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Friday, January 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Sponsored Post: Saturday morning photography classes to begin January 31!

58 on Main, LeRoy is an art gallery and photo resource center and includes Baristas at 58 on Main, offering coffees, specialty teas, and light fare. Photography classes are instructed by Jim DeLooze, professional photographer for over 40 years. Students will see live demonstrations on depth of field, shutter speed, and ISO and will learn how to take their own cameras off automatic settings. Call 585-768-2402 or e-mail [email protected] to register.

Friday, January 23, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Davis settling in as newest member of the County Legislature

post by Howard B. Owens in county legislature

County government involves a $140 million budget, more than 700 employees in 27 departments, guided by a myriad of state and local laws, a tiered committee and commission structure and covering topics as diverse as criminal justice, mental health, roads and bridges and government assistance programs.

It would be impossible for any new member of the Genesee County Legislature to "hit the ground running."

The shared wisdom among local government observers is it takes at least a year to get even a basic knowledge of how the county operates.

With that in mind, the Legislature's newest member, Darien's Mike Davis, is taking a measured approach to learning his new job.

He's attending every committee meeting he can, making the rounds to various county departments and listening and reading.

"I need to learn what it's all about," Davis said. "I need to go to all of them (committee meetings) right now to understand the breadth of what's going on. Jay (Gsell, county manager) has taken me to on maybe a one-third tour of the county departments to meet the department heads and employees, and I'll continue to do that. We're going to schedule another one next week. I'll try to see who all these people are -- some 700 employees -- and figure out who does what and where."

Davis was a town justice in Darien and he said he's taking the same approach he did when first appointed to the bench: work hard and learn.

"I think I use common sense, and that's how I'm going to approach this," Davis said.

Davis's first committee assignment is Human Services, taking the slot once filled by Annie Lawrence, who is now supervisor in the Town of Pembroke.

Appointed to the office, he'll run for election in November.

Friday, January 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Deputy County treasurer resigns, new one is appointed

post by Billie Owens in genesee county

Press release from Genesee County Treasurer Scott German:

January 23, 2015

It is with very mixed feelings that I announce the resignation of James D. Stack, Deputy County Treasurer, and the appointment of Kevin J. Andrews as my next Deputy. Mr. Stack is resigning effective today to become a Monroe County Deputy Sheriff. James said becoming a deputy sheriff was a dream job of his since he was a young man. I will sincerely miss Jim, not only was he a great deputy to me, he is also a great friend. I wish Jim all the best in his new career.

Kevin J. Andrews, 26, of LeRoy, is my choice to succeed Jim as my next deputy. Andrews currently works in the Treaurer's Office as the Director of Real Property. I have worked with Kevin for four years and he has become a very valuable employee and will fit in well as Deputy Treasurer.

Kevin obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics/Statistics and Financial Economics from the University of Rochester in 2010 and has worked in the Treasurer's Office since he graduated.

Kevin and his wife, Alexandra, are expecting their first child in March.

 

Scott D. German

Genesee County Treasurer

Friday, January 23, 2015 at 11:51 am

Crash at routes 20 and 238, unknown injuries

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Darien

A motor-vehicle accident, unknown injuries, is reported at routes 20 and 238. Darien fire and ambulance and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: This is a pickup truck vs. car accident. Both drivers are reportedly out of the vehicles, talking. The vehicles are off the road; traffic is not blocked.

UPDATE 12:11 p.m.: A second Mercy rig is called in lieu of Darien's ambulance.

UPDATE 1:21 p.m.: The Darien assignment is back in service.

Friday, January 23, 2015 at 10:47 am

DEVELOPING: Feds raid residence on Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Midmorning some time, agents of Homeland Security, Secret Service, ICE and State Police raided a residence at 3618 Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, Batavia.

The agents arrived in multiple vehicles including two black vans.

While we were on scene, agents were pulling out large and small green branches. It looked for all the world like they had cut up the family Christmas tree and were stuffing it into large black bags.

An agent on scene said, "I can't tell you anything, except those are not Christmas tree branches."

Agents also carried out boxes.

When we asked a Homeland Security investigator if we could talk to the scene commander, he said we would need to contact the public information office for information. He provided a phone number. That number is nothing but an endless loop of voice prompts, making it impossible to speak to a real person or even leave a message.

We're are continuing to try and track down further information.  

UPDATE 11:02 a.m.: Reviewing my pictures from the scene at higher magnification on the computer, the branches appear to be marijuana plants stripped of leaves (one branch still has some leaves on it, and they look like marijuana leaves). Will have pictures posted shortly.

UPDATE noon: Karen Wisnowski, spokeswoman for Homeland Security in Buffalo, confirmed there is an ongoing investigation in a joint operation between Homeland Security, Secret Service and State Police, but could not comment further. She said the case is under a court-ordered seal at this time. More information will be released once the seal is lifted.

UPDATE 5:10 p.m.: We checked in with Karen Wisnowski. No new information available yet.

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 5:12 pm

County doesn't share in state's job growth report

post by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs

While the Department of Labor is boasting of 30,000 new jobs in New York in December, Genesee County was apparently not part of the boon.

The county lost 200 jobs from December 2013 to December 2014, according to the latest figures released by the DoL.

There were 21,900 jobs in the county last month, according to the report.

The nation as a whole added 240,000 jobs during the period and the national unemployment rate has dipped to 5.6 percent. New York's rate is 5.8 percent. The county's latest rate is not yet available.

During the same period, Wyoming County lost 100 jobs, down to 13,100. 

For jobs numbers, Orleans and Livingston counties are included in the Rochester count, which totals 129,200 jobs, down 200 from a year ago.

Buffalo-Niagara, however, added 800 new jobs, up to 558,400.

Here's the DoL's press release on the jobs report:

In December 2014, New York State’s private sector job count increased by 30,100, or 0.4 percent, to 7,638,200, reaching a new all-time high and outpacing the nation’s growth. Since the beginning of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, the state’s economy has added 535,600 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 41 of the past 48 months. This period included 22 consecutive months of private sector job growth, the state’s longest streak on record (current data go back to 1990).

The statewide unemployment rate in New York declined from 5.9 percent to 5.8 percent in December 2014, reaching its lowest level since September 2008, according to preliminary figures released today by the New York State Department of Labor. In addition, New York City’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent, remaining at its lowest level since October 2008.

The state’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly payroll employment estimates are preliminary and subject to revision as more data becomes available the following month. The federal government calculates New York’s unemployment rate partly based upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month.

“In December 2014, New York State’s economy experienced its largest monthly private sector job gain in two years and outpaced the nation. In addition, the state’s unemployment rate continued its recent downward trend in December,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, deputy director of the Division of Research and Statistics.

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Book recalls Tony Kutter's efforts to bring cheese business to post-Communist Russia

post by Howard B. Owens in books, business, corfu, Kutter's Cheese, Tony Kutter

Imagine a country with only one kind of cheese. If you can, you're thinking of Russia in the aftermath of the fall of communism.

That was the situation Tony Kutter found on his first trip in 1995 to the former Soviet Union as part of a trade exchange program to help aspiring Russian entrepreneurs learn how to start cheesemaking businesses.

Who better to teach how to make and market more than one kind of cheese than the 81-year-old Corfu resident who is a former owner of Kutter's Cheese, a cheesemaker with a reputation for developing dozens of varieties of cheese.

That's what leaders of the exchange program thought after Kutter volunteered for the assignment and his resume landed on their desks.

It was one of Kutter's suppliers who suggested he apply for the volunteer position.

"He said, 'just send in your resume,' so I did," Kutter said. "I did and as soon as I did they responded right away. 'Oh, this is the one we're looking for.' "

Working through Agricultural Cooperative Development International, Overseas Cooperation Assistance and Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs, all three nonprofit, private organizations based in Washington, D.C., Kutter made 31 trips to Russia over a 12-year span.

Batavia's own Barber Conabel, then president of the World Bank, was among the first to suggest Kutter write a book about his experiences during those many trips.

"He said, 'you've got to write a book,' " Kutter said. "He said, 'I don't know anyone who has been there 31 times and all over Russia.' "

The book is published now and it's called "Cheese in the Time of Glasnost and Perestroika."

Kutter tells the tales, recalls the tribulations and revisits the sometimes sad family histories of the people he met while helping to build cheese plants, instructing cheesemakers on marketing, and sharing with them the recipes for any variety of cheese from munster to gouda to cheese curds.

"I got over there and said, 'geez, you make one kind of cheese and it ain't very damn good,' " Kutter said. "So I took about 20 varieties over from our cheese factory and told them, 'tell me what you want to make and I'll show you how to do it.' "

The organizations sponsoring these missions -- and there were many -- wanted to help Russia transition from a command economy to a market economy and help open up the country to U.S. goods and services. American companies helped sponsor the programs in the hopes of developing a new market.

Goals that haven't exactly been met.

His first mission was to help start a cheese factory in St. Petersburg. This mission was also Kutter's first introduction to Russian bureaucracy and the national penchant to operate on bribery.

Organizations sponsoring Kutter's trips purchased supplies for the new factory and Kutter arrived at the border with the equipment. 

A customs official wanted to know, "What the heck is this stuff?"

It's for making cheese, Kutter told him.

The official went through the boxes and proclaimed, "This isn't humanitarian aid. You falsified the papers."  

The fine was $75,000.

Kutter returned to the U.S. without the new factory in place, but when he returned a few months later, the factory was ready to start making cheese. All of the new equipment was installed and ready to go.

He wanted to know how it happened.

"Let's not get into that," he was told. "That's not for you to know."

Kutter added, "everything in Russia is predicated on a bribe. It's still that way."

Sadly, the St. Petersburg factory went bankrupt after two years, but others Kutter helped start are still operational.

In his travels, Kutter was often invited into the homes of his Russian hosts and he often quizzed the older Russians about life under the former Soviet regime.

When Stalin died, Kutter was serving in the Army in Korea and he remembers reading in "Stars and Stripes" about people weeping in the streets, so he asked one old Russian gentleman, "did you cry when Stalin died?"

The man said, no. He wasn't really all that saddened by the brutal dictator's death.

The man told Kutter, "I put spit in my eyes so it looked like I was crying."

Kutter had dinner with a woman whose husband was taken to Siberia during Khrushchev's rule.

The couple had eight children. The man's crime? He took a bag of grain so he could feed his family.

The mother wrote her husband every day, but never got a reply.  They assumed the letters were getting to him, but that he wasn't allowed to respond.

In 1975, after Brezhnev became chairman, she received a letter informing her that her husband "had been killed unnecessarily." The package contained all the letters she had ever sent him.

"I can tell dozens of stories like that," Kutter said.

In the town of Perm, Kutter helped establish a cheese factory and taught the owners how to make a great variety of cheeses, all of which most Russians had never even tried.

He told his hosts that with these great cheeses ready to sell, they needed a way to market them. Thinking of the booming tourist business Kutter's has always done in Pembroke, Kutter suggested they set up a sample table at City Hall. 

As a condition of the permit, Kutter had to speak Russian. Fortunately, he had hired for the plant in Pembroke a woman who was a Russian translator, and she had been tutoring him on his Russian.

"I can speak enough Russian," he told them, "to say, 'I'm from America and I'm working at this cheese plant right here in your city and we developed these new variety of cheese and so perhaps you can try some and tell me what you think.' "

The people came out of the woodwork, Kutter said.

"One woman said to me, 'why are you giving all this stuff away?' " Kutter said.

He told her, "We want to introduce it to you."

She replied, "In Russia, if somebody is giving something away, it usually means it isn't any good."

The Russians liked the free cheese, but that didn't mean they were buying cheese at first.

"I asked one woman, 'would you buy this cheese?' and she asked me what we were selling it for, and I told her, and she said, 'you know, I'd really like to but, no, I wouldn't buy it.' She said, 'I don't have a lot of money, so I would save my money and buy a dress because when I go out in public they can see what I wear, but they can't see what I ate.' "

Asked if he felt he had any lasting impact on Russia, or left a legacy, Kutter demurs.

"I'm just a little old cheese maker," he said.

A little later he came back to the question and recalled the time a sales rep came into the Kutter's factory and asked him if he had heard about the cheese curds recall in Russia.  

"I thought," Kutter said, "there never was any cheese curds in Russia until I went there, so I must have had some effect."

"Cheese in the Time of Glasnost and Perestroika," by Tony Kutter, is normally on sale at the Holland Land Office Museum, but they just sold out. More copies are expected soon. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 4:17 pm

Today's Deals: NEW TODAY! Batavia's Original, Oliver's, Bohn's, El Burrito Loco, and more!

post by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day

NEW!  Batavia's Original, 500 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: First established in 1947, this Batavia landmark pizzeria reopened as Batavia's Original in 2010, serving up delicious Neopolitan tomato pies that have had satisfied generations. We offer regular and New York-style thin crust pizza, plus Chicago deep dish and gluten-free. We have "tray," white, sweet, or white ricotta sauce. Choose from two dozen toppings, including pulled pork, carmelized onions, steak and spinach! Enjoy specialty pizzas, too, like Sienna, Steak-in-the-Grass or bacon/chicken/ranch. Our menu also includes calzones, appetizers (like deep-fried pickles, garlic knots, Hodge Podge), wings, salads, wraps and cannolis. All subs are toasted. Weekday Express Lunch combo meals (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.). A $9.99 Sunday lunch buffet is offered from 11 to 3. Patio dining, catering, delivery. Hours are: Sunday & Monday 11 to 9; Tuesday & Thursday 11 to 10; and Friday & Saturday 11 to 11. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY: Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

Santino's Pizza, 2 Main St., Oakfield, NY: We're pizza and a whole lot more! Voted #1 pizza in Genesee County in blind taste test! Santino's features pizza, wings, subs, wraps, ice cream, and more! We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Fortuna's Restaurant inside Batavia Downs, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY: Italian-style menu, drinks in one of the region's most popular entertainment venues. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15. (Must be new or current Players Club member to redeem.)

The Rack Shack, 4974 Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, NY: Genesee County's newest BBQ restaurant offers a varied menu that ranges from tender, tasty slow-cooked BBQ ribs and smoky beef brisket to Cajun catfish, ribeye steaks, burgers and wraps. Family owned and operated, the atmosphere is warm and comfortable, and the meats are smoked on-site. The homemade BBQ sauce is “sweet with a spicy kick.” Sides include authentic Southern-style collard greens, 5-bean chuck wagon beans with bacon and ground meat, mac ‘n’ cheese, tater tots and more. Catering available. Dine in, take out, phone in (585-201-7077). Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 9 to 7, closed Monday. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, 9 Main St., Le Roy, NY. The kind of downhome, laid-back and comfortable place that just feels right. Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, this eatery and bar features a variety of eats and drinks that are outstanding. Specializing in smoked meats -- each meat is dry rubbed with a proprietary mix of seasonings, then smoked slowly in their on-site smoker for maximum flavor and tenderness. With a variety of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, combo platters and entrées, there's always plenty of choice for even picky eaters. Great food, frosty brews and some of the best folk around call the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew their favorite -- make it your favorite today! Don't forget to ask about our catering! We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Mooney's Sports Bar & Grill, 65 Lake St., Le Roy, NY: "Not Your Average Sports Bar!" This place is Home of the Mac N' Cheese, an All-American favorite with nine kinds to choose from. Plus, monster 1/2-lb. burgers, huge tacos, pizza, wings, fingers, wraps, soups, salads, appetizers (including deep-fried pickles), a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches, seafood, and plenty more. Mooney's has a fun, welcoming atmosphere where you can enjoy watching your favorite teams. Endless soda pop, great selection of ice-cold beer. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Catering available. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12. (Good only at the Batavia location.)

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

El Burrito Loco, 4125 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Located in Valu Plaza, this new eatery offers tasty, authentic Mexican fare. Tell us what you want on your burrito! We make it fresh just for you. Choose from steak, seasoned ground beef, chicken, pork, and/or beans -- black, refried or pinto. Other ingredients to choose from include lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, guacamole, Spanish or white rice, cilantro, salsa, and jalapeno peppers. The menu also offers tacos, quesadillas, burrito bowls, loaded nachos, Mexican soda pop, lemonade, and more! Relax and eat in, or take out. Call in your order if you like -- 219-4620. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

John & Mary's Restaurant, 3711 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY: This popular restaurant offers a varied menu that people love. From subs, hoagies, hand-tossed pizza, and wings, to fish & chips, salads, Mexican food, gyros and other Greek fare, it's all here. Only the finest and freshest ingredients are used. Bread, using homemade dough, baked fresh daily. Amazing specialty pizzas and appetizers! "We never waver on quality!" Delivery available all day, every day. We offer catering. Hours 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Rancho Viejo, 12 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Traditional Mexican cuisine, from tacos and burritos to pollo norteno, Rancho Viejo brings a bit of "South of the Border" to Batavia's restaurant scene. We have a $10 gift card for $6.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's."  Stop in and check out our Jumbo Chicken Wings, Roast Beef on Weck and Friday night fish fry. The original family spaghetti sauce still adorns all of our Italian specialties. The other popular selections from our menu range from Super Salads, butcher cut Strip Loin and South of the Border items. We offer daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a full adult and children’s menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

[Last updated June 6, 2014. Subject to change without notice.]

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Rules: The gift certificate must be used by within 30 days of purchase, unless it states otherwise. It is not valid with other offers, has no cash value, and does not include gratuities. Only one gift certificate per-merchant, per-household every SIX months. Gift certificates cannot be combined with other offers without prior approval of the merchant. Gift certificates bought separately cannot be combined for a single purchase. Individuals buying gift certificates must use their own personal PayPal account for the purchase. For hair salons, good for services only, not products.

How to Win: Purchase using the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. After the first person to hit the "buy now" button completes the purchase, PayPal will let you know that the item has been sold. Unless other arrangements are made immediately after purchase, the gift certificate will mailed to the winner at his or her PayPal-provided postal address within two or three days of purchase.

SOLD OUT

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Hawley: Sheldon Silver must go

post by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today called for the resignation and removal of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Hawley said Silver’s resignation is necessary to preserve the integrity of the office and keep focus on the importance of the upcoming budget negotiations.  

“Speaker Silver owes it to his legislative colleagues, the State of New York and his tens of thousands of constituents to step down as speaker,” Hawley said. “Speaker Silver owes the public an explanation for his actions, and it would be outrageous and irresponsible to allow him to continue his Assembly duties while he faces a possible indictment for corruption charges. It is time for members of the Assembly Majority to do the right thing and elect new leadership that will serve our state with a greater sense of honor and dignity. We have important business to conduct as public representatives, and the upcoming budget negotiations deserve our utmost attention. Silver’s resignation would allow us to continue the people’s business.”

Hawley’s comments come after Silver turned himself in to the FBI this morning following an investigation about incomplete financial disclosures required by state law.

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Wreck with injuries on Clinton Street Road, Bergen

post by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at 8073 Clinton Street Road. Bergen fire and Mercy medics are responding. The location is in front of the feed convenience store.

UPDATE 2:47 p.m.: Bergen assignment is back in service.

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 11:56 am

Le Roy couple charged in vehicle thefts

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy
Lauren Charache Duane Charache

Two people have been arrested in connection with a series of vehicle thefts in Le Roy, but the arrests only potentially solve two of the crimes, according to Le Roy PD.

Lauren E. Charache, 35, and Duane J. Charache, 31, both of 115 Myrtle St., Le Roy, are charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 3rd, two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, and one count of criminal mischief, 4th.

Batavia PD first arrested Lauren Charache on Jan. 8 after she was allegedly found in possession of a stolen vehicle. She was charged in Batavia of criminal possession of stolen property, 2nd.

Le Roy investigators say Lauren possessed the same vehicle on that same day in the Village of Le Roy, leading to another criminal possession of stolen property charge.

Both Duane and Lauren possessed one of the vehicles, police say, and it was allegedly damaged through reckless use. The value of the damage exceeds $250.

A third vehicle theft remains under investigation.

Lauren was jailed on $10,000 bail and Duane was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 11:52 am

Fight in front of convenience store on East Main Street, Batavia

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

A "physical disturbance" is reported by a passerby in the parking lot of the convenience store at 505 E. Main St. in the city. A hispanic female and several black males are allegedly involved. Police are responding.

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 11:32 am

GCC kicks off fundraising campaign for new buildings, scholarships

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC

By Tom Rivers, Orleans Hub

In 1965, a year before Genesee Community College officially started, Carl and Bernice Yunker took up the challenge to help create the college.

They talked to neighbors and friends, and local town and county officials. The idea wasn’t popular. People worried their taxes would go up with a new community college.

The Yunkers and other GCC supporters were able to convince the public to back the effort. The Yunkers’ son, Craig, observed his parents a half century ago and their push to make GCC a reality.

He is taking a turn in the spotlight now, working to rally friends and neighbors, and the general public on behalf of GCC. The college is planning a $20 million-plus project, its most ambitious since its beginning.

Yunker is the chairman of the fund-raising campaign that seeks $5 million in donations from the public. Donors have already stepped forward with $4 million.

“This campaign will change this college,” Yunker said during a campaign kickoff on Wednesday evening with about 100 GCC supporters. “It will propel it for the next 50 years.”

The college in the spring expects to start site work on two buildings – a 9,000-square-foot “Student Success Center” and 43,000-square-foot “College and Community Event Center.”

GCC also is working to raise $1 million for scholarships. That endowed fund will allow GCC to offer financial help to 80 to 100 local students each year.

For more of this story, visit OrleansHub.com.

Photo by Howard Owens.

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 11:22 am

Knifepoint robber facing possible 15 years in prison after guilty plea

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime
Robert Propst

A Batavia man with several prior arrests admitted in County Court on Wednesday to stealing another person's wallet at knifepoint in August.

Robert J. Probst, 34, of Maple Street, pled guilty to robbery, 2nd. 

As a prior felony offender, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Probst was arrested in October, accused of confronting a 22-year-old victim on Pearl Street and taking his wallet.

Over the past few years, Probst has been arrested on various lesser charges in Batavia, but his prior felony offense for sentencing purposes is a 2002 robbery of a business in Batavia.

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