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February 6, 2015 - 10:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, STOP-DWI.

A traveling display designed to help young people learn more about the dangers of drinking and driving has arrived at Genesee Community College.

Arranged by the STOP-DWI program, which is funded through fines paid by drunken drivers, the display features the stories of young people killed by drunken drivers.

There are at least eight different displays that travel throughout the state, created by the state association of STOP-DWI programs, each with a different theme.

The theme currently on display at GCC features athletes.

The exhibit includes:

Artifacts: Personal items from the crash victims, such as: photographs, closes, drawings and     sports equipment.

Statements: Accounts from survivors, family members, friends and members of the community affected by the crash.

Newspapers: Local news coverage of the crash.

Timelines: The chain of events leading up to the crash and the events immediately following.

Aftermath: Victims' statements read at trial and the outcome of any court proceedings available at the time of the exhibit’s creation.

It's a powerful message that reminds viewers of the impact of a fatal DWI-related accident, said Sheriff Gary Maha.

"This is first time I've seen this," Maha said. "To me, this is the real thing. These are victims, innocent victims, who have been tragically killed by drunk drivers. We see it often in our community from time to time.

"I hope young people come out and look at this and read these stories and eventually won't drink and drive," Maha added.

Photo: Jocelyn Sikorski, county youth bureau, Deputy John Baiocco, Matt Landers, assistant county manager and administrator of STOP-DWI, and Sheriff Gary Maha.

February 6, 2015 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

An electrical cord is reportedly on fire in the basement of 3507 S. Main Street Road, Batavia.

East Pembroke fire with mutual aid from Town of Batavia dispatched.

February 6, 2015 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure.

Press release:

Town of Batavia has a water main break at the corner of Shepard Road and Ellicott Street Road. Until it is repaired residents will not have water or will experience low pressure on the following roads: Ellicott Street Road, Shepard Road, Putnam Road, Batavia- Stafford Townline Road and Batavia-Bethany Townline Road.

February 6, 2015 - 10:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, byron, College Village.

Jasmine Jaquana Allen, 20, of Batavia-Stafford Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Allen was arrested following a complaint of marijuana smoking inside dorm rooms at College Village.

Justin Elwell Jr., 31, of Miller Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a parking between 2 and 6 a.m. ticket. Elwell turned himself in to Batavia PD. He posted $100 bail.

Adam Daniel Smart, 32, of Clinton Street Road, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an endangering the welfare of a child charge. Smart allegedly failed to appear on for a pre-sentence interview with the Probation Department. Smart was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Jeffrey Cole Thompson, 19, of Swamp Road, Byron, is charged with unlawful possession. Thompson was charged following a traffic stop for an alleged traffic violation at 9:15 p.m. Thursday on Reed Road, Bergen, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

February 6, 2015 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, thruway, pembroke.

A blue pickup truck has rolled over in the area of mile marker 403.6.

Injuries are reported and extrication is needed.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire department are dispatched, along with Mercy EMS.

There may be a second accident at mile marker 406.

At 403.6, an elderly patient reportedly has neck and back injuries.

UPDATE 10 a.m.: A responder has yet to locate an accident at 406.

UPDATE 10:02 a.m.: A second ambulance requested to 403.6.

UPDATE 10:04 a.m.: There are multiple patients to be evaluated. Darien's ambulance is standing by. Traffic is reportedly heavy.

UPDATE 10:05 a.m.: At least three patients will be sign-offs.

February 6, 2015 - 9:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather.

It was just nasty out this morning, with brisk winds, falling snow, blowing snow, a temperature in the mid-teens that felt much colder.

But Batavia residents still went about their business.

February 6, 2015 - 9:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Roswell Cancer Institute, Shooting for a Cure.

Sean Burton, Dave Porter and Aaron Burch congratulate each other after getting their heads shaved before the Pembroke girls basketball game Thursday night, part of the school's annual "Shooting for a Cure" fundraiser.

The fourth annual event has become one of the largest annual fundraisers for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Last night, the school raised $8.729.32, making the four-year total more than $30,000.

When the recording of the National Anthem didn't work, Makenzie Ferranti and Samantha Quaranto step forward and sang the Star Spangled Banner as a duet, giving a stellar performance that was completely unplanned.

The Pembroke girls were dressed in their pink Shooting for a Cure uniforms.

The Lady Dragons played their brand of aggressive basketball and swamped Holley, 50-6.

At half-time, local cancer survivors were honored with flowers from players, including Sue Underwood. Presenting the flower is Olivia Kohorst.

To purchase prints, click here.

February 5, 2015 - 10:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hunting, outdoors, Genesee County Park.

Questions were answered and misconceptions cleared during a meeting in Bethany Wednesday night on a proposal to allow deer hunting during bow season in Genessee County Park, said Parks Supervisor Paul Osborn.

The proposal, which must be approved by the County Legislature, is designed to help thin the deer population in the park, which has grown to nuisance levels as deer are destroying park vegetation and preventing new trees from getting established.

About 60 people attended the meeting.

A few people expressed concerns that were based on misconceptions, Osborn said, such as hunters being able to use guns (they can't) and the potential conflicts with non-hunting users of the park.

The hunters will be confined to 12 zones along the southern border of the park, according to the presentation given to the audience. While the hiking trails will be open, hunters are being told to stay clear of trails and be courteous of others using the park.

No trees will be removed or trimmed nor are hunters allowed to engage in clearing to create shooting lanes. The prohibition is good for conservation, but will limit the distance an arrow can travel, requiring hunters to get closer to their targets and take better shots.

"Our goal is to grow trees, not to cut them down just so we an hunt deer," Osborn said. "Our goal is to grow trees so people can enjoy them."

Hunters will be selected through a lottery Sept. 15, following a Sept. 11 deadline for applications, which open Aug. 17.

Two zones will be set aside for youth and disabled veterans, and young hunters and disabled veterans will be given priority over hunters from outside Genesee County.

In all, 48 hunters will be selected to receive permits for the four-week season, which runs from Oct. 19 through Nov. 15.

There is a mandatory informational class Oct. 3, which is where the permits will be distributed to the 48 winners upon payment of a $25 fee.

Each winning hunter will be granted permission to hunt in a single zone for a single week.

The first deer taken must be anterless. The second deer can be either a legal deer with antlers or anterless, and hunters are encouraged to take only anterless deer. 

If the hunter takes two deer before the end of his or her week-long permit expires, the zone will be vacant for the remainder of that week.

Permits are non-transferable. While a hunter may be accompanied by one guest, the guest is not allowed to hunt at any time.

Hunting will be limited from sunrise to noon each day. 

Hunters will be required to park in the designated parking lot and walk to their respective zones.

The plan is subject to modification until approved by the Legislature.

One modification, suggested by a person at yesterday's meeting, is that hunters entering the park be required to sign in and sign out when they leave.

Osborn said that idea was well received. It will help ensure hunters safely exit the park.

February 5, 2015 - 6:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A car has hit a bicyclist on Clinton Street Road, in front of Grand View Cemetery, Batavia.

Unknown injuries.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 6:13 p.m.: Very minor injury reported.

UPDATE 6:14 p.m.: Town of Batavia's Engine 24 going back in service.

February 5, 2015 - 5:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire.

Press release:

With the recent snowfall City fire crews have been out daily looking for buried fire hydrants.

During one trip down a street, they came across an elderly woman attempting to shovel the end of her driveway alone. The crew of Engine 12 stopped to assist her and the moment was caught by a City of Batavia Fire Department Facebook follower.

Over the next 24 hours this photo flashed across computer, phone and tablet screens 10,000 times resulting in 440 likes, 29 comments, and has been shared 16 times! All records since the Fire Department launched its Facebook page in September of 2014.

Chief Jim Maxwell said "He is proud of the men and women of the City of Batavia Fire Department who routinely go above and beyond for the residents of the City."

Lt. Fix who administers the Fire Department's Facebook page said "Since this photo was added, we have received others who have 'adopted a hydrant' in their neighborhood."

Keeping hydrants clear of snow can save valuable time for firefighters arriving at the scene of a fire.

If your neighborhood has adopted a hydrant, feel free to share it with the "City of Batavia Fire Department, NY" Facebook page.

February 5, 2015 - 4:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

The owner of a local medical office has been arrested a fourth time for allegedly issuing bad checks, though the latest charge stems from checks written before he owned the business, according to Det. Eric Hill, Batavia PD.

Mark T. Zdrojewski, 61, of Meyer Road, Pendleton, was charged today with grand larceny, 3rd, for allegedly writing a bad check to Haun Welding Supply.

He was charged with theft this time, police say, because the check enabled him to allegedly steal refrigerated helium liquid.

Hill said the incident was a business transaction.

In November, Zdrojewski was charged with three counts of issuing a bad check.

The checks were written to Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning in June and August.

Turnbull has filed for a mechanic's lien against Zdrojewski totaling $13,242.

Earlier that month, Zdrojewski was arrested on another charge of issuing a bad check for allegedly writing a bad check to another local business.

He was also reportedly arrested in September on four counts of issuing a bad check for allegedly writing checks to local businesses that wouldn't clear.

According to Hill and other sources, Zdrojewski is currently the owner of Advanced Imaging in City Centre, however he wasn't the owner at the time the alleged bad checks were written on the business account. 

His LinkedIn profile states he was previously practice manager at Advanced Imaging.

February 5, 2015 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Pavilion, accidents.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at South Street Road and Telephone Road. Pavilion fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 4:23 p.m.: A second ambulance is called to the scene.

February 5, 2015 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in HomeCare & Hospice.

Press release:

The HomeCare & Hospice Guild is looking for some extra hands to help with its annual Spring Bouquet Sale.

Guild members have held spring flower sales each of the last 20 years and once again plan on distributing bouquets throughout Genesee County in early March. Proceeds will benefit the HomeCare & Hospice Foundation.

To make the event a success, volunteers are needed to sort flowers on March 1 or deliver flowers on March 2 and 3 to businesses that have made pre-sale orders. Volunteers can also assist with on-site sales beginning March 4.

Drivers for flower delivery are the greatest need. Those wishing to volunteer are asked to please call toll-free at 1-800-719-7129 or e-mail Kathleen Neeson at [email protected]

To pre-order a Spring Bouquet or learn more about HomeCare & Hospice services, visit <> or call 1-800-719-7129.

HomeCare & Hospice, a nonprofit United Way agency, provides specialized medical care and social/emotional support for patients and families coping with life-limiting illness in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Genesee and Wyoming counties. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

February 5, 2015 - 2:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in notre dame high school, byron, Blood Drive.

Press release from the American Red Cross:

At a very young age, Matthew Kota, of Byron, knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up — a doctor. But sadly, his dreams were cut short. In memory of Matthew and his 24th birthday, the Batavia community and surrounding areas are encouraged to give the gift of life and donate blood at a special American Red Cross blood drive on Saturday, Feb. 7, at Notre Dame High School in Batavia.

The recent winter weather and widespread flu have impacted the ability of some eligible, healthy donors to give blood. Dozens of blood drives have been cancelled and thousands of donations have gone uncollected because of the storms. Despite the weather, hospital patients still need blood.

“Matthew never waited for anything to happen, he made things happen,” said Jason Kota, Matthew’s father. “He was truly one of a kind and I’ve yet to meet anyone else on this earth like him.”

Matthew enjoyed the outdoors and had a smile that would light up a room, but it was his humanitarian spirit that friends and family say was contagious. Matthew had a desire to help people, and that’s one of the reasons why he became a blood donor and also volunteered with the Red Cross. He had hoped to join the Gallon Donor Club and even though he did not achieve that goal, his family and friends are now carrying out his wishes by holding blood drives in his memory.

“Matthew was our son, a friend, leader and now our Angel,” Jason Kota said.
Matthew, the eldest of four children, was just 17 years old when he passed away in 2008 from complications of brain surgery. Matthew had a large arterio-venous malformation or AVM. A vein in his head was significantly larger than it should have been. Doctors believe AVM is congenital and dates to birth.

Matthew’s family and friends say hosting this blood drive is a unique way to memorialize what Matthew stood for — helping others. They are now giving back by turning their heartbreak into hope for other families in need. Matthew’s younger brother, Sean, graduated from Notre Dame High School.

Donate Blood in Memory of Matthew Kota
Saturday, Feb. 7
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Notre Dame High School
73 Union St.

To make an appointment to donate, download the Blood Donor App, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit

All presenting donors will receive a $5 Dunkin' Donuts card as part of the “Dunkin’ Donors Make a Difference” campaign.
The Red Cross urges healthy, eligible donors to make an appointment to give blood or platelets to help hospital patients and maintain a stable blood supply. Blood donors of all types are needed, particularly O negative, A negative and B negative and platelet donors. One blood donation can help save up to three lives.
How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit <> or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

For more information, please visit <> or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross <>.

February 5, 2015 - 2:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in GC Soil & Water District.

Press release:

Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District is excited to announce the annual Tree and Shrub Sale! Folks are strongly encouraged to order as soon as possible, as the deadline for tree and shrub orders is April 1, and apple tree orders (new this year!) are due by March 15.

George Squires, district manager at Soil & Water, says, “People should get their orders in as soon as possible, we don’t want to disappoint people, so if you order early, there is still a good chance that your favorite varieties will be available.”

Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District to learn more and place your order: Genesee County -- (585) 343-2362.

The story below was written by Katherine Bailey, AmeriCorps intern at Genesee County SWCD

Why should you consider planting native tree and shrub species? Meet Joe Magee, resident of Stafford, Ph.D in Chemistry from UB, and avid native tree lover. Starting in 1996, Magee has purchased native tree seedlings from both Monroe and Genesee County Soil & Water tree and shrub programs. When asked why he wanted to plant so many trees on his 83 acres, he simply replied, “I wanted to live in the woods.”

Magee has come a long way in making his dream happen: 20,000 trees have been planted, many of them black cherry, white oak, red oak, black walnut, Austrian pine, Norway spruce, and white pine. For Magee, planting trees doesn’t stop the moment you plant them in the ground; they need to be taken care of, and he has made sure that all of his hardwood seedlings have ample protection from rodent and deer damage.

He hand-planted all of his trees, and he estimated that he could plant 10 trees per hour (including digging the hole, planting the seedling, and fitting the tree shelter on each one). In addition to seedlings on his property, Magee has a nursery where he grows 1000 seedlings that will eventually be ready for the outside. But it doesn’t end there; he also grows seedlings in paper orange juice and milk cartons outside his house, and since the paper is biodegradable, he can just put the whole container into the ground once the roots are developed.

Sounds like a lot of hard work, doesn’t it? But don’t let that deter you from conservation planting!

Joe said the most rewarding aspect of his long-term tree planting has been “the visual change from year to year.” The wildlife he sees from his house- bobolinks, orioles, owls, goldfinches, turkey, to name a few, reaffirms that his efforts are not only for his benefit, but for enhancing habitat. Planting a living thing into the ground and seeing it survive and grow is instant gratification.

Joe offered up some helpful tips from his work. First, if you want to try growing native trees on your property, take advantage of the expertise of your local Soil & Water District; the technicians will walk the land with you and look at soils and give recommendations. Secondly, there are a few good “starter” trees for beginners: white spruce and Norway spruce. These species grow fast and are relatively easy to maintain. Also red oak and red maple grow fairly fast. Even if you can only grow one tree or a small shrub, you will be doing your part to help enhance the native plant community right in your own backyard.

February 5, 2015 - 2:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.


There may be other local victims of a 22-year-old rape suspect who was arraigned yesterday in county and city courts, according to Batavia PD.

Kesean Shannon, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with three counts of sexual abuse 1st, two counts of sexual abuse 3rd and one count of sexual misconduct.

The charges are the result of two separate investigations into allegations that Shannon engaged in sex crimes against two girls, age 15 and 16 and with a victim who is 30 years old.

The alleged abuse occurred in 2012 and 2013.

Investigators believe there may be other victims.

Anyone with information that may assist in the investigation are asked to call Det. Kevin Czora, Batavia PD, at (585) 345-6350.

February 5, 2015 - 9:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, bergen.

Within the past couple of days there have been two hit-and-run accidents with suspect vehicles still at large.

The Sheriff's Office is looking for a black pickup truck with front-end damage that hit another vehicle on East Main Road, Le Roy.

They are also looking for a silver or gray Mazda that hit a utility pole and fire hydrant on Swamp Road, Bergen. That vehicle sustained driver side front-end damage and passenger side damage.

No further details available at this time.

Tips can be phoned into the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.

February 5, 2015 - 9:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.
James Chase

Press release:

A warrant has been issued for a Level 3 sex offender, James A Chase, who failed to report for his 90-day verification.  

The Batavia Police Department is looking for help from the community in locating him. 

James A. Chase is about 6’2” and weighs 240 pounds. He is listed as homeless on the City of Batavia Sex Offender page. 

He  is usually wearing camouflage and sometimes wears a face mask when he is walking. 

If anyone has information call the City of Batavia Police at 345-6350 or Officer James Defreeze at 345-6365.

UPDATE 2 p.m.: James Chase turned himself in. He is being arraigned in City Court this afternoon. Police say more information will be released later.

February 5, 2015 - 8:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.

Answer this poll question later today on our new mobile app, Reacht, for a chance to win a $5 gift certificate from Southside Deli.

Click here for the iOS version.

Click here for the Android version.

February 4, 2015 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, hunting, wildlife.

Press release:

A public meeting will be held from 6 to 7:30 tonight at the Bethany Town Hall, located at 10510 Bethany Center Road, to inform county residents about the proposed Archery Hunting program as a method for deer management at the Genesee County Park & Forest. All are encouraged to attend, listen, and make comments regarding the proposal.

The primary goal is to reduce the herd and lessen the impacts of browsing on newly regenerated forest. An "Earn a Buck" program is proposed through archery and/or crossbow hunting methods.

Genesee County Park & Forest (431 acres) is owned by Genesee County and managed by the Genesee County Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry. In 1915, New York State recognized the Genesee County Forest as the oldest County forest in NYS.

Forest management has been ongoing throughout the past 90+ years through plantings, tree stand (plantation) thinning (tending) and harvesting of timber. One of the primary management goals is the production and harvest of high-quality, high-value sawtimber.

But an increase in the deer herd has begun to impact the forest with over-browsing of the tree seedlings growing as a result of practices laid out in the most recent Forest Management Plan, adopted in 2003.

Deer management was a consideration during the plan's creation. Back then, the impact of over-browsing by deer was not dramatically seen because the management practices were not as prudent prior to the plan's adoption.

But like many forested areas across the state, the Genesee County Park & Forest has seen an increase in deer population and it has become a safe haven. Deer find the park to be a location that can be visited throughout the day during hunting seasons with no pressures to leave.

In fact, the park has become a heavy feeding ground throughout the year and as a result forest regeneration has been slowed and in some places has there's been none at all. This is why "Earn a Buck" program is being proposed.

For information or to make comments, please contact Paul Osborn, Genesee County Parks Supervisor at 344-8508, ext. 3904, or via e-mail at [email protected].


Top Items on Batavia's List


The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is seeking a highly-motivated, result-oriented individual with a positive outlook and a clear focus on high quality customer support to market and sell Chamber memberships. The Membership Development Director is responsible for membership sales and member retention as well as sponsorship sales and some project management.

Drop-in Center Program Coordinator

Location: Albion, New York Part Time Days. 25 hours per week with flexibility to fit needs of the program. General Responsibility: Oversees the operation, quality and continued growth of the Drop-in Center which provides a safe, supportive environment to adults 18 years of age or older. Increases knowledge of community resources, allows individuals to learn from one another, provides a place where social and recreational activities can occur.

Program Aide

Part Time. 4 to 19 hours per week. Provides support to adults 18 years of age or older with mental health challenges to promote personal development. The Social Club and Drop-in Center program aides facilitate opportunities to learn coping and life skills, reduce isolation, teach and model socially appropriate behaviors. Will also be trained to provide support to callers on the non-crisis Warm Line phone service. Requirements: Knowledgeable about mental health and wellness through employment, education, or life events. Available to work some evening and weekend hours.

2 Bedroom for Rent in Stafford

For rent - Available 11/1/17.  2 bedroom, 2 bath in Stafford. Large family room, living room and kitchen. Park like yard. No pets, no smoking.  First, security and references will be required. $950 month plus utilities.  Call 585-768-7206


Experienced welder wanted. Full time. Must be able to fabricate from drawings independently. Apply in person at Tri-County Welding. 649 E Main St, Batavia.



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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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