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Howard Owens's blog

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 10:30 am

Sponsored Post: Insource conducting free seminar on the Affordable Care Act

Insource Urgent Care Center of Batavia is offering a free seminar for the greater Genesee County Business and Professional Community:

The following topics will be discussed in an Open Community / Town Hall Forum:

  • The impact of the Affordable Care Act on Employers and Patients
  • Telemedicine and Telehealth improving Access and Quality
  • Obama Care...from the physician's perspective (special guest, Dr. Victor DeSa)
  • Services offered to the community by Insource

Date: Friday, April 11

Registration: 8 a.m.; Continental Breakfast 8:15-8:45

Seminar: 8:45-10 a.m.

Location: Homestead Event Center in the City Centre.

Please RSVP to Tina Wilcox via e-mail at tinawilcox@insourcehealth.com or by phone 585-750-2794

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 7:15 am

BOCES culinary students champs again in regional competition

post by Howard Owens in batavia, BOCES, food

Press release:

Culinary Arts students from the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center brought home the Culinary Cup for the third consecutive year! 

These students took first place in the eighth Annual Taste of Culinary Competition hosted by the American Culinary Federation of Greater Buffalo, New York. This event was held at Erie Community College’s City Campus. 

Chef Nathan Koscielski's culinary team of 14 students consisted of morning and afternoon juniors and seniors. The team competed against other student teams from other colleges, high schools and BOCES. 

Last year, the team brought home the Culinary Cup; two years ago, the team tied for second place; and three years ago, the team took third place.

Jarrod Wall is a first year Culinary Arts student from Notre Dame Academy.

“This was an awesome experience and it’s the third year in a row that our school has won first place.  We got to work as a team and see firsthand how professional chefs work, ” Jarrod said.

Chef Koscielski described his students as talented and skilled.

“Our score was only two points away from being a perfect score and was higher than scores earned by teams that entered the professional division including restaurants and country clubs. The competition was a tremendous educational experience for our students.  It was exciting for our team to compete and win for the third time,” he said.

The team served guinea hen confit with Parisienne gnocchi, roasted red and yellow pepper coulis and pignoli gremolata served with a punch made of black currant and pineapple juices, coconut milk, and fresh mint.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 7:00 am

Law and Order: Man accused of public lewdness at Red Roof Inn

post by Howard Owens in batavia, byron, crime

Decodie Tanner Adams, 22, of Lake Street, Ogdensburg, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd, a felony, resisting arrest, harassment, 2nd, disorderly conduct, public lewdness and indecent exposure. Adams is accused of causing a disturbance and urinating on the carpet at the Red Roof Inn in Batavia at 10:28 p.m. Monday, causing property damage. Adams was reportedly intoxicated at the time and allegedly resisted arrest.

Luke William Ritzenthaler, 31, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Ritzenthaler is accused of violating an order of protection twice by calling the protected person twice shortly after being served the order. Earlier, Ritzenthaler was arrested and accused of grabbing another person by the arms and pushing that person to the floor and allegedly striking the victim's head against the floor. On the criminal contempt charges, bail was set at $250.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Human trafficking seminar part of crime victim's week

post by Howard Owens in batavia

A couple dozen people, including members of local law enforcement, attended a three-hour seminar this evening on human trafficking at the Generations Center on Center Street.

Above, FBI Special Agent Jennifer Amo talks about prostitution, providing information on how pimps recruit teenage girls and how family members might recognize if a girl has entered into prostitution.

She said pimps typically look for victims at malls, coffee shops and on social media.

Signs that a teenager might be involved in prostitution include changes in behavior, clothing; absences from school, dropping extracurricular activities; changes in lifestyle; having more money, new clothes and material possessions; changes in friends or peers; a secret boyfriend or girlfriend.

Pimps will often require those working for them to get tattoos that serve the same function as branding cattle.

It's been years and years since there's been a prostitution arrest in Batavia, said Det. Pat Corona when we spoke with him after Amo's presentation. 

"In my career we haven't had any (arrests)," Corona said. "There have been very few reports or complaints or investigations. It occurs, but complaints are rare."

Still, it's important for local law enforcement officers to stay abreast of information about human trafficking and prostitution, Corona said.

Corona has worked a few human trafficking cases in the city.

The first involved employees of a Chinese restaurant many years ago. It began as a home-invasion burglary report, but when police responded, they found people at the residence who were bound and gagged. They were being held against their will and being forced to work, but Corona said it was very difficult to get them to cooperate with law enforcement because they were afraid. No arrest was made in that case.

There also a case involving door-to-door magazine sales reps. The workers were involved in burglaries and larcenies. When Corona interviewed two of the women involved, he learned they felt trapped with the sales company because they were earning very little money and had no way to get home. 

The human-trafficking seminar is part of the Genesee County Crime Victim's Week. 

Here are the remaining events:

  • Stewards of Children Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training, 6 to 8:30 p.m., tomorrow; YWCA, 301 North St. Call Theresa at 585-344-0516, ext. 111, for information.
  • Open House at Justice for Children Advocacy Center, noon to 2 p.m., Friday, at 304 E. Main St. Call Anne Bezon at 585-344-8576 for information.
  • Ceremonial Walk and Reception, 5:30 p.m., Friday, at the Old County Courthouse Corner of Routes 5 and 63. Call Theresa at 585-344-0516, ext. 111, for information.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Photo: Crews install downtown benches

post by Howard Owens in batavia, downtown

In another sign it's spring (really, it is), city crews were downtown this morning installing the park benches for the season.

Crew members are Shawn Easton, Shawn McAllister and Rick Reeves.

BTW: It's might snow tonight.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Village of Alexander unified in passing budget, electing mayor

post by Howard Owens in alexander

In a well attended Town Hall meeting Monday night in the Village of Alexander, the budget was passed unanimously and Richard Scharlau (pictured above) was elected mayor without any opposition.

Not one cross word was spoken about anything, even the four-cent property tax increase included in the budget.

The $213,248.89 spending plan received 55 yea votes and zero nays.

The property tax rate increase to $1.83 per thousand was largely the result of higher electric rates, which shot up during the winter, said Vera Antonucci, clerk and treasurer.

All assembled gave Antonucci a round of applause at the end of the meeting for how well the village is being run.

After the budget was passed, nominations were open for the trustee position. The nominees were Emma Grant and Matt Grimes.

Each candidate made a short statement. Grant said she worked for the county for 45 years and served on the Town of Alexander Board for eight years. Grimes moved to the village a year and a half ago, he said, and has been attending village meetings since.

Plain, square pieces of paper were then handed out to the village residents in attendance, then collected and counted. Grant beat Grimes 36 to 18 votes.

When nominations for mayor were open, only Scharlau's name was tossed into the ring. He was elected by unanimous consent.

The tax collector nominees were Nancy Bartz, the incumbent, and Dawn Townsend. Bartz won 41-13.

Nominees for village constable (primary duty, catching stray dogs) were incumbent Troy Robbins and Grimes. Robbins won 37-17.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm

The myth of the 'brain drain' in Genesee County

post by Howard Owens in genesee county

A story in today's Buffalo News begins:

The decades-long brain drain among young people in the Buffalo Niagara region is turning into a brain gain.

There's some truth in the statement, according to data compiled by the University of Michigan, which created an online database tracking net migration rates on a county-by-county basis throughout the nation.

Erie County has been losing population in nearly all age groups going back to the 1960s, but Niagara County has had some success gaining population among adults 1990s and 2000s.

For us, the good news -- exploding a commonly held "brain drain" myth locally -- is that Genesee County has traditionally done well drawing in workers who are 25 years old and older, at least until people hit about 40 years old.

The chart below (larger version here) shows that for every decade since the 1950s, Genesee County has lost population in the teenage age group and college-age adults, but consistently seen gains in population for people in their 30s. Genesee County starts losing mid-career workers in their 40s (along with, apparently, their teenage children), suggesting -- if we can speculate on the point -- that there are insufficient job opportunities locally as people advance in their careers. In the past two decades, it looks like there is a trend toward retirees coming to Genesee County.

The chart reflects a gain or loss in an age bracket compared to that cohort a decade earlier. What it doesn't tell us is whether it's the same people coming or going from one decade to the next. For example, the thirtysomethings migrating to Genesee County may not have lived here in their younger years. Just as the data doesn't tell us where people are coming from, it also doesn't tell us where they're going to.

The chart for Erie County (larger version here) shows a much grimmer picture. Our neighbors to the west have been suffering population loss in all cohorts decade after decade since the close of the 1950s.

Niagara County (larger version here) has shown less decline than Erie County and some gains among people 35 to 50 in the 1990s and 2000s.

Wyoming and Orleans counties show migration patterns very similar to Genesee County.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 11:47 am

Law and Order: Batavia resident accused of entering Le Roy business, taking items

post by Howard Owens in batavia, alexander, crime

David Michael Mancuso, 56, of Putnam Road, Batavia, is charged with burglary, 3rd, criminal contempt, 2nd, and petit larceny. Mancuso allegedly entered a business in the Town of Le Roy after being served with a court order barring him from the property. Mancuso allegedly removed property owned by the business. Following arraignment, Mancuso was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Wendy Ann George, 49, of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. George was allegedly involved in a one-car accident at 9:48 p.m. April 1 on Attica Road, Alexander. The accident was investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Adam R. Clark, 23, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with unnecessary noise/excessive noise. Clark is accused of causing a disturbance, creating unnecessary noise for his neighbors, at 11:21 p.m. Monday. Clark was charged under Batavia Muncipal Code and issued an appearance ticket.

Patricia R. Walker-Mosely, 56, of Wellington Avenue, Rochester, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, and forgery, 2nd. Walker-Mosely was arrested by Batavia PD. No further details released.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 11:19 am

Byron-Bergen students selected for National Junior Honor Society

Press release:

On March 19, a distinguished group of 23 students from Byron-Bergen Jr. High School was welcomed into the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) by its President, Lauren Burke. Ms. Burke addressed the audience with a challenge: Continue to excel in the five qualities that members of National Junior Honor Society must represent – Scholarship, Citizenship, Service, Leadership, and Character. “While the recognition [of being a member of National Junior Honor Society] is great, the true reward is the satisfaction in knowing that you are working to be the best person you can be.”

The induction ceremony featured two guest speakers – English Teacher Diana Walther and Music Teacher Laurence Tallman. 

Mrs. Walther focused on the skills needed to be a successful citizen. She shared stories of witnessing the newest members of NJHS exhibiting those skills. “I see perseverance. Each of you has shown me, at one time or another this year that you finish what you start,” she said. “Your character is transparent through your choices. You do what’s necessary to be successful, and are beginning to realize that there is a distinct difference between the ‘easy path’ and the ‘successful path’ in life. Walking down the more challenging path has led you here.”

Mr. Tallman referenced the recent Byron-Bergen musical production “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” which is based on the writings of acclaimed author and philosopher, Robert Fulghum. He reminded the audience that some areas of wisdom, often learned at a young age, play a vital role throughout a lifetime. “We must be reminded of them from time to time, because these are the things that remind us to live not just for the self, but for the better of the whole. They remind us to practice civility, good character, kindness, and love. And, like anything, they must be practiced daily in order to become a regular part of your life.”

The National Junior Honor Society Vice President, Margaret Graney, concluded the ceremony by reading descriptions of the five defining qualities of NJHS members and lighting a candle to signify the importance of each quality in our lives. 

Congratulations to National Junior Honor Society 2014 Inductees.

7th Grade
Sarah Bleiler
Kolbi Brew
Lydia Campbell
Adam Drake
Mariah Fee
Jared Fregoe
Leah Gale
Emma Goodman
Annaliese Hersom
William Johnson
Oliver Kelley
Rayelle Merrell
MacKenzie Rosse
Brianna Shade
Emma Smith
Wade Thompson

8th Grade
Cameron Brumsted
Benjamin Chaback
Brionna DeMichel
Justin Hannan
Brendon Kendall
Adam Swapceinski
Esther Wilkins

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 11:11 am

Byron-Bergen sophomores selected for leadership program

post by Howard Owens in bergen, byron, byron-bergen

Press release:

Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Seminars have been held yearly throughout the United States and Canada since 1958. The purpose of HOBY is to provide sophomores the opportunity to meet many distinguished leaders of the community from various sectors such as business, technology, education, government, arts, and science. Through intense but informal panel discussions, HOBY participants get a realistic look at their nation, its people, and their own role in the world community.

Every year, all sophomores are eligible and encouraged to apply for this exceptional leadership seminar. This year, Ashley Montgomery, daughter of Becky and Marc Montgomery, was selected as the Byron-Bergen High School “HOBY Ambassador,” with Colby Savage, son of Julie and Donald Savage, selected as alternate. Ashley, Colby, and sophomores around the country are selected based on a variety of criteria such as leadership ability, sensitivity to others, communication skills, community service, etc.  Ashley will attend this seminar held at the University of Rochester from May 30 through June 1. Check www.hoby.org for more information.

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Report of a house fire on Edgewood Drive

post by Howard Owens in batavia, fire

A "house fire" is reported at 10 Edgewood Drive, a "new build," but a Town of Batavia chief is on scene reports "nothing showing."

City of Batavia fire and Town of Batavia fire dispatched.

UPDATE 8:57 p.m.: There is a propane heater burning inside.

UPDATE 9 p.m.: City fire and Town of Batavia are back in service.

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 5:48 pm

New agri-business program announced for high school seniors

post by Howard Owens in Agri-Business Academy, agriculture

Press release:

In the Fall of 2014, a new program, the Agri-Business Academy, will be available to students at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center. The Agri-Business Academy is a one-year partnership program between the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and Genesee Community College. This college-prep program is geared toward highly motivated high school seniors interested in investigating careers in the agri-business field.

Students will explore multidisciplinary professions through meetings with career guest speakers, in conjunction with job shadows and field trips at a variety of agricultural and business locations. Food management science, environmental science, global position systems technology, power machinery, international trade, or agri-tourism, are a few of the areas that will be studied.

At the completion of this one-year program, students will earn 12 SUNY college credits.  The credit hour cost for academy students is $50, which is one third of the regular GCC tuition rate.

Kerri Richardson has been appointed as the instructor of the Agri-Business Academy at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center. Richardson’s family has deep roots in the farming community.  Her father is a veterinarian who operates his practice on the family farm. She holds a bachelor of science degree from Cornell University. In 2012, she earned a master of science degree in Agricultural Education from Cornell University. Richardson is a lifelong member, competitor, and leader within 4H and FFA. Richardson recently was employed as a Community Educator for the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension.

"The Genesee County area has an impressive, welcoming agricultural community that provides youth with a plethora of opportunities. I am excited begin my career as an instructor of the Agri-Business Academy and provide students with the opportunity to explore and delve into the agricultural community through experiences in agri-businesses," Richardson said.

Applications are now being accepted for this program. If you know of a student who might be interested in this program, please contact Richardson at krichardson3@gvboces.org or 585-344-7711, ext. 2140, or Catherine Bennett at cbennett2@gvboces.org or 585-344-7773.

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Sponsored Post: Regular workouts at Oakfield Fitness deliver more energy, better endurance

At 42 years old, Bill Taylor thinks its important to stay in shape as he gets older. He needs more energy in his physically demanding job and just generally wants to feel better.

Oakfield Fitness and Cross-Training Center, with its full range of newer equipment and 24/7 availability does the trick for him, he said.

"Everybody feels different at different parts of the day," Taylor said.

As he's gotten more serious about physical fitness, he said he has more energy and improved endurance.

"It's just all around feeling better physically, mentally, too," he said.

For anybody who doesn't have a workout routine, Taylor's advice is simple: "Get off your butt and do it. That's the best way."

Oakfield Fitness moved just a few weeks ago, going from 1,800 square feet and multiple small rooms, to three logically organized rooms in 3,600 square feet. There's a room for weight machines, a cardio room and a cross-training room.

All of the equipment is quality Life Fitness machines.

A basic gym membership is $30 a month with no other fees and no annual contract. Cross-training members pay $80 per month and have access to the cross-training room and a cross-training coach during scheduled times.

For more information, visit OakfieldFitness.com.

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 10:40 am

Law and Order: Bethany man accused of taking part in crime spree in Wyoming County

post by Howard Owens in batavia, bergen, Bethany, byron, corfu, crime, pembroke
Bradley Jordan Amber Reinisch

Bradley R. Jordan, 21, of East Bethany, and Amber L. Reinisch, 18, of Castile, are charged with burglary, 3rd, petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, 5th.

The investigation that led to the charges against Jordan and Reinisch began with a resident in the Village of Silver Springs reporting that she observed a male and female break glass in an overhead door and enter the garage attached to her apartment. State Police responded, but the suspects fled before they arrived on scene. Suspect and vehicle descriptions were provided to law enforcement officers in Wyoming County.

Police also received a complaint of a male and female fitting the description of the burglary suspects causing a disturbance at the McDonald's in Warsaw. The vehicle description for the two individuals also fit the burglary description. The vehicle was reportedly seen heading toward Save-A-Lot in Warsaw.

A short time later, a customer at Save-A-Lot reported seeing a male customer in possession of a handgun. The person had not threatened anybody with the weapon, but had removed it from his waistband as he walked through the store and then put it back in his waistband.

Village of Warsaw police officers, Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies and troopers all responded to the area. The suspect vehicle was located and Jordan and Reinisch were taken into custody.

Both suspects are accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart and Olympia Sports in North Warsaw, along with the burglary in Silver Springs. The alleged theft from Walmart was of a compact C02 pistol, which State Police say was the weapon later observed by a customer at Save-A-Lot. State Police alleged that when Jordan observed troopers at the front of the store, he ducked into a bathroom and discarded the weapons in a wastebasket. The weapon was later recovered and secured as evidence.

Jordan and Reinisch were arraigned and jailed on $5,000 bail each.

Tilar B. Clark, 22, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Clark's vehicle was stopped by State Police in the Town of Attica, Wyoming County, for an alleged equipment violation. He was allegedly found in possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Paul D. Barth Jr., 23, of Cohocton Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Barth was allegedly sending text messages to a person he was ordered by a judge not to contact.

Desiree Michelle Hutchinson, 18, of Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Hutchinson allegedly admitted to Officer James DeFreze that she was hold her baby while in same room with a friend who was smoking marijuana.

Scott P. Rodon, 48, of Garfield Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Rodon was allegedly involved in a domestic incident at 1 a.m. Thursday.

Oliver Thomas, 22, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Thomas allegedly hit a person in the face during an argument, which was reported at 3:45 a.m. Friday.

Taylor M. Andrews, 20, of McKenzie Road, Caledonia, is charged with menacing, 2nd. endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy, 5th. Andrews is accused of encouraging a juvenile to use a crowbar against another person during an argument. The victim was not struck with the crowbar. The alleged incident was reported at 2 a.m. Friday at 21 Wood St., Batavia.

Robi Liam Terziani, 19, of Route 19A, Portageville, is charged with petit larceny. Terziani is accused of stealing hydrocodine pills from a residence in Byron where he was hired to do service work.

Billy Joe Budziszewski Jr., 22, of Route 77, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and bail jumping, 2nd. Budziszewski was arrested on warrants out of Village of Corfu Court. He is also allegedly the subject of warrants out of Erie County on burglary, 2nd, and petit larceny charges and out of Wyoming County for failure to pay fine. Budziszewski was jailed on $25,000 bail or $50,000 bond.

Chance Robert Cooley, 19, of Route 5 & 20, Canandaigua, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Cooley was allegedly found in possession of marijuana in a medicine container and a glass smoking pipe with marijuana in it. Cooley was the passenger in a vehicle stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 12 :15 a.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Chris Parker. Also charged was Anthony Lee Irish, 22, of Terri Drive, Farmington, who was also issued traffic summons for no front plate and no insurance.

Christopher C. Berg, 27, of Pavilion, is charged with a misdemeanor under the vehicle and traffic law. Berg was stopped by State Police at 8:36 p.m. Wednesday on Veterans Memorial Drive. No further details released.

Adam J. Bobzin, 43, of Byron, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Bozin was stopped at 9:42 a.m. Thursday on West Sweden Road, Bergen, by State Police.

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 9:44 am

Photo: Blue Devils participate in football scrimmage in Rochester

post by Howard Owens in Batavia HS, football, sports

Batavia Blue Devils Head Coach Brennan Briggs sent along this photo of members of the football team following a 7-on-7 scrimmage last night in Rochester. The team played non-scoring scrimmages against Rush-Henrietta and Churchville-Chili. "The team did a great job competing," Briggs said.

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Candlelight vigil in Le Roy honors the memory of Joshua Mouery

post by Howard Owens in Le Roy

More than 100 Le Roy High School students and community members attended a candlelight vigil tonight at the Le Roy Fire Hall in honor of Joshua Ian Mouery, who died six days ago at age 16.

The vigil was organized by Le Roy students Joseph Pratt, Josh Janiszeski and Amy Kaplun.

Pratt said Mouery was a best friend and urged all who attended to remember all of the good times with Josh and carry him in their hearts for the rest of their lives.

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Photos: Oakfield Historical Society opens museum with open house

post by Howard Owens in history, Oakfield

The Oakfield Historical Society held its annual open house today, marking the opening of its museum for the season.

Above, reenactor Jim Ferris shows off his flint smooth-bore rifle.

Sue Conklin shows Olivia Tobias, age 7, how to spin yarn.

Reenactor Pete Bosch sits for a photo next to one of the displays in the museum.

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