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September 18, 2015 - 8:53am


The Landmark Society of Genesee County is presenting awards to five local buildings for preservation or restoration work at its annual dinner tomorrow night. Dinner tickets are $15 and it starts at 6 p.m. at the Elba United Methodist Church.

The five winners are:

  • Tender Loving Care: Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, 8 Center St., Batavia
  • Restoration: residence at  5211 Watson Road, Elba
  • Tender Loving Care: Cornell Cooperative Extension , 420 E. Main St., Batavia (top photo)
  • Interior Preservation: Corfu Grange, 73 Alleghany Road, Corfu
  • Tender Loving Care: residence at 32 Tracy Ave., Batavia

(Photos by Howard Owens, except interior of grange hall)

Press release:

This year’s honorees have each spent decades preserving and maintaining their historic properties. Their conscientious care has improved their neighborhoods and helped preserve our county’s architectural history for future generations.

Adam Miller was the second owner of the building that houses Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle store at 8 Center St., Batavia. He owned and operated the store for over 30 years before passing ownership to his children, Joyce Masse and A. Gary Miller, in the late 1970s. They still own the building today, but in 2002, sold the retail business “Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle” to John and Cathy Roche. The distinctive neon sign was installed in the mid-1950s on the front of the building and was restored in the 1990s. The Miller family and the Roches are being honored for the Tender Loving Care they have given this beloved Batavia landmark.

When Michael and Alison Riner bought and inhabited their Greek Revival farm house in Elba, it was quite dilapidated. The home had been vacant for years and didn’t even have running water. One vision, 20 years, and a lot of construction later, it is now a charming, immaculate home for their family. The Riners have ingeniously blended original architectural features with modern conveniences.    

For over 60 years the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County has taken excellent care of this historically and architecturally significant building that houses their offices. The Tender Loving Care they have given their 1820s property has greatly added to the streetscape of Main Street, Batavia.

Charles and Mary Brenner have spent over 30 years maintaining and restoring their “Princess Anne” style home on Tracy Avenue in Batavia. They have performed all of the work themselves and it has truly been a labor of love. They stripped all of the paint from the interior woodwork to reveal the natural beauty of the wood. Using a palette of eight different colors, the home’s exterior has been painted so that its unique features stand out.

Corfu Grange #142 was founded in 1874 and the meetings were held in the homes of its members. In 1914, the Grange purchased the Universalist Church. Then in 1939, the building was moved across the street to the present location. The curved beadboard ceiling and original gaslight fixtures are notable features of this well-preserved interior space.


32 Tracy Ave., Batavia


5211 Watson Road, Elba


Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle


Corfu Grange

September 17, 2015 - 3:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Northside Deli, batavia, lottery.


Dewey Towner came up a winner again (he's previously won the Harley Raffle), this time in a Take 5 contest of the New York State Lottery. Towner bought his winning ticket at Northside Deli. Owner Dave Stupp, on the right, said it's the largest single jackpot to come out of his store so far. Towner is holding his winner's receipt. He's expected to get a check from the lottery for just over $21,000 (less taxes).

September 17, 2015 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia's original, batavia.

Batavia's Original Pizzeria has a new campaign going as a way of saying "thank you" to any law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician or member of the military.

Their Pay It Forward program works this way: buy a giant slice of pizza for $3 plus tax and they will put up a Post-It note on the window at the pizzeria, located at 500 E. Main St. in the City of Batavia.

Then when a person in uniform (as mentioned above) comes in the restaurant, they can take a Post-It note off the window and redeem it for a gargantuan slice of pizza, pre-paid by you.

The phone number, in case you want to call in an order, is 343-3303.

September 17, 2015 - 12:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia.


A woman driving a sedan, trying to park in a handicapped space at the mall downtown, accidently hit the gas pedal and plowed into a transformer unit that is screened off by bricks. The impact damaged the unit. As a result, there's a power outage on the block, including JCPenney. The driver appears to be uninjured but authorities on scene are having her remain inside her car until National Grid arrives to be sure there are no live power lines that could harm her.

UPDATE 12:09 p.m.: National Grid is on scene. The woman was allowed to get out of her car and she walked to the ambulance so medics could evaluate her.



September 16, 2015 - 6:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A possible house fire is reported at 1 Jerome Place in the city. A caller at Tully's restaurant reports seeing smoke coming from the structure. City fire is responding. The location is between Prune and East Main streets.

UPDATE 6:23 p.m.: Somebody was grilling food in the yard. The assignment is back in service.

September 16, 2015 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Aldi's, batavia, business.

Press release:

Beginning Thursday, Oct. 1, ALDI, the nation’s low-price grocery leader*, will offer grocery shoppers a smarter alternative as the select assortment discount grocer reopens two Buffalo-area stores, located at 587 E. Main St. in Batavia and 1900 Ridge Road in West Seneca. Known for its premium ALDI exclusive brands, ALDI offers high-quality grocery items at incredibly low prices.

To celebrate the reopening of the newly renovated Batavia and West Seneca stores, ALDI will host ribbon-cutting ceremonies at each store at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1. The public is invited to attend. Customers can also tour the store, receive free eco-bags and enter an on-site sweepstakes for a chance to win a year’s supply of ALDI produce. ALDI currently carries more than 90 varieties of fruits and vegetables, including several organic produce items.

“We are pleased to showcase the new look of ALDI with these updated stores in Batavia and West Seneca and continue to help customers stretch their dollars,” said Aaron Sumida, Tully division vice president for ALDI. “As important as price is, there’s only one way to attract and keep shoppers: You have to have quality products. When people try our ALDI exclusive brands, they are excited by the savings and impressed by the quality.”

With higher ceilings, improved natural lighting and environmentally friendly building materials – such as recycled materials and energy-saving refrigeration and light bulbs – the stores will offer customers a simple and easy-to-navigate shopping experience.

In addition to the stores’ new looks, ALDI will bring shoppers a wide range of new, healthier options like organic produce, USDA Choice beef and the SimplyNature line of products, free of artificial colors, flavors or unnecessary enhancers. ALDI also recently introduced its liveGfreeTM gluten-free product line.

ALDI challenges customers to switch from national brands to its exclusive brands and save up to 50 percent** on more than 1,300 items the store carries. To ensure its exclusive brands meet or exceed the national brands on taste and quality, ALDI conducts rigorous testing on all products. ALDI stands behind this quality with a Double Guarantee: If for any reason a customer is not 100-percent satisfied with a food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the customer’s money.

ALDI exemplifies efficiency by eliminating overhead costs through smart practices, such as a cart rental system through, which shoppers insert a quarter to release a cart and receive the quarter back upon the cart’s return. Other cost-saving practices include a smaller store footprint, open carton displays and encouragement of customers to bring their own shopping bags.

ALDI also saves shoppers money by keeping stores open during prime shopping times. The remodeled locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. ALDI accepts cash, debit and EBT/Quest cards.

Over the next several years, ALDI plans to add an average of 130 new stores each year, expanding the ability to bring grocery savings to more people every day.

September 16, 2015 - 11:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gypsies, batavia.

A caller reports a group of men going door-to-door on Lewiston Road claiming to be a construction crew with leftover asphalt they're looking to unload.

We first reported similar activity involving a group of Gypsies hitting the area in 2010.

The men are reportedly in a white pickup truck and moving in the direction of the city.

A trooper has been dispatched to check the "suspicious condition."

September 16, 2015 - 9:58am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia.

A caller on Washington Avenue in the city just reported that a black male attempted to enter the house via a kitchen screen door. He fled, leaving the door open, and got on a dark-colored bike and was heading toward Dellinger Avenue. He is described as black male, mid-30s, wearing dark clothes and a baseball cap. Police are responding.

September 15, 2015 - 4:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, trees, National Grid.

All of those trees that were trimmed by contractors for National Grid that have been called mangled and butchered will be removed, says City Manager Jason Molino.

They will be cut down, the stumps ground down to sawdust and new trees -- trees that won't grow as tall and cause problems with power lines -- will be planted in their place.

"I think we have a wonderful partnership with National Grid and how that's demonstrated is the fact that we've been able to work out an arrangement that we can partner with them to remove some of these trees," Molino said after Monday's City Council meeting.

September 15, 2015 - 3:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in State Street, Batavia PD, surveillance camera, batavia, crime.


A little more than a year ago, Batavia PD installed a surveillance camera on State Street near Hutchins Place, but Chief Shawn Heubusch said that a year's worth of use hasn't produced enough data to say if it's worthwhile for the city to invest in more such cameras for other locations.

There have been no criminal convictions resulting in use of the camera.

"A lot of times we look back and review footage and see if somebody is involved or not involved (in an incident)," Heubusch said. "It's always good to take a look back when you have video evidence of something."

Heubusch wouldn't reveal whether the camera's feed is regularly monitored, if whole periods of time are regularly reviewed, or if it's only reviewed in the case of specific incidents reported.

Making light of his reluctance to discuss that point, he said, "I don't know if I want to give any secrets away."

The camera was installed in August 2014 because that particular area had been a source of numerous calls for police service in the proceeding months.

Asked if he'd like more cameras, Heubusch said, "we're still evaluating this one."

"It's been up about a year," Heubusch said. "I don't know if that's the perfect time frame for an evaluation period. If it proves its worth, then yes."

The department also has available for patrols a number of body cameras, but not enough for every officer to wear them on every shift.

While body cameras have been touted in the national debate over police conduct, Heubusch said that's not why he wants his officers to wear them.

"The whole premise for my bringing body cameras to the City of Batavia was to collect evidence," Heubusch said. "It wasn't to monitor my officers. I don't think they need that. What it (the camera) does is collect evidence that can subsequently be used at trial or a proceeding so the officer's recollection is always there. You have it in black and white."

September 15, 2015 - 3:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia.

A tractor-trailer vs. car accident is reported at Ellicott Street and Harvester Avenue. Unknown injuries. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

September 15, 2015 - 3:06pm

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department is sponsoring the third Annual Fire Prevention Week Poster Contest. This poster contest is open to students from grades one through five.

The 2015 Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 4-10) theme is “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm.”

“Our hope is to get the children to discuss fire safety with their teachers and fellow students, as well as parents and guardians,” said City of Batavia Fire Department Lt. Greg Ireland.

This poster contest can be a take home project, individual class project or an art class project. Information has been distributed to City schools, but we wanted to include any City area home schooled children as well.

“Our first year doing the contest was met with a great response," Ireland said. "Last year was even better! We are hoping this will be the biggest year yet. We hope that both kids and adults get exposure to fire safety and safe practices, helping to reduce injury and death; maybe even changing some habits along the way. We encourage all eligible students to participate.”

Did you know that some homes don’t even have smoke alarms, and those that do don’t test their smoke alarms as often as they should? When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. You need working smoke alarms to give you time to get out.

The students' posters should highlight the importance of having and testing smoke detectors in their homes and bedrooms. Ideas and more information can be found at the Fire Prevention Week Web site

Any posters to be entered in the contest need to be at the Fire Station located at 18 Evans St. in Batavia no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8. Schools/groups/families may contact us via phone or e-mail to arrange in school pick up of posters.

Posters are to be drawn horizontally on white paper, 8 ½” x 11”. The back of the poster must contain the student's name and phone number, school and grade, and teacher’s name.

Judging of the posters will take place between Oct. 9th – 11th.

The winner of each group will receive a ride to school on a City fire engine, and be invited to a special awards luncheon with their family held at the fire station in late October. Second- and third-place finishers in each group will also be invited to the fire station awards luncheon.

The best of luck to the students! Full rules are available at the City of Batavia Fire Department on Evans Street or by contacting us via e-mail.

September 15, 2015 - 3:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in art, GO ART!, batavia.


For most of his life, Gary Harkness has been collecting the curios of Genesee County. A locally produced bottle here, a knickknack there, anything, really that could be tied to his home community.

This collection, of course, includes pictures, lots and lots of pictures, from rare photos to unique posters and advertising broadsides.

GO ART! has helped Harkness curate this collection into a show at its Batavia gallery for the month of September.

There is an open house for the show at 5 p.m., Friday.




September 15, 2015 - 1:32pm

Press release:

On Monday, Sept. 14, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) approved its 2015 Progress Report, which includes the Council’s list of priority projects it is recommending for funding in Round V of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative.

The Progress Report, which provides an annual update for the nine-county region (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties), will now be finalized and submitted to New York State by the Sept. 21st deadline.

Following the Progress Report vote, the FLREDC also held a special public forum on its draft Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) plan, at which it proposed approximately two dozen initiatives to be highlighted within the URI plan as example projects for possible funding – should the Finger Lakes be selected as a URI winner. These initiatives focus on four main URI goals identified by the FLREDC: job growth, increasing regional wealth, attracting private investment and reducing poverty.

In a written statement FLREDC Co-chairs, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman, said: “This year, Governor Cuomo has presented Upstate communities with unprecedented opportunities to leverage public funding for projects that can help transform our regional economy. By providing these priority projects and initiatives for public review we seek to ensure they embody the strategic and diversified approach necessary to grow our region.”

Included below is a summary of the highlighted initiatives proposed for the URI plan and the full list of endorsed Priority Projects being recommended for capital grant funding from Empire State Development (ESD) this year in Round V of the REDC awards. Note that while the Priority Project list herein does not include projects seeking CFA awards from State agencies other than ESD, those projects still have the opportunity to receive funding.

URI Highlighted Initiatives

The FLREDC released the following proposed initiatives to be included in the URI plan. These initiatives are highlighted in the plan to serve as example opportunities for possible public and private investment in key strategic areas identified by the plan, but are not specific funding recommendations:

  • Agriculture & Food Production – Support of FLX Food, an initiative focused on organics and the future of the food ecosystem; an Eco-Brewing District created by North American Breweries around their facility downtown Rochester at High Falls; and a new initiative to cultivate sustainable food production, capitalizing on expertise already at Rochester Institute of Technology and Cornell University.
  • Next-Generation Manufacturing & Technology – Several projects highlighted in all three key hub locations, including: (1) Eastman Business Park (EBP) – Sweetwater’s biorefinery project; improvement of technology assets at EBP specifically addressing capacity to grow companies in energy storage, materials and nanotechnology; establishment of an AIM Photonics Manufacturing Center at EBP; (2) Downtown Innovation Zone – Rochester Regional Fund to invest in key downtown assets; redevelopment of the Inner Loop, which will include 17 acres of new developable parcels; (3) Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) – Project Eagle to bring a solar manufacturing facility as the park’s first tenant; confidential nanoscale manufacturing project considering STAMP as a site.
  • Pathways to Prosperity – Monroe Community College’s Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center (FWD Center) at EBP; support for the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) based around the creation of a coordinated system for those in need; expansion of Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection; and programs to help ex-offenders and the working poor receive job training and placement.
  • Entrepreneurship & Development – Creation of a Finger Lakes Venture Fund to provide critically necessary capital to startups; buildout an urban development ecosystem for business efforts in the urban core; SUNY Geneseo’s Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Development, which will provide a new central location for expanded business services.
  • Higher Education & Research – UR’s Goergen Institute for Data Science to meet the growing need for data scientists; RIT’s Center for Advanced Technology in Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing for 3D printing commercialization and product development; UR’s Neurorestoration Institute to expand the areas preeminence in this growing field.

2015 FLREDC Priority Project Recommendations for CFA Round V -- Genesee County

  • Town of Alabama    Water Project to Support STAMP     $1,500,000
  • Genesee County IDA    Le Roy Food and Technology Park    $1,000,000
  • Genesee County IDA (Gateway LDC)    Ag Park Infrastructure    $500,000

This year, the 10 Regional Councils will once again compete for awards from up to $750 million in state economic development resources through Round V of the REDC competition. Additionally, through the new Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI), seven regions – Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Capital District, and Mid-Hudson – are eligible to compete for three $500 million awards, disbursed at a rate of $100 million per year for five years.

The three Upstate winners of the URI will receive approximately $130 million each this year ($100 million in URI funding, and an estimated $30 million from Round V of the REDC competition). Aside from those regions, three regions will earn “Top Performer” distinction in the REDC competition and will receive approximately $105 million each. Finally, the remaining four regions will receive approximately $90 million each through the REDC competition – which is more than the average amount awarded to the top place finisher in prior years. This approach ensures that no region is a “loser,” while also maintaining the competitive nature that has worked so well to bring local business, academic, and community leaders together to develop long term, impressive economic visions for their regions.

Show Your Support for the FLREDC URI Plan
The FLREDC today also launched a new website where anyone can sign up in support of the draft URI plan:
Detailed comments for the URI plan will continue to be accepted until September 18th on the website:

About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After four rounds of the REDC process, nearly $3 billion has been awarded to more than 3,100 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans, supporting the creation or retention of more than 150,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit

About the Upstate Revitalization Initiative
In January of this year, Governor Cuomo announced the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) and the partnership between the Regional Economic Development Councils to invest $1.5 billion in Upstate New York. The URI is an opportunity for communities to address the economic challenges of their regions and work together in bringing jobs back Upstate. The URI is a separate competition and deadline from the REDC process. The URI includes up to $500 million for three regions to implement over a five-year period. The following regions may submit one revitalization plan by Oct. 5, 2015: Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Capital District and Mid-Hudson.

September 15, 2015 - 9:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Kwik Fill, batavia, business.


The Kwik Fill at Jackson and Ellicott streets is closed for a few days -- with work starting yesterday -- for the lot to be resurfaced. The cement and asphalt is being completely removed and replaced. A worker said they expect the store to reopen by Thursday, though work will continue for a few more days after that.

September 14, 2015 - 11:38am
posted by Billie Owens in crossroads house, batavia, settler's.

Press release:

Crossroads House has created a project to financially supplement Ambulance Transfer Services of Wyoming County residents who will be coming to Crossroads House for their end of life care.

This project is funded by a $1,000 grant from the Wyoming Foundation Council a division of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. 

Crossroads House is a two-bed comfort care home located at 11 Liberty St. in Batavia. It provides 24-hour, 7-days-a-week care FREE of charge for individuals over the age of 18 years old from Genesee and Wyoming counties who have been given a medical prognosis of three months or less to live. 

This project was established to ensure an individual from Wyoming County who would like to finish their earthly journey at Crossroads House would not be hindered from coming here due to lack of resources for ambulance transfer costs.

Any Wyoming County resident who is admitted to Crossroads House who incurs costs associated with ambulance transfer services can submit documentation of these costs and receive payment up to $300. 

This Ambulance Reimbursement project funded by the Community Foundation is another way Crossroads House can provide emotional support to a family facing an end of life situation. This project will ensure that a family’s financial limitations for ambulance transfer are not a determining factor in keeping them from comfort care at Crossroads House.

Crossroads House is an incorporated not-for-profit comfort care home that has been serving the residents of Genesee and Wyoming counties that have been medically determined to be in their last stages of life (three (3) months or less) free of charge since 1998.

Comfort care is founded upon the belief in the importance of honoring the well-being of every individual and respecting the sacred dignity of human life. The Crossroads House staff and volunteers are committed to provide personalized care attending to the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of our residents and their families while affirming a dignified quality of life in a caring home-like environment. Admission is based solely on need, regardless of religion, age, sex, race, creed, economic status, or other distinctions.

FYI...Settler's Restaurant, located at 353 W. Main St., Batavia, is having a benefit today Tuesday, Sept. 15, for Crossroads House. "Supper at Settler's" -- From 4 to 9 p.m., 20 percent of pre-tax receipts will be donated to Crossroads House.

September 14, 2015 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, pembroke, byron, Oakfield.

Roberta Susan Dwello, 55, of State Route 104, Williamson, is charged with possession/transportation of more than 10,000 untaxed cigarettes and criminal tax fraud. Dwello was stopped on Route 77, Pembroke, at 12:20 p.m. Sunday by Deputy Joseph Corona. Dwello was allegedly found with 27,000 in untaxed cigarettes and is accused of selling untaxed cigarettes for financial gain.

Bobbisue Butler, 32, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with petit larceny. Butler is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

Matthew Christopher Moy, 22, of Glidden Road, Holley, is charged with promoting prison contraband, 1st. Moy was allegedly found with a pocketknife while inside the jail.

Kivon Alijah Orr, 18, of Kelly Street, Bronx, is charged with trespass. Orr was allegedly in a dorm at College Village without permission.

Mark David Jackett, 45, of Sunrise Parkway, Oakfield, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Jackett allegedly had unwanted contact with a protected party.

Ryan M. Bobzin, 26, of Byron, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Bobzin was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 1:20 p.m., Sept. 8. No further details released.

September 13, 2015 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Aldi's, batavia, business.



The local outlet of the discount food chain Aldi's is closed for remodeling and will remain closed until Oct. 1, according to a handwritten sign outside the store's main entrance on East Main Street in Eastown Plaza.

There was no prior announcement of the closing and no details of the renovations in the store have been released.

Aldi's is based in Germany. The company has 1,400 U.S. stores and is planning on investing $3 billion in the states, and creating 10,000 more jobs. It plans to open 600 more locations in the U.S., making it 44 percent the size of Walmart. Walmart is reportedly Aldi's competitive target.

The U.S. division of Aldi's is based in Batavia, Ill.

September 12, 2015 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire service, elba, batavia.


Fire companies from throughout Western New York were represented in Batavia today for the funeral of William M. Hynes.

From his obituary:

Bill dedicated his life to the fire service in Genesee County. He served with the Le Roy Volunteer Fire Department from 1961-1968. From there he served with the Town of Batavia Fire Department from 1968-1980, serving as chief in 1978 and 1979. He is a current member of the Town of Elba Fire Department, joining in 1980 and served as chief from 1990-2003. He served as president of the Board of Directors of the Elba Fire Department from 2004-2013. He was also a life member of the Western New York Fireman’s Association and the New York State Fire Chief’s Association. Bill served on the Genesee County Mutual Aid Advisory Board, where he served as chairman for two years.













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