protests over the death of Daniel Prude’s police suffocation death – continue to search for several gunmen who shot over 40-rounds into a crowd of partygoers after an argument broke out. Two teenagers, both 19-years old – died. Police say they were not the intended targets. 14 more people – ranging in age from 17 to 23 – were injured.

The Buffalo Bills, now at 2-0 on the season, on Sunday defeated the Miami Dolphins 31-28. Bills QB Josh Allen had multiple career highs, include touchdowns and yards passing. The game had some struggles…in the first half a power outage caused the TV feed to be lost. Then, in the second half play was halted due to a lightning delay.

Nobody was hurt but charges were filed following a vehicle crash on Jerico Road in Bergen. The Sheriff’s Office said 31-year-old Andrew Pape was behind the wheel at the time late Friday night. He was charged with felony DWI, refusal to submit to a breath test, suspended registration and more. He’ll appear in court November 4th.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is expanding online services, making it easier, he says, for New Yorkers to do business with the DMV from the comfort of their homes, and allowing the DMV to serve more customers in person who cannot complete their transactions online. The DMV has initiated a pilot program to offer the written learner permit tests for passenger cars (Class D) and motorcycles (Class M) online. It is also piloting a process to allow customers who reside in counties served by the state DMV to register their vehicles online.

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced that several small game hunting seasons open Oct. 1 across New York State, including special youth hunts and new hunting opportunities for active-duty military members and veterans. Several special youth-only hunting seasons for pheasants and waterfowl occur prior to the start of the regular season. Season dates, bag limits, and other hunting regulations for New York’s small game species are available in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which can be obtained from a license-issuing agent or on DEC’s website.

Weekend News Brief

Both Congressman Chris Jacobs and his democrat opponent released statements after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was announced late Friday.  Jacobs praised her strength and how she had broken barriers for women and raised the standard for debate and discourse.  MacMurray said “There is nothing I can say that you don’t already know” and challenged voters to get 3 more people to register and vote for and donate to his campaign.

Your COVID Update:  Genesee county has 2 new cases breaking their almost week long streak of no new cases.  Orleans county has no new cases.  6 new people are on travel quarantine in Genesee county and 10 new people are on travel quarantine in Orleans.  There are 2 active cases in Genesee county and 4 in Orleans.

Police are investigating after a party in Rochester ended in gunfire and death.  Early Saturday morning gunfire broke out at a party on Pennsylvania Ave leaving 2 dead and 14 injured.  Those killed were an man and woman near 20 years old.

Governor Cuomo is fighting a lawsuit over Coronavirus Nursing Home deaths.  The empire center submitted a request for accurate information about nursing home deaths due to COVID 19 through the freedom of information act.  Albany says that it lost the information after Dr. Howard Zucker director of the state department of health said he had the information available and ready to be put out.  The request turned into a lawsuit in August seeking the release of Health Emergency Response System Data.  The empire Center alleges that the department of health has been undercounting COVID-19’s impact on New York’s nursing home residents by excluding those who succumbed to the virus outside the facilities, including after being admitted to a hospital.

Congressman Chris Jacobs praised President Trump for the 14 Billion dollars the Department of Agriculture has just released for assistance to farmers Friday.  “With this additional $14 billion in coronavirus aid, farmers will be better equipped to weather the effects of the coronavirus and to continue to feed American families,” Jacobs said. “While this aid has helped the agriculture industry, more assistance is needed.” The $14 billion will support the second version of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, CFAP 2. The program was created to support growers and producers of agricultural commodities.

Afternoon News Briefing

NYS DEC logo – NYSFOLAThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that the ban on single use plastic bags is coming back.  On October 19th the DEC will start enforcing the march 1st ban which was suspended over concerns that reusable bags would expose workers to Covid 19.  Calling it “BYO bag NY” shoppers are encouraged to buy and use reusable bags when shopping.

The Batavia City Council has called a special meeting for this Tuesday night. Speculation is that the discussion will focus on the permanent selection of a city manager. The meeting will be in executive session. The public will be unable to attend.

Your Covid Update:  Still no new cases in Genesee or Orleans counties.  4 new people are on travel quarantine in Genesee county and 2 new people are on travel quarantine in Orleans.  There are 0 active cases in Genesee county and 4 in Orleans.

Are you worried about how you will get to the voting booth this November?  The Independence express is providing free van service to early voting places or polling sites to disabled voters.  They have wheelchair accessible vehicles if needed.  This is a branch of independent living of western NY.  The dates they are offering services are October 24th-November 1st for early voting and on November 3rd to vote on election day.  They are also offering to hand deliver mail in ballots for anyone, with or without a disability to their board of elections.  To get a ride email transportation @wnyil.org with election day in the subject line or call Christian at 716 836 0822 extension 108.

Fall is coming in just a couple of days and the effects are already being felt.  A frost advisory is in effect tonight starting at midnight.  The National Weather Service issued a warning to safeguard plants that could be hurt by the low temperatures.  Frost is possible again late tomorrow night and could extend through Thursday (Sept. 24) for portions of Western, including Genesee County, and North Central New York.

The City of Batavia police department is warning of a scam involving someone calling from a Batavia number and claiming to be from the city.  They will call and say they need the person’s banking information in order to reimburse them for an overcharge on a utility.  Never give out your information over the phone and no utility company will call you demanding information.  The city only provides refunds in the form of a check.

Social Workers in Erie County are balking at the plan to put them on a team with police as part of the buffalo police departments behavioral health team.  More than 150 social workers and mental health professionals say that they can’t work with police because the ethics of the two groups do not align.  They demand a separate independent team to respond to mental health calls.  The program manager for the police team says that after a year of the pilot program in Cheektowaga the program has been successful and has not experienced any difficulties.

Morning News Briefing

Town of Batavia board members are facing a potential $1 million budget shortfall as they work to develop a spending plan for fiscal year 2021 that begins in January. Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post telling The Batavian ““Genesee County has allocated $8 million for revenue sharing next year, of which the Town of Batavia would get $1.3 million. That’s a million dollars less than what we budgeted to receive from the county in 2020.” Post said a substantial tax rate increase from the current $2.42 per thousand of assessed valuation is a distinct possibility.

Orleans County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating after two people were found dead in a home Thursday in the town of Ridgeway. James Payne, 60, and Shari Payne, 56, were found deceased in a home on North Gravel Road around 6:30 a.m. Thursday. Deputies say the couple was found by their son, who climbed through a window and found them. Deputies say there were gunshot wounds to both victims. One also had a knife wound. An AK-47 and a knife were reportedly found at the scene. They believe the deaths happened sometime between 11 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday. The remains were sent to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office, where autopsies will be performed. The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office is being assisted by the New York State Police in their investigation.

Nate McMurray, Democratic candidate for Congress in New York’s 27th District, in a press release praised the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement that Western New York native, conspiracy theorist, fear monger, and embattled HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo would step aside from his role at HHS on a 60-day leave that extends through the November 3rd election. The Department also advised that Caputo’s aide, Paul Alexander, will leave his post at HHS permanently. McMurray said the President was beyond reckless to install Michael Caputo.

Genesee County health officials report they have received zero new positive cases of COVID-19. As of Thursday afternoon, four new individuals were on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. Orleans County also received zero new positive cases of COVID-19. Two new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

The Castile man who pleaded guilty to attacking the Wyoming County sheriff in 2018 has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Lynn Hall appeared in court Thursday. In June, he pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted murder for trying to kill Sheriff Greg Rudolph in December 2018.

Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren, representing New York and Massachusetts, want to cancel student loan debt for federal borrowers. On Thursday, they introduced a resolution that calls on the president to cancel up to $50,000 of student loan debt in an effort to heal the pandemic economy. The senate resolution outlines how the president can use executive authority to stimulate the economy through canceling these debts. The move would aid a labor force that is vulnerable to layoffs and furloughs, lift stalling real estate markets, increase graduation rates, and make it easier to take out a loan for a car, a piece of property, or starting a small business.

Afternoon News Brief

The Ellicot station housing development project has received 5.7 million dollars in incentives and low income tax credits and Buffalo developer Savarino says they are vital to moving the project forward.  Savarino tells WBTA there was stiff competition for the state Housing and Community Renewal Award.  The Ellicott Station project was first proposed four years ago and has already received grants and tax breaks of nearly six-million dollars.To date, nothing has been done on the site.

Your COVID update: Genesee and Orleans counties both had 0 new cases.  2 people have recovered in Genesee county and 1 person has recovered in Orleans.  20 new people are on travel quarantine in Genesee county and 7 new people are on travel quarantine in Orleans county.  There are now 0 active cases in Genesee county and 4 in Orleans.

The Buffalo Sabres are sending away Marcus Johansson to the Minnesota Wild.  In his place they are receiving Eric Staal.  Staal currently ranks in the top 10 among active NHL players in career regular-season games played, goals, and points.  He was part of the Stanley Cup winning Carolina hurricanes in 2006.  Last season Staal made 47 points in 66 games compared to Johansson’s 9 points in 60 games.

Low risk sports have been approved for section 6. The Section’s Athletic Council voted Wednesday to move forward with fall sports after accepting the results of a post-card ballot.  These sports would include Cross County, Golf, Gymnastics, Soccer, girls swimming and girls tennis.  Many districts have decided to push back fall sports until the spring or just not have them this school year.

Morning News Briefing

The are no current COVID-19 cases impacting staff or students in the Batavia City School District. The state school tracker, updated daily, shows that among the total school population of 1,500 in four schools, zero have tested positive. The tracker however does show one positive this week in the LeRoy Central School District. That district has two schools with 736 total students and staff. Meanwhile, there are zero cases reporting in the Oakfield-Alabama, Pembroke and Byron-Bergen districts.

A couple from Rochester is facing multiple felony counts after deputies say they allegedly committed crime in Le Roy and Batavia. 29-year-old Jennifer Abrams and 47-year-old Tarus Fluitt have been charged with burglary, two counts of criminal mischief, attempted burglary and two counts of conspiracy…they’re all felony charges. The sheriff’s office said in a press release that early Wednesday the pair attempted to break-in to the Kwik Fill on West Main in Le Roy. They weren’t successful. They were, however, successful at forcibly entering Crosby’s gas station on Clinton Street Road in Batavia. A sheriff’s deputy caught the pair inside the store in the process of stealing $3,500 in cigarettes. They had also caused more than $1,500 in damaged. The pair was apprehended in a wooded area after they fled. Abrams was jailed on $10,000 cash bail. Fluitt also remains in custody. The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate this and similar incidents within recent weeks.

The Pavilion Central School District’s Board of Education has named three finalists for the district’s next superintendent. The school board president said she is pleased with the high-quality candidate pool and enthused about the potential the three finalists have to offer. The three finalists are Mary Kate Hoffman, Timothy McArdle and Paul Kesler. Hoffman is the principal of York Elementary School; McArdle currently serves as the principal of Le Roy Junior Senior High School and Kesler is the principal of Batavia High School. Stakeholder groups and the BOE will conduct the final round of interviews with the three candidates on Sept. 29 and 30 at the Pavilion Central School District. The BOE hopes to appoint the final candidate by early November.

Movie theaters are still waiting on reopening guidelines from New York State. Theaters have been closed since March and were expected by many to be part of phase four of reopening in late June. During a news conference Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state’s COVID-19 infection rate is still close to 1% to continue reopening more businesses. The governor says he understands the frustration.

A Rochester man has pleaded guilty in federal court to sex trafficking minors for cash. 26-year-old Quondall Davis entered his plea and now faces ten years to life in prison when he is sentenced November 18th. Prosecutors said the man, who is known as Hotdog, recruited two minor children to engage in commercial sex acts. The kids each engaged in commercial sex acts and gave a portion of the profits the defendant. Davis knew that both victims were under the age of 18.

New York State United Teachers – announcing – it has filed a lawsuit against the state over reductions in state school aid for districts across New York, seeking the release of money withheld in July, August and September and an injunction against future withholding of or delayed school funding payments. The lawsuit filed in Albany County Supreme Court challenges the constitutionality of the unilateral executive budgetary powers provided for the state Division of Budget as part of this year’s state budget process.

Contracts for school resource officers at the Byron-Bergen Central School District and Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (BOCES) were approved this week by the Genesee County Legislature’s Public Service Committee. The committee endorsed memorandums of understanding that place county sheriff’s deputies in the schools. During its meeting, the committee also approved allocating $28,900 from the 1 percent sales tax fund to advance a capital project for improvements at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Afternoon News Brief

Although Cuomo is not canceling Halloween this year the city of Batavia has some reminders for your spooky holiday.  No gatherings of over 50 people, masks that filter out droplets are still required if you are not keeping more than 6 feet distance, limit the number of hands that touch candy and other treats, and don’t go out if anyone in the family is experiencing symptoms.  All Halloween activities must be over by 9 o’clock on Halloween night.  The police department will be putting out specific guidelines.

The Batavia Town Planning Board has approved the plans for additions to the Imagination Station Child Care Center on Clinton rd and the HP Hood building on East Main Street.  The Day Care Center will be adding 2 classrooms, a 2800 square foot addition.  The HP Hood building is adding a 7200 square foot commercial grade cooler.

Your COVID update: Genesee county has no new cases and 1 person has recovered.  Orleans county has 1 new case and 1 person has recovered.  7 new people are on travel quarantine in Genesee county and 12 new people are on travel quarantine in Orleans county.  There are 2 active cases in Genesee county and 5 in Orleans.

Protesters in Rochester have set up camp, literally, outside city hall and are saying they won’t move until Mayor Lovely Warren resigns or is removed.  Police pushed people back but allowed them to remain on the sidewalks and a police spokesperson said that as long as they let people pass they are allowed to remain there.

Several hundred students gathered outside the Williamsville central school district office on Tuesday to protest the 100 percent online education model.  They chanted we want school and held signs.  The media was not allowed on school grounds to cover the protest so the students moved to the curb to talk to reporters and show the signs they carried.  Superintendent McKenna says they need to provide fair and equitable education for all 1400 students and they had to make an immediate decision.  Full online education was the only could they could make quickly.

Morning News Briefing

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he won’t ban trick-or-treating this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic). Many speculated that New York State may ban the annual Halloween tradition after officials in Los Angeles banned trick-or-treating and Halloween parties. Gov. Cuomo says that he doesn’t think banning trick-or-treating is appropriate.

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) joined Republican House members to unveil the Republican “Commitment to America” plan. The plan places emphasis on building small businesses and unleashing the American economy, returning safety to the streets and supporting law enforcement, strengthening educational opportunities, and investment in critical infrastructure, such as rural broadband. Jacobs says that throughout his public service career, he fully believes in the potential of Western New York.

The FBI academy says it is endorsing Bill Sheron for Genesee County Sheriff. As a law enforcement leader, the academy says Sheron has exemplified the motto of the FBI National Academy, “Knowledge, Courage, & Integrity”.
New York leaders say that six states have been removed from the State’s COVID-19 travel advisory. The states include California, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada and Ohio. Gov. Cuomo, while pleased…also says “Make no mistake: We must continue to be New York Tough and stay smart. Wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing is what tamed this beast in New York and we must keep it up.”

Court action is pending for a Churchville man who faces felony and other counts following his arrest by Genesee County sheriff’s deputies. 30-year-old Kyle Allen Hawley is charged with felony second-degree burglary along with lesser counts of criminal tampering and criminal mischief. In a press release, the sheriff’s department said members of the Probation Department took Hawley into custody on an active bench warrant. The investigation also found he had other active arrest warrants. He was arraigned and jailed without bail.

The Rochester City Council took action Tuesday night in the death of Daniel Prude last March in police custody. Council members voted unanimously to spend 100-thousand dollars on an independent investigation to find out what led to Prude’s death and how much city leaders, including the mayor, knew – before video of Prude’s arrest was released by a newspaper two weeks ago. That video has sparked daily protests since then – and the dismissal of city leaders, including the police chief.

Morning News Briefing

The recently formed Batavia Police advisory committee is set to meet for the first time September 24th. A quarter of the membership are members of ethnic minorities. The city was criticized for a lack of minority representation in the original make-up of the group. Brandon Armstrong, owner of Royals Barber Shop on Harvester Avenue, and one of four persons of color on the committee, says he wants to make a positive impact. The formal title of the group is the Police Collaboration Advisory Stakeholder Group. In June, Gov. Cuomo signed an executive order mandating statewide police reform. The advisory group has 20 members.

A healthcare facility in Batavia is one of 66 businesses, schools, and community-based organizations across the state to have been awarded nearly $9 million as part of the State’s historic Workforce Development Initiative. United Memorial Medical Center will be receiving needed funds. The grants are federally funded and will support job training opportunities across the State for more than 3,600 New Yorkers adapting to the post-COVID economy. There are over 100,000 job openings across the state from businesses looking to hire immediately. These workforce development grants will help provide workers training who want to gain the skills for new, fulfilling jobs.

The path to passing a City of Batavia Deer Management Plant plan – full of controversy, some changes and a bit of confusion – has become much clearer after the City Council approved a proposal giving its police department oversight of the operation. By a 5-2 vote, the Council endorsed an archery-only plan that puts management in the hands of police – understanding there will be overtime costs involved – and also allows only city employees to hunt on two parcels of city property and restricts hunting to antlerless-only deer in those two zones.

Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday announced that New York State’s COVID-19 infection rate has been below 1 percent for 38 straight days. As of Sunday afternoon, 0.92% of test results reported to New York State were positive. Cuomo said “New York’s government sets the tone for the state’s response to COVID-19, but New Yorkers drive it home. The positive test results for the Finger Lakes region, which includes Genesee County, stands at 0.8%…a slight uptick from Saturday’s numbers.
(as a follow-up)…The latest COVID-19 numbers for Genesee County: There were no new positive cases of the virus in the past 24 hours and four new individuals were placed on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. In Orleans County, one new positive case was reported– a person in their 50’s from Albion – 17 new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel. Wyoming County reports two new positive cases.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 18 varied properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. On the list for consideration… George and Addison Wheeler House, East Bloomfield in Ontario County – First listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places in 2005, the listing for this early 19th century residence and farm property is being expanded to include a historic barn that was recently acquired. Once the recommendations are approved, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register.

Darien Lake To Remain Closed, Bergen C-Store Robbed Again

Six Flags has announced that its parks in New York which include Darien Lake and Great Escape will not open any time in the 2020 season.  The announcement was made earlier today and a new banner is on the Six Flags Darien Lake and Great Escape websites explaining what this will mean for season ticket holders and members.  Darien Lake is one of the major employers in Genesee county making jobs for approximately a thousand people during the spring summer and fall.

Once again the C-Store in Bergen on rt 33 and 19 has been robbed.  Early this morning 2 people engaged in shoplifting at the store.  Police report that they are looking for a blue or black Hyundai or kia and two dark skinned males.  The C store previously had a rack of cigarettes stolen in a brazen smash and grab at 2am on September 2nd

Midday News Briefing

Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch

The Batavia City Council tonight votes on a measure putting the police department in charge of culling the city’s deer population.
That plan was crafted by a citizen committee archers who spent several months drafting the rules for the hunt.
That citizen committee abruptly resigned en-masse in August citing a breakdown in communications with the city.
Police Chief Shawn Heubusch admits the department is still putting together procedures for enforcing the hunt:

Applications and selection for the hunt will be up to the police department.
There are five zones where hunting will be permitted, two of them are on city owned property and will be open only to city employees.


Genesee Community College says it currently has one student under COVID-19 precautionary isolation.
The college this morning clarified the student’s status.
The precautionary isolation applies to any students arriving from a foreign country and does not mean the student has or is suspected of having COVID-19.

New York State’s COVID-19 positive infection rate continues to remain below 1%, although barely. Gov. Cuomo says the rate currently stands at 0.99%…that’s the 37th straight day the rate has below 1%.

Batavia’s Board of Education meets tonight.
Superintendent Annibal  Soler  will provide members with a critique of today’s first day of class.
The meeting, held at the Batavia High School Library, begins at 6:30 p.m.

Drivers in Western New York are seeing a bit of savings at the pumps these days. The average cost for a gallon of regular in Batavia is now two-22. That’s down a penny from last week but is five cents more than this time a month ago.

Morning News Briefing

Genesee Community College says it currently has one student under COVID-19 precautionary isolation, which is routine for a student arriving from a foreign country.  The state SUNY tracker reports an estimated two positive cases in recent weeks. The college said it has eight rooms available for on-campus quarantine and one room is currently in use. Meanwhile, The Livingston County Department of Health and SUNY Geneseo reported a small cluster of positive COVID-19 cases among the student population on Sunday. Four female SUNY Geneseo students in their 20s who reside off-campus in the same house have tested positive for the virus.

An 88-year-old woman was rescued from flames that extensively damaged her Hartshorn Road home in the town of Batavia. The Saturday night blaze was discovered by East Pembroke Fire Chief Don Newton. Newton immediately called for a second alarm which brought firefighters from the Town of Batavia, Corfu, Darien and Alexander. The unidentified woman was rushed to ECMC in Buffalo…her condition this morning is unknown. Investigators have not ruled a cause of the blaze but they said they are suspicious of an electrical outlet on the porch. Genesee County Fire Coordinator Tim Yeager credited a swift, team response, for the successful outcome.

New York State’s COVID-19 positive infection rate continues to remain below 1%, although barely. Gov. Cuomo says the rate currently stands at 0.99%…that’s the 37th straight day the rate has below 1%. According to the governor, the numbers continue to reflect the work of New Yorkers, who ultimately flattened the curve. Genesee is in the Finger lakes region, which has a positive rate of 0.60%. However, the Western New York has a rate that has climbed to 2%.

Accepting a federal grant is on the agenda when the Batavia City Council business meeting gavels into session at 7 p.m. tonight. The Council will be asked to approve a resolution to amend the fire department budget to acknowledge a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters grant of nearly $69,000. Lawmakers will also vote on three other measures involving the fire department and the receipt of various grants.

Police in schools will be one of the topics discussed this afternoon when the Genesee County Public Service Committee meets at 4:30 p.m. The session will lead off with a discussion of revised Memorandum of Understandings involving School Resource Officers for Byron-Bergen and Genesee Valley Educational partnership. The meeting will also include a potential amendment to the Public Safety Radio System maintenance agreement.

The investigation continues after four people were hurt when two vehicles collided Saturday night on Bliss Road in the Town of Oakfield. Deputies identified the drivers as 32-year-old Jason Klinkbeil of Alabama and 20-year-old Triston Guthrie of Wilson. Deputies said Klinkbeil was detained for suspected impaired operation by drugs. Charges are pending a blood test.

Batavia’s Board of Education meets tonight and the Superintendent will provide members with an opening day presentation. According to the agenda, the Board will accept the resignation of a long-term substitute 5th grade teacher and well as leave of absence requests from eight staffers. The meeting, held at the Batavia High School Library, begins at 6:30 p.m.

Genesee Community College Associate Professor of History, Derek D. Maxfield appeared on C-SPAN Saturday sharing what his research uncovered about the excruciating conditions at a POW camp in Elmira, NY. Maxfield became an expert on the subject while writing his first book, “HELLMIRA: The Union’s Most Infamous Civil War Prison Camp – Elmira, NY” which explores this notorious time period in the history of Elmira.

Weekend News Brief

The members of the Batavia city police advisory group have been announced.  This 18 member group was mandated by an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo as part of his police reform initiatives.  The group includes the interim city manager and members of the city council as well as representatives from community groups, churches, legal representatives and police.  The goal of the group is to open dialogue about how the police can be made more effective and work more closely with and develop better ties with the community.  Leroy and Corfu police departments are set to discuss creating an advisory group in upcoming board meetings.

Covid update: Genesee county had no new cases and 3 people recovered.  Orleans County has no new cases.  There are 12 new people on travel quarantine in Genesee county and 6 in Orleans.  There are 4 active cases in Genesee county and 6 in Orleans.

With mask mandates across all of New York state for entering buildings and going to work one area was apparently exempt, New York City mass transit.  The area of the state that had the most cases of COVID 19 and the most deaths was allowing riders on subways, trains and busses to go unmasked but that is going to change on Monday.  There will now be a 50 dollar fine if riders refuse to mask up on the MTA.  Governor Cuomo has said that the MTA is very safe, most people were masking anyway and they are disinfecting the vehicles and cars once a day.

With Williamsville central school district suffering a mass resignation of teachers and staff over coronavirus fears the school district decided to move to a 100 percent online educating format for grades 5-12. This move did not sit well with parents and dozens gathered outside the office of the school to protest on Thursday and Friday.  They want the schools to at least allow students in class two days a week. Superintendent John Mckenna says that they just don’t have the staff right now and that the current plan is for 5 and 6th graders to be back in school in November and 7-12th graders to be back in January.

State health department commissioner Howard Zucker has said that the state is considering making getting a flu shot mandatory for all students to help make the flu season smaller especially with COVID 19 still going around.  Massachusetts already requires all students to roll up their sleeves for the shot.  Zucker says they are trying to make sure they don’t disenfranchise anyone who doesn’t want to get a flu shot.

Afternoon News Brief

With the deer management committee gone the Batavia city police department will be put in charge of handling the overgrown population of pests in the city of Batavia.  The police will select an officer to take point on the management and will handle applications, qualify participants, and schedule when they can cull the herd.  There are a couple of changes to the plan that was formulated by a group of 5 and submitted on August 3rd.  That group abruptly resigned august 13th after having reportedly grown frustrated with a lack of communication from the city council after the resignation of the city manager.  Some changes include hunters needing to reside within the city of Batavia or be a member of the federation of sportsmen or be a city employee and any language .about the deer management committee being changed.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley has released the results of his annual survey of residents in his district and it shows that western NY and Albany don’t agree about several things. 93 percent of those surveyed were against the new bail reforms which have released criminals back onto the streets sometimes to go on and recommit those crimes within hours of being arrested, 88 percent were against the green light laws which made it so illegal aliens or undocumented immigrants could get drivers licenses, 97 percent did not want those same people to be able to vote and 87 percent did not want felons to be able to vote.  The “Two New York’s solution” which would presumably split NYC off from New York State had support of 81 percent or western New Yorkers.

Northgate Free Methodist Church is starting up its small group programs once again.  The church on Bank St has many help groups for those dealing with grief, divorce, addiction and also has mothers of preschoolers.  Check their website or The Batavian for details about these groups.  Whatever life throws at you, there is no reason you have to go it alone

Morning News Briefing

Starting next week, many jobless New Yorkers are going to get some extra cash in their wallets.
That’s because the state is going to be paying out a new 300 dollar weekly federal unemployment benefit.
The state Labor Department says the additional funds will be paid in addition to regular jobless benefits.

Deputies arrest a Batavia man for allegedly stealing from various stores along Veteran’s Memorial Drive.
36 year old Joseph Freeman of East Main Street in the city was charged with possession of stolen property and falsifying business records.
Freeman was issued court appearance tickets and released.

On the campaign trail: Sheriff Bill Sheron picks up the endorsement of LeRoy Police Chief Chris Hayward.
Hayward calls Sheron a strong advocate for school safety and maintaining constitutional rights including the right to bear arms.

The LeRoy Village Green nursing home has started in-person visits by families and friends.
The in-person visits started a month ago and are allowed on Tuesday’s and Thursdays. Appointments are needed and each appointment can last 30-minutes and are limited to two visitors at a time.
The state banned outside visitors last March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the latest report from the county health department: there were no new cases of coronavirus in Genesee County.
25 new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from a restricted state.
Two individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19.

After a concerning spike in infections, the coronavirus positivity rate is starting to trend downwards in Western New York.
The latest numbers from state health officials show only one-point-three percent of people screened for the illness on Wednesday received a positive result.
Recently that number was around two-percent which made it the highest in New York State.
In Genesee County, part of the Finger Lakes region, the positivity rate has been below one-half of one percent.

The Buffalo Bills will be taking the field for the first time in the 2020 season this weekend.
They’ll be clashing with their longtime AFC East rivals the New York Jets at Bills Stadium.
Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is set for one p-m, but due to concerns over the coronavirus, no fans will be in the stands.

Morning News Briefing

The start of the high school football is being pushed back.
The State Public High School Athletic Association says that football can begin March 1st.
The decision was made due to ongoing concerns about the spread of coronavirus.
The push back of football also applies to volleyball and cheer leading.
As a result of fall high-risk sports being moved, the start date for the spring sports season has been adjusted to April 19, 2021.
The revised season for football, volleyball and fall competitive cheer will be known as “Fall Sports Season II”

A crowd of a couple hundred has taken to Rochester’s streets once again to march for the eighth night in a demand for justice for Daniel Prude.
The president of the Rochester police union is calling for Mayor Lovely Warren to step down amid the turmoil of the last week that culminated in the entire command staff of the Rochester Police Department retiring or reducing their rank, including the chief.

Erie County health officials say they’ve been able to pinpoint the age group mostly responsible for an increase in coronavirus cases. Among people tested last week, 42 percent of those who received a positive result were between the ages of 18 and 22. The Erie County Executive says that’s concerning considering how many college-aged people there are in the region right now.

Two new positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Genesee County over the past 24 hours.
Both cases come from Batavia, one individual is in their 50s and one is in their 90s.
One of the positive individuals is hospitalized.

A $1.5-million development of an old Downtown Batavia building gets approved for tax incentives.
Dr. Kumar Neppalli has proposed renovation a three story building at 99 Main Street.
The renovation and redevelopment of the 7,500-square-foot building, which was built in 1865, includes a new storefront, façade, and reconstruction of the existing three floors.
The 150 year old building most recently housed the Main Attraction beauty Shop.
The project will receive tax breaks of about $63,000.

National Grid is going to have to answer some questions about its proposed electric rate increases.
The state Public Service Commission is planning on holding a series of hearings about the plan that would raise the average customer’s bill by eight dollars a month.
National Grid says the hike is needed to offset losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hearings will be streamed online, the first one is scheduled for September 30th,
More information is available on the PSC website.

Morning News Briefing

They are letting the slot reels spin at Batavia Downs.
Doors are scheduled to open at 8 this morning following six months of a state ordered shut down.
All patrons will undergo temperature checks and must be wearing face coverings.
There will be markings on the floor to help maintain social distancing. Certain restaurants and bars will be open but must be consumed inside the restaurant.
There will be more than 120 hand sanitizing stations throughout the gaming floor. The Downs must operate within a 25 percent capacity limit.

UPDATE:  Del Lago casino in Waterloo has announced it will re-open at 2p.m. today.
Indian run casinos have been open for several weeks,  with similar safety protocols.

COVID-19 positive cases in Genesee County increase by four. The cases come from Batavia, Byron, Elba and Pembroke.
One of the positive cases is hospitalized.
In Orleans County, there were 10 new positive cases of the virus reported.

Gasoline prices drop just a bit in Batavia. The latest Triple-A report shows the average price of a gallon of regular in Batavia is $2.22 a gallon – down two cents since last week.

Protests over the death of Daniel Prude continued for a seventh straight night in Rochester.
At one point, demonstrators painted the word “murderer” outside the Public Safety Building and the word “resign” near City Hall.
Prude died back in March several days after being involved in an incident with police.

Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary has announced he’s retiring.
Singletary has been under fire lately for how the department has handled the aftermath of Daniel Prude’s death.
In a statement, Singletary, who has been chief since 2019, says the actions of some people over the last few days have been aimed at ruining his reputation.

Batavia Downs to Re-open This Morning

News Release

Officials at Batavia Downs Gaming today announced that in accordance with the state’s guidelines for reopening, Batavia Downs Gaming will once again be open beginning at 8am on Wednesday, September 9th.

Upon arrival, all guests of Batavia Downs will undergo a temperature checks and must have on a face covering.  Clear markings on the floor will indicate where patrons may go in order to maintain safe social distancing.  Select Restaurants and Bars will be open and patrons may enjoy food and drink inside those restaurants.

Batavia Downs will be increasing the rigor of cleaning and sanitizing procedures throughout the facility.  They will also be increasing the number of shifts and hours of their environmental service team to maintain the desired level of cleanliness upon reopening.  There will be over 120 hand sanitizing stations located on the gaming floor, event spaces and in all the restaurants.

Batavia Downs asks that guests looking to visit wash or sanitize their hands frequently and always after visiting the restroom. They should wipe down frequently used personal items such as their phone and glasses.  If someone is feeling ill or has felt ill recently, they ask that you remain home until you are feeling better.

“We are so looking forward to welcoming back our guests,” said Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO of Batavia Downs. “Our staff is working diligently on providing a safe, secure entertainment environment for everyone to return to and enjoy.”

Updates on the reopening can be found on their Facebook page or on www.bataviadownsgaming.com

Morning News Briefing

Night six of racial unrest in Rochester.
The crowd may have been slightly smaller than this past weekend but the message was clear, justice for Daniel Prude
Rochester Police made no arrests, despite a few tense moments between protesters and officers dressed in riot gear.
The protests have garnered national attention, including from President Donald Trump, who tweeted that Rochester was one of three cities to have a “bad night.”
Mayor Lovely Warren said the president was trying to “bait people to act with hate and incite violence.”

The numbers are in, and Western New York continues to have the highest coronavirus positivity rate in New York State.
Of the people who were screened for the illness Sunday, just under two-percent of them received a positive result.
Remember, for these purposes, Genesee and Orleans counties are in the Finger Lakes Region where the positivity rate has been below a half of a percent.
Meanwhile, the statewide positivity rate has been under one-percent for 31 consecutive days.

Governor Cuomo has signed off on a bill aimed at protecting workers during future health emergencies. The legislation requires all public employers to come up with proposals that address certain criteria such as a list of positions considered essential, PPE protocols and what happens if an employee is exposed to disease.
The plans must be submitted within 150 days and have to be finalized by April 1st, 2021.

It was a natural gas leak that caused Oak Street to close for about a half hour on Labor Day.
City Fire and Police responded to Los Compardres Mexican Tacqueria at 40 Oak Street last night.
Police closed the area of all Oak Street to all traffic and minutes later closed it to just tractor trailer trucks.
The building was ventilated and the street was reopened just before 9p.m.

Casinos across New York have one just more day to prepare for the return of gamblers.
Starting tomorrow, state-operated casinos will welcome visitors back for the first time in months. This includes Batavia Downs Gaming.
Casinos were shut down earlier this year in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. As you’d expect, there will be health and safety precautions in effect such as capacity limits and masks will be mandatory.

Morning News Briefing


Top 3 Stories

Rochester Mayor and Police Chief refuse to resign

Protests continue in Rochester

Batavia Man Arrested for Rape


At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Police Chief La’Ron Singletary doubled down on their intention to stay in office and commit to making changes, despite growing calls for them to resign.

People at the helm of the protests in Rochester and other community leaders have expressed their desire to see the mayor and police chief resign immediately following the death of Daniel Prude, who died after an encounter with Rochester Police officers on March 23. The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office later ruled his death a homicide.


People are continuing to make their voices heard and demanding justice for Daniel Prude.  Folks spent their Labor Day weekend marching through Rochester, and they gathered on Jefferson Avenue where the incident with Prude and the police began.  Officials say that 11 people were arrested and three officers were injured in gatherings on Friday night.  Prude died after being physically restrained and injured by Rochester Police officers back in March.


Batavia Police arrested 31 year old Justin Gladney of North Spruce street after an investigation of an incident that occurred in June at a home at 10 Lehigh avenue.  Gladney was charged with Rape in the 2nd degree and possessing a sexual performance by a child.  Gladney was held on 20k bail and 80k Bond and will be back in BCC on 10/1.


  • Genesee County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
    • The new positive case resides in Batavia.
    • The positive individual is in their 40s.
    • The individual was not on quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Twelve new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. 
  • Orleans County received two new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The two positive individuals are located at the Albion Correctional Facility.
    • One of the positive individuals is in their 30s and one is in their 50s.
    • Four new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.


On Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Genesee County 4-H Program announced that 13 local youths completed their National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Certification on Saturday, Aug. 22nd.

The NSTMOP Tractor Safety Certification allows youth age 14 and 15 years of age to legally operate farm equipment for hire.

The program includes training on farm safety, tractor safety, tractor operation and other related topics. After completing the training course, youth are required to pass a written knowledge test and driving test to receive the certification.

Two Die in Thruway Crash

Two people have died as a result of a collision early this morning on the state thruway between Henrietta and LeRoy.

The crash occurred in the westbound lane of the I-90 when a tractor trailer suddenly made a U-turn,over multiple lanes. A westbound vehicle traveling behind the big rig then crashed into of back of the trailer tearing the roof off the vehicle.

The man driving that vehicle was killed instantly, a female passenger was taken to Strong Hospital where she later died.
Troopers said the tractor trailer driver then left the scene and later stopped at a hotel parking lot on Jefferson Road in Henrietta where he apparently pulled a piece of wreckage off the truck. That debris was later found by lawmen.

The crash closed the thruway for several hours this morning between Henrietta and Leroy.

The names of the dead have not been released.

Morning News Briefing

Breaking News: A multi-vehicle crash has closed the state Thruway this morning between Henrietta and LeRoy. The closure affects the westbound lane between exists 47 and 46. There are injuries…first responders at the scene right now. Updates on WBTA 100.1 or  1490

Let the slots spin at Batavia Downs Gaming – the Downs will reopen on Wednesday. The official word came down from Albany mid-day yesterday.
There will be restrictions. The Downs will be limited to operating at 25 percent capacity. Patrons and staff must wear face coverings and be socially distanced at all times.
Working slot machines will be placed at least six feet apart.
No food or beverages will be allowed on the gaming floor.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office looking for a suspect jonsing for a smoke who entered the Bergen C Store.
Deputies described the heist early Wednesday morning as a smash and grab. The store was closed at the time.
Deputies said all that was taken were cigarettes.
Deputies asking for help from the public to solve the case.

One new positive case of COVID-19 reported in Genesee County….a person in their 20s living in Batavia.
14 new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from a restricted state.

Eight protesters were arrested and two Rochester Police officers were injured after demonstration in downtown Rochester.
Demonstrators gathered last night in memory of Daniel Prude who died March 30 a week after an encounter with Rochester police.
The officers were injured last night when rocks and bottles were thrown at them. Those officers needed medical attention and were hospitalized but have since been treated and released.

Towns and villages across Genesee County are running out of cash. They have been waiting for their annual share of county revenues.
A county legislature committee has proposed a 44-percent decrease in the share the county had originally planned to distribute before the pandemic hit.
The original allocation was about $14-million, the recommended share has been reduced to $8-million. The full legislature needs to act on the measure..

Casinos Can Reopen Next Week, Rochester in Turmoil

Governor Cuomo announced earlier today that casinos across New York may reopen on Wednesday September 9th.  Attendance will be limited to 25 percent capacity and there will be no table games unless there are partitions between players.  Social distancing will be expected between players at the slots.  Batavia downs has a maximum capacity of 3000 people so 750 will be allowed in the building at one time.  The president of Batavia downs gaming Henry Wojtaszek, says that new air filters, plastic barriers and arrows on the floor have all already been installed.

Rochester is in the national news today after video showing the arrest of Daniel Prude, a man who was restrained during his arrest by an officer putting his knee on his back and neck and passing out during the arrest went viral.  Prude died a week later.  Community leaders in Rochester are calling for the resignation of the mayor, the chief of police and the firing and arrest of the officers involved.  Reverend Lewis Stewart of First Church of God in Rochester said that if they don’t get the justice they demand then they will impose their own justice, the peoples justice.  State Attorney General Letitia James says her office is taking over the case.

Morning News Briefing

The Batavia Town Board OK’s an application for two $750,000 state grants that if approved, will give a boost to the new occupants of the town’s former yogurt makers.
The Community Renewal Block Grant will benefit Upstate Niagara Cooperative which has taken over the former Alpina Foods facility in the Agribusiness Park on East Main Street.
Another $750,000 application would benefit a multi-million dollar project at the H P Hood company plant, the former location of the Quaker-Mueller plant.
The Alpina building has been vacant for 18 months. The Hood project and the Alpina project are expected to create about 50 new jobs each.

New York is recording its 26th day straight of COVID-19 infection rates below one percent.
The Western New York region is the only region in the state to report positive test results above one percent. The western region includes Erie and Niagara counties.
Genesee and Orleans Counties are part of the Finger Lakes Region which has had a positive COVID-19 rate below a half-percent.

Genesee County has posted no new positive cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours.
Same is true for Orleans County.
A total of 10 new individuals from the two counties are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

Customs and Border Protection officers are announcing a major counterfeit money bust. Officers stopped a vehicle at the Peace Bridge earlier this week for making a wrong turn.
The driver did not provide a proper ID, and his vehicle was searched. Officers found $4,700 in counterfeit $100 bills stashed in the door. The case was turned over to Homeland Security investigations.

Afternoon News Brief

If you are voting by absentee ballot you can now ask for a ballot online through a state website.  If you are a registered voter you can request a ballot by going to absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov.  This is part of Governor Cuomo’s reform which had 5 sections, including changing the envelopes and election boards sending out more information about deadlines and instructions.  A person is allowed to vote both in person and by absentee and the boards of elections are supposed to set aside the mail in ballot if a person votes in person.

There is a new phone scam to be on guard against.  Scammers call people and claim to be covid contact tracers.  They say the person was exposed and that they need to pay for a testing kit and if you don’t then you could be fined.  They may also send you a text with a link to follow.  Real contact tracers will only ask your name and date of birth for identification purposes and will never ask for bank information or credit card numbers or your social security number.  There are no fees for tracing or testing.

A 6 year old girl, Talia Jones, has been found safe in Buffalo after being abducted from California last June by her mother who did not have legal custody and the national center for missing and exploited children say the A and E program Live PD is to thank for it.  A viewer recognized the pair after an episode in may and called authorities.  Live PD was canceled after protests against police in June but the show host and crew say it will be coming back perhaps on another channel.  The mother was arrested and Talia is in the care of Erie county department of social services.

New Lighting Complete at Old County Courthouse

Representatives of Lighting Design Innovations and Cedar Street Sales and Rentals are pleased to announce the completion of the third phase of the feature lighting at the Old Genesee County Courthouse site in Batavia.

The firms sponsored the donation of lighting design activities and lighting system luminaires, components, and advanced control system to accentuate the building façade and its location in the cityscape by lighting the courthouse corners with RGBW color changing LED luminaires. The advanced lighting control system allows the County to program coordinated colored light displays for the new courthouse corner lights and the cupola, which received its color changing light as the first phase of the project. Initial system programming and controller training was sponsored by Vertex Lighting Solutions.

The illuminated façade of the Old Genesee County Courthouse is the backdrop for the new white LED lighting that was provided for the Soldiers’, Sailors’, and Marines’ Monument as the second phase of this project. The monument lighting was unveiled Memorial Day 2019 in time for the monument’s centennial, celebrated in August of 2019.

Although the final phase implementation was temporarily delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, County personnel worked with the consultants to complete the work in time to be shared with the community for Labor Day 2020.

Morning News Briefing

Library directors from across Genesee County say a pandemic is no time to cut their finding.
Directors of the six public libraries in the county made their case before a county legislature committee yesterday to maintain the county’s financial contribution.
The libraries together received $42,000 in county funding this year.
The usage of public libraries increase substantially during an economic downturn.


99 Main St., Batavia

An investment of $1.2-million is planned to breathe new life into a 150 year old downtown Batavia building.
Dr. Kumar Neppali, a buffalo dentist with an office on Jackson Street in Batavia, is planning to completely rehab a building at 99 Main Street that last housed the Mane Attraction Beauty Shop.
Neppali’s plan calls for a whole new façade on the , a first floor space for his own practice, commercial space on the second floor and two residential units on the third floor.
The roof of the three story building will feature outdoor living space, a first for the city.
Officials expect construction to begin before the end of the year.

A note for motorists on Oak St. near Prospect Ave:
Expect traffic to be slowed during water main repairs today.
There will be lane restrictions and alternate traffic patterns. Work is slated to begin this morning at 8 and should be completed by late this afternoon.

New York has added travelers from two states back to the list of people who must quarantine after arriving in the State.
Travelers coming from Alaska and Montana will again need to quarantine themselves for two weeks so they don’t potentially infect people with coronavirus.

The latest COVID numbers for Genesee County:
There have been two new positive cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours….one from Batavia, one from Byron.
Eight new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

There is a Salvation Army food distribution this morning.
It will be held at City Church St. Anthony’s site on Liberty Street beginning at 9 this morning

President Trump says he has his eye on winning his native New York in the upcoming presidential election.
During an interview with Fox News, Mister Trump expressed confidence he could pick up the state’s 29 Electoral College votes in November.
Back in 2016, the president won 45 of New York’s 62 counties, but was still beaten by Democrat Hillary Clinton.

GCEDC to take Up New Dental Office

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) board of directors will consider final approval for a building renovation project in the city of Batavia at its September 3, 2020 board meeting.

Neppalli Holdings, LLC is proposing to invest approximately $1.165 million to renovate a three-story building at 99 Main Street in downtown Batavia. The renovation and redevelopment of the 7,500 sq. ft. building, which was built in 1865, would include a new storefront, façade and reconstruction of the existing three floors.
A dental practice will reside on the first floor with the second floor being developed for commercial office space. The third floor will include 2 two-bedroom market-rate apartments.

Neppalli Holdings, LLC is the latest transformation building renovation project to proceed in downtown Batavia through Governor Cuomo’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

The project is requesting sales and mortgage tax benefits totaling $63,500.
The GCEDC Board meeting will take place on Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 4 p.m. Because of the COVID19 pandemic the meeting will be conducted via conference and on-line at www.gcedc.com.

Morning News Briefing

Human remains discovered in Geneseo earlier this year have been identified as missing fugitive David Clyde Morgan.
The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office says his body was found in a wooded area near Cuylerville Road back on February 23rd.
Police had been searching for Morgan after he threatened an officer during a 2018 traffic stop and ran away. An autopsy revealed Morgan took his own life.

Two more people have been charged in the prostitution case involving Suzanne Corona. 28 year old Paula Pierce of State St and 26 year old David Schmieder of Silver Rd in Bethany were arrested in connection with the case.
Pierce is charged with prostitution and Schmieder is charged with patronizing a prostitute. Police say the encounter occurred at Corona’s home on Osterhaut Avenue.
Corona is charged with arranging the meeting between Pierce and Schmeider and setting the fee for services rendered.

National Grid customers could be digging deeper into their wallets to pay their electric bills next year. The utility company is considering a rate hike that would add an average of eight-dollars to a person’s monthly bill. National Grid had planned to increase rates earlier, but held off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest proposed increase would likely go into effect in July of next year.

While the statewide COVID-19 infection rate continues to hover around one-percent, that might not be the case much longer.
State health officials say there will likely be an increase in cases as kids return to school in the coming days.
That will put each district’s coronavirus response plan to the test and if there are enough infections at a school, it could be shut down.

Genesee County’s COVID-19 numbers: Three new positive cases in the past 24 hours. The new positive cases are from Batavia and Bergen.

Games haven’t even started yet but some changes are already being made to high school sports.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced the start of winter sports will be pushed back two weeks to November 30th. The hope is that will give the fall sports season enough time to finish up. Meanwhile, sports with a low risk of coronavirus transmission such as soccer, cross-country and field hockey can start practice September 21st.

Afternoon News Brief

A large solar farm to be built in Byron is drawing the ire of several members of the community.  The 280 megawatt 1600 acre solar farm is meeting opposition in the form of petitions and surveys saying it will destroy the community.  Byron Resident Jim Lamkin has organized the Byron Association against solar and explained to Our new partner the Batavian that “It will change our town forever by wasting valuable farmland. Solar panels will be put adjacent to their properties and those homeowners won’t receive any tangible benefits.”  Responding to these points Former Genesee county legislator Craig Lunker says that the solar farm is a great benefit for the town and will create a revenue source where Byron has very little.

2 more people have been charged in the prostitution case involving Suzanne Corona of Osterhout ave.  28 year old Paula pierce of state st and 26 year old David Schmieder of silver rd in Bethany were arrested in connection to the case.  Pierce is charged with prostitution and Schmieder is charged with patronizing a prostitute and criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Police were alerted by a member of Corona’s household to a possible trespassing incident on August 19th and began the investigation.

September 1st is national poll worker recruitment day and the new York state board of elections is looking for workers.  A Poll workers job description now includes enforcing social distancing and sanitizing voting equipment.  They anticipate a shortage of workers and are asking for people to step up and help with the voting process.

The deadline is midnight for prospective students to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship to receive no-cost tuition to SUNY and CUNY colleges and universities.  State officials say that anyone with a household income under 125 thousand can be eligible for the scholarships but the pandemic may effect how much money they have to give out.  This means scholarship awards may have to be reduced and would likely not cover the full cost of tuition.

Morning News Briefing

Suzanne Corona (2010 Photo)

Suzanne Corona, the notorious Batavia woman who made international headlines a decade ago when arrested for adultery, has just been arrested for promoting prostitution at her home.
Suzanne is now 51 and has been charged for allowing prostitution at her Ousterhout home on August 19th.
Suzanne made international news 10 years ago when she was arrested by Batavia Police on a rarely used charge of adultery.
At the time Corona was accused of having sex with a man on a picnic table in Farrell Park. The man was not her husband.
It was in broad daylight and children were nearby.
The charge was eventually dropped when Suzanne pled guilty to a charge of public lewdness.
She was later accused of trashing a buffet table at a downtown restaurant, a pair of shoplifting arrests and a felony drug conviction in 2015 that earned her a year and a half in jail.

A Bergen man tries to outrun a train, and losses the race.
Deputies say Timothy Brady of Bergen drove around an activated railroad barrier late Friday night, then the train came, smashed into the car and burst into flame.
When first responders arrived, they couldn’t find Brady.
He survived the crash and fled the scene on foot. He was arrested a short time later and charged driving without a license, leaving the scene and drunk driving.

Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputy and K-9 handler Chris Erion is retiring.
Erion has served for 20 years and says it’s time for what comes next in his life. He leaves behind his K-9 partner Frankie who will be paired with a new partner in the coming weeks.
Chris Erion is 45 and was not only recognized for his work in law enforcement but as a goodwill ambassador for the sheriff’s office. He made hundreds of appearances with his K-9s for school children, civic groups and events throughout the county.

New data shows New York State still has the upper hand in the battle against coronavirus.
100,000 test results were received on Saturday, and showed infection rate once again remained below one percent.
In the Finger Lakes region, which includes Genesee County, the average positivity rate from Thursday until Saturday was around half a percent.

Casino operators across the state are expected to find out soon when they’ll be able to reopen their doors. Governor Cuomo says an update will come sometime this week. State-operated casinos were shut down in March as part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Casinos run by Native Americans have reopened, but with several health and safety guidelines in place.

Drivers in Western New York are dealing with a significant jump in gas prices as of late. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular is $2.33. That’s an eight-cent increase in the past week.
Batavia’s average is about $2.28 a gallon.

Afternoon News Brief

With the declaration by President Trump of the FDA approving the emergency use of convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID 19 doctors are urging all eligible donors to give.  Eligible donors are people who have contracted and recovered from the coronavirus.  The plasma has antibodies that help the body fight off the coronavirus.  Although there are some who doubt its effectiveness, especially with the president touting it as an effective treatment, the FDA and Mayo clinic say it is safe and helps most patients with the recovery.

Governor Cuomo has announced new guidelines for colleges. Very much like his announcement about public schools, Cuomo said if any college confirms 100 positive cases or a number of cases equal to 5% or more of the campus population, they will be required to switch to remote learning for two weeks.

Your COVID 19 update:  Genesee county has no new cases and one person has recovered.  Orleans county has 1 new case.  3 new people are on travel quarantine in Genesee county.  There are now 2 active cases in Genesee and 3 active cases in Orleans counties.

Erie County is in the spotlight for having a positivity rate of over 1 percent with 4200 tests taken and 45 positive results yesterday.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the caution flag in Western New York will be raised a little higher and that he is sending in the state department of health swat team and open up 8 new testing sites including 3 in the city of buffalo.  A food manufacturing plant in Chautauqua county is thought to be a center for many of the cases.

Superintendents across New York state called on the governors office to delay the start of school sports with a letter from the New York State council of Superintendents.  They would like school sports delayed until January 1st 2021.  Governor Cuomo responded yesterday with a rare move of putting the ball back in their court by saying the decision was up to the schools.  “If a school superintendent doesn’t want to do it, then don’t do it,” said Cuomo. “We won’t mandate them to play.”

New York State Fair may not be happening this year but there is a virtual option.  The American Dairy Association North East will still be making the butter sculpture and will release a time lapse video of its creation September 1st.  The New York Animal Agricultural Coalition will be visiting farms and live streaming cow births.  Several fair food options are available for drive thorough at the fairgrounds orange lot in Syracuse.  Although none of this is on the Fair’s website, check their social media page for contests and events.

Morning News Briefing

National Fuel,  the natural gas utility for most of us, is warning customers of a new telephone scam.
Seems someone is calling local customers saying they must pay their gas bill, over the phone within 45 minutes or their gas will be shut off.
The company says it is all a scam. Just hang up.

New York State is changing the requirements for a school district to be closed – once they reopen.
One thing changing is the threshold for positivity rates in the region. Schools were mandated to close if the positivity rate of COVID-19 went above 9 percent. The new threshold now it is 5 percent.

Genesee County’s coronavirus report for the past 24 hours:
No new positive cases. Three new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from a restricted state.

Unemployment in Genesee County reaches 10.6 percent this July…up from just 3.5 percent a year ago. Major factor: the closing of Batavia Downs and Darien Lake Theme Park. The park alone employs over a thousand people each summer.

Authorities in Livingston County are investigating a stolen school bus.
Earlier this week deputies responded to a location on East Avon – Lima Road where they found an empty school bus with Pennsylvania license plates.
Turns out it was stolen from a bus company in Sarver, P-A.
Further investigation led to the arrest of 30 year old Justin Preedom. He’s been charged with a felony count of possession of stolen property.
Deputies said Preedom told them he took the bus to drive back to his home in Avon.

Keep an eye out for a free ice cream sandwich…courtesy of the Census.
The ice Cream bus – belonging to Community Action of Genesee and Orleans – will be driving through various neighborhoods to encourage residents to fill out their census forms if they haven’t done so already.
If you do – you get an ice cream sandwich.
The bus is equipped with Chromebooks and free WiFi so you can fill out the census form online.
The ice cream bus will be out two days a week through September.
Just over a third of Genesee County households have yet to respond to the census.

Scams and Schools

If you get a call from national Fuel saying they are about to disconnect your gas, hang up.  The gas company is warning customers that there is a new scam going around where people are called by someone saying they are a representative of National Fuel and threatening to shut off their gas within 45 minutes if they don’t pay over the phone.  A press release from National Fuel says “Customers are reminded that National Fuel DOES NOT disconnect gas service without following its proper collections procedures, including multiple attempts to contact customers via the mail, phone, or in the field. National Fuel DOES NOT force phone payments as the only payment option and DOES NOT request bill payment by prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer.”  If you get this scam call please phone 18003653234 and report it.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that he is changing the requirements for a school district to be re closed in the empire state.  One thing changing is the threshold for positivity rates in the region.  Schools were mandated to close if the positivity rate of covid 19 went above 9 percent, now it is 5 percent.  In New York City it is 3 percent.  He also said if there are 100 cases in one day in a region that schools would have to go to mandatory 2 week online only learning.

Morning News Briefing

A federal judge has sentenced a Rochester man to 20 years in prison for three bank robberies in 2016.
One of those robberies occurred at the M & T Bank branch in Elba.
35 year old Terrance Rainey and an accomplice walked into the bank on Oak Orchard Road, point handguns at the bank employee, and demanded they fill a bag with cash.
No was injured. The two other robberies occurred in Macedon and Henrietta.

Genesee County records no new positive coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours. One person is hospitalized and 11 are now on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

Genesee County is concerned that fitness centers and gyms do not completely understand the rules that allowed them to re-open on Monday.
County Manager Matt Landers told the legislature yesterday that the health department found only about half the gyms understood the process going forward.
He said the rules require that the gyms be inspected for compliance within two weeks of opening. It is up to the businesses to make the inspection appointment with the local health department.
Landers said they found many of the facilities do not have follow-up guidelines.

Governor Cuomo and the state health commissioner are blasting the Centers for Disease Control for its new COVID-19 testing guidance.
The CDC now says that if someone is in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus do not have to be tested themselves if they are asymptomatic.
Dr. Howard Zucker calls these changes “indefensible actions.”
Cuomo says New York will not be following the new guidance, calling it “political propaganda.”

New York is among a group of states being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department for COVID-19-related deaths in nursing homes.
Letters were sent to governors in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania requesting COVID-19 data.
In the New York case, the issue stems from a controversial health department directive, which prohibited a nursing home from denying admission based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of the coronavirus.

The number eleven jersey worn by Buffalo Bills kicker Scott Norwood when he missed a game-winning kick in Super Bowl 25 is up for auction.
Norwood wore the jersey in 1991 when he barely missed a 47-yard field goal that would have given the Bills a Super Bowl victory over the New York Giants. The jersey will be up for auction online at Heritage Auctions website until 11 p.m. Saturday.
Experts have labeled the bad kick one of the top two or three moments in Super Bowl history.

Afternoon Brief

Batavia Police are looking for information about a hit and run that took place on August 13th one East Main street.  70 year old sue reed of Batavia was riding her bike across the entrance to Vine street when she says a large pickup truck that may have had lifts and a chrome grill turned left from East main street and hit her.  The driver stopped, got out and said something to her and then got back in the truck and drove away.  Reed suffered a concussion, a broken right arm, cuts to her left arm that were too large to be stitched and she needed stiches for cuts on her lips and mouth.  She also had an air pocket in her lungs.  The driver of the truck is described as tall and skinny, with blonde hair and under the age of 40.  If you have any information call Officer Peter Post at 585 345-6350 or the tip line at 585 345 6370

Your COVID 19 update:  Genesee county has 1 new case.  Orleans county has 1 new case and 1 person has recovered.  1 new person is on travel quarantine in Genesee county and 14 new people are on travel quarantine in Orleans county.  There are now 3 active cases in Genesee and 2 active cases in Orleans counties.

Bowlers who participate in leagues got a little good news Tuesday.  Leagues can use two lanes with appropriate barriers.  Bowlers including league players were complaining about having every other lane closed making bowlers unable to alternate lanes and creating a backup on play times.  Governor Cuomo’s office says that leagues can play as normal as long as the lanes are separated with appropriate barriers.  Bowling alleys are rushing to buy and set up plastic sheeting, shower curtains and other makeshift barriers.

Morning News Briefing

Genesee County’s July unemployment rate is three times what is was just a year ago.
Of course the reason is, the coronavirus pandemic.
The jobless rate for Genesee County in July was 10.6 percent. A year ago it was 3.5 percent, near a record low.

There are improving numbers for coronavirus statistics across New York State. Officials have reported that for the past 18 days the state’s positive rate of COVID-19 infections has been below one-percent.

The local COVID-19 numbers from the past 24 hours:
Genesee County has reported one new positive case, an individual in their 30s living in Pavilion.
One person is hospitalized locally with coronavirus and only one new person has been added to the precautionary quarantine due to travel from a restricted state.

The Genesee County health department is looking for the owner of a dog that bit someone along the new Ellicott Trail.
It happened last Friday on the trail near the Batavia Gardens Apartments.
The victim of the bite did not get any information from the dog owner.
The suspect canine is a Jack Russell Terrier mix with a red and brindle-white coat.
The dog was wearing a black collar with a blue leash.
His presumed owner is described as a slender white man in his 40s with short brown hair.
If you have information, you are asked to call the county health department (344-2580 ex 5555).

The once powerful New York State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver is scheduled to report to prison today. Silver was convicted and sentenced to six and a half years in prison for taking part in a multi-million dollar bribery scheme. He had battled the charges and dodged prison time for years which included two successful appeals, but the third time he was found guilty. A judge recently sentenced him to prison despite his defense trying to keep him out, arguing his old age of 76 combined with coronavirus concerns.

The Salvation Army is holding a drive-through food distribution today.
Food will be distributed beginning at 9 this morning at Northgate Church on Bank Street Road.
Make sure your vehicle is ready to accept 3 to 4 boxes of food. If your are picking up food for a friend or neighbor, be sure to their photo ID showing a separate address.

Health Department Seeks Dog Owner

On Friday, August 21, 2020 between 3:00 –3:30 p.m. an individual was bitten by an unfamiliar dog that was with its assumed owner.

The incident occurred on the Ellicott Trail in front of the Batavia Gardens Apartment complex located on 679 East Main Street, Batavia. The assumed owner of the dog is described as a slender white male in his 40’s with short brown hair.

The dog that bit the individual was a Jack Russell Terrier mix with a red and brindle white coat. The dog was wearing a black collar with a blue leash. The individual who was bitten did not obtain any information from the man with the dog and has not seen the man since the incident.

“The purpose in locating the owner of the dog is to make sure the dog is up-to-date on its anti-rabies vaccine,”stated Sarah Balduf, Environmental Health Director of Genesee and Orleans Counties.“ If the owner cannot be located,the individual will have to go through unnecessary treatment.”

Anyone with information on the dog and/or dog owner is asked to contact the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580 ext.5555

Afternoon News Brief

State police are looking for a man whose wife was found dead in Larksville Pennsylvania and they say he may be in our area.  46 year old Richard Walski and his chocolate Labrador have been missing since his wife Patricia was found shot in the head at their home on August 13th.  Walski is an avid fisherman and has spent time on Lake Ontario and fishing the Genesee River.  He has also traveled up towards Watertown in the past.  If you believe you have information you can contact the Pennsylvania state police at 570 697 2000.

Governor Cuomo announced today that the 2 week quarantine list is now 5 states shorter, Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Maryland and Montana have been removed and the territory Guam has been added.  There are now 31 states on the list.  Travelers from these states or territories must provide their travel plans to the state authorities and quarantine for 2 weeks or face a hefty fine of up to $2,000.

Your COVID 19 update:  Genesee county has no new cases and 3 people have recovered.  Orleans county has 1 new case and 2 people have recovered.  13 people are on travel quarantine in Genesee county and 33 new people are on travel quarantine in Orleans county.  There are now 2 active cases in Genesee and 2 active cases in Orleans counties.

Livingston County sheriffs office is investigating a fire set in a church.  The minister of Lima Presbyterian Church came in Sunday morning to find the sanctuary full of smoke, apparently from a bible that had been set on fire in the front pew.  Someone had broken in in the night and lit the fire.  The fire was contained to the area of that pew and the bible, a lot of smoke damage according to the minister but little fire damage.  Anybody with information about the incident is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 585-243-7100 or the Sheriff’s Office tip line at 1-844-LCSO-TIP

Morning News Briefing

Governor Cuomo gives some high school sports the go ahead for next month, while keeping other sports as “practice-only.”
Cuomo said lower-risk sports such as tennis, soccer, cross country, field hockey, and swimming can begin competing on September 21 in all regions of the state.
Teams will not be allowed to travel, practice, or play outside of their region or contiguous counties until October.
Higher-risk sports, including football, wrestling, rugby, and ice hockey, will be allowed to practice, but are not yet authorized to play.

State health officials are raising concerns about a rise in COVID-19 cases in the Western New York region. Governor Cuomo said the region is raising a “caution flag” after the five-day average of new cases almost doubled. Genesee County is in the Finger Lakes Region where new infections rates have been below .4 percent.

Over the past 24 hours there have been no new positive cases of COVID-19 infection in Genesee County. Only one person is hospitalized with the virus. 13 new individuals have been placed on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

On the heels of the news for high school sports, gyms and fitness centers across the state have re-opened.
Jessica Pratt owns Whole Life Fitness on East Main Street in Batavia.
She said her gym is ready to deal with the state mandated health guidelines:

Also in Batavia, Mancuso Bowling Center has opened its doors.
Precautions include sanitizing stations throughout the building, use of face masks and six feet of social distance. League meetings will be held this week.


PHOTO Courtesy:  TheBatavian.com

Those Civil War era cannons that guarded the entrance of the Holland Land Office museum for over a hundred years look like new. That’s because they have been completely refurbished. The cannons were returned to Batavia yesterday following a nine month log restoration.

Afternoon Brief

Governor Cuomo says that lower-risk sports such as tennis, soccer, cross country, field hockey, and swimming can begin competing on September 21 in all regions. Teams will not be allowed to travel, practice, or play outside of their region or contiguous counties until October.  Higher-risk sports, including football, wrestling, rugby, and ice hockey, will be allowed to practice, but are not yet authorized to play.

Areas of Western NY are being monitored closely as they are testing higher than 1 percent in COVID testing.  Officials point to a steel plant in Erie County and a food processing plant in Chautauqua County as clusters of cases.  Higher numbers of seasonal laborers are also apparently testing more positively.

With gyms, restaurants, churches and soon to be schools opened up several amusement park owners are questioning why they haven’t been allowed to open yet.  Six flags and other amusement park chains including Disney World and Hershey Park have had parks open in many other states with social distancing and mask wearing as well as constant sanitizing of rides without any outbreaks being linked to the parks.  Park owners in New York state say that they have put in place every precaution that New York State authorities said needed to be done before they could reopen, spending tens of thousands of dollars, and still the parks are dark and empty.  No information or announcements have come from Albany.

Morning News Briefing

The lights are back on now across the City and Town of Batavia.
That was not the case late last night. A power outage affected about 2,300 National Grid customers around 10 p.m. last night.

The trouble appeared to have been traced to a utility pole on State Street.

Construction has begun on a 12-million dollar four story apartment building on East Main Street. There will be 55 apartments, 28 of them set aside for homeless veterans. The remainder are intended for low income residents.
The project will be known as Liberty Square.
It is being developed by Home Leasing of Rochester, which specializes in providing low-income housing in the Finger Lakes region. They have partnered with Eagle Star housing.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved New York for a grant under the Lost Wages Assistance program
The funding will allow the state to provide $300/week to unemployed New Yorkers on top of their regular state unemployment benefit.
In March, Congress approved an extra federally funded $600 a week unemployment benefit for those out of work due to COVID-19. The benefit expired at the end of July.

Governor Cuomo is praising the state’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. On Saturday, the governor said New Yorkers did not just flatten the curve of coronavirus cases, they bent it. The state posted a new record low positivity rate of zero-point-six-nine-percent, and hospitalizations are down to 472. Cuomo urged residents to keep wearing masks, continue to socially distance and stay disciplined.

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous Weather Outlook for portions of Western New York.
For today and tonight: isolated strong thunderstorms are possible over the Niagara Frontier closer to Lake Ontario this afternoon.
A complex of thunderstorms may track across the region late tonight.

Gyms can begin reopening today – with COVID-19 restrictions in place.
Capacity will be capped at 33 percent, masks are mandatory, and there will be social distancing at workout stations.
People will be required to wipe machines down after use.
Inspectors will be out to make sure safety measures are in place.

Weekend Update

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo backtracks and makes deals on unemployment.  Although Governor Cuomo said he would never work with FEMA get help for New York State to provide unemployment benefits saying he would rather deal with a bookie on the corner than with the federal agency the state’s budget director says New York is applying for the Lost Wages Assistance Program, handled by FEMA.  This change of heart came when President Trump announced that the federal government would not require states to pay for 100 dollars of the weekly unemployment benefit so with the FEMA money people would only receive 300 dollars instead of 400.

Demolition work began Friday on several homes on East Main Street to pave the way for a new, 55 unit, 4 story apartment building that will be used for low income housing.  28 of the units will be reserved to house homeless veterans.  The new building will be christened liberty square and is being built by Home Leasing LLC of Rochester.  It is being partly funded by a group called Eagle Star Homes.

Afternoon News Brief

The Genesee Orleans county health departments announced that all gyms in the counties will be allowed to reopen on Monday August 24th with a couple restrictions.  Gyms must have a written safety plan, have their HVAC inspected by an approved professional, and complete a form saying that they have read and understand the state guidelines and will do what they say.  Within 2 weeks of reopening the county health departments will inspect gyms in Genesee and Orleans counties.

Your Coronavirus update:  there is 1 new case in Genesee and no new cases in Orleans counties.  9 new people are on travel quarantine in Genesee county and 3 new people are on travel quarantine in Orleans county.  There are 6 active cases in Genesee county and 3 in Orleans.

Bad worms are jumping into the ground near you.  The University at buffalo  earthworm expert Nick Henshue says an invasive species called Amynthas or the jumping earthworm are popping up in soil samples across western NY.  These worms eat fallen leaves and can disrupt the ecosystem of forests which depend on downed leaves for protection of young plants and insects.  How to tell if you have jumping earthworms?  Check your soil, if it has a coffee grounds like consistency then you have them.

Malls in New York can reopen food court seating says the governor’s office.  However, the seating areas and food court restaurants must operate under the Department of Health’s guidelines for food services.  Those guidelines include required separation between tables and seating, social distancing between parties of customers, and occupancy limits.

The statewide STOP DWI crackdown is in full effect until September 7th.  State and local Police in Genesee county are out in full force to catch people driving under the influence.  Don’t drive drunk, have a plan for how you will get home if you are planning to drink.

Morning News Briefing – August 21, 2020

The person who hit a motorcyclist last week and left the scene has turned themselves in.

Yesterday on WBTA’s Main and Center, Genesee County Sheriffs said they were ready to make an arrest, but last night Alexander Wuerch, 21, Alden, said he was the driver of the car that hit the motorcyclist on Route 77 in Pembroke and fled.

The motorcycle rider is still in critical condition.

Wuerch was issued an appearance ticket and will be in Pembroke town court September 9.


Town of Batavia Supervisor Gregory Post describes the financial situation the town is in as the worst in his 47 years in government. In an interview with WBTA’s news partner, The Batavian, Post lays the blame on what he calls ‘tax and spend’ policies from Albany, and not the coronavirus pandemic.

The town is putting together its 2021 budget, and Post says with the state staring at a $10 billion dollar deficit, a likely reduction in revenue from Genesee County, and probably no life raft coming from the federal government, town of Batavia residents may see a significant tax increase.

Post says, the state’s deficit will affect the whole county, not just the town of Batavia, and that the state’s fiscal situation may make people think twice about being involved in government in the future.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed off on new legislation aimed at making it easier for New Yorkers to vote using absentee ballots. One bill allows all New Yorkers to get an absentee ballot if they’re concerned about being exposed to coronavirus. A second measure allows folks to apply for those ballots now instead of having to wait until 30 days before Election Day. The final law also means absentees with a postmark before or on November 3 or that arrive at a Board of Elections without a postmark on November 4 will be counted.


With bowling alleys open and gyms set to follow suit Monday, casino workers say they feel left out. They held a rally in Albany yesterday, urging state health officials to release guidelines that would allow casinos to reopen. All state-operated casinos were closed down back in March as part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. A state official says casinos likely won’t reopen soon since there are still too many concerns surrounding the virus.


The latest COVID-19 update shows one new positive case in Genesee County, a resident of Batavia in their 30s.

The person was not in mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive, but nine new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states, with one hospitalized.


Today is the day you can start getting your Pok-A-Dot fix. The iconic corner restaurant is reopening today at 9 a.m, taking advantage of a coronavirus-induced hibernation to spruce up and upgrade the eatery.

There are new, more socially-distanced tables, a dining counter outside, and there will soon be a walk-up window for take-out orders. The big upgrade, you can now order your food online at their new website, pokadotbatavia.com, and, you can also pay for your food with a credit card.

Morning News Briefing

The Holland Land Office Museum is bringing its two cannons back and will welcome them back to the museum’s front porch with a celebration Monday at 10 a.m.
The restoration work was done by Seed Artillery in Altoona, Pennsylvania, restoring the cannons to what they would’ve looked like in the early 19th century.
The work included the rebuilding of the carriage with all new metalwork and refurbishing the cannon barrels.
The cannons will be welcomed home in style with the help of a gunnery crew of the Genesee County Militia re-enactor group. The public is invited to Monday’s event, with social distancing and facial coverings required.

Pavilion Town Supervisor Robert LaPoint spoke to the Genesee County Legislature Wednesday about traffic issues on Route 63 near Pavilion Central School.
According to our news partner, The Batavian, LaPoint came with a petition signed by over a thousand residents complaining about speeders and commercial truck traffic that zips by the school.
LaPointe says he would like to have a flashing light put in at the intersection of Route 63 and York Road that would only be activated when students are coming and leaving the school, and also have the speed limit reduced.

High school athletes statewide won’t have to wait much longer to find out if they’ll be playing this Fall. A decision on the upcoming season is expected to be announced in the next week. Games were scrapped at schools across New York back in the Spring to help slow the spread of coronavirus. The earliest the season would be allowed to start is September 21, about a week after most schools begin classes.

It doesn’t start for a few weeks, but county health departments are already being questioned about their preparedness for flu season. The state says each county must be able to perform tests for both the flu and COVID-19. State labs have already been pushed to their limit and turnaround times for results have been longer than usual in some cases. Counties are already receiving money to help track coronavirus cases and make sure they have enough vaccines for flu season.

A Blasdell woman is in trouble for impersonating another person from Genesee County. Donna Hartman, 57, was pulled over by police in Livingston County and used the identity of someone in Genesee county. She continued to use that identity when she was taken to Noyes Hospital in Dansville, running up a $1,500 bill in the other person’s name. Hartman faces second-degree identity theft charges and will be in Stafford Town Court in October.

The latest update from the county health department shows no new positive cases of COVID-19, although fifteen people are in precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
In Monroe County, the number of coronavirus cases in have surpassed another milestone — with 29 new infections yesterday, the total number of cases in Monroe County since the start of the pandemic is now over 5,000. But, there have been no deaths connected to the illness in Monroe County for eight days.

Today at noon is the first online public information meeting to help develop the Genesee Transportation Council’s long range transportation plan. The public input will help the council establish priorities and strategic direction for the plan that will guide the council over the next quarter century. You can access the meeting at www.publicinput.com/LongRangeTransportationPlan or call 855-925-2801 and enter code 9000.

Morning News Briefing

New York has added travelers from two more areas to the list of people who must quarantine after arriving in the State.
People coming from Delaware and Alaska now need to isolate themselves for two weeks so they don’t potentially infect people with coronavirus. Overall, there are more than 30 locations affected by the quarantine order. Visitors must reveal information about their trips to health officials and if they don’t, they could be fined two-thousand dollars.

The city of Batavia is adding four more community members to its Police Advisory Stakeholder Group.
City Hall says that, where possible, these additional citizen members will be persons of color. The committee was formed under an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo. It originally consisted of 15 members, now it will have 19.

Batavia Police are trying to track down the driver of a vehicle that slammed into house on East Avenue.
That crash on Monday evening left a gaping hole in the basement of the house and caused a natural gas leak. The driver fled the scene.
Police Chief Shawn Heubusch is asking the public with  information about the case to contact the dispatch center at 345-6350, and ask to speak with a supervisor

A new book by Governor Cuomo will be popping up on store shelves in the coming months. It’s called “American Crisis” and will give the governor’s account of how he handled the coronavirus pandemic. It’ll also go into detail about Cuomo’s clashes with the federal government, whose response to the outbreak he has constantly criticized. Right now, the Empire State has one of the lowest COVID-19 infections rates in the country just months after having one of the highest. The governor’s new book is scheduled to be released October 13th.

27th District Congressman Chris Jacobs has finally earned the support of the Conservative Party ahead of Election Day.
Jacobs will be the party’s nominee after Beth Parlato removed her name from the ballot.
Instead, she decided to pursue a spot on the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

The Salvation Army is holding their weekly food distribution later today in Bergen.
The distribution begins at 3 this afternoon at Byron-Bergen High School.
Organizers ask that you have the trunk of your car cleared out and ready to receive 3 to 4 boxes of food.
If picking up food for a friend have a photo ID ready showing a separate address.

Afternoon News Briefing

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo announced in today’s press briefing that Alaska and Delaware are back on the list of states requiring a travel quarantine in New York State.  There are now 35 states on the list.  Travelers from these states must provide a travel plan to state officials and quarantine for 2 weeks when entering New York State.

Gyms may be reopening in a week but there is confusion as to exactly how that will work.  Governor Cuomo did not give details about exactly how county health officials will inspect gyms before they reopen.  Large gyms such as Planet Fitness in Batavia say nothing about the reopening on their website and did not answer the phone when called.  Questions about classes and people doing cardio with masks on have not been answered.  13 wham talked to the owner of MBody on university ave molly Flaherty who said that if spin class members have to wear masks then they will be outside till December.

The city of Batavia is adding four more community members to its Police Advisory Stakeholder Group.  City Hall says that, where possible, these additional citizen members will be persons of color.  According to Interim City Manager Rachel Tabelski the advisory group will open dialogue and add value to the relationships between city employees, the police department and community residents.  The committee was formed under an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo. It originally consisted of 15 members, now it will have 19.

Construction work has started to finish a major water line project to the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park known as STAMP.  The job will make the South Campus of STAMP 100 percent ready for development.  This latest project will cost 2-million dollars and should be done by the end of the year. The project is funded mostly by federal and state tax dollars.

Police Advisory Committee to be Expanded

After previously announcing membership categories of the City of Batavia Police Advisory Stakeholder Group, the City will add four additional community members to solicit further insight from the community.  To the extent possible, these citizens will be chosen from a cross section of wards and community groups serving “people of color,” as referenced in Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203.  The City will strive to ensure proper representation for all.

“The advisory group will open dialogue and add value to the relationships between City government employees, the police department and community residents,” said Rachael Tabelski, Interim City Manager.   “As we move forward, the stakeholder meetings will be open for the public to attend, while adhering to COVID-19 protocols.”

Interim City Manager Rachel Tabelski

“We look forward to beginning this process and engaging with citizens in the community,” said Shawn Heubusch, City of Batavia Police Department.  “The City Police Department is comprised of men and women who take the job of protecting and serving our community very seriously.  We all look forward to working with the stakeholder group to improve our already robust service and training.”

“All individuals should be held to the same standard.  No one is above the law; whether civilian, law enforcement or government official and those that break the law should be held accountable.” added Heubusch.

With this expansion, the Police Advisory Stakeholder Group will now consist of 19 members, including:


  • City Manager;
  • Police Chief;
  • Assistant Police Chief;
  • City Attorney;
  • One City Council member;
  • Six citizen representatives;
  • Batavia Housing Authority Director;
  • Director of a not-for-profit that serves human interests (e.g. YWCA);
  • District Attorney representative;
  • Public Defender representative;
  • Batavia Police Benevolent Association representative;
  • Batavia City School District Superintendent;
  • Community religious leader;
  • Business leader representative.

The Stakeholder Group will help identify recommendations for more effective strategies, policies, and procedures to better serve all residents within the City of Batavia.  This plan will be developed over the fall and winter, and must be adopted by the City of Batavia by April 1, 2021, per Executive Order No. 203.

Citizens interested in being a member of the Police Advisory Stakeholder Group should send their name, phone number, address and email address to the office of the Interim City Manager, Rachael Tabelski.  Address:  City of Batavia, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, NY 14020 or via email rtabelski@batavianewyork.com

Work Begins on Final Leg of Stamp Water Line

BATAVIA, NY – Construction work has commenced to finish a major water line project to the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) and bring the STAMP South Campus to 100 % shovel-readiness for development.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) announced today that the $2 million active infrastructure project enables over one million gallons per day of water capacity to STAMP. This project is supported by Genesee County to support Phase I development of the STAMP site.

The 1,250-acre STAMP site, through the 850-acre STAMP North Campus and the 400-acre STAMP South Campus, is designed and permitted for over six million sq. ft. of new construction supported by low-cost hydropower.

“There is a tremendous amount of momentum for STAMP right now and not just from an infrastructure investment and construction standpoint, but in interest among site selectors and representatives from advanced manufacturing companies, including semiconductor companies from across the world,” said Steve Hyde, President and CEO, GCEDC.

The start of the construction on the latest STAMP water line comes after US Senator Charles Schumer was in Batavia on July 31st to announce among other things, his support for a $1 million grant through the Northern Border Regional Commission for the construction of a new forcemain to serve the entire STAMP site.

STAMP infrastructure design, engineering and construction launched in 2014 with the allocation of $33 million by New York State.

“With federal, state and local funding enabling STAMP’s infrastructure delivery, our 1,250-acre mega site will provide a significant return on investment and can be a model for economic recovery as New York State emerges from the pandemic,” Hyde said.

The infrastructure work includes the completion of the construction of a water line that was started from a connection from the Erie County Water Authority in Pembroke near the New York State Thruway.  The second leg included construction of the line at a connection near the Veteran’s Cemetery and now from cemetery to the STAMP South Campus.

The work is anticipated being completed by the end of 2020.  The design and engineering work was performed by Clark Patterson & Lee.


Morning News Briefing

With classes starting in a few weeks, New York State has announced how a coronavirus spread inside a school will be handled.
Officials say an individual school will be closed down if it has a concerning amount of COVID-19 cases. However, there’s not an exact infection rate that would have to be reached for kids to be sent home.
In the past, the state has said all schools in an area will be shut down if a region’s coronavirus positivity rate goes above nine percent.

Two new positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Genesee County over the past 24 hours. One person resides in Alexander, the other in Stafford. One is in their 20s the other person is in their 30s.
27 people are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

A car strikes a house at East Avenue and Hull Parkway smashing a hole in the foundation and causing a gas leak.
No one was hurt. Everyone in the house got out safely.
An upstairs resident said it sounded like a bomb went off. East Avenue between Ross and Vine was shut down until the gas was turned off.

A Byron man is facing a burglary charge for allegedly breaking into a home on Sautell Road in Bergen. Deputies say 49 year old Paul Tuttle also damaged property and took some items from the house. He was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies now say they are looking for the driver of a light colored 2012 or 2013 Hyundai Tuscon.
That vehicle is believed to have struck a motorcyclist Friday night on Route 77. Travis Harloff had been knocked off his bike and landed in the middle of highway when the Hyundai struck him as he lie in the road. The driver of the Hyundai then fled the scene. Harloff suffered serious injuries.
Deputies are asking anyone with information to call.

Gyms Can Reopen on Monday the 24th

Governor Cuomo announced today that Gyms across NY state can reopen starting on Monday August 24th.  Gyms can have up to 33 % capacity, all employees and participants must wear masks at all times,  and must have updated ventilation.  State Department of Health guidelines will be released later today.  Cuomo said that local officials will have to inspect the gyms.  Officials have until September 2nd to inspect gyms if they can’t do so by next Monday.

Morning News Briefing

An investigation continues this morning into a three vehicle crash involving a hit and run and serious injuries to a motorcyclist.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies tell WBTA the crash occurred Friday night on Route 77 in Pembroke.
A Honda Pilot was southbound on Route 77 and a Yamaha motorcycle was behind it.
The motorcycle rear ended the Pilot as it was making a turn throwing the operator into the middle of the road. Then a third vehicle struck the motorcyclist and fled the scene.
Deputies are asking for any information about that third vehicle believed to be Hyundai sedan.
The operator of the motorcycle was identified as 26 year old Travis Harloff of Attica. He was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC with serious injuries.

Gym owners will be paying very close attention today to an announcement by state health department officials.
That’s because they’ll find out the guidelines that will need to be followed so fitness centers can reopen.
They were shut down months ago in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
There’s no official word yet when people can return to the gym.
Meanwhile, starting today bowling alleys will be able to welcome customers back so long as businesses follow the proper safety protocols.

New York State has reached a milestone when it comes to the number of people tested for coronavirus.  Officials said yesterday seven-million State residents have been screened for COVID-19 in recent months.
The number of people who received a positive result has also been lower than one percent statewide for the last nine days.

Positive business news for Batavia’s Graham Corporation.
The company has announced $11-million in orders for three oil refining projects in Asia. Two are in Southeast Asia and third, the first large order for Graham in India.

Drivers across Western New York are finding consistent prices at the pump these days. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in Batavia is $2.20. That’s the same as last week and is a penny less than this time a month ago.

Bowling Alleys Allowed to Reopen and The Border Remains Closed

Shine up your ball and put some fresh spray in your shoes, Governor Cuomo announced in today’s press briefing that bowling alleys across New York state may reopen on Monday the 17th.  Bowling alley owners had been petitioning Cuomo’s office for the last month to reopen some even sending the petitions written on bowling pins and balls.  August according to Rick Mancuso owner of Mancuso’s Bowling Center is the month when league sign ups happen and bowling centers set their schedules for the rest of the year.  Along with the reopening Governor Cuomo said that bowling alleys would be restricted to 50% capacity and would be allowed to serve food and alcohol but staff would have to deliver it to the bowlers at their lanes.  Cuomo also said an announcement on gyms reopening would be coming Monday.

The border between Canada and the United States will remain closed for at least another month.  Chad wolf secretary of department of homeland security has extended the limitation of non essential travel through September 21st.

Morning News Briefing

The citizen committee assembled by city hall to draft a plan to control the city’s deer population, has suddenly quit.
In a meeting yesterday that lasted about 30-seconds, the Deer Management Committee claimed that they were quote, “disrespected, lied to and lied about” by City Hall. Interim City Manager Rachel Tabelski, in a statement issued later, said the deer plan drafted by the committee was a “good start” and thanked committee members.
All this came as city council as late as last month praised the deer committee for the time and effort they put into the plan.
The plan was set for a final vote next month.
The flap is reminiscent of the dust up and confusion earlier this year when an ad-hoc group tried to use a city park for a rally promoting social justice.
The snafu eventually led to the ouster of the last city manager.


Two new positive cases of coronavirus have turned up in LeRoy.
The health department says one of the individuals is under 20, the other in in their 20s. Fourteen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

The Batavia Police department is looking for anyone with information about a reported collision between a pick-up truck and a bicycle.
That happened yesterday morning between 8 and 8:30a.m. at the intersection of East Main and Vine.
The bicyclist was taken to UMMC for treatment of his injuries.
If you saw the mishap, or have any information about it, BPD wants to hear from you.

A location in Orleans County is reportedly under consideration for an Amazon distribution center.
A representative for the Village of Medina and the Orleans County Economic Development Agency tells our news partner 13-WHAM the Medina Business Park is under consideration for the $300 million project.
The representative says, after a deal involving a potential location on Grand Island fell through, the county was notified it was being considered.


Republican lawmakers in the State Senate and Assembly are planning to hold more hearings on the impact COVID-19 had on nursing homes.
The first of several virtual hearings will be held on Monday morning.
Health Commissioner Doctor Howard Zucker testified in front of lawmakers earlier this month, but would not reveal exactly how many nursing home residents died after getting the COVID-19.
The death toll is believed to be over six-thousand.

After a day off, the Toronto Blue Jays are going to be back in action at Sahlen Field tonight.
They’ll be hosting the Tampa Bay Rays, who are going to be spending the weekend in Buffalo. This will be the third game the Blue Jays have played at the home of the Buffalo Bisons.
First pitch for tonight’s contest is set for 6:37p.m.

Deer Management Committee Quits

The city of Batavia’s highly praised Deer Management committee resigned in mass this morning following a 30-second meeting.
Committee members claimed to have suddenly been left of the loop and lied to by city hall just as the deer management plan approached a final vote.

Deer Committee Chair Russ Nephew read a brief statement…

That terse thank-you came from Interim City Manager Rachel Tabelski
She and Police Chief Shawn Heubusch later offered a brief statement of their own calling the Deer Management Plan a “good start.”
They said the city would move forward to assess the draft of the plan and make recommendations to the full council.

Last month the committee was praised by Councilman John Canale and Bob Bialkowski for their thorough job in crafting the plan.
The plan was an attempt to safely cull the deer population by allowing a highly restricted season for bow hunters.

Morning News Briefing

Police raid an apartment at 22 Hutchins Place in the city and round-up three drug suspects.
50 year old Ronnie Johnson is charged with two felony counts of drug possession, and 34 year old Madalyn Muntz facing misdemeanor drug charges.
Also collared in the same raid, 46 year old Donald Brown of Rochester. He is facing a slew of charges including felony counts of drug possession and use of drug paraphernalia.
Brown and Johnson are being held without bail. Muntz was released on city court appearance tickets.

An eye in the sky leads to the arrest of a Pavilion man for allegedly growing his own pot. 62 year old Brian Dutton has been charged with unlawfully growing cannabis inside a building in the Wyoming County Town of Covington. A border patrol helicopter spotted the weed from the air.

One new positive case of coronavirus….a person in their 20’s from Batavia.
The individual was on mandatory quarantine before testing positive.

State Health Commissioner Doctor Howard Zucker says hospitals had plenty of personal protective equipment available during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Zucker says there were 24 million pieces of PPE like masks and gowns available, but some doctors and nurses claim they had to provide their own.
Hospitals are now required to have a 90-day stockpile of PPE.

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott is going to be on the team’s sideline for the foreseeable future. The franchise has signed him to a multi-year contract extension that will keep him with the Bills through the 2025 season. McDermott’s new deal will also make him one of the higher-paid coaches in the National Football League. McDermott has been with the Bills for three seasons, guiding the team to the playoffs twice.

Morning News Briefing

Governor Cuomo has signed off on a change to New York State’s seat belt law.
Beginning in November, all passengers 16 or older must wear a safety belt no matter where they’re seated in the vehicle.
Under the current law, those individuals are only required to wear a seat belt if they’re in the front passenger seat.
Violators of the new law could face a fine of up to $50.
Back in 1984, New York became the first state to pass a mandatory seat belt law.

It appeared to be a hit and run car- bicycle accident, but maybe not.
Deputies said a car struck a bicyclist yesterday afternoon on Veteran’s memorial Drive. They said the driver of the car got out, the bicyclist said he was fine and the driver handed him  a wad of cash that totaled $200, and said, ” this is for your bike” and left.

Two new positive cases of coronavirus reported in Genesee County.
One of the individuals was in their 50’s, the other in their 80’s, both are from Batavia.
As of late yesterday, 15 new individuals are under precautionary quarantine due to traveling from a restricted state.

New York State has added travelers from three more areas to the list of people who must quarantine after arriving here.
Travelers coming from South Dakota, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands now need to isolate themselves for two weeks. New York has removed New Mexico, Alaska, Rhode Island, Washington and Ohio from the list.
If visitors don’t reveal information about their trips to health officials, they face a $2,000 fine.

The Toronto Blue Jays make their Sahlen Field debut with a big win in their final at-bat.
Travis Shaw had an RBI single in the bottom of the tenth inning as the Blue Jays beat the Miami Marlins five-to-four last night.
It was the first Major League Baseball game to take place in Buffalo in over a century.
They’ll continue their series with the Marlins tonight.

Morning News Briefing

City Council President Gene Jankowski

The Batavia City Council has created a Police and Community advisory group.
The group was formed, by order of the governor, to review police department policies, procedures and training.
It originally consisted of 15 members…two were community members. That has now been increased to four with an eye toward greater inclusion of minorities.
City Council President Gene Jankowski says he’s all for diversity

The creation of the advisory group, with added citizen members, was passed unanimously.

Some big federal cash for GCASA.
Congressman Chris Jacobs is announcing a $1,000,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. The dollars are directed at helping people suffering from Alcoholism and substance abuse.

The Genesee County’s coronavirus count over the past 24 hours: no new positive cases reported.
Three previously reported cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.

Governor Cuomo believes an independent investigation into nursing home deaths during the coronavirus crisis isn’t necessary.
State Lawmakers say they want to know the factors involved in the deaths of more than six-thousand New Yorkers at long-term care facilities since the pandemic started in March.
The governor says criticism of how the state handled nursing home residents is political.

The Buffalo Sabres are going to have a bit of a different look when they hit the ice next season. The team is expected to unveil new royal blue jerseys today.
The Sabres previously wore royal blue between 1970 and 1996 before switching to black and red for several years.
Blue, white and gold returned as the franchise’s primary colors in 2006.

Morning News Briefing

An Oakfield man is facing charges following a neighbor on neighbor fracas in Oakfield.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies say 22 year old Edward Allis of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, threatened his neighbor with a homemade pitch fork.
He has been charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon,
Allis was released on his own recognizance.

New York State is winning the battle against coronavirus. As of Saturday, the number of people statewide who have tested positive for the virus was at its lowest level since the pandemic began.
In Western New York, the infection rate has been hovering above the one-percent mark in recent days.

Batavia Assemblyman Steve Hawley weighs in on the New York State Attorney General’s lawsuit against the NRA.
Hawley calls the move a “callous and politically charged attempt to sow dissent” in an election year.
Hawley called the NRA a valuable ally in preserving the second amendment.
State A-G Letitia James charges that NRA leaders illegally diverted millions of dollars in donations to for own personal use.

A $765-million deal to allow Rochester’s Eastman Kodak Company to make generic drugs is now on hold.
There have been allegations of insider trading. Now the federal agency that initiated the loan to Kodak wants a full investigation before allowing the deal to proceed.

The cost of gasoline has slipped slightly across Western New York.
According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas $2.19 That’s down a penny from last week. and is the same price drivers were paying a month ago. The average price in Batavia is also $2.19. A gallon of gas on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation is $1.94.

Final preparations will be underway at Sahlen Field today as the Toronto Blue Jays get ready to make their Buffalo debut.
The Major League Baseball franchise will be hosting the Miami Marlins tomorrow.
The Blue Jays are set to play 25 games at the home of the Buffalo Bisons after being told they couldn’t be in Canada due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Cuomo says schools can reopen

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo is giving the green light for schools in New York state to reopen this fall.

He said school districts need to have discussions with parents and post information for them online.

Cuomo said the state’s COVID-19 infection rate is very low, but they will continue to monitor it, leading up to the first day of school. In addition, other state guidelines include wearing face masks inside, when social distancing isn’t possible, and regular cleaning of classrooms, COVID-19 screenings and contact tracing for anyone who gets infected.

Morning News Briefing

The coronavirus pandemic has brought on tough economic times for nearly all types of businesses. Batavia Downs is no exception.
Batavia Downs Gaming has been closed since last March, the track just resumed limited operations last week.
Western Region OTB owns the Downs. Its president, Henry Wojtaszek says the company has lost $30-million in revenue and had to furlough 300 employees.

Forget about going back to your favorite gym anytime soon.
Governor Cuomo says finesses Centers have been identified as a source of COVID-19 infections across the country. Gyms have been shut down since March.

The Genesee County health department reports no new positive cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours.
A dozen people are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

Schools across New York could find out today if kids will be heading back to class this fall. Governor Cuomo notes any reopening plan needs the support of teachers and parents.
Districts have already created their own reopening proposals and sent them into the state for approval. Many of them opted for a hybrid model that would have kids in school a couple of days a week, with the other days on-line.

It’s always been illegal to park your car on a Batavia city street during the overnight hours – specifically between 2am and 6am.
But since the pandemic, city police has not been issuing tickets to violators.
That will change on September 1st.
Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said officers will issue warnings for the rest of this month, but starting the first of September, overnight night parking violators will be ticketed.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit in an effort to dissolve the National Rifle Association.
James says leaders of the gun rights group diverted millions of dollars in donations for their own use.
They’re also accused of giving contracts to close friends and family members.
James says the alleged actions of top NRA officials caused the organization to lose millions of dollars.
The NRA President called the lawsuit politically motivated

Buffalo Bills All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White says he’ll be taking part in the 2020 season. White had been deciding whether he would opt out of playing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The 25-year-old expressed concern about the safety of his two children and their mother who would be quarantined in Buffalo without any family nearby to help

Morning News Briefing

Daryl Sumeriski

A 52-year old Batavia man gets five years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.
Daryl Sumeriski was convicted of having more than 3-thousand images of kiddie porn on his phone.
The U S Attorney’s office said Sumeriski was living in a half-way house in bath when fellow residents turned him in.
U S Attorney James Kennedy said some of the images on Sumeriski’s phone depicted the violent abuse of infants and toddlers.

Deputies in Orleans County are looking into the death of a 16-month-old child.
They say the toddler fell into a pool yesterday at a home in Barre.
The child was taken from the water and rushed to a nearby hospital but later pronounced dead.
Police say they don’t suspect any foul play and what happened is a tragic accident.

Parents, students and teachers won’t have to wait much longer to find out if schools will reopen this fall.
Governor Cuomo has promised to make the official announcement by the end of this week.
Districts have already put together their own reopening proposals and sent them into the state for approval. Students have been out of classrooms since March due to the coronavirus.
The governor has said parents will be making the final decision on whether their children go back to school.


Members of two of New York’s teachers unions are calling for schools to be closed if there’s a confirmed coronavirus case in their building.
New York State United Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers say kids should be sent home for two weeks and return once schools are disinfected and cleaned.
They say students would have to learn remotely if they’re taken out of the classroom.

On this morning’s Police Blotter:
37 year old David Grossman of Maple Street, Batavia: he is facing a slew of charges including burglary and endangering the welfare of a child.
Batavia Police say Grossman broke into a house eon Highland Park, and threatened a resident inside. When arrested, police said he continued the fracas by damaging a police patrol car.
He’s being held without bail.


58 year old Robin Brooks of Hutchins Place: He’s charged with assault for allegedly slamming a door on a woman’s hand…it broke bones.
Brooks is in county jail on $2,500 bail.

Morning News Briefing

 Chris Collins

Ex-Congressman Chris Collins has asked for the start of his prison sentence to be delayed.
Back in January, the former 27th District representative was ordered to spend 26 months behind bars after pleading guilty to federal insider trading charges.
His sentence was supposed to start August 18th, but his attorneys now want it to begin in October.
They’re citing the spread of COVID-19 in prisons as the reason for their request.
Collins also wants to spend his sentence in Florida not far from a home he owns there.

More parents across Western New York are saying they won’t send their kids back to class in September.
In some Western New York districts, roughly one-third of students will be staying home due to concerns over the coronavirus.
In Batavia, the district has reported that 315 students have chosen 100 percent virtual learning.

New York has added travelers from another area to the list of people who must quarantine after arriving in the Empire State. Folks coming from Rhode Island now need to isolate themselves for two weeks to make sure they’re not infecting people with coronavirus.

The latest COVID-19 report for Genesee County:
There has been one new positive case in the past 24 hours –
A person in their 50s living in Batavia.
13 new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from a restricted state.

A Batavia bowling center proprietor is concerned for the future of his business and his sport if New York State doesn’t allow bowling alleys to re-open now.
Rick Mancuso, owner of a bowling center bearing his name, says the month of August sets the stage for his business for the coming months. Mancuso says this is the time leagues are formed and bowlers commit to the season.

There is a Salvation Army food distribution today.
It will be held at City Church, St. Anthony’s site on Liberty Street starting at 9 this morning.

Afternoon Briefing:

There have been several protests in Rochester and buffalo about school reopening with many people weighing in on both sides.  Proponents of school reopening want the option to return their children to school and use information from the cdc, pediatricians and various studies to back up their claims that the kids will be safe and anyone who is at risk should have the choice to stay home and learn online.  Those on the opposite side say that opening schools will lead to increased cases and make the whole community unsafe.  They demand that schools remain closed and that the government pay parents to stay home and teach their children instead of having to go back to work.  Governor Cuomo is expected to release the sates guidance on school reopening later this week.

The quarantine list has changed again.  This time travelers from Delaware and Washington DC no longer have to quarantine for 2 weeks when entering New York state but Rhode Island has been added to the list joining 34 other states.

The Rochester Red Wings have announced a way you can be in the stands for upcoming games, sort of.  By paying for 4 tickets to any home game next season fans can get a 24 by 17 inch cutout of themselves to be placed in the stands.  The Red Wings will take a picture of the cutout and send it to you and use it in a social media post.  At the end of the season, you get to keep yourself.  The bundle of tickets and cutout costs 60 dollars and additional cutouts cost 35 bucks each.

Morning News Briefing

Over the past 24 hours there have been five new positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Genesee County. Those cases have come from Batavia, Elba and Pembroke. These individuals ranged in age from their 20s through their 70s.
One person has been hospitalized.

It could be a while before the state reveals the number nursing home residents who got sick and later died of the coronavirus. Health Commissioner Doctor Howard Zucker told members of the Legislature he wants to review that data before releasing it so he can make sure its accurate.
There were five coronavirus deaths in Genesee County – none of them in nursing homes.
But in Orleans County, a very different story.
54 people died in either one of two nursing private nursing homes, one in Albion and one in Medina.
Right now, the nursing home death toll across the state stands at roughly 64-hundred, but some believe the number is much higher.
That’s because the state is only counting people who died of the illness at their facilities and not ones who were hospitalized before passing away.

This week, New York state officials are reviewing reopening plans for schools submitted from across the state.
Districts had until last Friday to turn in those plans. As members of the State Education Department and other officials review them, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is stressing the importance of districts creating an ongoing dialogue with parents and families.
Cuomo said a district can have a plan, but it won’t do any good if parents don’t feel safe bringing their children to school.

The price of a gallon of regular gasoline locally remains unchanged.
Triple-A reports a gallon of regular in Batavia at $2.23…the same as last week.

When the Buffalo Bills take the field this season, they’ll have quarterback Josh Allen under center.
Allen says he will not opt out of the 2020 campaign, saying he thinks the game of football, “gives people hope.”

GOW Opioid Task Force keeps public informed

COVID-19 may have temporarily put a stop to large gatherings, but the coronavirus pandemic is no match for the GOW Opioid Task Force’s commitment to informing the public of the dangers of opioid drug use and ways to prevent potentially deadly overdoses.

“Our Overdose Awareness Day is not able to be held this summer due to social distancing guidelines and restrictions on the use of parks, so we will be transitioning to an online event,” said Christen Ferraro, task force coordinator. “All the information that would have been shared at Austin Park in Batavia will be put on our Facebook page.”

Ferraro added that the task force plans to post – on a regular basis throughout August — articles, videos, local data and stories from individuals that have been affected by an overdose.

Genesee/Orleans Public Health Director Paul Pettit, a member of the task force, said he is well aware of the widespread impact of the opioid epidemic.

“Any loss of life is devastating to a community,” he said. “The effect is far-reaching as it devastates the family system – economically as a number of financially productive years are lost and emotionally as no dollar amounts can equal the loss of a life due to addiction.”

Pettit said that setting aside a period of time, be it a month or a day, to remind people of the various issues surrounding opioid use is important.

“There are so many services available for those experiencing addictive behaviors or are experimenting with various substances, and we encourage people to use those services before it is too late,” he said.

Ferraro also advised that another virtual opioid overdose prevention and Narcan training is scheduled for Aug. 26, with sessions at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The training will cover the disease of addiction, a brief history of the opioid crisis, signs and symptoms of opioid use and overdose, the overdose reversal drug Narcan and the administration of Narcan.

Attendance is required at just one of the sessions for the participant to receive credit for the course.

 “Those completing the training will learn more about how to prevent an opioid overdose and will receive a free Narcan nasal spray kit,” Ferraro said. “It is important to bring awareness to this day and the impact an overdose can have on an individual, their families and the community.”

The registration deadline is Aug. 24. To register, contact Ferraro at cferraro@gcasa.org. See the flyer for more details.

For more information, go to Facebook.com/gowopioidtaskforce.

Governor Cuomo Legislates Liquor Ice Cream

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo today signed legislation that would allow the manufacture and sale of ice cream and other frozen desserts made with liquor in New York.  Cuomo cited that the craft brewery business had experienced a huge boom in the last several years and that adding to the things they could make with those products would only help the industry.  The legislation does limit the amount of alcohol in the frozen confections 5 percent or less.  State Senator Rachel May says she is looking forward to Maple Bourbon Ice Cream next New York State Fair.

Gas prices remain steady for Batavia drivers.  In western NY the average price of a regular unleaded gallon is 2.20 down 1 penny from last week.  In Batavia it remains at 2.23 the same as last week.  The national average is 2.18.

Morning News Briefing

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decrease in New York State. Governor Andrew Cuomo said there are 556 patients in the hospital with the virus, the lowest number since March 17th. The governor reminded residents to stay diligent and to stick to the safety protocols.

The Genesee County Republican Committee has picked their candidate for this fall’s election for County Court Judge.
Batavia Attorney Thomas Williams has won the county GOP endorsement.
Williams has practiced law for 35 years. He has served for 12 years as Batavia Town Court Justice. The election for family Court Judge will be held on November 3rd.

Rainbow Pre-school, operated by the Arc of Genesee Orleans, will permanently close on August 14.
The program has locations in Batavia and Albion and has served hundreds of children with and without disabilities for more than 40 years.
The closing will mean that parents of children in the 2 and half to 5 year old age group will have to find specialized services elsewhere.
The Arc of Genesee-Orleans vows to help parents find alternative services.

Who doesn’t have old electronic equipment lying around the house…those old CD players and VHS video recorders?
Well, hundreds of people were able to dispose of them on Saturday thanks to an Electronic Recycling Event.
It was sponsored again this year by State Assemblyman Steve Hawley:


PHOTO: Assemblyman Steve Hawley directs traffic at Recycling event Saturday

Courtesy: The Batavian

The electronic trash was packaged up and hauled away by a private firm for recycling.

National Grid is proposing up to $50 million in COVID-19 relief to support the company’s economically vulnerable customers, commercial and residential.
The company says it will work with the Public Service Commission staff, customer advocates and other stakeholders to determine how best to allocate the help to those most in need across its upstate New York service area.

Weekend News Brief:

Schools in Genesee county have released their plans for the 2020-2021 school year which are being sent to the governor’s office.  Batavia, Alexander, Byron Bergen, Elba, Leroy, and Pembroke Schools have opted for a hybrid model with kids selected by last name attending school on alternating days and doing virtual learning on the days they are not physically in school.  Several of the school districts have set aside one day a week where the building will be cleaned and no students will be in attendance.  Oakfield-Alabama says it is able to socially distance and will have a full, regular schedule for students and will start late on September 11th in order to provide additional training for staff.  Pembroke is doing an either/or plan with parents choosing to either fully distance learn their children or do in person school.  Batavia has also said that there will be a group of students, those with special needs or with targeted learning, who will be in person on a regular schedule.  Pavilion does not have a plan ready at this time.  The schedules are not set in stone as Governor Cuomo will make final decisions about all NY State schools later this week and has said that schools will be able to reopen ad long as COVID 19 does not spike.

The Genesee Orleans county health department released Friday that there is 1 new case of COVID 19 in both Genesee and Orleans counties.  23 new people are on travel quarantine in Genesee county and 12 new people are on travel quarantine in Orleans.  1 person is hospitalized with COVID 19 in both counties.  There are a total of 6 active cases in Genesee county and 3 in Orleans.

The races may have gotten underway but gambling at Batavia Downs may still be a long way off according to Governor Cuomo.  Speaking on Thursday about Del Lago and 3 other Casino’s across New York Governor Cuomo said that because of the nature of the business and the likelihood of people not socially distancing or following guidelines casinos should not be allowed to reopen.  Native American owned casinos in New York have been open since June with no outbreaks reported but Cuomo says “people need food, people need clothes, people need home goods, You don’t need a casino to maintain survival.”

Newly Minted Congressman Chris Jacobs has been appointed to the House Agriculture committee.  In a press release Jacobs said that Agriculture is immensely important to Western NY and the first thing he is working on will be better access to broadband services in rural areas.

Rainbow Pre-school to close next month

Rainbow Pre-school, operated by the Arc of Genesee Orleans, will permanently close on August 14.

The program has locations in Batavia and Albion and has served hundreds of children with and without disabilities.

But enrollment has declined in recent years to a point where only 26 children are currently receiving services.
Arc officials say it was not only declining enrollment that led to the closing but also the challenges of operating through the pandemic and the perennial uncertainty over New York State funding.

“This decision was made with heavy hearts,” said Donna Saskowski, executive director of the Arc of Genesee Orleans. “For any children who are enrolled with Rainbow for the 2020-21 school year, we will work directly with parents and with school district representatives to secure appropriate placements and ensure continuity of services.”

The closing will mean that parents of children in the 2 and half to 5 year old age group will have to find specialized services elsewhere. That process begins with parents and their local school districts.
Rainbow Pre-school provided special education, physical, occupational and speech therapy and other services to children with developmental disabilities.

Morning News Briefing

Genesee County will be getting nearly a quarter-million dollars to enhance coronavirus contact tracing and flu prevention ahead of the fall flu season.
That money is part of the more than $30 million dollars the state will distribute to the counties to beef up staffing in local health departments

Two new positive cases of COVID-19 detected in Genesee County over the past 24 hours.
These two individuals, one in their 40s and one in their 50s, live in Batavia and LeRoy.
One of the individuals is hospitalized.

If Monroe County lawmakers get their way, Greater Rochester International Airport will have a new name.
They’ve introduced bipartisan legislation to rename it the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport.
Supporters say Douglass is Rochester’s most notable citizen and one of history’s most notable abolitionists.

It was becoming more obvious by the day but Seabreeze amusement park will not open this year.
It’s the first time in 140 years the park will miss an entire season.
The owners of Seabreeze say they ran out of time waiting for the state to provide the guidelines for them to open.
They are making plans for next year.

The 2020 racing season resumes tonight at Batavia Downs.
The season opened on Wednesday without anyone in the stands.
The only ones watching the action were horse owners, and it will stay that way until the state changes its COVID protocols.

The Buffalo Bills have sent their rookie players home due to five positive coronavirus tests.
The team says it expected some players to get infected as they prepare for the upcoming season.
The Bills also said they have taken the necessary steps to keep more people from getting sick.

Alabama woman charged with attempted murder

A Town of Alabama woman has been charged with attempted murder following a knifing at Oliver’s Candies in Elba.

Collen L. Nelson, 49, Alabama, was arrested by State Police Wednesday afternoon for allegedly attacking a 59-year-old man with what was described as a large knife.

Both were employees of the candy store. Nelson worked at Oliver’s for 15 years; the victim suffered only minor injuries.

The owner of Oliver’s, Jeremy Liles,  was not on-site at the time, but said it is not known what precipitated the attack. He said the incident was over very quickly.

In addition to attempted murder, Nelson was also charged with attempted assault and criminal possession of a weapon. She’s being held without bail.

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Batavia brought in the New Year with fireworks last night at 9p at Batavia Downs.  The time was moved up to avoid potential hazards due to the high winds that arrived after midnight, the original time of the fireworks.  No reports of major damage today due to the high winds but be aware of tree limbs and downed power lines in your area.

A grand jury has indicted a man who was arrested over the summer at the August 10th Jason Aldean concert at Darien Lake.  Robert Maharrey was indicted for disorderly conduct, multiple counts of harassment for striking a female patron in the face, 2nd degree assault a class D violent felony for allegedly striking a sheriff’s deputy, assaulting a police officer a class C violent felony when he spit and struck another deputy assisting in the arrest.

Friday evening Livingston County Sheriffs were in the middle of the state wide stop DWI effort, when deputies pulled a vehicle over on 390 for speeding.  Upon further investigation a 27 year old Geneseo man Patrick Dunn was charged with DWI.  Dunn’s BAC was .25% and was further charged with felony DWI from a previous 2015 conviction.  Dunn is now being held on 1,5k bail or 3k bond and remanded to the custody of the sheriff.

Yesterday afternoon, Genesee County Sheriffs made a traffic stop in Oakfield on Lewiston road when a Rochester man, 20 year old Damian Schoonmaker of Smith Street was found to be in possession of marijuana in his 2000 Buick LeSabre.  He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and is scheduled to appear in Oakfield town court 1/21

A motor vehicle accident yesterday in Elba led to a lane closure around 3:30p.  Two vehicle collided at Oak orchard and Lockport roads in Elba.  Elba fire police and 2 ambulance responded along with Elba Fire dept.

New Yorkers are seeing a number of new state laws in the New Year.  Among them, a law that requires diaper changing tables in all new public men’s and women’s restrooms.

Other changes include a requirement that health insurance companies give male patients free prostate cancer screenings and that residents be allowed to return unused prescription meds to pharmacies for free.

Many homeowners will enjoy an increase in property tax rebates, of an average of more than five-hundred dollars.

There’s the hike in the minimum wage. In our area, the minimum wage goes to eleven-dollars-and-ten-cents.

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