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November 29, 2016 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, 400 Towers, news.

The 400 Towers resident who admitted to baking his cat to death will serve the next five years on probation, Interim Judge Michael Pietruszka ruled in Genesee County Court today.

The defense attorney for Darren Annovi, Lisa Kromer, argued that jail was not an appropriate sentence for Annovi because he has had persistent mental illness and has suffered from mental health issues since childhood.

Annovi has limited intelligence and did not intend to harm his cat, she said, even though he knew it would die in the hot oven, he apparently thought it would painlessly go to sleep and pass away.

During the term of Annovi's probation he will not be allowed to own any pets.

Wendy Castleman with Volunteers for Animals was hoping for more. 

“I think the concern I would have is the signal it sends to the public," she said. "This is a person who killed an animal in a cruel way and received probation. So does that make it OK for other people?”

Via our news partner, WBTA.

November 29, 2016 - 12:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Bethany, news.

Jordan Paul Fleming, 28, of East Bethany Le Roy Road, Bethany, is charged with third-degree sexual abuse. Fleming is accused of subjecting another person to sexual contact without that person's consent.

Fawn Lynn Marie Kaczmarek, 28, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument. Kaczmarek was allegedly found in possession of a needle during an investigation by Deputy Matthew Clor.

November 29, 2016 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, drama club, theater, arts, batavia, news.

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The Batavia High School Drama Club presents three performances this weekend of William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," as dramatized by Trish Black Melchan.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m., Sunday, on the stage of the school's auditorium.

Tickets are $8 per adult and $6 for students and seniors.

The Cast:

Messenger of the Court -- Hannah Bluhm
Beatrice -- Serena Strollo-DiCenso
Benedick -- Evan Bellavia
Don Pedro -- Sam Rigerman
Claudio -- Pierce Corbelli
Hero -- Eryn Dunn
Leonato -- Alex O'Brien
Don John -- Cameron Bontrager
Borachio -- McKenna Dziemian
Conrade -- Christian Arteaga
Dogberry -- AnnMarie Georgia
Verges -- Taylor McKenzie
Margaret -- Celia Flynn
Ursula -- Taylor Fonda
Nerissa -- Elise Hoerbelt
Friar Francis -- Olivia Judge
Kinsman -- Alicia Scroger
Kinsman -- Madeline Keenan
Attendant -- Parise Ricks
Attendant -- Alayna Tatarka
Sexton -- Shannon Cervone

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November 28, 2016 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, news, batavia.

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Press release:

Daemen College men's basketball player Jeff Redband (Batavia, N.Y./Batavia) has been named the East Coast Conference Rookie of the Week for games held Nov. 21-27. The official announcement was made via the league's weekly men's basketball report, which was released this afternoon from conference headquarters in Central Islip.

Redband, a 6-foot-7 redshirt-freshman forward, averaged 13.7 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block per game in three contests last week, while also shooting 51.7-percent from the field (15-for-29) and 55-percent from three-point range (11-for-20). Redband's efforts helped Daemen pick up a pair of wins to push out to a 5-1 record this season.

Redband opened the week by posting the first 20-point outing of his career in Daemen's 90-79 road win at Edinburg University last Wednesday (Nov. 23). The sharp-shooting forward canned five three-pointers in the first half, scoring 15 of his 20 points in the opening frame. He ended the game shooting 7-of-13 from the field and 6-of-10 from long distance, while adding five rebounds in what was the 300th win in the career of Daemen Head Coach Mike MacDonald.

Two days later, Redband started 4-for-4 from the field and 3-for-3 from three-point range as Daemen raced to a 19-point halftime lead over visiting Slippery Rock University. He ended up sharing game-high honors with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting (4-for-7 from three-point range) in the Wildcats' 12-point win (69-57). The victory moved Daemen to 5-0 for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

The Wildcats' winning streak was halted on Sunday with a 70-61 road loss at Mercyhurst University. Redband finished with five points, three rebounds and two blocks in a losing effort.

Redband's selection is the first weekly honor for a Daemen player this season. The Wildcats led the league in Rookie of the Week selections last season with six. Guard Jay Sarkis (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena), who is out for the entire 2016-17 season with an injury, was a four-time recipient, and Deion Hamilton (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena) earned the honor twice.

Redband and the Wildcats begin ECC play this week with a pair of road tilts. Daemen visits Long Island University Post on Wednesday (Nov. 30) and the University of the District of Columbia on Saturday (Dec. 3).

For breaking news and continuing coverage of the Daemen men's basketball team, follow @DaemenAthletics and @DaemenMBB on Twitter.

Photo courtesy Daemen Athletics.

UPDATE: I picked this up off of social media -- another former Batavia High School star having a good year so far at the college level is Jalen Smith, a guard at Hilbert College, who was the Alleghany Mountain Conference Player of the Week this week. "Jalen Smith led the hawks to a 1-1 record with averaging 27.5 points per game. He shot 57.7 percent from the field and 43 percent from the 3-point line. He led the hawks defense with four steal per game."

November 28, 2016 - 3:00pm

  • There will be horse and buggy rides again this year. Purchase tickets at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle. 
  • Home Depot is hosting "Santa's Workshop" at 109 Main St. (The Newberry Building). Stop into the Hillside Children's Center for a craft, cookies and cocoa. 
  • T-Shirts Etc. will be hosting a T-shirt coloring contest. The cost is $3 each with all the proceeds going to Don Carroll Toys for Kids. 
  • Amy's Fluffy Friends is offering professional Photos with your pets, family and kids, with all proceeds going to charity. 
  • Catch a bus to visit the Holland Land Office Museum’s Wonderland of Trees. The bus departs from the Save-A-Lot parking lot. 
  • Pollyanna and Dot along with The Hidden Door will be offering a Christmas themed activity for children. They are also offering 15 percent off all full-priced items. 
  • Warm up at the YNGodess with an adult only tasting and in store specials. 
  • Stop into Art Ah La Carte to make a Christmas Ornament. For $2, children can make an angel ornament. All proceeds will benefit Josh Harloff to help pay medical bills due to battling leukemia.
  • The First Presbyterian Church at 300 E. Main St. will be putting together a nativity walk during Christmas in the City. Walk through and view a variety of scenes from around the world and close to home. 
  • The Batavia Concert Band will be playing in the mall concourse from 6 to 6:45. 
  • Game-On will be having an open play in their new gaming lounge called the Warp Zone. They will have different games set up for kids to play, along with refreshments. 
  • GO ART! is hosting the "Celtic Christmas in the City" with the Tullamore Celtic Band, Irish dancers, carolers and refreshments. 
  • Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle will be offering Buy 1, Get 1 FREE on bicycle tune –up gift cards! They will also be serving their famous chili. 
  • Mane Attraction is offering hair Tinsel at Christmas in the City! $5/ strand... get your holiday hair on!
  • Stop in to Charles Men's Shop during Christmas in the City and check out their amazing new styles and holiday specials! 
  • Bahama Bay Salon and Spa will be having a basket raffle. Enter to win a basket valued at more than $200, with gift certificates, clothing and more. 
  • The Spa at Artemis is offering a special discount for Christmas in the City. Their $80 "Touch of Artemis" package is marked down to $65! 
November 28, 2016 - 9:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, elba, alexander.

Kayleigh Jean Allen, 24, of North Byron Road, Elba, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. Allen was charged following an investigation into an accident reported at 2:36 a.m. Saturday on Route 98 in Alexander. The accident was investigated by Sgt. Jason Saile.

Maria Luisa Martinez, 21, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Martinez is accused of stealing $70.18 in merchandise from Kohl's.

November 27, 2016 - 9:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

Batavia PD, with the assistance of Sheriff's deputies, is trying to apprehend a subject with possible mental health issues in the Clinton Street area. 

The person may be injured and may have a knife. 

The call began with a male and female dispute and the male threatening to hurt himself. 

The subject, in a white T-shirt, is now on foot and said to be running from police. 

Police are switching to encrypted communication.

A Mercy EMS ambulance is on standby in Aldi's parking lot.

 UPDATE 9:48 p.m.: Subject may have been located at Country Max on East Main Street. He may be injured. Ambulance dispatched. 

November 27, 2016 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A motor-vehicle accident believed to be with a minor neck injury is reported at Ellicott Street and Main Street, Batavia.

City fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 12:57 p.m.: Batavia PD on location reporting no injury.

November 26, 2016 - 6:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure, news.

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More than dozen homes on Edgewood Drive, Batavia, are affected by a water main break today.

Town of Batavia crews are on scene and repairs will take up to two or three more hours.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Supervisor Gregory Post informed reporter Mike Pettinella, an Edgewood Drive resident, that the main valve has been installed, and for all homeowners affected by the situation to turn their cold water on and let it run for 10 minutes to rid it of any possible discoloration. Crews are filling the large hole with stone, and have placed cones around the site as they continue their time on the job -- nearly nine hours.

UPDATE 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27.: Supervisor Post is on the scene, and indicated that corrosion caused a main valve to malfunction. A new valve has been delivered to the scene and crews are in the process of installing it and reconnecting it to the water line.

November 26, 2016 - 6:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, batavia, business, Shop Local, kathy hochul, news.

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It's been five years since Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul first came to Batavia for part of her Christmas shopping and she noted today while standing outside Valle Jewelers how much things have changed.

For the better.

"Five years ago you would see one person, maybe two, in a store and you would feel kind of bad because I know hard it was when my mom had a little business and nobody walked through the door," Hochul said. "It’s a lonely feeling and I know how hard these people work."

Hochul owned a small shop in a WNY village at a time when most people were predicting decline for the area, but she stuck with it and that's one reason Hochul believes so strongly in supporting locally owned businesses.

"My connection with these people is that I feel that same entrepreneurial spirit (as her mother), true believers, people who never gave up in places like Batavia," Hochul said. "I come out and thank them for staying with it during the tough times and hopefully they’re very successful now as people are starting to rediscover downtowns."

There are new retail shops in Downtown Batavia and in addition to visiting her favorites, Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, Charles Men's Shop and Valle Jewelers, Hochul also stopped in at The Hidden Door/Pollyanna & Dot and Foxprowl Collectables.

Hochul remarked on the great diversity of businesses helping to anchor downtown as a more vibrant shopping destination and that's good for all the businesses.

"The downtown has really come alive again and it’s satisfying for me to see," Hochul said.

Hochul was accompanied on her walk through downtown by City Manager Jason Molino, who shared information about the projects completed and underway that are transforming downtown, such as the planned brewery and restaurant incubator going into the former Newberry's building. Projects like those, and the new shoe store, a joint effort between Charles Men's Shop and p.w. minor, will only help draw more people to Batavia and to downtown, she said.

Hochul promised that the governor's office will continue to support programs that assist in local economic development, such as those that assisted in bringing new apartment units downtown and is helping with brownfield redevelopment and projects that will hopefully help the whole county's economy grow, such as STAMP -- Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park.

"There’s a direct correlation between a governor who has been paying attention to Upstate New York, and myself knowing it so well in the past five years, to where I really think we've made a difference," Hochul said.

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November 26, 2016 - 12:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

An accident with possible minor injury is blocking in the area of 4138 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

That's in front of the McDonald's.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS responding.

November 25, 2016 - 1:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, batavia.

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Batavia's own Mike Pettinella was edged out in the Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters tournament at the Perry Bowling Center by Bob Santini.

Santini is owner of Mount Morris Lanes and the title was his first senior masters win.

The 52-year-old bowler beat Pettinella 189-180.

Pettinella was trying for his third title in the scratch event for bowlers age 50 and over.

This year's tournament attracted 49 bowlers, the most in its 11-year history.

Santini, a 1994 Perry Bowling Association scratch memorial tourney champion, rolled a 700 series in qualifying to place third behind Joe Trigilio of Attica (721) and Paul Spiotta of Batavia (705). He followed that with 422 in the two-game semifinals to reach the round of six.

In that round, and as the lanes hooked more and more, he posted 187, second to Pettinella's 190, to reach the stepladder finals along with Oakfield's Scott Gibson, who shot 179.

In the first game of the finals, Pettinella defeated Gibson, 188-168, to earn the right to face the top-seeded Santini.

Santini earned $300 plus a free entry into the GRUSBC Masters in February, while Pettinella won $175 and Gibson took home $125.

Trigilio, Spiotta and Roger Stone won $75 each, while Fred Gravanda, of Batavia, Don Parrott, of Warsaw, Mike Kime, of Caledonia, Scott Shields, of Batavia, Bob Hodgson, of Medina and Bill Logan, of Albion, each won $60 for making the top 12.

Photo -- Mike Pettinella, left, and Bob Santini -- GRUSBC Senior Masters finalists.

November 24, 2016 - 12:00pm


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November 23, 2016 - 1:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in p.w. minor, batavia, downtown, business, charles men's shop, news.

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Batavia-based p.w. minor held an official kickoff party for its two new lines of shoes on Tuesday night in the future home of its new retail store, the former Chamber of Commerce headquarters on East Main Street.

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley were both in attendance and they tried on some new shoes.

The new shoe lines are Abram Boots, an affordable, steel-toed work boot, and a line of higher end men's fashion shoes, under the brand of the Batavia Boot and Shoe Company.

The store will be a joint venture between p.w. minor and Charles Men's Shop, run by owners Dave Howe and Don Brown.

Next year, p.w. minor will celebrate its 150th anniversary. It recently moved all of its production back to Batavia from China and the new store will stock only American-made products.

Howe said owner Pete Zeilff, his family and the rest of the team at p.w. minor have done something a lot of people talk about but few do: make a real investment and commitment to the local community.

"I will tell you," Howe said, "we need your commitment as a community to support us. We're hoping for a partnership that everyone can be proud of."

Brian Benedict, the new director of sales for p.w. minor who was lured from a good job in Chicago to return to his hometown and work for Zeliff, said he's amazed at how far p.w. minor has come as a company in a short time and that he's excited about the potential of these shoe lines.

"We have 86 people employed at p.w. minor, so when you buy a pair of shoes, a pair from the Batavia Boot and Shoe Company, seven people touched that shoe as it goes through production," Benedict said. "And, 94 percent of our employees live in Genesee County. It’s not buying an American-made shoe. You’re buying a shoe from people who are your neighbors, your friends, people you see in the street, you see at Tops.

"If you buy two pair we can actually hire more people," he added, which got a laugh from the invited guests in the room.

The kickoff party is the first of six such events over the next couple of months, including a factory tour and chance to check out the new shoe lines at the factory in late December. The invited guests for that event will be people who have liked p.w. minor on the company's Facebook page.

Zeliff said he doesn't think he could have better partners for this venture than Howe and Brown.

"I had to learn a new profession (in taking over p.w. minor) and a new way of making a living over the past two years," Zeliff said. "I really didn't think I would do that at my age, but I really didn't want to learn another one doing retail, so Dave and Don are great people to partner with. I'm happy we're able to do this with them."

Howe has been in the retail business for 50 years, and owned Charles Men's Shop for 31 years, a business that has been in Batavia for 70 years.

The new shoe lines were developed by Kristine McCarthy, a graduate of Batavia High School, who returned home after working in New York City, to join the team at p.w. minor.

Zeliff said he's excited to reach this point of growth for p.w. minor. He sees bright days ahead.

"We've finally turned a corner and we've got a new product out," Zeliff said. "We've got a lot of exciting things happening. I think in these next 12 months will really be the turning stone for us to become a proftable company again and grow more."

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November 23, 2016 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in College Village, GCC, batavia, news, schools.

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Photo and information provided by John Sisson and GCC.

A turkey was fried at College Village today to help demonstrate how to safely cook with oil for residents at the apartment complex at Genesee Community College.

Chief of Safety, Bob Guesno and College Village Director John Sisson are seen lowering the turkey into the oil.

"As many of our fire calls at College Village are related to cooking with oil, we thought that we would take this opportunity to give the residents not only a safe example but also a chance to share some tips for cooking with oil in their apartments as well," Sisson said.

The residents will be served a turkey dinner with all the fixings, including stuffing and mashed potatoes.

“This will be our 12th year holding this annual feast in honor of Thanksgiving,” said Mary-Clare Stokes, assistant director of Residence Life and Learning at College Village. “It’s a great way for our students and resident assistants to come together in a bonding experience. And, as the semester winds down, it certainly is a ‘de-stressor’ as well.”

Each resident assistant of College Village works throughout the day to prepare the meal, and are being charged with cooking one turkey apiece to share with residents. That usually is approximately 10 turkeys and will feed at least 150 student residents. For some students, this will be their only Thanksgiving celebration, and for some international students, it may be the first time they’ve experienced the holiday or tasted the traditional foods of an American Thanksgiving.

“The tradition is a great experience for everyone,” Stokes said. “Not only is it the first Thanksgiving experience for some of our residents, but it may also be the first experience for some of our resident assistants and staff at cooking a Thanksgiving meal. We look forward to a great turnout and a fun evening!” 

November 23, 2016 - 12:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mixed Martial Arts, sports, batavia, Le Roy, news.

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Since Sept. 1, mixed martial arts competitions have been legal in New York, and Batavia will be at the forefront next month of hosting tournaments.

Rich Mitchell, of Le Roy, and originally from Stafford (far right in photo) is a former professional MMA fighter and for the past five years has judged fights. Now he's moving into the promotional side of the business, sponsoring his first tournament Dec. 17 at the Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia.

"I’ve been involved with this sport and it was just time (to become a promoter)," Mitchell said. "It’s a natural progression."

There was a promoter in Buffalo, but he's become a deputy commissioner for the sport in New York, so that opened up the WNY market to competition.

Mitchell is planning on promoting six events a year, three in Batavia and three in Buffalo.

At first, the events will be all amateur bouts because professional fights, especially for insurance, are a lot more expensive to stage, but moving up into the promotion of professional fights is definitely part of the plan, Mitchell said.

"It's a little way off," Mitchell said, "maybe a year or two."

The event Dec. 17 starts at 6 p.m. and will feature Morgan Cavanach and Tom Shelby. Tickets are $30 pre-sale, $35 at the door, and VIP cage-seats are $50.

For more information, visit groundforcefights.com.

Top photo: Eddie Ortiz and Pete Flanagan, both on the left, are two of the local fighters who will participate Dec. 17. Joe Loftus, second from right, was originally on the card but will have to sit out because of an injury; and Mitchell.

Bottom photo: Wrestling students and MMA participants at Main Street Fitness, Le Roy.

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November 23, 2016 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

David C. Truesdale, 26, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Truesdale was arrested by members of the Local Drug Task Force after being called by NYS Parole to assist in an investigation. Truesdale was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and crack cocaine. Truesdale was jailed on an alleged parole violation. He was issued an appearance ticket on the drug charges. Additional charges possible pending a lab report. Deputy Chris Erion and K-9 "Destro" assisted in the investigation.

Shane Zimblis, 45, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is accused of criminal mischief, 3rd. Zimblis is accused of spray painting the headlights and grill of a pickup truck at 1:47 a.m. Tuesday at a location on Pearl Street, without the owner's permission. He was ordered held without bail.

November 23, 2016 - 9:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Grand Jury, batavia, elba, news.

James D. Pontillo is indicted on four counts of falsifying business records, 1st, and one count of grand larceny, 4th. Pontillo is accused of filing false business records with Pathstone related to Section 8 housing by filing a false information sheet, a request for tenancy approval, owner responsibility form and lead paint disclosure form. In the course of these filings, he's accused of defrauding the agency of more than $1,000.

Michael J. Jarmuz II, is indicted on a count of driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, aggravated unlicensed operation, criminal impersonation, 2nd, four counts of forgery, 2nd, forgery, 3rd, and two counts of offering a false instrument for filing. Jamuz is accused of driving while under the influence in the Town of Elba on Aug. 13. He was allegedly driving while his privilege was suspended. He allegedly provided a false identity when stopped and provided a false identity when submitting to a blood sample, a fingerprint record and a patient record at UMMC.

November 22, 2016 - 3:00pm

Dolce Panepinto is proud to announce the hiring of Attorney Kristin Allen and the grand opening of our new Batavia office located directly above the New York State Worker’s Compensation Board at 83 Main St., Suite 220, Batavia, NY 14020. Kristin has been practicing Workers’ Compensation law for the past 16 years and has been handling Workers’ Compensation claims on behalf of injured workers in Batavia for the past 10 years. Her vast knowledge of the Workers’ Compensation system combined with her remarkable work ethic and friendly personality make her an ideal fit for our legal team.

“It had long been a dream of my late partner Frank Dolce to have a Workers’ Compensation Department at Dolce Panepinto and we were able to make that dream a reality in 2013 with the hiring of Holly Schoenborn and Colleen Malchow,” explained Senior Partner Marc Panepinto. “The addition of Kristin Allen and the Batavia office are an extension of that dream. Kristin is a very intelligent attorney and an extremely hard worker. I know Frank would be proud to have her.”

Kristin joins attorneys Holly Schoenborn and Colleen Malchow in our dedicated Workers’ Compensation Department, which works hand in hand with the rest of the Dolce Panepinto team. We take the team approach to practicing in the areas of Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, Social Security, Disability, and all injury-related matters, which means that all of our clients' cases are evaluated by several attorneys to devise the proper legal strategy for each matter. You and your family may have the ability to file several types of claims relating to the same incident. We handle those claims simultaneously as a team, working hand in hand to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome.

When asked about her new position with Dolce Panepinto, Allen said, “I am thrilled to be joining a firm comprised of Western New York’s brightest and hardest working attorneys. Working in a true team environment is a dream come true and I am excited for the results we will provide for my clients.”

All three of our Workers’ Compensation attorneys are available to speak to the leadership and/or membership of your union or volunteer fire department about Workers’ Compensation basics and the ways in which the law applies to your specific field. If you would like to find out more, or to schedule a presentation, please contact Carlos Torres at our Buffalo office at 716-852-1888.

Once again, our Batavia office is located directly above the Workers’ Compensation Board office at 83 Main St., Suite 220, Batavia, NY 14020. There is free parking in the rear and an elevator is available to reach the second floor. If you or anybody in your family has been injured and are in need of legal assistance, do not hesitate to contact Kristin today at 585-815-9003 for a free case evaluation.

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