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April 26, 2016 - 9:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron-bergen, news.

mickeyedwardsapril2016.jpgPress release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District’s Board of Education has named Mickey Edwards as the district’s next Superintendent. Edwards’ start date is July 1.

“The search process was rigorous and the Board of Education truly values the input we received from the various stakeholder groups, including staff, and community members who met with the candidates to help us make a final decision,” said Board President Debi List.

“With his dedication, enthusiasm, and professional background, along with a deep understanding of many aspects of educational leadership, our board feels that Mr. Edwards is an excellent fit for the students, faculty and staff of the district."

Edwards currently serves as the superintendent of Wyoming Central Schools located in Wyoming, NY. Previously, he served as the coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction for Orleans/Niagara BOCES, a position he held from 2009 until 2014.

Edwards began teaching in 1995 as an art teacher for the Hilton Central School District. In 1996, he began teaching at Albion Central Schools as an Art/Technology instructor. He continued his career at Albion Central Schools serving as the elementary school dean of students, middle school assistant principal and high school principal. Edwards is a veteran of the Marine Corp.

Edwards earned a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Roberts Wesleyan College, and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from The College at Brockport. He holds a School District Administrator certificate from The College at Brockport.

“I am very excited to join the Byron-Bergen Central School District team and meet the staff, students, and the community members of Byron and Bergen. Byron-Bergen Central School District should be proud of its many accomplishments and strengths. I look forward to continuing this tradition of excellence as we work together to ensure that our students are successful and prepared for tomorrow,” Edwards said.

Kevin MacDonald, district superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, acted as search consultant. MacDonald said the Board developed and implemented a process that helped to determine the best candidate.

“Mr. Edwards understands the challenges and issues the districts in our region face. His breadth of experience, and educational leadership will greatly benefit this district as he works with the Board of Education, staff and community to provide a quality education for the children of this community,” MacDonald said.

April 26, 2016 - 7:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, thruway, pembroke.

A car vs. truck accident is reported at mile marker 404 of the Thruway. That's in Pembroke.

A chief on scene reports one minor head injury.

Indian Falls fire and Pembroke fire responding along with Mercy EMS.

April 25, 2016 - 6:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire, news.

A bedroom fire is reported in a residence at 189 S. Main St. City fire is responding. A neighbor called dispatch and said her neighbor yelled her bedroom was on fire. A first responder reports smoke is showing. Fire police are to shut down South Main at River Street.

UPDATE 6:06 p.m.: The call has gone to a second alarm. It is a working structure fire. Alexander's FAST team is called in, along with Darien's rescue unit. Town of Batavia Fire Department is asked to stand by in quarters.

UPDATE 6:12 p.m.: Mercy medics are called in. National Grid is notified -- No ETA.

UPDATE 6:13 p.m.: All off-duty personnel called to headquarters. National Fuel is notified; one of the natural gas sources could not be shut off -- ETA less than 30 minutes. Command reports fire is knocked down.

April 25, 2016 - 5:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A two-car accident is reported at 3310 W. Main Street Road, just west of Wortendyke Road. A person suffered a minor back injury. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medics.

UPDATE: A female was transported to UMMC with back pain.

April 25, 2016 - 4:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, news, Elba Central School.

Members of the Class of 1966 will be celebrating their 50th class reunion on June 4.

Submitted photo and press release:

The third annual Elba Central School Alumni Reunion will be held starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Elba Fire Department Recreation Hall. Anyone who went to ECS is invited, you need not have graduated to attend.

Tickets should be purchased in advance and are $30 per person. Dinner will be buffet style, preceded by appetizers and punch. A cash bar will be available.

Reservation forms are available at several locations in Elba or may be requested by calling 343-7086.

April 25, 2016 - 4:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Vibrant Batavia, batavia, news.

The Batavia City Council will be asked tonight to reaffirm its five-year commitment to community improvement during a discussion about continued funding of Vibrant Batavia.

Vibrant Batavia grew out of the City's Community Improvement Plan, approved by the council in 2012.

The plan was to undertake a series of initiatives aimed at creating stronger neighborhoods, "reenergizing the sense of pride that defined Batavia for so many years, yet which has, to a certain extent, become dormant," City Manager Jason Molino wrote in a memo to council in advance of tonight's meeting.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The proposed funding for the next two years of activities:

  • $25,000 committed by council for current fiscal year
  • $24,000 remaining from prior year appropriations
  • $33,000 received from the auction of house at 109 Walnut St.
  • $15,000 Community Development Block Grant funds from the Healthy Blocks initiative for low- and moderate-income areas.

The remaining two years of the Vibrant Batavia plan would include hiring a new coordinator, neighborhood initiatives for Summit Street, an open house with an architect on best practices for home improvements, more neighborhood initiatives in the second year, coffee talks, publication of positive stories about Batavia, a community-wide yard sale, support for neighborhood groups, and landlord and homeowner workshops.

Over the first three years of Vibrant Batavia, it received local resident and business support and more than $135,000 in donations, mostly for the Centennial celebration, and more than $50,000 in revenue from the publication "Vibrant Times."

Molino lists 15 accomplishments for Vibrant Batavia, including bringing community groups together, five coffee talks in which 50 residents attended, more than a dozen neighborhood activities, the Centennial celebration, a bike rack project, a community-wide yard sale and publication of "Vibrant Times."

April 25, 2016 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement recognizing United States Navy Veteran, Kenneth A. Dehm, of Batavia, as New York 27th Congressional District’s April "Veteran of the Month." The "Veteran of the Month" is a new program established by Congressman Collins’ office to recognize the dedication and service of NY-27’s veterans.

“I was honored to have the opportunity to meet with Ken and his family and hear him share memories of his time in the service,” Congressman Collins said. “To have so many of Ken’s family members and friends in attendance to see Ken receive this honor was truly special.

"We are all very grateful for his service. My office will continue to recognize a local ‘Veteran of the Month’ as a small thank you to the thousands of Western New York veterans who have selflessly served our country.”

Kenneth Dehm served in the United States Navy from 1942-1946. During his years of service, Kenneth served aboard the U.S.S. Barnegat. Congressman Collins joined Ken’s children, grandchildren and other family and friends at a ceremony where he presented Kenneth with a Congressional Certificate of Commendation and a flag flown over the United States Capitol Building.

Mr. Dehm was presented this recognition at a ceremony at the Glenn S. Loomis VFW Post 332 on Saturday, April 23rd. A certificate from Assemblyman Steve Hawley was also presented at the ceremony.

Each month, Congressman Chris Collins will recognize a local "Veteran of the Month" with an American flag that was flown over the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., and a Congressional Commendation Certificate.

April 25, 2016 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mr. Batavia, Batavia HS, news, batavia.

mrbatchecksapril2016.jpg

The winners of last week's Mr. Batavia contest at Batavia High School presented their checks to the charities of their choices today in the school's library.

Above, Mr. Batavia Ross Chua presents a check for $2,055 to his father, Dave Chua. Dave is with the Batavia Kiwanis Club and leads the club's 5K team, which raises funds for research into autism.

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Micheal Hughes, one of two second-place finishers, presented a check for $1,020 to Jaylene Smith-Kilner and Jessica Maguire Tomidy for Habitat for Humanity.

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Dwayne Fonda presented his check to Chuck Marra, with the American Red Cross.

April 25, 2016 - 1:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in First Responders, sports, batavia, news.

Submitted photo and press release:

A mixed group of local First Responders participated in the premiere Police and Fire Hockey Tournament last Friday and Saturday at the Harborcenter in Downtown Buffalo.

The event featured 12 teams composed of police officers and firefighters. Participating organizations included Buffalo police, Buffalo fire, Niagara Falls police, Niagara Falls fire, Niagara County Sheriff's deputies, Town of Tonawanda police, Genesee County Sheriffs deputies, Batavia police, Batavia fire, Lackawanna police, Lackawanna fire, NY State Department of Corrections, and Hamilton (ON) fire.

Team members included: front, (from left) Dave Tran -- Town of Batavia Fire Department; Kevin Czora -- Batavia Police Department; Ryan Whitcombe -- City of Batavia Fire Department; Pete Welker -- Genesee County Sheriff's Department; Back (L-R) Stephen Cronmiller -- Batavia Police Department; James Diehl -- Genesee County Sheriff's Department; Matt Lutey -- Batavia Police Department; Jeff Whitcombe -- City of Batavia Fire Department; C.J. Lindsay -- Batavia Police Department; Arick Perkins -- Batavia Police Department; Russ Borden -- Town of Batavia Fire Department; Paul Dibble -- Town of Batavia Fire Department; Connor Wilkes -- Town of Batavia Fire Department; and Dan Coffey -- Batavia Police Department/CBFD.

April 25, 2016 - 12:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, batavia, news.
The Holland Land Office Museum and the Daughters of the American Civil War are hosting a Victorian Tea with a "Gay '90s" theme. They will be celebrating the 1890s with live barbershop music, delicious treats and a presentation by museum Director Jeffrey Fischer.
 
This will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the museum, 131 W. Main St. on Saturday, May 7th. Cost is $20 per person with limited seating up to 45 people. Phone 343-4727.
 
Call the museum to make a reservation or for more information by May 5th. You will get to see a display of period clothing which will be on exhibit during the month of May.
 
Period clothing is welcome, but not required. Everyone is welcome.  A nice time for mothers, daughters, sisters and friends to enjoy Mother's Day.
April 25, 2016 - 12:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in robbins nest, Le Roy, planning, land use, news.

Thwarted once, local businessman and developer Pete McQuillen is kicking the tires of an idea to revive his Robbins Nest housing neighborhood on the south end of the Village of Le Roy.

McQuillen started pursuing the project in about 2010, thought he had the necessary approvals to move forward, then a lawsuit forced him to go back to the village board for approval of the necessary zoning change.

At a September 2012 meeting, McQuillen learned that two village board members -- Bob Taylor and Mike Tucci -- would not vote on the resolution because they felt they had a conflict of interest.

Taylor's nephew is Steve Barbeau and Tucci worked for Tompkins Insurance under the supervision of David Boyce. Barbeau, the Town of Le Roy supervisor, and Boyce, were leads in the lawsuit against McQuillen.

The two men are neighbors in a neighborhood known as Presidential Acres, which abuts McQuillen's property he would like to convert into Robbins Nest.

At the time, McQuillen's plan was to build 26 homes on 13.1 acres east of Robbins Road and south of Fillmore Street, with prices ranging from $130,000 to $160,000, and sold as part of a planned community to seniors.

In order to move forward, he needed approval for a Planned Unit Development (PUD), which requires a zoning change, which requires approvals from the Zoning Board of Appeals (then a joint agency of the town and the village), the village board and the County Planning Board.

He got all of those approvals once, but then the lawsuit voided the village vote and without Taylor and Tucci willing to say yes or no, the board couldn't proceed and McQuillen had to drop his plan.

Now Tucci is off the board, so at a meeting April 13, McQuillen asked during public comments if he revived his plan, would the village board at least vote on it (he didn't ask whether they would approve it). Mayor Greg Rogers polled each board member and all said they would vote on it, if a proposal was brought to them.

Reached today, McQuillen said he is merely exploring the idea of reviving Robbins Nest at this time. Going to the village board was just the first step. He also wants to see how the county might respond.  

Rogers said he was surprised by McQuillen's request. Robbins Nest wasn't an item on the agenda. McQuillen just showed up and asked his question and that's all it was, Rogers said.

We reached out to Barbeau and Boyce for comment. We've yet to get a response from Barbeau; and Boyce declined to comment.

Boyce is one of several plaintiffs, all Presidential Acres residents, in another lawsuit with McQuillen as one of the defendants. The lawsuit is over several duplexes built on the west side of Presidential Acres, which the plaintiffs claim violates the subdivision plan. 

That lawsuit, filed in 2014, is scheduled to go to trial next week.

If you've read this far and the history of this development doesn't seem like enough of a twisted path yet, the history also includes Barbeau being arrested after an altercation with McQuillen over a barn McQuillen built close to Barbeau's property line. Also part of the history, Rogers took responsibility for allowing the village to pave a road owned by McQuillen at the time.

McQuillen said the next step for him to is to go the county to see what kind of response he might get, but County Planning Director Felipe A. Oltramari said there is nothing barring McQuillen from getting the paperwork started with the village. It would be up to the village to submit a request for consideration by the County Planning Board on the zoning change.

It isn't unusual for rejected or stalled proposals to come back up for reconsideration, Oltramari said.

"It often happens that applicants will come back a few months for few years later, depending on how political the issue was," Oltramari said.

UPDATE 8:56 p.m.: Earlier this evening, Steve Barbeau​ responded to our request for a comment.  Here is his statement: "There were and are numerous legal, practical, and ethical reasons why the property in question should not be rezoned."

April 25, 2016 - 12:15pm

439april2016.jpg

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is busy planning their two biggest fundraisers. Co-directors Mark and Laurie Napoleone created the foundation in memory of their son, Michael, who passed away from Burkitt’s Lymphoma in 2006.

The Foundation was started in 2007, and its mission is to Lend a Hand for Hope to assist families with the challenges of a pediatric cancer diagnosis throughout the Western New York area, support research efforts in the area of childhood cancers, and provide assistance to youth activities and programs.

To date the Foundation has: Assisted 290 families and given over $220,000 in support, contributed $56,000 to Pediatric Cancer Research, donated $38,000 to youth sports/organizations, and  pledged $50,000 to the new Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester.

First -- it’s "Off to the Races" as the foundation prepares for its Derby Day Gala 2016, a fundraising event held in conjunction with the running of the 142nd Kentucky Derby. It is held from 3 to 9 p.m. on May 7 at Terry Hills Golf Course and Banquet Facility in Batavia. Admission is $75 per person and there are  $1500, $2500, or $5,000 Sponsorships available.

Ticket includes hors d’oeuvres, grazing stations, an amazing dessert table, beer, wine and soda, a professional photo, live music by Dave Stoll, and a randomly selected gaming ticket for the Kentucky Derby. Live and silent auctions will be held and awards given for best Derby Hat and Best Derby Attire. For more information, go to www.michaelshope.org or call 585-861-0550. 

Next -- we are moving to the baseball diamond as the Foundation hosts an annual Memorial Day Baseball Tournament, May 27, 28 and 29th. The tournament hosts teams from the Western New York region with the following age brackets: 8 & under ( $100 fee), 10 & under ($350 fee), and 12 & under ($350 fee). For more information, contact [email protected] or call 585-861-0550.

If interested in learning more about the Foundation’s events or if you would like to Lend a Hand for Hope, please go to our Web site www.michaelshope.org, or call 585-861-0551.

April 25, 2016 - 12:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, genesee county, scam, news.

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office would like the residents of Genesee County to be aware of a scam that is going around. The Sheriff's Office has received complaints where residents attempting to purchase motor vehicles on Craigslist are being asked to pay for these items with iTunes gift cards.

The transaction process is through a fraudulent Apple Pay account that the suspect sets up for the victim. The victim then purchases the gift cards and is required to contact a fraudulent 1-800 number and give the suspect the redemption codes on the back of the iTunes gift cards before they'll ship the vehicle.

The suspect never delivers the vehicle and the iTunes gift cards are redeemed by the suspect.

If anyone encounters this type of scenario, please do not move forward with payment and contact the Sheriff's Office at 585-343-5000.

April 25, 2016 - 11:58am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy, batavia, news.

Aaron Christopher Lyons, 19, of East Main Road, Le Roy, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs, first offense; driving while intoxicated, first offense; failure to stop at a stop sign; speeding in excess of 55 mph; and unlawful possession of marijuana. The defendant allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign and was speeding on Main Road in Le Roy at 2:05 p.m. a.m. on April 23. After a brief investigation, the defendant was arrested for allegedly driving while his ability was to do so was impaired by drugs and for unlawful possession of marijuana. He was released on appearance tickets and is to be in Le Roy Town Court on June 20. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young, assisted by Christopher Parker.

Brad L. Ohlson, 39, Union Street, Batavia, is charged with third degree assault. The defendant was arrested on a bench warrant. He allegedly failed to comply with the conditions of his release on the charge, stemming from an incident at 9:30 a.m. on April 18, and was turned over the the Batavia Police Department. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young.

April 25, 2016 - 9:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, education, news.

img_9700-cr.jpg

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) welcomed 15 new student members to their distinguished company on April 20.

The service included congratulations from Interim Superintendent Jon Hunter, Ph.D., along with the time-honored candle-lighting ceremony that acknowledges the high standards students in NHS must exhibit in knowledge, character, leadership, service and scholarship.

Inductees each received a yellow rose, which they shared with family members, and were presented with their traditional honor cords and certificates.

Jr./Sr. High School Principal Patrick McGee asked students to consider the question posed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers”: Why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? He challenged students to work hard and use every opportunity they can find to fulfill their promising futures.

Students also heard from two inspiring guest speakers, Amy (Seward) Stacy (Class of 1980), and Helen Hulburt, the mother of Judy (Hulburt) Holly (Class of 1976). Stacy and Holly were this year’s Alumni Hall of Fame honorees.

The 2016 inductees to the Byron-Bergen National Honor Society are: Cameron Brumsted, Catherine Brumsted, Lauren Burke, Benjamin Chaback, Quinn Chapell, Brionna DeMichel, Margaret Graney, Justin Hannan, Hayley Hoehn, Brian Ireland, Daniel Jensen, Peyton Mackey, Makenzie Muoio, Leah Thompson and Dana VanValkenburg.

Current Members of the Byron-Bergen National Honor Society are: Olivia Audsley, Merrisa Bohn, Rose Bower, Bethany Ezard, Rider Farnsworth, Chase Felton, Clare Fraser, Brittany Goebel, Lauren Graney, Kaitlyn Harder, Ana Hubbard, Cora Ivison, Kelsey Maurer, Taylor McPherson, Celia Mercovich, Ashley Montgomery, Esther Musiyevich, Grace Pulcini, Brittany Rada, Brandon Reiner, Alexandria Rosse, Colby Savage, Adam Walter and Michael Zwerka.

National Honor Society membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but also challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service. The organization has chapters in all 50 states, Canada, and beyond.

April 25, 2016 - 9:29am
posted by James Burns in batavia, Genseee, Richmond Memorial Library, news.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, in cooperation with the Richmond Memorial Library and the aid of the nonprofit Richter Family Foundation, is offering free books mailed to every child’s home -- once a month, from birth up to 5 years old -- if the child lives in the Batavia City School District. 

12814814_10153894227803954_3649302190610184254_n.jpg

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a 60-volume set of books beginning with "The Little Engine that Could." Each month a new book will be mailed, in the child’s name, directly to the home.

Dolly Parton started this program in 1995 in her native East Tennessee area. The program proved to increase early literacy in children and was taken nationwide in 2000, and soon after, worldwide. This program is now available to all children 0 to 4 residing in the Batavia City School District. The program is also available in many neighboring areas here in Genesee County. (Previous coverage)

Robert Conrad, Library director for the Richmond Memorial Library, is very excited about this program now being available to children in this school district. Not just for the help it provides for young children but for the fact it expands the scope of what a library is.

“Fundamentally this changes the way a library works, book are not just stored here at the library but are sent to directly to the home for the children to keep,” Conrad said.

Andrea Fetterly, Youth Services librarian explained how even for an infant, who is too young to read this program provides benefits. She says that, with their own book that they can look at and turn the pages they start to learn how stories are laid out and communicated. This helps in the child’s learning and development. Of course, the best way for an infant or small child to enjoy and learn from a book is to have a loved one read it to them and share the experience.

If you would like to sign a child up for the program, call or visit the Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia, or (585) 343-9550. You can also visit online

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To celebrate this great new free book program the library will host a special Story Time with surprise guest teaders April 26th at 6:30 p.m. Library staff will be on hand to help register children for the program and there will even be refreshments for all in attendance. 

The Imagination Library is a not-for-profit that needs to partner with local not-for-profits for a selected city or town to provide books for this program. If you are interested in sponsoring a geographical area please visit this Web site.

April 25, 2016 - 7:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, pembroke, news.

Smoke is reported coming from the basement at 8752 Lovers Lane Road, Pembroke.

Pembroke fire, Indian Falls fire and City of Batavia's Fast Team are dispatch.

Corfu is asked to stand by in their fire hall.

UPDATE 7:57 a.m.: The resident tells a chief that she smells something burning. No sign of smoke or fire. The residence has been evacuated.

UPDATE 8:13 a.m.: Burned out sump pump in the basement. The pump will be removed and the smoke cleared.

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HOUSE FOR RENT

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CORFU-2 BEDROOM LOWER APARTMENT

2 BEDROOM/1 BATH LOWER. LOCATED ON RT-77 IN THE VILLAGE OF CORFU. $800/MONTH INCLUDES UTILITIES. AVAILABLE JUNE 1ST. FRIDGE AND STOVE INCLUDED. PLEASE CONTACT 585-599-4227 TO SET UP AN APPOINTMENT.

B.R.O.W. What is B.R.O.W.? Let me tell you!

B.R.O.W. is a game that was created as a version of the "I've Got an Appointment" Game. It is a great open handed card game where you make different types of Appointments. Come and learn how easy it is to play and enjoy making the different types of appointments such as Birthday; Rainbow; Original; and Whatever. That is what B.R.O.W. stands for. Children love playing B.R.O.W and the many different games that were created for the I've Got an Appointment decks of cards. Join us this Saturday April 30th at the Batavia VFW 25 Edward St. from 1pm 3pm.

VFW Batavia Card Game Event with Local Game Author

What to play a new card game? Well; we will be teaching players this easy and fun way to play B.R.O.W. Join us for our next Fund Raising Event at the Batavia VFW at 25 Edward Street for PRIZES, entertainment and a FREE B.R.O.W cup. Here is what a past player said "I was so surprised that a child's learning game could be so much fun for adults too". So children 6+ to Seniors bring those hard working family members to enjoy some great family fun. Remember to say "Birthday" when you make the Birthday appointment which is the most exiting and has the highest point value.

Floral Assistant Needed

Floral Assistant Needed at fast paced shop in Batavia. Please stop in and apply in person at Beverly's Flowers & Gifts • 307 W. Main Street in Batavia.

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