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November 15, 2017 - 10:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, City Fire, batavia, news.


Olivia Bezon's classmates cheered when Engine 11 pulled into the parking lot at St. Joseph's School this morning with the first-grader as a passenger.

As a winner in the City Fire Department's fire protection poster contest, Olivia got the ride in the fire truck this morning as part of her prize.



November 15, 2017 - 10:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in The Manor House, batavia, news.


The secret to a long life, according to Margaret Gallagher, who celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday at The Manor House, is faith, family and friends.

Gallagher was born Nov. 14, 1917, in Batavia. She attended Lincoln Street School, St. Joseph's, and Batavia High School.

Her parents were Frank and Mary Anne Canty-Gallagher. She grew up with three sisters and a brother. Her sister Rita is 102.

She's been a member of the St. Joseph Ladies Society since 1952.

During her working life, she was a secretary at the vocational school on West Main Street, the state Health Department, the VA, and Darch Noonan Law Office. She also worked for Robert C. Noonan for 20 years.  

Noonan, accompanied by his wife, Marcia, read a proclamation from Assemblyman Steve Hawley commemorating Gallagher's 100th birthday.

Photo: Joyce Myers, Gallagher's longtime caretaker, and her granddaughter Avery Kelly, help Gallagher blow out the candles on her birthday cake.

November 14, 2017 - 3:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, Announcements, batavia, Christmas.

Press release:

In a world in which a quick “Merry Christmas” text is commonplace, Batavia native Christine McMenamin of Joy Love Paper Company in Buffalo has a better option. Her handmade foiled cards make it easy to impress those on your once-forgotten Christmas card list.

McMenamin (nee King, mother's side is Marcello) just released the Joy Love Holiday Collection in her Etsy shop to the delight of her fans.

“I wanted to create a collection of cards that catch your eye and brings a smile to your face,” she says. “The shiny foil, beautiful bows and foil lined envelopes combine for a magical Christmas package you can send for the cost of a postage stamp.”

All of the cards are blank inside.

McMenamin, who graduated from Batavia High School in 2000), explains why: “In this day and age, how rare is it to receive a handwritten note? The thoughtfulness in a simple handwritten message is worth more in my opinion than any standard phrase I could print inside...

"I treasure cards handwritten from my family members who are no longer with us. Holding a card with a message they wrote brings back great memories. Reading a text just cannot compare.”

The collection features a selection of cards with carefully tied ribbon bows along with a foiled greeting, as well as fun graphic cards such as a "Merry Catmas" card for that cat lover in your life. Each card is designed and made by McMenamin.

Check out the Joy Love Holiday Collection at and connect on social media @joylovepaper. She offers her VIP Club sneak peeks and a 30-percent-off discount. Sign up at

November 14, 2017 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, batavia, education, news, Announcements, Milestones.

Press release:

Kimberly Curry, an accounting student at Genesee Community College, has been named a 2017 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Curry is one of only 207 nationwide Phi Theta Kappa members who will receive this scholarship. Nearly 1,000 applications were received this year. Recipients are selected based on their academic achievement and demonstrated leadership potential.

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps new Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides $200,000 in funding for these scholarships with $25,000 set aside for members who are veterans or active members of the U.S. military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and provides Leaders of Promise Global Scholarships, earmarked for international students.

Curry proudly served in the Army from 1987-1991 and then was called back up again during Operation Desert Storm.

"This scholarship really means a lot to me, especially considering my time in the armed forces. It is one way to ensure that veterans like me can obtain the college credentials we need to succeed and give back to our communities," Curry said.

This scholarship foundation also encourages recipients to participate in Society programs to develop leadership skills and position themselves to become future leaders in their communities. The scholarship funds help to provide these opportunities as well. Curry certainly took advantage of this chance and joined a new organization in Rochester called the Southside Junior Sting, part of the local Pop Warner organization.

The Southside Junior Sting had one primary responsibility; to ensure that every child or young adult who wanted to participate in organized football had the financial means to do so. The group organized fundraiser events throughout the community to make sure that every person could play. During her time with this group, Curry met some amazing and dedicated leaders and connected to her community and the kids they were helping.

With more than three million members in nearly 1,300 chapters across nine nations, Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing academic achievement of community college students, helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. Visit to learn more about Phi Theta Kappa.

November 14, 2017 - 2:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Announcements, charity, thanksgiving.

Press release:

Ascension Parish will be offering Thanksgiving food boxes for "those in most need" in the Genesee Community from noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Each box will include a 10-12 lb. turkey as well as other items needed to complete your Thanksgiving Dinner.

These to go boxes are on a first-come, first-serve basis; however, you may reserve a box by calling the parish office at 343-1796

Pick up your dinner boxes at Ascension Church located on the corner of Swan and Sumner streets, using the Sumner Street entrance.

UPDATED Nov. 20: NO MORE FOOD BOXES ARE AVAILABLE. The quota has been met, according to church staff.

November 14, 2017 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Eric M. Donohue, 29, of Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree forgery and identify theft. Donohue allegedly used a fraudulently obtained credit card to make a purchase at a business in the Tops Plaza at 6:21 p.m. on May 26, and also signed the name of the individual who name was on the credit card.  He was jailed without bail.

Armando M. Teruel, 33, of Black Spruce Court, Amherst, is charged with second-degree harassment. Teruel was arrested in connection with an incident reported Oct. 29 on South Main Street, Batavia.

November 14, 2017 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, batavia, United Way, Leadership Genesee.

erikfix_2017.jpgPress release:

Leadership Genesee is thrilled to announce that this year’s recipient of the Leadership Genesee Outstanding Alumnus Award is Erik James Fix, LG Class of 2009. The award is presented annually to a Leadership Genesee Alumnus who works to fulfill the mission of Leadership Genesee.

Nominees are program graduates who promote and market the mission of Leadership Genesee, are active in community leadership activities to promote the well-being of Genesee County, and who actively participate in Leadership Genesee initiatives. Erik will receive his award Nov. 30 at the Leadership Genesee 2017 Graduation Celebration at Terry Hills.

Erik, the regional director for the United Way of Genesee County, was nominated for the award by Jocelyn Sikorski (’07), who noted that “Erik is that person that you seek out for advice and foresight on endeavors. He is always actively listening to what is going on, addressing issues with others to fix things or change them for the better. He is well respected for being the caring individual that he is.”

Even before experiencing LG as a participant in 2009, Erik has been active in the program since 2002. At the time, Erik was the camp director for YMCA Camp Hough, and helped in facilitating LG’s Outdoor Leadership Challenge day each year. Since taking part in the program, Erik has served on numerous design teams and committees, and continues to champion the Outdoor Leadership Challenge day session. He has been a part of the Curriculum Committee, Alumni Day Committee, Our Business Our Economics day session and the Encouraging the Leader Within Day session. Additionally, Erik co-presents Facilitation Skills Training, a free alumni enrichment opportunity offered by LG.

“I believe in the mission of the organization of encouraging the leader within,” Erik shared. “I believe there are many talented people in our community who have the ability to lead and I enjoy working with them to grow their leadership skills.”

Erik was hesitant about taking part in the program for nearly 10 years.

“I didn’t feel I would find value in the program. Every month I learned something new about my community. I gained a better sense of how I could contribute to my community’s success and made long-standing friendships. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make our community better and grow their own leadership skills.”

Personally and professionally, Erik strives to make a difference in our community. Jocelyn says the community has benefitted “tenfold” since Erik took the helm at the United Way, with increased partnerships, new programming and continued investment in youth.

Erik also volunteers in many capacities, including the Rotary Club of Le Roy (REA Milne Board Member), the BEA Board of Directors, Junior Achievement, Le Roy Youth Football board member, and Le Roy Little League volunteer manager. Erik also coaches the swim team at GCC and was named Region 3 Coach of the Year for three straight years.

Leadership Genesee Program Director Peggy Marone said, “I have witnessed a lot of growth in Erik since he began working with Leadership Genesee. I always thought he’d be a great candidate for the program but whenever I’d mention it to him he’d do the ‘I’m already a leader in the community’ thing that many people do.

"Working with Erik over the years at Camp Hough, I began to see him become more philosophically involved with Leadership Genesee. His network was growing and he was getting to know more people because of LG. When he applied to participate in 2009, I was thrilled and we’ve had a great working relationship ever since.

"He has helped the LG organization grow especially when it comes to our curriculum. He is one of the few people that I seek out for advice and conversation regarding facilitating groups effectively. Erik is very deserving of this award, I couldn’t be more pleased for him.”

In addition to his many activities in the community, Erik enjoys running, golfing and family vacations with his wife, Susan, and three sons, Brady, Jackson and Carter.

November 13, 2017 - 6:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, accident, batavia, Stafford.

A car was reportedly run off the road by a car trying to pass a fire truck on Route 33 near Route 237 in Stafford.

Possible injuries are reported.

The accident was called in by the crew of Town of Batavia Ladder 25, who witnessed the accident.

The car passing continued.

Stafford fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 6:42 p.m.: The victim vehicle has also left the scene. No injuries. With the victim leaving, there's nobody on scene for a report, so law enforcement responding back in service. All responding units back in service.

November 13, 2017 - 1:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Police are continuing to investigate an attempted robbery reported Saturday night on West Main Street, and though some subjects were located a short time after the incident was reported, no arrests have been made.

Det. Todd Crossett also confirmed there was a robbery earlier that evening on Harvester Avenue.

He said it hasn't been determined yet whether the incidents are connected, or if they are connected to an incident in late October where a man was splashed or sprayed with some sort of liquid (he wasn't injured).

The attempted robbery Saturday involved at least four males on bicycles.

An off-duty police officer working at Towne Center of Batavia that night spotted four males on bicycles riding in front of Dick's Sporting Goods shortly after the attempted robbery was dispatched to police.

Sheriff William Sheron was already in the area and deputies responded and the subjects were detained after they had entered Target.

The victim of the attempted robbery was treated at the scene for a possible eye injury.

After The Batavian reported that incident, a person called dispatch to report she had been robbed earlier in the evening on Harvester Avenue. In that case, the perpetrators got away with $20.

The incidents remain under investigation, Crossett said.

November 13, 2017 - 1:40pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, batavia, Suzanne Zewan.


Suzanne Zewan, a Genesee County native, was always drawn to historic murders, so when she decided to write a book, it seemed like a good topic.

She first started writing the novel in 2002 but stopped working on it when life got busy. She picked it back up in 2009 and finished writing in 2015.

“You look back at the time and think things are simple,” Zewan said. “In contrast, there’s the gruesome dark side of those times.”

"Shadow by the Bridge" is based on actual events during the time of the infamous Linden, New York murders. Linden is a local community, tucked in the hills of Southern Genesee County.

In November of 1917, a series of brutal murders started in the rural enclave, shocking and terrifying local residents and captivating national attention through lurid newspaper stories.

Zewan's book is written from the perspective of 11-year-old Linden resident, Fritz Reynolds, focusing on how the events changed his hometown and himself.

The author said she did not start writing from that perspective. The first 100 pages were originally written from the point of view of a witness who saw the first woman murdered, walk by her house.

“I was involved in a writers' group, and a friend of mine said, ‘Why is she telling this story?’ ” Zewan said. “I thought, ‘That’s a good point.’ ”

She settled on an 11-year-old boy's point of view, after thinking about roles different genders of different ages played in the time period.

“After the first try, and the second try, I brought that chapter to my writers' group after I changed it to a little boy’s point of view, they said yes,” Zewan said. “They said ‘You got it this time. This is the way to go.’ ”

This is Zewan’s first published novel. She is currently an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College and the coordinator at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership for 21 years. She has a master’s in English and Creative Writing from the State University of New York at Brockport.

The book is published by Buffalo-based NFB publishing.

“I really was trying to go for the big literary agent first, that was the big dream,” Zewan said. “But I realized that this was more of a local story, better for a small press.”

A lot of big publishing companies pay more attention to the storyline than the quality of writing, Zewan said.

“I’m not sure if they care much about the quality of writing,” Zewan said. “It seems not to matter to them. It mattered to me that the writing was quality.”

Since she started writing the novel, Zewan spent a lot of time working on her craft.

“I spent a lot of time learning to write well,” Zewan said. “I invested a lot of time learning how to make words beautiful on the page.”

Zewan is currently working on a second novel, set in Batavia, and hopes to have the first draft completed by the end of winter break. This paranormal thriller is told from a 17-year-old girl’s point of view. The novel circles around the idea that everything happens for a reason.

“I guess I decided I know Batavia, so I am going to set my second novel here,” Zewan said.

Zewan is hoping to make the novel into a three-part book series.

"Teaching three courses at school takes up a lot of my time,” Zewan said. “I tend to spend my lunch breaks at work, writing, but I have to have the right mindset.”

November 13, 2017 - 12:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A one-car accident with injuries is reported on Route 98 at Federal Drive, Batavia.

The vehicle is off the road.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 12:29 p.m.: The vehicle is 40 feet of the road in a swamp. A chief requests a couple of firefighters in boots to walk the people out of the swamp.

November 13, 2017 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, business, batavia, news.

feig_alex_0.jpgWBTA is promoting multimedia producer and afternoon news anchor Alex Feig to operations manager for the radio station, co-owner Dan Fischer announced today.

Feig assumes his new duties Nov. 27, which include becoming the morning news producer and anchor for all news breaks through 12:30 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. He will also produce and anchor the Saturday morning newscasts.

The change means Fischer can "retire" from anchoring early morning news.

As Feig settles into his new role, additional duties will include weekly preparation of the "talking points" memo for other station announcers to inform them of information to be shared with listeners during their broadcasts. He will also oversee production standards for commercial and promotional items.

"Deb (Fischer, co-owner) and I have great confidence in Alex," Fischer said. "Please join us in congratulating him on this promotion."

Fischer will anchor afternoon newscasts starting Nov. 27 and continue to supervisor a relaunch of WBTA's website into a more mobile-friendly format.

November 13, 2017 - 11:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, batavia, sports.


Notre Dame High School inducted its 2017 Hall of Fame members during a dinner at Ascension Parish on Saturday night. Pictured are Sean Flynn, Mike Francis, Dave O'Connor, Monica Dillion, Jenny Cocco and Joe Scanlan.

David O'Connor, Class of 1967
Dave O’Connor was a standout three-sport athlete during the heyday of ND’s participation in the Bishop Smith Division of the Buffalo Catholic League Msgr. Martin Association. Like his Darien Center brothers – Dick (’64) and Dan (’69), he was a mainstay for Fighting Irish Varsity Football, Wrestling and Track and Field teams during his four-year tenure [1963 – 1967] at ND.

A key member of ND’s 1st Bishop Smith League Football Championship team also being honored tonight, Dave was a four-year member of the Fighting Irish Varsity Football team and had the distinction of being the only member of his class to play Varsity football as a freshman. He was recognized as the Most Valuable Player [MVP] of the 1966 Varsity Football team and received All-Catholic recognition as the Smith Division 1st team fullback during his senior year.

A well-rounded competitor, Dave was also recognized as the MVP of his Varsity Wrestling and Varsity Track and Field teams during his senior year at ND. As a wrestler, he earned All-Catholic honors in the heavyweight classification in tough Smith League competition and captained the Fighting Irish Bishop Smith League 1967 All-Catholic Championship team during his senior year. Weighing 180 pounds, Dave often wrestled up to the 255-pound weight class whenever additional points were needed! He had the distinction of only losing one Varsity match during his star-studded four-year wrestling career on the mats at ND!

As a member of the ND Varsity Track team, he established the All-Catholic record in the shot put as a freshman and went on to hold ND school records in the shot put and discus and was a member of the 880-yard relay team by the time he graduated in 1967. He was also named the recipient of the E. Lawrence Spring Award for ND school spirit on and off the field of play as a senior.

After his ND graduation, Dave attended Erie Community College where he earned an AAS [Applied Arts and Sciences] degree. He was the President of the ECC Athletic Society and wrestled collegiately earning the overall MVP Athlete-of-the-Year award in 1969.

In 2014, Dave trained and competed in the West Virginia Senior Olympics in the shot put and discus, scoring well enough to qualify for the national senior Olympics in Minneapolis in 2015. Dave and his wife Marcia are the parents of two children -- Andrea and Benjamin – and nine grandchildren and currently reside in Morgantown, W. Va. Dave is employed by the Monroe County Board of Education Transportation Department as a bus driver.

Michael Francis, Class of 1980
Mike Francis had the unique distinction of representing Fighting Irish Football and Basketball teams in both Bishop Smith League and NYSPHSAA Section V [Rochester Region] competition! As was the case with his athletic brothers John (’66), Ron (’67), Fred (‘69) and Mark (’75) before him, Mike was a high pro le student-athlete during his four years [1976-1980] at ND participating in four years of Varsity Football and Varsity Basketball, two years as a member of Varsity Track and Field and one year as a member of Varsity Baseball.

Mike truly made his mark on the gridiron during his junior [1978] and senior [1979] seasons. As a junior, he was ND’s Most Outstanding running back, a member of the 1978 Genesee Region [GR] Championship team and received 1st team GR All-Star honors as a running back. He was also named to the prestigious Rochester Democrat and

Chronicle All-Greater Rochester [AGR] all-star team in that same year as a wide receiver [45 catches, 849 yds, 15 TDs].

As a senior, he was once again a member of the 1979 GR league Football championship team and named a GR league 1st team All-Star for the second straight year. Mike was also a member of ND’s 1979 Section V Class C Championship Football team and was again recognized as a member of the Democrat and Chronicle’s AGR all-star team, this time as a wide receiver as well as a running back where he accounted for 15 TDs. The 1979 ND team MVP and New York State all-state selection, Mike was also named to the Rochester Times-Union “Super 22” all-star team as a running back.

As a member of the ND Varsity Basketball program, Mike was named team MVP during his sophomore year while playing in Bishop Smith league competition and a Genesee Region [GR] All-Star during his junior and senior seasons after ND left the Smith League for local Section V competition. As a senior, he was named to the all-tournament team in the Albion Christmas tournament.

He was also a member of the Fighting Irish Baseball team which competed in the Bishop Smith league as a sophomore as well as the ND Varsity Track team his junior and senior years as a sprinter.

Mike played one year of collegiate football during his freshman year as a wide receiver for the Canisius College Golden Grif ns. The parent of three sons – Mitchell, Richard, and Andrew -- Mike resides in Tonawanda and currently serves as an officer at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia. 

Monica Dillon Billard, Class of 1982
Monica Dillon was a highly competitive four-sport student-athlete for Lady Irish athletic teams in the early portion of the 1980s. ND records indicate that the Batavia native played four years of Soccer, Basketball and Softball and three years of Volleyball during her noteworthy Lady Irish athletic career.

Monica was a key member of the 1981 and 1982 Section V Class D Championship Varsity Girls Volleyball teams. Her 1982 team finished the season unblemished while compiling a perfect 17 –0 record! She earned Junior Varsity Basketball MVP recognition in 1978 and 1979 and the Varsity Girls Basketball Coach’s award as a Sophomore in 1980.

During her senior year, Monica was named to the Section V Girls Basketball All-Tournament team and received the ND Coach’s Award for Varsity Volleyball. She was also named to the Genesee Region [GR] Softball All-Star for the second consecutive year while also receiving additional recognition as the Varsity Lady Irish Softball MVP.

Monica was named the ND Female Athlete-of-the-Year during her senior year [1981-82] of Varsity competition. After graduating from ND in 1982, Monica went on to Marietta College [Marietta, Ohio] where she earned her BS degree in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training degree [1986]. She continued her athletic career at Marietta where she played four years of Varsity Volleyball for the Pioneers and, as a senior, co-captained her collegiate Volleyball team while earning 1st team All OAC [Ohio Athletic Conference] honors in the process! Monica also played 3 years of collegiate softball and one year of crew during her college career.

After graduating from Marietta, Monica moved to Boston and earned her MS degree in Health, Sport and Fitness Management as a graduate student at Northeastern University. She worked as a trainer, fitness director and assistant General Manager of the Boston Raquet Club for 12+ years until the arrival of her first daughter, Sarah. During the next nine years, Monica was a stay-at-home mom during which time also gave birth to her second daughter, Julia, in 2002. In 2007 she re-entered the work force as a personal trainer, yoga teacher and manager of the Kingsbury Fitness Club [where she still works today] in Kingston, Mass.

In addition to a lifelong career in the fitness industry, Monica has maintained an active and healthy lifestyle while participating in sprint distance triathlons, hiking, running Boston Marathons, playing golf, biking and doing yoga!

Monica's two daughters are now teenagers; Sarah is 19 and Julia is 15; They currently reside in Kingston, Mass. 

Sean Flynn, Class of 1996
Sean Flynn was a standout student-athlete throughout his star-studded six-year career [1990 - 1996] at ND. A native of Batavia, Sean began his record-setting Varsity Golf career as a seventh grader at St. Mary’s Elementary in Batavia. He earned medalist honors in the Genesee Region [GR] Sectional Golf Quali er as a freshman and went on to be a three-time ND Varsity Golf MVP! A five-time Genesee Region All-Star [Grades 7 - 11], Sean also qualified for the Section V Golf Tournament on four different occasions and the NYSPHSAA state tournament on one occasion [1995]!

Sean was also a key member of the Fighting Irish Varsity Football and Ice Hockey teams during his four years at ND. He served as Captain of his Varsity Football team as a senior and helped lead ND to the Genesee Region Division III title. A two-time MVP and talented member of ND “Irish on Ice” Varsity Ice Hockey team from 1992 - 1996, Sean was a key member of ND’s first Section V Class B Hockey Sectional Championship team during his senior year during which time he was also named to the Monroe County All-Star Hockey 1st Team.

As a senior, Sean moved from the “links” to the baseball field where he earned the “Coach’s Award” in route to helping the ND Varsity Baseball earn the 1996 Section V Class D title.

Sean will be remembered as a team leader and role model for a younger student-athletes throughout his accomplished sports career at ND. He earned honor roll and NYSPHSAA ”Scholar-Athlete” [minimum 90-percent academic average] distinction throughout his high school career and was recognized as the recipient of the prestigious Reverend David J. Scheider Sports Loyalty Award [1994- 1995] as well as the Batavia Lions Club Bill Cook Scholar-Athlete and Athlete- of–the-Year at ND during his senior year [1995-1996].

Upon graduation from ND in 1996, Sean completed BS [Business Management, 2000] and MBA [2001] degrees at Canisius College, the Jesuit College of Buffalo. He currently works as a commercial underwriter at JP Morgan Chase in Columbus, Ohio. Sean and his wife Karyn [Sokol – ND ‘97] reside in Dublin, Ohio and are the proud parents of three children – Maren [8], Declan [5] and Nora [3] Flynn. 

Jennifer Cocco Rybczak, Class of 2001
Jenny Cocco was an exceptional student-athlete who began her six-year [1995-2001] Fighting Irish Varsity Swimming and Track and Field team careers as a seventh-grader at St. Joseph School in Batavia!

As a member of the Varsity Boys Swim team, Jenny was the first athlete – male or female – to compete for six years in ND’s Varsity Swimming program and played a key role developing the program, as well as putting it on the Genesee Region [GR] and Section V maps.

A member of second Genesee Region Varsity Boys Swimming Championship teams [2000 and 2001], Jenny earned 17 GR League individual championships [6 – 100 yd. breaststroke, 5 -200 yd. freestyle relay, 4 – 50 yd. freestyle and one each in the 200-yard medley relay and 400 yard freestyle medley] during her six years in the pool competing against primarily male swim competition!

By the time she completed her senior swim season, Jenny – who was unbeaten as an individual in dual meets throughout her high school career -- was credited with being the ND school record holder in nine individual events [50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 buttery, 200 individual medley, 500 freestyle, 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay]. She was also credited with being the Genesee Region county record holder in an additional five events [50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay]!

As a junior, she was a contributing member of ND’s NYSPHSAA Varsity Boys Swimming Championship “Scholar-Athlete” [minimum team average of 90 percent] team – the #1 academic team in New York State!

Jenny’s competitiveness transferred to the Track and Field arena each season after swimming! A six-year member of the ND Varsity Girls Track team, Jenny had the distinction of being undefeated in dual meet competition during her sophomore, junior and senior seasons!

She was an 11-time Genesee Region champion [Intermediate hurdles – 4X, 400-meter run – 3X, and 1600 meter and 3200-meter relay – 2X each] and set county records in the 400-meter run, the 400 intermediate hurdles and as a member of the 3200-meter relay. She was also a seven-time Section V Class D individual champion [400-meter run – 3X, 400 intermediate hurdles-2 X and 1600 and 3200-meter relays – 1X each] during her Varsity Girls Track and Field career.

Jenny competed at the New York State meet level twice, once as an eighth-grader where she finished fifth as a member of the 3200-meter relay team and as a senior in the individual 400-meter run where she tied the Section V 400-meter record.

After graduation from ND in 2001, Jenny attended and received degrees from SUNY Geneseo [BA – English Education] and the University of Buffalo [MA–Education]. She swam collegiately at SUNY Geneseo for four years where she was an Academic All- American who set two ECAC conference records [100 yd. and 200 yd. breaststroke], seven SUNYAC records [100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke -3X each and 400 medley relay once] and four SUNY Geneseo pool records [100 and 200 yd. breaststroke and 200-yard and 400-yard Medley relays].

Jenny currently teaches AP Literature and Composition at Altmar-Parish-Williamstown High School. She and her husband Alex Rybczak currently reside in Cicero, New York and are the proud parents of three boys – Jack [5], Vito [5] and Louie [4] Rybczak! 

1965 Fighting Irish Bishop Smith League Varsity Football Championship Team
The Fall 1965 football season at Notre Dame was a record-setting time period in school history as our Varsity Football program notched the first [of many] Bishop Smith League Championships in school history!

The Smith league championship roster featured the likes of senior Co-Captain All-Catholic Halfback John Francis (‘66) -- regarded as one of the most talented all-around athletes in ND sports history, his junior QB brother Ron Francis (‘67), as well as senior All-Catholic linemen Jim Schiller (‘66) and Co-Captain Jim Murphy (‘66).

The makeup of our 28-member Varsity roster included 9 seniors [Class of ‘66] Dan Callahan, Joe Chilano, John Francis, Brian Glor, Mike Lippold, Jim Murphy, Tom Petrick, Jim Schiller and Paul Tresco, 15 juniors [Class of 1967] Mike Brady, Jim Bundy, Ray Chaya, Larry Conte, Ron Francis, Jim Hedtke, Bill Johnson, John Kellner, Dave Mandeleone, Mike McGinnis, Dave O’ Connor, Mike Serve, Jim Starrett, Bill Sutherland and Carl “Butch” Webster and four sophomores [Class of 1968] Bob Cline, Dave Dudek, Harry Stortz and Denny Waggoner.

Highlights of the 1965 season included speedy John Francis’ four touchdown performances against Knights of DeSales of Lockport [38 - 27] as well as in ND’s first-time-ever victory over the Frannies of St. Francis of Athol Springs [34 - 13], Ron Francis’ two TDs in a come-from-behind 34 - 14 victory over Erie County power Alden High School and a hard fought 13 -7 victory over the Olean Archbishop Walsh Eagles after being down 7 - 0 early in the game.

The come-from-behind Walsh victory set the stage for the Smith League Championship game on a cold November Sunday afternoon against the Vikings of Bishop Gibbons at North Tonawanda Stadium. Supported by seven busloads of spirited ND student fans and down by four points with four minutes to go, Junior QB Ron Francis (‘67) connected with classmate Mike Brady (‘67) on a key pass that kept a fourth quarter Irish drive alive. With 52 seconds on the clock, Francis connected with Sophomore Denny Waggoner (‘68) for the go-ahead TD.

Senior Co-Captain Jim Murphy (‘66) iced the championship by intercepting a Gibbons pass 10 seconds later and rambling for a 23-yard TD to seal the deal. Final score: ND 25 - Bishop Gibbons 13.

Congratulations to Head Coach Bernie Fagan, Assistant Coaches Joe Eppolito and Joe Chilano and our 28-member record-setting 1965 Bishop Smith League Varsity Football Champions -- our first in school history! 

Joseph D. Scanlan, Ed.D., 1965, ND Principal: 2004 - 2015
Joseph Scanlan, Ed.D., ND Class of 1965, is being inducted into the Notre Dame Hall of Fame as an Administrator/Contributor, a role he certainly excelled at.

A lifelong LeRoyan, Joe played basketball and ran cross country, served as President of the Class of ’65 and was the 1965 “Man of the Year” during his ND years. He earned both his BA in History and his MS in Education at Canisius College where he was a member of both the DiGamma Jesuit Honor Society and the Col. Richardson Army ROTC Honor Society. He attended SUNY Brockport for his CAS/SAS Administrative Certi cation and earned his doctorate [Ed.D] in Educational Administration from the University of Rochester. His wife, Kate, was Notre Dame’s Campus Minister/Theology teacher for 15 years while his son, Michael (’02), played on our 2001 New York State Boys Basketball Championship team and continued the “Scanlan Tradition” as he also was named ND Man of the Year for the Class of 2002.

Scanlan spent 15 years at Byron-Bergen as both a teacher and administrator, 17 years at York as HS Principal before returning to Notre Dame where his plan to “stay a few years” turned into an 11-year stint as his Alma Mater’s President/Principal! Known as “Dr. Joe” to students and staff alike, he was a student-oriented administrator who had high expectations for himself as well as for all members of the ND school community. These high expectations reaped many benefits from academic, athletic and respect for others perspectives during his tenure including ND being named the #1 academic high school in the GLOW Region during each of the 11 years he served as Principal.

A staunch supporter of Notre Dame’s students on a multitude of levels, he was most visible (and vocal) at ND sporting events cheering for and offering support as well as encouragement to all Fighting Irish teams and student-athletes. Even though his job demanded a lot of time, he found the time to attend numerous athletic events making a point of attending contests of all sports while rarely, if ever, missing a home game. Our student-athletes were always well aware and very appreciative of his support which provided Dr. Joe a venue to reach them on many levels. Dr. Joe could often be heard in the halls or cafeteria offering advice and encouragement to student-athletes and nonstudent-athletes alike. Many of his athletic sayings such as “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take” are legendary among ND student-athletes!

During Dr. Joe’s tenure, Fighting Irish athletic teams won two State championships, eight NYS Western Regional championships, 28 Section V titles, and 40 GR [Genesee region] championships as well as producing 167 NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete [minimum 90-percent academic average] teams.

When asked to briefly sum up his ND years, Dr. Joe said: “My love of interacting with teenagers and my longtime interest in high school athletics made attending and supervising ND Fighting Irish athletic events and rooting for our Alma Mater a perfect match”!

November 13, 2017 - 10:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, Oakfield, batavia, notify, Le Roy, elba, pembroke, Alabama, bergen.
      Michael Shetler

Michael Alan Shetler, 27, of Judge Road, Oakfield, is charged with two counts of second-degree strangulation, five counts of criminal obstruction of breathing, two counts of third-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment, 2nd, and two counts of criminal mischief, 4th. Shetler was arrested following an investigation by Deputy Kevin Forsyth and Deputy Richard Schildwaster into several complaints of domestic violence at a location on Main Street, Oakfield. Shetler was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child. He was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Nicole Leanne Williams, 25, of Kings Street, Albion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and driving left of pavement markings. Williams was stopped at 2:45 a.m. Sunday on Quaker Hill Road, Elba, by Deputy Howard Wilson.

Amy R. Sellhorst, 31, of Beaufort Street, Rochester, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Sellhorst is accused of hitting another person at a location on York Road, Le Roy, at 10:37 p.m. on Saturday.

Jason William Wolf, 41, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, driving a vehicle without an interlock device, and improper left turn. Wolf was stopped at 8:23 p.m. Thursday on West Main Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Jaclyn Kathryn Blackmer, 32, of Cabot Road, Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, open container, driving left of pavement markings, and moved from lane unsafely. Blackmer was stopped at 2:33 a.m. Saturday on Main Road, Pembroke by Deputy Mathew Clor.

Joseph M. Smith, 41, of State Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Smith posted bail and was released.

Alaysia L. Henderson, 18, of Gardiner Avenue, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Henderson was released on $500 bail.

Christina R. Aaron, 21, of Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Aaron was stopped by State Police at 11:51 p.m. Friday on Route 33, Bergen.

Heather M. Captain, 31, of Basom, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Captain was arrested by State Police in relation to an incident reported at 8:35 p.m. Aug. 27 in the Town of Alabama. No further details released.

Crystal D. Cardona, 27, of Bergen, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Cardona was stopped by State Police at 1:55 p.m. Nov. 7 on Route 33, Bergen.

November 12, 2017 - 4:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, Seniors, Announcements.

Yahtzee anyone? Or how about Crazy Eights or a classic American board game like Sorry!?

A “Community Game Day” will be held next Saturday, Nov. 18, at Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehab., 278 Bank St., Batavia.

It starts at 3 p.m. in Main Dining Room.

Bring your favorite board games, family and friends; they will provide the snacks!

If you have any questions, please call Premier Genesee at 344-0584, ext. 2113.

November 11, 2017 - 9:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A caller reports an attempted strong-arm robbery in the area of 352 W. Main St., Batavia.

The victim reportedly suffered an eye injury and Mercy EMS is dispatched.

The suspects, four to five males on bicycles, were last seen heading toward Tops.

Batavia PD responding.

Subjects matching the description have been spotted on Veterans Memorial Drive.

UPDATE 9:36 p.m.: The four subjects were seen entering Target. One is now in custody.

UPDATE 9:39 p.m.: Sheriff William Sheron, apparently already in the area, is on scene. All four may be in custody. An off-duty police officer working security at Towne Center at Batavia first spotted the individuals.

UPDATE 10:20 p.m.: A caller to dispatch who saw this post reports being attacked earlier this evening on Harvester Avenue and having $20 stolen.

November 11, 2017 - 2:26pm

Press release:

A Holiday Wreath Sale, sponsored by Grandview Cemetery, is underway and orders are due no later than Friday, Nov. 17.

Wreaths cost $22 each and feature a red bow and accessories. All proceeds go toward cemetery maintenance.

To order, call Joyce at 343-0877 or Anne at 343-0350.

Wreaths can be picked up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 26th, at cemetery maintenance building. Grandview Cemetery is located at 80 Clinton Street Road in Batavia.

November 11, 2017 - 2:24pm

Press release:

This month St. Paul Lutheran School in Batavia is celebrating 20 years of educating children in and around Batavia, from prekindergarten to fifth grade. On Sunday, Nov. 26, there will be a special Alumni Reunion & School Celebration!

The worship service will take place from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., immediately followed by the reunion outside the main church entrance at 31 Washington Ave.

There will be old photographs and DVDs to see and reminiscing with former schoolmates and teachers.

For questions, contact Mrs. Ann Werk, school principal, at 343-0488.

November 10, 2017 - 5:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, veterans, batavia, news.


Genesee Community College honored veterans today with a ceremony in the forum.


Batavia High School Band playing the National Anthem.




Assemblyman Steve Hawley speaking. Before and during the ceremony a slideshow displayed photos of veterans associated with GCC.


Jessica Caryl, an aviation mechanist, represented student veterans and read a poem about the flag.


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

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