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Howard B. Owens's blog

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Photos: 4-H livestock auction at the Genesee County Fair

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, 4-H, agriculture, Genesee County Fair

One of the great annual community events in Genesee County is the 4-H livestock auction at the fair. This year's auction was held last night. The event draws people from throughout Genesee County -- not just farmers and those involved in ag. The event is the culimination of a lot of hard work by 4-H members in raising their sheep, goats, swine and beef. 

Auctioneers from William Kent kept the bids flowing.

To purchase prints, click here.

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm

DOT announces repaving of Route 5 through Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, route 5

Press release:

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) announced today that work on a project to resurface Route 5 from the west Le Roy Village line to the Livingston County line in the village and Town of Le Roy, Genesee County, is slated to begin on Monday, July 21, weather permitting.

The schedule calls for removal of pavement markings and site preparation along the five-mile corridor, the week of July 21. The paving work, which will consist of a micro-surfacing treatment, followed by replacement of permanent pavement markings, will begin the week of July 28. No changes will be made to the pavements markings. It is anticipated the project will take about three weeks.

In the area east of the village, traffic will be reduced to a single alternating travel pattern controlled by flaggers. In the village area, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Street parking in the business district will be prohibited during the paving operations.

Motorists should expect delays and allow plenty of extra travel time to safely travel through the highway work zone.

Access to all residential and commercial driveways will be maintained throughout the duration of the project.

The general contractor for this project is Suit Kote of Cortland, Cortland County.

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 1:07 pm

City announces refinancing of City Centre loan

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city centre

Press release:

On Wednesday July 16th the City refunded (refinanced) the current City Centre debt service. This effort refinanced approximately $4,050,000 of general obligation bonds that financed the construction of the City Centre in 2004.

These bonds were issued by USDA Rural Development, and at the time were considered low interest at 4 percent. However, much like refinancing your own home mortgage, refinancing the City's outstanding bonds will reduce the interest paid over the life of the loan. The refunding was approved by City Council on April 8, 2013, and the City along with its financial advisors, Municipal Solutions, Inc., have been monitoring bond market rates for over the past year to find the time when market rates would be at their lowest level to maximize the savings to the City's taxpayers.

Interest rates on municipal bonds are very favorable at this time and the savings realized by refunding the outstanding bonds now resulted in more than $73,000 in increased budgetary savings compared to rates that were presented to City Council one year ago. In total, this refunding has saved the City approximately $303,000 in interest payments during the remaining 21-year life of the reissued bond, ending in 2036.

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 8:58 am

Batavia boys U-12 soccer team completes undefeated season with 3-0 over Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, soccer, sports

The Batavia boys U-12 soccer team beat le Roy 3-0 on Thursday evening to complete an undefeated season in Rochester District Youth Soccer League, Division 4.

Photos by Barbara Paserk.

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Mysterious gas smell reported in East Pembroke area

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pembroke

There have been reports of some mysterious cloud of gas -- or a gas smell -- in the East Pembroke area, according to the dispatch center, but no origin for the smell has been found.

East Pembroke Fire Department was dispatched to locate the source and is back in service.

"They've exhausted all leads," according to a dispather.

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Midway company reportedly shorts fair on rides, admission price reduced

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Fair

Press release:

We regret that due to situations beyond our control, our as advertised “New Midway Company” did not bring all of the scheduled rides. We however have a good selection of rides available to fairgoers. We have reduced the price of wrist bands to $12 for an entire session. Ride sessions are: Thursday 5pm-10pm, Friday 1pm-5pm & 6pm-10pm, & Saturday 1pm-5pm & 6pm-10pm. Friday and Saturday the rides are open from 1pm-11pm. We hope everyone comes out to the 175th Genesee County Fair!

For a complete listing of events during fair week, visit gcfair.com

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 9:45 am

State finally paying past-due Nursing Home expenses, but it's not enough and it won't last

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, nursing home

New York will finally pay off some of their IOUs to the county.

County Treasurer Scott German learned Tuesday that $4.1 million in funds meant to cover 2013 Nursing Home expenses will be transferred to the county Aug. 13.

That's the good news. We'll get to the bad news shortly.

The $4.1 million is what is known as an Inter-Governmental Transfer. It's money that originates with the federal government and sent to the states so the states can transfer it to county governments that run nursing homes. The money is meant to help offset the difference in reimbursement fees between Medicaid and Medicare (it's more complicated than that, but that's the easy explanation).

In June, the county received $4.3 million in back IGT payments from 2012.

Of the $8.4 million IGT received, the taxpayers of Genesee County paid an amount equal to 50 percent, or $4.2 million, as a local match.

But that isn't all of the bad news.

County Manager Jay Gsell said the feds are phasing out the IGT program. The Aug. 13 payment is probably one of the last two or three the county will ever receive.

No program has been announced to replace it.

Once there's no IGT -- and if there's no program to replace it -- the local share cost of running the Genesee County Nursing Home will likely be at least $3 million a year, and that figure is growing each year, German said. The operating deficit will need to be funded by local taxpayers.

Of the $4.3 million received in June, $2 million went into the general fund to pay off money the Nursing Home borrowed from the general fund.

Some of that IGT money will be used to pay off a $5.8 million Revenue Anticipation Note (RAN -- a short-term loan based on the promise of anticipated revenue).

The $4.1 million the county receives Aug. 13 should pay off the rest of the RAN, a loan that must be retired by November.

If for some reason, there is a shortfall, the county will either need money from the general fund or another loan, German said, to pay off this RAN.

But it's anticipated there will be a $200,000 surplus from the IGT payment, which will be gobbled up by Nursing Home expenses in short order. The county will then need to borrow more money to cover Nursing Home expenses with no guarantee the feds or the state will help with the expense at a later date.

The County Legislature met with an attorney today who is helping them explore options for dealing with the Nursing Home. The meeting was held in close session and was purely informational for the legislators, Gsell said.

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 7:41 am

Law and order: Suspect arrested in alleged home invasion assault on Wood Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, alexander, crime, Darien, Le Roy, pembroke

Nathan L. Royse, 22, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with burglary, 1st, criminal mischief, 4th, assault, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Royse allegedly entered a residence on Wood Street at 10:10 p.m. July 9 with two or three other assailants and assaulted the residents and damaged property. A snow shovel was allegedly used as a weapon. Two people were injured. A child was allegedly present during the assault. Royse turned himself in on the charges.

Samantha Laura Kopacz, 18, of Geise Road, Attica, and a 17-year-old resident of Bailey Street, Cowlesville, are charged with criminal tampering, 3rd. The duo are accused vandalizing Alexander School by writing on numerous windows and doors with window paint and spreading a substantial amount of paper throughout the grounds. 

Christina A. Deluna, 34, of Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation. Deluna was was stopped at 12:43 p.m. Tuesday on West Middlebury Road, Town of Middlebury, by a Wyoming County deputy. Deluna was allegedly driving on a suspended license due to a lapse in insurance coverage.

Rachell O. Soggs, 26, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Soggs is accused of stealing a pair of socks from Dollar General.

Troy D. Schimley, 21, of Sandpit Road, Alexander, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a pair of 2 to 6 a.m. parking tickets. Schimley was released on cash bail.

Kelly J. Rhim, 35, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Rhim is accused of shoplifting from Tops Market.

Juan Antonio Roman Jr., 36, of Portland Avenue, Rochester, is charged with three counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Roman was allegedly found at the residence of a protected party.

Matthew P. Lenhard, 28, of Corfu, is charged with burglary, 3rd. Lenhard was arrested by State Police for an alleged burglary reported at 2:30 p.m. on March 24. No further details released.

Erica M. Raphael, 29, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Raphael is accused of shoplifting from Kmart.

Roger E. Godfrey, 66, of Le Roy, is charged with unlawful growing of cannabis. Godfrey was arrested on Harris Road on July 11 by State Police. No further details released.

Kavin M. Lampman, 41, of Batavia, is charged with DWI. Lampman was stopped 9:12 p.m. Saturday on Alleghany Road, Indian Falls, by State Police.

Jason M. Thomason, 32, of Wheatfield, is charged with DWI. Thomason was stopped at 11:50 p.m. Saturday on Route 77, Darien, by State Police.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Photo: Classic Chevy on Center Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Center Street, classic cars

This is the second classic car I've seen in Batavia this summer with a flat black paint job. It's a nice look, I think.

This Chevy was parked on Center Street late this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Le Roy Rotary hosts district governor at weekly luncheon

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Rotary Club

Le Roy Rotary today hosted its District Governor Jack Amico. He praised the Le Roy Club for all its past successes and urged members to do more to spread the word about all Rotary does. The theme for Rotary this year is "Light Up Rotary." It's time, Amico said, for Rotary to set aside a little humility and starting using the media, social media and word of mouth to better education the public about Rotary's work and service to their communities.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Photos: Back roads in Le Roy and Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Le Roy

Driving back from Le Roy this afternoon I took the long way home.

Above, field of white flowers off Transit Road, Le Roy.

Below, a field of sweet peas and barn on Cackner Road, Bethany.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 11:31 am

Photo: Oatka Creek, Village of Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy

It's another beautiful day in Genesee County. Here's a photo from the Village of Le Roy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 11:19 am

Truck hauling travel trailer overturns on Thruway

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, thruway

A truck hauling a travel trailer overturned on the Thruway this morning in the area of mile marker 392.3 in the westbound lane.

No injuries were reported, though the passenger had a complaint of head pain.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS responded.

The call was dispatched at 6:57 a.m.

Photos courtesy Town of Batavia Fire Department.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 7:56 am

Pedestrian crossing sign stolen in Village of Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba

The pedestrian crossing sign in the Village of Elba was stolen sometime Saturday night.

The village would like it back.

If you have information that can assist, contact the village office at (585) 757-6889 or the State Police at (585) 344-6200.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Investigators still trying to determine how Batavia woman died Sunday evening

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Jackson Street

Investigators have yet to determine the cause of death of Summer Ogden, the 38-year-old Batavia woman who was found unresponsive Sunday evening on the steps of 131 Jackson St.

Batavia detectives attended an autopsy today at the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office, but Det. Eric Hill said, with tests still pending, there is nothing to report from the autopsy yet.

Hill said investigators have not determined exactly how much time elapsed from the moment Odgen collapsed until police were called, but they do not believe it was a long interval.

"It was a relative short time between the time a couple of witnesses saw her awake and OK and when they got back and saw her passed out," Hill said.

The call for an unresponsive female came in at about 7:19 p.m., Sunday.

Foul play has not been ruled out, but it's not considered a likely scenario, Hill said.

"We're certainly not closing that door, because we don't know what happened," Hill said. "It's something we're still keeping open, but it's not really an active aspect that we're definitively pursuing."

Ogden was well known to veteran police officers who had numerous encounters with her while intoxicated, Hill confirmed, but it's unclear what role, if any, alcohol may have had in Ogden's death.

"That's why we're sending everything out for tox," Hill said.

Ogden's boyfriend, Eric Duda, is one of the residents at 131 Jackson St. Hill said it's unknown if Ogden had been visiting or intended on visiting Duda on Sunday evening.

The couple have had mutual orders of protection in place and both had been previously charged with violating the orders.

Hill said the investigation is continuing and Ogden's death is receiving a full and complete investigation in an attempt to determine exactly what happened.

"Anybody who is in this situation is a victim," Hill said. "It doesn't matter if we've had contact with you in the past or we've had no contact with you. Ultimately, it comes down to the same level of service we offer to everyone. You could be suspect yesterday and a victim today. You still get he same level of service."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Inmate at county jail found hanging by bed sheet, pronounced dead at the scene

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Genesee County Jail

Early this morning, an inmate was discovered hanging by a bed sheet inside his cell at the Genesee County Jail.

The 36-year-old victim was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Karen Lang.

The Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation into the death.

His name is not being released pending notification of relatives.

The inmate was found by a correctional officer at 12:34 a.m.

Attempts to revive the individual were unsuccessful.

City fire and Mercy EMS responded to the emergency. 

An autopsy will be performed by the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office.

The inmate was recently arrested on a felony charge and was being held on bail.

The investigation is continuing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 11:32 am

Law and Order: Rochester man accused of stealing hedge trimmer from landscape truck

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

Jeffrey Cornell Nelson, 46, of Coretta Scott Crossing, Rochester, is charged with petit larceny. Nelson is accused of stealing a Stihl HS81T hedge trimmer from the rear of a landscape truck while the crew was working at ESL Credit Union. The alleged theft was reported at 11:32 a.m. Monday.

Paul Robert Benson, 33, of Sprucewood Terrace, Williamsville, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, uninspected motor vehicle and following too closely. Benson was stopped at 11:46 p.m. July 2 on Genesee Street, Darien, by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

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