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February 2, 2016 - 2:30pm

Press release:

Members of the City of Batavia Fire Department IAFF Local 896 pair up with the Muscular Dystrophy Association every June to participate in the annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to benefit children and adults with muscle disease throughout the Greater Rochester and Buffalo areas. Members volunteer their time to fan out on city streets with boots in hand to raise money from local traffic.

To help the MDA throughout the year, members have created several “traveling boot” displays. With approval from local businesses, these displays have been placed in various business locations throughout the city. The “traveling boot” will stay in one location for a short period of time, before moving to a new location.  Customers and patrons can place loose change and dollars in the boot and help raise money for the MDA. The first boots have been placed in Dunkin’ Donuts and Southside Deli.

Batavia’s Fill the Boot drive is organized by firefighters Chris Morasco and Mark Sacheli.

“The communities’ generosity as well as great participation from our members has continued to make this program a success. The 'traveling boots' are a way that we can give back to the MDA more than just one day a year. It is a great cause, and we look forward to a successful fundraising campaign for the 2016 year.”

February 2, 2016 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in assistant city manager, batavia.

Two years ago, several members of the City Council, including Eugene Jankowski, expressed reservations about creating the position of assistant city manager.

Even after Gretchen DiFante was hired, some members tried to undo what had been done.

After a budget session Monday night where the council learned of an initiative DiFante has been deeply involved in that will save the city nearly $240,000, Jankowski said maybe this assistant city manager job wasn't such a bad idea after all.

"She's been multitasking on many different projects and now I'm starting to see some results on that," said Jankowski, now president of the council. "I'm thinking at this point, if that continues, that's going to be a good thing. More heads in the game kind of making these decisions is helping out, instead of Jason (Molino, city manager) trying to do all of this on his own."

What has gotten Jankowski's attention, along with the rest of the council, is a plan to switch the city's workers' compensation insurance to a self-funded pool instead of purchasing insurance.

Premiums and other related expenses keep going up. In 2011, workers comp cost the city $229,520. The projected 2016 expense, if the city kept with the current system, would exceed $700,000.

The self-funded plan will be an estimated $238,660 less than the state plan.

Several members of city staff, including Molino, have worked on the new program, but DiFante, who earns $75,000 a year, has taken the lead on research and organization and made the presentation during Monday's budget session.

Jankowski also noted that DiFante's efforts in the city's flood insurance program are also saving taxpayers money.

"I'm starting to see the assistant city manager is making a big difference in these areas," Jankowski said.

He cautioned, however, that it's the council's job to monitor how city management is doing and ensure things continue to move in a positive direction, and if that changes, take action to get the city back on track.

"The council needs to make sure things get directed and redirected so it doesn't cost taxpayers more money," Jankowski said.

Monday, the council heard reports from several department heads, including police and fire, on proposed spending for 2016-17 and nothing seemed to raise any red flags with council members. The meeting was controversy free. Jankowski said he doesn't anticipate that changing as the council works through the budget, because prior years have pretty much weeded out questionable expenses and the city is now on a sound financial footing.

The proposed spending from all funds for 2016-17 is $24,798,158. The general fund expenditure is proposed at $16,204,570. That's an annual increase of $499,806.

Under the proposed plan, the property tax would increase by 13 cents, putting the rate a $9.29 per thousand of assessed value. The tax levy would increase by $55,621, or 1.10 percent.

The city needs to take advantage of its own turnaround and the overall positive direction of the national economy, Jankowski said, and look to the future.

"Now is the time to build," Jankowski said. "The economy seems to be growing slowly across the country, so now we can start to slowly build on our end of it."

February 2, 2016 - 8:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, sports, Harlem Globetrotters.


Press release:

The special student/teacher jazz quintet played the familiar theme song “Sweet Georgia Brown.” As Harlem Globetrotter Zeus McClurkin entered Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s packed gymnasium on Jan. 28, hundreds of excited students burst into ground-shaking applause. The basketball superstar surprised everyone, including the band members, by skillfully taking over the drums to bring the Globetrotters’ song to a show-stopping finale.

“In my two years with the Harlem Globetrotters, this is the very first time I’ve had 'Sweet Georgia Brown' played live,” said an impressed McClurkin. “I had to be part of it.”

It was the first of many surprises during the visit. McClurkin visited the school to talk about CHEER™ for Character, the Globetrotters’ character education program. The program targets young people and focuses on the character traits of cooperation, healthy mind and body, effort, enthusiasm and responsibility. It was a perfect tie-in to the Byron-Bergen Central School District’s own emphasis on character building.

McClurkin shared a little of the Harlem Globetrotters' 90-year history and his own personal story. Perseverance finally earned him a spot on his high school basketball team, after being passed over for years. He advised his youthful fans to never give up on their dreams. He shared that people often told him that he “smiled too much” and was “just too nice to succeed.” Not so, he told his audience. Now he works for an organization that is all about helping people and promoting good humor and character, and he travels around the world doing it.

Students were treated to a demonstration of classic Globetrotters' ball handling and slam dunks by McClurkin, who actually holds the Guinness World Record for most slam dunks in one minute (15!). He invited volunteers to try a few signature moves, and in the process, proved they are not easy by any means.

The Elementary School Student Council, the Byron-Bergen STEP Boosters, and teacher Ken Rogoyski arranged the Globetrotter's visit, with the support of the whole community. The band, directed by music teacher Bob Lancia, included students Angelique Heick and Corden Zimmerman, along with elementary school teacher Amber Taylor-Burns and high school teacher Kevin Bleiler. The Harlem Globetrotters will be performing at the Rochester Blue Cross Arena on Saturday, Feb. 6.



February 1, 2016 - 7:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hell's angels, batavia, crime.

A 57-year-old Batavia man has entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court to a drug distribution charge stemming from an investigation going back years and involving multiple individuals from Genesee County and Rochester who authorities say are associated with the Hells Angels.

Gordon L. Montgomery entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, a fine of $2,000,000, or both.

Authorities contend that Montgomery agreed to fly to California and obtain methamphetamine from a Hell's Angels leader in Monterey at the behest of James H. McAuley and his wife, Donna Boon, both Genesee County residents at the time. He reportedly made two trips in 2007 paid for by McAuley and Boon, returning to WNY with 500 grams and 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine on the two trips.

The names of McAuley and Boon have come up in several local criminal investigations going back to 2010, when Boon was arrested as part of a multi-agency, months-long investigation into the sale of meth in Genesee County. As a result of that investigation, Donald G. Vanelli II, of Le Roy, was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison.

Boon's name has come up in connection with other investigations since then and McAuley was allegedly involved in events in Rochester that led to racketeering changes against him and several associates. That indictment charges McAuley and reputed Rochester Hell's Angels member Robert W. Moran Jr., along with Gina Tata, both of Rochester, with assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity; and McAuley, Moran and Tata are charged with conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity. In addition, Tata is charged with being an accessory after the fact to the assault and conspiracy. 

Another defendant, Timothy M. Stone, of Gates, was convicted of being an accessory after the fact to the assault and conspiracy on July 6. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Siragusa on Friday (Feb. 5).

February 1, 2016 - 6:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, pembroke, indian falls.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at the exit 48A toll booth of the Thruway. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding, along with an ambulance as mutual aid from Darien.

February 1, 2016 - 6:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Coffee Culture, batavia, business.

Batavia simply didn't work out for Coffee Culture, said Perry Ouzounis, VP of operations for the chain's corporate parent.

"There's no doubt about it, it's never an easy decision to close a store, but the market there wasn't very strong for us," Ouzounis said.

The Batavia closing was one of three Coffee Culture locations in WNY that closed last week, Ouzounis said, but other locations, including in Buffalo and Erie, Pa., as well as locations in Canada and Florida, continue to do well.

The closure of the Batavia store last week was big news, garnering a substantial number of page views to The Batavian's initial report of the signs being removed from the building. The coffee shop did seem popular, at least to some extent, in Batavia.

"Of course, I'm not prepared to share our P&L," Ouzounis said. "It just wasn't a viable location for us."

When the shop first opened, the company was actively seeking a franchisee to take over operations, but in two years, no potential owner stepped forward.

Ouzounis said it's tough letting their employees go, but they are receiving all pay due and other separation benefits.

"We are doing the right thing within state law," Ouzounis said.

Ouzounis said Coffee Culture is not finished growing and will look for new opportunties for new stores, but that, "unfortunately," Batavia wasn't meeting the company's goals for "long-term success."

February 1, 2016 - 6:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Larry's Steakhouse, batavia, business, downtown.

Larry's Steakhouse has closed, but the Mullen family is far from done with serving up great meals at 60 Main St., Batavia.

Owner Steve Mullen is stepping aside and his son Brendon Mullen is planning a new restaurant at the same location, which will be called Carter's.

"I don't want to say a lot about it right now, but it's going to be something this town will be excited about," Brendon said. "It's going to be a culinary experience like nothing ever seen here."

While there is a chance the new restaurant could open within weeks, two or three months might be a more realistic time frame, Brendon said. It will take time to secure a new liquor license. 

Steve said he thanks all the patrons for their support of Larry's.

Any gift certificates for Larry's that have not yet been redeemed will be honored by Carter's once it opens.

February 1, 2016 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, corfu, Darien.

Warren R. Skye Jr., 62, of South Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, refusal of breath test, open container, reckless driving and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Skye is accused of driving drunk at the time his vehicle struck a parked tow truck on South Swan Street, Batavia at 11:03 p.m. Jan. 20. Skye allegedly fled the scene of the accident and once located and taken into custody, refused to take a breath test. He reportedly urinated in the holding room at Batavia PD. (Prior Report)

Randy G. Leach, 29, of Torrey Road, Stafford, and Isaiah J. Munroe, 25, of Buell Street, Batavia, were charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Leach and Munroe were arrested following a traffic stop by Le Roy PD on Lake Street at Bacon Street.

Sara A. Howard, 21, of Bergen, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, and petit larceny and Alexander E. Fostano, 28, of Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th.  Howard allegedly stole a Sony Play Station valued at $300 after gaining entry to a family member's home on Jan. 8. Howard and Fostano allegedly gained entry to another family's home Thursday and stole a .50-caliber CVA muzzleloader and a 12-gauge Mossberg Maverick valued at $700. They were jailed on $10,000 bail each.

Nateeka M. Gibson, 26, is charged with petit larceny. Gibson allegedly removed a Mongoose bicycle from a shelf at Kmart and then attempted to return the item at customer service. When that didn't work, she allegedly left the store with the bicycle, valued at $199.99.

Ward E. Royse, 40, of Walnut Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a petit larceny charge. Royse turned himself in.

Adante L. Davis, 26, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Davis was allegedly involved in a fight while in the presence of a child less than 17 years old. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Danny D. Williams, 27, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Williams allegedly stole a bottle of wine from a liquor store in East Main Street, Batavia.

Lori A. Brightenfield, 56, of Maple Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. She was ordered held without bail.

Timothy A. Banks, 24, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Banks allegedly failed to obey conditions of his release under supervision of Genesee Justice. Banks was located and arrested following a panhandling complaint at McDonald's in Eastown Plaza. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Tyanna D. Green, 20, of Pearl Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for failure to comply with sentencing stemming from a conviction for criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. 

Ryan A. Funke, 22, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and stop lamp equipment violation. Funke was stopped at 7:44 p.m. Saturday on North Street, Batavia, by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

David James Staba, 47, of Tinkham Road, Darien, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and inadequate headlight. Staba was stopped at 7:24 p.m. Sunday on Attica Road, Darien, by Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Nathan Everett Hinze, 22, of Ellicott Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, unlicensed operator, refusal to take breath test and following too closely. Hinze was stopped at 11:30 p.m. Saturday on Law Street, Batavia, by Deputy Kevin Forsyth, following a citizen complaint of an erratic driver on Route 98, Alexander. He was jailed on $250 bail.

Katrina Marie Douglas, 26, of West Ridge Road, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and driving by an unlicensed driver. Douglas was arrested after Deputy Ryan Young stopped to check on a disabled vehicle at 11:15 a.m. Thursday on Lockport Road, Oakfield.

Lorin Alexandra Volk, 21, of Livingston Street, Warsaw, is charged with petit larceny. Volk allegedly stole from Kmart.

Nathan Samuel Love, 22, of Montclair Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Love allegedly attempted to steal a vacuum cleaner from Kmart. Upon further investigation, he was identified as the suspect in a vacuum cleaner theft Jan. 12.

John Ronald Laude, 23, of Main Road, Akron, is charged with promoting prison contraband, 1st, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Laude was allegedly found in possession of heroin while being processed for an arrest at the Genesee County Jail. He was arrested at 12:58 p.m. Thursday by Deputy Ryan Young and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. He was allegedly found in possession of heroin following a report of a disturbance at Walmart. Also arrested following the investigation into the alleged disturbance was Christopher Brian Smith, 24, of Pearl Street Road, Corfu, who was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th.

February 1, 2016 - 5:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, Elections, Chris Parker.
Chris Parker

Press release:

Genesee County Deputy Sheriff, Christopher Parker, age 47, will be seeking the position of Sheriff in this year’s election.

Prior to his law enforcement career, he worked in the Buffalo area supervising dozens of employees in day to day operations before coming to the Sheriff’s Office in 1997. Parker is currently assigned to the Road Patrol on the day shift but also served in the courthouse prior. He graduated from Elba Central School earning a Regents Diploma in Math & Science going on to get his degree from Genesee Community College. After being hired, Parker went on to graduate from Erie County Central Police Services Basic Police Officer Training Academy.

Parker has been an active member of the Office’s Honor Guard since its inception and had the privilege of traveling to and participating in ceremonies in 2015 during National Police Week to honor America’s fallen officers and one of Genesee County’s own.

Parker has been a recipient of a certificate of appreciation, commendation, meritorious service and also distinguished service awards. He was a member of the flight crew for the New York State Police aviation unit until their hanger was moved from Batavia to Rochester. Parker has also received a MADD award for vigorous enforcement of intoxicated and impaired drivers.

In his role as a field training officer, he is involved in the training of newly appointed deputies and recruit graduates. 

“Being able to help train future deputies has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my job," he said. "It’s great to see them develop into someone that represents us at the Sheriff’s Office and this county well. Someone that will be my backup or help a citizen in their time of need and bringing integrity to it."

Being a Drug Recognition Expert has been one of Parker’s proudest work accomplishments being one of only approximately 200 so qualified officers in the entire state. He also just underwent training in Albany to become an instructor.

Parker's experience has included training of educational professionals in several counties on drug impairments and also with the Safe School Initiative to keep our most precious resource, our children, safe. He is also a member of the Oakfield-Alabama Central School safety team.  Reenactment DWI drills in schools throughout the county for over a decade has also been a rewarding experience.

“If we can stop even just one tragedy, it will have been worth all the time and energy that the fire departments, EMS and we as law enforcement dedicate to empower your children to make the right decision not to drink and drive,” Parker said.

Along with training Sheriff’s Office personnel on standardized field sobriety testing, Parker has assisted at the Monroe County Basic Police Academy in training recruit officers on the proper implementation of the tests. He is also a Leadership Genesee 2016 class participant.

“As Sheriff, I hope to bring loyalty, honesty and integrity to the position and make this county we live in as safe as can be. As a lifelong resident in the county, I plan to be here with my family and work with the residents here to make all of our families safer.”

January 31, 2016 - 12:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy Fire, Le Roy.


Jerry Diskin was named Le Roy Fire Department's Firefighter of the Year at the department's annual installation and awards dinner. Diskin, center, sets an example by his energy and commitment, said Chief Tim Hogle, left. Joining in the award presentation is 1st Assistant Chief Tom Wood.



On Dec. 1, the fire department faced a situation that firefighters are typically not trained to deal with -- a person firing a gun at them as they roll up to a fire scene. The first four volunteers on scene were Joe Orlando, Bergen Chief Kevin Finucane, 1st Assistant Chief Tom Wood and Chief Tim Hogle. Saturday night, each man received a Medal of Valor.

When the men arrived on scene and were fired on, they remained calm, returned to their vehicles and established a safety zone, informing other responders not to come to the scene. The Medal of Valor is awarded to public safety officers who have exhibited actions above and beyond the call of duty, who showed exceptional courage, decisiveness and a presence of mind or unusual purpose of action to effect the protection of human life.



Joe Orlando receiving the Chief's Award from Chief Tim Hogle.


Hogle, Orlando, Diskin and Wood.


Representatives from various agencies who assisted at the scene on Dec. 1 on Selden Road were recognized by the department, including Emergency Management, Bergen Fire, Town of Batavia Fire, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Le Roy PD and State Police (not all agencies are represented in this picture and the one below).



Installation of Officers.


The top 10 responders of 2015.

The department conducted 50 training sessions, resulting in 1,570 man-hours of total training for the volunteers. The volunteers also responded to 296 alarms, resulting in 1,273 man-hours on assignment.

January 30, 2016 - 3:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, winterfest, pembroke.


There was still enough ice on the rink behind the Corfu Village Hall for a bit of hockey today during the annual Winterfest, despite the temperature hitting 50 degrees.

Nobody was complaining about the warm weather as they enjoyed food, vendors, music and a basket raffle.












January 30, 2016 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, elba, business.

Photo provided by Maxine (Palmer) Koberg taken early on the job in 1969 as a Civil Service clerical worker for Genesee Community College.

In October, 1969, Maxine Koberg (nee Palmer), was excited to start her new job as a clerical worker at the fledgling Genesee Community College.

The Batavia native had graduated from high school five years earlier and worked steadily since turning 18. When she found an opportunity to take a Civil Service test, she didn't hesitate and was subsequently delighted to learn she'd passed the clerical exam and was eligible for employment. After landing a job at the college, she said she liked it and was capable of performing the duties and she planned to stick with it.

And stick with it, she did, for more than 46 years.

"You don't think about it," Koberg said. "The years go by. You know you'll retire someday, but you don't really think about it. And now here I am."

It dawned on her recently that the familiar route commuting to and from the college and her home in Elba would no longer be part of her daily itinerary after Friday, which was her last day.

The original route was different in the beginning of her employment at GCC.

The campus at One College Road off Stephen R. Hawley Drive in the Town of Batavia did not yet exist.

The college was chartered in 1966 and its first digs were in 56,000 square feet of space in the "Valu Tech Center" on West Main Street in Batavia, which was home to the Valu department store. The first class of 378 full-time and 243 part-time students began their studies the following fall semester. 

"In the beginning, I was working with students," Koberg said. "You tried to be helpful and they were fun and polite and you got to stay with them a couple of years. There were plenty 'please' and 'thank-yous'."

Koberg recalled the library was in front and there were a couple of offices in the back. Her department consisted of two clerks, including herself, a secretary and a Librarian David Brewster. Things were not computerized then. Keeping track of orders, payments, inventory, book loans, etc., was done manually.

In 1972, The Big Move to the new campus came. Boxing up the books and hauling them to the new location and organizing them -- "It was quite a big job," Koberg said. Staff supervised college students in the work/study program who did the bulk of the heavy lifting.

"When we first went to the new building, I was at the circulation desk. That's where you signed out books, reserved materials for students, and supervised the work/study students. And you greet everybody."

There was a growing population of international students, who could sometimes be difficult to understand because of the language barrier, Koberg said, but throughout the years, the 'please' and 'thank-yous' were abundantly offered. Although, as always, she noted some students have better manners than others. A noticeable difference campus-wide, of course, is the proliferation of electronic gadgets that students appear glued to.

At some point, she was asked if she wanted to leave the front desk and the students, and work on library's clerical staff ordering books and doing related tasks. She decided to take the challenge, which eventually included learning daunting new computer skills and paying bills.

"There was never a time when I didn't like working with books. I knew my programs and how to get books ordered and get them on the shelf. As courses changed, books changed -- like for our Allied Health Program -- but it's all office work."

Which means paying attention to details.

"Be careful about what you're doing, get the right books ordered, received and processed. Get the bills paid, in the right amount. Live within your budget. We have a good system and we work together."

After more than four decades on the job, her coworkers were like a second family and the workplace, a sort of home away from home. She says her colleagues held down the fort while she took two maternity leaves, helped her through some rough patches on the road of life, and she has appreciated their supportiveness, assistance and the camaraderie along the way.

The staff meshed at the Alfred C. O'Connell Library, named after the college's first president.

"We did work well together."

As for her newly retired status, it'll take some getting used to. No big plans afoot. No vacation in the works.

"I'm just going to take it day by day and see how it goes," Koberg said.

January 30, 2016 - 3:12pm

Submitted photo: Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha (right) is sworn in as chairman of the Executive Committee of the NYS Sheriffs' Association by Herkimer County Judge John Brennan at the installation of officers at the Association's 82nd Annual Winter Training Conference at the Desmond in Albany this week.

Press release:

The New York State Sheriffs' Association elected its Executive Committee at the 82nd Annual Winter Training Conference this week at the Desmond Hotel in Albany.

Members elected Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha Chairman of the Executive Committee. Sheriff Maha will work with the newly elected President of the Association, Herkimer County Sheriff Chris Farber, and sheriffs around the state, to further the efforts of the Sheriffs' Association to enhance public safety in New York State through professional training and accreditation programs, public safety programs, and advocacy.

The New York State Sheriffs' Association, Inc., is a not-for-profit corporation, formed in 1934, for the purpose of assisting sheriffs in the efficient and effective delivery of services to the public. It comprises all of the elected and appointed sheriffs of New York State.

January 30, 2016 - 3:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in muckdogs, sports, baseball.

Press release:

The Genesee County Baseball Club will hold its annual Batavia Muckdogs Hot Stove Dinner and Auction from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20th at the Sacred Heart Church Hall at 17 Sumner St. in Batavia. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.

The evening will begin with a cocktail hour followed by a buffet dinner at 5:30. The Hot Stove Dinner is a time for good food, friendship and baseball talk. The night also features a live and Chinese auction of baseball-related memorabilia (including signed bats and balls), work by local artists, and gift certificates from a variety of local businesses.

Tickets may be purchased in Batavia at Dwyer Stadium, Gerace’s Hair Care, the Williams Law Firm and the office of Dr. Alan Barcomb.

January 30, 2016 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, basketball, sports, batavia.


In her basketball career at Notre Dame High School, Christina Volpe was a prolific scorer and a leader who helped her team to a state championship, but it was more than just her athletic success that left a lasting impact on the school, said Athletic Director Mike Rapone during a ceremony Friday to retire her number.

"She always had a quick smile, was always kind and found a great pleasure in helping others," Rapone said. "As special a basketball player as Christy was, she may have been a more special person. She will always be remembered fondly here at Notre Dame."

Volpe died of an apparent heart attack at age 34 in her home in South Carolina in October.

During her playing career at Notre Dame, Volpe scored 2,392 points, grabbed 1,365 rebounds and amassed an 83-consecutive game streak of double-doubles.  She was named to the Section V Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. With Volpe on the court, Notre Dame won three consecutive Class DD Section V championships, and in 1999, the team won both the state championship and the federation championship and Volpe was named MVP of both tournaments.

Bill Wade, who coached Volpe's team, said the Notre Dame team is the only girls basketball team in Section V history to win a federation championship.

Rapone said Volpe inaugurated a tradition of excellence in girls basketball at Notre Dame that continues to this day. She inspired the next generation of girls to take up the game and play hard and work hard, leading to a second state championship under Head Coach Dave Pero in 2013.

"Along with the talent, she had an amazing work ethic," Rapone said. "She had a burning desire to realize her potential. As talented as she was, she constantly worked to get better. She spent countless hours in the Notre Dame and St. Joe's gyms fine-tuning her game."

Volpe taught her teammates that hard work wasn't just something you brought to the game, you brought it to the gym for every practice, Wade said. She came early, stayed late and made every drill count.

"That's how she became our leader," Wade said. "She led our team to greatness."

Through her example, she not only made her team better, she made her teammates better, both in the game of basketball and in life.

"You compete to beat your own numbers," Wade said. "That's what made us better and that's what made us cherish Christina Volpe. She taught her teammates so much and made her teammates lives better. She made her coach and her coaches better because of the person she was. Christina Volpe is not just a legendary player, she was a treasure because she made all of our lives richer."


Bill Wade.



Joining Rapone and Wade next to the lectern were members of Volpe's family and her former Notre Dame teammates.


Prior to Notre Dame's game with Elba, the players wore T-shirts with Volpe's number and name.


This tribute to Volpe will be hung in the entry hall of Notre Dame.


Volpe's jersey will hang, framed, next to the scoreboard the rest of this season and next season.

January 29, 2016 - 2:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in lost pets, pets, animals, batavia.


The employees at Castilone Chrysler Dodge and Jeep took in these two handsome canines they found wandering and lost near the dealership.

"They are both very nice and want to go home," Sara Stockwell said.

She's hoping the owner will claim the dogs by 5:30 p.m.

UPDATE 4:30 p.m.: The owner has picked up the dogs.

January 29, 2016 - 12:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

A caller on Town Line Road, Bergen, reports that a white male came to his door offering to sell a picture of his house from the air for $349.

The subject is now apparently across the street from the house attempting to do the same.

There is a second person in a red Dodge Stratus.

A deputy is dispatched to check it out.

January 29, 2016 - 12:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

Le Roy PD reports a series of thefts from unlocked vehicles during the night and early morning hours in the area of Munson and Gilbert streets. The pattern began about Dec. 15 and has continued. Multiple cars have been entered and items stolen. Le Roy PD reminds people to lock their vehicles and call 9-1-1 immediately if a suspicious person is seen.

Andrea Harrington, 22, of Pleasant Street, Le Roy, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Harrington was by a Le Roy police officer allegedly walking with an unsteady gate and apparently intoxicated at 4:44 p.m. Jan. 25 on Bacon Street while carrying a 2-year-old child.

January 29, 2016 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, schools, education, GSO, batavia, Batavia HS.

Anytime we cover an entertainment event at Batavia High School, we wind up with a picture of Ross Chua performing. He's very talented and very motivated. This is a photo from a talent show in June.

Besides being a performer, Chua is also a songwriter and composer. On Monday, the Genesee Symphony Orchestra played one of his compositions so it could be recorded to include with his college auditions and interviews.

This may be the first time the GSO performed a composition by a local high school student.

Here's the video:

January 28, 2016 - 6:00pm
posted by Lisa Ace in Sponsored Post, advertisement, YMCA, batavia, ny.

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YMCA Membership entitles you and your loved ones the chance to become part of an organization that believes in and promotes active and healthy lifestyles, progressive skill development, fair play, family, and character development. The YMCA is not just another gym. When you join the Y, you join a family and what’s more you join a place where people are looking for changes to their overall health. The Genesee County YMCA offers a wide array of programs and services to meet the interests and needs of the entire family from memberships for youth, college students, families and seniors. From swimming lessons and sports, to childcare and summer camping, there is truly something for everyone at the Genesee County YMCA. 

If you feel like you cannot afford a YMCA membership, it is the policy of the YMCA that no one is turned away due to an inability to pay. Financial assistance for membership and programs is available through the annual Strong Communities Campaign. The application process is easy and confidential. Please call or visit our member service desk to obtain an application. For more information on membership or programs offered at the Genesee County YMCA, please call (585)344­-1664 or log on to our Web site at


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