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Friday, December 21, 2012 at 8:55 am

Driver injured in accident on Perry Road overnight

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion

Charges are pending against a 24-year-old driver involved in an overnight accident on Perry Road, Pavilion, who was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital.

The medical condition of Ronald J. Tombari III, of Court Road, Pavilion, wasn't immediately available this morning during his transfer from the emergency room to another floor.

The accident report indicates he suffered a broken or dislocated hip or upper leg and was in shock and the time of the flight to Strong.

His passenger, Richard M. Sepor, 21, of Transit Road, Stafford, suffered minor injuries and was taken by ground ambulance to Strong.

Sepor is the registered owner of the 2002 GMC pickup Tombari was reportedly driving.

The truck was reportedly southbound on Perry Road near York Road at 12:12 a.m. when it traveled off the east shoulder and hit a tree. The truck spun off the tree and came to a stop.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Frank Bordonaro and Deputy John Weis. Pavilion fire and Mercy EMS assisted at the scene.

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 7:58 am

Today's Poll: Will the world end today?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 7:34 am

Gas and propane truck hit at Route 237 and 33, minor injuris, propane believed secure

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford

A car and propane truck have collided at Route 33 and Route 237, Stafford.

Minor injuries are reported and the propane is believed secure.

Stafford fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 8:23 a.m.: Stafford fire back in service.

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 1:51 am

Mercy Flight responds to two calls in Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, Pavilion

Mercy Flight was called on two separate incidents in Genesee County after midnight, Friday.

At about 12:15 a.m., a pickup truck reportedly hit a tree on Perry Road just north of York Road. There were two male occupants. One victim was able to get out of the vehicle, but the second victim required a Mercy Flight transport with a possible head injury.

Pavilion fire responded to the Perry Road accident.

At about 12:30 a.m., dispatchers received a report of a woman fallen on Pearl Street. Oakfield fire was dispatched and a short time later, requested Mercy Flight to the scene. A landing zone was set up at the school.

Mercy Flight 5 out of Batavia responded to the Pavilion accident. Mercy Flight 7 out of Buffalo responded to Oakfield.

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 1:01 am

Photos: Christmas lights in Batavia, Dec. 20

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Christmas lights

Tonight, I took another drive around Batavia taking pictures of homes with Christmas light displays. Again, I tried to concentrate on homes that possibly I hadn't photographed before, though I believe their are a few duplicates. While I haven't been down every street in the city this year, I have, at this point, been through all the neighborhoods. Sorry if you have a great light display this year and I didn't get to it. To purchase prints of these photos click the "visit gallery" link in the slide show.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Sponsored Post: Congratulations IR Systems!

post by Lisa Ace in advertisement, IR Systems, Sponsored Post

For the BEST HD programming available and the ability to RECORD 5 PROGRAMS AT ONCE -- stop by IR Systems - 309 West Main Street, Batavia, NY and become a new "CLIENT" with Direct TV. Call today - 1-800-319-2129. Visit us online: http://wnydtv.com/

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm

GCEDC approves financing for land purchases to create STAMP in Alabama

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, business, GCEDC, STAMP

With zoning changes approved in the Town of Alabama, the Genesee County Economic Development Center will now move forward with real estate purchases in order to create the footprint for the STAMP project.

The board today authorized the agency to move forward with a $2.1 million expenditure to acquire the land necessary for the 1,340-acre technology zone.

GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde said today, after the board's approval of the transactions, that he anticipates bringing in three chip fabrication companies of the size now in Saratoga, which will mean a $15 billion to $25 billion investment by those companies in Genesee County and some 9,000 jobs.

The board authorized a loan from the LDC (a non-profit agency operated by the GCEDC) to GCEDC for $500,000. GCEDC will then receive either a gap loan from a bank to repay the LDC, or pay it off when it receives grant money from the state for the STAMP project.

The project is receiving more than $2 million from Empire State Development.

The first purchases -- many of which have already been negotiated -- could happen in a matter of weeks.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Soldier surprises son at Jackson school holiday concert

post by Alecia Kaus in Jackson Elementary Batavia

Hasan Armstrong got the best Christmas gift a young boy could ever wish for. His Dad. Live and in person.

Hasan's number one wrestling partner, Corp. Haven Armstrong, showed up during the Holiday Happening concert at Jackson Elementary School this morning after being deployed with the Army/National Guard in Kuwait for a year.

Kindergarten teacher Debra Wolff found out about the surprise visit late last night after getting an e-mail from Stephanie Armstrong, Hasan's mother. Wolff says Hasan was a little shy about singing in the concert today since his Mom had to work and his Dad was in the Army in Kuwait. 

Wolff told Hasan not to worry and that she would be there for him. An aunt would also be in the audience. 

After the three Kindergarten classes had finished their perfomance, Mrs. Wolff told Hasan to come off the stage and to the front. "I have a surprise for you." she said. "Your Mom is here!" 

After a big hug from her son, Stephanie Armstrong then gave Hasan the best news of the day. "Guess what, your Dad is here too!" 

When Corp. Haven Armstrong entered the room Hasan took off running, jumping into his Dad's arms. The reunion brought tears to many in the audience. 

Corp. Armstrong says using Skype to keep in touch with his son has been great, but not the same as being there. He says "It's been a long year, and he's so tall and big now. Being here today means everything."

Armstrong will now train in the States and is looking forward to catching up with his family and friends. He still had to make a surprise visit to a daycare center with his 2-year-old son Haven Jr.

"Little boys like mine wait a long time for their dads to come home," Stephanie said. "Regardless of how you feel about what we are doing, the fact remains there are still families out there sacrificing."

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm

GCEDC board approves 2012 bonuses, raise for agency's CEO

post by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC

The Genesee County Economic Development Center Board has approved 2012 incentive bonuses for staff members of $120,000 and given CEO Steve Hyde a raise on his base salary from $160,000 to $195,000.

He'll also receive approximately $10,000 in deferred compensation for 2013, for a total salary of $210,000.

Incoming Board President Charlie Cook said both the bonuses and Hyde's deferred compensation are part of the existing contract.

The board voted on the matters this afternoon and Cook promised a press release later today with more information.

At the board meeting there was no discussion of how the $120,000 in bonus money will be distributed among staff members, but in past years Hyde has received the bulk of bonuses paid. Last year, Hyde received $75,000 of the $120,000 bonus.

The 2012 bonus package is the final year that incentive compensation will be part of the salary structure for GCEDC employees, Cook said.

The board also approved a 2013 salary schedule for Hyde's staff that includes 10 percent in deferred compensation. The salary schedule has not yet been released.

The agency's compensation committee offered two recommendations for the 2012 bonus pool, either $100,000 and $120,000. Today's motion was to approve $120,000 and Mary Ann E. Wiater and John Andrews voted no in the 5-2 vote, preferring the $100,000 recommendation.

UPDATE: Here's the press release:

"After listening to the concerns of the community, including the Genesee County Legislature, the Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center recently voted to move to a salary-only based compensation system, which eliminates the current incentive compensation program. No incentive compensation will be paid in 2013 and going forward.

“In the meantime, the board reviewed individual and organizational performance of the agency staff and approved the final, contractually established and measured, incentive compensation payments for 2012 to the GCEDC staff at our December 20th board meeting.

"In light of our community experiencing the greatest growth in manufacturing in over 50 years including attracting Muller Quaker Dairy and Alpina to our community along with the staff leading the way in securing $224.65M in investments along with pledged job creation of 427 this year – the GCEDC board believes the incentive compensation earned by the staff for 2012 is well deserved based on their excellent performance and in-place employment contract.

“We as a board would prefer to move forward and focus on all of the positive developments that the GCEDC has brought to the area, and because 2012 performance goals were met this year we will follow through with our contractually based incentive compensation plan.

“The bottom line is that the GCEDC staff continues to perform at a very high level and over the last several years has transformed this agency into a regional player successfully developing regional assets, attracting international companies and helping our existing base of business continue their growth that is benefitting our county and region in incredible ways. Their commitment, energy and hard work on behalf of Genesee County and the taxpayers is well documented."

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Car crash at West Main Street and Redfield Parkway in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at West Main Street and Redfield Parkway in the City of Batavia. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Snow and blowing snow advisory in effect Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon

post by Billie Owens in batavia, weather

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a winter weather advisory for snow and blowing snow in Batavia and Northern Genesee County, and other nearby areas, effective at 4 p.m. Friday through 4 p.m. Saturday.

Accumulations of two to three inches snow are expected Friday night, and again on Saturday, leading to storm totals of four to six inches, with the greatest amounts expected inland from the lakeshores.

Winds will blow westerly at 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph producing blowing and drifting snow late Friday night through Saturday. Visibility will get down to a half mile at times. This will result in difficult travel at times. Expect snow-covered roads and reduced visability.

A winter weather advisory is normally issued for a variety of winter weather conditions such as light snow and blowing snow. While the weather will be significant, the word advisory implies that severe winter weather is not anticipated.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 9:33 am

County will seek waiver from state for unique arrangement with mental health director

post by Howard B. Owens in mental health

It seemed like a good arrangement. Genesee County's mental health director, Ellery Reeves, landed the position of mental health commissioner in Erie County, but was willing to continue as mental health director for Genesee County.

Once the state found out about the arrangement, it turned out things weren't quite so simple. The county still needs the state's blessing for an agreement that really isn't covered by current state law.

The new contract with Reeves made him a "less than full-time" contract worker -- no benefits, on-call, he would invoice the county for his services like any contract worker.

Reeves told the county legislature in a special meeting Wednesday that such consolidated services are the wave of the future. He expects some day there will be only one mental health director for the entire eight-county Western New York Region, but current law hasn't quite caught up with the concept.

Though this isn't a "shared services" arrangement with Erie County, Erie County has given Reeves the OK to also serve as Genesee County's mental health director. There are other counties in the state that share mental health directors.

State law makes provisions for a full-time mental health director in a county, or part-time (which a county must have), but not "less than full time" nor for a contracted consultant.

Legislators discussed Wednesday the difficulty of finding director candidates who will accept the pay level of a small county and still meet state requirements, which is part of the reason the arrangement with Reeves seemed to be a good fit for the county's needs.

There are no other employees in the county who have the state-sanctioned qualifications to be director, and the County Services Board (which oversees the mental health department) and the legislature want to keep Reeves in the job.

To do that, the county will need to write a letter to the state's Inter Office Coordinating Council, which much approve all mental health directors, and seek a waiver so that Reeves can be a "less than full time" contracted mental health director.

The budget or the contracted position is $48,000 to $50,000. Reeves salary in 2011 was $74,652.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 8:55 am

Law and Order: Woman accused of not returning car to its owner

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Holly L. Gambino, 47, of 7273 Morrow Road, Covington, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Gambino was located and arrested on a warrant. She is accused of refusing to return a car to its proper owner, who is an acquaintance of Gambino's. Gambino was held pending a court appearance today.

Leonard Charles Millard, 55, of Highland Park, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant for an alleged failure to pay a court-imposed fine. Millard turned himself into the Sheriff's Office. He was arraigned in Genesee County Court and released pending further court proceedings.

Jon Hoyt Bush, 29, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Bush turned himself in on a warrant out of Batavia City Court.

David Allen Draper, 32, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding (84 in a 55 mph zone) and uninspected motor vehicle. Draper was stopped at 10:04 p.m. Monday on Route 5 in Batavia by Deputy Tim Wescott.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Community comes together in remembrance of Kelsey Milks

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, pembroke

About 100 people gathered in Pembroke tonight for a prayer walk and candlelight vigil in remembrance of Kelsey Milks.

The 19-year-old graduate of Pembroke High School died Sunday night following an automobile accident on Route 63, Town of Shelby.

The walk started at the Pembroke Fire Hall and headed west to the Milks' residence where Rev. Karen Grinnell, of the Indian Falls United Methodist Church, said a few words and led a short prayer. A group of high school students sang "Noel" and at the end of the vigil, the group raised their candles and flashlights to the sky and sang "Silent Night."

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