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November 16, 2016 - 6:39pm

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The 15th Annual Wonderland of Trees Gala opens this Friday Nov. 18th at 7 p.m. at the Holland Land Office Museum at 131 W. Main St., Batavia.

Featuring decorated trees by local area businesses, food, music, a basket raffle and silent auction with proceeds to benefit the museum. The trees will be on display until Jan. 4.

The costs are $25 per ticket or $40 per couple. R.S.V.P. is required to attend. Tickets are available in person at the museum, by phone 585-343-4727 or online at www.dailynewstickets.com

Pictured above is the Batavia Business Professional Women's Club tree.

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Batavia Girl Scouts Tree

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Robin Weinstein is pictured with a menorah, "The Festival of Lights."

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The ARC of Genesee Orleans tree

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November 16, 2016 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, schools, education, batavia, City Schools, news.

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It's full steam ahead for academics at John Kennedy School, according to Principal Paul Kesler, who delivered a progress report to the Batavia City Schools board at Tuesday night's meeting.

On standardized testing, John Kennedy students are outpacing their peers in other districts, Kesler said.

Kesler completed a comparison of third- and fourth-grade students among 16 similar-sized cities and JK's third-graders have the highest English Language Arts scores and second highest in math. For fourth-graders, they rank third and fourth in ELA and math.

"As you can see from the pattern," Kesler said standing in front of a bar chart, "there's really a straight line year after year in terms of small cities."

The third-grade class is the first to pass through the district since the realignment of schools before their kindergarten year.

Kesler also compared JK results with the 22 other districts in the region and JK students are in the 80th percentile in ELA and 90th in math.

On another math test, 35 percent of the students tested at level 4, which Kesler said was impressive.

"I'm really proud of that because now it's no longer just our top A students who performing at that high level," Kesler said. "It's really all of our students are moving along."

Kesler, who is in his 12th year at the school, praised the work of the school's staff and thanked the district board for helping him recruit and hire talented teachers.

The school also undertook an aggressive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts/design and math) curriculum this year and Kesler said it's going well so far.

There have been three STEAM sessions for the students and STEAM topics are being worked into other parts of the curriculum.

For example, students are going to read "Charlotte's Web" this year, so there will be corresponding instruction on insects and how spiders build their webs, which gets into engineering.

"It's exciting," he said. "When the kids get excited, I get excited."

As for the future, with the district now supplying each student with Chromebooks, there's no longer a need for a computer lab. The plan, Kesler said, is to turn the former computer lab into a STEAM lab and a maker space. It will be a paperless space, he said. For example, the desktops will be white boards, which students can use for their calculations. 

November 16, 2016 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, batavia, Alabama, Oakfield, corfu, byron, alexander.

Frederich Welch, 57, and Doncella Loyd, 53, both of Rochester, are charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. Welch and Loyd are accused of making several trips in and out of Kohl's, taking merchandise worth $719.91. Troopers stopped the vehicle in the Batavia Towne Center parking lot. Welch was jailed on $2,500 bail and Loyd was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Jonathan Dylan Jacob, 23, of Meadville Road, Alabama, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Jacob was arrested following a report of an incident in the Town of Alabama. During law enforcement contact, he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

James Rosie Thomas, 20, of 367 West St., Lake George, is charged with resisting arrest, escape and he was arrested on a warrant out of Elba. Thomas allegedly ran and resisted arrest when Deputy John Dehm attempted to take him into custody on a warrant at a location on South Main Street, Oakfield.

Tracy L. Miller, 32, of South Lake Road, Pembroke, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Miller is accused of stealing a purse, which contained several debit and credit cards. 

Nicholas Price, 29, of Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs. Price was stopped by a trooper after a report of an erratic driver, including a witness reporting seeing the vehicle hit a mailbox and continue down the road. Price was stopped and administered a field sobriety test before being arrested. He was also charged with leaving the scene of a property damage accident and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th.

Daniel Hinca, 21, of Alexander, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and speeding. Hinca was stopped by State Police in Byron. A trooper administered a field sobriety test prior to his arrest. 

Joshua Taro, 38, of Auburn, is charged with petit larceny. Taro is accused of shoplifting from a store in Pembroke. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Brandi Heidenreich, 26, of Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny. Heidenreich was arrested by State Police for allegedly stealing items from Walmart worth $45.18.

November 16, 2016 - 12:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Massey-Harris, Harvester Center, batavia, business, news.

The farm equipment of Massey-Harris, which ran a factory in Batavia for five decades, will be honored at the 51st Annual WNY Steam Show in Alexander next September and organizers are looking for information, photos and artifacts that help shed light on the work done at the Massey-Harris factory locally.

At the Harvester Center, the factory produced farm equipment for the Canada-based company, but there isn't easy-to-find information on what exactly was produced there.

Organizers are hoping there are local residents with direct knowledge or documentation about the work done at the factory.

The factory closed in 1958.

If you are able to help, email Kelly Rapone at the Genesee County Tourism Office, [email protected].

November 16, 2016 - 11:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A Batavia man accused of threatening a police officer was supposed to be sentenced yesterday following his guilty plea last month, but when he appeared to before Interim Judge Micheal Pietruszka he confessed he really wasn't happy with his attorney or his plea deal.

He accused his attorney of withholding evidence from him prior to his plea, but as the discussion with Pietruszka went further, the main complaint of Bill Thomas was that Thomas heard his brother had told his attorney that he should take his case to trial.

There wasn't really new evidence, but Pietruszka went ahead and granted the 56-year-old Thomas a 10-day adjournment to find a new attorney.

Thomas was reportedly involved in a domestic dispute in March that resulted in several police officers and the emergency response team coming to his house on State Street where Thomas allegedly threatened a police officer with a knife. He was taken into custody without violence. 

Our news partner WBTA contributed to this report.

November 14, 2016 - 12:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, pembroke, bergen.

Daniel James Skivington, 39, of Reed Road, Bergen, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Skivington was contacted during an investigation into an alleged conservation violation. While at his residence, Skivington was found in possession of two rifles. Skivington has a prior felony conviction. He was jailed on $1,000 bail. The Department of Environmental Conservation violation was investigated by DEC Officer Gary Wilson. Skivington was arrested by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Edwin L. Stancliff, 37, of Indian Falls Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and harassment, 2nd. Stancliff was arrested following an investigation into an alleged domestic incident reported at 2:30 a.m., Sunday. He was jailed on $250 bail.

Andrew Enrique Montanez-Moran, 28, of High Street, Lockport, is charged with stalking, 4th. Montanez-Moran is accused of stalking a former girlfriend.

Devon Paul Leach, 22, of Main Street, Batavia, of unlawful possession of marijuana and passing a red light. Leach was stopped at 12:01 a.m. Sunday on South Lyon Street by Deputy Chris Parker. He was allegedly found in possession of a bag of marijuana in his pants' pocket.

David Allen Kemp, 38, of Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, no stopping/standing on a highway. Kemp was arrested following an investigation into a menacing complaint in the Village of Oakfield at 7:49 p.m., Sept. 24, by Deputy Robert Henning.

Richard Dean McKague Jr., 28, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. McKague allegedly threw a coffee cup at another person during an argument.

November 13, 2016 - 2:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia, news.

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Winners of City fire's annual fire safety poster contest were at the Fire Hall yesterday for their pizza party and tour and demonstrations of firefighting equipment.

The winners:

  • Grade K-1: First Place, Lillian Clarke, Jackson Primary School, Mrs. Torrey/Mrs. Aquilio, 1st Grade; Second Place, Addison Horton, Jackson Primary School, Mrs. Nelson/Mrs. Aquilio, 1st Grade; Third Place, Natalie Battaglia, Jackson Primary School, Mrs. Amerine, Kindergarten;
  • Grade 2-3: First Place, Xavian Cramer, John Kennedy, Mrs. Searls, 3rd Grade; Second Place, Gretchen Redder, John Kennedy, Mrs. Dobbertin, 3rd Grade; Third Place, Caitlyn Brinkman, John Kennedy, Ms. Gonyeau, 2nd Grade;
  • Grade 4-5: First Place, Hailey Kirkpatrick, Batavia Middle School, Mrs. Schwenk, 5th Grade; Second Place, Hannah Fry, Batavia Middle School, Mrs. Schwenk, 5th Grade, Third Place, Ava Anderson, John Kennedy, Mrs. Restiva, 4th Grade.

Photo and info submitted by Batavia Fire Department.

November 13, 2016 - 10:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia HS, batavia, news.

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Batavia got into a shootout Saturday night at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the Dunkirk Marauders and came up a bullet short, losing a fight to the finish 50-48.

Both teams scored seven touchdowns apiece, but Dunkirk made one more two-point conversion than the Blue Devils, and that made all the difference.

A win would have propelled Batavia into a chance at a state title, instead, their season is over.

"This is a great group of kids and I couldn't be more proud of them," said Head Coach Brennan Briggs after the overtime loss. "It didn't turn out the way we wanted, but once again, I'm proud of these guys. Ten and one is a great football season."

The game, in many ways, was a battle of two big-play backs, Batavia's Ray Leach and Dunkirk's Alton Ingram. Leach, a sophomore, came into the game just shy of a 1,000-yard season and Ingram had more than 1,100 yards rushing.

Saturday, Leach carried the ball 20 times for 224 yards and Ingram ran 33 times for 240 yards. Both backs scored four touchdowns each.

Coming into the game, Batavia knew Ingram would be a challenge.

"You’ve got to gang-tackle him," Briggs said. "You can’t arm tackle him. He’s a big kid. He runs hard. He makes you pay if you try to arm tackle him. He’s a good football player. I tip my cap off to him. I wish we could have done a little bit more to stop him but that’s football."

The sophomore Leach finished the season strong.

"He did a great job," Briggs said. "He busted the big plays. He made the runs. He made the plays he could have made. I look forward to having him for two more years. He did a great job. He’s hard to stop."

The game opened fast and never let up. A minute into the first quarter, Leach scored on a 59-yard run.

On Dunkirk's first play from scrimmage on its first possession, Dunkirk's QB Evon Hernandez connected on a 61-yard pass to Elwin Gomez.

In the battle of two-point conversions on these first two touchdowns, the Marauders came out on top, and led 8-6.

Before the end of the quarter, the two teams would combine for another four touchdowns and Dunkirk entered the second quarter with a 22-20 lead.

Jerry Reinhart and Chandler Baker also had big games for Batavia. 

Reinhart scored twice on the ground, part of his total of 131 yards on 14 carries, and tossed TD passes to Leach and Baker. He was 3-9 passing for 48 yards.

Baker gained 54 yards on seven carries and caught two passes for 37 yards.

Dunkirk came into the game as a big-score team, strong run game and some athletes who could move the ball. Briggs said he and his coaches knew they would be tough to stop.

"We knew we would probably have to outscore them," Briggs said. "It was a great game. We just didn’t come out on top."

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To purchase prints, click here.

November 12, 2016 - 3:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Try Hockey for Free, hockey, sports, batavia.

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Members of the Batavia Ramparts and Notre Dame Ice Hockey were on hand today at Falleti Ice Arena so young children could give hockey a try.

The Try Hockey for Free event is held annually.

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November 12, 2016 - 2:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in first presbyterian church, batavia, news.

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The  First Presbyterian Church hosted its 14th Annual Worldwide Christmas Fair today, featuring artisans and vendors selling locally made items.

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November 12, 2016 - 2:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Zonta, batavia, news.

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The Zonta clubs of Batavia and Genesee County sponsored Holiday Festival today featuring artisans and vendors at Batavia Downs.

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November 12, 2016 - 2:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

An accident with entrapment is reported at Downey Road and Galloway Road, Batavia.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 2:40 p.m.: Two people transported to the hospital.

November 12, 2016 - 8:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fashion design, GCC, batavia, news.

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Helene Biandudi, a host on WXXI's "Need to Know" program and producer of an upcoming documentary on clothing, "The Empty Hanger," visited Genesee Community College's fashion program yesterday.

Her visit including filming for her documentary.

From the film's description: 

The Empty Hanger is a human interest news project revealing the stories, the people, and the history behind the clothes we wear. The series explores how dress not only impacts culture and everyday life, but can also be used as a tool for social change.

November 12, 2016 - 12:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animal, pets, news, batavia.

We didn't catch the location, but this is interesting: A Batavia police officer was dispatched to deal with a loose dog and he now reports that the dog is not letting him out of his patrol vehicle.

A backup unit is dispatched to help deal with the shepherd-white pit bull mix, which is deaf.

November 11, 2016 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Veterans Day, batavia, news.

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Today, we stopped by the Batavia VA Center and the Jerome Center for Veterans Day observances.

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November 11, 2016 - 3:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

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Officers Marc Lawrence and James Defreze prepare coffee during a Coffee with Cops event hosted by Batavia PD this morning at Tim Hortons.

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