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May 3, 2016 - 3:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, batavia society of artists, art.

The Batavia Society of Artists 2016 Spring Art Exhibit will be held at Richmond Memorial Library from May 9 to May 29.

The Opening Reception with artists will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 12. At 7 o'clock that night, the society will present the Virginia Carr Mumford Memorial Scholarship to a student from Genesee Community College.

Carr Mumford was a long-standing member of the society and over the years her family has graciously continued the yearly scholarship.

In addition, at the reception there will be award recognitions for the 2016 show and the drawing of a raffle winner of Brian Kemp's demo painting. It is a collaborative abstract painting titled "#17." Raffle tickets will be availble for sale until 7 p.m. They are $5 each or three for $10.

All proceeds will help the society to hold more art demos.

For additional information, contact Terry Weber at 993-0509 or [email protected].

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

May 3, 2016 - 1:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, human service committee.

There's every reason to think this summer's fair will be as good as last year's, which had the largest attendance in decades -- about 21,000 -- and plans are afoot to bring in thousands more to the fairgrounds for new events that include a statewide sheep show and Christian music concerts.

That was what the Human Service Committee was told at its Monday afternoon meeting by Norm Pimm, treasurer of the Genesee County Agricultural Society, which oversees the fairgrounds.

"We ran out of parking two nights," Pimm said, noting they found more space somehow, because "if they were going to pay $5 for parking, we were going to find a place for them."

Pimm credited the record-breaking number of fairgoers to lots of positive publicity by local media and the most coverage to date from news outlets in Buffalo, including TV channels 2, 7 and 4, The Buffalo News, and a morning radio showwhich drew more people than ever from the neighboring Erie County.

"We had to get the kids up early so they could be out with the animals," Pimm said about working to get publicity.

Another plus in 2015 was the biggest midway yet, including 18 mechanical rides, and the bonanza that ensued from having a $5 three-hour limitless ride opportunity for children on a Saturday.

"Parents said you couldn't go to another amusement park for that price," Pimm said.

The plan is to expand the three-hour ride bonanza by adding one more day this year -- a Friday AND a Saturday.

"I like the price for the kids' rides," said Committee Member John Deleo, who represents District 7.

The fair officials also want "to try and pick up some pieces" of the shattered good times due to the necessity of fair cancellations by fire departments in Elba and Stafford. To that end, they plan to hire the Syracuse-based band Under the Gun, which regularly played the Stafford gig, to entertain fairgoers.

"They have a huge following," Pimm told the committee, and so does the country band Branded and the Buffalo-based blues trio the Jony James Band, both of which are also going to be on the 2016 roster.

Of Jony James, a Buffalo News writer noted "(Jony’s) slashing, quivering guitar cuts like lightening through the smoke and grit of rough and tumble roadhouses, while his voice carries a touching sort of quiet sadness.”

Also, a magician has just been signed to perform daily at the fair. The price for parking will remain unchanged at $5 per vehicle and admission will remain free to the fair, despite the fact that many others are starting to charge an entrance fee.

The Batavia Speedway will continue its operations.

Beyond the fair, the Empire Sheep Show is a statewide showcase that will bring people to Genesee County for four days. And the largest hitched horse show in New York is in the plans, too, one of two new horse shows planned for the venue.

To accommodate these and upgrade the fairgrounds, a loan was just signed to build a new 60 by 130 foot barn. The old barn will remain standing and can be used when additional show space is needed. Grants are being pursued for electrical improvements at the fairgrounds.

This fall, a brand-new Farm Museum will open at the fairgrounds, and a key goal is to attract youth to agricultural pursuits. Local farmers provided the seed money for a 40 by 130 foot building to house the museum, which will include a classroom, exhibit space and room to expand. Plans call for an animal clinic for youth focusing on both health and showmanship.

"At the end of the day, if we don't get youth involved, there won't be a fair in 10 or 20 years," Pimm said.

Lastly, Pimm said the Ag Society was approached by a couple of local churches wanting to hold Christian music concerts. The estimated number of potential attendees quickly ballooned he said, and is now hovering between 3,000 to 5,000 people.

Ed DeJaneiro Jr., committee member representing District 9, said Pimm's report of the Ag Society underscores its aim to provide educational and entertainment value at affordable prices.

By the by, here's a video of the Jony James Band from 2011's Artpark festival in Lewiston.

May 3, 2016 - 12:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, YWCA, Women of Distinction.

Press release:

The 2016 Women of Distinction Awards Committee is thrilled to announce this year’s slate of recipients. These community members not only embody YWCA’s mission and vision but they also represent a wide cross section of people working toward the good of others.

They are:

  • Jennifer Nunnery for the military/veteran category;
  • Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Culinary Arts Program for economic empowerment;
  • Courtney Turcer for racial justice;
  • Tompkins Bank of Castile for corporate social responsibility;
  • Genesee County Mental Health Services for peace;
  • and City of Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze for advocacy/civic engagement.

Although some people may think of these awards as only about honoring women, they are acknowledgments to all of those deserving people, organizations and businesses that contribute to the mission and vision of YWCA.

They embody our ultimate goal to empower women, eliminate racism and encourage economic independence, healthy relationships and a community free from violence, Executive Director Jeanne Walton said.

“Through their work, these people and organizations have truly created paths of a more hopeful future for area youth, speakers of other languages, people with mental health needs, domestic violence victims and community members at large," Walton said. "These recipients are all excellent choices for our very diverse award categories. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments during the second annual Women of Distinction Awards Gala next month.”

The Gala is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Genesee Community College, 1 College Road, Batavia. An awards ceremony will be at Stuart Steiner Theatre, to be followed by dinner, social time and an art auction in the Forum at 6:30.

Tickets for the Gala are $40 each or $350 for a table of 10. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For tickets or more information, call (585) 343-5808.

Jennifer Nunnery, a Batavia native, was nominated for Military/Veteran for her dedication to fellow veterans and willingness to share her own Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a way to make her peers more comfortable. After graduating from Batavia High School she joined the Army Military Police Corps where she deployed to Iraq twice in 2003 and 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning home, she attended GCC, obtained a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Brockport State College and pursued law at University at Buffalo Law School. While there, she interned at the Genesee County Public Defender's Office and the Monroe County Public Defender's Office gaining valuable experience and mentorship from some of the most experienced public defenders in Western New York.

Nunnery, who recently opened her own law office Downtown, believes in giving back to her community. For three years she volunteered as a Veteran Mentor with the Batavia Veterans Treatment Court in Batavia City Court and she also serves as an advisor on the GCC Paralegal Advisory Committee and the Alexander High School’s Mock Trial Team.

Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Culinary Arts Program not only gives students the experience and hands-on training needed to operate an efficient kitchen, but the program, led by Chef Nathan Koscielski, allows students to compete in culinary events, operate an on-site café and develop all of the necessary skills to enable them to pursue this or a related career field after graduation.

The Batavia-based group was nominated for Economic Empowerment because students learn every facet of the business, from meeting expenses and operating a profitable business to food presentation and farm-to-table concepts.

Courtney Turcer is a teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages at Batavia High School. She was nominated for Racial Justice as a passionate teacher who works tirelessly to provide equal opportunity to the Batavia community’s English language learner population. This year she decided to volunteer her time for a free adult ESOL class on Sunday nights for parents in the Batavia area.

Her commitment and drive have enabled parents and students alike to communicate and understand the English language and therefore be able to pursue their educational and career goals. Her efforts garnered Turcer recognition as a Member of the Month by the state’s TESOL organization.

Genesee County Mental Health Services was nominated for Peace as a result of the agency’s impact on the lives of Genesee County residents each and every day. Agency staff has demonstrated a willingness to become more accessible before, during and after hours, which has kept crisis situations from turning into tragedies. The compassion, patience and understanding shown by all staff members, along with their ability to come together with their skills and talents as a team, is what makes the quality of services provided “priceless.” The effects are far reaching and often touch the lives of family members and friends who have been a part of the clients’ healing journey, a nomination letter stated.

Batavia City Police Officer James DeFreze was nominated for Advocacy/Civic Engagement due to his role of being a lifesaver. Not that he hasn’t had other positive encounters with domestic violence victims, but one in particular says she owes him a debt of gratitude for how he so swiftly came to her side with compassion and patience as she began her journey away from horrific abuse.

“It was the most terrifying and demoralizing experience," she says. "I did not have the strength or courage to go forth with any criminal charges on my abuser because he stripped me of having that power. I cannot express my appreciation or gratitude enough to you.”

Tompkins Bank of Castile was nominated for Corporate Social Responsibility for its constant presence out in the community while also being a source of encouragement for company employees. They contribute thousands of hours to various organizations each year, from coaching little league and picking up litter to gardening, painting and helping to renovate a dilapidated house.

Tompkins has record turnouts during Genesee County United Way’s Day of Caring and countless employees have served in leadership roles at Rotary, YWCA and Business Improvement District boards plus many other nonprofits. Marketing Officer Krysia Mager believes that if it hadn’t been for Tompkins’ management supporting her efforts on the city’s Centennial Committee, she would not have been able to be part of that historic effort. That’s just one of many examples of how a business like Tompkins can have that personal connection with its staff and community members, Mager said.

May 3, 2016 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

Press release:

On April 22, the Batavia Police Department held its annual Awards Luncheon to honor members of the Department that have gone “above and beyond."

The following were recipients of various awards:

Service Awards – given to members of the Department for years of service

  • 5 Years of Service: Sgt. Matt Lutey
  • 10 Years of Service: Sgt. Chris Camp, Sgt. Eric Bolles
  • 15 Years of Service, 25 Years of Service: Detective Thad Mart, Officer Frank Klimjack, Officer Darryle Streeter

Citizen Commendation -- This award is presented to any person (or corporation) who is not a member of the department but who has materially aided the department or its officers in some way. This includes assistance in the solution of crime or the apprehension of criminals, aiding an officer in the field in a critical situation, and cooperation with or assistance to the department as a whole in any aspect of the department’s administration or operations.

Walmart of Batavia received this year’s award for sponsoring Genesee County’s first ever Shop-with-a-Cop event held this past December. Walmart donated the gift cards used during the event and also supplied refreshments and snacks during the event. The event gives underprivileged children across the county an opportunity to purchase a gift or gifts for Christmas.

Certificate of Commendation – the following members received Certificates of Commendation:

  • Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk – for rendering aid to victims of a house fire, Dec. 20, 2015 at 5 Thomas Ave.
  • Detective Rich Schauf, Detective Kevin Czora, Officer Chad Richard and Officer Mitch Cowen – for assisting a citizen on Holland Avenue, April 17, 2015.
  • Officer Kevin DeFelice and Officer Marc Lawrence – for actions taken to locate and recover a vehicle that was reported stolen from the Village of Le Roy and apprehend the subject responsible for the theft, Jan. 8, 2015.
  • Officer Jason Davis – for action taken to assist a citizen in need of immediate medical care, Sept. 15, 2015.
  • Parking Enforcement Officer James Sheflin – for action taken to assist patrol officers in locate a subject in need of medical attention, April 1, 2015.

Life Saving Award – is awarded to any member of the department whose actions directly contribute to saving or significantly prolonging human life.

  • Officer Eric Foels – was the first officer on scene of an overnight structure fire at 5 Thomas Ave., after relaying to dispatchers that there were flames showing through the roof, he entered the building and began waking residents and ushering them to safety, furthering assisting by carrying an infant from the building to a neighbor’s house, Dec. 20, 2015.

Officer of the Year - Awarded to an officer annually for recognition as one who has consistently performed in an exemplary manner, is true to the ethics of the Batavia Police Department, and is highly deserving of the faith placed in him by the public.

  • Officer James DeFreze – Officer DeFreze was instrumental in organizing the first annual Shop-with-a-Cop program at Walmart and assisted with a great number of community events throughout the year, Officer DeFreze was further recognized by the YWCA for his assistance to victims of domestic violence. Officer DeFreze serves as one of the Department’s crisis negotiators and his skills were called upon several times during the past year.

All awardees were nominated by their peers and confirmed by a volunteer committee of various members of the Department.

Congratulations to all the recipients. 

May 3, 2016 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, news.

There was no forward movement in the murder case of Kyle Johnson today because the psychiatrist preparing a report on Johnson was unable to review a DVD provided by the defense on his computer.

Public Defender Jerry Ader expected the psychiatric exam report by today that might shed light on whether Johnson suffers from a mental defect or impairment.

The 53-year-old Johnson is accused of killing Norman D. "Don" Ball, of setting his own house on fire, and of attempting to kill a police officer and firefighter on Selden Road, Le Roy, on Dec. 1.

In order to assist the psychiatrist in viewing the DVD, Ader's office provided him today with a computer capable of playing the DVD.

Ader hopes the report will be available within a week and so a court appearance for Johnson was set for 11:30 a.m., May 10.

At some point after the report is available, there will be a hearing on several issues related to the case. Whether that includes a hearing on Johnson's mental state will be determined by Ader, but District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said at a prior court appearance that he expects Ader will seek a hearing on several evidentiary issues, including a photo lineup used with a witness, oral statements made in connection with the case, a video interview, and numerous statements made to corrections officers in the Genesee County Jail.

In other court cases today:

  • The case of Jason A. Armstrong Sr., accused of rape, was adjourned until Thursday. Today was the scheduled plea cut-off date for Armstrong, but Judge Michael Pietruszka agreed to continue the case two more days following a private conference with the attorneys.  Armstrong has been offered a plea bargain that would require him to plead guilty to assault, 2nd, and receive a five-year prison sentence followed by five years on parole.
  • Sara A. Howard, who previously entered a guilty plea to grand larceny, was scheduled to be sentenced today, but she didn't show up for court. Pietruszka read a letter from GCASA indicating that Howard has allegedly failed to comply with GCASA's instructions. He issued a warrant for her arrest. Howard was arrested earlier this year for stealing a Sony PlayStation valued at $300 after gaining entry to a family member's home on Jan. 8. Howard and an alleged accomplice also gained entry to another family's home and stole a .50-caliber CVA muzzleloader and a 12-gauge Mossberg Maverick valued at $700. Prior to her guilty plea locally, Howard allegedly committed a crime in Wyoming County but wasn't arrested until later. Howard's arrest was announced April 8. She faces multiple drug sales charges in Wyoming County.
May 3, 2016 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Batavia HS, batavia, news.

Tiara Filbert, who led Batavia's Lady Blue Devils to the team's first Section V title has been recognized by the NYS Sportswriters Association as one of New York's best high school basketball players.

Filbert has been named to the All-State First Team.

The sportswriters select 14 teams plus honorable mentions in Class A and no other player from Section V made any of the top six teams. In all, six players from Section V Class A were honored.

In Class C, Pembroke's Aralyse Johnson received honorable mention. In Class D, Elba's Alex Reigle made fifth team.

May 3, 2016 - 8:26am

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider an expansion project for Alpina Foods, Inc., at its May 5 board meeting.

Alpina Foods, Inc., is planning to construct a 3,200-square-foot addition to its existing facility in Batavia to accommodate space for a new bottle-filling machine and packaging equipment for a new drinkable yogurt product.

The company’s investment will total more than $1.1 million in the drinkable yogurt line, resulting in the retention of 23 current full-time employees.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, on the first floor, across from Genesee Community College.

May 2, 2016 - 11:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

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A man was spotting lying down on Ellicott Street at Swan Street by a passerby and he wasn't wearing any clothes.

Police, along with City fire and Mercy EMS, responded.

When police arrived, he was standing, talking to a truck driver, but he said nothing to police.

"At this point, we don't even know his name," said Sgt. Chris Camp.

There isn't enough information available to police at this point to say why he was in the roadway naked at 11:15 at night or how he got there.

He was transported to UMMC for evaluation.

May 2, 2016 - 3:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

Richmond Memorial Library's budget vote and trustee election takes place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3rd. Voting takes place in the library's Gallery Room. Any registered voter residing in the Batavia City School District is eligible to vote.

The library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

May 2, 2016 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A hit-and-run accident is reported in the area of 232 Liberty St.

No injuries are reported.

The caller reports he was parked in his driveway when a black pickup truck driven by a female struck his vehicle.

He provided dispatchers with a partial plate.

The pickup is described as black in color, unknown direction of travel.

Police are responding.

May 2, 2016 - 2:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, alexander.

Kyle Robert Ratulowski (pictured right), 20, of Batavia, was arrested on April 27 and charged with second-degree burglary, a Class C felony. Troopers received a call of a burglary on Clinton Street in the Town of Batavia on that date. The investigation revealed that a fire safe was taken valued at $200 and that Ratulowski was a possible suspect. Ratulowski was located at a address in the City of Batavia. Ratulowski was arrested and transported to SP Batavia for processing. He was arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court and put in Genesee County Jail for $25,000 bail.

Kyle Robert Ratulowski, 20, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was arrested at 9:45 p.m. on April 29 for allegedly being in possession of stolen electronics. He was charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th, and issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court on May 10. The goods were reported stolen at 2 p.m. on April 20 from a location of Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia. At the same time and date of this arrest, Ratulowski was also charged with petit larceny of tools and personal items and for fourth-degree criminal mischief for allegedly damaging a vehicle. These charges stem from an incident at 10 p.m. on April 12 on Park Road in Batavia wherein items were stolen from an unlocked vehicle and the interior of the vehicle was damaged. He is to appear in Town of Batavia Court, also on May 10, to answer these charges. Both cases were handled by Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer.

Nicholas Benjamin Wall, 25, of Dodgeson Road, Alexander, is charged with reckless endangerment of property. He was charged following a large explosion on April 15. He allegedly shot a large amount of tannerite at 3465 Dodgeson Road, Alexander, which cause an explosion and shook houses throughout the county.

Rochelle V. Tomlin, 40, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a minor and obligation of a parent or guardian. She was arrested at 2 p.m. on April 24 after allegedly allowing her 14-year-old son to violate the city's curfew. At the time the youth was in violation of the curfew, he was "out committing acts that would be considered crimes if performed by an adult," according to the police report. Tomlin is to be in City Court at 1 p.m. on May 10. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Todd A. Reynolds, 45, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and obstructing governmental administration. He was arrested at 10:23 p.m. on May 1 following a domestic incident on West Main Street. He allegedly was kicking the victim during an altercation. He did not cooperate with police upon their arrival and became combative with them. He was put in jail, with bail (unspecified), and was to appear in City Court this afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Michael E. Weichman, 21, of Bank Street, Batavia, and Alysha E. Weichman and Tyler L. Warner were arrested at 4 p.m. on April 28 and charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and fifth-degree conspiracy for allegedly stealing $1,376.97 worth of groceries from Tops Market in Batavia. They were issued appearance tickets and are to be in City Court on May 10. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Jared Paul Schmidt, 20, of Silver Springs, is charged with disorderly conduct and open container of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle. He was arrested at 1:35 p.m. on April 23 after he was allegedly observed hitting/striking his vehicle, which was parked roadside on Ellicott Street, and obstructing vehicular traffic. He was allegedly found to have an open bottle of beer in the center console of his vehicle. He was ordered to be in City Court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Darryle Streeter.

Patricia A. Poole, 26, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with violation of conditional discharge. She was located on Liberty Street at 4:05 p.m. on April 30 and arrested on a bench warrant issued for a disorderly conduct charge from November 2009. She was released and ordered to appear in Batavia City Court this afternoon. During the handling of this case, responding officers discovered that Poole had an active warrant from 2012. She was subsequently arrested and jailed in lieu of $500 bail. She is also to appear in City Court this afternoon on the 2012 warrant case. The cases were handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot and Officer Peter Flanagan.

James N. DiFalco, 19, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property. He was arrested after allegedly being found in possession of stolen game system and selling it to a game store for cash on April 20. He is to return to Batavia City Court on May 10. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

James R. Sweet, 54, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with conducting an open burn. At 5:50 p.m. on April 28, Sweet was allegedly found to be burning debris in his yard on Walnut Street in violation of the city's municipal code. He is to appear in City Court on May 10. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Latiqua S. Jackson, 22, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested April 25 after allegedly stealing a Sony PlayStation 3 from a residence on Tracy Avenue on April 18. She is to be in City Court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Marquita Shanee Davis, 28, of Old Meadow Lane, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested at 3:25 p.m. on May 1 as a result of a shoplifting complaint. It is alleged that she stole $73.57 worth of merchandise from a location on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia. She was released with an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court at a later date. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Chante Dominique Davis, 30, of Old Meadow Lane, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested at 3:25 p.m. on May 1 as a result of a shoplifting complaint. It is alleged that she stole $73.57 worth of merchandise from a location on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia. She was released with an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court at a later date. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

A 17-year-old from Pavilion is charged with petit larceny. The suspect was arrested April 30 in connection with a shoplifting incident wherein several articles of clothing were stolen from a local store. The youth was issued an appearance ticket for May 9 in Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Pierre A. Triplett Jr., 20, no permanent address, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested following an investigation of shoplifting at Tops Market in Batavia at 10:46 a.m. on April 28. He is to be in City Court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Brad L. Ohlson, 39, of Union Street, Batavia, was arrested on April 25 on a bench warrant issued out of Batavia City Court after his alleged failure to comply with the conditions of his release under supervision. He was held on bail and was to appear in City Court April 25. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Mariah R. Hagen, 20, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. She was arrested on the charge following a traffic stop at 9:24 p.m. on April 21 on State Street, Batavia. She is due in City Court on May 4. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Thad Mart, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

May 2, 2016 - 2:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire, news.

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Peter Yasses, 81, a 23-year veteran of the Batavia City Fire Department, was lain to rest today and his funeral procession was escorted from the J. Leonard McAndrew Funeral Home on Bogue Avenue to St. Joe's Cemetery by Ladder 15. Yasses passed away Wednesday. For his full obituary, click here.

May 2, 2016 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Fired Up, crafts.

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Another old thing that's new again is ceramics.

Decades ago, buying clay figurines and painting them according to your own craft or whimsy was quite the thing, but then the hobby kind of faded away.

It's starting to make a comeback, which is one reason Shirley Nigro-Hill decided to open a ceramics shop on Ellicott Street in Batavia.

Nigro-Hill taught ceramics in the 1970s before establishing a reputation in dolls, but when her daughter moved back here from Florida and couldn't find what she needed to continue her ceramics crafting, they decided to open up the shop in a building she owns on Ellicott.

They already had the kilns and slips, which puts them in a unique position for most ceramic shops these days -- they pour and fire most of what they sell.

"I guess that's unusual for the day, but I'm back from the old school," Nigro-Hill said.

The type of ceramics is called "Bisque wear."  

The shop, Fired Up - Ready to Paint Ceramics, opened last week.

Customers can purchase a figurine and paint it in the shop with acrylic paint and it will be dry and ready to take home by that evening, or they can take it home and paint it at home.

Nigro-Hill said the shop also offers classes for both adults and children and also offers group events.

Fired Up, at 216 Ellicott St., is open noon to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 6 p.m. on Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

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April 30, 2016 - 9:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

City PD is looking for a gray or silver SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban, involved in a hit and run accident.

The female victim, who may be pregnant, exited the vehicle and said the driver tried to hit her multiple times. 

The driver is described as a light-skinned male.

The victim was transported by Mercy EMS to UMMC for evaluation.

The incident occurred in the area of 15 Highland Park.

April 30, 2016 - 4:30pm

Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with current specials and sales. Follow The Hidden Door. Follow Pollyanna & Dot. Two chic stores in one, 202 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia.

April 30, 2016 - 10:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

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Roger Saile, 90, the lone occupant of a residence at 8056 Oak Orchard Road, died as a result of a fire in his house this morning.

The fire was reported by a truck driver passing by the residence at about 5:25 a.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by State Police, Town of Batavia fire and Genesee County Emergency Services.

Firefighters from the town arrived on scene quickly after the fire was reported.

"We had a quick arrival and an initial attack of two engines, a ladder and a rescue," said Assistant Chief Dan Coffey. "We were able to get in their and get a good initial attack and search going."

Saile was deceased when he was found inside the residence.

After the fire was out, during what firefighters call "overhaul," one volunteer firefighter was under a ceiling when it collapsed. The firefighter was not seriously injured and was transported to UMMC for evaluation.

Crews were on scene from Town of Batavia, Elba, Oakfield, Stafford and the City of Batavia.

A neighbor described Saile as "a good man."

Michelle Gerold said sons Christian and Daniel would visit with him, and when he passed by their house he would toot his horn and wave and they often ran into him at one of his favorite restaurants, Sport of Kings. 

He was always full of stories about his life.

"We would hear about the old days when we would see him out at a restaurant," she said. "He was overall such a nice man. We're so sad. His stories of his house, his stories of his life and how it used to be when he was growing up on a farm; he would tell us about his old vehicles. His stories just made us know he was a good person, a good individual. I loved him, my sons loved him, my husband loved him. It just breaks our hearts that he's gone now."

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April 30, 2016 - 5:34am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

A working fire is reported at 8056 Oak Orchard Road at an apartment building. Unknown if the structure is occupied, "it's possibly occupied." Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding along with Alexander's Fast team.

UPDATE 5:35 a.m.: "This is an occupied structure." Fire police are called to assist with traffic control at Route 98 and the Thruway. "Flames are through the roof."

UPDATE 5:38 a.m.: A Mercy unit is responding. Stafford fire is asked to report to the Town of Batavia Station #2 and East Pembroke to Station #1.

UPDATE 5:42 a.m.: Elba Fire Police are called to control traffic at Route 98 and West Saile Drive.

UPDATE 5:54 a.m.: An Elba engine is called to the scene.

UPDATE 5:57 a.m.: Mercy medic #3 is the second ambulance into the scene.

UPDATE 5:59 a.m.: The natural gas line has been shut off to the residence. The rescue unit with a cascade system is called in from Elba instead of an engine.

UPDATE 6 a.m.: The city's fast team is also working to extinguish the fire. The city's third platoon is called to fire headquarters.

UPDATE 6:02 a.m.: National Grid is called to the scene.

UPDATE 6:07 a.m.: Byron is requested to have one engine stand by in Elba Fire Hall.

UPDATE 6:05 a.m.: Elba Fire Police are also to control traffic at Route 98 and Park Road, and Route 63 and Veterans Memorial Drive.

UPDATE 6:25 a.m.: The fire scene is north of the Thruway, just north of Call Parkway. Le Roy is asked to stand by in Stafford's fire hall.

UPDATE 6:39 a.m.: Town command reports fire is under control; overhauling structure now. Power to the structure has been turned off.

UPDATE 6:41 a.m.: Instead of Le Roy, Bethany is asked to fill in at Stafford's fire hall.

UPDATE 7:15 a.m.: The Salvation Army is called to the scene.

UPDATE 7:22 a.m.: A third Mercy rig is called to come in non-emergency mode. Salvation Army has an ETA of about 45 minutes. An ambulance just arrived at UMMC with a patient who sustained a head injury at the fire scene.

UPDATE 7:32 a.m.: One person died in this fire. Some family notifications have been made. A code enforcement officer from Town of Batavia is called to the scene. 

UPDATE 8:54 a.m.: Route 98 has been reopened.

UPDATE 10:10 a.m.: State Police have confirmed that Roger Saile, 90, the lone resident of the house, died as a result of the fire.

April 29, 2016 - 4:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oakfield, news.

A diesel fuel spill has been located along Route 63 that stretches across both sides of Batavia Oakfield Townline Road.

Oakfield fire is on scene and a Town of Batavia chief is responding.

The Oakfield chief is asking that traffic in the area be slowed by fire police because of the spill.

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