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February 8, 2016 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, sports.

High school student-athletes interested in playing sports in college are invited to a discussion tonight in the library of Batavia High School starting at 6:30 p.m. The workshop is open to student-athletes grades eight through 12 and their parents and will provide information on NCAA rules and requirements, eligibility, scholarships and recruiting. Kelly Cruttenden, an associate athletic director at University at Buffalo, will lead the discussion.

February 8, 2016 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Pavilion, Le Roy.

Lionel J. Anderson Sr., 44, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Anderson allegedly tried to enter a residence on Dellinger Avenue at 10:55 p.m. Sunday after being told to leave. He allegedly pushed one of the residents. He was jailed on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond.  (UPDATE: Though the reported times are different, Det. Eric Hill confirms this arrest is related to this report last night).

Adrian P. Morris, 36, of South Street, Le Roy, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and inadequate headlights. Morris was stopped by Le Roy PD on West Main Street, Le Roy.

William J. Hixenbaugh, 26, of Le Roy, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hixenbaugh was allegedly involved in a fight in the Village of Le Roy on Friday.

Lisa M. Volk, 21, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Volk is accused of shoplifting at Walmart. She allegedly took $40 worth of nail polish.

Jessie Benedict Joy, 20, of Telephone Road, Pavilion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle, driving while using a mobile phone, driving left of pavement markings. Joy was stopped at 3:43 a.m. on Telephone Road, Pavilion, by Deputy Ryan Young.

Richard Andrew Germony, 30, of Wildwood Place, Buffalo, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. Germony is being held in the Genesee County Jail pending his next court appearance.

Andrew C. Webster, 22, of Gillete Road, Alexander, was arrested on a warrant for allegedly failure to comply with court-ordered treatment. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Kathryn M. Yark, 18, of Harlem Road, of West Seneca, is charged with criminal possession property, 5th, and unlawful possession of a personal ID, 3rd. Yark was arrested on a warrant and released back to a treatment program.

Jennifer L. Stack, 29, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Stack was allegedly involved in an incident Feb. 4 on West Main Street, Batavia, where she threatened another person and violated an order of protection. Stack was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Yolanda E. Johnson, 29, is charged with West Main Street Road, Batavia, turned herself in on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic citation.

Maggie S. Dipilato, 21, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief. Dipilato was arrested following an investigation into a domestic incident. Dipilato allegedly struck a male in his face damaging his eyeglasses. She was jailed on $500 bail.

Gerard H. Altenburg, 21, of Main Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and moving from lane unsafely. Altenburg was arrested following an investigation into a motor-vehicle accident on Gilmore Street, Pembroke, reported at 9:04 p.m. Friday. The accident was investigated by Deputy Ryan DeLong. Altenburg was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Robert C. Paris, 26, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and failure to stop at stop sign. Paris allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign on Redfield Parkway, Batavia, at 2:14 a.m. Saturday and was stopped by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Jacqueline Jane Kurcoba, 38, of Pittsford Mendon Road, Mendon, is charged with DWI and insufficient tail lamps. Kurcoba was stopped at 1:14 a.m. Sunday on Lewiston Road, Alabama, by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Kyle Lee-Maddison Michaels, 18, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Michaels allegedly refused to leave the BOCES campus on State Street Road, Batavia.

Ann Marie Schiegel, 38, of Porter Road, Medina, was arrested on a warrant stemming from two counts of petit larceny. Schiegel was jailed on $250 bail.

A 17-year-old resident of Byron is charged with unlawful surveillance, 2nd. The youth is accused of using a mobile phone to view a female victim in a woman's bathroom stall.

Coty Lee Kimmel, 22, of Alleghany Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a stolen property, 4th. Kimmel allegedly possessed a credit card belonging to another person without permission.

February 8, 2016 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

Troopers are dispatched to Kmart to investigate an individual in a black pickup truck who is at the side of the building loading wooden pallets into the vehicle.

The individual was told to stop and leave, but reportedly has stayed and continued to load pallets.

UPDATE 10:25 a.m.: The subject has left on Lewiston Road. He is described as a white male with a beard and glasses.

UPDATE 10:31 a.m.: It sounds like the person was located and the deputy is returning to Kmart. He said, "no charges."

February 7, 2016 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A caller believes as many as eight people are trying to break into her residence on Dellinger Avenue.

She reports at least some of them having baseball bats.

Batavia PD just arrived on scene.

A deputy reports some sort of "commotion" on the Walnut Street bridge.

A suspect may have left in a gold van.

UPDATE 9:06 p.m.: Police are searching for a suspect.

UPDATE 9:08 p.m.: A second suspect is described as a Jamaican and wearing a red T-shirt.

UPDATE: For a related arrest, see today's Law and Order.

February 7, 2016 - 3:00pm

The 20th Annual Betty Ellison Memorial “Strike Out” for Crossroads House Bowling Tournament will kick off Friday night, Feb. 12th, at 6 p.m. at the Mancuso Bowling Center. Rick Mancuso and Mike Sputore teamed up with organizers Cindy and Tara Lowder to make this the biggest tournament yet. This year we are offering an extra Friday night shift, live bands, more raffle prizes and as always at Mancuso’s, a top-notch bowling experience. 

The Betty Ellison Memorial Tournament is the oldest running annual fundraiser for Crossroads House. The first two tournaments took place before the house opened its doors in 1998 and was instrumental in funding the launch of this area’s only 24-hour comfort care home for the dying. 

Shifts are available: Friday Feb. 12th at 6 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 19th at 6 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 20, at 3 and 6 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 21st, at 1 p.m.

Five-person teams are $100. Registration forms are available at Crossroads House: 11 Liberty St., Mancuso Bowling Center: 214 E. Main St., or online at www.crossroadshouse.com where you can pay securely with PayPal.

In addition to the bowling will be live bands at T.F. Brown's. On Friday night, Feb.12th, M.A.C. will perform at T.F. Brown's starting at 10 p.m. and the following Friday the 19th, Savage Cabbage will play. Both bands will be available for a $2 cover charge with proceeds going to Crossroads House.

Sign up to bowl or just come out on either Friday night for great music, drinks and food.
For more information call Cindy (585) 993‐0584 or Tara (585) 409‐0136

February 7, 2016 - 12:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, Pavilion.

pavilionpanelfeb2016.jpg

A panel of legislators and an audience of school board members and administrators who gathered in Pavilion on Saturday morning all seemed to agree that cuts in state aid to schools, mandates, and a restrictive property tax cap are hurting school districts.

School districts are in financial dire straights and can't continue to tap into reserves to provide the same level of services to students and their families was the general message of the discussion.

"What we would like to see, because we know the property tax cap is so low, what we would like to see in the Senate Republican Caucus, is eliminate the GA (Gap Elimination Adjustment) fully this year and add to the Foundation Aid so that we can fund our schools," said Sen. Cathy Young, who represents Cattaraugus County and is chair of the State Senate's Finance Committee.

Gap Elimination Adjustments were a prime target during the panel discussion. The program is a product of 2010-11 fiscal year when state funds were tight and Foundation Aid was being cut. While the word "gap" might imply the program was meant to replace what was being lost in Foundation Aid, for most school districts in the state, the program just meant fewer dollars to fund programs.

For the region, GA has cost school districts more than $140 million over the past five years. For the current fiscal year, those school districts are underfunded, officials say, by $21,447,597.

Meanwhile, the complicated tax cap formula limits any increase in school district revenue to .12 percent.

David Little, executive director of NYS Rural Schools, said there are districts that a year ago didn't need a voter-approved tax cap override, but this year, with the exact same budget, will need to go to voters for approval.

Until 2010-11, school districts were kept on a level playing field across the state through Foundation Aid. It's a complex formula but accounts for publication, household income, district size and cost of living to arrive at the size of an annual grant to school districts to ensure they have enough operational revenue.

Over the past five years, as the figures above indicate, Foundation Aid has been slashed drastically, and GA hasn't closed the gap.

The issue of mandate relief was raised early in the discussion by Paul Alioto, superintendent in Dansville, and several of the panel members responded.

Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer said he was on a task force that came up with a list of 51 mandates that could be targeted for elimination, but as soon as you start to dig into them one-by-one, you find each has their constituency, people who will fight tooth and nail to keep it alive.

One of his pet mandates to eliminate is one that requires a third audit of district financial records. It costs districts from $10,000 to $100,000 annually and in Ranzenhofer's view, it's unnecessary. He was able to get a bill through that exempted the state's smallest school districts, but subsequent attempts to exempt more districts have been stymied.

"We have to be able to get (a reform) through both houses," Ranzenhofer said. "It seems like common sense to me, but there is somebody in the Assembly majority who feels it is a good idea to have these audits."

Young said mandates around special needs students are particularly contentious. Many of the mandates could be shifted to a federal budget responsibility, but at the local level, people fear change. At the local level, it's often easy to see how mandated spending on even one special needs child might lead to the elimination of an advanced placement class, which creates local conflicts, but it's difficult to shift expense responsibility to the federal government.

David Little said New York's funding formula is backward compared to just about every other state in the Union. In New York, the state picks up only about 40 percent of the cost of education; in other states, the school district is on the hook for less than 40 percent and the state covers the rest of the expense.

And that's something that could be fixed easily, Little said, at least in theory, though the politics of it are much more tricky. The state mandates a pension program that is state run, but the school districts pay into the program. If the state covered pension expense, Little said, that 40/60 split would flip. It would lift a huge expense burden from school districts.

Assemblyman Bill Nojay took aim at standardized testing. He said children need a broad range of experience and the ability to think critically. The system, he said, is forcing children at a younger and younger age into silos -- "you're going to be a doctor, you're going to be an engineer ... "

He said he was in China recently and their standardized testing is even more rigorous, and people there complain about it.

"For what purpose?" Nojay said. "No matter how good the standards, we are teaching to the test, for lack of a better term, and the obsession with testing, in my judgment, and the Chinese experience, it's not good for child development. It is immensely counterproductive to the development of a society."

Assemblyman Steve Hawley said the drift in education is being driven by a progressive agenda that is hurting America in a lot of ways, and he spoke at length about increases in the minimum wage and problems with the healthcare system.

He shared a story about a call from a restaurant owner who employs 27 servers. An increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour will cost that restaurant owner an additional $105,000 a year.

The owner also recently had a waitress and cook who fell in love and she became pregnant. The waitress did have health insurance, so the owner set her up with an appointment with a health insurance navigator. he waitress reported back that the good news was, she was going to get health insurance. The bad news was that in order to qualify, she couldn't work more than two days a week, and the child's father, a full-time cook at the restaurant, couldn't work more than three days a week.

"We've lost our way in this state with hands out instead of hands on, actually working," Hawley said. "This is not the America we grew up in. It's not the free enterprise system we all prospered under, or tried to prosper under, and that movement over the last seven years across this state is going the wrong way and it's hurting education."

February 7, 2016 - 10:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy.

The call initially came in as heavy black smoke coming from a vent at a residence at 111 Myrtle St., Le Roy, indicating a possible structure fire.

A first responder reported smoke coming from a vent for a heater and another reported smoke in the residence.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance dispatched. Bergen fire initially dispatched, but now told to stand down.

February 6, 2016 - 1:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.

Rancho Viejo, 12 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Traditional Mexican cuisine, from tacos and burritos to pollo norteno, Rancho Viejo brings a bit of "South of the Border" to Batavia's restaurant scene. We have a $10 gift card for $4.

Rochester Club West @ Bohn's, 5256 Clinton Street Road (Route 33), Batavia, NY 14020: Formerly Bohn's, the restaurant is now under new management with a new name. Enjoy fine dining in casual elegance amid beautiful dark woods and skylights. This ideal location centrally located to both Buffalo, Rochester and surrounding areas offers extensive menu selections, freshly prepared foods and quality service. Entrees include prime rib, Gateau of Crepes (vegetarian), seafood, steaks, chicken and pasta, heavenly desserts, full bar. Dinner is served Thursday 4 to 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday 4 to 10 p.m., & Sunday 4 to 8 p.m. The restaurant is also open on some major holidays such as New Year's Eve, Valentine’s Day, Easter Sunday Brunch, Mother's Day Brunch and others. Sunday Specials, and on Thursday Early Bird dining is available. Private parties may be scheduled anytime for any style event, including corporate events, conferences and business meetings, wedding receptions, rehearsals and showers, sports banquets, memorial events and all kinds of social events. Accommodating parties as small as 10 people and over 200 people, our experienced banquet and catering personnel are available to assist you in planning your event both on and off premises. Phone 344-1543. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Scooter's, 140 W. Main Street Road (Route 5), Le Roy, NY: Come see us at Scooter's family restaurant with our friendly atmosphere and homestyle cooking! We offer classic American food with breakfast, lunch and dinner served all day. We also offer a full take-out menu anytime. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

The Mane Attraction Salon and Spa99 Main St., Batavia, NY: offers "Affordable Luxury" in Downtown Batavia. We pride ourselves in the great customer service we give to the entire family. Men, women and children are all welcome either by appointment or walk-in. We offer all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, facials, leg and back waxing, Shellac Polish System, manicures and pedicures. We are the only salon in Batavia that has an airplane chair for kids' cuts! Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. We have a $20 gift certificate for $7.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $9.50.

Pastore's Pizzeria, 110 W. Main St., Le Roy (formerly Ficarella's), NY 14482: Since 1998, Pastore's has been serving fresh, hearth-baked pizzas and a wide variety of wings, subs, wraps, pasta, salads, as well as many finger foods. We would like to thank all of our loyal customers in Le Roy, Stafford, Caledonia, Pavilion, Bergen and surrounding towns in Genesee County, for making this our 16th year in business! We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's."  Stop in and check out our Jumbo Chicken Wings, Roast Beef on Weck and Friday night fish fry. The original family spaghetti sauce still adorns all of our Italian specialties. The other popular selections from our menu range from Super Salads, butcher cut Strip Loin and South of the Border items. We offer daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a full adult and children’s menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St. Batavia, NY: In Irish pubs, it doesn't get more authentic than O'Lacy's. Be sure to try the homemade chips. Their Reuben sandwich is a crowd favorite. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

John & Mary's Restaurant, 3711 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY: This popular restaurant offers a varied menu that people love. From subs, hoagies, hand-tossed pizza, and wings, to fish & chips, salads, Mexican food, gyros and other Greek fare, it's all here. Only the finest and freshest ingredients are used. Bread, using homemade dough, baked fresh daily. Amazing specialty pizzas and appetizers! "We never waver on quality!" Delivery available all day, every day. We offer catering. Hours 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

The Little Ridge, 107 Evans St., Batavia NY, 14020: The Little Ridge continues the long-standing history of fantastic food from Batavia's local favorite, Delavan's. Fine dining and family fare combine to offer the best of both. We offer Friday night Fish Fry, prime rib dinner on Saturdays, steaks, burgers, salads, and classic Italian dishes. Open Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Phone 815-5118. Take-outs available. Kids' menu. Weekly and daily lunch and dinner specials. On Saturday, breakfast is served from 9 to 11 a.m. Good food, good friends, good times! We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Fortune's Restaurant inside Batavia Downs, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY 14020: Italian-style menu, drinks in one of the region's most popular entertainment venues. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15. (Must be new or current Players Club member to redeem.)

Chap's Elba Diner, 5 S. Main St., Elba, NY 14058: Great food, excellent service in a friendly, family atmosphere await you at this small-town diner featuring breakfast, lunch, weekly specials and all-you-can-eat dinner options. Catering, too! Home of the Muck Plate and Mrs. Bennett's Ham Loaf. Other favorites include Steak Diane, San Francisco Chicken, genuine Hungarian goulash, All-American chicken 'n' biscuits, Friday fish fry. Soups are fresh and tasty. Hours are: Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Phone is 757-5001. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, 9 Main St., Le Roy, NY. The kind of downhome, laid-back and comfortable place that just feels right. Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, this eatery and bar features a variety of eats and drinks that are outstanding. Specializing in smoked meats -- each meat is dry rubbed with a proprietary mix of seasonings, then smoked slowly in their on-site smoker for maximum flavor and tenderness. With a variety of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, combo platters and entrées, there's always plenty of choice for even picky eaters. Great food, frosty brews and some of the best folk around call the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew their favorite -- make it your favorite today! Don't forget to ask about our catering! We have a $20 gift card for $9.50.

The Original Woody's Deli, 47 North St., Le Roy, NY 14482: It's all here at Woody's "The Corner Deli" -- Made-to-order, hand-battered chicken tenders, homemade cannolis and soups, specialty pizza, wraps, hot and cold subs, Mexican favorites, fresh salads, Garbage Plates, Kids' Menu, wings, catering, delivery. Hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 8 p.m. Stop by today! Or phone in your order 768-8585. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

LJ Nails Hands. Feet. Wax., 583 E. Main St., Batavia NY 14020: Pamper yourself with top-quality manicures, luxurious pedicures in massaging spa chairs, gel and acrylic nails and custom design work, waxing, and more in a safe environment with all equipment sanitized and clean. Gift certificates available. Hours are Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Sunday. Stop in, call 344-8888, or check us out on facebook @.https://www.facebook.com/ljnailsbatavia. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

RULES

[Last updated Feb. 6, 2016. Subject to change without notice.]

NOTE: A $1 PayPal service fee applies on items more than $10. The fee is 50 cents on items $10 and below.

The gift certificate must be used by within 30 days of purchase, unless it states otherwise. It is not valid with other offers, has no cash value, and does not include gratuities. Only one gift certificate per-merchant, per-household every SIX months. Gift certificates cannot be combined with other offers without prior approval of the merchant. Gift certificates bought separately cannot be combined for a single purchase. Individuals buying gift certificates must use their own personal PayPal account for the purchase. For hair and nail salons, good for services only, not products.

How to Win: Purchase using the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. After the first person to hit the "buy now" button completes the purchase, PayPal will let you know that the item has been sold. ***Most of the time, multiple gift certificates are available for sale per business, but you can only buy one per business, so just select the "Buy Now" button ONCE to avoid duplicate sales. Unless other arrangements are made immediately after purchase, the gift certificate will mailed to the winner at his or her PayPal-provided postal address within two or three days of purchase.

SOLD OUT

February 5, 2016 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, batavia, crime.
mug_danielkuczka16.jpg
     Daniel Kuczka

A 73-year-old man faces criminal charges following an incident during student mass at St. Joe's this morning, after the man allegedly took a student by his arm who was in line for Holy Communion and led him through it and then back to his seat in a pew.

Police did not indicate what the man's motivation might have been or what statements he may have made while inside the church, but said the man has no prior relationship with the church nor the student involved in the incident.

Daniel S. Kuczka, 73, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and criminal trespass, 3rd.

According to police, Kuczka entered the church during a private Mass for students of St. Joe's and Notre Dame. He made "inappropriate" comments to staff and was asked to leave.

During Communion, Kuczka reportedly returned to the Mass and grabbed a juvenile who was in line, saying, "Come with me."

Police were called and when patrols arrived, Kuczka was taken into custody without incident.

Police say that investigators found there was no attempt by Kuczka to remove the student from the service.

February 5, 2016 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, batavia, business.

dandebwbta75.jpg

Submitted story:

WBTA Radio, Genesee County's only locally owned commercial radio station, marks its 75th year of broadcasting this Saturday.

The station went on the air at 7 a.m.,  Thursday, Feb 6, 1941. It has been licensed as WBTA since its inception.

The first voice on the air was that of the “genial” Jerry Flynn who opened the program, “Rise and Shine,” according to an article published in the Daily News. Flynn became better known later as a sports announcer. The station's studios and offices were located on the second floor of 90 Main St. in Batavia where they remained until 1957.

WBTA studios moved several times over the years. Its next location was 22 Seaver Place, now the JCPenney store's loading dock. For several years the station occupied the second floor and later the first floor of 413 Main St. at the corner of Harvester Avenue. The station moved to 113 Main St. in 2004 when it was purchased by its present owner, HPL Communications, Inc., owned by Daniel and Debrah Fischer.

As the studios and offices moved, the station's transmission and tower site has remained on Creek Road in the Town of Batavia. In the early years, an engineer was required to be at the transmission site whenever the station was on the air. Technical improvements in the late 1950s allowed the station to be remote controlled from the studio.

The station was originally owned by three Batavia residents: Joseph Ryan, of Union Street; Edward P. Atwitter, of East Main Street and Edmund R. Gamble, of Vernon Avenue. Gamble also served as the general manager.

After the outbreak of World War II, several members of the station's staff left for military service including Gamble.

The next local owner of WBTA was William F. Brown. Brown was best known for his regular editorials on local issues. He won 16 Best Editorial awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association.

Brown expanded the station's news coverage, which was apparent in the 1971 coverage of the Attica Prison Revolt.

In February 2004, the Fischers' formed HPL Communications, purchased WBTA and moved to Genesee County.

New digital studios were built and WBTA moved to its present location at the corner of Main and Center streets, which became the name of the station's morning talk show, “Main & Center.”

From 1977 to 2000, WBTA operated an FM station that was licensed to Attica, NY. The station was sold and became WLOF, which beams Catholic programming into the Buffalo area.

Under HPL, the station launched another FM station in 2014. It is licensed under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) translator rules and allows WBTA to broadcast in stereo at 100.1 Mhz. The station also streams 100 percent of its programming on the Internet at WBTAi.com and via mobile devices with custom apps for Android and iPhone systems.

“We are proud of WBTA's legacy of service to Batavia and Genesee County,” Fischer said. "As a licensee of a broadcast station, we pledge to the FCC to 'serve the public interest, convenience and necessity as a public trustee.' ”

WBTA is known in the industry as a “heritage” station, Fischer added, “our listeners have grown up with us.” Over the years we have reported individual milestones: births, anniversaries and obituaries. In times of war, the station has reported on service of local men and women in uniform.

The station has broadcast hundreds of local sporting events and have followed area high school teams to regional and state championships. WBTA has been the broadcast voice of Batavia's professional baseball team, the Muckdogs.

Through affiliations with national news organizations such as ABC Radio, WBTA has provided coverage of the most notable events of the 20th and 21st centuries including the Pearl Harbor attack, the assassinations of the 1960s, wars in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East, the manned moon landing and the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Radio broadcasting has certainly undergone significant changes over the past 75 years and will continue to change and evolve over the next 75 years,” Fischer said, “but I believe its basic commitment to serving the public interest will never change.”

Photo by Howard Owens. Pictured, Dan and Debbie Fischer.

February 5, 2016 - 3:00pm

Our biggest sale of the year - 50-75% OFF - 4 Hours Only! Suits, sportcoats, slacks, shirts, ties, hats, caps, scarves, gloves, outerwear & more! 

February 5, 2016 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union, crime, batavia, business.

Press release:

Attention Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union Members: We have been made aware this morning, Friday, Feb. 5, that an automated call is being made to members and non-members saying that TVFCU needs their card information. This is a scam and you should hang up the phone immediately.

Please do not enter any information during these phone calls! TVFCU will never call and ask for your card number or any other private information. 

If you have given your card information during the phone call and you are a TVFCU member please call us at (585) 343-5627.  

If you are a non-TVFCU member please contact your own financial institution. 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Officials at the Le Roy Federal Credit Union contacted us to report many of their members are reporting the same scam. "We've been getting many calls and walk-ins from members stating that they have been receiving these calls as well. We also advise to NEVER give out card/account numbers over the phone. If they have questions, they may call us at (585) 768-7207," says Kimberly Antinore, Member Services, Le Roy Federal Credit Union.

February 5, 2016 - 10:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

CIty fire and Mercy EMS are dispatched to Oak Street and North Lyon for a woman in labor reportedly delivering a baby.

UPDATE 10:07 a.m.: A police officer on scene reports the baby has been delivered.

UPDATE 10:15 a.m.: "ER go ahead." "In route with a mother and baby -- delivered in the field -- baby's fine, mom's fine. We'll see you in 10." "You're clear."

UPDATE 10:27a.m.: Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack said the baby's father made the delivery prior to his arrival on scene. They are all at UMMC now.

February 5, 2016 - 5:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion.

A tractor-trailer is reported in a ditch off Ellicott Street Road and Starr Road, Pavilion.

Unknown injuries.

Pavilion fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 5:25 a.m.: No injuries and no fuel leaks.

UPDATE 5:26 a.m.: Mercy EMS in service. A chief on scene reports, "tractor-trailer on its side."

UPDATE 5:43 a.m.: Pavilion is back in service. A wrecker requested to the scene. The trailer contains 24,000 pounds of food product.

February 4, 2016 - 8:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien.

A person reportedly became trapped between two railroad cars at the railroad crossing at Fargo Road, Darien.

The person is reportedly conscious and alert. It's unknown if he's still entrapped.

Darien fire, Darien ambulance and Mercy EMS responding.

A chief requests that dispatchers check on the availability of Mercy Flight.

Corfu to stand by in quarters.

UPDATE 8:35 p.m.: Deputy on scene reports an oncoming train from the other tracks. Responding units advised to use caution.

UPDATE 8:42 p.m.: The original call from CSX said the subject was trapped between the last and second-to-last car. When firefighters arrived at that location, there was no person at that location. Further conversation with CSX indicates the original information received from CSX was incorrect. The person was never trapped. The train jolted and he was knocked down. The subject may now be in the locomotive's engine compartment. All personnel are accounted for at the engine. The subject is not injured and does not need any medical attention.

February 4, 2016 - 6:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today touted his support for volunteer and paid firefighters and emphasized the crucial role they play in communities across New York State. Hawley’s comments come after it was recently reported that volunteer firefighter groups save New York’s communities more than $3 billion statewide annually.

“Volunteer firefighters are one of the most necessary groups for preserving public safety in our communities,” Hawley said. “Their sacrifices and willingness to put themselves in dangerous situations at a moment’s notice is matched by very few. Running into a burning building when common sense tells you to run away speaks to their unbridled bravery and commitment to saving lives, no matter the cost.”

Hawley also spoke about ways to help support local fire departments, opportunities for citizens to become involved and serve their community, and his plans moving forward.

“With volunteer numbers decreasing as of late, we have an obligation to bolster local fire departments as much as possible and make the profession  attractive to young people. I’ve always been a supporter of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) and its tuition reimbursement opportunities, which allow young men and women to serve as volunteer firefighters in exchange for help paying for education. I will continue to support New York’s firefighter network and champion their causes in this year’s budget negotiations.”

February 4, 2016 - 6:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, washington avenue sewer.

The City will host an informational meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10, regarding the planned sewer reconstruction on Washington Avenue.

The project will go from Jefferson to Ross Street and include a small section on State Street north of Lewis Place. The project is scheduled for this summer and will replace the sewer line and include replacement of some water services. 

The "open house" meeting will be held in the Council Boardroom on the second floor at Batavia City Hall.

City staff will be available to review plans, discuss the project, listen to concerns and answer any questions you may have.

February 4, 2016 - 6:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Summit Street, batavia, public works, tree removal.

Press release from Matt Worth, director of the City's Department of Public Works:

The City has begun tree removal work on Summit Street in advance of the reconstruction project to be completed this summer.

This work will result in the removal of approximately 30 tree on Summit Street, which need to be removed as they conflict with new utilities, sidewalks or curb lines to be installed, or they are in a deteriorated condition.

This work may result in some short-term delays to the traveling public on Summit Street until the removals are complete, which is expected to take a couple of weeks.

The reconstruction of Summit Street includes the installation of approximately 60 new trees as part of the landscaping work to be completed as part of this project.

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