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December 22, 2015 - 11:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Pavilion.
   Cynthia Eggleston

The treasurer of the Parent Teachers Organization in Pavilion has been arrested, accused of stealing $40,406.10 from the group.

Cynthia R. Eggleston, 48, of Walker Road, Pavilion, is charged with third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony.

It's alleged that Eggleston began writing checks to herself and depositing them in her own bank account to spend the funds for personal use starting in September 2013, shortly after she became treasurer. She allegedly continued to siphon off funds for personal use until this month.

Eggleston has been relieved of her duties.

She was arraigned in Pavilion Town Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

The investigation was conducted by Investigator Kris Kautz, Sheriff's Office.

December 22, 2015 - 4:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in employment, jobs, business.

Genesee County's November unemployment percentage hit its lowest rate in nearly a decade, according to data released today by the Department of Labor.

The November rate was 4.6, which is better than the 5.1 rate a year ago, and better than the 8.5 rate at the height of the recession in 2009.

The rate in 2006 was 4.1 and it was 4.7 in 2007.

The October 2015 rate was 4.2. The November rate is traditionally higher than the October rate.

There are 200 more Genesee County residents employed in 2015 than a year ago, with 28,200 reportedly having jobs.

The GLOW region unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, compared to 5.6 percent a year ago.

There are 22,700 non-farm jobs in the county, compared to 22,900 a year ago and 23,200 in October.

December 22, 2015 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, law enforcement.


Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office was awarded reaccreditation of its law enforcement bureau by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services during the New York State Law Enforcement Agency Accreditation Council meeting in Albany on Dec. 17.

The Sheriff’s Office went through an extensive reaccreditation audit back in October and was found to be in compliance with the program’s 133 standards. An accredited law enforcement agency is reassessed every five years and must show they have been in compliance with the standards during that time period. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office received its initial accreditation in year 2000.

The Law Enforcement Accreditation Program provides agencies with a method for developing and adhering to the highest standards of professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness within the field of law enforcement and to provide formal recognition of that excellence. The Law Enforcement Accreditation Program is voluntary. Of the approximately 550 law enforcement agencies within New York State, approximately 145 agencies are accredited.

“This is a testament of the professionalism of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Gary T. Maha.

December 22, 2015 - 4:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia.

Press release:

City Manager Jason Molino today announced the immediate appointment of Capt. Dan Herberger to the position of Interim Fire Chief.

“Captain Herberger is well respected at all levels within our fire department and also in the local emergency services community,” Molino said. “I am grateful that Dan has accepted this important transitional responsibility and look forward to working with him.”

Capt. Herberger has served as a member of the City of Batavia Fire Department since 2002 and was appointed to his current position of Fourth Platoon Captain in September 2013.

“I am honored and humbled to serve the people of the City of Batavia in this capacity,” Herberger said. “I look forward to working with the talented and dedicated men and women of this department and appreciate the expressions of support and confidence as we move forward through this transition.”

Capt. Herberger will serve as Interim Chief until a permanent Chief is appointed, which Molino estimates will be sometime mid-Spring. 

The Batavian broke the news of Jim Maxwell's sudden retirement on Saturday.

December 22, 2015 - 4:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education.


Press release:

A standing-room-only audience of more than 200 filled the Elementary Cafetorium at Byron-Bergen Elementary School on Dec. 21 to hear the school’s kindergarteners greet the holiday season with music. The annual Holidays Around the World event is the culmination of the children’s study of world cultural diversity through understanding holiday customs. This year, the program featured songs and carols highlighting seasonal traditions from Germany, Mexico, Israel and England.

Teacher Melissa Chamberlain presented the program, introducing the students from her kindergarten class and the classes of fellow teachers Beth Amidon, Shana Feissner and Lori Simmons. Accompanist and former kindergarten teacher, Marsha MacConnell, who has been part of the proceedings for many years, played the piano. Dressed in their finest festive garb and wearing elf hats they made themselves, the children enthusiastically launched into their performance.

Songs included a demanding Spanish rendition of “Casca Bells,” “Oh Christmas Tree” from Germany, complete with dancing trees, and “Deck the Halls,” which celebrated the English tradition of caroling. The young performers also represented the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah with a version of “I’ve Been Lighting All the Candles.” Favorite songs were not forgotten: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Jingle Bells,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” were all part of the fun.

After the singing concluded, parents and students enjoyed punch and cookies, and had the opportunity to speak with hosts Principal Brian Meister and Assistant Principal Amanda Cook, along with the kindergarten teachers.




December 22, 2015 - 2:16pm


Driving around this time of year you can always find some wonderful displays of Christmas lights and figurines. Since the inception in 2011, Dean Brooks pictured above (family dog "Princess," daughter Mickayla, wife Jennifer and son Spencer) have made this a family activity that has grown over time.


The display at his home at starts getting assembled right after Thanksgiving and usually takes about a week or so depending on weather and family schedules.

"I first started with about 3,000 bulbs, a couple figurines but it has grown to over 7,000 lights and we have been transitioning to a LED display only," Dean said. "The LED lights are brighter, more brilliant of a color, more energy efficient and I can differentiate between those and the incandescent lights.

"The possibilities are huge because the LEDs can be changed to multiple colors."

A new item this year is “talking Rudolph” in the front of the house. The show runs on over an hour then loops back to the beginning through a computer-generated software program and FM transmitter that you can tune into 91.7 when you are in front of his home that the lights and music are synced to.


The plan next year is to expand the megatron tree to have words flashing across it plus much more. The viewing schedule can be found at his Web site

The family's address is 5671 E. Main Street Road, Batavia

Also a Facebook page here: Brooks Family Lights

December 22, 2015 - 11:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.
   Nick Hawkins

State Police have arrested a 32-year-old Le Roy man after he allegedly drove the car of an acquaintance intentionally into a tree, causing heavy front-end damage and airbag deployment.

Nick Hawkins was jailed on $1,500 bail and charged with petit larceny and criminal mischief. 

According to State Police, Hawkins was involved in a dispute with the acquaintance and he drove the person's car north on the driveway into the back yard and straight into a tree. 

Hawkins declined medical treatment for minor cuts and was transported to the Batavia Barracks for processing. 

Le Roy PD assisted at the scene.

December 22, 2015 - 11:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

A 62-year-old Batavia woman who served on a grand jury in a murder case has been charged with unlawful grand jury disclosure, a Class E felony.

She is accused of disclosing to an acquaintance the decision of the grand jury to indict a person in a homicide case before the indictment was officially filed and became a matter of public record.

Janice L. Mortellaro, of Buell Street, was on a grand jury that was seated Dec. 8.

The Sheriff's Office, which handled the arrest of Mortellaro, is not disclosing which case she allegedly shared information about.

The District Attorney's Office is currently handling two homicide cases, the Dec. 1 death of Norman D. "Don" Bell in Le Roy and the discovery of a dead infant in a home on Liberty Street in August.

In the death of Bell, a neighbor, Kyle G. Johnson was arraigned on a second-degree murder indictment Dec. 15. In the case of the infant's death, the baby's mother, Christina M. Colantonio, was originally arrested on a murder charge, but she was released from jail after an autopsy could not prove a live birth. A second autopsy was ordered and no indictment has been announced in that case. It's uncertain if that case has even been presented to a grand jury at this point.

Mortellaro was arraigned in City Court and issued an appearance ticket for 9 a.m., Jan. 5, to answer to the charge.

December 22, 2015 - 9:46am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, elba.


A house fire with smoke and flames showing is reported at 4478 Lockport Road in Elba. There is also a propane tank out front. The location is between North Byron and Quaker Hill roads. Elba Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding, along with mutual aid from Oakfield, Stafford, Bergen, Byron and South Byron.

UPDATE 9:47 a.m.: Lockport Road is being shut down at Quaker Hill Road and at Oak Orchard Road.

UPDATE 9:52 a.m.: Town of Batavia is requested to fill in at Elba's fire hall.

UPDATE 9:57 a.m.: National Grid is called to the scene.

UPDATE 10:14 a.m.: Fire is out. The chief says looks like the fire may have started in the living room. Beginning investigation. Mercy medics are back in service.

UPDATE 10:16 a.m.: Some mutual aid responders being put back in service.


December 21, 2015 - 8:43pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Orcon Industries, business.


Employees of Orcon Industires paused to wish America's veterans a Merry Christmas during the company's annual holiday party Friday at Batavia Downs.

Workers at the Le Roy company recently decided to donate their year-end bonus to the Liberty Fund, a North Carolina-based organization that provides all-terrain wheelchairs to wounded veterans. Orcon management matched the donation, allowing for the purchase of two wheelchairs.

News of the donation reached Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly — a major supporter of the Independence Fund — who thanked the Orcon team for their donation during an "O'Reilly Factor" broadcast last week.

(Submitted photo.)

December 21, 2015 - 4:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day.

NEW TODAY!  El Rincon Colombiano Restaurant, 4152 W. Main St. (in Valu Plaza), Batavia, NY 14020: Visit Colombia without ever leaving Batavia! Enjoy fresh, authentic, deliciously prepared Colombian-style steaks, seafood, specialty soups, plus an American menu. Take out available. Phone is 201-7602. Open for lunch and dinner Sunday through Friday. Closed Saturday. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $10.50.

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.

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.

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. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

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.

Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Rose Garden Bowl, 21 Buffalo Road, Bergen, NY: Open for lunch Monday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. Dinner favorites are our succulent prime rib and Friday fish fries! We are always happy to help plan your special occasion -- wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, stag party, graduation, company function, banquet, family or class reunion. We have a $20 gift certificate for $7.

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.)

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 @. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $12.

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.

Pudgie's Lawn & Garden Center, 3646 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Merry Christmas, last minute shoppers! Christmas trees -- your choice -- just $20. These are from the NY State Christmas Tree Growers Assoc. and as always are all hung indoors for your convenience! Also featuring beautifully decorated wreaths, nice, plush poinsettias, swags, greens, roping, centerpieces, and great unique gifts, including flashlights from NEBO. Stock up on houseplant care! This is Genesee County's ONLY "Master Nursery" Garden Center. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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.

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.

Byron Hotel & Trail House, 6874 Byron Holley Road, Byron, NY: Casual, friendly atmosphere centrally located in Byron offering a full menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, seafood, steak, and pasta. Lunch punch pass Monday -- Friday 11 a.m.  to 1 p.m.; Tuesday -- Trivia; Wednesday -- Clam & Wing Specials 6 to 10 p.m.; Friday -- Best Fish Fry around. Dining room available for private parties or corporate events. Patio open. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

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.

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 smokedv 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.

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.

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.

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.


[Last updated Oct. 5, 2015. Subject to change without notice.]

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December 21, 2015 - 2:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, BID, charles men's shop.

Press release:

The Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) would like to announce the winner of the Downtown Batavia Holiday Window Decorating Contest. It is Charles Men’s Shop, located at 200 E. Main St.

As the winner of the contest, Charles Men’s Shop will receive $200 as the prize for the best window. Second and third place were Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, and Art Ah La Carte, respectively.

The annual contest is a chance for downtown businesses to not only put their best foot forward in decorating their windows, it is also an opportunity for them to encourage people to come downtown and walk around, hence “More Feet Downtown.”

Ten judges, who are senior ladies, were driven by bus, which was provided through the Genesee County Office for the Aging. Anita Dziekan, of Batavia, coordinated the group and provided them with Santa hats and made the experience a very merry morning. The judges walked around the downtown and viewed 16 windows.

Even before the official judging today, Dec. 21, the judges also looked at the windows at night to see the displays lit up. The judges were impressed not only by the display, but also admitted that their window looks wonderful and inviting even at night.

The judges ranked the windows based on certain criteria, such as creativity, attracted a person to want to go inside, or if the content was related to their business, among other criteria. For example, the judges liked that Councilperson Rosemary Christian took the time to decorate one of the Carr’s vacant windows.

“Given the great weather, they were able to walk around a lot more and discuss the windows and what they saw downtown. It was very insightful to hear their comments,” said Laurie Oltramari, BID executive director.

“Walkability is my primary focus for the downtown. If people do not want to walk around, they will not stay or even come. It is a simple answer to a complex set of challenges.”

You can post on the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District Facebook page or contact Laurie Oltramari at (585) 344-0900 or e-mail [email protected] to share pictures or to ask questions about the contest. Please contact David Howe at Charles Men’s Shop at (585) 343-2086 to coordinate a time to take a picture of their windows!

December 21, 2015 - 2:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, elba, pembroke.

A 17-year-old resident of Porter Avenue, North Tonawanda, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unlawful possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under age 21 and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. The youth is accused of being the driver of a vehicle that struck a building in Elba. The youth allegedly fled the scene of the accident on foot and was located a short time later by a deputy. The incident, reported at 11:04 p.m., Friday, was investigated by Deputy Joseph Corona along with Deputy Howard Carlson and Sgt. Eric Seppala.

Jacklyn M. Ganzhorn, 28, of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Ganzhorn allegedly failed to appear in City Court on a charge of unlicensed operation, 3rd. After posting $500 bail, Ganzhorn was turned over to Attica PD on a warrant.

Earle D. Webb, 29, of Joseph Avenue, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and aggravated harassment, 2nd. Webb was arrrested by Batavia police as the result of an alleged incident reported at 11:42 a.m., Friday. 

Jordan J. Hardy, 26, of Sunset Parkway, Oakfield, is charged with two counts of sex offender failure to report change of, or changes to, Internet accounts. Hardy allegedly failed to report to Batavia two changes to his Internet accounts within 10 days of the change. He has a prior conviction and was arrested Oct. 26 on the same charge. He was jailed without bail.

Robert W. Blankenberg Jr., 31, of Union Street, Batavia. Blankenberg was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, charge. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Johnny L. Shannon, 57, of Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and driving while ability impaired by drugs. Shannon was arrested following complaint of erratic operation at 7:47 a.m. Dec. 12 on East Main Street, Batavia, and an investigation by officers Kevin DeFelice and Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Justin Gabriel Sepi, 28, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Sepi was charged following a traffic stop at 10:25 p.m. Saturday on West Main Street, Batavia, by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Dylan James Perry, 24, of Kingsbury Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Perry was allegedly found in possession of metal knuckles and marijuana during roadside contact with law enforcement at 2:31 a.m. Friday on Main Road, Pembroke. He was arrested by Deputy Joseph Corona and jailed without bail.

December 21, 2015 - 1:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Troop A, batavia, NYSP, State Police.


Press release:

Major Steven A. Nigrelli is the new Troop A commander. He is a 25-year-veteran of the New York State Police, starting his career in 1990, serving as a uniform Trooper in Troop D in Central New York until he was assigned to the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) in 1994.

Nigrelli was assigned to CNET in both Western and Central New York (CNET). Nigrelli worked undercover for more than five years in the State Police’s CNET. Nigrelli then was promoted to sergeant and investigator in 1999, and was assigned to Troop A Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

In 2003 while in Troop A, he received his promotion to lieutenant and was assigned to supervise Troop A's BCI.

In March of 2007, Nigrelli was promoted to captain, accepting an assignment as the Troop A Zone III Commander at SP Jamestown. In 2008, he was reassigned as the Troop A Zone II Commander at SP Clarence. As a Zone Commander, Nigrelli was responsible for overseeing all Uniform operations in his zone.

In 2012, Nigrelli was promoted to BCI Captain for Troop A at Troop A Headquarters in Batavia.

Throughout his career, Captain Nigrelli has had the opportunity to work on several high-profile cases, including numerous homicides, Ralph “Bucky” Phillips manhunt, Bike Path Rapist/Killer Task Force, and he served as the scene commander for the investigation of the crash of Continental Flight #3407.

As the Troop A Commander, Nigrelli will oversee the State Police operations in the eight counties of Western New York. Under his command will be more than 400 civilian and sworn personnel.

Major Nigrelli has been committed to community service and volunteerism throughout his State Police career. He has dedicated his time and energy to volunteering for Special Olympics and currently sits as both the New York State Torch Run director and International Executive Council Board of Directors for Special Olympics. These organizations are dedicated to raising both funds and awareness for Special Olympics, which is comprised of children and adults with individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Prior to joining the State Police, Major Nigrelli briefly served as member of the Buffalo Housing Police and earned a bachelor's degree from Buffalo State College.

December 21, 2015 - 1:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports.


Three members of Batavia's Section V championship team were honored with All-Greater-Rochester selections, including Dom Mogavero (above), who was named as a linebacker.

Second team honors went to QB Greg Mruczek and WR Ryan Hogan.

On defense this season, Mogavero had 125 tackles, four forced fumbles, a sack, an interception and one defensive TD. (He also rushed for 1,127 yards and scored 15 TDs.)

Mruczek (second picture) set several school records this season, including passing yards, touchdowns and total offensive yards. He completed 117 passes in 183 attempts for 2,101 yards and 32 TDs. He also carried the ball 39 times for 248 yards and two TDs, giving him 34 total touchdowns and 2,349 total yards. He's also the BHS career leader in passing yards (4,294), passing touchdowns (59), total yards of offensive (4,883) and total touchdowns (65).

Hogan (third picture)  had 31 catches for 707 yards in 2015. His 14 TDs are a school record and fourth all-time in Section V.



Other Genesee County football players honored:

  • Noah Dobbertin (Batavia)
  • Anthony Gallo (Batavia)
  • Ray Leach (Batavia)
  • Addison Pitcher (Batavia)
  • Trevor Sherwood (Batavia)
  • Danny Williams (Batavia)
  • Nick Egeling (Le Roy)
  • Luke Hogle (Le Roy)
  • Josh Laurie (Le Roy)
  • Anthony Natrigo (Le Roy)
  • Allen Chatt (Oakfield-Alabama)
  • Richard Flores (Elba/Byron-Bergen)
  • Andrew Gottler (Elba/Byron-Bergen)
  • Dane Heberlein (Alexander)
  • John Hochmuth (Elba/Byron-Bergen)
  • Josh Hylkema (Alexander)
  • Riley Kusmierski (Alexander)
  • Thomas Lambert (Elba/Byron-Bergen)
  • Ethan Osborne (Notre Dame)
  • Dustin Schmeider (Alexander)
  • Ismile Smith (Oakfield-Alabama)
  • C.J. Suozzi (Notre Dame)
  • Jack Sutherland (Notre Dame)
  • Jack Thomas (Pembroke)
  • Dakota Weidman (Notre Dame)
  • Zach Von Kramer (Pembroke)
  • Adam Walter (Elba/Byron-Bergen)
  • Joe Weatherwax (Notre Dame)
  • Reice Woodward (Oakfield-Alabama)
  • Jacob Wozniak (Alexander)

Boys Cross Country

  • Thomas Berggren (Notre Dame)
  • Anderson Bradshaw (Alexander)
  • Nathaniel DiSalvo (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba)
  • Jacob Gualtieri (Notre Dame)
  • Justin Hannan (Byron-Bergen)
  • Josh Larmon (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba)
  • Maxim McKenzie (Le Roy)
  • Cole O'Donnell (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba)
  • Henry Pflaumer (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba)
  • Joseph Yaeger (Alexander)
  • Trevor Zauner (Alexander)

Boys Soccer

  • Kieran O'Halloran (Le Roy)
  • Nicholas Richardson (Le Roy)
  • Mason Muoio (Byron-Bergen)
  • Ryan Richardson (Byron-Bergen)
  • Alejandro Ocampo (Byron-Bergen)
  • Matt Foeller (Byron-Bergen)
  • Ryan Curtis (Pembroke)
  • Ryan Cansdale (Pembroke)

Girls Cross Country

  • Siomara Caballero (Byron-Bergen)
  • McKenna Cone (Le Roy)
  • Emily Dyson (Pembroke)
  • Emily Gonyea (Byron-Bergen)
  • Morgan Munger (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba)

Girls Soccer

  • Leah Thompson (Byron-Bergen)
  • Kelsey Maurer (Byron-Bergen)
  • Sarah Zakes (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba)
  • Stephany McBride (Alexander)
  • Callie McCulley (Notre Dame)
  • Grace Krizen (Pembroke)
  • Quinn Audsley (Pembroke)
  • Olivia Audsley (Byron-Bergen)
  • Hannah Duttweiler (Pembroke)
  • Jenna Amesbury (Byron-Bergen)
  • Jayna Wright (Alexander)
  • Jennifer Yuhnke (Pavilion)

Girls Swimming

  • Maiya Reinhart (Batavia)

Girls Tennis

  • Stephanie Hoy (Batavia)
  • Melissa Mountain (Batavia)
  • Lea Morgan (Batavia)
  • Ariana Ross (Batavia)
  • Alicia Scroger (Batavia)
  • Lauren Leone (Batavia)


  • Lydia Milligan (Pavilion)
  • Taylor Sherman (Le Roy)
  • Ava Vescovi (Le Roy)
  • Riley Pasquale (Le Roy)
  • Naomi Hyde (Le Roy)
  • Breton Stephens (Alexander)
  • Aralyse Johnson (Pembroke)
  • Sami Quaranto (Pembroke)
  • Shea Norton (Notre Dame)
  • Mary Kate Miceli (Notre Dame)
  • Nichol Salvador (Notre Dame)
  • Bryanna D’Agostino (Byron-Bergen)
  • Lauren Burke (Byron-Bergen)
  • Cora Ivison (Byron-Bergen)
December 21, 2015 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, Christmas.

Jess Colopy is a journalism student Columbia College Chicago and as a class project she produced this photo essay comparing Christmas in her hometown with her college town, Oakfield and Chicago. 


Chicago: Millennium Park’s Christmas Tree, viewed by millions of visitors every year. The 64-foot-tall tree was lit during a massive ceremony on Nov. 24, where the cast of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and members of the Chicago Opera performed Christmas carols to the crowd of thousands.


Oakfield: (Photo courtesy of Jan Colopy.) Roughly 50 six- to seven-foot trees border Oakfield’s Triangle Park. The trees were lit on Dec. 5 in a ceremony that about 100 people were expected to attend. The trees were purchased by non-for-profits, family businesses, and families wishing to memorialize a lost loved one. 


Chicago: Wreaths and presents adorn The Art Institute of Chicago’s giant bronze lion statues on Michigan Avenue. The lions stand larger than life, towering over visitors who stand next to them for photographs.


Oakfield: (Photo courtesy of Jan Colopy.)  Small, lit wreaths adorn the Village of Oakfield Office building on Main Street. The office is conveniently located next to the town’s only traffic light, part of which is visible on the right. “Welcome” banners sporting a Christmas tree also hang off of the old-fashioned streetlights.


Chicago: The Prudential building and other skyscrapers light up red and green for the holiday season. Other buildings such as the Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center are also well known for lighting up the Chicago skyline for Christmas.


Oakfield: (Photo courtesy of Jan Colopy.)  A piece of watering equipment on a family farm on the outskirts of Oakfield is decked out in lights for Christmas. This is a recent tradition among farmers in the rural village.

For my photo essay, I have chosen to explore the differences between Christmas in Chicago, an urban metropolis, and Oakfield, New York, my rural hometown of less than 1800 people. I thought this would be an appropriate topic for myself specifically because this year is my first Christmas in the city, and I started noticing the differences as soon as the decorations started going up and the Christmas sales began. After some research, I realized that not much has been done on the topic. An article by the Harris County Public Library cites the movies that explore the difference between small town and big city Christmases -- you know, the ones where the tough, big-city businessman too wrapped up in his work meets the small-town girl who finds a way to break into his tough heart and get him in the holiday spirit -- but those movies are all I can really find on the topic.

Obviously, my photo essay will be different because it shows what Christmas in a real small town is like compared to what Christmas is actually like in a big city. Both places are cold and generally snowy, but the atmosphere is completely different. Articles on the Christmas festivities in each individual place prove that. The City of Chicago’s Web site’s event page for the Millennium Park Christmas Tree lighting lists the big name opera star and musical cast that will be headlining the event, as well as the information about the original home of the massive tree to be lit in the park. Thousands of people attended. On the other hand, an article from the Batavia Daily News discusses the meaning of the small, hand-decorated trees that memorialize lost loved ones and special non-for-profit causes in Oakfield’s Triangle Park. A marching band information Web site states that Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Lights Parade draws more than one million spectators with its elaborate floats and familiar Disney characters. The Batavia Daily News states that a Christmas parade in Batavia - -a small city with a population of less than 7,000 about 15 minutes from Oakfield -- drew just over 1,000 people from surrounding towns with its floats from local family businesses, churches, and non-for-profits.

Everything is bigger in Chicago, while everything in Oakfield is more humbly done, but generally more personal. There are certainly advantages to each way of celebrating Christmas, but maybe the two are not as different as they seem. At heart, both places simply want to make the holiday season a fun, memorable time for its citizens, and each place’s respective celebrations simply reflect the atmosphere they are held in. Chicago is home to more than three million people, so its “bigger is better” attitude about the holiday is nothing but what one would expect. Oakfield is a quiet, conservative town, and its simple, heartfelt festivities that focus on giving back to the community suit it perfectly. And, honestly, neither place is wrong, despite what biased holiday movies might try to say about the impersonal aspects of big city Christmas, or the boringness of small towns. Though they may be different, they both focus on what is important: the spirit of the season.

December 20, 2015 - 1:31am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

A house fire is reported at 5 Thomas Ave. 

City firefighters are responding.

UPDATE 1:49 a.m.: No smoke or flames showing, although there was a fire at this apartment building, which has been evacuated. Firefighters are dismantling a portion of the front porch looking for any extention.

UPDATE 2:05 a.m.: There were flames showing when firefighters arrived on scene. Ten residents were evacuated by firefighters, including an infant who was carried from an apartment by a firefighter. Some of the residents were taken in by neighbors, others were still outside watching. The cause is under investigation. It will be up to a city building inspector to determine whether the residents can return to their apartments tonight.



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