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September 12, 2016 - 2:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news.
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     Kyeongseop Woodhams

The young man whose body was found on Labor Day in the lake at DeWitt Recreation Area has been identified by police as 25-year-old Kyeongseop Woodhams.

Woodhams is originally from South Korea and notification of the next of kin required the assistance of Sen. Charles Schumer's office.

The cause of death has not yet been determined and investigators are awaiting results from toxicology tests to see if that provides any clues.

There were no signs of trauma.

Investigators are asking that anybody who may have seen Woodhams between Sept. 3 and Sept. 5 to contact Det. Todd Crossett at (585) 345-6353.

The park opened at 6 a.m. on Labor Day and a fisherman discovered Woodham's body at 8:54 a.m. and immediately called police.

The body was partially submerged. 

A scuba team searched the area where the body was found, in the southeast corner of the lake, behind the land bridge created by historically low water levels, but investigators have not revealed if any items of interest were located.

No further information has been released about Woodhams.

September 12, 2016 - 1:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in Walk to End Alzheimer's, news, Announcements, batavia.

Press release:

The Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter estimates that across Genesee County, approximately 2,000 residents have Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. It’s further believed that an additional 6,000 family members and friends provide some kind of care for those with impaired cognition.

All those people, as well as professional care providers, have access to the no-cost resources of the WNY Chapter, which include educational programs, support groups, online access to information, support and medical professionals across the county, and other vital programs and services.

The major means of financial support for these services is the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which will take place in Batavia on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Genesee County Nursing Home (278 Bank St.) starting at 9 a.m.

Hundreds of participants are expected to take part in this important, informative and entertaining fundraiser. A committee of local residents and business and community leaders has been planning Walk for months, helping secure donations of goods and services, recruiting team members and leaders and promoting the event across the county while raising awareness about dementia and the WNY Chapter.

Registration and fundraising can be accomplished online at alz.org/WNY or via a quick phone call to 1.800.272.3900. All registered participants have access to refreshments, entertainment and basket and 50/50 raffles.

Day-of registration is also available from 9-10 a.m., and fundraising can continue through the end of October to qualify for incentives, which include a purple Walk to End Alzheimer’s T-shirt and a gold medal.

The continuing availability of Chapter resources and important research to find ways to prevent, slow and cure Alzheimer’s disease is also funded through the generous support of the corporate world.

Information and easy registration is available online at alz.org/WNY or by calling 1.800.272.3900.

September 12, 2016 - 12:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, batavia.

(Milky Way on the rail, pulling ahead, with driver Jim Morrill Jr.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Horses trained by Tracy Brainard and driven by Jim Morrill Jr. have been tough to beat over the years and Saturday night (Sept. 10) at Batavia Downs was no exception. That dynamic duo swept both 3-year-old pacing filly divisions of the New York Sires Stakes and claimed the winner’s share of $119,300 in purses.

In the first $60,200 division, Milky Way Rae (American Ideal-Aurora Borealus) was used early and late before grinding out a victory down the lane.

Milky Way Rae left for the lead but was pursued from the outside by American Ivy (Dan Daley) through a :27.3 quarter. By the three-eighths America Ivy had taken a seat third allowing the leader a breather and a :56 half. But before Milky Way Rae could get too comfortable, No Clouds Bluechip (Kevin Cummings) had pulled from fourth with Dime A Dance (Drew Monti) right behind her.

As the trio paced by three-quarters in 1:25, No Clouds Bluechip stalled and Dime A Dance went three-wide around her in the last turn. Starting with a two-length deficit at the top of the stretch, Dime A Dance put on a ferocious drive and took it to the leader, but Milky Way Rae fended off the challenge to win by a nose in 1:54.4.

“The race shaped up good for her because she likes to rock on the front” said Morrill. “I thought she could go in 1:52 tonight on this track but it didn’t come to that.”

It was the fifth win of the year for Milky Way Rae ($13.20) and it boosted her 2016 earnings to $86,674 for owner Fortunate One LLC.

 

(Wishy Washy Girl (#5) with driver Jim Morrill Jr.)

The second $59,100 leg saw Wishy Washy Girl (Roll With Joe-Wish All you Want) trip-out for the win and give the Morrill/Brainard team their second winner's circle presentation.

Wishy Washy Girl left and dropped in second behind Time On My Hands (Ray Fisher Jr.) who was rolling from the pylons. But despite the two being ahead of the field by a good ten lengths, Morrill pulled and tried to go to the front, cutting the quarter in :27. However Fisher would have none of that and he pushed his filly on and made Morrill see-saw his back into the hole.

Between the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.4, Art Critic (Drew Monti) pulled and drew alongside Wishy Washy Girl. At the same time, Fisher was highly animated in urging on the front-running Time On My Hands who was clearly running out of gas. This locked in Wishy Washy Girl who was raging with pace until the top of the lane. When the passing lane finally opened up, Morrill popped Wishy Washy Girl through the opening and sped to an instant two-length lead and won in 1:54.4.

“She was good but she would have been a lot better if they went 1:22 to three-quarters” Morrill explained. “That’s why I came out of the two-hole at the quarter, because when they go too slow she’s tough to hold. She was crawling over that horse around the last turn; she was very good.”

The win gave Wishy Washy Girl three for the year and the purse enriched her bank account to $82,328 for owners Michael Cimaglio and Stephen Demeter.

There were also two divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior A series on the card.

Ghost Runner (Art Major-Spirit Of The West) was an easy wire to wire winner in 1:54.1 for Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Erv Miller. Ghost runner ($2.30) is owned by Dr. Scott Leaf, Deborah Mackenzie, Gerald Fielding and Tom Jackson.

The Morrill/Miller combo also took the second division with Rolling Going Gone (Roll With Joe-Long Gone) in 1:58, and once again wire to wire. Rolling Going Gone ($2.30) is owned by Ross Bonafield.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. ended the night winning five races.

September 12, 2016 - 12:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, schools, education, news.

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The future, if not the present, of all aspects of work and life is digital and connected, and to help ensure students are ready to keep pace with a fast-changing world, the City School District is investing in the equipment and infrastructure to help kids succeed.

This morning, Batavia High School began handing out Chromebooks to students.

Chromebooks, running a browser-based operating system from Google, will give students instant access to the world, their teachers, and their classmates as well as provide a suite of software tools they can use for research, study and creation. 

"Whether going on to college or the world of work, you have to know how to gather information, analyze it and interpret it and we're going to be able to help our kids do that at a much higher level," said Superintendent Chris Dailey.

The overall experience of using digital devices will make academic life at Batavia HS more like what students will experience in college, so Dailey thinks those students who continue their education will be better prepared.

"By giving kid a college experience at an early age, when they’re going on, whether it’s to the world of work, military or college, they are on par, if not above, everybody else in our region," Dailey said.

The experience begins in elementary school where students have also been assigned Chromebooks and students participate in classes, such as the one that teaches keyboard skills to students at Jackson Elementary using games for lessons and practice.

The Chromebook rollout culminated in the three-year planning an implementation process that included upgrades to the Wi-Fi network at the high school.

Daily praised IT director Jeff McKinney and his staff.

Students will also be able to take classes in repairing the computers, which will give them, Dailey said, another level of understanding about technology as well as better equip them for their future in work or academics. 

The program is being paid for entirely within the school district's regular budgeting process because there are also cost savings associated with it, such as a reduction in costs for laptops and desktops. 

"A traditional history textbook cost more than these devices, so we can now get that history textbook online, plus all the others, for significantly less than before," Dailey said.

Dailey said he's also well aware that the future of work is based on technology and students need to be prepared for that new world, which in many ways has already changed dramatically.

"My father-in-law owns a printing business and where they used to have eight guys running the press, now they have two and both of them are computer literate because they’re running a computer that is running the press," Dailey said. "Computers are changing everything."

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September 11, 2016 - 3:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Vinyl Record Revival, GSO, music, entertaiment, batavia, news, Asteria Quartet.

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The Genesee Symphony Orchestra hosted a special performance in Batavia Saturday night at Vinyl Record Revival of the Asteria Quartet.

The quartet includes Shade Zajac, the GSO's new conductor and musical director, along with Evie Boughton on the viola, Kiram Rajamani and Leah McCarthy on violin.

The quartet performed Mozart’s 8th Quartet K. 168, Stostakovich’s 8th Quartet, and Zajac’s own composition, “Willard.”

Between each piece, the members took questions from the audiences about the pieces, the performance and the history of the music.

The evening including a wine tasting hosted by Chris Crocker, owner of the YNGodess Shop.

September 10, 2016 - 1:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, batavia, marksmanship, shooting competition.
Eugene Jankowski Jr., a retired Batavia police officer and president of the Batavia City Council, finished in the top 13 percent among 250 competitors in the 2016 FN 3 Gun Championship. He was awarded High Senior in the Tactical Optics Division.
 
Action-packed 3 Gun is one of the fastest-growing shooting sports in the country right now. Competitors use three different firearms -- a modern sporting rifle; a pistol; and a shotgun. Distances of the targets might vary from 1 yard to 500 yards or anything in between. The shooter who hits the most targets -- and avoids certain "no shoot" ones -- in the least amount of time is the winner.
 
The FN 3 Gun Championship took place Sept. 1-3 at Peacemaker National Training Center located in the beautiful West Virginia mountains near Gerrardstown. Top competitors traveled from all over the United States to compete in this annual event. Video highlights of the event can be found here https://youtu.be/FWrZ4vfnbDM
September 10, 2016 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, agriculture.

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Timmy Bartz, 8, is selling vegetables he grew at a stand on Bank Street this afternoon.

September 9, 2016 - 5:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, batavia, RTS Genesee.

Press release:

RTS Genesee announced it has resumed its Friday night service to connect Genesee Community College’s (GCC) College Village to the business district. The route will once again connect the Walden Estates and Woodstock Gardens apartment complexes to businesses on the west side of town. The service is designed to connect customers with retail, entertainment and dining destinations.

The new Sunday service is called the “34 Rush Bus” and will make it easier for residents looking to catch the Buffalo Bills game at 34 Rush at Batavia Downs.

The “Friday Night Fun Run,” kicked off on Friday, Aug. 26 and will run through May 5. The Friday night service begins at 7:30 p.m. and ends at 12:20 a.m. 

The “34 Rush Bus” will run from Sunday, Sept. 11 through Dec. 11. The Sunday service will begin at 12:15 p.m. and end at 6:10 p.m. As there are some dates the service will not run, customers are encouraged to see the schedule for dates of operation.

“Thanks to the partnership of Genesee Community College and Batavia Downs, we are able to continue improving the service we provide to the community," said James Mott, regional manager for RTS Genesee and RTS Orleans. “This service will help meet the demand of customers who want more access to these popular destinations.”

The standard fare of $1 for a one-way ride will apply for both the Friday and Sunday services.

The schedule for the Friday Night Fun Run and the 34 Rush Bus are available on the RTS website.

September 9, 2016 - 4:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, drug task force.

Shelly M. Dutton, 44, of Maple Street, Batavia, was arrested Thursday evening at her residence following an investigation by the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force.

It is alleged that she sold a quantity of heroin and oxycodone, a controlled substance, to an agent of the task force. She was put in jail and was arraigned in Genesee County Court today.

Dutton is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Both are third-degree Class B felonies.

The task force is comprised on police officers from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Batavia Police NET, and Le Roy Village Police Department. Task Force members were assisted by uniformed deputies of the Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Office.

September 9, 2016 - 2:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, elba, pembroke.

Clifford Adam Keene, 38, of Pratt Road, Batavia, is charged with three counts of second-degree burglary. Keene was arrested following an investigation into two residential burglaries. It is alleged that Keene is responsible for a burglary in the Town of Batavia which occurred at noon on March 8 on West Main Street Road. He is accused of entering a residence and stealing a television. It is also alleged that he entered a residence on Marble Road in the Town of Pembroke on two separate occasions on March 4, stealing a crossbow and long guns. Keene was arrested and arraigned Sept. 8 and is due to return to Batavia Town Court Sept. 27 and to Pembroke Town Court Oct. 6. He is presently incarcerated in Genesee County Jail on unrelated charges. The case was handled by Sheriff's deputy Joseph Graff, assisted by Deputy Brad Mazur.

Francis W. Derenzo, 60, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with depositing trash and having an open container of alcohol. At 9:11 a.m. on Sept. 8, Derenzo was arrested on Ellicott Street for allegedly consuming an open container of Coors Light beer while walking on the sidewalk. Derenzo allegedly also threw the beer can, causing litter. Derenzo was issued two appearance tickets for City Court on Sept. 27. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Jaime B. Janiga, 55, of Bank Street Road, Elba, is charged with failure to appear in connection with an incident which occurred at 1:28 a.m. on July 10 on Vine Street in the City of Batavia. Janiga was arrested following an accident investigation into an unrelated matter. Janiga was taken to BPD headquarters, processed, arraigned in City Court, and is due to return to court on Oct. 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

September 9, 2016 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, DeWitt Recreation Area.

Investigators are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to help determine the cause of death of a man whose body was found in the lake at DeWitt Recreation Area on Labor Day.

The victim's name has not been released because authorities are having a hard time getting in touch with appropriate family members for the purpose of notification.

Det. Todd Crossett said he expects notification to happen today and the identity of the victim to be released Monday.

"It should be clear when the information is released why this is taking so long," Crossett said.

The autopsy has been completed, but that procedure did not lead to a determination of the cause of death, Crossett said.

Asked if the extensive search of the area conducted after the body was found turned up anything related to the case, Crossett said he couldn't comment on that until information was released on Monday.

Crossett said he wasn't on scene Labor Day, so he doesn't know if identification was found on the victim, but he said somebody who saw the body did recognize him.

In past fatalities, it has taken a couple of months for toxicology reports to come back from the crime labs.

September 9, 2016 - 12:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Town of Batavia Fire, batavia, news, business.

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Press release:

In preparation for the construction of our new fire station, the Town of Batavia Fire Department, Inc., will be accepting written offers for the house and property located at 5007 Clinton Street Road, Batavia.

The house is two-story, 1584 square feet and is located on a 60’ x 128’ parcel. The house is currently configured as a 2-family home.

The Fire Department purchased the house as it was included as part of the land acquisition for our new fire station. After a formal needs review examination, it has been determined that the house it is not necessary for our current or future needs.

There will be an Open House on Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 2 until 6 p.m. for anyone interested in viewing the house and property.

Written offers will be accepted until Monday, Sept. 19 by U.S. Mail at Town of Batavia Fire Department, Inc., P.O. Box 417, Batavia, NY 14021-0417.

The Town of Batavia Fire Department, Inc., reserves the right to reject any and/or all offers that it deems in its best interest.

By order of the Board of Directors

September 9, 2016 - 12:00pm

Fall back into savings at the Batavia YMCA! Stop into the Y to get your joining fee waived during our fall membership campaign. The campaign runs now through Sept. 18th and we will waive the joining fee for any new or returning member. As an extra incentive, anyone who stops in during our campaign and signs up will receive a $10 off program coupon and a free family guest pass for a family friend to try the Y. For our current members, bring someone into the Y with you and if they sign up for a new membership* and complete the member referral form, you can receive a $50 credit toward future YMCA membership dues or program registrations. Stop in soon before these great deals are blown away! *Excludes membership upgrades. Click here for more information.

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

A caller complains that at a residence on Dellinger Avenue, a dog is being left outside all day, in the heat, without shelter.

The City's animal control officer is responding.

September 9, 2016 - 11:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in walmart, batavia, news.

A deputy has been dispatched to Walmart to investigate a report of a girl, about 5 or 6 years old, in a pink outfit, panhandling.

September 8, 2016 - 4:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, sports, RUS, racing under saddle, Batavia Downs, batavia.

(The race to the finish line in Batavia Down's first-ever "racing under saddle" contest Sept. 7.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Wednesday night (Sept. 7) was historic for Batavia Downs as the first ever racing under saddle (RUS) contest was held at the oldest lighted harness track in America. And the show put on by the competitors in the $4,000 RUS New York championship race had the fans on their feet and cheering.

Five horses went postward before My Friend Charlie (Andrea Pratt) went right for the lead as the race began. But shortly after getting away second, Funny Photo (Sophie Engerran) came early, pulled alongside the leader and immediately pushed the issue.

The two trotted side by side setting fractions of :30 and 1:00.3 to the half before Funny Photo made a break past the five-eighths pole. At that point My Friend Charlie was alone on top but Admirable Hanover (Vanessa Karlewicz), who inherited second after the break, was right on her tail. As the race moved off the last turn, Karlewicz pulled Admirable Hanover and drew alongside the leader. The pair trotted in step in a thrilling race to the wire before Admirable Hanover got a slight advantage and won by a neck in 2:03.4.

My Friend Charlie was second and Jeanie Marie closed sharply for third after an early race miscue in the non-betting event.

It was the third win in six starts under saddle for Admirable Hanover this year. This is the fourth year the 9-year-old gelded son of Cantab Hall has competed in RUS and the 2:03.4 clocking was a new lifetime mark under saddle for him. 

Admirable Hanover is owned by Peter Gerry and is trained by his rider, Vanessa Karlewicz.

“The crowd loved this race” said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing. “They were on their feet at the rail cheering as the two horses battled down the stretch. The girls put on a great show and we hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of RUS at Batavia Downs.”

Since this was the first-ever RUS event at Batavia Downs, the winning time of 2:03.4 is a new track record. 

September 8, 2016 - 3:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news, schools, education, sports.

Press release:

The Batavia City School District has always been committed to its girls’ athletic program. We are proud of our student athletic program and continuously work toward achieving equality across all sports. This is of paramount importance to the District.

The District has recently received the Court’s decision awarding attorneys’ fees (totaling $68,000) to the Empire Justice Center in the 2013 lawsuit concerning the girls’ softball fields. The District disagrees with, and is disappointed by, the award of attorneys’ fees to the Empire Justice Center. Most importantly, the lawsuit was simply unnecessary – and only served to waste taxpayers’ money.

The improvements to the girls’ softball field were already approved by the Board before the lawsuit was filed, and they were commenced immediately upon taxpayer approval of the funding. The changes would have been made regardless whether the lawsuit was filed. This was conveyed to the Empire Justice Center, but their attorneys chose to proceed with the lawsuit – and generating unnecessary legal fees for their organization – anyway.

In the end, the Empire Justice Center achieved almost nothing outside this award of fees. There were no substantial differences between the settlement and the capital improvement plans that the Board of Education proposed and approved at its February 2013 meeting for presentation to the voters in May 2013. In addition to routine maintenance, there was only one additional improvement requested in over and above the capital improvement project – the addition of a safety cap to the track and field fence that is adjacent to the no longer used JV softball field.

The District looks forward to continuing to provide a safe and nurturing environment to develop students with high moral character who are able to meet life’s challenges. 

September 8, 2016 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, batavia photo club, Announcements.

The Batavia Photo Club, serving members from Genesee County, and the counties surrounding it, will begin its 30th year on Sept. 21. 

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia, with informal photo critiques beginning at 6:30.

The library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

If you have an interest in photography and perhaps want to take that interest to the next level, come and see what we are all about. All are welcome to attend, even if you think you won’t want to join.

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