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December 8, 2017 - 11:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A larceny has been reported in the area of Burger King in Batavia.

The suspect took the caller's phone and ran.

Last seen at 23 Oak St., Batavia.

Maybe running toward Burger King.

The suspect is a black male wearing a black hoodie and sweatpants.

UPDATE 11:18 a.m.: A police officer is following possible tracks on Holland Avenue.

December 8, 2017 - 10:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in H.E. Turner Funeral Homes, batavia, news.


H.E. Turner Funeral Homes hosted its annual service of remembrance for local residents who lost a loved one during the past year last night at Grace Baptist Church in Batavia.

Rev. Bill Hockey, above, delivered the message for the service, and Pastor Jeffrey Bartz, below, read Bible passages of the Christmas Story.


December 7, 2017 - 4:09pm

Clean Cut Barbershop in the City of Batavia is offering $5 off a haircut from Dec. 12-16 IF you donate a new, unwrapped toy or gift suitable for a child age 6 months to 16 years old.

The donations received will benefit the nonprofit Hillside Children's Center in Batavia (located at 50 City Centre).

Bring your donation to the city's newest barbershop at 466 Ellicott St.

Co-owner Joey Williams says the guys there are "always looking to spread love in the city and do positive things for kids."

The event that starts next Tuesday will add to their list of good deeds, which also includes giving away back-to-school supplies, breast cancer awareness month events, customer appreciation days and more.

"We want to make this event as big and impactful as possible," Williams says.

December 7, 2017 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in The Manor House, batavia, news, business.


Braelynn Cook, 4, received a free scarf from Leanne Mullen, owner of Tahoe Pines Custom Sewing and Design, yesterday during the St. Nick’s Christmas Bazaar at the Manor House.

This was the first year the Manor House hosted the bazaar and Braelynn was there with her mother, another vendor, and Mullen thought she deserved a scarf​ for being a good girl during the event.

The bazaar was open to the community as well as Manor House residents to help with Christmas shopping.



December 7, 2017 - 9:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

Zoe A. McClure, 48, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with identity theft, 2nd. McClure is accused of opening a credit card account in the name of another person and using that card to charge more than $500. McClure was arraigned in City Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

William Gordon Schultz Sr., 43, no permanent address, is charged with petit larceny. Schultz is accused of shoplifting from Walmart at 3:20 a.m. Wednesday. He was jailed on $250 bail, $2,000 bond. Schultz was also arrested on a warrant for an unspecified violation of a family court act. He was jailed on $250 bail, $2,000 bond on this charge.

Samuel R. Thompson, 62, of York Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Thompson is accused of writing on the outside of the building of Kwik Fill, 99 Jackson St., Batavia, at 3:38 p.m., Dec. 1, in permanent marker. He was jailed on $1,500 bond.

Christopher J. Campbell, 39, of Batavia, is charged with false personation. Campbell was arrested by State Police in relation to an incident reported at 5:15 p.m., Tuesday. No further details released.

December 7, 2017 - 5:14am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A van crashed into a pole on West Main Street near Settler's Restaurant in Batavia. Driver is unconscious. Law enforcement is called in emergency mode. City fire and Mercy medics are responding. The address is 350 W. Main St.

UPDATE 5:15 a.m.: National Grid will be notified that the pole is damaged.

UPDATE 5:43 a.m.: One person was transported to UMMC. National Grid has a 10-15 minute ETA.

December 6, 2017 - 9:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia.

Brandon Seppe, who had pled guilty to a burglary reported in July, was sentenced today to one-and-a-half to three years in state prison under what is known as a "Willard" sentence, giving him a chance to complete a drug treatment program.

The 33-year-old Batavia resident was also involved in an accident in June on Veterans Memorial Drive where he was found to be driving while impaired by drugs.

Under today's sentence in County Court on the burglary guilty plea, the Department of Corrections will send Seppe to a Willard drug treatment program and if he completes it successfully, he will be released on parole.

December 6, 2017 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, muckdogs, baseball, news, notify.

In The Batavian's attempt to interview Ben Hayes, president of the New York-Penn League, we reached out to Minor League Baseball.

A communications official with Minor League Baseball was able to get in touch with Hayes and we've just been informed that Hayes will not agree to an interview.

He said he would not comment further on the future of the team (he has made no comment to date), according to the Minor League Baseball spokesman. 

Hayes referred all questions to Brian Paris, president of the Genesee County Baseball Club, owners of the Muckdogs franchise.

The phone line for the NYPL office in St. Petersburg, Fla., will now accept phone messages so we left Hayes a message explaining that only he can state why the league won't work with the Rochester Red Wings as operators of the franchise and share his ideas for the future of the team in Batavia or elsewhere.

Last week, The Batavian broke the news that the NYPL had blocked the Red Wings from a contract extension to continue operating the team. The extension was needed because the original 10-year deal expired Oct. 31.

Meanwhile, the Muckdogs are on the 2018 NYPL schedule but there's no clear indication from the league how the team will operate in 2018.

We couldn't reach Paris tonight. 

Last week, Paris said he is working with Hayes regarding the future of the team and the 2018 season and said he had a good working relationship with Hayes but didn't have a definitive answer on the NYPL's plans.

December 6, 2017 - 1:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in YMCA, health, batavia, news.


The YMCA received a new electric "stim" bike for people with limited mobility to use to get some exercise.

The bike allows a person in a wheelchair to roll up to the bike, put their feet on the pedals and pedal just like any other stationary bike.

The units cost $13,500 and the new unit at the Y was paid for through funds from the Ricky Palermo Foundation and an anonymous donor.

The Y already had one similar bike in its wellness center, but CEO Rob Walker said the demand for use during peak hours has been greater than the availability. The new bike will help solve this problem.

Batavia is the first Y in the nation to get this particular model.

"The feedback I got yesterday is that there are four benefits," Walker said. "It helps vascular health, which we all know is important. It reduces muscle spasms, which helps them sleeps. It helps with joint flexibility and it helps with muscle tone.

"The indirect benefit, to be honest, is getting them out," Walker said. "Watching them use it, for lack of a better word, it helps with their state of mind."

Photos submitted by Rob Walker.



December 6, 2017 - 12:56pm


Press release: 

On Dec. 9th, members of the Batavia Police Department, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and New York State Police Troop A, will be participating in the third annual “Shop with a Cop” event at Walmart on Veterans Memorial Drive. 

Grant money from Walmart, designated specifically for this event was distributed equally to all three organizations. The schools within Genesee County assisted in choosing the children. 

The City of Batavia Police Benevolent Association, Genesee County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, City of Batavia CSEA members, the City’s “Jeans for Friday” program, Department of Public Works (AFSCME) Union, and H.E. Turner & Co. Inc. Funeral Home of Batavia & Bergen raised additional funds which enabled 20 extra children to participate. 

A total of 50 children were invited to participate in this year’s event. Once at Walmart, the children will take photographs with Santa Claus and meet with their individual "Cop."

Walmart graciously hosts the event, allocates employees specifically for the event, and also donates gift wrapping materials. Gift wrapping will be completed by the Young Adults Group from Batavia City Church, members of the Batavia Police Explorer’s Post and family members from Batavia Police Department and Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

The Batavia Police Department, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Police Troop A, would like to thank Walmart for their generosity and assistance to make this a great event. We would also like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

Photo: File photo.

December 6, 2017 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, business.

Press release:

According to the findings of a new poll commissioned by Batavia Downs Gaming, Western New Yorkers overwhelming believe that all gaming facilities in Western New York should be taxed at the same level. Sixty-nine percent of Western New Yorkers support changing the tax code to ensure tax fairness. In addition, twice as many respondents see Batavia Downs as a benefit to the local community.

“As the only municipally owned gaming facility in New York State, Batavia Downs Gaming is not only a strong economic driver for Western New York, but it provides critical funding for community development which creates jobs, keeps Western New York families safe and helps to offset tax increases for residents,” said Michael Nolan, chief operation officer of Batavia Downs Gaming WROTB.

“Unfortunately, Batavia Downs Gaming is losing critically needed revenue because we pay the highest tax rate of any Western New York gaming facility. As this survey demonstrates, Western New Yorkers understand the positive impact we have on the community and want to see a change in the tax code to ensure tax fairness.”

This survey was conducted Dec. 2-3, with a margin of error of +/- 2.12 percent, with a 95 percent level of confidence. 2,133 likely 2018 general election voters who live in the 15 Western New York counties that own and operate Batavia Downs Gaming participated in the survey.

The full survey, complete with crosstabs and methodology, can be viewed here.


Buffalo News: OTB chief: Higher tax at Batavia Downs means lower payments to local WNY governments
Niagara Gazette: OTB officials make case for lower tax rate
Buffalo News Column: Another Voice: Publicly owned gaming facility is taxed unfairly


December 6, 2017 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sonny's Restaurant, batavia, downtown, BID, news.

Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) Christmas in the City Committee would like to announce the winner of the annual Holiday Window Decorating Contest & The Holiday Parade.

The window contest was judged by seven community members, during the day, that were escorted by RTS Bussing arranged through the Genesee County Office for the Aging, as well as five members of our local Zonta organization of Genesee County during the evening. The groups scored 18 windows of local businesses located within the Downtown BID. 

We would like to congratulate Sunny’s Restaurant, located at 12 Batavia City Centre, as this year’s winner of the contest. The winner receives $200 cash prize, as well as $100 advertising credit at The Batavian and $100 advertising credit at Genesee Valley PennySaver.

The Holiday Parade this year brought out 30 different groups, agencies, organizations and businesses. Four local parade judges were tasked with voting for “Best Float” overall. The winner of this year’s Holiday Parade goes to Rosicki, Rosicki, & Associates, located at 26 Harvester Ave. Congratulations to Rosicki, Rosicki, & Associates and "Thank You" to all that participated in this year’s Christmas in the City!

December 5, 2017 - 4:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
Karrie Morrow-Paine

Karrie Morrow-Paine, 34, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. 

Morrow-Paine allegedly sold a quantity of crack cocaine on two occasions to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force.

She was arrested on a warrant stemming from a sealed Grand Jury indictment during an investigation into an unrelated complaint in Batavia by Batavia police officers.

The arrest is the result of an investigation by the task force into the transportation, sale, and possession of crack cocaine in the Town of Batavia.

She was jailed without bail pending arraignment Monday.

December 5, 2017 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
       Amy Murray

Amy L. Murray, 43, of Roosevelt Avenue, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. 

Murray is accused of selling pills of what authorities identify as a controlled substance to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force on two occasions in October.

The name of the substance was not released. 

Murray was arrested on a sealed Grand Jury indictment following an investigation by the task force into the sale of controlled substances around the Town of Batavia.

Following arraignment, Murray was released to the supervision of Genesee Justice.

The task force was assisted in the case by Batavia PD, uniformed deputies, and the District Attorney's Office.

December 5, 2017 - 3:55pm

Press release:

On Jan. 1, Assistant District Attorney Melissa L. Cianfrini will be promoted to the reestablished position of First District Attorney, Genesee County District Attorney Lawrence Friedman announced this afternoon.

Cianfrini has been with the office for nearly eight years and has been a litigation attorney for 18 years.

Friedman said that he has been very pleased with the initiative, work ethic and legal skills demonstrated by Cianfrini; that their partners in the criminal justice community have given him nothing but positive feedback about her performance as a prosecuting attorney.

He is very confident, he said, that his office and the community will continue to be well served by First Assistant District Attorney Cianfrini.

The D.A. also expressed his gratitude to County Manager Jay Gsell for supporting the re-instatement of the First Assistant District Attorney position and to the Genesee County Legislature for understanding the need for the D.A.'s office to once again have someone in this role.

December 5, 2017 - 2:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
  Lionel Anderson Jr.

Lionel Anderson Jr., a 16-year-old resident of Oak Street in Batavia, is charged with second-degree assault, a felony.

He was arrested following a fight at 8:10 p.m. on Nov. 28 at 16 Highland Park, Batavia.

According to Det. Eric Hill, the youth is suspected of injuring a 13-year-old victim who was slammed to the ground, face first, then the victim was struck in the face, twice, with a metal belt buckle. No information about the victim is being released.

Lionel was arrested after the alleged attack and initially charged with endangering the welfare of a child and harassment, 2nd. The upgraded charge comes after additional investigation. He was already in custody on the first charges when he was arraigned on the felony.

He was ordered held on $25,000 bail. He is due back in City Court at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7.

December 5, 2017 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Valu Home Center, batavia, news, business.


The staff at Valu Home Center in Valu Plaza, Batavia, are looking to spread Christmas cheer to those who might need a little extra help this holiday season. They've set up a donation box and Christmas tree they're asking people to help decorate with a new hat, scarf, gloves or socks.

Submitted Photo: Store Manager Barbara Nichols, Floor Manager Amber Stearns, associates Hunter Lin and Maureen Smith, and Project Director Jeff Donahue.

December 5, 2017 - 10:55am


There is so much history in Genesee County and for the past few years, Anne Marie Starowitz has been writing columns that told the stories of the people and places and events that helped shape Batavia and the surrounding area.

Now she's collected those columns -- revised and updated -- into a newly released book, “Back in the Day, Snapshots of Local History, the Way I See It!”

Starowitz will hold a book signing at 11 a.m. on Dec. 16 at Ken’s Charcoal Pits, located at 59 Main St. in Downtown Batavia.

Starowitz, a retired school teacher of 45 years in Le Roy and Batavia, started substitute teaching after she retired in 2007. She has lived in Batavia her entire life.

She is also on the board of the Holland Purchase Historical Society, which led to her newspaper and newsletter column, which she started a decade ago on artifacts or exhibits at the museum and local history.

“Over that time, people seemed to like the articles,” Starowitz said. “I think they liked the articles where I was in the articles, with my memories. They were more subjective than objective.”

Three years into writing the articles, Starowitz decided she wanted to eventually put the articles together in a book. She has been working on the articles over the last year with editors and putting pictures with the articles.

“But, in the last three years, I’ve really put my heart and soul into it,” Starowitz said. “They’ve been edited, I’ve picked the ones I’ve wanted, and then I self-published the book.”

For each copy of the 300-page book sold, $1 will be donated to families of veterans who suffer from PTSD.

One day when Starowitz was giving a tour of the museum, a group of younger men and women came in, not looking thrilled about being there. Starowitz spent a lot of time wondering what their stories were when someone from the group told her they were from Veterans Hospital PTSD Unit.

“I was so moved looking at them, the young people, younger than my children,” Starowitz said. “I wanted to really thank them for their service.”

As she continued talking with the visitors, she learned more about them.

“I can’t imagine what they went through, but I could see it in their eyes,” Starowitz said. “I never forgot their faces.”

Starowitz is hoping to make people aware of what veterans go through.

When Starowitz is substitute teaching, she shows the students the edited copies, showing them the writing process.

“I think that really made an impression on them,” Starowitz said. “They don’t always like to edit.”

When she was writing the articles, Starowitz enjoyed interviewing people the most.

“When I was little, I remember a horse and wagon coming down the street, delivering milk,” Starowitz said. “A family member from the Branton’s Dairy talked to me about that story. It was interesting because I could relate to that.”

Family members are flying in from all over the United States, and even Africa, to come to Starowitz’s book signing.

“Ken has supported me in so many of my endeavors,” Starowitz said. “I’m really honored to have a book signing at his restaurant.”

Photo (By Howard Owens): Anne Marie Starowitz signing copies of her book at the Holland Land Office Museum this weekend.


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

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