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Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Big rig rollover on eastbound Thruway, unknown injuries

post by Billie Owens in accidents, east pembroke

A tractor-trailer rollover accident is reported on the eastbound Thruway at mile marker 397.2 Unknown injuries. East Pembroke fire and Mercy Medic #1 are responding.

UPDATE 3:53 p.m.: The Thruway Authority reports the driver is out of the vehicle and has minor injuries.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Traffic stop in Le Roy leads to arrest of crack cocaine possession suspect

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

A Le Roy Police officer made a traffic stop Monday and found a Batavia man allegedly in possession of crack cocaine and five different types of pills as well as drug paraphernalia.

Arrested was Anthony A. Leone, 46, of 7 Jackson St., Batavia.

He is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, a Class C felony, five counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd. 

The traffic stop was conducted by Officer Jared Dent, who is also a member of the Local Drug Task Force. The task force assisted at the scene.

Leone was jailed without bail.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Law and Order: Burglary suspect from LA awaiting extradition in county jail

post by Howard B. Owens in Attica, batavia, crime, pembroke
Baybhann Tagber

Baybhann Osman Tagber, 38, of North Almond Drive, Beverly Hills, was arrested as a fugitive from justice. Tagber was being held at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center on a possible immigration issue. While in custody, authorities learned of a warrant in the City of Los Angeles. Tagber was wanted on a burglary charge. Tagber is being held in the Genesee County Jail pending an extradition hearing.

Gary William Bird, 60, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with stalking, 4th. Bird is accused of contacting a person at their place of employment while knowing that such contact was unwanted and would cause alarm and annoyance.

Carrie A. Stewart, 34, of Attica, is charged with conspiracy, two counts of criminal trespass and petit larceny. Stewart was arrested at Walmart by State Police at 10:10 p.m., Sunday. No further details released.

Timothy Ryan

Timothy M. Ryan, 20, of East Pembroke, is charged with burglary, 2nd. Ryan is accused of entering the residence of a family member and taking more than $600 worth of electronics. The items were sold to a pawn shop. Ryan was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 8:39 am

Smoke reported from building on Ellicott Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire

There's a report of heavy smoke coming from a building at 401 Ellicott St., Batavia.

City fire dispatched.

A first responder reports smoke showing and smoke detector activated.

UPDATE 8:41 a.m.: Second platoon requested to the scene.

UPDATE 8:44 a.m.: A firefighter reports, "we can handle it with a water tank."

UPDATE 8:45 a.m.: Small contents fire in bedroom. Fire knocked down. Checking for extension. Ventilating ing the premises.

UPDATE 8:47 a.m.: Fire under control. No extension.

Photo submitted by Frank Capuano

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm

True high-speed Internet finally coming to Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business

A family-owned communication company that has provided phone service in Genesee County for more than 100 years is bringing true high-speed Internet to Batavia.

Empire Access, an affiliate of Empire Telephone, with a location in East Pembroke, is installing fiber optics throughout the city.

The network will be able to deliver business and residential service with download speeds of 100 megabits and upload speeds of 20 megabits.

Verizon DSL only offers a 10mb down and 1mb up service in Batavia and Time-Warner's top-end service locally is 30mb down.

Senior VP Jim Baase said the prices will be better, much better, too. That 100mb/20mb service will cost only $50 a month.

This is the sixth market Empire is introducing high speed Internet in, Baase said.

"We've had great success competing against companies like Time Warner and Verizon," Baase said.

Business customers can order high-speed Internet now from Empire, said local manager Tom Hare, and delivery is about 30 days out currently.

The first neighborhood to get residential service will be in the northeast quadrant of the city, Hare said, starting in about three our four months. The rest of the city should be covered within six months.

Empire is also offering phone service over the fiber network, as well as cable TV and security systems.

All of the regulatory hurdles at the state and federal levels have been cleared, Baase said, and Empire is just starting negotiations with the city for a cable franchise agreement.

As previously reported, the city is also in the midst of negotiating a new agreement with Comcast.

Empire Telephone is a third-generation, family-owned business based in Prattsburgh. For most of its history, it's been a rural telephone network in such places as East Pembroke, Pembroke and Indian Falls where it has some 700 telephone customers (that area is also scheduled to receive a fiber network service from Empire).

Baase said Empire decided to bring a fiber because it's an open market (Verizon has shown no interest in introducing FiOS here) and it will have a large enough customer base to support the network.

"It's a very attractive market for us," Baase said. "It's densely populated and we don't like to over build where there's FiOS. We don't like to go where there's already a company like ours."

On its marketing material, Empire Access bills itself as "The Local Company," and Empire will have an office in Batavia (while maintaining a switching station in East Pembroke, where the office was located). Baase said Empire will employ people locally and hire more and more people as its local network grows.

Another Empire advantage, Baase said, is when you call customer service your call is immediately routed to a real person, rather than a long telephone tree of button pushing.

Empire has plans to expand into other parts of the county, primarily along Route 5, once the Batavia network is built.

Interested business customers (not residential yet) can contact Tom Hare at (585) 813-9861 or [email protected]. (e-mail address corrected)

Top photo: High speed fiber-optic cable ready for installation in Batavia.

Tom Hare in Empire Telephone's current switching room in East Pembroke.

Empire Telephone's longtime facility in East Pembroke.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Batavia Radiation Oncology Associates to join Wilmot Cancer Institute

post by Billie Owens in batavia, business

Press release:

UR Medicine's James P. Wilmot Cancer Institute will soon introduce a full menu of cancer diagnosis and treatment services in Genesee County, anchored at 262 Bank St. in Batavia.

UR Medicine has agreed to purchase Batavia Radiation Oncology Associates, the longtime practice of cancer specialists Kevin J. Mudd, M.D., and Jan Dombrowski, M.D.

Once the deal is complete, Mudd will continue to see patients as a member of the University of Rochester Medical Center faculty. Staff within the practice will also become University of Rochester employees.

The purchase, which includes the practice and the building, requires approval by the New York State Department of Health to make the practice part of Wilmot’s parent hospital, Strong Memorial Hospital.

"Dr. Mudd is a skilled and experienced clinician who will make a wonderful addition to our regional team of physicians,” said Jonathan Friedberg, M.D., director of the Wilmot Cancer Institute, a component of Strong Memorial Hospital. “His practice will form the hub for an expanded set of cancer services available right in Batavia.”

To further integrate care, Wilmot will renovate the building and introduce new medical oncology services, including chemotherapy and infusion services and will upgrade IT systems so that medical records and other information can be shared across Wilmot’s expanding network.

“This is part of our vision of bringing progressive cancer treatment directly into smaller communities throughout the region,” Friedberg said.

Mudd said "I have worked closely with the Wilmot Cancer Institute since coming to the region in 1996 and I look forward to continuing my practice as an integrated member of the University faculty."

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Cross Fit trainer opens new gym in Harvester Center

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

The first thing Jason Harasimowszi thought when he saw Cross Fit on TV a few years ago was, "that's too hard."

He thought, "there's no way I could do that."

But he gave it a try and found, yes, it is hard, but, he said, "I wanted to keep doing it and get good at it."

Three years ago, he took a Cross Fit course in Chicago and became a certified trainer.

"It's nice seeing people succeed," Harasimowszi said to explain why he likes training others in Cross Fit.

Recently, Harasimowszi opened his own Cross Fit gym, Cross Fit Silver Fox, inside the Harvester Center.

Cross Fit is designed to be a complete, functional work out, often using heavy weights and complex, compound exercises that work more than one muscle at a time.

"(Cross Fit) is going to help you outside in life," Harasimowszi. "If you pick up boxes off the ground, it's like you're doing a deadlift. If you put a box on a top shelf, obviously, you're pressing something overhead. Everything is transferable to your outside life."

Silver Fox is equipped with about $20,000 worth of racks, weights, barbells, kettle bells, medicine balls, rowing machines, parallel bars, tires, boxes and other training equipment.

Classes are: Monday through Friday at 5, 6 and 7 a.m., and 4, 5 and 6 p.m.; Saturdays at 7, 8 and 9 a.m.; and Sundays at 11 a.m.

To locate Silver Fox, go into the Harvester Center through the main entrance and then down the hallway straight back from the door. The gym is on the left.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Fall Festival to debut in Corfu and Pembroke

post by Billie Owens in business, corfu, pembroke

A fun family Harvest Festival in the country will debut from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Kozy Kabin at 922 Genesee Street (Route 33) in Corfu.

Hosting are the property owners, Charles and Lenora Kohorst, who started the business three years ago. They build custom cabins and sheds of all sizes, with delivery, and custom-made polywood outdoor furniture, plus a colorful array of mums for the Fall season.

Why the festival?

"We have seen businesses in Corfu and Pembroke diminish these past few years, unfortunately, and have lost some great businesses -- The Market, IGA, Burling Drug, and more," Lenora said. "We see the need to come together as businesses and promote what the Corfu and Pembroke area has to offer the public. iI's a great place to live and visit (Darien Lakes)."

The scarecrow is the fest's theme.

Corfu and Pembroke area businesses are invited to participate in a scarecrow display that allows them to show off what they offer. They can dress it in any way that best shows the attendees their business with all their business information (addresses, contact info, specialties, etc.) also displayed alongside the scarecrow. Scarecrows will be displayed along the roadside (Route 33), craft vendors will have them at their booths, and they will be along the hayride that will go around the property.

There will be a bounce house, food vendors, craft vendors, kettle corn, hayrides, alpacas from Alpaca Delights, homemade desserts for sale, mums, pumpkins for sale. Browse Kozy Kabin, listen to live music, "needle in a haystack" game, face painting, balloon man.

There will also be a cabin raffle. First prize is a 10' x 20' cabin with a porch, or choice of $3,000 cash. Second, third and fourth prizes are a polywood folding Adirondack chair in the color of the winner's choice. Tickets are $5 or three for $10. Rain or shine. There will be tents.

For more information contact Lenora Kohorst at 409-7424.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Oakfield officials looking for person who broke into Little League food stand

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield

During the early morning hours of Aug. 21 somebody broke into the food stand at the Little League fields at the Oakfield Town Park and stole drinks and candy.

Town Clerk Melissa Haacke said the thief was obviously looking for money.

Sometime after 3 a.m., the person in this photo was seen on surveillance cameras in the park, so officials are hoping to identify the person and determine if there's a connection.

Haacke can be reached at (585) 948-5835.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 9:15 am

Developers make case for 136-unit apartment complex in Town of Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Big Tree Glen, land use

There's a very simple reason Rochester-based Conifer wants to build a middle-income apartment complex in Batavia now, John F. Caruso told the town's planning board Tuesday night.

"Batavia's hot," said the president of Passero Associates Engineering Architecture.

"It's hot," he said, "because of your smart growth plans, your STAMP Project, yogurt plants, lots of job growth. I'm happy we're the first to get in, but there will be more. Mark my words, this is a very good area."

Caruso made his remarks during a public hearing for Big Tree Glen, a 136-unit complex proposed for West Main Street Road that Conifer wants to build in three phases.

The Genesee County Planning Board disapproved the plan Thursday night, which means in order for the town's planning board to give it the nod, the vote will need to be a majority-plus-one.

Tuesday night, developers gave their presentation to the town's planning board and local residents -- including several in opposition -- shared their thoughts on the project.

The board won't take action on the proposal until its next meeting Sept. 30.

Caruso and Andrew Crossed, a VP with Conifer Realty, gave a very detailed presentation about the proposed complex, which Crossed called a "flagship design" for Conifer. The same basic concept has been built in several other New York communities, as well as in other states.

The project would be built in three phases with the first phase containing 56 units.

There would be one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom apartments, with monthly rents of $592, $717 and $900.

The market for the apartments are households with annual incomes of $25,000 to $45,000.

There would be no HUD, Section 8 or other rent subsidized apartments. Tenants would go through a thorough screening process, including a background check, income verification and reference check and would be required to sign leases that would clearly spell out residential expectations.

There would be two employees of Conifer on site full-time -- a residential manager and a residential maintenance supervisor.

"What we build, we own," Crossed said. "What we own, we manage."

All infrastructure -- roads, water and sewer -- would be owned and maintained by Conifer, meaning no expense for the town.

The property would generate about $75,000 local property tax.

While Conifer will apply for a state grant to help finance construction of each phase, it's a competitive process and Conifer goes into the project knowing they may not win. Either way, Conifer is not seeking any local tax abatements though the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

The complex would include a clubhouse, which would contain the manager's office, community kitchen, fitness center and laundry.

Each unit would have its own storage unit.

"You won't see storage on patios like you do in some places," Caruso said.

Caruso said Conifer uses quality construction material and the design offers a variety of features and colors to add variety and avoid a cookie-cutter appearance.

The final plan will include a bus loop for school buses and possibly local mass transit.

There will be a total of 53 percent green space surrounding the apartments.

"We usually don't skimp on landscaping," Caruso said. "Landscaping really shows the project well when the project is constructed."

One local landlord who attended the meeting said afterward he supports the project.

"Batavia needs this," he said. "I get people in my office every day looking for something like this and it just doesn't exist."

The residents who live near the proposed development area were less pleased with the project.

The main objection from the six or so opponents was the increased potential for flooding and a belief that Route 5 already has too much traffic on it.

Larry Regal, who lives on the south side of West Main, next to the Tonawanda Creek, said there is a small drainage area that connects to the creek and when the water rises on the Tonawanda, the north side where the project is located floods.

He wonders where that water will go if the development is built and whether that will make his property more susceptible to flooding.

Other speakers shared that concern.

They also complained that it can be hard now to pull out onto Route 5 safely with the current traffic volume.

Caruso had said during his presentation that traffic studies show the two-lane road has a lot of available capacity for traffic.

The town has recently installed new sewer lines along Route 5 with the idea of attracting development to the area.

The area is zoned commercial and a variance would be required for apartments, but Caruso said apartments with no more than 80 cars per hour at peak times would generate less Route 5 traffic than just about any possible commercial development in the same location.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 9:00 am

Law and Order: Man accused of providing false name to police during traffic stop in May

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bethany, crime, Stafford

James Timon Saddler III, 33, no permanent address, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd, forgery, 2nd, offering false instrument, 1st, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Saddler was reportedly stopped at 10:30 p.m. May 31 on Ellicott Street, Batavia, by Officer Jason Ivison. Saddler allegedly provided a name and date of birth other than his own and signed a consent to search form under the false name. Upon further investigation of the stop and a review of camera footage of the stop, Ivison determined that Saddler was the person stopped who allegedly provided a false identity. Saddler is currently an inmate in the Genesee County Jail being held on unrelated charges.

Jerry Tyrone Saddler, 38, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment ,2nd. Saddler is accused of hitting a woman several times during an argument, causing minor injuries.

Samuel Forrest Brown, 26, of River Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to dim headlamps. Brown was stopped at 11:51 p.m. Friday on Route 5, Stafford, by Deputy Chris Parker.

Douglas Scott Sprague, 47, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt,1st. Sprague was arrested on a warrant for allegedly violating an order of protection on June 2.

Michael Lee Milroy, 48, of McLernon Road, Bethany, is charged with assault, 3rd. Milroy was allegedly the driver of a vehicle at 7:45 p.m. Thursday that drove away from a residence while another person was leaning in the open passenger side door of the vehicle. Milroy is accused of striking that person with the door frame and rear tire, causing an injury to that person.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 10:34 pm

City planners vote down proposed Dunkin Donuts for West Main location

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Dunkin' Donuts

There won't be Dunkin' Donut coffee addicts zipping into a new shop on West Main Street, Batavia, any time soon, it seems.

The City's planning board rejected a site plan for the propose fast food restaurant outright following a public hearing Tuesday.

Paul Viele, the board member who made the motion to reject the proposal, cited concerns over traffic and complaints from residents on Redfield Parkway and River Street.

The proposed location was a lot squeezed in between First Niagara Bank and Barrett's Batavia Marine.

Jett Mehta, president of the Pittsford-based development company looking to build a second Dunkin' Donuts in Batavia, said his company had looked at several properties on both the west side and the east side of the city before settling on a location they felt had sufficient traffic to support the franchise.

Donut stores and drive-thru coffee shops  need high-traffic locations, Mehta explained.

"We don't generate traffic just because somebody decides they want to drive across town to get a cup of coffee," Mehta said. "They might, but we generally don't generate traffic. We capture traffic."

Kip Finley, an engineer on the project, said getting coffee and donuts is more a matter of "impulse purchases from people who are already right there."

Board members and public speakers expressed some skepticism about the "captured traffic" motif. 

"Tim Hortons is not captured traffic," John Roach said. "People go there to get a cup of coffee, so I can see a lot more than five or six cars getting in line."

Mehta and his team brought their proposal to the city a couple of weeks ago and planners asked that the alignment of the store be changed so as many 20 cars in queue.

The developers did, even though they are vehement that there will never be 20 cars in queue.  

"Our company operates 19 Dunkin Donuts with drive thrus," Mehta said. "We've never seen 20 cars in queue. Twenty cars in a drive-thru queue just never happens. It's not how the business is run."

When board members expressed concerns about the reconfigured site dumping traffic on River Street, Finley said that was a result of trying to accommodate the request to have space for 20 cars backed up in line.

"We're pretty flexible on those things," Finley said. "We now have two plans and both work pretty well."

Neighboring business owner Mike Barrett called the project "ill conceived."

He said there was a 400 gallon propane tank at the back of the property, an auto parts store in the neighboring shopping mall that certainly stores a lot of chemicals. He wondered if the Fire Department had signed off on the project with access to those buildings being restricted.

He also said the DEC required access to the Tonawanda Creek from that location for grass cutting operations.

Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall said City Fire had been consulted and Chief Jim Maxwell had signed off on the plans.

Redfield Parkway resident Jim Owen said he loves Dunkin' Donuts and doesn't made a section location in Batavia, just not that location.

"We're really getting overwhelmed with the traffic," Owen said. "If you try to get out on certain dates and certain hours, it's just brutal."

After the meeting, Mehta said he and his team will need to convene and decide with to continue pursuing a second Dunkin Donuts location in Batavia. 

Mike Mikolajczyk, owner of the current franchise and prospective owner of the second franchise, said during the meeting that the number one request he gets from current customers is a drive-thru location.

Asked about possible locations on the east side of the city, Mikolajczyk said it doesn't appear yet that East Main has the traffic volume to support a Dunkin' Donuts.

Photo: Steve Pum and Kip Finley.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Landmark Society to hand out 2014 awards at dinner Saturday

post by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County

The Landmark Society of Genesee County hosts its annual awards dinner Saturday at the GO-ART! building (Seymour Place), 201 East Main St., Batavia.

Dinner is at 6 p.m. with the awards presentation to follow.

The cost is $15 per person (make checks payable to "Sweet Ecstasy").

RSVP by calling (585) 343-9313 by 5 p.m., Thursday.

Here are photos of the winners with links to articles on each winner supplied by the Landmark Society.

Dr. Ronald R. Reed, Reed Eye Associates, Batavia Adaptive Re-use (top photo)

Ben and Joyce Davis, Outstanding Exterior Paint Treatment

Batavia Downs Gaming/WROTB, Outstanding Signage

Patricia Smith, Renovation

Amy Burns, Tender Loving Care

Sharon Johnson Home, Tender Loving Care

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Make an appointment ASAP for hazardous waste collection event on Saturday

post by Billie Owens in GLOW, hazardous waste

Press release:

Don’t miss out! Spots for the GLOW’s 2014 Household Hazardous/Pharmaceutical Waste Collection Event are going fast. Residents who want to dispose of materials at the Saturday Sept. 20 collection in Mt. Morris must have an appointment in order to attend.

GLOW accepts a wide range of household chemicals, oil-base paint, home computers, propane tanks and canisters, vehicle batteries and other materials. Microwave ovens and, for the fifth year, thanks to the assistance of the Livingston County Sheriff’s office, pharmaceuticals (unwanted, outdated, unusable and over-the-counter medicines) will be accepted.

These materials are accepted FREE OF CHARGE. There is a nominal fee for tires. Funding is provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), GLOW’s county contributions and Covanta Energy.

This is a great opportunity for residents to dispose of household chemicals and medicines they no longer want or need. Past collections have resulted in the safe and legal disposal of thousands of tires, thousands of gallons of solvents, cleaning products and paint, not to mention vehicle batteries, propane tanks and computers. Whenever possible materials collected are recycled.

The collection is open to residents in Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties. To make an appointment residents are asked to call the GLOW office at 585/815-7906 or 800/836-1154. Or e-mail [email protected]

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 11:53 am

Oakfield-Alabama students place wreath on Tomb of Unknown Soldier

post by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama

This past weekend, Dani Baxter, left, and Kylie Schlagenhauf, helped place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Washington, D.C., as part of a freshman class trip to D.C. for students at Oakfield-Alabama High School. 

Dani and Kylie were selected for the honor based on their winning essays on the topic of why we should honor veterans.

As part of the three-day trip, the students also had a moonlight tour of Washington monuments and the White House. They also visited the Holocaust Museum, Air and Space Museum, National Art Gallery and the Museum of American History.

Photo and info submitted by Nancy Baxter.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 8:29 am

Hunters looking to use rifles for deer hunting locally

post by Howard B. Owens in outdoors

A group of local hunters packed into the committee room of the Old Courthouse on Monday to back a proposal to allow hunting of big game in Genesee County with rifles.

All but a handful of counties in New York have amended their laws to allow rifles for big game hunting.

In Genesee County, that means deer, and occasionally (when the DEC allows it), bear.

Legislators Robert Bausch and Ed DeJaneiro asked to have the proposal tabled because they felt they hadn't yet had enough time to study it nor get feedback from constituents.

DeJaneiro said he was always told as a kid that rifles weren't allowed in Genesee County because with all the flat land, there was no way to stop a bullet.

Jack Taylor, one of several members of SCOPE at the meeting, dispelled some of that myth.

First, he said, Genesee County isn't as flat as some might think. He suggested looking now Main Street in the city, people tend to believe the street is flat, but there's actually dips and rises.

Second, because hunters with a rifle know the power of the weapon in their hands, they're also a lot more careful than some might be with shotguns.

"If you have the mentality this is a rifle, this will go a long ways, it makes you a more responsible of a shooter," Taylor said.

Also, because rifle projectiles break up on impact, they are not as likely to ricochet as a lot of projectiles used in shotgun shells today.

Taylor told the story of a hunter in Wyoming County who fired a shotgun at a deer and the copper bullet hit a tree and bounced back and hit the hunter's uncle.

That wouldn't happen with a rifle bullet, he said.

He said the DEC has found that hunting safety has actually improved in counties that have changed their laws to allow for big game hunting with rifles.

"Just so everyone knows, this is an option, not a mandate," Tim Grooms said. "Some hunters are interested in this because we want a more accurate shot. For one thing, there's the issue of the cost of ammunition today. We pay $3 to $5 for a shotgun slug and might fire several, but it's $1 for a rifle bullet and we'll fire just one. It's a whole better scenario. We hunt with fewer shots and it's better for the deer."

In order for the law to be changed, the Legislature must pass a resolution asking the State Legislature to amend the county's local law.

A bill can't be introduced in Albany until January. That gives the local legislators some time to get more familiar with the issue and get feedback from constituents.

The Public Service Committee will take the issue up again at its Oct. 14 meeting.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 8:07 am

Issues remain with new radio system, but officials confident Harris will solve the problems

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county

Yes, there are still problems with the new emergency radio system, county legislators were told Monday, but the Sheriff's Office is confident all of the issues can be resolved and Rochester-based Harris RF will deliver the quality communication system it promised the county.

In the field, members of law enforcement and fire services continue to report problems, and those problems are logged with an eye toward resolving all issues, said Steve Sharpe, director of emergency communication.

Three new communication towers have been built, to go along with the three that already existed, but they're not yet fully operational and tested.

The county is paying $10.8 million for the system (about half of the money comes from state and federal grants) and legislators want to ensure Harris is fulfilling its contract.

Legislator and Public Service Committee Chairwoman Maryanne Clattenburg said for what the system cost, everybody certainly expects it work as well or better than the old system.

The change over in communication systems was mandated by Homeland Security as part of its effort to create a nationwide interoperable emergency communication network.

There's still about $1.3 million due in payments to Harris and that money is being withheld until the county is convinced the system is working right.

"There's no date specific for Genesee County to sign off and close out the project," Undersheriff William Sheron said. "Until all the work is done, there's some power with Harris in how much money hasn't been released."

The contract calls for the Harris system to provide 95 percent coverage of the county. That doesn't mean 95 percent geographically, but that 95 percent of the calls provide functional two-way communication.

There are apparently dead spots in the county and Harris is working the the Sheriff's Office to address those issues.

"The bottomline is that 95 percent technically meets the standard, but that's not going to mean we're going to say, 'OK,' if there's still issues," Sheron said. "We're going to sit down with Harris and talk about it."

Sheron said he's confident the remaining issues can be solved with Harris.

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