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Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm

GCC officials eager to learn more about Cuomo's 'tax-free zone' proposal

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, GCC

A proposal to create tax-free zones around SUNY campuses is intriguing to officials at Genesee Community College, according Rick Ensman, director of development and external affairs, even though it's unclear how it will all work.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the proposal a few days ago. The plan would allow any business on a SUNY campus, or in some cases, in a zone around the campus, to operate completely tax free -- including no state income tax for employees -- for 10 years.

The justification, according to Cuomo, is to spur business growth and innovation in New York.

"This is an exciting and innovative proposal," Ensman said. "It has great potential for job creation and new academic-business partnerships. We’re eager to learn about the details, and about how we can participate."

The proposal has not yet been through the legislative process. It seems to have Republican and Democratic support so far, but in the process some details could change or refined.

"As I understand the proposal, businesses would be eligible for the tax-free zone if their products or operations are related to programs of study on the campus," Ensman said. "So it’s possible that businesses related to any of our programs (e.g. technology, health care, office tech, etc.) could locate in the area."

Issues such as where businesses would be located and how they would fit into the campus, or just off campus, won't be explored until and if the proposal becomes law.

"We’re anxious to learn more about the program," Ensman said.

Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Collins presents medals to family of late WWII vet

post by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, Memorial Day, NY-27, veterans

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) honored the late John Chase, a World War II veteran from Batavia today by presenting his family members with the medals he earned in service.

“Today I am proud to pay tribute to John Chase, a man who fought for and defended the freedom of our county so bravely during World War II,” Congressman Collins said. “I am humbled to present his family with the medals he earned during his time in the Army and want to thank him posthumously for his distinguished service.”

Alongside members of the late John Chase’s family and Chairwoman of the Genesee County Legislature Mary Pat Hancock, Congressman Collins shared how John Chase was drafted into the Army, fought in the battle of Rhineland in 1945, and received a Silver Star for his actions.

As John Chase grew increasingly ill, his family reached out to Congressman Collins’ office and asked for help in securing a new medal. In the process, Congressman Collins’ office discovered John Chase also qualified for a Bronze Star, which he had never received.

“I am very proud of the sacrifice my father made to fight for his country. Replacing my father’s Silver Star and finding out that he qualified for a Bronze Star has meant a great deal to our family,” said John Chase’s son, David. “I thank Congressman Collins for helping secure the medals my father earned and for giving us the opportunity to honor his service.”

Congressman Collins honored John Chase on Wednesday by sharing his story on the floor of the House of Representatives, and thanked all of our nation’s veterans for their service.

Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Photos: Boy Scouts place memorial flags at Batavia Cemetery

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Cemetery, Memorial Day

Photos and information submitted by Steve Ognibene.

Catherine Roth gathered some local Boy Scouts from Troop #6069 this evening at the Batavia Historic Cemetery on Harvester Avenue to place new flags on veterans' gravesites.

Members in attendance were assistant scoutmasters Paul Crowley and John Petry. 

Boys who assisted were: Senior Patrol Leader Alex Hansen, his Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Dominic Brown, Tyler Mann, Zachary Lovell and LJ Petry. Not pictured but in attendance was Savannah Karn from Venture Crew #164.

Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Car and bike accident reported at West Main and River

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A car has hit a bicycle at West Main Street and River Street, Batavia.

It's believed there are injuries.

City fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPATE 9:08 p.m.: City fire back in service.

UPDATE 9:22 p.m.: Mercy ambulance back in service with a sign-off.

Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm

College trustees approve new Health Sciences degree program

post by Billie Owens in announcements, GCC

Press release:

Genesee Community College's Board of Trustees voted earlier this month to approve a new Health Sciences degree program.

The program, which will offer an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree, must first be approved by the State University of New York and the New York State Education Department. If approvals are received as expected, the College will launch the new degree program in fall 2014.

The program will help students prepare for careers in established and emerging health care fields, such as unit coordinators in health care institutions, members of lab staffs, geriatric specialists, health assistants and wellness educators, health interpreters, medical records administrators, and dozens of other fields, according to Rafael Alicea-Maldonado, dean of Math, Science and Career Education, who helped shape the proposal for the new program.

The program is primarily designed as a transfer program, and students earning degrees will have the opportunity to complete two years of baccalaureate study at other colleges and universities. A number of colleges and universities in Upstate New York offer bachelor's degrees in the health sciences and wellness fields, and Genesee anticipates establishing transfer agreements with at least several of these colleges.

"Thousands of jobs in health sciences fields will be created in Western and Central New York in the years ahead," Alicea-Maldonado said. "An aging population, an increased focus on health and wellness in industry and new medical technology will all spur job growth.

"Even more significantly, the new federal Affordable Care Health Care Act will extend health care coverage to tens of millions of Americans in 2014 and the demand for allied health professionals who can help consumers prevent disease and manage a more complex health care system will be intense."

Courses in the new program will include a variety of biology and chemistry courses, Gerontology, Responding to Emergencies, Statistics, Introduction to Developmental Disabilities, Developmental Psychology Across the Lifespan, General Psychology, Introductory Sociology and a variety of liberal arts courses.

Trustees were enthusiastic about the new program, citing their own observations about the need for memory care providers, eldercare specialists and other professionals in the region.

Genesee currently offers a Health Studies Certificate program, which can be completed in one year of full-time study. Graduates of the program sometimes enter another of Genesee's health care degree programs, or obtain work as patient assistants in hospitals and other health care institutions.

The new Health Sciences program will join Genesee Community College's other prestigious health care degree programs. The College offers degree programs in Nursing, Physical Therapist Assistant Studies, Respiratory Care, Polysomnographic Technology and Veterinary Technology. The College also offers degree programs in Human Services and Alcohol and Substance Abuse Studies.

Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 10:38 am

Batavia, Notre Dame pitchers dominate in Section V play at Dwyer

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

Two home-field pitchers, two dominant performances, a pair of very similar results for Batavia and Notre Dame in Section V playoff games at Dwyer Stadium on Friday.

Behind the 15-K, two-hit performance of Zach Hale, the Blue Devils shutdown Newark 1-0.

In the night cap, Alec Covel was just as masterful for the Fighting Irish. In the process of striking out 10, Covel gave up only one hit, and that wasn't until the top of the 6th inning, leading Notre Dame to a 2-0 victory over Alfred-Almond.

Batavia Head Coach Rick Saunders said Hale pitched the game of the year.

"What a performance," Saunders said. "The whole game is Hale. He got the base hit, and then I pinch run for him, and he's the winning run."

Mike Rapone, head coach of Notre Dame, was just as impressed with the performance of Covel, who started only three games this season prior to Friday because of an injury. Both Rapone and Covel said he came into the game, fresh, strong and eager to pitch.

"He threw only 78 pitches," Rapone said. "He was pounding the strike zone. His curve ball was sharp. He's a great player. He really is."

Both Newark and Alfred are lower seed games, but in sectionals top-ranked teams are going find themselves going against the best pitcher of their opponents.

"Their kid pitch great, too," Rapone said. "That's the thing with sectionals. They've got a .500 record, but they probably won every game that he pitched and maybe they lost all the ones he didn't, so you never know what you're going to run into when you get into sectional tournament. I mean, for a nine seed, heck, that kid threw the ball well."

Saunders was equally impressed with Newark's starter.

"i don't know anything about their pitcher, but I'll tell you, he is quality," Saunders said. "He threw a real nice fastball and a sweet curve ball."

Batavia was limited to four hits, but still managed to get a couple of runners to third. It made Saunders a little nervous when his offense couldn't close the deal.

"We had our chances," Saunders said. "Those games bother me more than anything, when we see guys on third base many times, one out, and you don't score, you go 'oh-oh, something bad can happen.' Nothing bad happened because Hale was in control of the game."

Being out on the mound in a big 1-0 game is exactly where he wanted to be, Hale said.

"I usually throw better later, but especially after we got that run," Hale said. "It really gave me a boost. I'm like, hey, better close it out.

"The rush is crazy," he added. "When you're out there every batter means something. It's not like it's a 10-0 game."

Covel said he just likes to be in that commanding situation, taking control of the game.

"All of my pitches working and with the strong defense behind me, it just gives me all the confidence in the world," Covel said.

Slide show from Batavia game. To order prints, click here.

Slide show for Notre Dame game below. Click here to purchase prints.

Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 9:27 am

Motor-vehicle accident reported at Ellicott and Jackson streets

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A motor-vehicle accident is reported at Ellicott and Jackson streets, Batavia.

City fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

There are three vehicles involved and the intersection is blocked.

UPDATE 10:28 a.m.: No injuries.

UPDATE 10:57 a.m.: City assignment back in service.

Friday, May 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Photos: Acoustic duo at Center Street Smokehouse

After covering Section V playoff baseball at Dwyer Stadium, I stopped in Center Street Smokehouse to warm up and found myself enjoying the acoustic duo the Steve Balisteri Band. Since I had my camera with me, I thought I'd make a couple of photos.

I'll have coverage of the baseball games in the morning. Batavia won 1-0 and Notre Dame won 2-0.

Friday, May 24, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Car crash at Ellicott and Court streets in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported near the intersection of Ellicott and Court streets in the city. Mercy medics and the fire department are responding. Police are on scene. The people involved are out and walking around, according to a responder.

UPDATE 3:48 p.m.: One person needed to be evaluated for possible injury, and that turned out to be a sign-off. Mercy and city fire are back in service.

Friday, May 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

Q&A with Steve Hyde on COR Development incentives

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Towne Center, business, COR Development, GCEDC

Earlier this week, we e-mailed 10 questions to Steve Hyde about the approval of the COR Development Project. Below are the questions and his responses verbatum.

Q. According to the best available information, at the time the GCEDC board passed the resolution finding that COR's project would provide goods and services not readily available, only one of the proposed tenants was known and two others were in negotiations. How can such a finding be made without a certainty as to the exact tenants? What if COR were to change the tenants to include, say, a liquor store and/or a jewelry store (two business categories well represented in Batavia)?

A. We cannot comment on private negotiations between a developer and prospective tenants.  Like every project that is presented to our board, we have to rely on the information provided to us by the applicant which included a confidential disclosure of not only the known Dick’s project but two additional tenants as well. If the tenants that ultimately reach an agreement with the developer fail to fulfill the new criteria as defined by state law, we would ask our legal counsel for an opinion as to whether the applicant is living up to their end of the agreement and initiate appropriate claw backs. We are confident that COR will fulfill their obligations as they are a reputable developer.

Q. GCEDC has asserted that the COR project is bringing in retail with goods and services not readily available in Genesee County, but there's never been any specific information from GCEDC to substantiate this claim. What exactly is it about the known COR tenants that provides goods and services not readily available in Genesee County? Beyond the assertion, what are the facts to back up the assertion?

A. Again, we are relying on information provided by the applicant that the tenants both know and where private negotiations are occurring will provide goods and services that are not readily available in our community. We confident that COR will fulfill their commitments as it pertains to the GCEDC board’s finding which allows for GCEDC participation in the project under the retail exception as a part of the new state law.

Q. Does GCEDC have any obligation to provide mitigation for the tax breaks given to COR to the existing retailers, be they an independent business such as Batavia Marine or long-standing national chains such as Kmart (which also sells sporting goods)?

A. Any business in the community can submit an application for assistance to our agency and if they fulfill criteria such as the creation of new jobs and investment then they may be eligible for assistance. Our goal is to help businesses create jobs and bring new investment to our community and we stand ready to do everything we can to do that. We encourage businesses to learn more about the incentives provided by our agency. Information about these incentives as well as an application for assistance are available on our Web site at www.gcedc.com.

Q. Calculating from COR's own sales tax estimates, their tenants will generate somewhere in the neighborhood of $26 million in annual sales. On what basis are we to believe that Batavia is a marginal market in need of tax incentives in order to attract these retail businesses? The figures appear to be right in line with Dick's per store gross sales average, which means they should be able to project $500,000 in net annual profit. At that kind of return, do these retail stores really need tax breaks in order to come to Batavia? Aren't the things that make Batavia an attractive place to do business -- centrally located in a large rural area, Thruway proximity, promising economic growth -- sufficient for retail without tax breaks, and if it not, what will keep these business in town when the subsidies run out?

A. The fact that we do not have large retailers like Dick’s indicates that Batavia is a marginal market, however as we grow our economy through projects like Alpina and Muller Quaker and longer term STAMP, we will become a destination market. The fact remains, the developer applied for tax relief to conduct an adaptive reuse and expansion of the property at Batavia Towne Center that will create jobs and new investment in our community and just as important the application submitted fulfills the criteria for retail under the new state law.

Q. According to COR, the stores will invest a collective $11 million in opening their stores. If a retail business is willing to make that kind of financial comment to a community, how can we believe that tax incentives are critical to attracting national retail to Batavia?

A. Think about that for a moment. If you had an opportunity to make a $1.8 million investment over 10 years, which is essentially what our incentive package totals, and the return on that investment was $11 million worth of capital investment, who would not make that deal. On top of that, our investment of $1.8 million is going to be returned in the first year alone based on sales tax revenue generation which will benefit our community and help keep property tax rates down.  Without our assistance, there is no $11 million capital investment and no new sales tax revenue for our community thereby creating additional pressure to raise property taxes which hurt residents and businesses.

Q. GCEDC has asserted that it's bad for the community and bad for attracting business to have Lowe's vacant. In the time since it's been vacant, GCEDC has landed two major tenants and is about to land a third for the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. What evidence is there that a vacant Lowe's hurts business development?

A. When both Alpina and Muller Quaker were touring the area, the Lowe’s store was in fact still open which showed the companies that we did in fact have a vibrant retail center immediately located off of the I-90. Moreover, we are trying to take a holistic approach to economic development here in our community. You seemingly are taking the view that the Lowe’s vacancy does not “hurt” business development; we take the view, based on our years of experience in the company attraction business, that a vibrant retail center located at the gateway of our community enhances our ability to attract companies to our community in this very competitive world of economic development.

Q. GCEDC has asserted that it's bad to have a vacant Lowe's, but COR has said that it's bad for the rest of Batavia Towne Center to have a vacant Lowe's. Doesn't COR have a strong motivation to lease that space even without tax abatements?

A. I don’t want to single COR out; they are a prominent developer and like many developers they have options and choices as to where to lure their retail clients. Our decision was based on an application that our board believes fulfills the criteria under the new state law specific to retail projects. We believe the return on investment that will be generated through the tax assistance provided will create a vibrant towne center.

Q. What do you say to a comment such as Mike Barrett's, that tax incentives are like "using your own tax money to put yourself out of business"?

A. Alpina and Muller Quaker and the related economic benefits would not have occurred without the incentives being provided through the GCEDC. To the contrary, we are using incentives to create new jobs and new wealth and subsequently new tax revenues to make our community more prosperous and an even better place to work, live and play. I can assure you that Alpina and Muller Quaker are not putting local dairy farmers out of business.

Q. Based on our polls and nearly daily discussions with people in our community, it's difficult to find local residents who support tax breaks going to COR. Is it appropriate for GCEDC to go against the wishes of the vast majority of Genesee County residents on such an important issue?

A. Genesee County has a population of approximately 60,000 residents. A public hearing was held in the evening which was open to the public; about 30 residents attended and six spoke against the project during the hearing. One letter was received at the offices of the GCEDC opposing the project and was officially included in the transcripts of the hearing. The board was provided a written copy of the transcripts from the public hearing prior to voting to approve the adaptive reuse and expansion project at Batavia Towne Center. I think if we were to start relying on polling that admittedly in not statistically accurate and to use that data to make decisions about economic development, you would not see many businesses even contemplating coming to our community.

Q. Will GCEDC continue to have a policy of providing tax breaks to retail projects even though there is a significant body of research that shows tax incentives to retail have no tangible return to local communities and even though the vast majority of Genesee County residents oppose such tax breaks?

A. The GCEDC as a matter of practice does not pursue retail projects. This is evidenced to our not participating in the Tim Horton’s project locating at the west end of Batavia and the McDonald’s project planned for Aldi plaza in the City on the east end. We will continue to comply with state law while advancing our vision and mission to provide a positive place to do business for all companies. There is a significant body of evidence that shows there is a tangible return to local communities. To claim that the “vast majority” of residents oppose such tax breaks is subjective at best without any real statistically accurate information to substantiate such a claim.

Friday, May 24, 2013 at 8:20 am

Kiwanis Club of Batavia celebrates 90 years of serving the community

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Kiwanis Club

Over the past 90 years, the Kiwanis Club has become part of the fabric of the community, Secretary Peter Guppenberger told his fellow Kiwanians during the club's anniversary celebration at Bohn's Restaurant last night.

So many of the club's activities have come cherished community events, from the Easter Egg Hunt in Centennial Park, to Pancake Days, to the Thanksgiving Day Skate and the Golf Ball Race at Picnic in the Park.

Many of these events serve the children of the community, which is the primary mission of Kiwanis.

"When you see the smiles on the kids' faces, you realize that's what it's all about," Guppenberger said.

Past President Lawrence Friedman spoke about how the club's current long-term project has re-energized the organization.

The Kiwanis Club is working to raise $150,000 to provide the Child Advocacy Center with a permanent home that the agency owns. So far $80,000 has been raised, with $60,000 of it coming from a pair annual auction galas.

The project was meant to position the club to do something meaningful for the community, but it has also served to bring in new members, with about 15 people joining last year and another half dozen so far this year.

This year's gala will be Sept. 21 at Genesee Community College.

Current Club President Ed Minardo

Frank Romeo, Lt. Governor of the Genesee Division of Kiwanis

Barb Lewis, from Ladies of Kiwanis

Past President Patrick Forsyth

Friday, May 24, 2013 at 7:57 am

Law and Order: Restaurant manager accused of stealing from business

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Alabama, crime

Charles Walker Brown, 37, of Canterbury Lane, Bergen, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd.  Brown, who was managing a restaurant on West Main Street Road, Batavia, is accused of using funds in excess of $3,000 for his own personal gain.

Jon Thomas Magliocco, 36, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to report a change of address as a sex offender. Magliocco was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Pamela J. Brochu, 53, of Portage Drive, Polk City, Fla., is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to keep right and moving from lane unsafely. Brochu was stopped at 1:08 a.m., Thursday, on Judge Road, Alabama, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Brendan D. Curry, 32, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving drunk with a child in the car. Curry was stopped at 1:50 a.m., Thursday, by State Police in the Town of Batavia.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Suspect accused of slamming son to the floor of Walmart tells judge, 'I was in the wrong'

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pavlilion

A 28-year-old Warsaw resident is in the Genesee County Jail tonight after being accused of throwing his 7-year-old son to the floor while in the toy department at Walmart this afternoon.

Christopher P. Cummings was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court in front of Justice Thomas Williams on charges of harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child and ordered held on $2,500 bail.

The boy was taken to UMMC by Child Protective Services for a precautionary evaluation and is reportedly uninjured.

In court tonight, Cummings said, "I was in the wrong, obviously."

The alleged incident was reported at 2:30 p.m. after a witness reported seeing Cummings pick the boy up by his shoulders and "slam" him to the floor.

"I screamed at the man and told him to leave the child alone," the witness said in a written statement.

The arresting officer, Trooper Eric Daigler, wrote in the report filed with the court -- known as an accusatory -- that Cummings was seen lifting the boy over his head and then "throw him to the floor."

Cummings then reportedly picked up the boy and started to walk away. He was joined by a young woman and two children and all five quickly exited the store.

The man who said he had screamed at Cummings called 9-1-1.

Several witnesses reportedly either saw the incident or heard the commotion. Cummings was reportedly yelling very loudly at the boy.

In a written statement, Cummings admits to the incident.

He said the boy had been with his mother who was looking at clothing, but the mother complained the boy was misbehaving and asked Cummings to watch over him.

Cummings took his three boys to look at video games, but the oldest boy wasn't interested, so they went to the toy section.

The boy became interested in some playing cards, something like, Cummings wrote, "Pokemon or Skylander." The boy asked for the cards and Cummings said no. The boy then tried to open the cards and Cummings told him not to and the three boys and their dad walked to the next aisle.

The boy then said he was going back to put the cards away. When he returned, he had the cards out of the packaging and the wrapper was gone.

Cummings said he slapped the 7-year-old with an open hand. The boy fell to the floor and started to cry.

"He argued about the cards," Cummings said. "That's when I picked him up and slammed him down.

"That's when people in the store started yelling at me," Cummings added. "(The boy) had sprawled himself out and was throwing a temper tantrum."

Cummings said he picked the boy up, was joined by the boy's mother and he told her people were yelling at him and that he had slapped the boy.

He was aware, he said, that people said they were going to call the police, but he wasn't sure if anybody actually had.

The family drove to the Tonawanda Indian Reservation and while there received a phone call from the mother of the mother who said the incident had made the news.

The family returned to the Pavilion residence of the mother and three children and Cummings continued on to Warsaw.

"I know I have anger management problems and I want to get help for it," Cummings wrote at the end of his statement.

The mother called the Sheriff's Office and was put in touch with Trooper Holly Hanssel who convinced her to have Cummings return to Pavilion, which he did. By that time, Cummings had already been identified as the suspect by several callers who had seen the news report. State Police were at the residence by the time Cummings returned.

He was taken into custody without incident.

Justice Williams issued a complete stay away order of protection for Cummings. For the time being, at least, he's to have no contact whatsoever with his three sons.

In a news release to all WNY media outlets, State Police said that investigators had no leads on who the suspect was until the post appeared on The Batavian.

"Within minutes of the posting leads as to the suspect’s identity began coming in," the news release reads, and concludes, "Troopers credit the swift apprehension of Cummings to the posting of his picture by the online news outlet and the public’s willingness to come forward with the information that led to his identity."

Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Police looking for public's help in finding boy allegedly slammed to floor of Walmart by adult male

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Police are concerned for the well being of a young boy whom witnesses say was slammed to the floor by a male subject while inside Walmart and are seeking the public's quick assistance in locating the boy and the suspect.

A witness said he saw a man pick up a boy who is believed to be about 8 or 9 years old, lift him over his head and slam him to the floor.

Trooper Holly Hanssel said she believes the boy suffered injuries.

The man, the boy and a woman along with two other boys, believed to be ages 4 and 5, left their basket of items and exited the store after a man who witnessed the incident confronted the suspect and told him to stop.

The group ran toward the exit and drove away in a dark-colored sedan in the style of a Buick Century or Chevy Lumina.

The alleged incident was reported just before 2:45 p.m.

The male suspect is described as white with dirty blond hair and 5'8" tall. The female is blonde, wearing a red tank-top and skirt. The boy was wearing a green shirt.

Anybody with information that may assist in locating the boy so police can check on his welfare are asked to call the State Police Batavia Barracks at (585) 344-6200.

(Initial Report)

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Law enforcement has taken into custody 28-year-old Christopher Cummings, of Pavilion, in connection with the incident. Charges, if any, are as yet unspecified. Child Protective Services responded and notes there are bruises to the child's arm.

Note: No further phone calls about this incident are necessary. Law enforcement has enough information at this point, but thanks the public for their assistance.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Convicted sex offender from East Bethany pleads guilty to child porn

post by Billie Owens in crime, east bethany

Press release:

BUFFALO -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Jerald Kicinski, 48, of East Bethany, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio, to receipt of child pornography. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti, who handled the case, stated that between December 2010 and December 14, 2011, the defendant received child pornography on his computer at his residence in East Bethany. These images had been transmitted to the defendant in interstate commerce via the Internet. Kicinski was previously convicted of sexual abuse in the second degree in 2002 and sexual abuse in the third degree in 1990. Both of the defendant's prior convictions involved minors.

The plea was the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of James C. Spero, special agent In charge. Sentencing will occur in front of Chief Judge William M. Skretny. No sentencing date has been scheduled.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm

'Corsets, crinolines, and other instruments of torture' is topic of last HLOM's last Spring lecture

post by Billie Owens in announcements, hlom

Press release:

Did you ever wonder who wore corsets? Why did they wear them for over 500 years? Did you know men wore corsets in some time periods? What were the benefits of wearing them? 

A review of the fashion corsetry in the 18th and 19th centuries will be presented by Gail Argetsinger at the Holland Land Office Museum, 131 W. Main St. Batavia, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 25.

She is an associate professor and costume designer in the Department of Theatre at SUNY Brockport who designs and builds the costumes for the plays and teaches costume-related courses at Brockport.

A favorite class is History of Costumes, which studies many corseting techniques. Her costumes have been seen frequently onstage in the Rochester area, particularly at National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology and the Jewish Community Center of Rochester. She has designed several outdoor dramas throughout the country, including the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the musical UTAH! for the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in St. George, Utah, and the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra. She lives in Greece with her husband, Jerry, and two sons.

This lively and informative presentation is the last of the Spring 2013 series of lectures brought to you by the Holland Land Office Museum. It is open to everyone – all ages will enjoy this – general admission is $5 per person or $2 for museum members. Refreshments and a question and answer session with Professor Argetsinger will follow.

For more information or to make a reservation, please call Jeff Donahue, Director, at 343-4727.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Man who allegedly threw child to the ground, then slapped him, runs out of Walmart

post by Billie Owens in batavia, child abuse

Law enforcement is responding to the Walmart parking lot, near the Garden Center, after receiving a call that a man with three young boys in his care threw one of the them to the ground and then slapped the child. The only description is that the man is white, wearing a bright green shirt and he ran out of the store after the incident.

UPDATE 2:44 p.m.: A person in the parking lot told an officer that the subject left with the three little boys in an unknown type vehicle.

UPDATE 2:47 p.m.: The subject is believed to have exited the parking lot at the south end driving a dark gray older-type Buick.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Construction worker unconscious on roof of the federal detention center

post by Billie Owens in batavia

Mercy medics and a Town of Batavia ladder truck are called to the Federal Buffalo Detention Center at 4250 Veterans Memorial Drive to help bring down a contruction worker who has been unconscious on the roof for approximately 15 minutes.

UPDATE 2:49 p.m.: Equipment already at the facility is being used to try and bring to patient down.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Hawley says that another flaw found in SAFE Act is more proof it should be repealed

post by Howard B. Owens in 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act, steve hawley

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) highlighted a piece of legislation passed by the Assembly addressing yet another flaw in the NY SAFE Act as further proof that the law must be fully repealed. The bill would exempt certain retired law enforcement officers from restrictions related to magazine capacity. Hawley agreed with the principle of the effort, but noted that such loopholes illustrate the need to repeal the law and start from scratch.

“Not only should retired police officers be exempt from the NY SAFE Act, but so should veterans and every other law-abiding American citizen,” said Hawley. “It seems that as more time passes, more glaring flaws come to light. It comes as no surprise that the bad process used to force this law on New Yorkers has led to bad policy. The sad truth is, I have little doubt we will be amending this irresponsible law piece by piece for a long time to come. That’s why we must repeal the SAFE Act and approach sensible, life-saving measures the correct way; by incorporating the voices of law-abiding New Yorkers whose lives are affected by the legislature’s actions.”

Hawley recently wrote to Governor Andrew Cuomo sharing the results of a petition he circulated advocating the repeal of the NY SAFE Act. In less than three months, the petition garnered 1,050 signatures from local law-abiding citizens.

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