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July 20, 2017 - 9:21am
posted by Jack Keenan in Genesee County Fair, agriculture, news.


Another great sunny day at the Genesee County Fair. You really need to come check it out, so many more events and activites to enjoy. 

Highlight's of today's activities include the 4-H dairy cattle show, the 4-H livestock auction, Karaoke, and stock-car races at the Genesee Speedway. For a complete schedule, click here.


July 20, 2017 - 8:00am

Thursday, June 20 - Veteran’s Day at the Fair

  • 9am 4-H Dairy Cattle Show (Show Ring)
  • 9am Open Sheep Show (Old Draft Horse Barn)
  • 9am 4-H Horse Show - Games, Gymkhana Classes (Horse Ring)
  • 2pm 4-H Goat & Sheep Quiz Bowl (Merton Building)
  • 5-10pm Midway Opens (Amusement Area)
  • 5:30-7pm 4-H Market Animal Auction Buyers Dinner (Kennedy Building)
  • 7pm Genesee Speedway SPECIAL STOCK CAR RACES (Grandstand)
  • 7pm Karaoke (Entertainment Tent)
  • 7pm 4-H Market Animal Auction (Show Ring)
  • 7pm 4-H Horses Released
  • 10pm - Exhibit halls & buildings close

*This schedule is tentative and is subject to change at any time*

* Agricultural Awareness Exhibit * Livestock Exhibits * Air Sculpture – Transforming Balloons into Art (Exhibition Building), Chainsaw Carver—Elaine Foy.​

July 19, 2017 - 4:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in 4-H, Genesee County Fair, news, Announcements.

(Submitted photo: 2017 State Fair selections in the Kennedy Building at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.)

Press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Office would like to thank all of the local 4-H members who entered exhibits in the 2017 Genesee County Fair.

We would also like to thank all of our volunteers, judges, family and friends who came to support our youth; we could not do it without you!

There were so many great exhibits to choose from and they will be on display in the Kennedy Building on the Genesee County Fairgrounds now through Saturday, July 22.

Congratulations to the following Genesee County 4-H members whose exhibits have been selected to advance to the New York State Fair, which will take place in Syracuse Aug. 23- Sept. 4.

For more information about the New York State Fair visit:  

Section B – Educational Exhibits

  • Renee Chapell – “How Music Affects Your Mood”
  • Steven Zocco – President Lincoln Diorama

Section C – Communications and Expressive Arts

  • Melissa Keller – Poster of the Circulatory System
  • Melissa Keller – Business Plan – “Keller Pork”
  • Gabriella Zocco – “Caring for Pigs” Diorama 

Section DA – Food and Nutrition

  • Mae Grimes – Maple Syrup
  • Melissa Keller – Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Melissa Keller – Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • Caroline Luft – Gluten Free Muffins
  • Clare Mathes – Blueberry Muffins
  • Teagan Mathes – Blueberry Pie
  • Maggie Winspear – Lemon Zucchini Bread

Section DB – Fine Arts and Crafts 

  • Clare Mathes – Watercolor Painting with Sailboat
  • Corrine Rhoads – Cat Perler Beads “Corrine’s Cat Creations”
  • Mary Sweeney – Charcoal Cow Portrait
  • Mary Sweeney – Acrylic Painting of Landscape with Barn

Section DC – Hobby Crafts and Home Environment

  • Amelia Brewer – Hand Painted Decorative Rocks
  • Jillian Brewer – Quilt
  • Cole Carlson – Metal Chicken Feeder
  • Katie Ewert – Decorative Picture Frame with Boot
  • Melissa Keller – 4-H Ribbon Quilt
  • Aubrianna Martinez – Owl Pillow
  • Eva Rhoads – Ribbon Chandelier 

Section DE – Textiles & Clothing

  • Clare Mathes – Chicken Feed Bag with Pocket
  • Caroline Pelton – Retro Dress
  • Mason Werth – Rope Halter

Section E – Visual Arts and Photography

  • Melissa Keller – Photo of Easter Table
  • Melissa Keller – Photo of Rye Field
  • Melissa Keller – Dog Portrait 
  • Georgia Luft – Photo of Chickens 
  • Alexandria Tarbell – Rustic Rider Club Logo Design
  • Colton Tarbell – PowerPoint Presentation on RC Vehicles 

Section F – Horticulture

  • Jillian Brewer – Fairy Garden in Wagon
  • Mae Grimes – Floral Design
  • Melissa Keller – Chicken Feeder Container Garden
  • Melissa Keller – Galvanized Bucket Container Garden
  • Melissa Keller – Terra Cotta Pot with Pig Transfer Container Garden
  • Melissa Keller – Container Garden 
  • Melissa Keller – Fairy Garden in Wagon
  • Georgia Luft – Fairy Garden in Suitcase 
  • Hudson Luft – Fairy Garden in Crate
  • Alexandria Tarbell – Rhubarb
  • Alexandria Tarbell – Marimo (Houseplant Aquarium) 
  • Evan Winspear – Celosia

Section M – Veterinary Science

  • Melissa Keller – Field Guide of Endangered Species

Cloverbuds – For Display Only

  • Layla Baker – Bug House
  • Aiden Hyman – Poster of Kentacloth
  • Levi Miller – Hunting Poster
  • Michael Shisler – Star Drawing
  • Otto Uberty – Tie-Dye T-Shirt
  • Wyatt Uberty – Bandana Pillow
July 19, 2017 - 4:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in east bethany, news, Announcements.

Submitted photos and press release:

Environmental Science Career Exploration Camp provided adventure and learning July 10th – 14th at Genesee County Park & Forest.

Eighth- through 11th-graders from six different local schools formed a class of elite Environmental Science trainees. Each day consisted of time in the forest and wetlands with hiking, identifying invasive insects, taking tree measurements, navigating, stream sampling, performing bird surveys and more.

Camp instruction was sponsored by Genesee County Parks, Recreation & Forestry, Genesee County Youth Bureau, NYSDEC, USDA APHIS, Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, NYSDEC ECO, Genesee ARC Trash & Recycling facility, GLOW Region Solid Waste, and CC Environment & Planning.

Presentations and hands-on activities were led by professionals in 10 different fields including Forestry, Conservation Law Enforcement, Wildlife Management, and Environmental Planning.

Campers learned a ton while enjoying lunch and snacks each day from camp sponsors: Alex’s Place, Subway, Mark’s Pizzeria, Batavia’s Original, D&R Depot, and Tops Friendly Markets of Le Roy.

Special thanks to all of the volunteers and sponsors for making this excellent experience possible for the next generation of conservation professionals! 

July 19, 2017 - 4:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, Kiwanis.

Press release:

Genesee Division, NY District Kiwanis will hold a Division Council Meeting to "Meet the Candidates" and dinner on Saturday, July 22, at BW Restaurant & Reception Center. It is located at 11070 Perry Road in Pavilion.

The event is hosted by Kiwanis from Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford & Pembroke, Corfu and Darien.

Cost is $30 per person. This is a "Take a Bite Out of Lyme" fundraiser.

Time is divided as follows:

  • Social Hour -- 5:30 p.m.
  • Meeting convenes -- 6:30 p.m.
  • Dinner -- 7 p.m.
  • Meeting adjourned -- 9 p.m.

Come and enjoy Kiwanis fellowship and year-end celebration!

Meet the candidates for Kiwanis Governor-Elect 2017-18:

  • Lt. Gov. John ("Hank") Baker (Niagara Frontier South)
  • IPLG Bruce Brooks (Long Island Southwest)

RSVP to Penny Arnold (585) 356-3413 or [email protected]

Or to Charlene Schoenenberger (585) 584-3738 or [email protected]

July 19, 2017 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, City Schools, schools, education, notify.


Seniors at Batavia High School this year will not only be afforded the privilege of reserved parking spaces in the student lot, they will be able to paint their designated spot with just about any design they like.

Overall, board members for the City School District loved the idea, presented by the executive council of the Class of 2018, but requested some modifications from the original idea before approving it.

"With a personalized parking spot, the students are able to reserve their spots and then express their individuality, which is really meaningful as maturing young adults," said student Mikey Lullo.

The students said there would be three options for students. The first costs the student nothing -- they get an assigned spot that will remain black asphalt throughout the year. The second option allows them to reserve a spot for $10, but they can't personalize it. The sweet spot, painted and personalized, would be $15.

The project is a fundraiser for the Class of 2018.

The original proposal would make all options available to all students who drive to school and students paying $15 would be able to select three possible spots, which would then be assigned randomly from those choices.

Because it's the first year, the board thought painted spots should be reserved for seniors and all spots should be selected at random.

"I love this kind of stuff," Board Member Peter Cecere said. "I think the finished product looks amazing."

Then he raised concerns about how slots would be selected.

"While I'd like to give everybody at least one of their top three choices, that's just not going to work," Cecere said. "Inevitably you're going to have a kid complaining because 'hey this kid's got this and I paid the same amount of money.' "

Trustee Shawna Murphy wondered if the privilege might be tied to academic performance or attendance, but the feeling was that would add another level of complication. She also expressed concern that in this climate, the painted slots would look dingy over the course of the year.

The students said they researched schools in similar climates and found with the right paint, it hasn't been a problem. They also said the paint acts as a sealant, which helps protect the surface of the parking lot.

At the end of the year, the students would be responsible for painting over, with black paint, the customized student spots.

While students who wish to personalize parking spots must get a sketch approved by school administrators, the council said they will also help watch over the parking lot.

Cecere expressed concern about vandalism and bullying associated with customized slots. The students hope security cameras and their vigilance will help tap down these issues.

"We're going to be there and we take it upon ourselves to monitor everything, us being the executive council," said Lauren Leone. "We are there to check everyone's paint and make sure it's being respectful."

Murphy asked how the council knew this was something they knew their fellow students wanted.

Lullo said the idea has been a big hit on social media.

"This has gone around multiple times and there has been positive feedback from pretty much the majority of the school who is on social media saying 'oh we wish we have this' and 'this would be so cool,' " Lullo said. "They said, 'this is so great, we want this.' So we kind of took it and ran with it."

Top Photo: Lauren Leone.  Bottom photo: Kiara Cherry, Amand Patel and Mikey Lullo.


Video about a similar program at a high school in Lebanon, Ind.

July 19, 2017 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, byron, notify.

Dwayne Bartholemau Spivey, 40, of Doran Street, Rochester, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st. At 10:45 a.m. Sunday on Lake Street Road, Le Roy, Le Roy PD, State Police and the Sheriff's Office were conducting a joint traffic checkpoint. Officers reported observing a vehicle driven by Spivey stop prior to the checkpoint, with Spivey exiting the driver's side and changing seats with the passenger, making the passenger the driver when the vehicle arrived at the checkpoint. Upon investigation by Deputy Chad Cummings and Deputy Chris Erion, Spivey was found to have 25 suspensions over the course of two decades. The other occupant, the passenger who became the driver, had a valid license. Spivey was jailed without bail.

Jesse Dean Parsons, 33, of Swamp Road, Byron, is charged with promoting prison contraband. Parsons is accused of entering the Genesee County Jail on an unrelated charge with a known banned item.

July 19, 2017 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in shared services, news.

Press release:

New York State, as part of the Adopted 2017/18 State Budget, included another mandate on all local governments and possibly school districts to discuss and develop shared services ideas and plans for eventual submittal to the County Legislature in August/September 2017, and then submittal to the New York State Department of State by Oct. 15.

Part of the process for discussing and developing said public sector shared services plans is to have public meetings/opportunities for citizen input and to take suggestions on possible public sector shared services opportunities that have not already occurred and are in place.

In order to satisfy the public forum mandate, the Genesee County Legislature will hold an open comment period at the beginning of each of the next three Legislative body meetings on July 12, July 17, and Aug. 9 at approximately 5:30 p.m. in the Old Courthouse, 7 Main St., Batavia, in the third-floor Chambers.

July 19, 2017 - 9:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Arc of Genesee Orleans, Stafford, sports.


Press release:

Assistant Golf Professional Mike Eichner urged golfers to use common sense when negotiating the Stafford Country Club course during the 41st Annual Arc of Genesee Orleans Lullo Memorial Tournament. Although the weather was picture perfect Monday, recent heavy rains resulted in areas along the 96-year-old course that was a little challenging.

“In the end, it was a great day of golf for the Arc,” Eichner said.

The tournament also features tennis and bocce divisions.

In golf play, Jonathan Tretter and Marc Ramos came out on top, both shooting a 77.  Low gross honors for women went to Tina Lambert with an 84.

In the low net category, Bryan Countryman and Paul Marchese tied at 64, and Ed Shultz was close behind with 65. Francesca Fuller had a low net score of 73 for women.  

In the blind bogey competition, Alan Saskowski matched the blind bogey number drawn of 74.

The hole-in-one contest on 8 was sponsored by Castilone Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. Unfortunately, no one shot an ace to drive away with a 2017 Ram Pickup Express.

In other contests on the course, Zach Fuller won the longest drive on 15 and honors for longest putt on 11went to Dan Burnham who sank a 60’ 5” putt! In the closest to the pin contests, John Curtiss won a golf bag, courtesy of C.H. Wright on 8 (20’2”);  Marc Ramos earned top prize on 12, a Red Osier Gift Certificate; Paul Barton won a Schwinn bicycle, donated by Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle in the top prize on 14(15’6”).  The contests on #11 and #12 this year honored the memory of Ralph Houseknecht, a disability advocate and Arc supporter who passed away in 2016. Three generations of the Houseknecht family were represented at the tournament on Monday, the same day an engraved stone was installed on the course in his memory between the 12th tee box and a walking bridge that also bears his name. 

In bocce, the first-place team representing ESL Federal Credit Union was Jim Miller, Jenna Holota, Mary Blevins and Dan Basch.

In tennis, first-place team honors went to Steve Clemm and Paul Hiscutt. Second-place team went to Diane Bonarigo and Jerry Reinhart. Bonarigo also earned top score in the tennis division.

Gold sponsors of the event were Turnbull Heating & Air-Conditioning, Graham Corporation, MTE Turf Equipment Solutions/Tom & Lynn Houseknecht, Crickler Vending, One Group, Relph Benefit Advisors and Tompkins Bank of Castile /Insurance Agencies/ Financial Advisors. Silver sponsors were: Batavia Turf, The Daily News, The Bonadio Group, Oakfield Family Medical Care, Alpina Foods, Erie and Niagara Insurance Association, In Memory of Ralph Houseknecht, Castilone Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Tops Friendly Markets, Bessey Tools, Parkview Health Services, Genesee Valley PennySaver and Manning Napier, One Group and The Insurance Center.

Also supporting the event were 12 golf sponsors, three tennis sponsors, seven bocce sponsors and seven Friend of Arc Tournament sponsors. Door prizes, silent, and Chinese auction items were donated by dozens of area businesses. The 2017 cart sponsors were Philadelphia Insurance and Pinnacle Manufacturing.

A total of 124 golfers, eight tennis players, and 36 bocce players participated in the annual event that raises money to benefit programs and service for people with disabilities served by Arc of Genesee Orleans.

The winner of the $1,000 cash drawing was Ron Brueckner with ticket number 15341. The ticket seller was Deb Hinze, of Batavia.

The Arc of Genesee Orleans Lullo Memorial Tournament is named in memory of Danny Lullo, a local businessman who came up with the idea to hold a tournament to benefit Genesee ARC programs and services for people with disabilities in our community. The Tournament is the longest-running charity event at the local private country club.

Ed Carney is the event chairman. Peggy Lamb chairs tennis and Deb Fischer chairs bocce.



July 19, 2017 - 9:04am

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Chicago concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Tuesday:

Jaqueline M. Walker, 48, of Wallace Drive, Grand Island, is charged with resisting arrest and two counts of harassment, 2nd, after allegedly kicking and striking several Live Nation security officers and then resisting arrest by kicking deputies while being taken into custody.

Mark P. Walker, 49, of Wallace Drive, Grand Island, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching a Live Nation security officer in the face.

July 19, 2017 - 8:56am
posted by Jack Keenan in Genesee County Fair, agriculture, news.


Here are some of the sights from the second day of the Genesee County Fair.

Today's events:

  • 9am Open Draft Horse Show - Halter Class (Horse Ring)
  • 10am 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest (4-H Dairy Barn)
  • 10am-2pm Home Depot Kid’s DYI Workshop (Entertainment Tent)
  • 12pm 4-H Sheep Show (Show Ring)
  • 12:30pm Small Fry Tractor Pill (Exhibition Building)
  • 1pm Open Draft Horse Show - Hitch Class (Horse Ring)
  • 1-4pm Midway Opens for Special Kid’s Day - $5 Ride Wrist Bands (Amusement Area)
  • 2-4pm Balloon Animal Demonstrations (Exhibition Building)
  • 4-10pm Midway Open (Amusement Area)
  • 5pm 4-H Hog Show (Show Ring) 
    Open Swine Show to follow 4-H (Show Ring)
  • 6pm Fair Queen Pageant (Entertainment Tent Stage)
  • 6pm 4-H Poultry (Merton Building)
  • 7:30pm 4-H Barn Dance (Show Ring)
  • 10pm - Exhibit halls & buildings close



July 19, 2017 - 8:00am

Wednesday, July 19th - “Children’s Day - 4-H Family Night” Kids ride special $5 wrist bands 1-4pm

  • 9am Open Draft Horse Show - Halter Class (Horse Ring)
  • 10am 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest (4-H Dairy Barn)
  • 10am-2pm Home Depot Kid’s DYI Workshop (Entertainment Tent)
  • 12pm 4-H Sheep Show (Show Ring)
  • 12:30pm Small Fry Tractor Pill (Exhibition Building)
  • 1pm Open Draft Horse Show - Hitch Class (Horse Ring)
  • 1-4pm Midway Opens for Special Kid’s Day - $5 Ride Wrist Bands (Amusement Area)
  • 2-4pm Balloon Animal Demonstrations (Exhibition Building)
  • 4-10pm Midway Open (Amusement Area)
  • 5pm 4-H Hog Show (Show Ring) 
    Open Swine Show to follow 4-H (Show Ring)
  • 6pm Fair Queen Pageant (Entertainment Tent Stage)
  • 6pm 4-H Poultry (Merton Building)
  • 7:30pm 4-H Barn Dance (Show Ring)
  • 10pm - Exhibit halls & buildings close

*This schedule is tentative and is subject to change at any time*

* Agricultural Awareness Exhibit * Livestock Exhibits * Air Sculpture – Transforming Balloons into Art (Exhibition Building), Chainsaw Carver—Elaine Foy.​

July 18, 2017 - 9:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.


UPDATED at 9:47 p.m.

Batavia PD investigators took less than a day to identify a suspect in a knife attack on a person overnight on East Main Street.

Arrested this afternoon was JW Hardy III, 30, of 216 Liberty St., Batavia.

He is charged with assault in the first degree and gang assault, 1st.

He was jailed without bail.

The investigation is ongoing.

Under NYS Penal Code, the charge of gang assault does not mean that the person charged is a member of an organized, ongoing, criminal enterprise. It does mean that the police suspect was aided by two or more other people in perpetrating an attack that caused serious physical injury.

Chief Shawn Heubusch said that right now police believe there was at least more than one person involved.

As for any possible actual gang membership for Hardy, Heubusch said, "There is no reason to believe he is involved in any organized criminal enterprise."

The attack was reported at 1 a.m. in the area of 318 E. Main St., Batavia.

Upon arrival, officers located a male victim who had a severe laceration to his upper arm, lying on the ground.

The victim was transported by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital. He reportedly had serious injuries.

Based on evidence and witness statements at the scene, police said earlier today that the victim had been beaten and slashed with a knife by at least one person.

Police reported at the time of the release that one person was being questioned in connection with the attack.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Batavia Police Department Detective Bureau at (585) 345-6350 or the Confidential Tip Line at (585) 345-6370.

July 18, 2017 - 5:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Bethany, news, notify.

Investigators have leads to track down and a person of interest in a home invasion assault in Bethany three nights ago, according to Investigator Chris Parker, who is leading the case.

The 73-year-old victim is in stable condition at Strong Memorial Hospital after initially being transported to UMMC the night of the attack.

Parker said he has interviewed someone who is not a suspect at this time, but truly a person of interest.

The crime was reported just before 9 p.m., Saturday at a residence in the Bethany Center Road, Paradise Road area of Bethany.

The victim called 9-1-1.  He told deputies on scene that he was asleep and the intruder woke him. He said he had been hit with an unknown object, which caused facial wounds, and sprayed with an unknown substance.

Parker did not discuss what might have been used to hit the victim, but that all indications are, whatever the victim was sprayed with was likely nothing more than water. There is no evidence to indicate it was any other substance.

"I can allay any public fears that there is a person or persons out there coming into people's homes and assaulting them," Parker said. "That is not the case here. This was not a random act."

People with information that might be helpful to the case can call the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.

July 18, 2017 - 5:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in HP Hood, GCEDC, batavia, business, news, notify.


(Photo of HP Hood Chairman John A. Kaneb taken this afternoon at his company's new processing facility in Batavia's Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.)

With existing plants at capacity and demand growing, HP Hood was looking for a facility the company could get up and running quickly for long-shelf-life dairy and nondairy products, said its Chairman John A. Kaneb today in an exclusive interview with The Batavian at the company's new processing facility in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. 

The plant was built in 2012 for $206 million as a joint venture between PepsiCo and Theo Muller Group and became known as the Quaker Muller Dairy plant.

Now, it's the HP Hood plant, which Hood acquired June 30 from Dairy Farmers of America for $54 million.

Kaneb said Hood knows Upstate New York well -- with four existing plants -- and knew the area had a good supply of raw milk, so when the plant became available, Hood took a keen interest.

"This plant happens to be located fairly well for us -- not ideally -- but fairly well," Kaneb said.  "The availability of the plant, that overcame a lot of, let's say, whatever reluctance we would have because we have to do a lot of very expensive repurposing here. We're moving from a plant that was designed for mass production of lots of yogurt to two fluid products. So that there were some warts and such, but we're very happy to be here."

The staff at Genesee County Economic Development Center made the whole process easy, understood it needed to be expedited, and that added to Hood's interest in locating in Genesee County, Kaneb said.

"Your economic development people here are superb," Kaneb said. "I mean they really are good and they're knowledgeable and they're friendly to business. Hopefully, we will not disappoint them."

Scott Blake, senior vice president of operations for HP Hood, added that the GCEDC staff provided a wealth of information on the area, businesses, and people, which helped them get comfortable with the decision to open a plant here.

HP Hood has committed to creating 230 jobs at the plant. They will take on the original PILOT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) agreement signed by Muller Quaker to receive $7 million in tax abatements over 10 years. The state is also providing a $2 million capital grant from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

If employment goals are met, Hood is also eligible for $5 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. 

The 170-year-old, Lynnfield, Mass.-based company is adding 100,000 square feet of refrigerated warehouse space to the plant, which is already 363,000 square feet. After the expansion, with retooling the plant, and the purchase price, Hood will have sunk nearly $200 million into the new facility by the time it goes into production in early 2019.

There has been a rumor recently that the Hood plant could eventually employ 500 people. That's too far down the road to think about, Kaneb said, and he doesn't want to promise that level of growth. He believes they will hit the 230 employee target, but in the first priority is hiring 140 people over the next 12 months.

"I think we're we're confident that it will be reached, but I don't want to get into when we get to 230 or 250 or whatever," Kaneb said. "As far as going beyond that, I hope so. I will tell you that the only other situation that's halfway comparable to this is a greenfield plant we built from the ground up in Winchester, Virginia. We built that in basically 2000 to 2001. Today, 17 years later, here it is employing about 600 people. This plant has the acreage and, et cetera, et cetera, to do something like that, but that took 17 years."

(For photos of the Winchester plant, click here.)

Kaneb is a former Navy man. He graduated from Harvard in 1956, before joining the Navy, with a bachelor's degree in Economics. He acquired a controlling interest in Gulf Oil, tripled its sales to $4.5 billion, and got out of the business in 2005.

The Kaneb family acquired HP Hood in 1985.

It was almost happenstance that the family got into the dairy business, Kaneb said. The only way to grow the oil business was through acquisition, and with growth opportunities limited, they were sitting on excess capital that needed to be put to work. Hood was a great brand and as a native New Englander, Kaneb grew up drinking HP Hood milk. So did his children. But the company had fallen on hard times.

"(Hood) was a company with a great reputation and a great name," Kaneb said. "It was in some difficulty. In fact, a lot of difficulty. As we looked at we thought it might benefit from management that was highly motivated and with energy, et cetera. We thought we could bring some money to the table. We said, 'you know this isn't the business we know but it doesn't look like a complex business. It looks like a basic blocking and tackling business.' "

Since the acquisition, HP Hood has grown to $2 billion in annual sales and has opened new facilities around the Northeast and around the country, such as Virginia, California and Minnesota.

Hood’s portfolio includes its own brands and licensed products. The familiar names include Crowley Foods, Simply Smart Milk, Heluva Good!, Lactaid, Baileys Coffee Creamers, Hershey's Milk and Milkshakes, and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze.

When the Kaneb family took over Hood, they replaced much of the management, though they also identified some bright young talent, such as Blake, Kaneb said. Since then, Hood's executive team has been stable.

"(Blake) is certainly one of those stars who could take on more responsibility," Kaneb said. "We found those who had the skills that have helped us build the company into what it is today," Kaneb said. "It's really common sense, frankly, having a true partnership with your employees. If you want to put a motto on it, how we as owners look at the business and the employees, is that 'You take care of us, we take care of you.' Very simple."

Kaneb said he thinks that approach has been good for the company and it's what potential employees can expect in Batavia.

"You take care of us, we take care of you," Kaneb repeated when asked about company culture. "I mean, do your job and do it well and then you'll find the company will appreciate it and take care of you. We prize low turnover and we have low turnover, I would say, very low turnover, at every level."

As for the kind of corporate citizen Hood will be in Batavia, Kaneb said getting involved in the community is something Hood will strive to do, but the first order of business is getting the plant into production.

"First of all, get our business set up," Kaneb said. "We need to get to the level of employees we need to get going. I would call that, from my Navy days, as the shakedown period. Then we can be open to being a reasonably active corporate citizen. I don't think it's a great idea for us to do anything but get ourselves comfortable here, with the employees we need, and get our production going and so on. That should be our sole activity for the foreseeable future."

July 18, 2017 - 5:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, Excelsior Scholarship, education, news, batavia.

Press release:

Officials at Genesee Community College would like to remind local citizens that the deadline for the New York State Excelsior Scholarship Program is this Friday, July 21, with all applications for the 2017-2018 academic year due.

Qualified students interested in taking advantage of the program for the upcoming fall semester must:

  • Be residents of New York State;
  • Plan to attend a SUNY (or CUNY) two- or four-year degree program;
  • Maintain good academic standing;
  • Complete 30 credits per year and make timely progress toward graduation;
  • Be on track to graduate with an associate degree in two years or a bachelor's degree in four years.

To apply, new or returning college students must have copies of their 2015 New York State income tax return(s), current unofficial academic transcript showing credits earned each year, and the most recent financial aid package and/or 2017-2018 Student Aid Report (SAR) available will aid in the application process.

When fully implemented, the Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other aid programs, is expected to allow 200,000 students to attend a State University of New York (SUNY) college tuition free. Tuition-free college can begin this fall 2017 semester for students whose families make up to $100,000 annually and extend to those making $125,000 annually by 2019.

To apply for the Excelsior Scholarship or obtain further information, visit

Alternatively, the new Student Success Center at GCC's Batavia Campus is now OPEN! New students can also attend a START (Student Testing Advisement Registration Tuition) Day to take care of all of the necessary steps to gain admittance to GCC. Students can meet with one of the College's new success coaches who offer assistance every step of the way! Anyone in need of assistance filing for FAFSA should bring 2015 tax information.

START Days are scheduled every Monday and Wednesday through July 31, from 1 to 4 p.m. at all GCC campus locations. To schedule an appointment, call the Student Success Center at (585) 345-6805 or the campus location nearest to you.

The fall semester at GCC officially begins on Monday, Aug. 21! The full semester of courses runs for 16 weeks, and classes are available at all of GCC's seven campus locations, as well as online.

With GCC's extensive offering of class times and locations, students of all ages can pick the right time, day or place that meets their needs and suits their schedules.

To apply online for classes at any Genesee Community College campus location, students can go to the College's Admission Web page at or call the Admissions office at 585-345-6800.

July 18, 2017 - 2:00pm

O-AT-KA Milk Products -- don’t let the name fool you. When you walk through our 600,000-square-foot facility you won’t see a single jug of milk.

While we do make traditional dairy products such as evaporated milk, butter and powder, we’re also a huge player in the beverage industry. Our locally made products are shipped globally for the world’s largest beverage brands. We make great tasting dairy based beverages such as ready-to-drink coffee and protein drinks. And we do it all, right here in Batavia – research and development, procurement, manufacturing, packaging, distribution and more. 

Why should you want to work for us? Our roots run deep; we’ve been in business since 1959 and since then our growth has been unmatched in the area. As a premier employer in Western New York, we offer a safe work environment with exceptional benefits. Our culture is one of passion and continuous improvement; allowing us to provide talented, motivated employees opportunities to advance in a rewarding career. 

If you’re ready to become a valued member of a winning team, fill out your application today at

July 18, 2017 - 1:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia.

Press release from the City of Batavia Police Department:

On  Tuesday, July 18th, at approximately 1 a.m., officers responded to 318 E. Main St. for the report of a subject outside who had been assaulted.

Upon arrival, officers located a male victim who had a severe laceration to his upper arm, lying on the ground.

Officers rendered aid by applying a tourniquet to the victim until EMS arrived. 

The subject was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester with serious injuries.

Officers were able to obtain statements from witnesses and evidence that indicated the victim was stabbed by another male subject and beaten by at least one other person during the altercation.

It is not yet known how or why the altercation began and officers are currently interviewing witnesses and completing follow-up investigations.

The investigation into this incident is active with at least one person being interviewed at this time as a possible suspect.

The victim is listed in serious condition at Strong Memorial Hospital at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Batavia Police Department Detective Bureau at (585) 345-6350 or the Confidential Tip Line at (585) 345-6370.

Information can also be submitted via the Police Department website by clicking here.

Further information will be released as it becomes available.

July 18, 2017 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.


Blue Devils Head Coach Brennan Briggs has been leading a two-day summer football camp for young players in grades one through eight at Batavia High School. The camp features various offensive and defensive drills to help the kids learn football fundamentals.

Today winds up with a flag football game, pizza and a T-shirt for each participant.






UPDATE: Submitted group photo from the end of the camp



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NOW HIRING Maintenance Technician & Production Team Members

Do you love your job! O-AT-KA Milk Products is NOW HIRING Maintenance Technician & Production Team Members Competitive Pay! Specialized Training! GREAT Benefits! Career Development! O-AT-KA Milk Products Career Fair: Learn more about us and interview onsite! July 21st & 26th, 2017 4:00pm-6:00pm - 4815 Ellicott Street, Batavia NY 14020. Save time! Fill out your application in advance at

Large 2 bedroom completely remodeled

Large two bedroom apartment all on one floor. Completely remodeled with new flooring, all new paint and appliances included. This apartment was just built 6 months ago. It is available 9/1/2017 but showing now. Pathstone approved and cats are allowed. NO DOGS and NO SMOKING. Pathstone approved. It is in a very nice community located at 8510 Seven Springs Rd. Washer / Dryer is on site and security deposit is required. Rent is $725 per month includes plus electric. All other utilities are included (gas, water, hot water, trash, lawn mowing and snow removal).




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