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December 12, 2017 - 8:46am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama, news, notify.

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A house fire is reported at 2180 2210 Judge Road, Alabama. Alabama Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Pembroke, Oakfield, East Pembroke, Elba, Darien, Shelby and the city's Fast Team. No people are entrapped, but there may be animals inside. The third platoon is requested to stand by in city fire headquarters.

UPDATE 8:48 a.m.: Two people have minor burns on their hands. One is at the house next door and the other is at the church on the corner. Mercy medics are responding. Law enforcement is responding. Traffic will be shut down by fire police at Route 63 and Gorton Road, and Route 63 and Macomber Road.

UPDATE 9:02 a.m.: Code enforcement and National Grid requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:05 a.m.: Indian Falls was also called and now Akron is asked to stand by in the Indian Falls' station. 

UPDATE 9:14 a.m.: Alabama command reports the fire is under control.

UPDATE 9:17 a.m.: Any tanker called but not yet deployed is returned to service. A fill-in from Town of Batavia is requested to Oakfield Fire Hall.

UPDATE 9:18 a.m.: Corfu is called to stand by in its own quarters.

UPDATE 9:26 a.m.: Fire is out; doing overhaul and ventilating.

UPDATE 9:33 a.m.: One person was transported to ECMC with minor burns and suffering from smoke inhalation. Another person is being evaluated by medics at the scene.

UPDATE 9:38 a.m.: The pet dog died in the fire and was just removed by firefighters. Responders are trying to resuscitate one pet cat and another one made it out safely.

UPDATE 9:48 a.m.: The ailing cat was successfully resuscitated and is fine now.

UPDATE 10:13 a.m.: Town of Batavia Fire and Sheldon Fire requested to return to scene. 

UPDATE 10:14 a.m.: Elba requested to standby in quartersl.

December 12, 2017 - 8:29am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia City Council.

Batavia City Council passed seven resolutions at its Monday night meeting, including one that appropriates $264,050 toward preliminary engineering and design costs for a six-street preventive maintenance project.

That figure represents the non-federal funds share of the project that, in agreement with the state Department of Transportation, will result in work being done on the following streets:

-- Clinton Street from Routes 5 and 33 to the city line;
-- East Avenue from Clinton Street to Ross Street;
-- Liberty Street from Route 63 to Routes 5 and 33;
-- South Liberty Street from South Jackson Street to Route 63;
-- Swan Street from Route 63 to Routes 5 and 33;
-- Vine Street from Routes5 and 33 to Bank Street.

Eighty percent of the costs will be paid using federal funds, 15 percent will come from New York State and 5 percent will be contributed by the City.

Of the $264,050 that is being fronted by the City via this resolution, $224,450 is federal money and $39,600 is state money.

Public Works Director Matt Worth said the City will be reimbursed for 95 percent of the design and construction costs that it appropriates in advance, as long as the project proceeds as planned.

Worth said bids will be solicited in April with construction expected to start next summer, adding that the work primarily will consist of milling and paving the targeted streets.

In other action, Council:

-- Authorized acceptance of a Stop-DWI grant for $18,981 for the police department to conduct specialized patrols and training, and purchase equipment, and for $2,400 from the state Traffic Safety Committee for the fire department to participate in the car seat safety program.

-- Approved a contract with EnergyMark for the purchase of natural gas from 2018-2020 for $3.36 per dekatherm, the lowest bid received.

Worth said that the cost is 12 percent less than what would have been obtained through an aggregate seller, and that the City has worked with EnergyMark for the past six years.

-- Voted to continue a contract for City Court prosecutorial services with Genesee County for two years, beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

-- Appointed Robert Gerace to the Board of Assessment Review committee through Sept. 30, 2022, Connie Boyd to the Historic Preservation committee through Dec. 31, 2020, and RaeEnn Engler to the Community Garden committee through Dec. 31, 2021.

December 11, 2017 - 8:48pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city of batavia, zombie properties.

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Operation Keep Our Homes, a program designed to identify and reduce the number of vacant and abandoned homes in the City of Batavia, is making some positive strides, according to the administrative intern who has been working on the program for several months.

Speaking at tonight’s City Council meeting at City Hall, Lindsey Luft, a graduate assistant at Brockport State College who has been serving the City since May, said the initiative has just about reached its goal of connecting with 10 families facing foreclosure.

“We have been working with nine families – one kept their home, one the case was closed and seven others are still open,” said Luft, who is on track to earn her master’s degree in Public Administration in the spring.

Luft said there are about 89 zombie properties in the city – “and we’re really focused on getting them up and rehabilitated.”

“It (vacant homes) affects the City at all levels and at every census tract, and it’s not targeted at any kind of income level,” she said.

Operation Keep Our Homes utilizes a database called Opportunity Space, Luft said.

“We load all kinds of information (gathered from county, town, city, police and fire data) to narrow down our search for zombie properties,” she said. “And from there, with the targeted list, we go out to site visits and we confirm vacancy.”

Luft gave City Council members a demonstration of the software, starting with 5,453 parcels in the City, and using various filters -- such as floodplain property, whether there is a structure on the site, water usage and residential homes – to reduce the list of targeted properties to a manageable number.

Filtering allows officials to come to the conclusion that “there is reasonable cause to think they can be vacant properties and to go to them, instead of aimlessly wandering around,” she said.

Luft said currently the database is updated quarterly, but the plan is to be able to access the information in a “real-time situation.”

During her presentation, she outlined the Zombie Property Remediation Act’s four components – requiring lenders to maintain mortgage-delinquent properties, requiring mortgagees to register vacant properties with the NYS Department of Financial Services registry, allowing mortgagees to complete expedited mortgage foreclosure for abandoned property, and enhancement of consumer protections.

When the DFS determines that a property is vacant, municipalities working with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation can act to remediate the property with the goal of getting it back on the tax rolls. Luft said that Batavia is one of 77 municipalities that have received grants from the LISC to achieve their goals. The City reportedly received a $66,500 grant. 

She said that Batavia’s strategy includes educating individual property owners, using the Internet and local media to reach at-risk person privately and reaching out to entities such as the Housing Council at PathStone, Genesee County Bar Association, banks, realtors, local pastors and Habitat for Humanity.

City Manager Jason Molino said that Habitat for Humanity has rehabilitated one single family home per year in the City over the past eight years, “producing a 38-percent average increase in assessed value after rehabilitation.”

Batavia also has a property tax exemption in place for residential redeveloped property, and is in the process of partnering with a local bank to develop a mortgage package aimed at redeveloping a zombie home by utilizing the exemption.

The Operation Keep Our Homes program also seeks to revise the City code in the areas of grass, weeds and debris; solid waste (cars) and graffiti.

Toward the end of her talk, Luft was met with a question from Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian, who wondered why some properties with paid-up mortgages were vacant.

“What’s the reason for that?" Christian asked.

To which Luft replied, “That’s something that we can work on together.”

Photo -- Administrative intern Lindsey Luft speaking at tonight's City Council meeting.

December 11, 2017 - 1:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in Holidays, 4-H, news.

Submitted photo and press release:

On Dec. 7, the Genesee County Master Gardener Volunteers hosted a “How to Make A Holiday Centerpiece” workshop for more than a dozen local 4-H members from across the county.

The youth learned about various types of evergreens that can be used to make festive holiday arrangements, many of which can be found in their own backyards. The kids then used the greens to make their very own holiday centerpiece to take home and enjoy.

To learn more about the Genesee County Master Gardener or 4-H Programs, visit our website: http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/

December 11, 2017 - 1:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, news, harness racing.

Photo of Jim Compton and horse Michael Scores, courtesy of Tim Bojarski.

By Tim Bojarski, for the Upstate New York Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association:

Jim Compton has been a respected western New York horseman for over 35 years. He trained, drove and bred many horses that are still remembered at his home tracks for their competitive nature and success.

For his years of dedication to the sport, the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) will present him with the Lifetime Achievement Award in the winner’s circle at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 16) during the 10th annual “Night of Distinction” awards ceremony.

Compton’s full time job was working for General Motors in Rochester, but his passion was for harness racing. So in 1978 he started moonlighting at the farm of local driving legend Fred Haslip to learn the ins and outs of the business. After a few years he got his trainer's license and in 1983 he drove his first race.

Compton and his wife Sandra always ran a small but successful stable, racing horses like Sly Hi, No Parking Zone, Splurging Rita, Gasper Again and Held For Ransom, who won multiple Opens at Batavia Down, Vernon Downs and Buffalo Raceway en route to amassing 51 lifetime wins.

When Held For Ransom’s career was over, Compton bred him to one of his race mares named Suspicious Burns and the result of that breeding was a horse named Michael Scores.

Michael Scores was a New York Sires Stake star and rock-solid overnight campaigner for 11 years. He won 86 races and earned $668,079 lifetime without ever seeing the Grand Circuit. He set track records at Tioga Downs (1:50.4) and at Batavia Downs (1:52.1) when he won the 2006 Kane Memorial Pace. And he will always be remembered for his “intentionally parked out” style of racing.

Compton’s numbers were not gaudy, however they were efficient. On the training side he had 578 wins out of 2,892 starts with $1.9 million in purses and a UTR of .337. As a driver he won 522 races out of 2,725 starts and made $1.13 million in purses and a UDR of .330. And all the horses he either trained or drove were 50 percent in the money over his entire career.

Post time for Saturday night’s card is 6 o'clock.

December 11, 2017 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news.

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Batavia got its first real snow accumulation of the season yesterday and last night but the birds still showed up this morning in our backyard feeders for their morning meal.

There's more snow on the way. A winter storm watch is in effect for tonight starting at 7 p.m. and lasting until Wednesday afternoon. Heavy, blowing snow is possible. The National Weather Service warns that travel may be difficult with more than 10 inches of snowfall possible.

Winds could gust up to 45 mph.

The forecast is for little precipitation today but a low-pressure system crosses the region bringing periods of widespread accumulation. Several weak systems cross the area in the following days with an additional chance of snow.

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December 11, 2017 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

The Batavian is available in a fast, easy-to-use app for iOS and Android devices.  Download it today.

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December 11, 2017 - 10:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify, byron, pembroke, Bethany, Alabama.

James J. Spivey, 19, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with robbery, 2nd. Spivey is accused of forcefully taking property from another person at 2:25 p.m., Oct. 25, while on Park Avenue, Batavia. He was jailed without bail.

William G. Schultz, 43, of Evans Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. Schultz was allegedly found in possession of stolen property -- the property is not specified -- while at 1 W. Main St., Batavia. The original incident was reported at 11:46 p.m. Oct. 6 at a residence on Union Street, Batavia. Schultz was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Cameron Robert Lochren, 23, of Broadway Road, Darien, is charged while driving while ability impaired by drugs, driving without headlines, and driver's view obstructed. Lochren was stopped at 12:58 a.m. Friday on Railroad Street, Alexander, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Lochren was jailed on $1,250 bail or $2,500 bond.

Robert David Cummings III, 31, of Akron Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Cummings is accused of damaging the property of another person at 3 p.m. Friday at a location on Phelps Road, Pembroke. 

Amie Lin Santiago, 31, of Hindsburg Road, Albion, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Santiago was stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 1:47 a.m. Saturday on Roberts Road, Alabama, by Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Alex A. Applegate, 21, of Upper Holley Road, Holley, is charged with DWI and moving from lane unsafely. Applegate was charged following an investigation into a motor-vehicle accident Saturday on Route 237 in Byron. The accident was investigated by Deputy Travis DeMuth.

Gerald Jacob Farrell, 24, of Nunda-Byersville Road, Nunda, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or more, and failure to keep right. Farrell was stopped at 12:28 a.m. Sunday on Ellicott Street Road, Bethany, by Deputy Jeremy McClellan. 

December 11, 2017 - 9:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.

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December 10, 2017 - 10:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A car has struck a pole in the area of the CVS Pharmacy on West Main Street, Batavia.

No word on injuries.

City fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 10:48 p.m.: Three occupants. Mercy EMS requested to the scene for patient evaluation. 

December 10, 2017 - 10:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, accident, news.

A rollover accident, a car into the trees, is reported on Route 19 and Bissell Road in Bergen.

Bergen fire and ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 10:17 p.m.: A Bergen chief on scene. One vehicle on its side. Investigating.

UPDATE 10:20 p.m.: One person entrapped in the vehicle. Conscious. Appears to be minor injuries.

December 10, 2017 - 7:08pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Byron's Frank Jarkiewicz rolled a 277 game and 804 series while "pre-bowling" for his Thursday Owls league at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen this week, but unfortunately it doesn't earn recognitiion from the United States Bowling Congress due to a special rule concerning pre-bowled honor scores.

According to USBC rule111e/7, high scores will not be recognized by USBC when:

1. An individual or team bowls unopposed.
2. Games are bowled unopposed before or after a league session.
3. League has uneven number of teams and the team without an opponent does not bowl
 with the league.
4. Two teams from the same league that are not scheduled against each other bowl together.
5. Two teams from different leagues bowl together.

It seems as though provisions 1 and 2 come into play in this case.

Still, the league has the option of recognizing the score on its season-ending high scores leaderboard.

At Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Curtis Foss of Medina led a high-scoring night in the Sneezy's Monday Night league with 289--790 -- one of four 700 series that evening.

To see the list of high rollers for the week of Dec. 4, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

December 10, 2017 - 4:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A driver is complaining of back pain after his car struck a tree at Lehigh Avenue and Creek Road, Batavia.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 5:01 p.m.: One patient transported to UMMC for evaluation.

December 10, 2017 - 3:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Darien.

A tractor-trailer has been reported on Route 77 in Darien, just south of the Darien Fire Hall.

No injuries are reported, but the roadway is blocked.

UPDATE 3:46 p.m.: Darien's fire police requested to Route 77 and Route 20 to shut down northbound traffic.

UPDATE 3:49 p.m.: Corfu requested to shut down southbound traffic at Route 33 and Route 77.

UPDATE 3:53 p.m.: A responder reports, "you've got tractor-trailers lined up Route 77." The initial caller left the scene. It's possible the original jackknifed truck was assisted by passersby. It should like slick road conditions are causing problems for other trucks.

UPDATE 3:56 p.m.: A responder reports, "what we have here is a car hauler stuck on the road. It remains to be seen if he can get out of here." Traffic is being shut down to give the Highway Department a "chance to catch up." It appears to be just the one car hauler stuck at this time.

December 10, 2017 - 1:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, accident, news.

A one-car accident with injuries is reported at the intersection of Alexander (Route 98) and Goodman roads, Alexander. Alexander Fire Department and medics are responding.

UPDATE 1:59 p.m.: Injuries are reportedly minor. 

December 10, 2017 - 11:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Management Wildlife Area, Alabama, news, notify.

UPDATED 12:37 p.m.

A hunter in the Tonawanda Management Wildlife Area called for assistance this morning after finding himself waist deep in water, tired and unsure what direction to go.

Alabama fire and Sheriff's deputies responded about 10:30 a.m. and were able to locate the hunter within 45 minutes and help him out of the swamp.

Scene commander Bill Schutt said the hunter was evaluated at the scene by Mercy EMS personnel and refused further treatment.

"He was just wet and tired," Schutt said.

Schutt said the hunter had entered his hunting area off of Owen Road, which crosses with Meadville Road, and shot a deer and was tracking it when he found himself in water too deep to wade through. He decided that he would be better off changing direction than going back the direction he came, but a short time later, called 9-1-1 for assistance.

Dispatchers stayed on the line with him throughout the search.

One deputy, with two other hunters, who knew the lost hunter, went down Owen Road and another deputy drove his vehicle down a trail off of Meadville Road. That deputy was able to locate the hunter, entered the water to assist the hunter. The hunter and the deputy walked back to the deputy's patrol vehicle.

The deputies assisting were Kevin McCarthy and Corey Mower.

Also assisting at the scene were Shelby Fire and Wolcottville Fire along with Mercy EMS and Mercy Flight, which assisted with an aerial search.

Original post below:

Alabama fire is in the Meadville Road area along with Sheriff's deputies searching for a hunter who is lost, waist deep in water and having difficulty breathing.

Other hunters in the area are assisting in the search and Mercy Flight is in route to assist.

A least one searcher is within 180 yards of the hunter.

He is on the phone with dispatchers.

A deputy is honking his horn and the hunter can apparently hear him.

UPDATE 11:06 a.m.: It appears the hunter has been located.

UPDATE 11:12 a.m.: It sounds like a deputy is with the hunter. He said he will be bringing him out to the road.

UPDATE(S) (By Billie) 11:21 a.m.: The patient is with EMS personnel now. Those who responded to help locate the hunter are told they can pack up.

UPDATE 11:43 a.m.: All Alabama units are back in service.

December 9, 2017 - 7:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Adam Miller Toys & Bicycles, batavia, news, business, downtown.

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Carter McClellan, 15 months old, wasn't too happy during his first visit with Santa today at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle.

Santa visited Adam Miller so the store could provide a free visit and a chance to get pictures with Santa for customers who came in the store today.

Penelope Ortiz, 18 months, below, was also a little unsure of the Santa thing, but didn't cry.

Chase McClellan, 7, was quite ready to let Santa know what tops his Christmas wish list.

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