LIVINGSTON COUNTY — As we wrap up another year of highs and lows in Livingston County, we would like to start a GeneseeSun.com annual tradition, a naughty and nice list from our stories for 2014. Santa Claus works hard to keep an eye on us, so we think we can lend a hand.
1. In September, a shocking story that was picked up across western New York was the brutal assault of a transgender SUNY Geneseo student who had just left a bar in Geneseo. The matter is still working its way through the court system, and the accused attacker and former SUNY Geneseo student Roric Brown says the incident stems from “drunken stupidness.” Brown is innocent until proven guilty, so whoever the attacker is has made this year’s naughty list.
2. In November, a 15-year-old from Perry was apparently ‘put up to’ calling the Geneseo Walmart and threatening to blow it up by some pals at the lunch table in school. The prank quickly turned very sour as the youth is now working his way through family court. Walmart saw a 25 percent decrease in sales due to the temporary evacuation and search of the premises by bomb sniffing dogs. The teen, whose name is protected due to his age, is on our naughty list.
3. This entire year saw a strong uptick in Welfare Fraud arrests, including multiple large fraud busts. A joint effort by Livingston County District Attorney Greg McCaffrey’s office and county Sheriff Thomas Dougherty’s Office have spearheaded the crackdown. The dozens who were convicted of Welfare Fraud this year have all made the naughty list.
4. In December, the former salt mine and operators of the desalination plant in Leciester, AkzoNobel, pretty much strong-armed the county into a settlement thanks to the New York State Attorney General’s Office and it’s insurer, Zurich. County officials did their best to get a settlement that would be set aside in case of a future issue with the former mine that collapsed over a decade ago and is filling in with water from an underground aquifer. AkzoNobel made this year’s naughty list.
5. A bozo driver decided to disobey traffic barriers after a storm that washed out Hogmire Road in Avon during disastrous flood conditions. He eventually found his car in a ditch and had to be pulled out by first responders. That driver, who’s name was not published, even contacted the sun threatening to sue for ruining his name. Obey those barriers folks! The driver made this year’s naughty list.
1. This year and always, law enforcement officers have a tough and dangerous job to do, and they keep our communities as safe as possible. We are very lucky to have our law enforcement officers in Livingston County. As other regions struggle with the relationship between the community and law enforcement, we embrace each other, except for when we get pulled over for talking on a cell phone while driving.
2. American Rock Salt set a record year of of growth and they practice safety measures that protect the hard working miners. American Rock Salt continuously gives back to the community, and is an integral part of our County’s foundation.
3. Little Catherine Staley continues to win the races and hearts of the Valley with her elegant running stride. Catherine is a fast kid, and the future is bright for this special young lady.
4. In July, Avon Code Enforcement Officer Tony Capello went toe-to-toe with silly New York State when they tried to shut down a renovated historical barn that the Howletts, a much loved local family, were using to fulfill their daughter’s dream of hosting weddings. Tony not only stood for he believed was right but inspired dozens of people in and outside of Avon to come out and show their support for the Howletts.
5. SUNY Geneseo has established itself as the Ivy League of SUNY schools. The school has made major leaps ahead this year, including a new athletic facility and renovation of Doty Hall. The success of their hockey team is bridging the gap between the suniversity and the community as they fill the arena with fans from outside of Geneseo and beyond. The University is currently about to hire a new president, and have been very open through the vetting process with members of the faculty and the community.
PHOTO CAPTION: Collage of file photos.