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August 16, 2016 - 11:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, news, Batavia HS, batavia.

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It's August, and Batavia High School Coach Brennan Briggs couldn't be happier. He's got his team right where he wants them, preparing for another football season.

“We’re enthused to be playing football again," said the Blue Devil's head coach. “We back on the gridiron and we love it. We’re excited to be out on the practice field at Van Detta."

Typically, this time of year, Briggs is taciturn about his team's chances in the upcoming season. This August, he isn't mincing words. He's raising expectations for his young players, many of whom are replacing starters that helped Batavia win consecutive Section V championships.

"We need to stay the course, keep the expectations high," Briggs said. "Even though we're young, it doesn't mean we can't go out there and compete for our third title in a row. They need to set the bar high. They have the ability to win a section championship. We've just got to make sure we enjoy the journey and make sure we're getting better every week."

The heart of any offense is the quarterback and with Greg Mruczek's graduation, that opens the position for the 2016 season. Senior Jerry Reinhart has the inside track, but he's got some competition for the slot. Junior Chandler Baker has a chance to win the job.

"Baker is a fantastic athlete and he's pushing Jerry," Briggs said. "He's done a great job. It makes for a great, healthy competition for both guys to compete for the spot. Regardless of who gets the spot, both would make fantastic QBs and both are fantastic receivers. Their athleticism will have an impact, one that is notable on Friday nights."

Both have good arms and can run, Briggs said. Reinhart has a little more experience after backing up Mruczek last season.  

The offensive line is young and several guys are competing for starting positions, but it will be anchored by the experience of Anthony "Butchy" Ray.

On defense, Briggs said the Blue Devils will have bulk on the line and athleticism on the outside, led by Eric Davis and Sam Marble. 

"They're athletic on the ends, so we might be able to get creative with those guys out there," Briggs said. "We might be able to unleash them a bit, which is good if they make sure they know what their number one responsibility is and buy totally into the system. It will give us a different look."

Last year's team was notable for the tight-knit, family-like culture of the team. The young guys aren't quite there yet, but Briggs thinks with time they will get there. It will help with the resilience they'll need to call upon on Friday nights.

"We have a positive group of kids and I'm excited about what they can do," Briggs said.

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August 15, 2016 - 1:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia peace garden, news, batavia, music, entertainment.

Press release:

The International Peace Garden Foundation, in conjunction with the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden, are bringing a special concert to Batavia from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13.

The "Peace on Earth" concert will launch the holiday season and feature Colleen Marcello, an acclaimed soprano in Western New York, and the Irrera Brothers, who are world-famous musicians.

All three artists have roots in Genesee County. The Irrera’s are graduates of Batavia High and Colleen’s grandfather, Philip Marcello, was a former Mayor of Batavia. Together they proudly represent Batavia’s rich Italian heritage.

The critically acclaimed Irrera Brothers have captivated audiences throughout the United States and abroad. The New York Concert Review cited their 2013 concert in Carnegie Hall as a “riveting and dynamic performance.” Additional concert engagements have brought Joseph and John to notable venues such as the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Eastman Theatre and internationally throughout France, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Latin America. With a range of educational venues, the brothers both received their doctorates in Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music in 2014. Besides performing together and as soloists, the Irrera Brothers have served on the faculty at the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Community Music School.

Marcello received her Master of Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College. A frequent area soloist, Marcello “won the audience over” as Sister Blanche of the "Agony of Christ" in Opera Sacra’s recent production of the "Dialogues of the Carmelites." She has also been a featured soloist under the baton of Robert Franz and Marvin Hamlisch with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Her musical talents have also led her to Off-Broadway musical theater in such productions as "State Fair," "The King and I" and "Fiddler on the Roof."

Another notable feature of this concert will be the Steinway piano cosponsored by Denton Cottier and Daniels. Joseph Irrera is one of 500 Steinway musicians worldwide.  The quality of the music at this event will be unparalleled, and will be a wonderful way to kick off the holidays.

The concert will be held inside the Batavia High School Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at Roxie’s Music Store on West Main Street in the city and at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, or by calling 585-201-7100 or 585-343-2387. The ticket costs range from $15 for General Admission to $30 for VIP tickets, which also includes a Meet-the-Artist cocktail reception at the Dibble Center following the event. VIP tickets are very limited. Student tickets are $10. Advance purchase is recommended.

Make this an early holiday gift for those friends and family who are music lovers. This advance notice will insure that you can put the date aside and mark it on your calendar. This is a great way to support the arts in Western New York.

August 15, 2016 - 10:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Bethany, elba.

Pedro Vazquez Diaz, 31, of Bethany Center Road, Bethany, is charged with burglary, 2nd. At 10:21 a.m., Saturday, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a burglary in progress at a residence on Bethany Center Road, Bethany. Deputies and troopers responded, along with Deputy Chris Erion and K-9 Destro. Destro located the suspect in the residence and he was taken into custody. He was jailed without bail.

Tyler D. Price, 23, no permanent address, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Price was allegedly involved in a domestic incident at 12:04 p.m. Sunday on Liberty Street, in violation of a protective order. Price was also arrested on a warrant on an alleged failure to appear for a court appearance on an unrelated charge.

Michael J. Difalco, 28, no permanent address, is charged with harassment, 2nd, criminal mischief, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. Difalco was arrested following an investigation into a domestic incident. He allegedly became combative while in custody and as his case was being processed. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Cory J. Trybushyn, 28, of Vine Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to pay a fine on an attempted petit larceny charge. He turned himself in on the warrant and posted $150 bail.

Michael P. McDonald, 32, of East Avenue, is charged with unlawful imprisonment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. McDonald was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute. He was jailed on $1,000 bail or $2,000 bond.

Nikki L. Stonebraker, 27, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and harassment, 2nd. Stonebraker allegedly struck the head of a minor against a wall while in the presence of another minor.

Wayny G. Colon, 24, of Amherst Manor Drive, Buffalo, was arrested on a warrant. Colon posted $500 bail and was released. No further details released.

Isaiah J. Munroe, 26, no permanent address, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and harassment, 2nd. Munroe was allegedly involved in a fight with a person on Liberty Street while in the presence of a minor.

Devin P. Hofert, 20, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, disorderly conduct/unreasonable noise, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. Hofert was arrested following a police investigation into a disturbance at 6:09 a.m., Aug. 8, at 33 Dellinger Ave., Batavia. Hofert was allegedly found in possession of 16 hypodermic needles, drug paraphernalia and a switchblade knife.

Matthew Joseph Engert, 25, of Geddes Street, Holley, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on an aggravated harassment charge. He was jailed on $2,000 bail.

Jason M. Saeli, 34, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with suspended registration and unregistered motor vehicle. Saeli was arrested on a warrant. 

Matthew B. Starowitz, 27, of Whitney Mill Road, Elba, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Starowitz was arrested during an investigation into a report of a suspicious vehicle occupied by two males at 624 E. Main St., Batavia at 9:10 p.m. on Aug. 8.

A 17-year-old resident of State Street, Batavia, is charged with public lewdness. The youth allegedly displayed an intimate part of his body while in a vehicle parked in a parking lot at 1:15 p.m. Sunday at a location on Veterans Memorial Drive.

Catherine Rose Bater, 36, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with a violation of a Family Court act. Bater turned herself in on a warrant.

Cody Edward Jarmuz, 24, of 7th Street, Buffalo, is charged with driving while ability impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol, moved from lane unsafely, unlicensed operation, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Jarmuz was stopped at 3:06 a.m. Saturday on Route 98, Elba, by Deputy Chris Parker after allegedly being observed unable to maintain his lane of traffic.

Edwin Javier Ortiz, 38, of Cobb Street, Tonawanda, is charged with assault, 3rd. Ortiz allegedly struck another person in the face, breaking that person's nose. The alleged disagreement was over a pool chair and was reported at 5:54 p.m. Aug. 6 at Darien Lake.

August 14, 2016 - 3:00pm

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August 13, 2016 - 3:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Hogs for Paw, volunteers for animals, pets, animals, batavia, news.

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Rocky got to visit Hogs for Paws today, the annual fundraiser hosted by Stan's Harley Davidson for Volunteers for Animals.

The volunteers were thrilled to see Rocky again and he was thrilled to see them. Then he got microchipped, which he took like a champ.

There were lots of dogs and people there, which was also thrilling for Rocky.

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August 13, 2016 - 1:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in foxprowl collectables, batavia, business.

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For the sixth-anniversary celebration of Foxprowl Collectables, wrestling legend Greg "The Hammer" Valentine made a guest appearance at the store yesterday afternoon.

Pictured with Valentine are Joy and Bill Hume.

Bill Hume said Valentine was really appreciative of his career and "really down to earth."

When Foxprowl opened on Ellicott Street six years ago, it was just one storefront, but has expanded into a back part of its building, and even that space is getting tight, so Bill Hume said he's planning to move the business next month to the former Genesee Bank building at the corner Main Street and Jackson, giving Foxprowl greater visibility and putting it in walking distance of other retail stores Downtown.

Submitted photo.

August 12, 2016 - 1:43pm

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Police chiefs from throughout Western New York are in Batavia today for a golf tournament at Terry Hills.

The gathering of the Western New York Association of Chiefs of Police is a social event and networking opportunity, said Batavia PD's Chief Shawn Heubusch, who helped organize the tournament.

Pictured are Doug Richardson, Rob Ruffner, John Applebee, Bobby Lapidus, playing as a foursome, along with organizers Pete Hoffmeister, left, chief in Warsaw, Heubusch, second from right, and Pete Hoffmeister, far right, chief of Arcade.

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August 12, 2016 - 1:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, muckdogs, baseball, batavia, news, buffalo bills, Ray Bentley.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs today announced that former Buffalo Bills linebacker Ray Bentley will sign autographs at Dwyer Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 21st, when the Muckdogs battle the West Virginia Black Bears at 4:05 p.m.

Prior to throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, Bentley will sign autographs from 3 to 3:45 p.m. Bentley will then sign again from 4:10 to 5 p.m.

Bentley is also the author of a series of children’s books about the characters Darby the Dinosaur and Bubba Gator. In addition to Bentley’s autograph signing, the first 150 kids 10 and under will also receive a free copy of the book “Darby’s Christmas Adventure.”

Bentley spent six seasons with the Bills (1986-1991), including two of the four historic consecutive Super Bowl appearances. After suffering an injury with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1992, Ray retired from professional football. Once retired, Ray became a radio show talk host in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., on WOOD 1340 AM, as well as a play by play announcer on FOX for the NFL. In 2000, he became the Head Coach and General Manager of the Buffalo Destroyers, an Arena Football League team. After resigning in 2003, he made his way back to the television screen, becoming a color analyst for ESPN college football games, the job he still holds today.

For tickets, call the Muckdogs box office at (585) 343-5454, ext. 1005.

August 11, 2016 - 3:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, 4-H.

Yuki and Katie at the Attica Rodeo.

Katie and Yuki ready to ride.

Submitted photos and press release:

A local Genesee County 4-H family is hosting a youth delegate from the States’ 4-H International Exchange Programs (S4-H).

The Summer Inbound program brings international youth to the United States each summer to stay with a host family for four weeks. The Ewert family, of Batavia, applied to be a host family in May and was then matched with a youth delegate from Japan.

Doug and Nancy Ewert’s daughter Katie, is an active member of the Genesee County 4-H Horse Program and was paired up as a “host sibling” to Yuki Ishigaki from Hanesawa, Japan. Yuki arrived in Batavia the last week of July; the girls have become fast friends and have enjoyed several fun experiences together.

They have gone horseback riding, attended the Attica Rodeo, participated in the summer park recreation program and are planning to visit the Pike Fair and Niagara Falls. They are learning a lot about each other’s cultures, along with new ways to communicate.

S4-H is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Seattle. It works with 4-H Youth Development Programs in the United States and international partners around the world to conduct immersion and exchange programs. S4-H’s mission is “enhancing world understanding and global citizenship through high-quality 4-H international and cultural immersion and exchange programs for 4-H aged youth.” Since 1972, their exchanges have impacted nearly 50,000 youth and their families in 24 countries on six continents.

To learn more about S4-H visit: http://www.states4hexchange.org/  To learn more about Genesee Co. 4-H visit: http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/4-h-youth-development

August 11, 2016 - 2:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

UPDATED at 5:50 p.m.

While the cause of death has yet to be determined, two people who were found dead in the Batavia Cemetery (not St. Joe's as previously reported) were stuck by lightning, a medical examiner has determined.

The deceased are identified as Richard Garlock, 34, and Jenna Macleod, 32.

Batavia PD was dispatched to the cemetery at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, to check on two people who were found deceased in the cemetery.

Both Garlock and Macleod are people who are familiar to police, but investigators are not really sure why they might have been in a back corner of the Batavia Cemetery at 2:30 a.m. during a lightning storm.

"(They could have been there) to watch the storm roll in and they got hit by lightning," Det. Todd Crossett said. "It's probably that simple. It really could be. It was a spectacular storm. The lightning was just incredible."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has technology that 95 percent of the time can detect a lightning strike within 600 feet of the exact location where it contacted the ground. 

NOAA has confirmed a lightning strike in the area of the Batavia Cemetery during Wednesday morning's storm.

The Erie County ME determined Garlock and Macleod had injuries consistent with being struck by lightning. 

They were found under a large tree.

"A fence wasn’t too far away," Crossett said. "I’ve seen where fence gets struck, but there’s a root underground. It will travel through the root and pop up someplace else.  Underneath the tree, there are lots of roots that come to the surface, so the tree could have got struck, traveled down the tree, came up through a root and they got the electricity that way. It could have been that, or they could have taken a direct hit. With all that, I don’t think we’ll know how it actually happened. All we can say is, they did get hit with lightning."

There are no burn marks on the tree or other objects. There are also no signs of trauma, though the victims did have some injuries investigators came to believe were consistent with a lightning strike.

There is also no visible evidence, such as paraphernalia in the area, of drug use, though early in the investigation detectives did look into that possibility.

“Why else would you be in the back corner of the cemetery?" Crossett said. "Why is that? I can tell you the detectives who were there and the lead investigator who was there, we were completely open (to any possibility). We didn't rule anything out and we didn't rule anything in."

The cause of death is pending while the Erie County M.E. completes a toxicology report, which could take up to two months.

August 11, 2016 - 9:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

Police are investigating the discovery yesterday afternoon of two bodies in the St. Joseph Batavia Cemetery in Batavia.

Sources say the bodies of a man and a woman were found in the cemetery and they had apparently died of a drug overdose.

The police are expected to release more details later today.

UPDATE 11:05 a.m.: While the investigation is ongoing, a lightning strike has not been ruled out as the cause of death. There was evidence at the scene to suggest that as a possibility. Investigators are waiting for more information from the medical examiner. 

UPDATE: Batavia has released information. New story here.

August 10, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Canvas, batavia, arts, murals, downtown, news.

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Nicole Brill says she loves Batavia, she loves City Church and she loves color, so as part of the City Canvas art trail project, she's painting a mural of a stained-glass window on the side of the Generation Center.

Brill is a graphic designer for City Church, so she often works with Brian Kemp, co-owner of T-Shirts Etc. on projects and Brill said it was Kemp who approached her about participating in the mural project.

There are four murals planned for downtown this summer. Two of the three on the side of the Mancuso Bowling Center are already completed, Brill is working on hers and another one is planned for the northeast corner of Main St. Pizza Co.'s building.

"Pastor Marty (Macdonald) didn't ask what I was doing," Brill said. "He said do it and do it big."

Macdonald, pictured below with Brill, happened by while we were talking with Brill and said he couldn't be prouder of Brill's participation in the project.

The art trail project will create a trail map for downtown visitors and it will include existing murals, such as those in Jackson Square by Vinny DelPlato, and the fire hydrants painted by artists two summers ago.

Kemp said he was able to reach out to artists in the community whose work isn't as often seen locally and get them to participate this year. The project is funded through a grant from GO ART!.

"I want to see creativity and color really shine here," Brill said. "And I love that I get to use it as part of my ministry at City Church."

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August 10, 2016 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, schools, education, Milestones.

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Press release:

Batavia High School graduates Ryan Dibble and Jonathan Barber each earned a Batavia City Schools Custodial Association and Gui’s Lumber Scholarship.  Both received a $750 gift certificate for Gui’s Lumber to go toward the tools and materials they will need to start college this September. Both are attending Alfred State College – Ryan is in the Heavy Equipment, Truck, and Diesel Technician program, and Jonathan is in the Building Trades: Building Construction program. The BCSD Custodial Association began the tradition in 2002 of providing scholarships to deserving seniors who are pursuing studies in a skilled trade, and was joined by Gui’s Lumber in Batavia a few years later.

“We want to do something to enhance students’ careers and help them advance in their chosen field,” explained John Suttell of the Custodial Association.

Pictured left to right are Gui’s Lumber manager Scot Monachino, scholarship recipients Ryan Dibble and Jonathan Barber, and BCSD Custodial Association representative John Suttell.

August 10, 2016 - 9:41am

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The Batavia Society of Artists sponsored a Sketch Out/Paint Out event in Jackson Square on Wednesday evening, featuring cast members from the Batavia Players upcoming presentation of "Guys and Dolls."

The event gave local artists a chance to paint or draw characters from the famous musical.

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August 9, 2016 - 6:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, charity, CASA for Children.

Press release:

Genesee County CASA for Children will host a Royal Tea Party on Saturday Aug. 20th from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Genesee County Senior Center, 2 Bank St. in Batavia.

Guests will have the opportunity to meet, take pictures and receive autographs from Queen Elsa, Princess Belle and Princess Ariel. Tea and light refreshments will be served and guests will be able to decorate their very own crowns! A performance by Queen Elsa herself will take place at 2 o'clock.

Tickets cost $10 per person and can be purchased at the door or in advance by contacting Genesee County CASA for Children at 585-815-7809.

All proceeds benefit Genesee County CASA for Children, a nonprofit agency that works to advocate for the abused and neglected children in our community.

August 9, 2016 - 5:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, batavia, news.

A three-car accident with minor injuries is reported at 200 Ellicott St., Batavia. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 6:05 p.m.: One person is complaining of chest pain.

UPDATE 6:21 p.m.: Two people are being taken to UMMC -- one with chest pain, the other with neck and back pain after the vehicle(s) they were in were rear-ended.

August 9, 2016 - 3:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, news.

Law enforcement is responding to two complaints of harassment against women at local stores.

One caller in the parking lot at K-Mart is waiting to speak with officers about a white male wearing a camouflage hat and black shirt who she says was verbally harassing women in the parking lot.

Another complaint was made at Target where a woman claims that, about a half hour ago, a white male carrying a backpack was staring at her and her children in the clothing department.

It is not yet known whether it's the same suspect.

August 9, 2016 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in gc sheriff's office, news, missing persons, alexander, batavia.

missingalexander2016-bowler_0.jpgThe Genesee County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in locating a missing elderly Alzheimer's patient. Roger Allen Bowler Sr., 79, was last seen at his residence on Alexander Road in Attica at 9:50 this morning (Aug. 9).

Bowler is a white male, about 5'8" and weighing 173 pounds, with gray hair and blue eyes.

He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue plaid shirt and camouflage-colored crocs (footwear).

He may be operating a 2002 Jeep Liberty color red bearing NY Pass plate GFA7188.

Bowler is known to frequent the Batavia and Oakfield areas.

Anyone with information can contact Genesee County Dispatch at (585) 343-5000.

UPDATE: Mr. Bowler has been located. Mr. Bowler was identified by State Police during an investigation of a motor-vehicle accident in Oswego. He was transported to Upstate Hospital in Syracuse for treatment of minor injuries.

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