Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 2:40 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Warsaw, arts.

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The once pop-up art studio has become the permanent location for the work of two local artists. Jerry Kelsey, of Jerry Kelsey Photography, and Jillian Schabloski, of Painting by Jillian, along with the Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism, recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Warsaw Gallery, 60 Main St., Warsaw. 

The gallery, located at the corner of Genesee and Main streets, features the work of both Kelsey and Schabloski. Additionally, Kelsey hopes to add other artists as space permits.

Original work by Kelsey showcases local landmarks and hidden gems in Wyoming County. His work depicts scenes of Letchworth, old barns and vehicles reclaimed by nature. Both framed and matted photos, as well as prints are for sale.

Schabloski’s work includes acrylic paintings, with both small and large matted prints for sale.

Not only does the gallery show the artistry of Kelsey and Schabloski, patrons to the space are also afforded a glimpse of the creative process, as it is also an active studio.

For more information, contact Kelsey at (585) 786-2925 or Jkelsey51@gmail.com

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 1:49 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, announcements, Senator Gallivan.

Press release

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) says the New York State Senate has approved the “Community Heroes Protection Act.” The bill (S1114A) would designate crimes explicitly made against law enforcement and first responders punishable as hate crimes and it's cosponsored by Gallivan, a former New York State Trooper and Sheriff of Erie County.

“Every day, police officers, firefighters and other first responders put their lives on the line in order to protect our communities,” Gallivan said. “Those who would target these brave men and women must be held accountable for their despicable and hateful acts. This legislation will send a clear message that we will not tolerate attacks on our community heroes and that we stand by those who serve and protect the citizens of New York.”

The measure was inspired by the many men and women in uniform, who have lost their lives, were injured, or targeted simply because of their jobs as community protectors. A recent study found that 135 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2016, the highest total since 2011. Of those killings, 21 came in ambush-style shootings – the highest total in more than two decades.

The Community Heroes Protection Act classifies certain crimes against first responders, such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel as hate crimes. These offenses are designated as hate crimes only if they are intentionally aimed at first responders.

In current law, when a person is convicted of a hate crime and the specified offense is a misdemeanor or a Class C, D or E felony, the hate crime shall be deemed one category higher than the specified offense or one category higher than the offense level applicable to the defendant’s conviction. Police officers and first responders are not included as victims in the current definition of a hate crime.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblyman Peter Abbate Jr. (A2962A).

The bill’s expected passage today coincides with the annual Police Officers Memorial Ceremony to recognize police officers of New York State who died in the line of duty. Forty new names were added to the New York State Police Officers Memorial’s Roll of Honor this year.

Additionally, the Senate also passed a bill (S1980), sponsored by Gallivan, that would create a state trooper highway memorial task force to provide for the recognition of state police who have died in the line of duty.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 9:57 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, Warsaw, announcements.

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The Gathering Quarters has brought the time-honored tradition of the quilting circle to Warsaw – with a twist. Located at 63 Perry Ave., it houses four bedrooms – enough for eight guests – one and one-half baths, a full kitchen, and many tables to gather around to work on quilting projects, crafts, scrapbooking and more.

During the early 1800s, members of rural communities frequently joined together to work on large projects, quilting was not an exception. The quilting bee, or quilting circle, was not only a social event, but also a way for women to complete several quilts in a single day instead of weeks or months.

The business is a “home away from home to visit with friends and create,” reads The Gathering Quarters website. 

For more information email owner Penny Muniak at pennymuniak@gmail.com or call (585) 356-0707.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 1:16 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Attica, murder.

On May 8, 2015 a man was murdered in the “A” Yard of the Attica Correctional Facility, Attica. On March 31, 2016, an indictment was unsealed, charging three Attica inmates with the death of fellow inmate Rodney Calloway. On Sept. 7, 2016, two of the men pled guilty to lesser charges. On May 2, the third man, Bruce Battle, had his case dismissed upon a trial order of dismissal by Judge Michael M. Mohun.

Battle was charged with murder in the second degree, conspiracy in the second degree, and promoting prison contraband in the first degree. The case was dismissed after purported inmate eyewitnesses either recanted their previous testimony or refused to answer questions concerning Battle’s alleged involvement in the case. 

The Wyoming County District Attorney’s Office did not oppose the trial order of dismissal, officials say.

“There were approximately 200 inmates in the 'A' Yard at the time of this homicide. Of those inmates in 'A' Yard, only a few claimed to have seen the homicide,” said District Attorney Donald O’Geen.

“The overwhelming majority of inmates refused to cooperate from the beginning. This homicide occurred prior to video camera’s being installed in the Yards at Attica Correctional Facility. If video had been in the Attica Yard at the time of the incident, we would not have had to rely solely on the testimony of inmate witnesses in the case against Mr. Battle.”

Battle, 33, Shawn Avery, 35, and Devin Gray, 22, were all originally charged with murder in the second degree and conspiracy in the second degree in the death of Calloway. 

The charges stemmed from an investigation by the New York State Police and the Office of Investigative Services through DOCCS (Department of Correctional and Community Services). This incident happened during the inmates’ recreational period. Calloway died as a result of being stabbed in the heart.

Gray pled guilty last September to manslaughter in the first degree, a Class B violent felony, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison with five years post-release supervision. Avery pled guilty to attempted manslaughter in the first degree, a Class C violent felony, and was sentenced to eight years in prison with five years post-release supervision. Both men's sentences are to run consecutively to their current prison terms.

“Although Mr. Calloway was a convicted felon serving time,” O’Geen said. “He did not deserve the death sentence imposed upon him.” 

See related: Three Attica inmates charged in the murder of fellow prisoner

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 12:45 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Warsaw, arts, ACWC, announcements.

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Press release:

Each year in Wyoming County, dozens of community arts programs are held with the help of the Arts Council for Wyoming County’s (ACWC) Decentralization Grant Program. For 2017, programs vary from craft workshops to community theater to storytelling to music and folk arts to culinary arts.

“The depth of creativity and desire for arts programming in Wyoming County continues to amaze me,” said ACWC grants coordinator Kathryn Hollinger. “Every year I’ve been here, we’ve increased the number of applications as word spreads about the decentralization and art education grant programs.” 

The New York State Council for the Arts (NYSCA) makes funding available for arts services organizations like the ACWC to apply on behalf of their local communities. Then, the ACWC forms two volunteer committees of community members who ultimately review and award these grants into the communities.

This year, the ACWC awarded $34,440 in Community Arts grants, $5,000 in Arts Education funding, and $2,100 in value of ACWC scholarships in Wyoming County.

These year’s awardees include:

    • Village of Arcade: Gazebo Performance Series

    • United Church of Warsaw: Tellebration storytelling event

    • County Historian: Eat Your Way Through History events

    • Eagle Free Library: Community Arts programming

    • Stevens Memorial Community Library: Wacky Wednesdays

    • Wyoming Free Library & Gainesville Public Library: Community Arts programming

    • Warsaw Public Library: Community Arts programming

    • Wyoming County Bicentennial Singers: Reader’s Theater program

    • Town of Orangeville: Talent in Our Town workshop series

    • Silver Lake Institute: Summer Concert Series

    • Perry Farmers’ Market: Music at the Market

    • Last Night Perry: performances

    • Pioneer Picnic: performances

    • Portageville Chapel: Summer Concert Series

In addition to this programming, three artist residencies were funded through the Arts Education grant program. Composer Carrie Magin will work with middle school band students in Jason Decker’s music classes at Letchworth Central School. Also, puppeteer and theater artist Josh Rice will work with the Perry Elementary School Art teacher Kristin Adolf. He will also again work with the English classes of Sarah McLaughlin at Perry High School with Groundlings Onstage.

“When I was a high student, having a composer in residence each year inspired me to become a composer,” says Magin, “Now I’m having an opportunity to be on the other end of that experience.”

Also announced were the ACWC scholarship winners, who include Ciarán Spence, the 2017 Rising Star Scholar; Jeremy Zerbe, the 2017 Balus Foundation Young Performing Artist Scholar; and  Madelynn Miller for the ACWC & Creekside Fabrics Visual Arts and ACWC Janice Schroeder Youth Fiber Arts Scholar.

For more information about these grants or scholarship programs contact Kathryn Hollinger at hollinger@artswyco.org or (585) 237-3517, ext. 102.

For more than 40 years, the ACWC has created opportunities to bring arts into their rural communities through programming, grants, and art events. Located on Main Street Perry, the ACWC has produced the Letchworth Arts and Crafts Show, one of the largest and highest-rated shows in the region. The ACWC is also Wyoming County’s NYSCA Decentralization Site for Community Arts Grants.

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

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 11:45 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, dairy, agriculture, agribusiness.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) recently led a bipartisan letter sent to President Donald Trump applauding his acknowledgements of Canada's protectionist trade policies related to dairy products and advocating for swift action to ensure Canada upholds its trade agreements.

"President Trump campaigned on putting America first, and protecting American jobs," Collins said. “The letter highlights how vital the U.S. dairy industry is to Western New York and dairy producing regions across the country. The U.S. dairy industry supports billions of dollars in exports and hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.

"Unfortunately, due to unfair competitive practices by Canada, we must take action to ensure our dairy products will be able to compete on a level playing field. I am glad President Trump has recognized how important this issue is to hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans, and I will continue working with my colleagues to protect the U.S. dairy industry."

The letter, which 68 lawmakers signed, was also co-led by congressmen Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Ron Kind (WI-03), Sean Duffy (WI-07), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), and Peter Welch (VT-AL).

The letter details Canadian trade practices that "may violate Canada's existing trade commitments to the United States by effectively discouraging U.S. dairy exports to Canada." It also reinforces that "our districts and states rely on the jobs the dairy industry provides and cannot afford further protectionist policies from our northern neighbor."

The letter to the president states in part:

The U.S. dairy sector relies on its exports to survive. In 2016, the industry exported approximately 15 percent of its milk production, worth roughly $5 billion. To our NAFTA partners alone, the United States exported $1.2 billion of dairy products to Mexico and $631 million to Canada. To that end, U.S. exports helped the dairy sector maintain roughly 110,000 U.S. jobs in farming and manufacturing.

Unfortunately, Canada's recent revisions to its milk classification system have prompted serious concerns. Canadians traditionally used five classes to price its products, ranging from fluid milks and creams to milk used for further processing. In April 2016, the Canadian province of Ontario began implementing a new milk price class, Class 6, which has dramatically altered dairy imports and skewed the market…

To read the full text of the letter click here.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 11:39 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Warsaw, environment, letchworth.

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Pictured from the left: Stella Glosser, Cheyanne Wick, Joe Fisher, Cherie Glosser and Lauren Crandall, all of Warsaw High School.

Information compiled from a press release, photo submitted​.

Warsaw Central School was Wyoming County’s winner of the 2017 Trailside Envirothon held recently at Letchworth State Park. This is a regional competition for high school students, including those in Wyoming and Allegany counties. Since 1991, this annual event has been held at the park’s Trailside Lodge. 

The daylong competition tests teams of students on their knowledge of five different subjects: forestry, wildlife, soils, aquatics, and a current issue – Agriculture Soil and Water Conservation Stewardship. Organizers say students spend a significant amount of time studying for the event in both the classroom and after-school study sessions. 

On the day of the Envirothon, students break into teams of five and are given 30 minutes to complete a test at each given station. Exams include questions on identifying an animal by its fur, measuring the board footage of a tree, and using reference materials to determine a soil type. When the 30 minutes are up, an event official sounds a horn, only then can the students move on to the next station. 

During lunch, the test scores are tallied, afterward, the winners are announced. While Warsaw was the winner for Wyoming County, the Cuba-Rushford School District was the winner for Allegany County.

The winning team from each county then advances to the New York State Envirothon, which will be held May 24 and 25 at Hobart William Smith College, Geneva. There, top teams compete for an opportunity to go to the National Envriothon event. 

The program is hosted by the Wyoming and Allegany counties Soil & Water Conservation districts (SWCD). Staff from each, along with volunteers from Wyoming and Allegany counties USDA, FSA, and NRCS, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Letchworth State Park, and members of the community, make the program possible.

Officials say essential support is provided by school districts and science teachers, and local residents and businesses that donate supporting funds. 

In addition to its educational programs, the Wyoming County SWCD provides programs and technical services to help residents and communities protect and improve the water quality and other natural resources of the county. 

To learn more visit www.wcswcd.org or call (585) 786- 3675.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 11:33 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Silver Springs, Gainesville.
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      James A. Dell Jr.

A Silver Springs man was arrested Monday following an investigation of an incident that occurred in February 2016 in Gainesville.

James A. Dell Jr., 26, is accused of sexually abusing a child less than 11 years old.

He was charged with sexual abuse in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child.

An order of protection was issued on behalf of the victim.

He was put in Wyoming County Jail on $5,000 bail and is due in the Town of Gainesville Court at a later date. 

The Wyoming County Department of Social Services Child Protective Unit assisted with the investigation.

Monday, May 8, 2017 at 5:54 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, Warsaw, Genesee Falls, Perry, Arcade, Portageville.

Corrie L. Mann, 36, of Portageville, was charged May 5 with not having transparent windows, driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by a drug, and driving while ability impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol, all as felonies. Mann was stopped on Route 436, Genesee Falls, for a window tint violation. Following a roadside investigation, she was arrested for driving while intoxicated. She was taken to the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office where she supplied a breath sample which allegedly showed a BAC that did not match the observed impairment. She was then evaluated by a certified drug recognition expert who determined she was impaired by stimulants and alcohol. Due to a prior DWI conviction in 2012, her arrest became a felony. She was released on her own recognizance and is due in the Town of Genesee Falls Court at a later date.

Ryan Fisher, 28, Perry, was charged May 3 with driving while impaired by drugs and unregistered motor vehicle. Fisher was stopped on North Main Street, Warsaw, for an alleged expired registration. During the stop, he was given roadside field sobriety testing, which he subsequently failed, Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies say. Additionally, was then evaluated by a drug recognition expert who determined him to be impaired by a stimulant. He is due in the Village of Warsaw Court May 22. New York State Police assisted with the roadside investigation.

Kevin Haynes, 47, of Arcade, was charged May 6 with criminal contempt in the first degree and an aggravated family offense in the Village of Arcade Court. Haynes was arrested following an investigation of a violation of an order of protection. Deputies say Haynes came into contact with a subject where there was an active stay away order of protection. Additionally, it was also found that he had been charged and convicted of criminal contempt within the last five years. He was put in Wyoming County Jail without bail. He is due in the Village of Arcade Court at 8 a.m. June 15.

Monday, May 8, 2017 at 5:03 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, weather.

The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning from 10 p.m. until 9 a.m. Tuesday.

From late tonight through Tuesday mornings temperatures will hover around 30 degrees. Freezing temperatures may damage tender spring vegetation, officials say.

In addition to protecting spring plants, potted plants normally left outdoors should be covered or brought inside.

Monday, May 8, 2017 at 10:17 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, tourism, Warsaw.

Press release:

National Travel and Tourism week began Sunday and the Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism Office is hosting a contest on Facebook.

From now until June 2, participants who “like” and “share” that week’s contest post, and likes the Tourism Facebook page, will have the chance to win gift cards, tickets, apparel, and more from businesses across Wyoming County. Participating businesses include the Arts Council for Wyoming County, Adventure Calls Outfitters, Attica Hotel, Byrncliff Resort, Charcoal Corral, Creekside Fabrics, the Deutsche Haus, East Hill Creamery, Hidden Valley Animal Adventure, Letchworth Pines, Main Street Grille, Silver Lake Brewing Project, Silver Lake Family Restaurant, Silver Lake Marine, Spotlight Theater of Warsaw, Spruce Ridge Golf Course, Grateful Grille, Wyoming Inn and Windy Brew.

Winners will be drawn each Friday during the contest period. 

“Tourism is critical to the economic health of our county, and we are very fortunate to have almost two hundred tourism related businesses in Wyoming County,” said Chamber & Tourism President Scott Gardner. “Travelers are spending $41 million annually in Wyoming County, which generates millions in state and local sales taxes. The average savings per Wyoming County household from tourism generated taxes is $316. This is an important industry to our attractions, hospitality, and retail businesses across the county.” 

National Travel and Tourism Week is an annual tradition established by a Congressional Resolution in 1983 and first celebrated the following year. This nationwide week of events serves to champion the power of the travel and tourism industry. One of America’s largest industries, it generates $2.1 trillion in economic output, with $947.1 billion spent directly by domestic and international travelers that spur an additional $1.2 trillion in other industries.

“We’re excited that National Tourism Week will kick off a monthlong celebration of the tourism businesses that make us an incredibly popular four-season destination,” said Tourism and Marketing Director Eric Szucs. “Letchworth State Park draws over 800,000 visitors a year, and the attractions, family friendly restaurants, events, art galleries, and more give tourists an incredibly rewarding experience in Wyoming County.”

According to the U.S. Travel Association, tourism directly generated $147.9 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments in 2015. Travel and tourism is America’s largest services export industry and is one of the nation’s largest employers. Travel is among the top 10 industries and supported 15.1 million jobs, including more than eight million directly in the travel industry and seven million in other industries. One out of every nine jobs in the United States depends on travel and tourism. Each U.S. household would pay $1,192 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry.

The Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism is the leading membership organization for local and regional growth, advocacy, and connection for county’s business community. Its mission is to serve the members and community; promote and grow the area’s economic and tourism assets; and work collaboratively to create an environment that leads to the success and economic prosperity of Wyoming County.

For more information or to become a member call (585)786-0307 or visit www.wycochamber.org or www.gowyomingcountyny.com

Monday, May 8, 2017 at 10:14 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Warsaw, Perry, arts.

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Photo submitted by JMS Photography.

On Friday, Megan Hollister opened her first solo show at the Arts Council for Wyoming County (ACWC) in the Members’ Gallery, Main Street, Perry. A senior at Warsaw High School, Megan spent the past year as an apprentice of master seamstress Robbin Dillon, of Folwerville. The apprenticeship was made possible through the ACWC and Creekside Fabrics and Yarn’s Visual Art Scholarship.

“The ACWC is committed to providing opportunities for young artists in Wyoming County to improve their skills, gain more confidence and knowledge about the art discipline, and also career possibilities,” said ACWC Executive Director Jackie Hoyt. “Megan is exactly the type of student we look for to take advantage of this program – talented, ambitious, and hungry to learn about the craft.”

Megan is the third recipient of the scholarship, which was established in 2014. The funding provided private sewing lessons and consultation with a master seamstress. Throughout the past year, Dillon shared a variety of skills and techniques to improve her trade. Additionally, she provided Megan with the tools to help her grow and become more confident in her work as a young fashion designer. 

Recently named to the President's List at Genesee Community College, Megan's work was also shown at the Fashion Show held April 28 at the campus in Batavia. 

After graduating in June, Megan plans to go to college for a degree in fashion design, with a specialization in bridal and evening wear.

For more information about the Visual Art Scholarship contact Hoyt at (585) 237-3517 or via email at info@artswyco.org.

Monday, May 8, 2017 at 10:06 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Attica.

Attica Police Chief Dean Hendershott reports the closure of Exchange Street, at the Northfolk Southern Railroad crossing, to all traffic, including emergency traffic, from 8 a.m. May 15 to 6 p.m. May 16. 

The railroad company will be replacing the railroad crossing.

Exchange Street is the main route of travel to the Village park, youth athletic fields, the rodeo grounds, and the Attica and Wyoming correctional facilities.

The suggested alternate route of travel is to take Route 98 south to Dunbar Road.

Monday, May 8, 2017 at 10:03 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, news, Perry, dogs.

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Press release:

When Melissa Henchen opened Paws Perrydise in April 2015, even she didn’t know what kind of a reception the business would get. While she saw the need for dog training, daycare, boarding services, and supplies, she wasn’t sure the need alone would be enough to keep her doors open.

“A lot of people — even people with no dog experience — will try to do their own training to save money,” Henchen said. “They usually find themselves overwhelmed because of the lack of accurate, consistent and humane information available for free.

"There’s tons of bad advice available for free, and most people don’t know the difference. Professionals — like myself — tend protect their investment, because they pay for education and certifications to provide the most effective way to teach our dogs.”

Two years later, however, Paws Perrydise has amassed a pack of loyal customers. Daycare, which started out with a few dogs three days a week, is so consistently full that Henchen added a fourth day and has had to cap attendance. 

With three classes running at any given time, she has built a consistent following for puppy class, and basic obedience training. Additionally, she looks to offer more specialized classes such as introduction to agility, scent work, and gun dog training.

“I’m working with a great group of nationally recognized trainers who will be coming in to offer positive gun dog training in June at the Silver Lake Sportsman’s Club. I’m excited to offer that in our county, where hunting is such a big activity.

“I’m also hoping to add some staff, which would allow me more time to focus on those more specialized activities and classes.”

In addition to classes, Paws Perrydise also carries a large selection of high-quality treats, chews and toys. Her favorite products are the front-clip harnesses, citing the effectiveness of the product as well as the humane alternative to choke chains and prong collars for dogs that pull when leashed.

“It’s a great feeling to do the research on products so my clients don’t have to. I look for products that are made in the U.S. without recalls, ones that have excellent quality, guarantees, and of course, are safe to use on our companion pets.

“People who come in tend to have a lot of questions, and I can answer them without the corporate jargon. I’m hand-picking the products in my store, so I know exactly why they’re there and how they work.”

Getting any kind of business off the ground is no easy feat, and dog training is no exception – Henchen works 11-hour days and is open six-days-a-week. It may not always be the idyllic puppy playtime people tend to imagine, but Henchen wouldn’t trade it for anything. She said the things that surprise her can be the best aspect of the job.

“I’m wildly surprised by the number of people who want daycare for their dogs to avoid separation anxiety or boredom. The same goes for the amount of people who come in with enough empathy for their dogs’ needs that they want in-home boarding versus kennel boarding. I have people drive over an hour to board with me because I have a different level of compassion for dogs with anxiety or fear, or who may have special needs.”

To learn more about the services and products offered at Paws Perrydise, visit pawsperrydise.com.

Monday, May 8, 2017 at 10:00 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, government, health, announcements.

Press release:

The Senate recently passed a package of bipartisan bills aimed at encouraging more New Yorkers to become organ and tissue donors and protecting the rights of those who do. The bills enhance public awareness, remove bureaucratic obstacles and will increase the number of residents who sign up to help save lives through organ, tissue, bone marrow, and blood donation.

“Organ and tissue transplants save lives, but too few New Yorkers are enrolled in the Donate Life program,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “New York can and must do better. This legislation will help raise awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation, provide support for those who participate and make it easier for residents to get involved in this lifesaving effort.”

Currently, only 27 percent of potential New Yorkers are enrolled in the New York State Donate Life Registry – the lowest rate in the country. Additionally, nearly 10,000 people are waiting for organ transplants in New York – the third highest rate in the country.

The Senate continues to advocate for increasing resources and public awareness on the importance of organ and tissue donation through legislation and funding, officials say. This year’s enacted state budget included $1.3 million as part of the Senate’s ongoing commitment to help New Yorkers’ need of lifesaving transplants.

The two bills, cosponsored by Gallivan, provide a wide variety of protections and support for prospective organ donors. The measures would bolster the amount of lifesaving organ and tissue and donations and shield donors in New York by: 

    • Enacting the “Living Donor Protection Act of 2017” to prevent discrimination against living organ or tissue donors who have or are applying for life, accident, health, or long-term care insurance; designating transplantation preparation and recovery related to donation as “serious health conditions” covered by paid family leave; and directing the Commissioner of Health, in cooperation with the transplant council and other interested parties to develop and distribute information on live organ donation (S2496); and

    • Establishing a one-time personal income tax credit for up to $10,000 for expenses related to a taxpayer donating his or her organs for transplantation. The bill also repeals the personal income tax modification, reducing federal adjusted income, for such expanses (S2497).

To further increase public awareness of organ and tissue donation, especially among youth, a bill (S5283B) cosponsored by Gallivan would allow SUNY, CUNY, and library card applicants to register as an organ donor. The bill would expand Lauren’s Law, which changed DMV forms to require applicants to choose “yes” or “skip” the question about becoming a donor.

The Senate also passed legislation (S2162A) to help medical transport teams quickly operate within their necessary and sensitive periods. The bill would add human organ delivery vehicles to the list of authorized emergency vehicles in the state.

Additionally, the Senate passed a bill (S474B) that would give the option to applicants for the practice of a profession or occupation, state income tax filers, and applicants registering motor vehicles to register in the Donate Life Registry for organ, eye, and tissue donation.

The Senate also passed a measure (S1475) that would allow a taxpayer or the spouse of a taxpayer to deduct costs related to the taxpayer’s organ donation, and include childcare costs within such allowable costs.

The bills will be sent to the Assembly.

Additionally, another bill (S2495) cosponsored by Gallivan passed both houses this year. The legislation allows the state's Transplant Council to expand its scope. It aims to help New York organ donation efforts by making annual recommendations to the Commissioner of Health on organ donation, procurement organizations, and organ banks and storage.

Monday, May 8, 2017 at 9:58 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, government, health care, announcements.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) voted recently to repeal Obamacare and replace it with the American Health Care Act.

"This puts us even closer to ending the Obamacare nightmare that has plagued Americans for the last seven years," Collins said. "The legislation passed increases competition and gives people the power to make their own choices with their own health care. The American Health Care Act is a drastic improvement over the failing health care system Obamacare has left us with."

For Western New Yorkers, the bill also includes the largest property tax reduction ever to be enacted, officials say. The legislation includes an amendment Collins introduced that would bar federal reimbursements for New York State Medicaid funds raised from local governments.

"My commonsense proposal will fix the finances of counties across New York for decades to come and most importantly keep money in the pockets of hardworking Western New Yorkers. This puts a stop to this massive unfunded mandate coming out of Albany once and for all."

For residents in the 27th Congressional District, it would result in more than $470 million in property tax savings. The proposal would only apply to the $2.3 billion being raised from counties outside of New York City to pay for the state's Medicaid share. The state currently raises $7 billion from its local governments to fund its $27 billion Medicaid liability, which is the largest such mandate in the nation.

Beyond the property tax savings, the legislation improves access and affordability, and removes more than $800 billion in onerous taxes and fees that have been stifling the economy and eliminating job growth, Collins says.

In 2017, 33 percent of counties nationwide only have one insurer on their exchange, and many counties are being left without any insurance providers. He also noted that Obamacare has unsustainably raised insurance premiums by nearly 40 percent in the last three years. Recently, thousands of New Yorkers were kicked off their insurance plans because their provider, Health Republic, collapsed.

The American Health Care Act:

    • Eliminates the individual and employer mandate, which forced millions of workers, families, and job creators into government mandated plans that did not work for their needs.

    • Guarantees protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions by prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, banning insurers from rescinding coverage based on a pre-existing condition, and preventing insurers from raising premiums on individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage. Additionally, New York state law fully protects individuals with pre-existing conditions.

    • Modernizes and strengthens Medicaid by implementing a "per capita allotment" which provides more flexibility for states and results in the largest entitlement reform in decades.

    • Provides Americans access to affordable care that works for their needs by delivering monthly tax credits of $2,000-$14,000 a year, which individuals and families can use to purchase private insurance of their choice.

The American Health Care Act now heads to the Senate where it will need to be approved before heading to President Trump's desk to be signed into law.

Friday, May 5, 2017 at 6:14 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Gainesville, Warsaw.
ervin_delude_sr._mug_shot.jpg
  Ervin W. Delude Sr.

Ervin W. Delude Sr., 45, of Gainesville, was arrested May 1 following an investigation into a violation of an order of protection. Delude was in Wyoming County Jail when he was allegedly found to be making phone calls to a female outside of the jail who had an active order of protection against him. Additionally, he had previous domestic violence criminal convictions in the past five years, which elevated the level of this offense to felonies. 

Delude was charged with criminal contempt in the first degree and aggravated family offense. 

On May 2, he was arrested again for two felony counts after violating an order of protection. Now an inmate in Wyoming County Jail, he is accused of placing more than 60 phone calls since April 25 to a female who currently has a stay away order of protection against him. 

Officials say, on the same day of his arrest (May 2) he had a different inmate call a person outside of the jail to then send text messages to the victim on his behalf. 

Delude was then charged again with criminal contempt in the first degree and aggravated family offense.

He was arraigned in the Village of Warsaw Court for both arrests and jailed without bail. 

He is due in the Village of Warsaw Court May 22.

This is not Delude’s first run-in with the law, he was charged April 24 with criminal contempt in the first degree and aggravated family offense, both are felonies, and resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He was arrested following a domestic dispute in Gainesville.

See related: Law and Order: Gainesville man arrested following a domestic dispute

Friday, May 5, 2017 at 5:58 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Covington, Warsaw.

A Covington man was arrested May 3 following an investigation by the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force into the sales of cocaine in and around both Genesee and Wyoming counties. 

Jeffery M. Brodsky, 45, was charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, both are Class B felonies. 

He was arrested Wednesday evening at his home on a Genesee County Grand Jury Indictment warrant.

The defendant is a suspected supply source of cocaine in both counties and allegedly sold cocaine on two occasions to an agent of the Genesee County Task Force. 

He is in Genesee County Jail awaiting arraignment.

Genesee County Task Force is comprised of officers from the Sheriff’s Office, Batavia Police NET Officers, and the Le Roy Village Police Department. They were assisted by the Wyoming County Drug Task Force and the Genesee County District Attorney’s Office.

Friday, May 5, 2017 at 5:53 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, news, Warsaw, Pike, Perry, Attica.

Vahagurupal S. Pummay, 28, of Bakersfield, Calif., was charged April 30 with log book violation, expired tax permit, over length vehicle-combination, and disobeying a traffic control device. Pummay was arrested following a traffic stop on Route 20A, Perry. He was stopped for driving his tractor trailer westbound onto Route 20A, west of Route 246, which is prohibited. Additionally, drivers are required to maintain a current log book which documents their daily activity. Officers say he was found to have a log book without any documentation for the previous two days. Pummay was escorted to a nearby turn-around area where he was taken out of service for a total of 10 hours. He is due in the Town of Perry Court May 24.

Tristin Hagen, 19, of Pike, was charged April 21 with criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree and unlawful possession of marijuana. The charges stem from a search warrant at her home April 21 by the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies say evidence recovered included marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia, suspected narcotic paraphernalia, consisting of glassine envelopes and small paper envelopes, and a shotgun. She is due in the Town of Pike Court at a later date. Additionally, there are charges pending against another subject, who is currently in the Livingston County Jail, and will be arrested upon release, officials say.

Rasheida Rhamas, 37, Kentassja Taylor, 18, both of Rochester, were charged April 30 with unlawful possession of marijuana following a traffic stop on Dunbar Road, Attica. Rhamas was stopped for an expired inspection sticker. During the stop, officers say she was driving without a license and marijuana was allegedly found in the vehicle. Rhamas was ticketed for the driving infractions as well. Both are due in the Town of Attica Court at a later date.

Friday, May 5, 2017 at 2:31 pm
posted by Billie Owens in Foodlink, poverty, food insecurity, Wyoming County.

Press release:

While there are slightly fewer food insecure people in the Rochester area, those who struggle to put food on the table are finding it less affordable to feed themselves and their families, according to a report released Thursday.

Foodlink, the regional food bank, announced the release of Map the Meal Gap 2017, the latest report by Feeding America® on food insecurity and the cost of food at both the county and congressional district level.

The overall food insecurity rate in Foodlink’s 10-county service area dipped slightly from 12.5 to 12.4 percent in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. Child food insecurity showed marked improvement by decreasing from 20.9 to 19.4 percent. The study also finds, however, that people currently facing hunger are likely falling further behind as they continue to struggle to buy enough food to meet their needs. Food-insecure individuals in the Rochester area now face a food budget shortfall of $514.25 per person each year, up from $492.92 last year, and $402.72 in 2009.

Foodlink serves the counties of Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates. Food insecurity ranged from a low of 10 percent of the population in Ontario County up to 13.2 percent in Monroe County. Overall, 156,530 people, including 52,780 children, are considered food insecure in Foodlink’s 10-county service area. The national food insecurity rate is 13.4 percent.

“While it’s encouraging to see numbers improve in some areas, we know there is plenty of work to be done to assist the more than 150,000 people in our region still struggling to put food on the table,” said Foodlink Executive Director Julia Tedesco. “Our mission is to end hunger. We will continue to serve this community until everyone has reliable access to healthy food.” 

Food insecurity is defined as a household’s limited or uncertain access to adequate nutritious food. It is assessed in the annual Current Population Survey (CPS) and represented in USDA food-security reports.

Using data from the CPS, the study finds that nationally, on average, food-secure individuals report spending $2.94 per person, per meal. This is a slight increase from the average of $2.89 as reported in Map the Meal Gap 2016. Locally, that number rose from $2.79 to $2.87 based on Nielsen data that factors in the local cost of food and assigns a “cost-of-food index” to each county. That index rose in 8 of the 10 counties in Foodlink’s service area.

The report also shows that 32 percent of the food insecure population in Foodlink’s 10-county service area has a household income higher than the threshold to qualify for SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps.

“That is particularly troublesome,” Tedesco said. “We all know the benefits of federal nutrition assistance programs such as SNAP, and knowing that one-third of our food insecure clients cannot access these vital programs is alarming.”

Map the Meal Gap 2017 uses data from the federal Department of Agriculture, Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. The study is supported by founding sponsor The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Conagra Brands Foundation, and Nielsen.

Foodlink is one of 200 food banks in the Feeding America network that collectively provides food assistance to 46 million Americans struggling with hunger. Last year, Foodlink distributed more than 19 million pounds of food, including more than 5.7 million pounds of fresh produce. It supports approximately 500 member agencies across 10 counties and offers dozens of innovative food access and nutrition education programs.

“It is disheartening to realize that millions of hardworking, low-income Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to feed themselves and their families at the same time that our economy is showing many signs of improvement, including a substantial decline in the number of people who are unemployed,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America.

“This study underscores the need for strong federal nutrition programs as well of the importance of charitable food assistance programs, especially the food pantries and meal programs served by the Feeding America network of food banks.”

A summary of the findings, an interactive map of the United States, and the full report are available at map.feedingamerica.org.

2017 Map the Meal Gap report for Foodlink’s 10-county service area:

(Chart reflects data from 2015)

County

Food insecurity rate

Estimated # of food insecure individuals

Child food insecurity rate

Estimated # of food insecure children

Monroe

13.2

98,830

19.1

31,060

Allegany

12.6

6,070

22.8

2,290

Orleans

12.4

5,250

21.8

1,890

Livingston

11.6

7,540

20.3

2,510

Seneca

11.5

4,030

19.5

1,400

Genesee

11.2

6,650

20.3

2,540

Wyoming

11.2

4,640

20.2

1,670

Yates

11.0

2,780

21.1

1,230

Wayne

10.6

9,810

19.6

4,080

Ontario

10.0

10,930

17.7

4,110

TOTAL

12.4

156,530

19.4

52,780

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