Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 1:07 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, fire, Arcade.

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Although the house has since been razed, money was the prime mover for the March 2015 back-to-back fires on Liberty Street in the Village of Arcade.

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     Jody Nelligan

“She lied about the fire under oath when she was actually deposed,” said Wyoming County Assistant District Attorney Vincent Hemming in court transcripts. “This was someone that started a fire in a house, with children in that house, for money.” According to court transcripts dated Feb. 2, Jody Nelligan, 40 of Orchard Park, admitted to the Wyoming County Probation Department of intentionally setting fire to the home to “get the renter’s insurance policy.” Additionally, up until her guilty plea Oct. 27, Nelligan “continuously lied about this fire for a substantial period of time.”

Hemming also noted that Nelligan has no drug or alcohol issue “whatsoever,” but did ask the Court to consider incarceration as part of any probationary sentence.

The matter was seen before Wyoming County Judge Michael Mohun.

On March 23, 2015 a fire broke out in the basement of a Liberty Street home in Arcade. Arcade, Strykersville, Yorkshire, Chaffee-Sardinia, and Harris Corners fire departments were on the scene for three hours, under the direction of Fire Chief in Charge, Arcade Fire Chief Tom Beirsdorf putting out the fire. Standing by at empty stations were Bliss and Sheldon fire departments.

The following day, several surrounding fire companies responded to the home for a second time for a fire that began in a second-floor bedroom closet. Following the fires, Nelligan, another adult, and four children were being assisted by the Red Cross and family members. The four family cats were also saved. 

Arcade, Yorkshire, Harris Corners, Bliss, Strykersville, Chaffee-Sardinia, and Sheldon fire companies were on the scene for five hours battling the blaze. They were assisted at the scene by Wyoming County Emergency Services, Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department, Arcade Electric, and the Arcade Police Department. Standing by at empty stations were Bliss and Holland fire departments.

On July 1 of last year, Nelligan was charged with setting both fires – two counts of arson in the second degree, a Class B felony; and two counts of perjury in the first degree, a Class D felony.

In October she had pled guilty and on Feb. 2 she was sentenced.

At the time of her sentencing, Nelligan was facing up to six months in jail and five years probation.

Nelligan’s attorney, Andrew Pace, reiterated to the Court that she has taken full responsibility for the fires. He also quotes a probation officer as saying she is “extremely apologetic, very distraught with what happened, and since we left court at our last appearance, she has taken steps to help remediate what can only be described as a myriad of mental health issues.”

Additionally, she has no criminal record and is working with a mental health counselor weekly, a psychotherapist monthly, and her primary care physician to coordinate all of her medications.

Pace stressed to the Court in his memoranda how “essential it was that we try and get Jody back to her family,” because she is the primary caregiver of not only her four children, but her sickly father and her husband as well.

When Mohun gave Nelligan an opportunity to speak, she again apologized for the fires and told the Court it would not happen “ever again.”

“I am a mom and I have four children,” Nelligan said. “Two of my children are special need children and they need my care daily and I have my father, who I’m a caregiver for. He’s 70 years old and I would really hope that you would impose probation on me and not jail time because I need to be home with my family.”

Mohun then asked the defendant if the family she spoke of was the same family that was in the house when she set fire to it. To which she had said her father was not present at the time of the fires, but her children were.

“And now you’re asking not to put you in jail because you want to be a mother to these children that you put at risk?” Mohun questioned.

Nelligan admitted that it was a “bad choice,” to which Mohun said it was “probably a most horrific choice that anyone could make, let alone a mother.”

Due to the fact that she is working with a counselor and receiving medication for her illness, this gave the judge pause. Mohun noted that if there was no constraint on sentencing, a state prison sentence may have been appropriate.

“You put the lives of your children at risk,” Mohun said. “For what? For money. It’s an extraordinary tale that is told in this prosecution where you put money ahead of your children’s safety. You put them at risk. That is certainly not a motherly instinct.”

With that said, however, Mohun agreed with Pace that she has taken steps to “come clean” and did not think her children should “suffer any more for your criminal behavior.”

“Every day you are with those children is a blessing, and I hope you don’t put them at risk anymore because this is a revocable sentence,” Mohun said.

According to New York Penal Law 60.01 a revocable sentence  shall be deemed a tentative one to the extent that it may be altered or revoked in accordance with the provisions of the article under which it was imposed, but for all other purposes shall be deemed to be a final judgment of conviction.  

Nelligan was convicted of attempted arson in the third degree and sentenced to five years probation, $26,075.55 in restitution, and fees and surcharges.

See related: Unknown cause sparked the first fire at a Liberty Street home in ArcadeArsonist responsible for setting two fires at a Liberty Street home, ArcadeAn Orchard Park woman pled guilty to setting fire to an Arcade home last year

Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 12:07 pm
posted by Howard Owens in Dining Deals, advertisements.

Reminders of how the new Dining Deals program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for Wyoming County Free Press.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a two-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 5:15 pm

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Members of the Perry Center, Perry, Silver Springs, Wyoming, Warsaw, and Cuylerville fire departments, and Perry Ambulance paid tribute Saturday afternoon to long-standing member J. Richard “Dick” Brick, who passed away earlier this week.

Brick, 93, had been a member of the Perry Center Fire Department for 68 years, serving as president and secretary/treasurer during his tenure. In addition to his active volunteerism with the fire department, he spent eight years on the Perry Ambulance Squad, was an emergency medical technician, served as an elected assessor, and was on both the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board.

For J. Richard Brick’s full obituary click here.

Assistant Fire Chief Tim Rice wished to thank all the departments and members who put the tribute together. 

 

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Friday, February 24, 2017 at 5:08 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Sports, announcements, Perry.

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Front row, from left: seniors Alysha Jones, Iesha Cole, Brittnay Woodworth and Emma Humberstone.  

Back row, from left: Autumn Baker, Morgan Laraby, Taryn True, Gipsie Prickett, Coach Cheryl Hayes, Danielle Frazier, Brice Blackmore, Rachael Hinz and Ashlee Safford.

The Perry Varsity Cheerleaders competed Feb. 17 at the LCAA League Championships held at Caledonia-Mumford.  

In Division 3, First Place went to Perry, Second Place to Geneseo, and Third Place went to Keshequa.

Senior cheerleaders were also afforded a chance to compete individually. The top three cheerleaders from this competition will represent Livingston County in the Ronald McDonald game. 

Perry’s own Lesha Cole took First Place with a near-perfect score of 209 out of a possible 210.

Friday, February 24, 2017 at 4:53 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, environment, firefighting, Warsaw, DEC, announcements.

Press release:

Foam used by some fire departments may now be listed as a hazardous substance. On Feb. 1, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) filed a Notice of Adoption with the New York State Department of State to amend Part 597, Hazardous Substances Identification, Release Prohibition, and Release Reporting, effective March 3.

The regulation classifies perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA-acid), ammonium perfluorooctanoate (PFOA-salt), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS-acid), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS-salt) as hazardous substances at the request of the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). 

The amendments finalized the:

    •  addition of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA-acid, Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) No. 335-67-1), ammonium perfluorooctanoate (PFOA-salt, CAS No. 3825-26-1), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS-acid, CAS No. 1763-23-1), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS-salt, CAS No. 2795-39-3) to the list of hazardous substances at 6 NYCRR Section 597.3;

    • allowance for continued use of firefighting foam that may contain PFOA-acid, PFOA-salt, PFOS-acid or PFOS-salt to fight fires (but not for training or any other purposes) on or before April 25, even if such use may result in the release of a reportable quantity (RQ), which is otherwise prohibited; and 

    • correction to the list of hazardous substances by providing units for RQs.

The final rule-making documents, including the Assessment of Public Comment, are available on DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/104968.html

See related: Firefighting foam may contain newly listed hazardous substances

Friday, February 24, 2017 at 4:17 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Business, Warsaw, Castile.

Press release:

Proving that a minute can matter, Tompkins Bank of Castile is launching its third round of the quarterly Community Minute Challenge. Each quarterly winner is awarded $2,500; by the end of the contest, a total of $10,000 will have been provided in much-needed funds to local not-for-profit organizations.

“The response to the Community Minute Challenge has been tremendous, and we’re thrilled to be able to help shine a light on the important services that are provided by not-for-profit organizations in our area,” said John McKenna, Bank president and CEO.

The third round will begin February 27 and run through March 13. The winning organization is determined by public voting on the Bank of Castile Facebook page, where visitors can watch the one-minute videos produced by participating nonprofits and then vote for their favorite. Each video explains how the nonprofit would use the awarded funds. The six organizations competing in this round are:

    • Wyoming County Community Action (Wyoming County)  

    • Al Sigl Community of Agencies (Monroe County)

    • Batavia Rotary (Genesee County)

    • Focus on the Children (Livingston County)

    • Genesee Amateur Hockey Association (Genesee County) 

    • Villa of Hope (Monroe County) 

To show support for the initiative and cast a vote, participants should “like” the Tompkins Bank of Castile Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TompkinsBankofCastile and click on the Community Minute Challenge app. They can then select their favorite nonprofit after watching the one-minute videos. Individuals can vote once per day during the contest period.

Launched in August 2016, the Community Minute Challenge has awarded $5,000 to date. The first-round winner was Going to the Dogs Rescue in Wyoming County, an organization dedicated to helping homeless pets find loving forever homes. The second-round winner was ARC of Genesee Orleans, a resource of choice for people with disabilities and their families in both Genesee and Orleans counties. Photos of the previous winners are available upon request. A fourth round of the Community Minute Challenge will launch later this year.

Tompkins Bank of Castile is a community bank with 16 offices in the five-county Western New York region. Services include complete lines of consumer deposit accounts and loans, business accounts and loans, and leasing. In addition, insurance is offered through an affiliate company, Tompkins Insurance Agencies. Wealth management, trust and investment services are provided through Tompkins Financial Advisors. Further information about the bank is available on its website, www.bankofcastile.com.

Friday, February 24, 2017 at 2:27 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, Warsaw, news.

The Wyoming County Court system works with a collaborative effort across multiple agencies to combat the opioid and heroin problem facing the county. 

Working within a system of best practices, the Court, District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the county jail, Spectrum Human Services, Department of Veteran Affairs, Literacy West NY Inc., and the Wyoming County Probation, Health, and Mental Health departments have developed a systematic approach for those who commit crimes relating to drug offenses.

The approach also serves as a starting point to help addicts “kick the habit” and give offenders the tools to reenter society as productive members of their communities.

“When the Treatment Court first began almost 14 years ago, participants addicted to opiates was a rarity,” said Wyoming County Judge Michael Mohun during this month’s Board of Supervisors meeting. “The court dealt with alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, designer drugs and non-opiate prescription pill abuse, primarily. Today, more than 70 percent of the participants are diagnosed as opiate dependent – primarily heroin.”

Formerly called Drug Court, Treatment Court not only handles those who have a drug problem, but also those with an alcohol or mental health issue. Other assistance involves aiding with health insurance – oftentimes a hurdle to gaining access to treatment – for outpatient or inpatient services. 

“The idea behind changing the name is that we are handling not only people who have a drug problem but also alcohol and mental health issues,” said Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen. “We are also handling veterans who also have these problems but because they are veterans they have access to other services and we help them connect with those services. We also have people on our team who are experts (called navigators) with dealing with health insurance issues, which is a big hurdle to gaining access to treatment (either outpatient or inpatient). Also, by having this broader title we are open to other addictions or issues that may arise that were not usually part of the basic drug court model.”

Those who enter Treatment Court are held accountable for their actions via weekly court appearances, random home visits by the Probation Department, weekly drug testing, regular attendance and active participation in counseling, as well as maintaining or finding employment. Additionally, participants in the program are given an opportunity to reduce their criminal charges.

“It’s a diversion program,” O’Geen said. “Participants are not only given the opportunity for recovery, by also a reduction in sentences. Approximately 80 percent of the cases we’ve had, sentences were reduced.”

“The Treatment Court process has evolved into a unified system of care with an integrated cross-systems approach support by nontraditional community partnership,” Mohun said. “This unique team offers a wide open door of hope for each individual qualifying for the program.”

Prior to being accepted into the program, candidates are interviewed and assessed by James Messe, the Treatment Court coordinator. He establishes the necessary level of treatment for each individual and assesses what entitlements they have or may need.

Additionally, he secures in-patient treatment for those who are unable to remain in the community.

According to officials, probation is the key. For the program to work, it works in thirds – want, force, or hiting rock bottom.

“The program works because a person like Gene (Traxler) is on participants to help them gain employment, structure and get back on the right track.”

Traxler, a senior probation officer with the county Probation Department, has been working with the program since its inception in 2003. His focus is to supervise each and every Treatment Court participant. 

“In treatment, it’s also a rule of thirds,” Traxler said. “A third of the people that start never relapse. A third of the people relapse a couple of times, and a third are chronic relapses no matter what the consequences are. There is also positive peer pressure in the program to succeed.”

Drug testing of each participant is both random and scheduled. These tests ensure sobriety, officials say. However, testing is just one portion of the multifaceted approach. Contact with treatment agencies, family members, employers, and other service providers verify attendance, compliance, and employment. 

Additionally, if a participant violates the conditions of the program, they are “sanctioned” and sentenced to a week in jail. Once the week is up, the person then may be eligible to continue with the program – with the caveat that the participant reenters the program as if starting from the beginning. However, there are only so many chances a person is given. If a participant continues to violate the terms of the program, they are removed from the program, charged with their original crime and sentenced accordingly. 

In addition to the Treatment Court program, medical services within the jail are equally important. The jail medical services works collaboratively with the treatment team to address every participant that is in Treatment Court. The jail nurse, either Cheryl Glaus R.N. or Laura Dutton R. N., attends the weekly meetings to identify participants who may exhibit withdrawal concerns, medical or mental health issues, and their need to continue taking medications while incarcerated.

“It is estimated that 20 percent of inmates in jail and 15 percent of inmates in state prisons have a serious mental illness,” Mohun said. 

Officials say mentally ill inmates are often jail management problems and are more likely to contemplate suicide. Those in Wyoming County that work with inmates regularly agree that mentally ill inmates have increased in the jail in the last several years. However, the regular, on-site presence of a mental health professional providing mental health services to inmates decreases management problems and safety issues. 

Mitchell Kibler, of Spectrum Human Services, provides the outpatient mental health and chemical dependency treatment services to Treatment Court participants. Part of the treatment is group and individual therapy sessions, as well as medication assisted treatment for opiate addiction. Two such medications used included Suboxone and Vivitrol.

Suboxone combines buprenorphine, an opiate, with naloxone, an opiate blocker. This daily oral medication requires strict testing and physician supervision. Vivitrol is purely an opiate blocker and given once a month by injection. These medications are used in conjunction with either inpatient or outpatient treatment.

The county’s Mental Health Clinic provides outpatient mental health services which focus on co-occurring disorders. 

Literacy West works with individuals in earning a high school equivalency diploma, should they need one, as well as offering work readiness classes and career coaching. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs works with veterans to assess eligibility for services through the Veterans Administration (VA). Efforts are then coordinated to determine the appropriate level of care after diagnosis as well as treatment at the various VA facilities located in Batavia, Buffalo, Bath and Canandaigua.

“Whether the primary problem is mental health or addiction, the treatment team utilizes weekly meetings to review the participant’s status,” Mohun said. “The Court is in tune with the need for timely and efficient screening and assessment. This helps to identify all challenged areas and to link them with the necessary treatment modalities.

“The Treatment Court offers an opportunity to link treatment, vocational training, supportive living, educational needs, and employment opportunities while working toward goals of hope and recovery and a chance to break the vicious cyclical nature of an addict involved in the criminal justice system.”

According to Mohun, of the 57 graduates between 2011 and 2015, 12 (22 percent) had been rearrested since graduation – 44 (78 percent) were not. Of the 12 who were rearrested: four were for drug-related offenses; one was for an alcohol-related offense; two were rearrested for theft or property crimes; one for a domestic-violence-related crime, and four were for “other” charges. 

Of the 16 who graduated from Treatment Court in 2016, only one has been rearrested for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle (no drugs were involved.)

“The mug shots are a telling sign,” Traxler said. “Once they are clean, they are no longer living in a fog.”

The people who graduate that don’t go back into the program is a more telling sign, O’Geen says. 

“It’s a tough program. Some just give up,” Traxler said.

“Graduation means something,” O’Geen said. “They earned it. They truly earned it. Success is a person maintaining sobriety and a law-abiding life for 12 successful months.”

Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 5:05 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, court, Perry, Warsaw, Attica, news.

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The following were in Wyoming County Court Feb. 22 before Judge Michael Mohun.

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    Charles Braun

Charles Braun, who committed a crime in Perry, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and five years post-release supervision, plus fees and surcharges. The sentence is to run concurrently with his Livingston County Sentence. He was convicted of attempted rape in the first degree, a Class C violent felony.

See related: Charles Braun pled guilty to attempted rape

The following are from State Correctional facilities in Attica. 

Bail is set for state inmate cases for two reasons:

    • In the event that the inmates current sentence is overturned on appeal or the inmates sentence is about to expire the bail will kick in on the new case and the inmate would be turned over to the Wyoming County Jail while the new case is pending; and

    • When bail is placed on an inmate it follows the inmate so when they are moved to different facilities it is one way for them to be found and also the state system knows there is another case still pending.

Rodney Webster pled guilty to conspiracy in the fourth degree, a Class E felony as a second felony offender. Sentencing is scheduled for April 12.

Javon Woods had his case adjourned to March 13.

Terrance Milton was sentenced to one-and-one-half to three years in prison. He was convicted of attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony. The sentence is to run consecutively to his current sentence. He is also responsible for all fees and surcharges incurred.

Abida McIntosh was sentenced to one-and-two-thirds to three-and-one-half years in prison, and fees and surcharges. He was convicted of attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony. The sentence is to run consecutively to his current term.

Andrew Mott pled not guilty to promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony, and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor. The case has been adjourned to April 12. Bail was set at $5,000.

Pablo Sanes pled not guilty to promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony. Motions are scheduled for April 12. Bail was set at $5,000.

Darrell Carthon was sentenced to one-and-one-half to three years in prison on the conviction of attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony. He is also responsible for all fees and surcharges incurred. The sentence is to run consecutively to his current term.

Shaquor Smith pled not guilty to promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony. Motions are scheduled for April 12. Bail was set at $5,000.

Brian Atkins was sentenced to one-and-one-half to three years in prison on the conviction of attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony as a second felony offender. He is also responsible for all fees and surcharges incurred. The sentence is to run consecutively to his current sentence.

Benedict Agostini had his case adjourned to March 13.

Wesley Kirkland pled not guilty to promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony. The case has been adjourned to April 12. Bail was set at $5,000.

John Harris pled guilty to two counts of attempted assault in the second degree, a Class E felony as a second felony offender. Sentencing is scheduled April 12.

Ricky Morris pled guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony as a second felony offender. Sentencing is scheduled April 12.

Jayshawn Williams pled guilty to attempted assault in the second degree, a Class E felony as a second felony offender. Sentencing is scheduled April 12.

Lindell Cox had his case adjourned to March 15.

Diquan Wells was sentenced to one-and-one-half to three years in prison on the conviction of attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony as a second felony offender. He is also responsible for all fees and surcharges incurred. The sentence is to run consecutively to his current sentence.

Neil Allen was in court for motions. His case has been adjourned to March 13 for a Huntley Hearing. A Huntley Hearing is a pretrial hearing in New York State and is requested for the purpose of reviewing the manner in which the police obtained statements from the defendant.

The following were in Wyoming County Court before Mohun Feb. 21.

Kenneth Fullen, who committed a crime in Perry, pled guilty to burglary in the second degree, a Class C felony. Sentencing is scheduled March 30. He is held without bail in the Wyoming County Jail.

Christian Manley, an inmate at a State Correctional facility in Attica, had his case adjourned to March 9.

Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Castile, fire, crime, Business, news.

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 Amy S. Goodenow

Amy S. Goodenow, no age provided, of Castile was charged with arson in the third degree, a Class C felony, for allegedly setting a fire that destroyed a Castile business.

The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office says, during the early morning hours of Feb. 15 a fire broke out at the Castile Diner, 125 S. Main St., Castile. When deputies arrived at the Main Street restaurant they noticed a “working structure fire” and say Goodenow was at the scene at the time of the incident.

After both a fire and criminal investigation, officials determined that the fire was intentionally set. 

Although Goodenow owns the business, the contents and building are owned by Steve Gitsis.

Members from Castile, Silver Springs, Gainesville, Bliss, Pike, and Nunda fire departments were on the scene for close to five hours putting out the flames. 

Assisting at the scene included Wyoming County Emergency Services, the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department, the New York State Police, and the Village of Castile. Standing by at empty fire stations included Perry, Warsaw and Fillmore fire departments.

Goodenow, who was jailed on $5,000 cash bail and $10,000 bond, subsequently posted bail and was released. 

She is due in the Village of Castile Court at 7:30 p.m. April 3.

See related: Castile Diner fire remains under investigation

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Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 9:17 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Wyoming, ACWC, arts, fiber arts.

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Press release (photo submitted):

The Arts Council for Wyoming County (ACWC) is hosting the Fiber Flurry Fiber Arts Festival at the Wyoming Inn, Main Street, Wyoming, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 4.

“It’s a great way to meet new people, learn something new and get your hands on some beautiful fiber,” said Kathryn Hollinger, Fiber Flurry coordinator at the ACWC.

The Flurry includes classes, vendors and opportunities to socialize with fiber artists. Fiber arts festivals are popular for participants of all levels to try techniques from master artists in two-hour workshops. 

Classes include: beginning embroidery, kumihimo, yarn dyeing, hairpin lace, tatting, yoga for knitters, tambour (frame) embroidery and knitting a tiny top-down sweater. 

Reservations are required for classes, and the brochure is available at the ACWC’s website.

The event also includes a popular feature from other regional Fiber Arts Festival: a section where local wool, yarn and fiber producers show and sell their wares. Vendors include: Propanicus Moon Yarns, Trollbridge Farm, Stoner Hill Farm, May Apple Farm, Firefly Farm, Peartree Farm, Heavenly Valley Farm and Acorn Fiber Works. 

Shopping is available all day and it's open to the public with no reservations required.

For participants who knit or crochet, there is a Fiber Challenge competition using last year’s special edition yarn. People who want to take part can pick up skeins of the challenge yarn at the ACWC gift shop and knit or crochet a piece to enter for a People’s Choice Award. Special Edition “Snowflake” Yarn for next year’s challenge will be for sale at the Flurry as well.

Additionally, a buffet lunch and afternoon tea will be available. 

New this year, artist Beth Ely Sleboda will perform FiberSong, a performance that combines dance, poetry and music during afternoon tea. 

Participants can sign up for part of the day, lunch or the full day. People who sign up for the full day (two classes, lunch and tea) will receive the special edition “Snowflake” challenge yarn for free.

Registration forms, with class descriptions and schedules may be downloaded from www.artswyco.org or can be mailed to you by calling the ACWC (585) 237-3517, ext. 102.

For more than 40 years, the ACWC has created opportunities to bring arts into their rural communities through programming, grants, and art events. The ACWC is also Wyoming County’s NYSCA Decentralization Site for Community Arts Grants. 

For more information on membership or advocacy in the arts, visit www.artswyco.org.

Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 7:56 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, agriculture, Warsaw, DEC.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County (CCE) is offering a pesticide applicator training session and recertification course from 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. March 21 at the Wyoming County Agriculture and Business Center, 36 Center St., Warsaw. The exam begins at 1 p.m..

This session is geared for individuals planning to take the Core and Category Pesticide Certification exam specific to the focus of their work. 

If applying for Core Recertification credits, you must bring your Pesticide Certification ID card with you. This session will carry 3.50 Core Recertification Credits. This course is open to those seeking private or commercial category Pesticide Applicator certification. 

Individual responsibilities with CCE include:

    • Preregister with CCE for the training session only, by calling Don Gasiewicz at (585) 786-2251 or emailing him at drg35@cornell.edu. There is a $20 fee for extension enrollees and a $25 fee for non-enrollees. Any questions regarding the certification class can be directed to Gasiewicz as well.

    • You need to purchase the required training manual(s) from the CCE office. Manuals for all categories must be ordered through CCE. Once you know which manual(s) you need, contact Gasiewicz to purchase and/or order. Questions regarding which manual(s) you may need to order, must be directed the NYSDEC at (716) 851-7220.

Individual Responsibilities with New York State DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation)

    • DEC pesticides test. The pesticide exam is conducted by the DEC and is held at the Wyoming County Agriculture and Business Center at 1 p.m. March 21.

    • NYSDEC requires advance registration to be eligible to take the certification exam. If you are planning to take the exam, you must first call the NYSDEC Pesticide Division at (716) 851-7220 to discuss eligibility.

    • If you are eligible, DEC will send you an exam packet, which you must fill out and return to them with your examination fee of $100. You must be preregistered with DEC to take the exam. No walk-ins will be allowed. All questions regarding your certification should be directed to the DEC.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, education, Business, Warsaw, healthcare.

Press release:

Western New York Rural Area Health Education Center (R-AHEC), Warsaw, recently received a $607,616 in funding for healthcare and workforce development programs. The Health Workforce Retraining Initiative (HWRI) funding was awarded by the New York State Department of Health and Labor.

The time period covered by this grant is Jan. 1, through Dec. 31, 2018.

Since 2001, R-AHEC has completed several successful cycles of HWRI funding and provided training opportunities to 7,052 healthcare professionals. With the new grant award, more than 2,500 healthcare professionals are expected to be trained. 

The trainings topics will include: Computer Skills of Short Duration, Healthcare Leadership, and LPN Training. 

Under this grant, healthcare employers in Wyoming County, as well as counties in Central and Western New York, and the counties surrounding the Rochester area, may be eligible to receive training for their employees.

R-AHEC is committed to assisting and supporting healthcare employees in reaching their professional goal and in providing the highest quality healthcare possible through the Health Workforce Retraining Initiative.

For more information on this program, contact Kathy Wood at info@r-ahec.org.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 3:39 pm

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Press release (photo submitted):

Aurora Players will open its 83rd season with its premiere of Jon Robin Baitz’s “Other Desert Cities,” on Feb. 24, with Varysburg resident Mary Eckstein portraying Polly. The play, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, will be performed in the Roycroft Pavilion in Hamlin Park, Buffalo.

Eckstein last appeared on the Players' stage as Amanda Wingfield in 2015’s “The Glass Menagerie.” A public health nurse at the Wyoming County Health Department, she has been active in local community theater for 38 years.

“I enjoy the challenge of studying and developing a variety of character types and the exhilaration of performing before a live audience,” she said.

“Other Desert Cities” is a story of the Wyeth family, who love each other – fiercely – despite their very different world views. 

The daughter, Brooke, arrives home one Christmas with a memoir of her late brother Henry. About 25 years previously, he had been involved with a radical group that bombed a recruitment center, resulting in a death. Brooke’s parents, Reagan Republicans who value the status quo and have left this traumatic experience behind, do not want to reopen old wounds. However, Brooke is a writer and psychologically needs to write this to get out of a depression. All she wants to do is tell the truth, but the truth is much more complicated than she realizes. 

Eckstein chose to do this play because of how true-to-ktcklablife the characters are.

“I welcomed the opportunity to perform in a new and contemporary piece, and one which requires the skill of portraying a character whose life is closer to fact than fiction,” Eckstein said.

Katie Buckler, Kris Kielich, Mary Moebius and Rick Sweet, also star in the play. The production is directed by Thomas Durham, assisted by Joe Cassidy.

Performances are: 8 p.m. Feb. 24 – 26, March 3 – 5 and 10 – 12. It will also have a post-show talk with Durham and the cast after the show Feb. 25 and March 4.

All Friday and Saturday shows start at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees begin at 2:30 p.m.

To purchase tickets – $15 for adults and $14 for seniors and students –  visit www.auroraplayers.org or call (716) 687-6727.

The show contains adult languages and situations. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 2:47 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, Business, Warsaw, Attica, Arcade, Perry, Main Street.

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New York adopted the "click-through nexus" law in 2008. It requires certain out-of-state or online merchants to collect tax on sales of their own merchandise. That first-in-the-nation law is the template for statutes in nearly two dozen other states and survived court challenges, including the New York State Court of Appeals.

Within Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget is a proposal seeking to require “marketplace providers” to collect New York’s state and local sales taxes on merchandise shipped into the state from out-of-state sellers. This proposal applies the existing nexus law to a new and growing Internet sales platform.

“Online retailers put brick-and-mortar businesses on our Main streets at a competitive disadvantage,” said Wyoming County Chamber President Scott Gardner. “They (online retailers) may not be collecting the sales tax on merchandise, whereas a local merchant has to because they are located in New York.”

If the online business does not have a physical presence in the state, it can be more difficult for the state to enforce the collection of the sales tax from purchases made by New York consumers.

“It hurts people like our independent booksellers, small retailers, gift shops, clothing stores, etcetera,” Gardner said.

The budget proposal would require online marketplaces with more than $100 million in annual sales to collect and remit tax just as consignment shop owners and auction houses now do. Estimates show that improved enforcement of existing tax laws would result in some $275 million in fiscal year 2018-19.

Wyoming County Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Berwanger was unavailable for comment.

Monday, February 20, 2017 at 5:38 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, accident, news.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office filed charges Feb. 16 against Nicole K. Sullivan in relation to a one-car accident that occurred during the early morning hours of June 10.

Sullivan, 31, of Perry, is charged with: falsely reporting an incident in the third degree; unlicensed operator of a motor vehicle; aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree; operation of an unregistered motor vehicle; failure to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of change in address; no seat belt; and driving left of pavement markings.

On June 10, at approximately 2:25 a.m., an accident on Fargo Road, Stafford, was reported. When deputies arrived on the scene, they say they found a male, later identified as Zachery W. Schwartz, 20, unresponsive in the vehicle and a female, Sullivan, on the front porch at a nearby home.

At the time, Sullivan told officers that there was a third occupant, who was driving the car, and fled the scene, traveling north on Fargo Road.

Schwartz was flown via Mercy Flight 5 to Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, for extensive head injuries. Sullivan was taken via Mercy ambulance to Strong for head and leg injuries.

Fire personnel conducted a thorough search on foot of the surrounding areas using FLIR Technology (thermal imaging) in an attempt to locate the unknown driver involved in the crash. The New York State Police assisted by maintaining a roving perimeter of the area. Area hospitals were also notified to call the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office if they received any potential car accident patients.

Approximately three hours after the accident was reported, Sullivan admitted to police that she and Schwartz were the only occupants in the vehicle and she was the driver.

The charges stem from the allegation that Sullivan was in fact the driver of the car at the time of the collision and she gave false information concerning the details of the incident. It is further alleged that there was not an unknown driver of the car who fled the scene as originally reported by Sullivan.

Assisting at the scene of the accident included Stafford, Batavia, and Le Roy fire departments, Genesee County Emergency Management, and Mercy medics.

Monday, February 20, 2017 at 11:08 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Warsaw.
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    Michael P. Lantain

A Warsaw man who was charged in January with felony sex abuse, has been arrested again by the Warsaw Village Police in connection with said charge.

Michael P. Lantain, 35, was arrested Feb. 16 and charged with possession of a sexual performance by a child and possession of an obscene performance by a child, both are Class E felonies; and use of a child less than 17 years old in a sexual performance, a Class C felony.

In January, Lantain was charged with felony sex abuse in the first degree, and endangering the welfare of a child under 17, a misdemeanor.

At the time of his January arrest, Warsaw Police say Lantain had sexual relations with a girl less than 11 years old. The abuse was said to have occurred sometime between December and January in the Village.

Following that arrest, a search warrant was issued on his property and several computers and cell phones were seized. The Regional Computer Forensic Lab analyzed the items, resulting in the three new charges.

Lantain was put in Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bail. He is due in Warsaw Village Court March 6.

The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department and Child Protective Services assisted in the investigation.

See related: Law and Order: Warsaw man arrested on sex charges  

Monday, February 20, 2017 at 10:02 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Varysburg, winter.

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The lack of snow didn't deter community members from enjoying the 24th annual Cardboard Olympics at Byrncliff Resort & Conference Center, Route 20A, Varysburg. 

Children and adults alike raced against the clock Sunday afternoon in the Polar Bear Obstacle Course – slinging mud in their wake, had a taste of homemade chili in the annual Chili Cook-Off, and took their chances on a basket during the basket raffle.

All proceeds from the event benefit the Varysburg Fire Department and Rescue Squad.

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Friday, February 17, 2017 at 5:11 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, crime, Perry, Attica, Warsaw.
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   John D. Carpenter

John D. Carpenter, 65, of Warsaw, was charged Feb. 15 with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, and aggravated harassment in the second degree. Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies say Carpenter made multiple threatening and alarming phone calls to the Wyoming County 9-1-1 Center. He is accused of repeatedly calling 9-1-1 and reporting that people were going to die, among other alarming statements. Officials say, Carpenter told dispatchers at one point that he continued to call 9-1-1 because he was bored. When deputies responded to his home, he allegedly refused to come to the door. Subsequently, officers got a warrant for his arrest and took Carpenter, a convicted violent felon, into custody without incident. He was put in Wyoming County Jail on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond. He is due in the Village of Warsaw Court March 6. Warsaw Police assisted deputies at the arrest scene.

Lisa A. Strong, 34, of Attica, was charged Feb. 16 with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Attica Police reports that while assisting the Wyoming County Child Protective Services in investigating possible child neglect, they found four children living in “unsanitary and deplorable conditions.” The children, with cooperation from the defendant, were removed from the home and placed into foster care, officials say. Strong was put in Wyoming County Jail on $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. She is due at 10 a.m. in Attica Village Court March 13.

Raymond T. Frawley, 37, of Angelica, was arrested Feb. 16 on a warrant out of Wyoming County Family Court for failure to obey a Family Court support order. Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Frawley on a tip from their Warrant Wednesday program on Facebook. The tip allegedly reported the location of the defendant, who was then arrested by Allegany County Sheriff’s deputies and turned over to the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office. He is in Wyoming County Jail on $1,000 bail.

James Becker, 25, of Perry, was charged with driving while intoxicated and DWI with a BAC more than .08 percent. Becker was charged after allegedly driving himself to the Perry Police Department to turn himself in on a bench warrant for failure to appear. Officers say, while at the station, Becker had glassy eyes and a strong odor of alcohol about him. He was placed through field sobriety testing, which he allegedly failed, and a breath test showed a BAC of .16 percent. He was arrested on the warrant and put in Wyoming County Jail on $500 cash bail. He is due in Perry Village Court at a later date.

Friday, February 17, 2017 at 4:34 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Warsaw, letchworth, accident, deaths, drownings.
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       Chad Staley       Tyler Jennings

The two men charged in the deaths of brothers 9-year-old Dylan and 6-year-old Preston Giangregorio, of Rochester, each pled guilty to one count of criminally negligent homicide.

Tyler Jennings, 34, of Farmington, and Chad Staley, 32, of Rochester, pled to the charge in Wyoming County Court Feb. 15 before Judge Michael Mohun. This charge is a Class E felony with a maximum sentence of one-and-one-third to four years in prison.

In the case of criminal negligence, the carelessness required is appreciably more serious than that for ordinary civil negligence, said Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen. 

By definition, a person acts with criminal negligence with respect to a death when that person engages in conduct which creates or contributes to a substantial and unjustifiable risk that another person’s death will occur, and when he or she fails to perceive that risk, and when that risk is of such a nature and degree that failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.

Both men were each originally charged with: two counts of manslaughter in the second degree, a Class C felony; two counts of criminally negligent homicide, a Class E felony; and 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor.

The original charges stem from a five-month investigation that began June 11 by the New York State Park Police. 

Jennings and Staley were with five children, 5 to 12 years old, in a restricted area of Letchworth State Park June 11. All seven patrons were in the water directly above the Lower Falls when they lost their footing and were swept over the 70-foot waterfall, resulting in the deaths of Dylan and Preston.

According to O’Geen, the two defendants and five children made their way toward the Lower Falls so they could see the falls up close. The children were then allowed to enter the water. When the swift current began to sweep the children away, the two men were unable to keep them and themselves from going over the falls. 

Staley was stuck on the brink of the falls for almost two hours until he was saved by the Wyoming County Rope Rescue Team. Three of the children and Jennings were rescued June 11, but the brothers were not recovered until June 12 and June 14.

During the plea discussion, both men admitted that through their negligence, they caused the deaths of the two boys.

“This has been a difficult and emotional case for all involved and it is my hope that this disposition will begin to bring closure to the families involved, justice for Dylan, Preston and all the children, and at the same time send a message that danger/warning park signs matter as they are there to protect the public,” O’Geen said. “Hopefully, Dylan and Preston’s deaths will not be in vain and park visitors will learn from this preventable tragedy by following the rules of the park going forward.”

The court ordered a pre-sentence investigation report and adjourned the case until 2 p.m. May 17 for final sentencing. 

Both Staley and Jennings continue to be released on their own recognizance until their court date.

See related: Two men charged in June drowning deaths at Letchworth State Park

Friday, February 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, announcements, Business, Warsaw.

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Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Gardner has often said: “The best ambassadors for Wyoming County are those that live and work in the county. And if we can give them to tools to encourage people to visit, we are going to do that.”

Thursday evening the Chamber hosted a get-together for members to officially unveil the 2017 Wyoming County Tourism Guide.

“We wanted to get people together to network and visit on a social level…connect with other businesses in the county.”

The travel guides can be found at area businesses and at the Chamber office at 36 Center St., Warsaw. 

For information about joining the Chamber call (585) 786-0307 or visit http://www.wycochamber.org/

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