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Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Attorneys sought as candidates for part-time City Court judge position

post by Billie Owens in batavia, City Court

Press release:

The City Council is seeking to fill a part-time City Court Judge position. This position is appointed by City Council to serve a six (6) year term and will be effective April 21, 2015. Minimum qualifications require candidates to be an attorney admitted to practice law in the State of New York for at least five (5) years as of the date he or she commences the duties of the office and must be a resident of the City of Batavia.

All interested candidates please submit a letter of interest by Feb. 28, 2015 to:

City Court Judge

Attn: City Council President Brooks Hawley

One Batavia City Centre

Batavia, New York 14020

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Batavia’s Employee Wellness Program recognized as 2015 Harvard Ash Center 'Bright Idea in Government'

post by Billie Owens in batavia, health

Press release:

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized today the City of Batavia’s Employee Wellness Program as part of the 2015 Bright Ideas program.

This year’s cohort includes 124 programs from all levels of government — school districts; county, city, state, and federal agencies; as well as public-private partnerships — that are at the forefront in innovative government action.

In 2009 Batavia made a complete shift in the way it looked at health insurance, and a wellness program was established to influence employee behavior and focus on preventative care. Employees and spouses who participate in the program and achieve or exceed identified results have the opportunity to earn credits to either reduce their health care contribution or lower their out of pocket deductible.

The employee and spouse, if both participate, can achieve a maximum of 25-percent discount on their health insurance premium, or pay as little as 5 percent for health insurance. The employee health care contribution is 30 percent of the plan's annual cost.

The following are the targeted goals for each factor based on standards established by the National Institute of Health and American Diabetes Association:

1. Health Risk Assessment – Need to complete (employee and spouse)

2. Fasting Glucose - <=99

3. LDL Cholesterol - <=99 mg/dL

4. Blood Pressure - <= 139/89

5. Nicotine Use – Non-use only

In addition, if a participant shows a 60-percent improvement in fasting glucose, LDL cholesterol or blood pressure over the prior year, he/she will receive credit for the category, as the improvement shows significant movement toward obtaining the category goal.

The City’s medical plan also has a case management program in place that works with members to help coordinate all necessary health resources to maintain a healthy quality of life. The overall goal of the City’s wellness program is to drive preventative utilization, reduce the number and severity of claims and reduce health care costs.

With respect to health care expenses, the City has seen impressive accomplishments in managing what are regularly considered “unmanageable costs." Since 2010, Batavia has enjoyed an annual increase in healthcare premiums of only about 4 percent -- compared to an average of double-digit increases nationally. Notably, the cost of the average family healthcare plan in 2014 was $15,927, this was a 5-percent decrease from 2013. Batavia’s health insurance premiums have experienced marginal annual increases in health care premiums when compared to most municipalities in New York State and across the nation, while premiums paid by employees have gone down.

Most importantly, Batavia employees, spouses and families have become more educated and participatory in their own health.

“The Bright Ideas program demonstrates that often seemingly intractable problems can be creatively and capably tackled by small groups of dedicated, civic-minded individuals,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center.

“As exemplified by this year’s Bright Ideas, making government work better doesn’t always require massive reforms and huge budgets. Indeed, we are seeing that, in many ways, an emphasis on efficiency and adaptability can have further-reaching effects than large-scale reforms.”

This is the fourth cohort recognized through the Bright Ideas program, an initiative of the broader Innovations in American Government Awards program. For consideration as a Bright Idea, programs must currently be in operation or in the process of launching and have sufficient operational resources. They must be administered by one or more governmental entities. Nonprofit, private sector and union initiatives are eligible if operating in partnership with a governmental organization.

Bright Ideas are showcased on the Ash Center’s Government Innovators Network, an online platform for practitioners and policymakers to share innovative public policy solutions.

About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation:

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world’s citizens. For more information, visit www.ash.harvard.edu

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 11:44 am

Nothing new to report on federal raid of Batavia residence

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

There's nothing new to report on a federal raid that took place Jan. 23 at 3618 Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, Batavia, according to Karen Wisnowski, spokeswoman for Homeland Security in Buffalo.

We checked in with her yesterday. She responded this morning after talking with the agent in charge of the operation.

As reported previously, it looks like there were marijuana plants being removed from the residence.

The raid involved Homeland Security, ICE, the Secret Service and State Police.

The nature of the investigation is under a court-ordered seal.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 11:32 am

Law and Order: 62-year-old woman accused of selling drugs

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Doris L. Mayl, 62, of Manhatten Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 5th, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th. Mayl allegedly sold a quantity of Soma to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force during the month of April, 2014. She was arrested Tuesday by a uniformed deputy. Following arraignment, she was jailed on $5,000 bail. (Soma is the brand name of carisoprodol, a muscle relaxant.)

Cale Daniel Rice, 38, of Sunset Terrace, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, speed not reasonable and prudent and moving from lane unsafely. Rice was charged following an investigation by Deputy Jason Saile into a motor-vehicle accident at 4:27 a.m. Saturday on Route 5, Batavia.

Joseph A. Muolo, 24, of Union Street, Batavia, was arrested at his residence on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a parking ticket (parking on city streets between 2 and 6 a.m.). Muolo posted $100 bail and was released.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Water service around River Street to be disrupted tomorrow

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure

Press release:

Water valve repairs will take place Wednesday, Feb. 18th, on River Street between South Main Street and Birchwood Drive.

Water customers will be without water from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on South Main Street from River Street to the City line, to include Meadowcrest Drive, and River Street from South Main Street to Birchwood Drive.

All residents will have access to their properties during the construction. We ask that all thru traffic seek an alternate route during this time.

This valve replacement is associated with the waterline work that was completed on South Main Street over the weekend. A water valve became inoperable and requires immediate replacement.

If you should experience discolored water after the water is restored, please run your faucet until it once again becomes clear.

Thank you to all the residents and motorists in the affected area for their patience during the construction over the past few days.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 3:18 pm

Duo accused of making off with laptops and clothing from Walmart

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime
Rickita Lathan Katrina Jones

Two women from Buffalo are accused of stealing enough from the Walmart in Batavia to be charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Rickita Lathan, 29, and Katrina M. Jones, 46, are accused of making off with laptop computers and an undetermined amount of clothing without paying for the items during a visit to the story Friday.

They were identified as the suspects through the use of surveillance video.

Based on the evidence, State Police investigators received arrest warrants out of the Town of Batavia Court for Lathan and Jones.

Lathan was taken into custody by Cheektowaga PD and turned over to SP Batavia. She was arraigned in Town of Oakfield Court and jailed on $1,000 cash bail or $2,000 bond.

Jones was being held in the Niagara County Jail on an unrelated charge. She was transported to SP Batavia and transferred to the Genesee County Jail on $500 bail.

Besides the Class E felony charge, the duo is charged with conspiracy, 5th, a Class A misdemeanor.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Mercy Flight to host 'An Irish Evening' at Terry Hills - baskets, auction items and sponsors wanted

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Mercy Flight

Mercy Flight WNY will host "An Irish Evening" from 5:30-9:30 p.m. on Saturday March 14 at Terry Hills Golf Course Banquet Facility, located at 5122 Clinton Street Road in Batavia. This is a fund-raising event to include an Irish-themed dinner, open and cash bar, 50/50s, Chinese and silent auctions, door prizes and entertainment.

There will be an Irish sit-down dinner, and free wine and beer at the bar from 5:30-6:30. Menu is corned beef and cabbage, soup, salad and dessert. (Alternate dinners for special diets available if requested prior to March 1st.)

Tickets for the event are $35 per person -- pre-purchase only -- and can be bought online at www.mercyflight.org or by contacting Lynn O’Donnell at 716-864-5060 or [email protected]

Event organizers are currently looking for basket or silent auction donations as well as event sponsors. If you wish to help, please contact O'Donnell for further information or for pick up of the items you wish to donate.

Mercy Flight WNY is a local, independent, not-for-profit provider of emergency air medical transport. Established in 1981, Mercy Flight WNY has flown more than 23,000 patient missions. Mercy Flight WNY serves the counties of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania out of bases in Buffalo, Batavia and Olean ready to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Mercy Flight WNY performs this lifesaving service without regard to the patient’s insurance status or ability to pay. In the last fiscal year, Mercy Flight WNY forgave over $1.5 million in care provided to uninsured or underinsured patients. Please help us to remain a "Beacon of Hope" -- when minutes matter for our community by contributing to this fund-raising event.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 11:54 am

Smoke in basement of duplex on Ellsworth Avenue

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

Smoke is reported in the basement of a duplex at 111 Ellsworth Ave. City fire is reponding. The building has been evacuated. The location is between Columbia and Manhattan avenues.

UPDATE 11:57 a.m.: "Engine 11 on location with nothing showing."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 9:57 am

Genesee Chorale rehearses for 'American Bandstand' show Feb. 20

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, entertainment, Genesee Chorale, music

The Genesee Chorale will perform a show at 7 p.m., Feb. 20, at Northgate Free Methodist Church, south campus, built around the theme of American Bandstand.

A stage set is being built to replicate Dick Clark's old set, Pat McHanon will perform as Dick Clark, and between songs, old clips of Dick Clark interviewing some of the great artists who appeared on American Bandstand will be featured.

The musical selection will include hits by Sam Cooke, Etta James, the Everly Brothers, Dusty Springfield, Bobby Darin, Leslie Gore, the 5th Dimension, the Mamas and the Papas, Peter, Paul and Mary, Otis Redding, among others.

The Chorale is conducted by Ric Jones.

Photos are from last night's rehearsal at St. James.

Monday, February 16, 2015 at 10:21 pm

Haley, a dog well known to Batavia Muckdogs fans, passes

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, Batavia Muckdogs, muckdogs, sports

Sad news for Batavia Muckdogs fans from Don Rock, head groundskeeper: He had to put down his dog, Haley, who was a familiar part of game days at Dwyer Stadium the past few years.

Rock said Haley had kidney problems.

"It was a very difficult thing for me to have to do and right now it is very rough for me, to say the least," Rock said.

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