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Friday, January 23, 2015 at 3:26 pm

College again offering free help for tax preparation

post by Billie Owens in announcements, GCC

Press release:

January is flying by and April 15th will be here before you know it. If that sends you into a panic, take advantage of free tax preparation help from Genesee Community College. For the sixth year straight, GCC volunteers are offering free income tax preparation services to the community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Those interested may access walk-in sessions at GCC's Batavia Campus as noted below or appointment-based services at Genesee County Department of Social Services (GCDSS) on Tuesdays.

There are four walk-in sessions scheduled at the GCC Batavia campus, all in room T205:

•    Thursday, Feb. 12th 4 -7 p.m.

•    Tuesday, Feb. 24th 4 - 7 p.m.

•    Tuesday, March 24th 4 – 7 p.m.

•    Thursday, April 2nd 4 – 7 p.m.

The appointment-based services are available from Feb. 3rd – April 7th at the Genesee County DSS at 5130 E. Main St., Batavia. To make an appointment call Betty at 344-2580, ext. 6552.

Through VITA, IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation to community members with household income up to $53,000. Business tax returns or complicated capital gains transactions cannot be completed through the VITA program. VITA offers free electronic filing of federal and state returns.

"Genesee Community College is once again pleased to offer this service to our local residents. Our certified volunteers consist of faculty, staff and current students," said Cheryl Corke, GCC associate professor of Accounting and Business and VITA program director.

Last year we prepared 162 Federal and NYS income tax returns. Through this effort, our clients received $226,087 in Federal Income Tax Refunds, including $51,899 in earned income tax credits, $15,479 in child tax credits and $10,107 in education tax credits."

Corke advises participants to bring all necessary documents including W-2 (wage and earning statement(s) from employer(s), W-2G, 1098,1099-R, 1099-Misc (interest and dividend statements from banks) forms and the new 1095A forms related to the ACA; Social Security cards for all persons listed on the tax return; and a copy of last year's Federal and State returns, if available.

In addition, bank account routing numbers and account numbers are also needed for direct deposit of refunds. Other information participants may need to provide includes total annual payment for daycare providers plus the daycare provider's tax identifying numbers and address.

Lastly, for married-filing joint tax returns both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

"I want to personally thank all of those involved in this program. It really is a fantastic opportunity for community members and our students," Corke said. "We have several certified preparers from GCC and DSS and many others have put time and effort into this endeavor."

The certified volunteers have undergone rigorous online training to be able to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations.

For more information, contact Cheryl Corke, VITA program director at GCC, at [email protected].

Friday, January 16, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Tickets on sale for HomeCare & Hospice annual Mardi Gras fundraiser at the Downs

post by Billie Owens in announcements, HomeCare & Hospice

Tickets are on sale for HomeCare & Hospice’s Fourth Annual Mardi Gras celebration on Saturday, Feb. 21 at Batavia Downs Grandstand Bar & Grille. Tickets are $50 each, $90 for a couple and include $15 in casino free play and a New Orleans-style dinner with food stations. Tickets can be ordered online at www.HomeCare-Hospice.org/MardiGras or by contacting Jennifer Blake, HomeCare & Hospice development coordinator at 1-877-277-2615 or [email protected]

The first 50 individuals to purchase tickets will receive a free gift.

Doors are set to open at 6 p.m., and dinner will begin at 7. A cash bar will be available throughout the evening. The jubilant celebration will also include live musical entertainment by the band M.A.C., dancing, a Chinese auction, basket raffles and prizes for best masks and most festive attire.

All proceeds from Mardi Gras benefit the HomeCare & Hospice Foundation.

“We have a charmed evening of entertainment, fun and food planned,” Blake said. “We are especially looking forward to our mask and attire contests. We encourage all to get decked out in their most festive dress for the occasion.”

HomeCare & Hospice, a nonprofit United Way agency, provides specialized medical care and social/emotional support for patients and families coping with life-limiting illness in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Genesee and Wyoming counties. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Renovations complete, Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia opens on Bank Street

post by Billie Owens in announcements, business

Press release:

Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia, formerly Batavia Radiation Oncology Associates, has opened its offices at 262 Bank St. after several weeks of construction.

With the renovated and expanded space, the clinic now features an outpatient blood draw laboratory, and larger clinical examination rooms. As part of Wilmot Cancer Institute, the Batavia clinic will give patients in Genesee and surrounding counties access to precision diagnostics, targeted therapies, clinical trials and the UR Medicine e-record system.

In addition to providing radiation therapy, the clinic will provide chemotherapy and infusion services, which are expected to be available in Batavia by Spring.

Kevin J. Mudd, M.D., who served as medical director for Batavia Radiation Oncology for 14 years, continues to see patients at Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia as a member of the University of Rochester Medical Center faculty. Mudd and other providers who see patients at the Batavia clinic will be able to participate in weekly tumor board sessions and other consultations to provide a truly multidisciplinary approach to cancer care.

"I am excited to resume our practice of high-quality cancer care here in this community and to see our services growing with our integration with URMC and Wilmot Cancer Institute,” Mudd said.

Jonathan W. Friedberg M.D., M.M.Sc., director of Wilmot Cancer Institute said "Cancer care has become so complex, and it requires an entire team to address every aspect of the disease. It starts with the diagnostic process and continues through treatment decisions, follow-up care, and survivorship or palliative care, if needed. Our Institute brings that comprehensive level of service every step of the way, in a setting that’s convenient no matter where you live.”

The Wilmot Cancer Institute is the Finger Lakes region’s leader for cancer care and research. As part of UR Medicine, Wilmot provides specialty cancer services at the University of Rochester Medical Center and at a network of satellite locations. Wilmot Cancer Institute is a component of Strong Memorial Hospital. The Institute also includes a team of scientists who investigate many aspects of cancer, with an emphasis on how best to provide precision cancer care.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Plein air paintings of retired art teacher on display, reception Friday

post by Billie Owens in announcements, art

Press release:

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council is pleased to host an exhibit of paintings by Howard A. (Tony) Barry. Barry’s exhibit, “Retrospective: Paintings & More,” is on display today through Thursday, Feb. 26 at two Batavia locations: the GO ART! Main Gallery, Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St.; and the GO ART! Satellite Gallery in the Genesee County Senior Center, 2 Bank St.

A total of 78 paintings will be on exhibit in both galleries. A free Reception and Artist Talk will be held on Friday, Jan. 9th, from 5 to 7 p.m. There is no admission cost for the exhibit. The galleries are open to the public 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment (please call 585-343-9313).

A resident of Holley, Barry taught art in Holley Central School for 31 years and is now enjoying retirement. According to Barry, a good part of his days are spent practicing what he preached as a teacher. He and his wife, Annette, have four daughters who are all grown and married.

Many of his subjects are of local sites that you very well may recognize as some of the outdoor scene were plein air painting, while some were completed while traveling with his wife during retirement.

“I love the spontaneity and challenge of painting with constantly changing light," Barry said. "The feeling is hard to capture from a photograph.”

He describes his painting style as realistic. Some artists who have influenced his work are Cezanne and the modern movement, Sargent for his brushwork, and Gruppe for his use of color.

“While I have spent most of my career as a teacher, I still feel I have a lot to learn about painting and would appreciate your comments.”

Some of his work is also on display at Marti’s on Main, 229 N. Main St., Albion; phone 589-6715.

For more information on this exhibit and other GO ART! programs and services, please visit www.GOart.org <http://www.GOart.org>, e-mail [email protected] or call 585-343-9313.

GO ART! exhibits are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm

ILGR workshop teach how to request 'reasonable accommodations' in the workplace

post by Billie Owens in announcements, business

Press release:

Independent Living of Genesee Region, in conjunction with the Genesee County Career Center, will be holding a one-hour workshop for prospective employees and working individuals with disabilities. The workshop is designed to inform individuals of their right to request and use "reasonable accommodations” within the workplace.

Examples of reasonable accommodations may include: better lighting for individuals with visually impairment; an extra 10-minute break during the work shift to check insulin levels for people living with diabetes; an extended start time to travel to work and/or additional preparation time for individuals with mobility challenges.

The workshop is being offered on two separate dates: Thursday, Jan. 15th and Thursday, Feb.12th from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Genesee County Career Center, 587 Main St., Suite 100, Batavia.

These sessions are FREE and pre-registration is suggested.

Have questions? Interested in registering? Call Donna Becker at (585) 815-8501, ext. 411, today to reserve your spot! Seats fill up quickly so do not delay.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Local and state snowmobilers debut 'Take a Friend Snowmobiling' event on Jan. 11

post by Billie Owens in announcements, sports

Press release:

With Winter 2015 in full swing, the New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) and the Genesee Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club are partnering to host the initial "Take a Friend Snowmobiling" event. This will be a great opportunity for new riders and riders who have not been on a sled in years to enjoy a fun and safe snowmobile ride, and it’s a free event NYSSA plans to replicate across Upstate New York.

“It is very hard to find better views than those you take in while on the more than 10,000 miles of snowmobile trails in New York State,” said Dominic Jacangelo, executive director of the New York State Snowmobile Association. “Our clubs and club members have taken the lead this year in organizing Take a Friend Snowmobiling events across the state so we can share why we all love our sport.”

The featured course is specially selected by each local snowmobile club to be appropriate for novice riders. Clubs will organize safety gear for participants to use and sleds will be made available by local dealer partners.

“The Genesee Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club is excited to host the inaugural 'Take a Friend Snowmobiling' event so we can share the adventure and show others what great fun snowmobiling can be,” said James Elmore, New York State Snowmobile Association president and Genesee Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club board member. “Our event is a great opportunity for anyone interested in our sport to learn more about snowmobiling and take a ride on our scenic trails.”

Questions? Call James Elmore at 585-813-4610.

WHO: New York State Snowmobile Association and the Genesee Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club

WHAT: "Take a Friend Snowmobiling" event -- FREE!

WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHERE: 102 S. Pearl St., Oakfield

Sunday, December 28, 2014 at 5:11 pm

GC 4-H offers National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation program for 14- and 15-year-olds

post by Billie Owens in announcements, 4-H

The Genesee County 4-H office will be offering the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program to youth 14 to 15 years of age. This course will qualify youth to be certified to operate farm equipment for hire. The course is scheduled to run Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon beginning Jan. 17 through March 21.

Deadline to register is Jan. 12.

The training program encompasses 32 hours of intensive instruction. Upon the completion of the training, each student will be required to take a 50-question knowledge test with a minimum passing score of 70 percent. Students who successfully pass the knowledge test will be permitted to take the Skills and Driving tests.

After passing both the written test and driving tests, the students will receive their formal certification from U.S. Department of Labor.

The fee for the course is $25.

Note: Youth are also required to be current enrolled 4-H members (Genesee County 4-H enrollment fees are: $25 per youth or $50 per family for Genesee County residents; $35 for out of county residents).

To request a registration packet or more information please call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County at 343-3040, ext. 101, or e-mail: [email protected]. Deadline to Register: January 12.

Sunday, December 28, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Application deadline is Jan. 7 for student YES Abroad Scholarships

post by Billie Owens in announcements

Press release:

The application deadline for the 2015-2016 Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad scholarship program is Jan. 7. The program provides full scholarships to American high school students to experience overseas communities and cultures, preparing students to collaborate on today’s global challenges such as human rights, community development, workforce development, climate change, and global health.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the YES Abroad program enables students to study for one academic year in countries that may include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Philippines, Thailand, and Turkey. The merit-based scholarship covers domestic and international travel; applicable visa fees; medical benefits; room and board; tuition at the local high school; orientations; and fees for educational and cultural activities.

Participants in the program fully immerse themselves into the culture of their host family while attending local high school.

Interested students should visit www.yes-abroad.org to learn more the program and to apply. Contact the YES Abroad program at [email protected] or 800-237-4636, ext. 2151, if you have questions about the program or application process.

Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 9:49 pm

WNY police officers wives host toy drive at O'Lacy's

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, batavia

WNY Police Wives had its 2nd Annual Toy Drive on Sunday at O'Lacy's Irish Pub.   The group provided gifts for three local children in the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program and nearly $400 in support of a police family in our region.   WNY Police Wives have begun our second year of providing support to its 130 members from Genesee, Orleans, Erie, Monroe and Chautauqua Counties, and the group continues to grow.  

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Meet Batavia native and author Jennifer Gervase Benson at Richmond library

post by Billie Owens in announcements

Meet Batavia native and children's book author Jennifer Gervase Benson at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22 at Richmond Memorial Library Saturday. She will have her books available for sale and personally signed. They are beautifully illustrated and cost $14.95 each plus tax.

All proceeds will be donated to a scholarship fund called Levi's Legacy, which was established in memory of her nephew (Levi Alexander Benson) who passed away in 2009.

"The Three Little Girls & The Magical Unicorn"
Published by Mascot Books

This is a unique children's book about taking risks and believing in yourself. The book can be purchased online at mascotbooks.com <http://mascotbooks.com/> , barnesandnoble.com <http://barnesandnoble.com/> , amazon.com <http://amazon.com/> ; and participating stores.

The other book is called "Bella's Adventures -- Turn That Frown Upside Down."

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