Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Site Sponsors


November 22, 2015 - 8:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, Wonderland of Trees, batavia.


Photos from Friday's opening of the Wonderland of Trees for 2015 at the Holland Land Office Museum.










November 21, 2015 - 8:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia.

A two-car accident is reported at West Main and Thomas Avenue, Batavia.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

There are believed to be minor injuries.

UPDATE 9:01 p.m.: City PD on scene, reporting no injuries.

November 21, 2015 - 8:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia.


A driver was trapped in his car after it went off the road in the area of 9186 Alexander Road, Batavia, just before 3 p.m.

Town of Batavia firefighters worked for an hour to extricate the driver, who was both trapped in the vehicle and trapped by limbs from a tree. He suffered only bumps and bruises and was transported to UMMC. 

The vehicle struck a mailbox and a blue spruce tree.

Info and photo provided by Mike Pullinzi.

November 20, 2015 - 6:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, elba, Le Roy, Alabama, West Bergen.

Sarah Wilson, 31, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor following a joint investigation by the Genesee County Department of Social Services and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department. Wilson is charged with one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, one count of offering a false instrument for filing, 1st, both of which are felonies, one count of petit larceny. The investigation started after a Social Welfare Examiner at Genesee County Social Services noticed several inconsistencies in a medical statement Wilson had submitted to the department, which Wilson claimed had been completed by a local doctor. The investigation that followed revealed the medical statement allegedly had not been completed or signed by the doctor. Wilson was arrested by Sheriff's Investigator Joseph Graff and jailed on $1,000 bail. She is scheduled to reappear in Batavia Town Court at 2 p.m. on Dec. 8.

Lee A. Baxter, 31, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, third-degree assault, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Baxter was arrested at 2:40 p.m. on Nov. 19 following a reported on a domestic incident which had allegedly become physical. Batavia police patrols arrived and allegedly observed a physical altercation between "Baxter and another female." Baxter was put in Genesee County Jail on $2,000 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Cody A. Bush, 29, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class C felony. It is alleged that he sold a quantity of suboxone, which is a controlled substance, in and around the City of Batavia and the Town of Elba  to an agent of the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force. The DA's Office assisted in the investigation. The defendant was already in GC Jail on related charges when he was arrested Monday by Sheriff's deputies and arraigned in City Court on one count and then transferred to Elba Town Court where he was arraigned on the other count. He was taken back to jail.

Patrick Antonio Griffin, 46, of Saint Petersburg, Fla., is charged with: first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation; operation of a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more, first offense; driving while intoxicated, first offense; unlawful possession of marijuana; operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver; and having non-transparent window tint. Griffin was arrested at 1:09 p.m. on Nov. 14 on Ledge Road in Alabama. He was put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $2,500 bail. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona.

William David Conner, 64, of Harris Road, Le Roy, was arrested at 6:31 p.m. on Nov. 14 on Linwood Road in Le Roy and charged with: driving while ability impaired by alcohol, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle while on a public highway, failure to dim headlights, and having inadequate tail lamps. He is to reappear in Le Roy Town Court on Dec. 21. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona.

Michael William Godden, 38, of Edgemere Drive, Rochester, was arrested Nov. 18 at 11 p.m. after being stopped on Route 490 in West Bergen. He is charged with driving while intoxicated, first offense, refusal to take a breath test, and operating a motor vehicle without an inspection certificate. He was released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona.

A 17-year-old male who resides in Batavia is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested Nov. 18 after allegedly breaking a window at his mother's residence and then proceeding to yell at her and call her names, in violation of an order of protection which had been issued on Oct. 29 and was valid until 10/29/16. He was jailed in lieu of $500 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Frank F. Sposato III, 21, of Irwin Place, Huntington, was arrested today at 1:49 p.m. and charged with speeding and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. He was arrested following a traffic stop at 20 W. Main St. in Batavia and put in jail in lieu of $250 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels.

Kevin R. Larsen, 38, of Hall Street, Batavia, was arrested on Nov. 16 on a bench warrant, which was issued following an incident that occurred on Nov. 5 on Swan Street. He was put in jail in lieu of $1,000 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze, assisted by Officer Eric Hill.

November 20, 2015 - 4:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Operation Warm, IAFF Local 896, City Fire, batavia, Jackson School.


City of Batavia firefighters, members of IAFF Local 896, made their annual trip to Jackson School this afternoon to hand out winter coats to students who needed them.

The children received brand new, 100-percent American-made winter coats. The donations are part of a national effort sponsored by the not-for-profit Operation Warm.



November 20, 2015 - 4:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in Elmwood Cemetery, fire, batavia.

A possible tree fire is reported in Elmwood Cemetery on Harvester Avenue in Batavia. City firefighters are responding.

November 20, 2015 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, Foxprowl-Con, conventions, Clarion, batavia, business.


The Clarion Hotel in Batavia will be filled this weekend with superheroes, space aliens, monsters and robots, all gathering to partake in Foxprowl-Con, the first local comic and collectables convention.

Bill Hume, owner of Foxprowl Collectables on Ellicott Street, is the lead organizer of the event, which he said could draw from 2,000 to 4,000 guests from all over the region.

The convention will feature more than 100 vendors and several celebrities from the world of comics and sci-fi/horror entertainment, including Mark Dodson, from Star Wars and Gremlins, Kevin Duhaney and Jeff Parazzo, from Power Rangers, Adam Minarovich from the Walking Dead, Steve Cardenas, from Power Rangers, and Tyler Green and Rashaad Santiago, from FaceOff, among others.

These photos are from this afternoon while vendors were setting up. The convention opens this evening and continues Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit





November 20, 2015 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, cheerleading.

Two Batavia Cheerleading Youth Camps will be offered next month and are open to ages 4 through 13. Cost is $25 if registration is before Dec. 4; otherwise it's $30.

You do not have to be in the Batavia School District to participate. All are welcome. Camp sessions will be held at the Batavia Middle School Gymnasium from 5:30 to 7:30 on Friday, Dec. 18, and from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19. Participants must attend both sessions.

Coaches and parent volunteers will be working the camps accompanied by basketball junior varsity and varsity cheerleaders. Both camps are mandatory. Participants will learn jumps, arm motions, cheers & chants, stunting, and a 45-second routine appropriate for each age level. They are: Level 1 -- ages 4-6; Level 2 -- ages 7-9; and Level 3 -- ages 10-13.

All cheerleaders will perform the routine learned at the camps with varsity cheerleaders at the Genesee Community College Christmas Tournament game on Monday Dec. 28. Game details and warm-up time TBA.

To register, make checks payable to Batavia Cheerleading Boosters and send cash or check to:

Batavia City Schools

Attention: Justine Briggs

260 State St.

Batavia, NY 14020

Include the registrant's name, age and T-shirt size. Also include an emergency contact name, emergency contact primary phone number, and emergency contact e-mail address.

For additional information or questions, e-mail [email protected]

Visit on Facebook at Batavia Cheer - Batavia Cheerleading

November 20, 2015 - 11:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, business, Redfield Parkway, land use.

It took the city's Zoning Board of Appeals more than 45 minutes Thursday to make motions, collect seconds and tally votes on five variances that clear the way for a new Dunkin' Donuts franchise on West Main Street, across from Redfield Parkway.

After a presentation by the project's engineer Kip Finley and comments from members of the public, all Redfield Parkway residents opposed to the project, it came time for the ZBA board to vote on the variance requests for parking, driveways, building placement and height.

Minutes would pass before a motion would be made, then a long pause before a second, and when the question was called, the votes came slow.

All of the variances were approved, but as Chairman Jeff Gillard confirmed later, the board wasn't really thrilled to be the final hurdle the developers need to clear to be able to proceed with the project.

"You can't go by emotion," Gillard said. "You've got to follow the law."

With no legal reason not to approve the variance requests, the board didn't have much recourse, even if they are sympathetic with the concerns of Redfield Parkway residents over potential traffic congestion in the area.

The traffic issues are not part of the ZBA's legal authority to consider.

On the fifth and final variance, allowing a 14-foot wide driveway to access the property from West Main, Board Member Emma Kate Morrill-Mahoney struggled with her vote. She's expressed concern that the angle still wouldn't prevent cars from trying to use it as an exit. The zoning code calls for a 20-foot wide driveway, but that width would probably make it even more likely that patrons would use it for an exit, causing traffic issues. So if Morrill-Mahoney voted no, causing disapproval of the variance on a tie vote, the driveway would have to be 20-foot. When she realized her vote would potentially only make matters worse, she decided to vote yes.  

The Redfield Parkway residents who spoke uniformly raised concerns about traffic congestion.

"What does Dunkin’ Donuts have against the better neighborhoods in Batavia?" asked Donald Fryling. "First they build at the end of Ellicott Avenue, now they want to build at Redfield. What’s next, a donut shop on Naramore Drive?"

A Dunkin' Donuts at this location, between Barrett's Marine & Sporting Supplies and Five Star Bank, was first proposed a year ago and that proposal was rejected by city planners. Finley met with city staff and fashioned a new proposal to address the concerns of the city and the residents. The building will be Cape Cod style in design to better match the homes in the area; it's frontage will align with Barrett's to be a little more urban and less suburban sprawl in feel; and the driveways will be narrower to better channel traffic in the directions that least hinder the flow of traffic.

All of these changes necessitated approvals for variances from the ZBA, and since they were good faith efforts by the developer to address concerns, the ZBA couldn't just arbitrarily reject them. 

Among the questions raised through the planning process is why Dunkin' Donuts in this location? Why not another location?

Franchisee Mike Mikolajczyk said it's simple, this location makes the most business sense.

"It's absolutely the best location we could have in the city," Mikolajczyk said.

There have been marketing studies and traffic flow studies and all of the data singles out this location as the best one currently available among all other options.

"It's a great intersection, a great area, that's why everybody wants to be there and that's why it's busy, and that's where Dunkin' goes, a busy area," Mikolajczyk said.

Finley said the next step in the process is completing the architectural drawings and completing the purchase of the property.  The earliest the new shop could be open is prior to Christmas 2016.

Since a donut shop isn't a destination type of business, but a business that captures existing traffic, it's important to be where the traffic is, Mikolajczyk explained, and since it's not a destination, it won't add to traffic congestion, as some neighbors fear.

"I've visited with people in the neighborhood and they all have my phone number," Mikolajczyk said. "I don't' want to be a bad neighbor. I don't want to have people hate me before I even get in there, so I'm doing my best to be a good neighor and be a good businessman and asset to the neighborhood."

One reason the location is important to Mikolajczyk is that his current location -- on the corner of Ellicott Avenue and West Main -- does a great job of capturing eastbound traffic. It doesn't capture a lot of westbound traffic, and the new location will do that, he said.

Asked why this location instead of something on East Main, and Mikolajczyk kind of smiled. That may be coming, too, he said.

November 19, 2015 - 3:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, centennial, Christmas in the City.

Christmas in the City will be held on Friday, Dec. 4, and will also mark the conclusion of the closing ceremonies for Batavia's Centennial celebration.

First, starting at 6 p.m., come and behold the Centennial Time Capsule in the foyer of City Hall. See the sponsor wall and the legacy gift. Enjoy a dessert bar with a variety of toppings and hot chocolate. The first 100 people will receive a free Centennial mug!

Bid on a piece of history. Offer a price for the Centennial Street Banner that has bedecked the City Hall sign and take it home as a keepsake if you win. Silent auction bidding opens for 100 pennies.

Then, at 6:15 p.m., the lineup begins in nearby Austin Park for the aerial "Human 100" group photograph -- hopefully with 500 volunteers dressed all in blue or white or gold! Be part of the photo and receive a free Centennial flashlight. Photo will be taken at 6:45 p.m.

At 7, watch the parade along Jefferson Avenue and be on the lookout for the Centennial cake! And golden "coins" made of chocolate tossed to onlookers by Centennial celebrants, too!

The evening's closing ceremonies for the Centennial concludes with a fireworks extravaganza at 8 o'clock, compliments of the Centennial sponsors.

Christmas in the City will also feature:

Photos with Santa at GO ART! (5-9 p.m.)

Stores & Restaurants Offering Specials & Entertainment (5-9 p.m.)

Holiday Window Decorating Contest (5-9 p.m.)

Horse & Wagon Rides on Center Street (across from Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle) (5-9 p.m.)

FREE Shuttle Rides from Save-a-Lot to Wonderland of Trees at Holland Land Office Museum (5-9 p.m.)

Batavia Concert Band in the Batavia City Centre (6-6:45 p.m.)


(Sponsors: GOLD: The Batavian, Tompkins Bank of Castile & Tompkins Insurance)

November 19, 2015 - 3:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, centennial, Christmas in the City, Human 100.

As part of the city's ongoing Centennial celebration, there is going to be an aerial photograph taken of the "Human 100." The city is calling for 500 volunteers to stand "in cheery formation dressed in festive blue, white or gold wintry wear!"

This crowd shot in the form of the number 100 will take place at Austin Park on Friday, Dec. 4th, within lineup forming at 6:15 p.m.

An additional volunteer opportunity in celebration of the Centennial will take place immediately following the Human 100 photo shoot.

All will get to walk alongside the Centennial Cake in the Holiday Parade that kicks off this year's Christmas in the City festivities. There's one condition: Participants must be wearing blue, white or gold to be in the parade!

The route is along Jefferson Avenue and walkers will get chocolate coins to toss to rapt and merry parade watchers.

Questions? Call Vibrant Batavia is 738-7388 or contact Leanna Di Risio at:  [email protected]

November 19, 2015 - 2:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in street repair, batavia.

From Matt Worth, city director of Public Works:

The water line repair has been completed on Law/Chestnut Street between South Jackson and Walnut streets in the City of Batavia and the street is open to thru traffic.

November 19, 2015 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, Stafford.

Paul M. Gelardo, 30, of Valley View Lane, Batavia, is charged with: three counts of third-degree burglary, which are Class D felonies; one count of second-degree criminal mischief, also a Class D felony; and one count of fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony. His arrest concludes several investigations in the Town of Stafford. It is alleged that between April and September of 2014 that Gelardo unlawfully entered three separate buildings and removed items from them and also damagedf equipment at a stone quarry when he was allegedly removing wire from it, according to a Sheriff's Office press release from Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster. Gelardo was identified as a suspect when DNA found at one of the burlgaries allegedly matched his. None of the missing items have been recovered. Gelardo was put in jail in lieu of $10,000 bail and is set to reappear in Stafford Town Court at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10.

Lena Marie Evans, 28, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with making graffiti and third-degree criminal trespass. Today (Nov. 19), following the investigation of a graffiti and trespassing complaint near Route 98 in the Town of Batavia on CSX Railroad property, Evans was arrested on these charges. She allegedly went on railroad property without permission at 8 p.m. on July 15 and painted graffiti on a building. She was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled for Town of Batavia Court at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Saile.

John Wesley Johnson, 59, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, and operating with a suspended registration. Johnson was arrested on Nov. 11 for allegedly stealing about $66 worth of merchandise from Walmart before leaving the story. He was stopped by Batavia Police Sgt. Dan Coffey and then arrested and jailed in lieu of $250 bail. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Parker assisted by Sgt. Coffey.

Paul A. Russo, 40, of Frewsburg, was arrested by state Troopers on Nov. 17 and charged with petit larceny. An arrest warrant was issued after he allegedly swapped his used sneakers for a pair of Nike Flex valued at $70 from Kohl’s Department Store on Oct. 23. No further information was released.

November 19, 2015 - 10:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.
mug_donniearmstrong_nov2015.jpg mug_l_fletcher_nov2015.jpg
   Donnie Armstrong     Laura Fletcher

Two people were arraigned on drug dealing charges in County Court on Wednesday, following their arrests on warrants the night before.

Information on the investigation leading to their arrests has not yet been released.

Charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a narcotic drug with intent to sell, both Class B felonies, is Donnie Armstrong, 43, of East Main Street, Batavia. Armstrong is being held on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.

Also charged is Laura L. Fletcher, 41, of Holley Street, Lockport. She is charged with criminal sale of a narcotic drug and criminal possession of a narcotic drug with intent to sell. Her bail is $10,000 bash or $20,000 bond.

It's unknown at this time if the cases are related.

UPDATE 3:50 p.m.: The arrests of Donnie Armstrong and Laura L. Fletcher were made after the conclusion of an investigation into the sale of "crack" cocaine in and around the City of Batavia, according to a press release this afternoon from the Sheriff's Office. The investigation was done by the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force -- comprised of officers from the Sheriff's Office, Batavia Police NET and Le Roy Village PD. The task force was also assisted in the investigation by state Parole and the DA's Office.

November 19, 2015 - 10:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Law Street, chestnut street, batavia, infrastructure.

Press release:

Law/Chestnut Street between South Jackson and Walnut streets in the City of Batavia will be closed to “local traffic only” during the day today due to a water line repair. It is not expected that water service will be interrupted or affected.

November 18, 2015 - 7:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, business, land use.

The process of getting approval for a new Dunkin' Donut's has served to make for a better plan, project engineer Kip Finley told city planners during Tuesday's meetings, where planners eventually approved or recommended approval of a series of plans and variances allowing the project to go forward. 

The proposed Dunkin will be slipped in between Barrett's Batavia Marine and Five Star Bank on West Main Street, with the cooperation and blessing of those two property owners. The three properties will share driveways in and out of the location, helping traffic flow and thereby addressing one of the recurring objections to construction of the franchise store.

Finley, working on behalf of Dunkin' Donuts and franchisee Mike Mikolajczyk, who owns the current Dunkin' in the city, at West Main and Ellicott Avenue, has been hauling elevation drawings before city and county planners since September 2014, and until Tuesday's votes hadn't received much in the way of nods of approval.

The new design fits into the current environment better, Finley said.  The building will be a little more residential looking and the frontage will align with Barrett's, making it more of an urban approach to aligning storefronts.

Even so, there are still residents from nearby Redfield Parkway who object to the proposed location.

"Regardless of how good the aesthetics of the building, none of the design changes will improve its location," said Nan Zorn, a Redfield resident.

The planning committee approved the site plan review and recommend to the Zoning Board of Appeals that it approve variances for the frontage, the driveways and parking.

By code, the size of the building would require 80 parking spaces, which board members agreed was a bit much.

The Burger King on West Main has 80 spaces and Finley pointed out that is way more than the drive-thru restaurant needs.

"If you go there, the front third are used, and the rest you could play basketball on," Finley said.
"There are weeds growing. It doesn't get used."

Finley's work is not done. Dunkin's new location doesn't get built if the city's ZBA doesn't approve the variances.

November 18, 2015 - 9:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oliver's Candies, batavia, business, code enforcement.

Jeremy Liles said he will continue to push for a rules change in the City of Batavia on commercial signs that prohibit electronic signs from regularly changing their messages.

Earlier this year, Liles installed a new sign on his business, Oliver's Candies, at Main and Oak with an electronic message board.

Under the current city ordinance, he can only change the message on the board once every 24 hours. He would like to change it hourly, especially this time of year when he might have four or five different promotions going to attract holiday business.

Tuesday night the city's planning board unanimously rejected his request for a variance to allow the message to change at least hourly.

Duane Preston, chairman of the board, said his vote was based on the fact there is no precedent in the city for allowing an exemption.

Liles argued that signs at Salvation Army and Batavia High School change more often than every 24 hours, but Preston said the city's code enforcement officers report that no permission has been granted for such changes where the city has jurisdiction. He doesn't have jurisdiction over the school property, he said.

Liles said the inconsistency bothers him.

He vowed to continue the fight after the vote, including bringing it up during the city's comprehensive plan update.

One apparent argument against frequently changing signs is that it creates a traffic hazard. Liles said he doesn't buy that argument. Distracted driving from mobile phones is a bigger problem than business signs, he said.

"There were two accidents in front of Oliver's this morning and that had nothing to do with my sign," he said.




Copyright © 2008-2014 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button