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February 11, 2014 - 12:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Vibrant Batavia.

They call it "The Big Ask."

The Big Ask is the third leg of a fund-raising effort developed by Vibrant Batavia to support it's community improvement efforts and putting together a centennial celebration for the city in 2015.

Fundraising efforts so far involve selling advertising to local businesses for a quarterly magazine and a discount card program to residents, but Vibrant Batavia also needs to raise big money from big donors.

Corporate sponsors are being sought to contribute as much as $5,000 or $10,000 each.

Monday night, members had another kind of Big Ask for City Council members: $45,000 for a second year of funding.

It's part of the plan -- Vibrant Batavia's plan has always included at least $45,000 in funding annually for three years -- but the request needs to be put before the City Council each year.

Council President Brooks Hawley said he's inclined to support the request.

"They've been doing a great job, being put together as many volunteers," Hawley said. "It's been a great effort."

Since the Spring of 2013, Vibrant Batavia has:

  • Developed a logo and marketing plan;
  • Entered into an agreement with Rochester-based nonprofit Neighborhood Works and hired a coordinator for Vibrant Batavia through Neighborhood Works;
  • Conducted neighborhood surveys;
  • Introduced Coffee Talks, a Fall Frolic, an advertiser-supported quarterly publication and discount program;
  • Started planning the community's centennial celebration.

The second year of city funding is needed, City Manager Jason Molino said, to help continue and expand Vibrant Batavia's neighborhood organization efforts and planning for the centennial celebration.

"It's an energized group," Molino said after the meeting. "They want to do with good things in the community. I think they want to continue that momentum."

For 2013, Vibrant projected $67,000 in revenue, with $45,000 coming from the city. The actual fundraising effort garnered $60,790.

Expenses were $10,000 lower than projected.

Vibrant Batavia spent $31,000 with Neighborhood Works, $500 on logo design, $7,500 on developing a sponsorship plan with Buffalo Block Club, $10,902 on printing expenses and $7,500 on the centennial celebration.

For 2014, Vibrant Batavia's revenue plan projects another $45,000 from the city and $42,000 in revenue from local businesses, with expenses of $31,500 on Neighborhood Works, $35,500 on programming and $20,000 on centennial planning.

"All of us have come together, community members and volunteers, because we believe in our community," said Vibrant Batavia Board Member Marty McDonald.

February 10, 2014 - 11:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Kathy and Jim Owen were honored by the City Council on Monday night homeowners of the year.

Karen Reisdorf, owner of Blue Pearl Yoga, received the City Council's Business of the Year award.

February 10, 2014 - 4:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Ramparts, sports, hockey, youth sports.

The T.F. Brown's Squirt III Batavia Ramparts Hockey Team garnered silver medals at the Empire State Winter Games held Olympic Center in Lake Placid this weekend.

Batavia was the #1 seed going into the final rounds after winning their first three games. They lost the gold medal round to the Rye Rangers.

Pictured are Head Coach Jeff Bower, Assistant Coach Brian Frieday and players Drew Bower, Vincent DiRizio, Matthew Frieday, Levi Grimm, Zachary Howard, Austin Hunt, Collin Kratz, Chase Pangrazio, Dominic Peracciny, Connor Peterson, Eric Pfalzer, Sean Pies, Jace Rademacker, and Max Tenney.

Photo and information submitted by Robert Grimm.

February 10, 2014 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Following a week-long trial that ended Friday, a Batavia resident was found not guilty on three felony counts stemming from an allegation he forced a victim to engage in sexual acts.

Kyle H. Morse, 17 at the time of his arrest a year ago, was, however, found guilty on a single misdemeanor count of sexual misconduct.

The grand jury indictment on that count accused Morse of engaging in oral sexual conduct with another person without that person's consent, and the person was deemed incapable of consent by virtue of being less than 17 years old.

The jury returned not guilty verdicts on counts of criminal sexual act in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree and criminal sexual act in the third degree.

Morse is scheduled to appear for sentencing on the misdemeanor conviction April 10.

February 10, 2014 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Muller Quaker Dairy.

An executive of Batavia-based Muller Quaker Dairy tells an food industry news Web site that the yogurt maker is on pace to reach $100 million in annual sales in the U.S.

"Promotions are playing a role," Barb Yehling, chief marketing officer at Muller Quaker Dairy, told Foodnavigator-USA.com. "However, at the end of the day it’s product quality and taste that matter to consumers. Again, this is where Müller yogurt excels."

Yehling said the company is focused on innovation and meeting unmet needs to bring to the American public a Greek-style yogurt that is fun and flavorful.

February 10, 2014 - 1:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, alexander, Le Roy, corfu.

Nina M.E. Kelso, 29, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with torturing or injuring an animal/failure to provide sustenance and owning/haboring an unlicensed dog. Batavia PD responded to Kelso's residence at 6:08 p.m., Feb. 4, to investigate a report of a maltreated/malnourished dog. Officers allegedly found a pit bull identified as Kelso's dog that was malnourished and weak. The dog was reportedly unable to stand or move on its own. The dog was also unlicensed. The dog was taken to Batavia State Street Animal Hospital and continues to receive treatment and care.

Johnnie Waston

Johnnie M. Waston, 30, unknown address, Rochester, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd, and criminal trespass, 2nd. Waston allegedly entered the apartment on State Street of somebody he did not know at 1:54 p.m., Sunday, and remained in the residence unlawfully. Waston allegedly provided a fake name to police and was later recognized and identified by jail personnel. Waston was found to have an active bench warrant for his arrest out of the city court in Rochester.

Scott R. Merrill, 45, of Darien Center, is charged with DWI. A state trooper reportedly observed a vehicle stop at the Colby Road railroad crossing, which at the time had flashing lights and the gate arms down, indicating an approaching train. The vehicle allegedly proceeded around the gates and narrowly avoided being hit by an Amtrak train. The vehicle was stopped and Merrill was taken into custody following further investigation.

Rodney Lowell McKenzie, 49, of Weaver Street, Buffalo, is charged with inhalation of toxic vapors. McKenzie was reported found at 11:51 a.m., Feb. 5, sitting in his vehicle allegedly huffing keyboard cleaner. He was also charged with petit larceny for allegedly shoplifting from Walmart.

Danny Jay Torok Jr., 26, of Dodgeson Road, Alexander, is charged with assault, 2nd. Torok allegedly started a fight with another inmate while incarcerated at the Genesee County Jail.

Mark Andrew Kempie Jr., 45, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Kempie allegedly stole merchandise valued at $13.67 from Kmart.

Gary Edwin Gerevics, 55, of Indian Falls Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and criminal contempt, 2nd. Gerevics was allegedly found in possession of firearms in violation of a court order of protection. He was jailed on $3,000 bail.

Jason A. Klinkbeil, 25, of 50 South St., Le Roy, was arrested on a bench warrant. Klinkbeil turned himself in on a warrant for alleged failure to comply with drug court. He was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Nathan Paul Crawford,18, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with public lewdness. Crawford allegedly exposed his genitals to another person while on East Main Street, Batavia, at 5:46 p.m., Feb. 5.

Suzanne M. Corona, 44, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Corona is accused of stealing from a location Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, at 8:38 p.m., Saturday. She was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Jacob J. Lentz, 24, of Aurora, Iowa, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Lentz was stopped at 10:50 p.m., Saturday, on Albion Road in Oakfield by State Police.

Deborah L. Smith, 55, of Spencerport, is charged with DWI, refusal to take breath test and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle while on highway. Smith was stopped by State Police at 11:25 p.m., Friday, on Route 63, Town of Batavia.

February 10, 2014 - 8:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

A call has come in for a possible fire in the attic at 3885 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

Town of Batavia fire dispatched.

UPDATE 8:41 a.m.: Chief on scene. Light smoke showing.

UPDATE 8:42 a.m.: Confirmed fire in the structure. All available man power to the scene.

UPDATE 9:25 a.m.: National Grid on scene.

UPDATE 9:56 a.m.: Red Cross requested to the scene. Two adults and five children need housing for "just a couple of days," a chief says. No clothing needed.

UPDATE: This morning's fire could have been much worse, according to Chief Paul Barrett and resident Shawn Gaylord.

Gaylord's wife smelled the smoke and found the fire. Gaylord was just returning home and he and his wife were going to go right back out and be gone for four or five hours.

If she hadn't have smelled the smoke before they left ...

Gaylord started fighting the fire before the first fire trucks were on scene, using an extinquisher and containers of water.

The effort definately helped said the Town of Batavia chief.

"I didn't stop him from fighting the fire because it was working so well until the city got here just ahead of our truck, 30 seconds ahead of our truck," Barrett said.

City fire was dispatched because the slippery roads made it a little harder to get a driver to the Town of Batavia's fire hall to get an engine rolling.

The fire was contained to an upstairs bathroom and bedroom area, caused about $10,000 in damage, Barrett said, and was definitely electrical in origin.

The meter has been pulled and electric repairs and inspection will be necessary before the house can be occupied again.

The property is owned by Timothy Dancy.


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February 7, 2014 - 11:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

An accident involving two or three vehicles is blocking traffic at East Main and Liberty streets in the City of Batavia. There are believed to be minor injuries. City fire and Mercy medics are responding along with police.

UPDATE 11:10 p.m.: Two flatbed tow trucks are called to the scene.

February 7, 2014 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Ramparts, sports, hockey, youth sports.

The T.F. Brown's Batavia Ramparts Squirt III Hockey Team is participating in the Empire State Winter Games, being held Feb. 6 through 9 in Lake Placid. The team posed for a picture prior to lining up for the opening ceremonies at the Olympic Center. They will play four games with a chance to win gold, silver or bronze medals. The Ramparts are the Western Region representative in this invitational tournament.

Information and photo submitted by Robert Grimm.

February 7, 2014 - 3:59am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

Automatic alarms of fire and water flow are sounding at both Petco and Bed, Bath & Beyond on Veterans Memorial Drive. The Town of Batavia Fire Department command is on scene. A responder says it appears "the pump is not running" at BBB.

They have entered both stores and silenced the alarms at BBB, where there is no water flow or "obvious signs of fire." At Petco, same situation, but the burglar alarm went off, they noted probably because of their entry.

Engine 21 just arrived. All other equipment is told to remain in quarters.

UPDATE 4:01 a.m.: Reps for both businesses are responding in about 30 to 40 minutes.

UPDATE 4:18 p.m.: Everything checks out. One door or something which was supposed to be locked up was "found unsecured." Command says they are leaving it like they found it. Corps command will remain on scene until the reps arrive. The others are leaving the scene and the town's assignment is back in service. Petco reopened yesterday after some fire-related rehab due to the recent blaze in the bedding department of the store next door, BBB, which remains closed for now.

February 6, 2014 - 4:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, wbta.

From WBTA:

WBTA is experiencing a transmission failure and has lost the over-the-air signal.

WBTA can still be heard on the stream on the homepage at WBTAi.com or on our iPhone app which is available free at the iTunes store.

Repairs are under way and we hope to have service restored as soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding.

UPDATE 6:51 p.m.: As of at least an hour ago, WBTA is back on the air. Problems fixed.

February 6, 2014 - 2:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

Got cat food? The folks at Petco want you to know the store on Veterans Memorial Drive has reopened. It was partially damaged in the Bed Bath & Beyond fire.

February 6, 2014 - 1:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

We received this statement today from Jessica Joyce, a spokeswoman for Bed, Bath & Beyond:

We are working with the landlord and insurance professionals to reopen as soon as possible. Yes, we did offer reassignments to all of our associates.

The store was closed following a fire in the bedding department Jan. 27 and all of the merchandise, shelving and fixtures have been removed from the store.

February 6, 2014 - 7:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Leon Clayton Bloom, 31, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, and coercion, 2nd. Bloom is accused of violating an order of protection by sending a letter to the protected person. He's further accused of trying to coerce her into doing things she has a right not to do. Bloom is currently in custody on another matter.

Rodney Lowell McKenzie, 49, of Weaver Street, Buffalo, is charged with petit larceny. McKenzie is accused of shoplifting at Walmart. He was jailed on $500 bail.

February 5, 2014 - 8:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

An accident, possiblly with injuries, is reported in the area of 25 Pringle Ave., Batavia.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 8:20 p.m.: City fire is back in service.

February 5, 2014 - 6:38pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in batavia, snow, storm.

Redfield Parkway about 11:30 this morning. The winter storm warning is in effect until 10 p.m. Another 3-6 inches of new snow is possible tonight.

Washington Avenue bus stop. At 3 p.m. heavy snow made driving a little difficult.

Redfield Parkway resident Bob Johnson uses the snowblower to keep up with the heavy snowfall.

Guillermo Leon did not seem to mind shoveling his sidewalk on Richmond Avenue.

He says he likes winter.

Karen Baker clears off her car after picking up her two sons Michael and Justin from school.

City Plow making the rounds.

February 5, 2014 - 5:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

Today the Genesee County Grand Jury, under what is known as Prosecutor's Information, filed two Class A misdemeanor counts against Michael V. Pontillo. This option is used when the grand jury fails to find evidence to support felony charges but does find sufficient evidence to file misdemeanor charges.

The grand jury accuses Pontillo of obstructing governmental administration in the second degree for allegedly intentionally obstructing, impairing or perverting the administration of law or other governmental function, or attempting to prevent a public servant from performing an official function by means of intimidation, physical force or by unlawful act. This allegedly occurred Oct. 30 in the City of Batavia.

In count two, Pontillo is accused of resisting arrest by intentionally preventing or attempting to prevent a police officer from effecting an authorized arrest of himself or another person.

As a result of the Prosecutor's Information, an infrequent determination in Genesee County, the grand jury directs the District Attorney's Office to return the charges to a lower court, in this case City Court.

February 5, 2014 - 5:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, byron, alexander, Le Roy, Grand Jury.

These are the latest indictments issued by the Genesee County Grand Jury.

John J. Saddler is indicted on four counts. The first is for the crime of attempted rape in the first degree, a Class B felony, for allegedly attempting to engage in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion. This allegedly occurred Aug. 31 in the Town of Batavia. In count two, he is accused of touching the victim's genitals by forcible compulsion, a Class D felony. In count three, he is accused of forcing the victim to touch him on the genitals by forcible compulsion, also a Class D felony. In count four, Saddler is accused of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly restraining the victim in a motel room.

Dortha L. Penders is indicted for aggrevated driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony, for allegedly driving a 2008 Dodge while intoxicated on Sept. 22 on Route 5 in the Town of Batavia while a child age 15 or less was a passenger. In count two, she is accused of committing the same crime with a BAC of .08 or more, also a Class E felony, and while a child age 15 or less was a passenger.

Donald W. Sczepanski is indicted for driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony, for allegedly operating a 2004 Pontiac while intoxicated on Route 238 on Aug. 2 in the Town of Alexander. In count two, he is accused of committing the same crime with a BAC of .08 or more, also a Class E felony.

Thomas P. Lester is indicted for driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony, for allegedly driving a 1998 Dodge while intoxicated on Sept. 12 on Townline Road in the Town of Byron. In count two, he is accused of committing the same crime with a BAC of .08 or more, also a Class E felony.

Robert C. Hinett is indicted for driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony, for allegedly driving a 2003 Subaru while intoxicated on Aug. 23 on Lake Street in the Town of Le Roy.

The Grand Jury issued No Bill for Kiernan W. Kinney after considering evidence relating to possible charges of sexual abuse in the first degree for incidents which allegedly occurred on April 10 in the Town of Pavilion.

February 5, 2014 - 9:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

Jesse Woods, 18, of 41 Lake St., Le Roy, is charged with assault, 3rd. Woods is accused of punching a relative, causing bleeding, bruising and a fat lip. Woods was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Henry L. Banks, 43, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on City Court warrant for alleged front yard parking. Banks was arrested following a traffic stop by Deputy Joseph Corona and turned over to Batavia PD on the warrant. Banks posted $100 bail.

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