Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 12:34 pm

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It was five years in the making. The culmination of a challenge presented by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the vision of the county’s Board of Supervisors, an investment by Jim Rutowski, grants, and countless hours of manpower.

While the building has been occupied for a few months now, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday officially opening the Agriculture and Business Center on Center Street in Warsaw. 

“The Wyoming County Ag and Business Center is the result of the challenge Governor Cuomo issued to the Ag producers in New York State four years ago to increase milk production in order to accommodate the raw product demands of the flourishing yogurt industry in our state,” said Wyoming County Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Berwanger. “The Center also fits the governor’s quest to consolidate services to provide more efficient delivery of the needs of not only agribusiness but all types of business in Wyoming County in a cost effective way.”

The Center is occupied by more than a dozen government and other agencies that serve not only the agricultural businesses in the county, but all businesses including tourism. Not only will the space house a plethora of agencies, it also has the largest meeting space in the county, capable of holding 300 to 400 people.

"Supporting our local agriculture community is one of the critical elements of Governor Cuomo's commitment to rebuilding Upstate's economy and moving the Finger Lakes forward,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. “The new Agriculture Business Center of Excellence will streamline services Wyoming County's farmers need to compete on a state-wide and national basis. This is New York's top agriculture producing county, and it now has the facility it needs to maintain and expand its success."

The Ag and Business Center was once the home of the Brown Knitting Mill, then later, Zeches used the building as a warehouse. The structure was refurbished with new plumbing, air conditioning and electrical equipment, the “massive lumber” flooring was refinished, and the use of “reclaimed” lumber was also used to delineate some spaces.

The more than 30,000-square-foot office complex is a $4.3-million project funded through the efforts and aid of Rutowski. The converted knitting mill is situated on a 4-acre plot of land in the Village close to the Wyoming County Government Center. The one-stop resource for farmers aims to promote the efficiency, inter-agency cooperation and synergy necessary to stimulate the expansion of the dairy industry.
“Wyoming County is a leader in the agriculture industry and the state’s investment in this new facility will ensure that farmers and other agribusinesses have the resources they need to grow and create jobs,” said Sen. Patrick Gallivan. “The center brings like-minded agencies and businesses under one roof so that they can work together for the good of the entire county.” 

In a statement released by Sen. Charles Schumer: “For Wyoming County’s dairies, farmers, and businesses the completion of the Wyoming County Agriculture and Business Center of Excellence is a win-win. It is not only breathing new life into a former vacant derelict building to add new economic development vibrancy in the heart of Warsaw, but it’s providing a convenient one-stop-shop for our agricultural industry to better conduct business and access resources they need to grow and compete. I was glad to push the USDA last year to secure their approval so that the Center’s construction stayed on track and so the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) could move into the new center. Now that the FSA is under one roof alongside various other agencies, I look forward to seeing the Center help make Wyoming County’s business and agricultural community even stronger.”

The center is supported by a $500,000 grant from Empire State Development, a $200,000 New York State Energy Research and Development Authority grant and a $200,000 contribution from the 2014 state budget. New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) provide economic development grant assistance to help offset electric infrastructure costs related to this project.
In a statement released by Gov. Cuomo: “Wyoming County is the state’s leading milk producer and one of the top producers in the nation. This new business center is a one-stop shop that puts all the resources for individuals and businesses looking to succeed in this industry under one roof. Agriculture remains a critical component of the state’s economy, and we look forward to investing in new agribusinesses as they continue to generate significant growth in their communities.”

See related: New Wyoming County Business Center is nearing completion

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 1:57 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, government, Warsaw, Sen. Gallivan.

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As Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul put it, "the cost of maintaining a hospital was strangling the county and affected its ability to provide basic services and take care of roads and more long-term capital projects." However, at the March 8 Board of Supervisors meeting, it was announced that the county secured a $20 million grant for Wyoming County Community Hospital (WCCH) – an amount that would just about eliminate the facility’s debt.

“It is exactly what Wyoming County needed -- a county of 42,000 people. They deserve the same quality health care services as you would in a big city and that hospital reflects that. It also reflects the governor’s recognition that it’s tough for these small areas,” Hochul said during her visit to the hospital yesterday.

Hochul, Sen. Patrick Gallivan, Board of Supervisors Chairman Douglas Berwanger, along with other county officials toured WCCH to see its improvements.

“It’s tough for a county to be able to manage a high-quality medical institution. So we stepped up this past spring after a lot of conversations with Chairman Berwanger and Senator Gallivan, and the Board of Supervisors, understanding how important it was that the State would be there to help alleviate the burden that is placed on the county taxpayers.”

The total of WCCH’s debt was approximately $22 million: $17 million for the renovation/construction project; $1.73 million for the energy efficiency transformation loan; $1.34 million for the purchase; and renovation of the Physician Office building; and $1.8 million for equipment bond anticipation notes.

“I understood the severity of the hospital’s situation back when I was in Congress," Hochul said. "I had visited back when I represented this area as a member of Congress. I brought experts from Washington here for rural health care roundtables, I brought a lot of support. This money, I knew for years, was desperately needed.”

The grant is the largest infusion of money from state or federal government in the county’s history.

“I wanted to come on behalf of the Governor and see what that looks like," Hochul said. "They’re providing exceptional services that the county should be very proud of.”

The county made a $31 million investment in the hospital. It has developed a management relationship with University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital to provide emergency room; obstetrician and gynecological (OB/GYN); cardiac; ear, nose and throat; and financial services to the hospital. There is a new orthopedic group, OB/GYN, and general surgeon.

WCCH provides acute inpatient, emergency room, ambulatory surgery, maternity, clinic, in-patient behavioral health, and skilled nursing services. The facility, located in Warsaw, is the only hospital in the county. The nearest hospitals are 22 miles to the north, 32 miles to the southeast, and 39 miles to the southwest.

Not only does the hospital serve the approximate 44,000 people of Wyoming County, it also serves parts of southern Genesee, northwestern Livingston, and northern Allegany and Cattaraugus counties. Additionally, WCCH has the only in-patient behavioral health facility within a 50-plus mile radius and the hospital to the southwest does not provide maternity services.

Furthermore, WCCH is one of only two contracted hospital service providers to the New York State Department of Corrections with a locked unit. The unit provides services to five prisons in Western New York. Finally, WCCH employs 497 full-time equivalent employees – 75 percent are from Wyoming County.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced earlier this year, $95.8 million in grant awards for 10 projects that would dramatically transform and improve the delivery of health care in the Finger Lakes Region. This funding is a portion of a $1.5 billion commitment made by New York State to help health care providers statewide fund critical capital and infrastructure improvements, as well as integrate and further develop health systems.

See related: County hospital in Warsaw to get $20 million state grant, will nearly wipe out its debt

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Press release:

Don’t miss out! Spots for the GLOW’s 2016 Household Hazardous/Pharmaceutical Waste Collection Event are going fast. Residents who want to dispose of materials at the Saturday, Sept. 17, collection in Batavia must have an appointment in order to attend.

GLOW accepts a wide range of household chemicals, oil base paint, home computers (NOTE LIMIT OF TWO (2) CRT TVs AND/OR MONITORS PER REGISTRANT), propane tanks and canisters, vehicle batteries and other materials. Microwave ovens and for the seventh year, thanks to the assistance of the Genesee County Sheriff’s office, pharmaceuticals (unwanted, outdated, unusable and over-the-counter medicines) will be accepted. These materials are accepted FREE OF CHARGEThere 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 email glow@co.genesee.ny.us

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 12:12 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, Pike, Warsaw.
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   Scott A. Wilcox

Three-time convicted felon Scott A. Wilcox was sentenced today to 21 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford.

The 46-year-old Pike man pled guilty April 8 to felon in possession of a firearm. The charge stems from a domestic incident in January 2015 in Pike.

At that time, Wilcox was accused of punching and knocking his girlfriend to the ground during an altercation. When he learned the police had been notified, he took a .44-caliber rifle from the home and headed for the woods.

On Jan. 25, 2015, Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies searched his home in Pike and found the Marlin rifle, which belonged to the defendant. Additionally, deputies also found 76 rounds of ammunition for the weapon in an access panel in the bathroom. Because he is a convicted felon, he is prohibited from legally possessing firearms.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

At the time of his arrest, Wilcox was charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, attempted assault in the the third degree, and felon in possession of a firearm.

See related: A Pike man is guilty of weapons charge

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 5:38 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, Bennington, Attica, Warsaw.

A flat tire, alcohol, and accusations of causing property damage in two neighboring towns, all played a role in landing a Corfu woman in jail.

Officers from the Attica Police Department noticed a vehicle traveling on Route 98 in the village with a flat tire at around 3 a.m. Aug. 19. After initiating a traffic stop, officers allegedly found the driver, Jessica Zellner, to be intoxicated.

During the course of the investigation, by both Attica Police and Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies, it was determined that the suspect had left the scene of two separate property damage accidents. One allegedly took place on Maxon Road in the Town of Bennington and the other on Route 354 in the Village of Attica.

Zellner was subsequently arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, refusal to take a breath test, unsafe tire, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

While at the Attica Police Department the suspect allegedly got into two separate altercations with police, which resulted in additional charges of resisting arrest, escape in the third degree, and attempted assault in the third degree. 

The 26-year-old was put in Wyoming County Jail on $10,000 bail or $20,000 bond. She is due in the Village of Attica Court at 10 a.m. Sept. 12.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 4:59 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Perry, education, Business, Warsaw.

Press release

The Genesee Community College (GCC) Business and Employee Skills Training (BEST) Center recently welcomed Justine Briggs and Jennifer Wakefield to its staff. Briggs began her duties as the business training specialist, and Wakefield as the program coordinator, in July.

"The BEST Center is extremely pleased to welcome both Jennifer and Justine," said Workforce Development and The BEST Center Executive Director Reid Smalley. “Both individuals bring outstanding professional credentials to our team, including new program development and training design experiences, and creative and innovative ideas to further expand our presence in the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties) area."

Wakefield moved to Western New York in 2001 when her husband, Dr. Tom Wakefield, became a partner at the Perry Veterinary Clinic, Route 236, Perry. Originally from Ohio, she graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in international studies and a minor in Spanish. Prior to joining The BEST Center, she taught Spanish at Holy Family Catholic School in LeRoy and at Genesee Wyoming Catholic School in Attica. Most recently, she worked at the Geneseo Migrant Center through Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in Leicester. While there, she was a family educator and a Spanish speaking outreach worker. 

The Warsaw resident has three children, twin boys, Tanner and Quentin who are both sophomores at The University at Buffalo, and a daughter, Meryl, who is a junior at Warsaw High School. Her personal interests include watching Ohio State football games, watching her daughter's soccer games, running, cross-country skiing, cooking, and increasing the stamps on her passport.

Briggs, a Batavia native, graduated with both a bachelor's and master's degree in English from St. Bonaventure University in Allegany. Her work experience stems from multiple roles at Paychex in Rochester since 2012, including human resources online advisor and online services trainer. Among her duties, Briggs was charged with researching and gathering information to implement new training processes across multiple products. She was also responsible for designing and scheduling training sessions and webinars to new, existing, and perspective clients.

In her spare time, the Batavia resident enjoys outdoor activities such as biking, swimming, hiking, and running. She also enjoys spending time with her family, which is about to grow. She and her husband Brennan, are expecting their first child at the end of September.

The BEST Center at GCC is the recognized regional leader in developing the skilled workforce that powers local economic growth. The Center serves individual employees as well as businesses with seminars, workshops and trainings designed to improve the performance of people and processes. For more information, visit www.bestcenter.org.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 4:55 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, education, announcements, Orangeville.

Press release

Nine members of the Genesee Community College (GCC) faculty and staff have been recognized by State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. They were credited for outstanding contributions to their profession, the campus and the community. The Chancellor's Award for Excellence is given in recognition of consistently superior professional achievement and encourages the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

The GCC faculty and staff members were honored at a reception on the Batavia Campus last week in the Stuart Steiner Theatre.

Award for Excellence in Classified Service

    • Michelle A. Peck, secretary of health, physical education and athletics, started her career at GCC in 2007. Serving as secretary to both the director of Athletics and to the director of Health and Physical Education at GCC, her work requires a high level of organization and multi-tasking. She has served on several search committees and is a member of LEAD, which is a leadership, development committee for student athletes. 

The Orangeville resident actively assists in organizing and participating in several events each year, such as the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties) Corporate Cup, athletic team games and fundraisers, Mission Condition, Athlete Olympics, Mini-Summit, Athletics Hall of Fame, and more. She continuously meets the needs of hundreds of students, faculty, athletes and coaches each year.

Award for Excellence in Teaching

    • Roxanne M. Holthaus, assistant professor of nursing, joined GCC as a full-time faculty member in 2009. With more than 16 years of experience, both as a registered nurse and a family nurse practitioner in a university setting, she was promoted to the rank of assistant professor in 2015. 

She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from SUNY (State University of New York) Binghamton and a bachelor's and master's degree in nursing from the University of Rochester School of Nursing. 

The LeRoy resident is the coordinator and point of contact for the Nursing Boot Camp program. The program is a series of clinical lab and simulation exercises offered during the summer months as a means of helping students maintain their nursing skill set during the semester break. 

    • Karen K. Wicka, assistant professor of criminal justice, was an attorney who left the practice of law to pursue her passion of teaching. She began her time at GCC as an adjunct professor of criminal justice in 2001 and was hired as a full-time instructor in 2008. As of 2012, she has held the title of assistant professor. 

The Hamburg resident earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from SUNY Potsdam and a juris doctorate from Albany Law School of Union University. In addition to her classroom teaching, she is a co-advisor for the Criminal Justice Club. 

Her legal experience includes serving as an associate for Bond, Shoeneck & King, LLP in Buffalo, and O'Connell and Aronowitz, P.C. in Albany. She is a member of the Criminal Justice Educators Association of New York (CJEANYS), Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the New York Bar Association. She continues to give back to the College with her time as a volunteer for the Scholars Symposium and the New York State Historical Society Essay Contest for GCC.

Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching

    • Edward J. Grabowski, adjunct instructor of social science and business, teaches a variety of courses at GCC. Not only does he teach multiple courses including Criminal Justice, Business Law, and Paralegal Studies, he teaches at several locations. He has taught on an adjunct basis at the College since 2007. 

His career in law enforcement began with an associate’s degree in police science from GCC in 1976. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in police science and education from Buffalo State College and finally, he received a juris doctorate from the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Law in 1997. 

Heavily involved in his community, he has been a Boy Scout leader for 20 years and teaches law and criminal justice-related merit badges to boy scouts. The Medina resident is a member of the Orleans Niagara BOCES School Board and has been portraying Santa Claus since 1982 at local events.

    • Pamela N. Lusk, adjunct instructor of social science and health, has taught for GCC since the Albion Campus Center opened in the fall of 1990. She teaches in multiple subject areas, including psychology, health, human services, and sociology. 

She obtained a dual-major bachelor's degree in health education and community development and a master's degree in health and social sciences from The College at Brockport. Additionally, she completed her PhD in psychology from Cornell University.

In addition to her regular duties, she has temporarily filled in as the acting associate dean for the campus center and wellness coordinator the Title III Grant. She has also led the Albion Campus Wellness Student Club and has overseen numerous fundraisers and other service projects to help those in need. 

Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities

    • Karen Huffman, PhD, assistant professor of biology has been a member of the college's science faculty since 2011. She was promoted to the rank of assistant professor in the fall of 2014 and has been instrumental in developing service learning at GCC. 

Huffman graduated with Honors from Indiana University, earning a bachelor of science degree in microbiology. She then moved to Texas and completed a PhD in biology at the University of Texas, teaching, carrying out original research, and presenting at national meetings. 

Her teaching includes stints as an adjunct professor at a number of community and four-year colleges in Chicago and Buffalo, and as a high school biology teacher at Mt. Mercy Academy in Buffalo. Beyond GCC, she serves on several state level committees including the NYS Science Content Advisory Panel and the Science Teachers Association of New York State where she serves on the Board of Directors. Additionally, she was recently elected as the statewide college level representative. 

She was instrumental in planning and executing the College's first Scholars Symposium Day and continues to represent GCC through presentations she makes at local, state and national conferences as well as through a long list of publications.

Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

    • M. Richard (Rick) Dudkowski, professor of business/marketing/fashion has been a member of the GCC faculty since 1984. He was hired as the first full-time faculty member in the fashion program and through his leadership, the program has grown from 12 students to its current enrollment of 73. 

The Clarence resident was the 2001-2002 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2008-2009 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. He is currently co-chairing GCC’s 50th anniversary steering committee and he co-chaired the 20th anniversary steering committee.

Under his watch, the annual fashion show celebrated its 35th anniversary in the spring and has grown into the largest and longest running fashion show in Western New York. For the past 15 years, under his direction, the Business Forum Club has hosted the annual "Ducky Derby," raising thousands of dollars to support the United Way. 

He earned an associate degree in business administration from Erie Community College, a bachelor's degree in consumer and business studies from Buffalo State College, a master's degree in vocational and technical education from Buffalo State College, and he has completed all but the dissertation at the University at Buffalo in the Educational Doctorate program in vocational education.

Award for Excellence in Professional Service

    • Rafael Alicea-Maldonado, PhD, dean of math/science and career education since August 2011, came to GCC as an instructor of chemistry in 2000. He received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2004-2005 and after reaching full professor status in 2010, and he won again in 2011 for Faculty Service. He oversees 40 academic programs.

A native of Puerto Rico, Alicea-Maldonado earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico and a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University at Buffalo. He was awarded the Mattern-Tyler Excellence in Teaching Award from the Department of Chemistry at UB, has authored several publications, and has presented at over a dozen conferences. 

The Buffalo resident currently teaches the Intro to Chemistry course in an online format, which he developed.

    • Carol Marriott, associate vice president for institutional research and assessment, began her career at the college in 2000 as a temporary grant coordinator. 

The Corfu resident earned a master's degree in higher education from the University at Buffalo before returning to work at GCC as the director of institutional research. She advanced to the position of associate dean in 2009 before being named associate vice president in 2012. 

Her creative and innovative approach to problem solving has resulted in the development of major decision-making tools at GCC, such as the Genesee Strategic Intelligence (GSI) system.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 4:51 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, government, crime.

Press release

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently signed legislation that will make it easier for families of homicide victims to get help from New York State to bury their loved ones. 

“Families experiencing a sudden and tragic loss should not have to also face the burden of burial costs,” Cuomo said. “This legislation will help give the family members of homicide victims some peace of mind as they say their final goodbyes. I thank the sponsors of this legislation for their work in getting this passed.”

Under current law, only an individual who paid or incurred the burial expenses – a family member or person who owned a funeral home – can be eligible for reimbursement from the New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS). Funeral homes, however, are often associated with larger businesses operated by boards instead of individual owners, and are prohibited from filing claims.

The bill (S.7191/A.9762) changes that, allowing funeral home businesses to pay for burial costs on behalf of a family. They then can recover those expenses from the Office of Victim Services, which provides a financial safety net for innocent crime victims and their family members.

The OVS can provide up to $6,000 for burial expenses. Those costs covered by the agency include funeral services, burial plot, the deceased’s burial outfit, clergy fees, transportation costs for the deceased, obituaries, head stone, flowers, death certificates, church fees for religious services and flowers.

By law, a homicide victim’s family must use any existing insurance or funeral expense protection before seeking assistance from OVS. Between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016, the agency approved 501 death claims. During this same period, OVS paid more than $1.8 million in funeral expenses.

“The loss of a loved one is devastating, especially when that person falls victim to crime. These changes give the families of crime victims peace of mind and takes the worry of funeral expenses off their shoulders during their time of mourning,” said Sen. Patrick Gallivan. “They also ease the regulatory burden funeral home operators face when trying to meet the needs of these families. I thank the governor for signing this bill into law, and Assemblywoman (Crystal) Peoples-Stokes for her partnership.”

“The amended statue allows funeral homes – whether owned by an individual or a corporation – to take on the burden of financial arrangements associated with a burial so families can concentrate on healing,” Peoples-Stokes said. “This change to the law will bring relief to a family still reeling over the unexpected death of a loved one. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important piece of legislation into law and I thank co-sponsor Senator Gallivan for his work in getting it passed.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 2:27 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, government, Congress.

New York’s 27th Congressional District Democratic candidate Diana Kastenbaum was recently endorsed by the Western New York Council of the Communications Workers (WNY CWA) union. 

Kastenbaum is an avid supporter of the CWA and marched in solidarity with Local 1133 in a rally at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo earlier this month.

“I am honored to be endorsed by a union that does so much to help working families throughout my district,” Kastenbaum said. “I stand with the WNY CWA in their fight for fair contracts, wages, and for bringing jobs back home.”

This is the third union to have endorsed Kastenbaum. She has also been endorsed by New York State United Teachers union (NYSUT) and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local One.

Monday, August 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, drugs, heroin, Attica, Arcade.

The Wyoming County Drug Task Force (DTF) continues their efforts ridding the county of illegal drugs with the arrests of three individuals.

On July 29, two Buffalo residents were arrested following an undercover “drug operation” in the Village of Arcade.

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   Larenzo Eaton    Daytionna Perry

Larenzo Eaton, 30, and Daytionna Perry, 24, are accused of selling crack cocaine in the village. They were both charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, and conspiracy in the fourth degree. Both are free after posting bail.

On Aug. 18, the final suspect in the DTF’s Operation Spring Sweep was extradited back to Wyoming County from the State of Florida.

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   Miranda Walker

Miranda Walker, 21, formerly of Attica, was located in July in Florida. She was charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. 

Walker allegedly sold heroin on two occasions in the Village of Attica. She is currently being held in the Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail.

Operation Spring Sweep has netted 26 arrests throughout the county.

Any suspicion of illegal drug activity can be reported to the confidential tip line at (585) 786-8965.

Monday, August 22, 2016 at 12:48 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, Varysburg, Perry, Castile.

David G. McNall, 20, of Varysburg, was charged Aug. 15 with public lewdness. McNall is accused of masturbating in the parking lot of a Batavia department store. He is due in the Town of Batavia Court at 1 p.m. Sept. 22.

James E. Olin, of Perry, was charged Aug. 17 with unlawful growing of cannabis. Following a report of marijuana plants possibly being grown in a garden on Gardeau Street, Perry Police officers found a plant in the garden. Subsequently, Olin was arrested because he was deemed to be the owner of the plant. He is due in Village Court in September. 

Jose Jacinto-Martinez, 26, of Castile, was charged Aug. 20 with assault in the third degree. Jacinto-Martinez was arrested following a complaint from a 19-year-old male from Waterport, after an altercation while at a party on Reservation Road, Castile. The victim had several lacerations which required medical attention, Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies reported. Jacinto-Martinez was subsequently arrested and put in Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond. He is due in Castile Town Court at 7 p.m. today.

Monday, August 22, 2016 at 11:40 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, Arcade, Attica, Covington, Perry.

The following are from a State Correctional Facility in Attica who were in Wyoming County Court before Judge Michael Mohun Aug. 17, 18 and 19.

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.

Kevon Thomas, pled guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony. Thomas is a second felony offender. He waived his right to appeal. He is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 14.

Rafael Deorbel, pled not guilty to: promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony; promoting prison contraband in the second degree; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; and unlawful possession of marijuana. Motions are scheduled for Oct. 5. Bail was set at $5,000.

Jayme Frontuto, had his case adjourned to Sept. 7.

The following were in Wyoming County Court before Judge Mohun Aug. 18 and 19.

Michelle Westfall, who is accused of committing a crime in Arcade, had her case adjourned to Dec. 1.

Amanda Hoover, who committed a crime in Arcade, pled guilty to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a Class D felony. She is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 1.

Sara Howard, who committed a crime in Attica, was convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony; and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a Class C felony. She was sentenced to two years prison with two years post-release supervision on each charge. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other.

Robin Frontuto, had her case adjourned to Sept. 7.

Michelle Jewell, who committed a crime in Perry, pled guilty to grand larceny in the fourth degree, a Class E felony. The case has been adjourned to Dec. 1 for sentencing.

Tamber Reed, who committed a crime in Wyoming County, continues on interim probation. The case has been adjourned to Dec. 8.

Miranda Walker, who is accused of committing a crime in Covington, pled not guilty to two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class E felony. The case has been adjourned to Sept. 8 for an appearance and Oct. 20 for motions. Bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

Friday, August 19, 2016 at 11:18 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, event, Attica.

From Attica Police Chief Dean Hendershott:

On Saturday, the Attica Police Department will be assisting event organizers for the second annual "Where There’s a Jill, There’s a Way" 5K/10K run and 3K walk-a-thon in honor of Jill Kerby Conley. The benefit is to keep her memory alive while raising funds to help brain aneurysm research.

The registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Village Park located on Exchange Street, with the race starting at 10. 

There will be limited vehicular access to Exchange Street, however, Main Street will be closed to all traffic (other than emergency traffic) from Exchange Street to the Attica High School, Main Street and Maplewood Road. We anticipate reopening Main Street to full vehicle access no later than 11 a.m..

We wish to thank everyone for their assistance and cooperation for this one hour of inconvenience for such a worthy cause.

Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 2:56 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Pike Fair, Pike, Wyoming County Fair.

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See our Facebook page for more photos.

Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 9:39 am

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At around 2:10 p.m.Tuesday, Perry Police Officer Greg Smith was picking up paperwork at the Village Hall when a 9-1-1 call came in reporting a house was on fire directly across the street from the Village office. 

With crews dispatched from Perry and Perry Center fire departments, Smith spoke with the 9-1-1 caller who stated smoke could be seen on the second floor.

Knowing the tenants who occupied the three apartments could be at home, the officer quickly took action. 

Smith entered the building, knocked on the first door announcing his presence. When no one answered, he smashed the glass out, gained entry, found a tenant and told him to get out because the structure was on fire.

Village Clerk Tisha Sylvester also came across the street and assisted the man with getting his dog. 

The officer then checked the other first-floor apartment, no one was home, but he was unable to check the second floor due to heavy smoke. It was quickly established that all the occupants were safely out of the building and accounted for.

The occupants of the hotel adjacent to the apartment house were also evacuated due to heavy smoke.

Fire Chief in Charge Perry Fire Chief Steve Laraby took command of the 19 area fire departments responding to the burning structure to try and contain the blaze.

Firemen from Perry, Perry Center, Castile, Gainesville, Silver Springs, Warsaw, Pike, Geneseo, Nunda, Cuylerville, York, Leicester, Pavilion, and Le Roy fire departments were on the scene for six-and-one-half hours knocking the fire out. 

Also on scene were Perry and Monroe ambulance with Wyoming County Emergency Services, the Sheriff’s Department, Perry Squad 10, Perry Police Department, Perry Department of Public Works, Wyoming Correctional Facility, RG&E, NYSEG, and the Red Cross assisting. Standing by at empty fire stations included Gainesville, Bliss, Wyoming, Varysburg, and Mount Morris fire departments, as well as Mount Morris EMS. 

One firefighter injured during the incident and taken to Wyoming County Community Hospital for treatment.

The cause of the fire was a malfunction of a fan/air purification system unit located in the kitchen of the second-floor apartment.

The blaze caused an estimated $125,000 in damages.

All four adult residents of the complex are being assisted by the Red Cross.

See our Facebook page for more photos.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 4:55 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Business, hotels, inns, Darien Center.

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When he was a 16-year-old dishwasher at a local restaurant, the chef he worked under got too busy to handle all the orders and enlisted his help. That moment was to become a defining turning point in Dave Hamer's career in the food industry.

After he graduated high school, he continued on at the restaurant. About a year after that, he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in New Haven, Conn. – what he likes to affectionately refer to as akin to “becoming a chef at Yale.”

Not only did the institute expand to a location in New York – High Park – after stints in the states of Alaska, Florida, Tennessee and a few others, Hamer and his wife, Carolyn, returned to their home state of New York. More specifically, they returned to Wyoming County to plant their roots in a new business located at 1961 Church Road, Darien Center.

River Spring Lodge, a premier boutique hotel, nestled on 20 tranquil acres overlooking a private pond, provides luxurious guest rooms that include a three-course breakfast. The inn offers five beautifully appointed king (bed) rooms and two queen rooms that are smart, modern, comfortable and luxurious.

“As a New York native and a former resident of Wyoming County, opening a lodge here is like coming home again,” Hamer said. “My wife, Carolyn, and I are excited to be in Western New York (WNY). We love the quiet, secluded location that is only 30 miles from Buffalo and an hour from Rochester.” 

The couple owns the country estate. They are two of the most highly regarded professionals in the boutique lodging industry and have served discriminating clients from all over the world at Orvis-endorsed hospitality businesses, a company which is touted to be the “purveyor of the Distinctive Country Lifestyle,” as stated on its website

The Hamers have worked at some really nice places, such as the Monhegan Island Inn, in Monhegan, Maine. The Inn, 10 miles off the coast of Maine, sits atop a bluff looking west over Monhegan Harbor toward the Atlantic Ocean; Kennicott Glacier Lodge, Kennicott, Alaska. Built in 1987, the Kennicott Glacier Lodge is a replica of one of the historic mining buildings from the copper mining boom town days. The Timbers at Chama, in Chama, N.M., is a 400-acre ranch originally built as an executive retreat and it's constructed from century-old bridge timbers. Elk hunting is the main attraction. And Pheasant Crest Lodge, Kimball, S.D., is part of a family-owned farm and ranch, the hunting lodge is set upon one of the ranch’s highest hills.

In addition to his employment at hunting lodges, Dave has also worked at a few "high-end” country clubs in Florida and Tennessee and performs ministry work through speaking engagements and travel.

“We started looking for a place in New York about three years ago,” he said. “We lived in Attica years ago and wanted to return here. We returned last winter as the caretaker of the place while getting it ready.”

Dave said he has been “in food” all his life, describing himself as a “career culinary person.” Tutored in classical European cuisine, the chef creates food that is beautiful, generous and exceptional.

There are two dining options at River Spring Lodge. Each Friday and Saturday the Chef's Table serves a remarkable five-course dining experience, with or without chef chosen wine pairings. The Bistro at River Spring Lodge will serve a four-course, country gourmet dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Bistro serves hearty cuisine that includes walleye, beef, chicken, venison and pheasant. The menu also includes gluten free, vegan, dairy free and vegetarian options. 

The Chef’s Table not only offers a truly memorable five-course dinner, but also panoramic wooded and water views, a beautiful chandelier, a flickering fire, and lovely table linens. The sophisticated china and crystal stemware add ambiance to an authentic fine-dining experience. Chef chosen wine pairings are offered nightly. Bottles of wine can also be chosen from the River Spring Lodge cellar.

The Bistro at River Spring Lodge offers gourmet country dining at private tables in a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. Tables are limited and reservations are required.

This upscale inn is a full-service hotel and corporate retreat hidden on 20 quiet, wooded acres. It is located just 30 minutes from BUF Buffalo/Niagara International Airport and less than one hour from ROC Greater Rochester International Airport. The bedrooms are beautifully appointed, each with a private bathroom with heated ceramic floors, double vessel sinks, bathtubs and large European shower rooms. This boutique hotel -- not far from Niagara Falls, and close to Letchworth State Park -- is in an ideal location to explore the natural wonders of the county and all of WNY.

A fully equipped conference room is available for meetings and conferences. A variety of beverage package options are available for private events. A lobby with a baby grand piano and comfortable leather furniture provides the perfect place to host a wine tasting or cocktail reception or to mingle with other guests, read a book or to just relax while enjoying a glass of wine before dinner.

While the Hamers' goal at the lodge is for it to become a premiere destination for couples and corporate gatherings, the couple is also involved in ministerial work.

“From time to time we’d like to host meetings and leadership training and spend time in fellowship with pastors and their spouses. But our primary business is creating a destination for couple to escape to, and companies to see us as a corporate retreat.”

Not only is the setting central to larger cities, it’s far enough away to be an “escape” from the daily grind, but close enough to be affordable.

“We will be expanding in March by building state-of-the-art conference and corporate rooms that will be fully equipped to be able to accommodate daytime business meetings and the like for those who can do without extended travel. Our lodge complements the other retreats in the area and we look forward to working together with others.

“The friendliness of the people in the county, not just the business folks, has been wonderful. When working on establishing the business, the county folks were nothing but helpful, friendly, warm... I kind of forgotten how friendly the people in Western New York are.”

And in keeping with the hometown feel, the company’s motto is: We’re everything exceptional.

At a recent ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of the facility, Wyoming County Chamber President Scott Gardner said, “We are thrilled to welcome River Spring Lodge and Dave and Carolyn Hamer to Wyoming County. They’ve made a tremendous investment in the property and offer a premier location for guests and corporate retreats. River Spring Lodge is a beautiful facility offering unique amenities and high quality accommodations.”

To reserve your place at The Chef’s Table or a table at The Bistro at River Spring Lodge go online at www.riverspringlodge.com or call (585) 708-4212. Local guests are always welcome for dinner when seats are available. Be sure to take advantage of the Grand Opening room discounts before they expire.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 11:30 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, education, art, GCC, announcements.

Press release

In conjunction with Genesee Community College's 50th Anniversary, the Rosalie "Roz" Steiner Art Gallery will be hosting an exhibition featuring artwork of GCC alumni. The exhibition will be on display August 2017 through September 2017, with receptions planned for homecoming weekend.

The Art Gallery Selection Committee will review submitted proposals and select artists to participate in the exhibition. Guidelines for submissions are as follows:

    • Artist is an alumni of Genesee Community College, having graduated prior to 2015;

    • All artwork submitted is to have been completed beyond graduation;

    • Artwork should aesthetically show professional quality skills and techniques; and

    • Artwork should conceptually show originality and creativity.

The Roz Steiner Gallery opened in Spring 2011 and offers 1,700 square feet of exhibit space. It features 25-foot walls, moveable island walls, bamboo flooring, and multimedia capabilities. See more at the Gallery's Facebook page.

Alumni interested in being considered for the exhibition can submit proposals through the gallery's website at http://www.genesee.edu/home/campus-life/arts/gallery/submissions/. The deadline for submissions is April 1.

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