Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 10:13 pm
posted by Howard Owens in accident, Warsaw, news.

A truck vs. motorcycle accident is reported at Route 20A and Route 238, Warsaw.

Warsaw fire and an ambulance are responding.

A chief checked on the availability of Mercy Flight, but Mercy Flight is unable to fly due to weather conditions.

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 7:14 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Memorial Day.

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American Legions throughout the county will be hosting events Monday to celebrate Memorial Day.

Monday’s events include:

    • 9 a.m. -- Attica Post #734 will be marching from Prospect Elementary School, Prospect Street, to the Veterans Memorial for a ceremony. A luncheon at the Post to follow.

    * 10 a.m. -- Warsaw Post #532 will be marching from the courthouse, Court Street, Warsaw, to the Warsaw Cemetery on Main Street for a ceremony.

    • 9 a.m. -- Arcade Post #737 will be marching in the parade and hosting a service in front of the post, Main Street, Arcade, right after the parade. A light brunch will also be served.

    • 9 a.m. -- Strykersville Post #637 will host ceremonies beginning at 9 a.m. in Java Center, 10 in Johnsonburg, 10:20 in Varysburg, 11 in North Java, 11:30 in Sheldon, 11:45 in Dutch Hollow, noon in Java Village, 12:15 p.m. in Strykersville, and at 1 will reassemble at the Strykersville Post.

    • 9 a.m. -- Castile Post #753 at the Doughboy monument on Main Street, Castile, then to Grace Cemetery, Buffalo Street, and Hope Cemetery, East Mill Street.

    • 8 a.m. -- Silver Springs Post #105 will hold ceremonies at 8 a.m. at Bush Cemetery, Silver Springs-Oatka Road, Silver Springs, 8:30 in North Gainesville, 9 at Pioneer Cemetery, 77 S. Main St., Gainesville, 9:30 Maple Grove Cemetery, 5158 Jordan Road, Gainesville, 10 at Elmwood Cemetery, 5082 Route 19A, Silver Springs, 10:30 at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Church Street, Silver Springs, and 11 at Pioneer Cemetery, 92 S. Main St., Silver Springs.

    • 10 a.m. -- Perry Post #350 will be marching in the parade which starts at the Perry Vets Club, 64 Lake St., Perry.

On Sunday, Pike Post #1670 will meet at the Masonic Temple, 55 E. Main St., Pike, then march to the Elmwood Cemetery, Telegraph Road, Pike. A chicken barbecue will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Post.

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 7:10 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Wyoming, Bennington.

Mary Goodenow, 79, of Wyoming, was charged May 24 with welfare fraud in the fourth degree and offering a false instrument to file in the first degree, both are felonies. Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Goodenow after an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and Department of Social Services allegedly revealed that she failed to report all income and other people living with her. She is accused of failing to report the income she was receiving for having two people living with her. Additionally, she is accused of not reporting that the men were even in the household. Deputies say, by failing to report her income, she received $8,205.80 in county taxpayer benefits to which  she was not entitled. She is due in the Town of Warsaw Court June 26.

Jenna R. Holly, 32, of Angelica, was charged May 24 with speed in zone, consumption of alcohol beverage/possession of an open container, driving while intoxicated, and DWI with BAC more than .08 percent. Holly was stopped for allegedly speeding on Route 77, Bennington. Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies say she had been drinking an alcoholic beverage in the vehicle. She was put through field sobriety testing and was subsequently arrested for DWI. She was taken to the Warsaw Police Department for a breath test. Holly is due in the Town of Bennington Court at a later date.

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 7:05 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Warsaw.
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      Michael Lantain

Charged in January with felony sex abuse, arrested again in February on related charges, Michael Lantain pled guilty to the accusations in Wyoming County Court earlier today.

He is convicted of course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, a Class B felony, and use of a child in a sexual performance as a sexually motivated felony, a Class C felony.

Lantain, 35, of Warsaw, was accused of having sexual relations with a girl less than 11 years old sometime between December and January in the Village of Warsaw.

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

Following that arrest, the Regional Computer Forensic Lab analyzed items seized during a search warrant.

In February he was 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.

Bail has been revoked. He awaits his June 29 sentencing housed in Wyoming County Jail.

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 5:48 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, health, Varysburg, Warsaw, Silver Springs.

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As Mental Health Awareness month comes to a close, the Wyoming County Mental Health Department recently hosted a recognition breakfast at Byrncliff Resort & Conference Center, Varysburg. 

Awards were given out for Outstanding Business of the Year – Silver Lake Marina, Outstanding Community Member – Village of Warsaw Police Chief Pete Hoffmeister, Outstanding Community Organization – Restore Sexual Assault Services, and a Special Recognition Award was presented to former Mental Health Department Director of Community Services Nancy Balbick.

Silver Lake Marine, 4213 W. Lake Road, Silver Springs, was recognized for offering an opportunity to Joe Jackson. Silver Lake Marine President Quinn Bellamy was able to customize the job for Jackson to be able to help him be gainfully employed.

“My first memory with Joe was at our wedding reception in the showroom 14 years ago,” Bellamy said. “At one point in the reception, after the standard dances, a song came on that I would be prone to dance to. So I was dancing alone at the reception, when lo and behold, cutting the rug with me was Joe Jackson. Now we are together in that same showroom working side by side.”

Hoffmeister was nominated for his integrity. 

“We found in this man a place of respect, heart, and help,” Joann Robb said. “He is caring, compassionate, helpful, approachable, and kind-hearted. He can be trusted. We can call upon him for help with the assurance that help will be provided.”

“I surround myself with people who help and they make me look good,” Hoffmeister said. “I was born and raised in Warsaw and will serve the community until the day I retire.”

Restore Sexual Assault Services, specifically Outreach & Education Specialist Lauren Berger, was recognized for the protection and counseling of the most vulnerable in the community and collaborative efforts with assisting organizations.

“While Lauren is always hanging around our meetings, what I remember the most about her was at the 10th anniversary of the Suicide Prevention Walk,” Balbick said. “At the balloon launch, Lauren wrote and spoke a meditation that was important and needed to be heard by the people who were there. Restore is a better organization with her.”

Balbick received special recognition for her impact on thousands of lives throughout her career.

“In the same paper that headlined John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, there was an article written on mental health in which those same words could have been written today,” Gordon Lew said. “We must continue to bring awareness and services to those afflicted with mental health issues – and Nancy does just that."

Balbick began her career in the Foster Care field, and then the Child Protective Services Unit, before moving on to the Genesee County Mental Health Department. It was there that she found her passion, got her degree, and shortly thereafter, began her work with the Wyoming County Mental Health Department.

Although she has worked for the department for a dozen or more years, she recently retired from her county position to open a private practice in Warsaw.

In addition to the award presentations, guest speaker Megan Stapley, of Suburban Adult Services Inc. (SASI), spoke about High Hurdles Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program. The program, developed in 1997, is designed to provide a therapeutic riding experience for children with developmental disabilities. 

High Hurdles currently serves riders from 3 to 83 years old. The program helps clients feel more in tune with themselves by working toward a goal without the feeling of working, program officials say.

“There was a boy who wouldn’t speak,” Stapley said. “He would use noise, but the sound never meant the same thing twice. With horse therapy, he would mimic the sounds used to train the horses. He started using the ‘whoa’ sound to get the horse to stop or the ‘click’ sound to get the horse to trot. He started using vocalization as a means to get the animal to do something.”

Through the activity on a horse, instructors say it is more the horse teaching the rider than the counselor teaching them. According to Stapley, some of the horses even choose their own riders.

“Some of them (horses) do better with certain conditions or choose riders that have certain afflictions.”

For more information about High Hurdles click here.

For more information about the Mental Health Department click here, or call (585) 786-8871. 

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Friday, May 26, 2017 at 1:04 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, health, news, Business, Perry.

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Serving those with disabilities just got a bit easier for Independent Living of the Genesee Region. The organization recently opened a satellite office at 6470 Route 20A (in the Community Action building), Perry. To celebrate its opening, a ribbon cutting and open house was held at the new office.

The organization got its start in Batavia in 2010. Although the Batavia office has served residents with disabilities in Wyoming, Genesee and Orleans counties, the Warsaw office will make getting services more convenient to those in Wyoming County.

“It’s important to have a presence here because going to Batavia was inconvenient to some of our clients,” said Independent Living Director Rae Frank. “It was time to expand into other communities.”

According to its website, the organization is “designed by people with disabilities for people with disabilities.” Staff help their clients become advocates for themselves, while also being advocates for change in the community. 

Independent Living specialists can assist those with disabilities with Social Security, housing, employment, and other areas to improve the quality of their lives. Additionally, a facilitated enroller is available to help with the Medicaid application. 

The office is open from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For more information visit http://ilgr.org/ or call (585) 969-4258. 

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Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 5:43 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Gainesville, Castile, Attica, Warsaw.

The following were in Wyoming Count Court before Judge Michael Mohun May 25.

Ervin Delude Sr., who is accused of committing a crime in Gainesville, pled not guilty to criminal contempt in the first degree, five counts of aggravated family offense, all as Class E felonies, and resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. A stay away order of protection was issued against him. Motions are scheduled July 20. Bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

Tammy Miller, who committed a crime in Attica, was sentenced to five years probation, and surcharges and fees on the conviction of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony.

Mason Maha, who is accused of a crime in Castile, had his case adjourned to June 15. He is being held without bail in Wyoming County Jail.

Richard Greene Jr., who committed a crime in Warsaw, was sentenced to five years probation on the conviction of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, a Class D felony. Restitution has been paid.

Richard Gargula, who committed a crime in Warsaw, pled guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony. Sentencing is scheduled Aug. 17. Bail continued at $11,000 cash.

Paul Havlen has been determined to be a Level 2 sex offender by the Court.

The following are from State Correctional Facilities in Attica in court before Mohun May 24 and 25.

Jayme Frontuto was sentenced to one-and-three-fourths to three-and-one-half years in prison on the conviction of attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony as a second felony offender. The sentence is to run consecutively to his current term.

Luis Pagan pled not guilty to two counts of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, and two counts of assault in the second degree, both as Class D felonies. Motions are scheduled July 19.

Herman Batista pled not guilty to two counts of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, both as Class D felonies. Motions are scheduled July 19.

Andrew Mott pled guilty to promoting prison contraband in the second degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. He was sentenced to a conditional discharge, surcharges and fees.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 5:01 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, announcements, Business, Warsaw, Attica, Perry, Arcade.

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Each year, the Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism recognizes three businesses for their contributions to the economic vitality and quality of life in the county.

The three businesses celebrated at a recent Chamber Awards Dinner held at The Lodge at Hidden Valley Animal Adventure, Varysburg. They include: Harding’s Attica Furniture and Flooring, Small Business of the Year; Complete Payroll, Large Business of the Year; and Arcade & Attica Railroad – Chris Lester, Tourism Business of the Year.

Other criteria for the award include: capital investments, business expansions, job growth and retention, community involvement, and contributions that strengthen its business sector here in the county.

Harding’s Attica Furniture and Flooring

Harding’s dates back three generations when Gordon “Gub” Harding opened the business in 1973. Gub and his wife, Sally, have since passed the family business on to their children and grandson –Ted, Mike, Debbie and Luke.

“The Harding family is an institution in the Attica area and it’s because of their strong roots and the quality business they run,” said Chamber President Scott Gardner. “They are family oriented because they are family. You can see it in how they work together and relate to their customers. They’re friendly and inviting and always willing to go the extra mile for almost anyone they meet.”

But the heart of the business doesn’t just end at the family name, they contribute much of their success to their employees.

Sam McKenzie’s tenure with the company spans 15 years and Amy Cramer’s hit the decade mark. Other employees include Mike Stengel, James Manarite, and Brendon Burg.

In 2003 they added a new flooring warehouse to the business and in 2007 the store entrance was updated. 

Along with remodeling the front showroom in 2014 and the Flexsteel showroom in 2015, the company renovated the flooring warehouse, and remodeled again in 2016.

Starting at some point late this, early next year, a new furniture warehouse is expected to be constructed.

“You know a small business is good, when people drive in from other counties just to shop with them. That’s absolutely true of Harding’s.

“Earlier in the year I ran into one of their customers who said after the great experience, they had they wouldn’t go anywhere else. That in and of itself is the true mark of success.”

Complete Payroll

“Since its inception in 1992, Complete Payroll has processed millions of checks, billions in tax payments and earned a following of thousands of loyal clients. Today they are regarded as one of the top payroll processing firms in the United States. At the end of 2016, Complete Payroll had 1,700 clients and 50-plus employees working across their several locations. In 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Complete Payroll was nominated by Buffalo Business First as one of Western New York’s best places to work.”

The company, located in Perry, was founded in 1992 by Rick Fish Sr., Jim Genduso and John LaFever. 

Early on, Fish identified a need for an accurate, affordable, customer-driven payroll company that could compete with the payroll giants in the United States.

In 2008, Fish’s son, Rick, took the reins of the company. In early 2012, his other son, Austin, took over the position of chief operating officer. Both men have worked in various positions throughout the company prior to their current positions.

“While Complete Payroll is still owned and managed by two generations of the Fish family, they have expanded to welcome an amazing array of talent to their strategy group of well-rounded and well-versed professionals specializing in payroll and human capital management. They include Kevin F. Herbek, director of Finance; and directors include Jason M. Pearl, director of Sales and Marketing; and Richard White, director of Client Services. They are also known as the Fab Five.”

In 2001 Complete Payroll underwent a major software upgrade. By 2004 the conversion was completed.

Since 2012, the company has opened offices in Henrietta, Amherst, and a second location in Perry on Lake Street.

This year marks the 25-year anniversary of Complete Payroll. As a way to celebrate the milestone, and give back to the Perry community, the company recently planted 25 trees in and around the Village.

Arcade & Attica Railroad

Not only was the railroad named Tourism Business of the Year, it is also celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Small, incomplete railroads were scattered across the countryside throughout Western New York during the 1800s. With railroads stretching across the country, Western New York farmers saw a link to the cities. 

The Buffalo, Attica & Arcade Railroad was formed when the Pennsylvania Railroad bought the incomplete railroads and linked them together. This allowed the rail to connect Attica, through Arcade, to the Pennsylvania state line then onto Pittsburgh.

“The rails passengers ride today were first spiked down in 1881 and standardized in 1895 to connect with the Pennsylvania Railroad.”

When the railroad was in danger of shutting down in 1917, businesses along the rail sold stock to farmers, merchants and others and raised $79,000 and formed the Arcade & Attica Railroad Corporation.

While the railroad went through many changes throughout its 100 years, it still runs regular freight service and passenger excursions from Arcade to its Curriers Road depot.

The Arcade & Attica Railroad will be holding a ribbon cutting and other special events on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.. For more information visit gowyoming.com.

For information about the Chamber or Tourism departments visit wycochamber.org/

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Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 1:54 pm

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Its mission is to bring schools and businesses together to provide opportunities for youth to have a stronger workforce.

The Wyoming County Business Education Council (BEC) named Jeff Fitch, owner of Signlanguage, as its 2017 Outstanding Business Partner in Education at its annual breakfast meeting held at the Byrncliff Resort & Conference Center, Varysburg.

Signlanguage opened in the summer of 1986 after Ron Bouchard, Dave Caito and Fitch discussed and made samples of what they thought would be a unique type of sign for Western New York. Jumping at the opportunity, the trio began producing sandblasted and carved redwood signs.

The company’s first big sign produced – a 3- by 8-foot beauty – was purchased by Byrncliff.

By 1989 the business had increased so much it allowed Fitch to work full time.

“Nobody starts a business to win awards or to be recognized,” Fitch said. “We are in business to make a profit and stick around a few years… then it became five, then 10, then 15, and now it’s like ‘Wow! I’ve been digging holes for 31 years.’ “

In other business matters:

One of the BEC’s biggest highlights of the year was providing a Junior Achievement program at Warsaw Central School as a 6:30 a.m. class, says Executive Director Linda Leblond.

“The kids are there that early in the morning and they are intent to learn,” Leblond said. “We had a record number of Junior Achievement programs this year. Each of our schools are recognizing the importance of the Junior Achievement.”

The program is a self-contained business educational program that meets New York State education standards, officials say. 

“Because of the endless number of volunteer in the county to step up to the plate, we’ve been able to expand our Career Days to include agribusiness this year. More than 1,500 students were able to participate.”

In addition to the volunteers, Marquart Farms donated 700 bags of potato chips for the participating students.

“We are fortunate to have those days and volunteers,” Leblond said.

And the success of the Junior Achievement Program was seen recently when Leblond was getting things organized for the annual meeting. The center pieces on the tables were flower boxes with a chalkboard front. Positive, inspiring words were written on the board. The idea came about from doing mock interviews years ago where members of the BEC asked students to name five adjectives to describe themselves. 

“My niece came to visit me in the office and asked about the flower boxes. So I told her,” Leblond said. “She asked what kind of words and I said positive words. Then I asked her, ‘If I were a boss and you came to me for a job and I asked you to give me five words to describe yourself, what would they be? She said 'honest.' And I asked her for another one, and she said 'dependable.' So I said ‘You’re on a roll. I need 23 more.’ And she did it. She came up with them and wrote them on the boxes. And it give me great pleasure knowing that what we are teaching…the kids are getting it.”

Third-grade students at Letchworth Central School have been learning about city management in the Our City Program. Third-grade teacher Tyler King heads the program that helps students learn why things are where they are in a city, town or village. 

In addition to learning about city planning, economics was a big part of the program.

“The kids played a game similar to the game of Life,” King said. “They have bank accounts and learn how to balance a checkbook and pay bills. It gives them a glimpse of what their parents take care of on a regular basis.”

They children also had an opportunity to have a business model for a restaurant, for example, and they also learned how news is spread in today’s world.

Older students were given an opportunity to create a business plan and pitch it to “potential investors.”

Gipsie Prickett decided on a school store called The Hive, and Madeleine Goulet developed a plan for a hotel and waterpark combination called Slide City. 

The Perry High School students developed the concepts and presented their ideas to a panel of five investors. At the end of their presentations, participants of the meeting cast their votes for the best business idea.

Other accomplishments of the BEC include:

    • College preparatory opportunities for high school students; 

    • Professional development for teachers; and 

    • Collaboration with Marquart Trucking, Gainesville, to offer a BOCES program at its facility.

BEC Board of Directors:

    • Business members include: Jeffrey Fitch, owner of Signlanguage; Sonia Dumbleton, of Five Star Bank; Rachell Becht, human resource and safety manager at Koike Aronson Inc.; and Steve Hull, human resource director at Morton Salt;

    Education members include: Julia Reed, superintendent at Letchworth Central School; Jessica Hibbard, Genesee Community College; Ben Halsey, superintendent at Pioneer Central School; Joseph Englebert, superintendent at Warsaw Central School; Daryl McLaughlin, superintendent at Perry Central School; and Kathleen Schuessler, superintendent at Wyoming Central School; and

    • Members-at-large include: Donald O’Geen, Wyoming County District Attorney; Andrea Aldinger, director of Wyoming County Youth Bureau/Office of the Aging; Roxanne Dueppengiesser, Cornell Cooperative Extension; Brent Hastings, Town of Eagle supervisor; and Vanessa Zeches-McCormick, Town of North Java supervisor.

2017-2018 Slate of Officers are:

    • Julie Donlon, assistant superintendent at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, president;

    • Brianna Stone, branch manager of Tompkins Bank of Castile, Warsaw branch, vice president;

    • Bryce Thompson, superintendent at Attica Central School, treasurer; and

    • Connie Almeter, director of nursing at Wyoming County Community Hospital, secretary; and Norbert Fuest, Apple Tree Consulting Services, past president.

“One thing that hasn’t changed has been the support for the BEC,” Donlon said. “The BEC was established in 1980. Since then, this countywide agency has ensured programs can flourish because the programs can now cross county lines. With the increase in students participating, the programs can continue to grow.”

Currently, the BEC has more than 250 members, which include business members, financial support and volunteers.

And who won the vote for the best business idea? Slide City.

For more information on the BEC visit http://www.wycobec.org/ or the office in the Ag & Business Center, 36 Center St., Warsaw.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 4:40 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, crime, Warsaw, announcements.

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The focus of the Justice for Children Advocacy Center is to alleviate the stress that trauma has on a child who has been a victim of abuse. 

In 1992 Genesee Justice, a department of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, helped establish a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) to serve the unique needs of children in Genesee and Wyoming counties alleged to have been physically or sexually abused. In 1998, the Justice for Children Advocacy Center (JFCAC) was opened at 108 Bank St., Batavia. This past April, a satellite office was opened in Albion.

On May 10, another satellite office was opened at 31 Duncan St., Warsaw, to better serve the residents of Wyoming County. The office provides a child-friendly atmosphere for interviews, counseling and advocacy services. The center services children from birth to 18 years old and their non-offending family members, with all services free of charge.

The MDT seeks to reduce the incidence of child sexual and physical abuse, minimize trauma to alleged child victims, and promote healing for victims and their families. They do so by collaborating with a variety of professionals to provides services at a single facility. Not only are the MDTs best for the kids, they are also good for those in the profession of helping the children.

“Having the ongoing support is important to the whole team,” said program coordinator Theresa Asmus-Roth. “It helps maintain continuity throughout the whole process. We’ve been working on this since the summer of 2016. Multiple disciplinary members have been very supportive of this venture.”

The facility is totally self-funded through grants. One of the largest contributors is from the Office of Victim Services, Asmus-Roth says.

In 2003, Livingston and Orleans Counties began using JFCAC services consistently making it a regional child advocacy center. Since 1998, approximately 2,200 children have received services at the JFCAC, 241 in 2015. Services include medical exams, forensic interviews, therapy, and victim advocacy for children from Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming (GLOW) counties.

“We try to make this a safe space for children to maintain a level of comfort for the child. While the center focuses on the children, advocates and counselors work with the parents as well.”

Officials say some of the issues parents may face with a child suffering at the hands of abuse is that the child may act out and become difficult to deal with. Working with the parents or guardians helps them strike a balance with the trauma and discipline.

“Parents need to maintain the same type of parenting after the trauma so the child does not begin to think they have a pass. And parents need to be able to recognize that as well.”

However, parents are not involved in interview process. While there are several reasons, at the forefront, they can be deemed as a witness to the incident and their involvement in the interview may harm future court proceedings. Also, while some parents and their kids may have really good relationships, the child may not say anything if a parent is there with them.

While the center relies on grants to fund the program, it also accepts donations, Asmus-Roth says.

“Gift cards are the best – food, clothing, fuel, even restaurants. Sometimes a family just simply needs a break and do something good and fun to shift the focus off the trauma.”

To make a donation via mail, send to 304 E. Main St., Batavia 14020. The donation can be specified for a specific office.

Currently, the Warsaw office is open Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., by appointment only.

For more information click here or call (585) 344-8576.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 4:15 pm
posted by Howard Owens in Warsaw, agriculture, GCC, education, schools, news, Business.

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Press release:

"What is the biggest challenge you face in your business?" is a question often asked by the Agri-Business Academy students during tours of local agriculture businesses. The answer is almost always the same. "Labor."

The challenge of finding dependable, hardworking individuals for stable, well-paying careers in agriculture has been a constant battle for agriculturalists for years. As the instructor of the Agri-Business Academy, I've spoken with local agribusiness people from more than 100 local agribusinesses and the need for good employees is a common thread.

The common misconception is that these are not careers, but physically demanding jobs that do not require a college degree and involve a way of life that many would not willingly choose. Today, agribusinesses are usually seeking applicants with college degrees, technology and management experience, and business and communication skills. What is most important is that the compensation aligns with these requirements. In addition, the benefits and satisfaction that comes from working in the agriculture industry is unlike any other.

Agriculture continues to be the number one industry in Genesee County and the driving force of the local economy. When students of the Agri-Business Academy toured Torrey Farms, among the largest agribusinesses in New York state, they heard Maureen Torrey Marshall explain that Torrey Farms does not simply employ a few people in the surrounding community. She described the multiplier effect, which means that other businesses, such as trucking companies, mechanic shops, equipment dealerships, transportation hubs, technology, fuel and fertilizer suppliers, and many others are all part of the agribusiness economy.

Most people do not recognize the many different aspects of agriculture and the need for individuals with a broad array of interests and expertise. Animal and plant systems, food products and processing, agricultural mechanics, precision agriculture, agribusiness networks, international trade, environmental and conservation systems, and energy use are just a few of the trades under umbrella of agriculture.

To ensure that the agriculture community has the employees they need to thrive, and to continue to be the bedrock of our community the Agri-Business Academy is again seeking high school seniors to learn about careers in all aspects of agriculture. The Agri-Business Academy is a one-year partnership program between the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and Genesee Community College.

Through this program, the students earn 15 college credits through the ACE program at Genesee Community College. They spend half the school day in the Agri-Business Academy enrolled in the following five college courses: Western New York Agriculture, Career and Educational Planning, Principles of Business, Principles of Biology and Public Speaking.

Throughout the year students tour area agribusinesses to learn and experience these businesses, job shadow professional producers and at the end of the year each student participates in a two-week internship. This year's Agri-business Academy students are working at their internships experiencing many different aspects of agribusiness -- from robotic and organic dairies to maple syrup and crop management and much more.

The following locations throughout Western New York are currently sponsoring student internships: DeLaval Dairy Services in Corfu, WBB Farm in Alden, Beaver Meadows Audubon Center in North Java, Merle Maple Farm in Attica, Cottonwood Farms in Pavilion, Cornell Cooperative Extension in Wyoming County, Schierberdale Holsteins, Perry and WNY Crop Management in Warsaw.

If you know of a current junior or underclassman who is interested in business or agriculture, or is unsure of a career path, please encourage them to apply for the Agri-Business Academy at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. Through the Agri-Business Academy, students explore the plethora of wonderful careers available to them -- locally, internationally or often it is a dynamic blend of both.

Whether they like working inside or outside, with their hands or crunching numbers, handling heavy equipment or studying the nuances of soil (agronomy), tending to livestock or discovering how technology can help feed the world -- the "Ag Academy" is a career starter.

Jack Klapper, an Agri-Business Academy graduate and Cornell University assistant men's basketball coach said, "I would recommend this academy to anyone, whether they are pursuing a career in agriculture or not. The life skills I developed in this program are some of the best skills I have ever learned."

Applications are available at http://www.genesee.edu/home/ace/career-pathways/agri-business-academy/. The first 20 students to submit their application will receive a free Genesee Community College flash drive wristband. Questions? Please do not hesitate to contact me at 585-344-7783 or kirchardson3@gvboces.org. Check out the Agri-Business Academy on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Agri-Business-Academy-680673051998953/

Top photo: Agri-business Academy student Cherie Glosser of Warsaw High School with calf at Post Dairy Farms.

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Agri-business Academy students at Torrey Farms, in Elba.

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Agri-business Academy students at Porter Farms in Elba.

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Agri-business Academy students at SJ Starowitz Farm, in Byron.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 3:55 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, fire, news, Silver Springs, Castile, Perry, Gainesville, Pike.

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No injuries were reported in the fire in Castile Tuesday that cause an estimated $65,000 in damages. The cause of the fire at 4294 Fairview Road, Castile, remains under investigation.

Crews from Silver Springs, Castile, Perry, Gainesville, and Perry Center fire departments were on the scene for two hours yesterday afternoon. 

Assisting Fire Chief in Charge Silver Springs Chief John Proper, was Wyoming County Emergency Services. Standing by at empty fire stations included Pike, Gainesville and Mount Morris fire departments.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 2:45 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, Attica, drugs, news.

The third inmate charged in smuggling drugs into the Wyoming County Correctional Facility was sentenced last week in Wyoming County Court.

Jerry McLamore, 31, was sentenced to two-and-one-half to five years in prison for the charge of promoting prison contraband in the first degree. He was also sentenced to an unconditional discharge for conspiracy in the fifth degree. The sentence will run consecutively to his current prison term.

He was found guilty March 29 after a four-day non-jury trial before Judge Michael M. Mohun. 

On May 31, an indictment was unsealed charging three Wyoming Correctional inmates, McLamore, Otis Williams, 29, and Lionell Jones, 30, along with two visitors, Lonniqua Williams, 30, and Jameelah Masaed, 29, both of Buffalo, in connection with attempts to smuggle drugs into the facility.

Otis pled guilty Aug. 10, and Jones pled guilty Oct. 5, to attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony. Each were sentenced to one-and-one-half to three years in prison. The sentences are to run consecutively to their current terms.

Lonniqua Williams and Massaed pled guilty Aug. 8 to conspiracy in the fifth degree. Lonniqua was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge, plus fees and surcharges. Massaed was sentenced to a one year conditional discharge and fees.

“This case underscores the difficult task that prison officials and investigators face in shutting down these complicated and well-designed drug conspiracies,” said Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen. “With the use of their phone privileges, unauthorized three-way calling with their friends and relatives, and the unbelievable amount of contact visits that they have while in prison, the inmates and their conspirators are allowed to create a network of drug smuggling.”

On the money side of the conspiracy, money transfer companies allow individuals to send money to one another with fake names and without a valid photo ID when sending or receiving money via wire transfer, says O’Geen. This kind of unregulated money transfer allows the money to travel in one circle of conspirators while the drugs travel in a completely and seemingly unrelated different circle of conspirators.

“Prosecution of these types of cases promotes a safer prison setting for corrections staff and all the others that are within the system. I am proud of the work that my office has done in the past year trying to aggressively send a message that we stand with DOCCS (Department of Corrections and Community Services) in combating this growing drug problem in our prisons.”

Last year, 13 drug conspiracies involving a minimum of 34 defendants – both inmates and visitors – were prosecuted in Wyoming County. These cases involved synthetic marijuana, Suboxone, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, weapons and other contraband.

“While heroin and heroin laced with fentanyl can be the most deadly for the inmates, it is the synthetic marijuana that creates the biggest risk to the safety of corrections staff as the synthetic marijuana is nothing like marijuana at all.”

O’Geen says he’s likely to see two things happen when it comes to the drug issue: (A) an analog statute that mirrors the federal law concerning synthetic drugs and (B) a statue that makes it clear that any drugs found within a correctional facility are dangerous contraband and should be a felony-level crime.

See related: Three people sentenced in prison drug smuggling case

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 1:54 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Attica, letchworth, Warsaw, Perry.

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At a recent Partners for Prevention coalition meeting, three School Resource officers (SRO) were recognized for their efforts in keeping county schools safe – Warsaw Village Police Officer Tim McGinnis, Perry Village Police Officer Holly Royce, and Wyoming County Sheriff’s Deputy Ivan Carasquillo.

McGinnis is the SRO for the Warsaw Central School District. 

Students and faculty say:

“Always greeted with ‘hello, how are you?’ …Never hesitates to take the time to have conversations with adults and students.”

“His presence makes us all feel safer. Kids feel like they can talk to him about things in and out of school.”

“Every morning I’m greeted with a wave and a smile. Makes you feel safe knowing he is only a phone call away if he’s needed.”

“He puts his personality into the job. He always listens and has an open door policy.”

“You always feel comfortable going to him with any problems and he is always willing to help.”

“He’s a good person.”

Royce is the SRO for the Perry School District. 

Students and staff say:

“Officer Royce makes us more comfortable with her around.”

“She shows us we don’t have to be afraid of cops, we can trust them.”

“If there is an issue it’s nice to know someone ready to step in and knows what they are doing.”

“She talks with the students and makes them feel more comfortable.”

Carasquillo is the SRO for both Attica and Letchworth central schools.

Staff and students had this to say:

“Deputy Ivan is easy to talk to.”

“He’s always personable.”

“Everybody knows Deputy Ivan.”

“We are glad he’s at the school. He’s a nice man and knows how to protect the school.”

“He’s really funny and nice to be around. We feel safe.”

“Deputy Ivan is someone you can count on to diffuse a situation with his calm personality. He makes our school a better place.”

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 7:48 pm

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Around 4:40 this afternoon a fire broke out in a home on Fairview Road, Silver Springs. 

Fire crews from Silver Springs, Castile, Perry, Perry Center, and Gainesville fire departments responded to the scene, with Pike Fire Department filling in at Castile and Gainesville filling in at Silver Springs.

There were no injuries reported at the time of this post.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 7:19 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Attica, Business.

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A pair of workers install a new sign for the Attica Pharmacy located at 2 Market St., Attica.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 12:11 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Perry, Darian Center, Silver Springs.

Brandon Griffin, 23, of Hornell, was charged May 20 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree and driving a vehicle with only one working headlight. Perry Police say Griffin was stopped on South Main Street for having only one headlight. During the traffic stop, officers say it was found that he was driving with a suspended driver’s license and had a previous conviction for driving with a suspended license. He is due in Perry Village Court at a later date.

Robert L. Miller, 66, of Perry, was charged with criminal contempt in the first degree. Perry Police say Miller’s neighbor complained he allegedly came outside and made an obscene gesture and swore at him before going back into his house. In addition to the charges, Miller has a complete stay away order of protection barring him from contact with his neighbor. He was put in Wyoming County Jail on $25,000 cash bail. He is due in court at a later date.

Corey B. Rieser, 29, of Darian Center, was charged May 21 with aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree, insecure rear plate, and visibility distorted by broken glass. Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies say Rieser was stopped on Route 20A, Sheldon, when his license was found to be suspended for failure to answer a summons in the Town of Sheldon. He was held in the Wyoming County Jail on $500 cash bail or $2,500 bond. He is due in court June 5.

Jordan M. Nichols, 19, of Silver Springs, was charged May 19 with driving while intoxicated, DWI with a BAC more than .08 percent, and two counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree. The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic incident on Cotton Road, Gainesville, where they say they spoke to a male caller who stated that Nichols was driving while intoxicated and attempted to leave with a child. Deputies say she did not leave with the child, but did drive intoxicated to the residence. Further investigation allegedly revealed that she also attempted to stop a phone call for help by the victim and damaged the victim’s telephone. She was arrested for DWI and taken to the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office. She was released on her own recognizance and is due in the Town of Gainesville Court at a later date.

Monday, May 22, 2017 at 6:06 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry.

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A crew from the Village of Perry Department of Public Works put the finishing touches on freshly poured concrete – the final process of replacing a sidewalk on Main Street in the Village.

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Monday, May 22, 2017 at 5:53 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry, Business.

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As a way to commemorate its 25 years in business, employees of Complete Payroll, 1 Lake St., Perry, planted 25 trees in and around the Village Friday afternoon.

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Monday, May 22, 2017 at 11:36 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, crime, Attica, Castile, Perry, Warsaw, Sheldon.

The following were in Wyoming County Court before Judge Michael Mohun May 17.

Mason Maha, who committed a crime in Castile, was arraigned on a pre-trial violation warrant. He was jailed without bail in the Wyoming County Jail. He is due in court May 25.

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.

Javon Woods was sentenced to one-and-three-fourths to three-and-one-half years in prison on the conviction of attempted assault in the second degree, a Class E felony as a second felony offender. The sentence is to run consecutively to his current term. Woods is also responsible for all fees and surcharges incurred.

Neil Allen 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. The sentence is to run consecutively to his current term. Allen is also responsible for all fees and surcharges incurred.

Felix Laboy was arraigned on two counts of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, both are Class D felonies. Motions are scheduled July 19.

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 misdemeanor. Motions are scheduled May 25. Bail was set at $5,000.

Joshua Nieves was sentenced to one-and-one-half to three years in prison on the conviction of tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony as a second felony offender. The sentence is to run consecutively to his current term.

Jerry Gillard 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. The sentence is to run consecutively to his current term.

Jerry McLamore was sentenced to two-and-one-half to five years in prison on the conviction of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony as a second felony offender. He was also sentenced to an unconditional discharge on the conviction of conspiracy in the fifth degree, a misdemeanor. The sentences are to run consecutively to his current term.

Joel Carballo pled guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony. Sentencing is scheduled Sept. 20.

Patrick Hill had his case adjourned to June 21.

John Corra pled guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony. Sentencing is scheduled July 19.

Michael Busgith was in court for a Huntley Hearing. The case has been adjourned to June 21. 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.

Christian Manley pled guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony. Sentencing is scheduled Aug. 16.

Yhury Marcelo pled guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class E felony as a second felony offender. Sentencing is scheduled July 19.

The following were in court before Mohun May 18.

Crystal Colon-Rosado, who committed a crime in Attica, was sentenced to one year interim probation on the conviction of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony, and conspiracy in the fifth degree, a misdemeanor. 

Dakota Ribbeck, who committed a crime in Perry, was sentenced to 10 years probation on the conviction of rape in the third degree, a Class E felony. He was also listed on SORA as a Level 1 sex offender.  Sex Offender Registry Act: Sex offenders are required by the SORA to verify their information in the Registry at specified intervals. 

There are three levels of sex offenders:  Level 1 (low risk of re-offense), Level 2 (medium risk of re-offense) and Level 3 (high risk of re-offense); risk level is set by a judge after a court hearing. An order of protection was also issued.

Michael Lantain, who is accused of committing a crime in Warsaw, was in court for motions and had his case adjourned to May 31 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.

Joelle Good, who committed a crime in Warsaw, had her case adjourned to July 14 for a restitution hearing and sentencing.

Melissa Preen, who is accused of a crime in Warsaw, pled not guilty to: two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony; promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a Class D felony; criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument; driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of drugs and alcohol; driving while ability impaired by drugs; aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree; two counts of endangering the welfare of a child; having a cracked windshield; and no inspection. The case has been adjourned to May 24 for Treatment Court. Bail continues at $2,500 cash. Formerly called Drug Court, Treatment Court not only handles those who have a drug problem, but also those with an alcohol or mental health problem. Other assistance involves aiding with health insurance issues – oftentimes a hurdle to gaining access to treatment – for outpatient or inpatient services.

The following is from a State Correctional facility in Attica. 

Jonathan Hines was sentenced at the discretion of the court to a one year conditional discharge, and fees and surcharges. He was arraigned on a failure to appear warrant. The charge was reduced to promoting prison contraband in the second degree, a misdemeanor.

The following was in court before Mohun May 19.

Eric Agron, who committed a crime in Sheldon, was sentenced to one to three years in prison, a three-year conditional discharge with ignition interlock device; his driver’s license was revoked; and he was issued a $3,000 fine on the conviction of driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony.

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