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March 8, 2017 - 9:45am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

A structure fire is reported at 404 Jackson St. It's across from Jackson School. Multiple calls have been received. Flames are seen coming from the rear of the house, which has three or four apartments. City fire just arrived.

UPDATE 9:46 a.m.: This has gone to a second alarm. Alexander Fast Team is called to respond along with Elba and Town of Batavia. Mercy medics are to report to the school's bus loop to treat a patient with possible smoke inhalation. Command at the scene reports potential fire exposure problems to nearby property.

UPDATE 9:55 a.m.: The multi-family dwelling is next to Max Pies Furniture.

UPDATE 10:06 a.m.: Jackson School has been evacuated.

UPDATE 10:10 a.m.: A neighbor at the scene says four dogs also live at the house. Their status is unknown.

UPDATE 10:13 a.m.: A worker(s) from National Fuel just arrived.

UPDATE 10:22 a.m.: National Grid is on scene.

UPDATE 10:24 a.m.: Command asks a dispatcher to contact the city's Public Works department to see what can be done to improve water pressure.

UPDATE 10:36 a.m.: Students at Jackson School are being dismissed. Schoolchildren who use bus transportation are directed to the back of the school where they will be picked up by busses in about 15 minutes and taken to their appropriate stops.

UPDATE 11:04 a.m.: Jim Sanders, who was inside Max Pies Furniture when the fire broke out, said: "I walked out of the store because I seen smoke. So I walked around the building and I could see the fire coming out the whole back of the house. So I called 9-1-1. ... It wasn't more than a few minutes than the fire company arrived. They were putting water on our building (Max Pies) so it wouldn't catch ours."

UPDATE 11:20 a.m.: Five dogs perished in this fire. The loading area for the children to board buses was changed to the nearby Ascension Parish parking lot. Some children have been picked up or are waiting for buses/rides inside the parish rec hall.

UPDATE 11:26 a.m.: "Heard like a car going by, revving it's engine," said eyewitness Tim Balonek. "A heard a whoosh, a big whoosh. Then I looked out and the back window was totally engulfed in flames. That's when I called (for) the fire department. They already had trucks on the way."

UPDATE 11:41 a.m.: Interim Fire Chief Dan Herberger said the fire call came in shortly before 10 o'clock this morning and upon arrival firefighters found advanced fire and started an aggressive interior response. Subsequently, high winds prompted them to change to defensive tactics and crews were ordered out of the building. "(The structure) was a business at some point. So it's heavily cut up with additions. It makes it challenging." Max Pies store is only 10 feet away but suffered no significant damage. Two adults and one child made it out of the burning structure safely. "Unfortunately, five dogs perished," Herberger said. No firefighters or other people were injured; the person who was evaluated in the school bus loop for possible smoke inhalation was not transported to the hospital. Herberger said they called for the school to be evacuated as a precautionary measure. There was a lot of smoke blowing around. Witnesses said the school evacuation went smoothly; some children were scared and crying when they left and some parents appeared "a little freaked out," but things were handled calmly and orderly nonetheless. All bags/belongings were supposed to be left at the school.

March 7, 2017 - 3:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, bergen, alexander, Stafford.

Marlek Eugene Holmes, 43, of Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Holmes, an inmate in the Genesee County Jail being held on sexual assault charges, and who has a prior charge related to alleged misconduct in jail, is accused of damaging a food tray and bed sheet belonging to the jail.

Teresa Anne Anderson, 42, of Sandybrook Drive, Hamlin, is charged with petit larceny. Anderson is accused of finding a change purse on the floor near a slot machine at Batavia Downs and taking the money inside and ticket vouchers and discarding the purse between two slot machines.

Nicholas Gerald Schafer, 18, of Broadway, Darien, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, moving from lane unsafely and illegal parking on a highway. Schafer was allegedly involved in a property-damage accident on Route 98, Alexander, at 10:55 p.m. Friday. The accident was investigated by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Milton Quinones Guzman, 38, of McKenzie Street, Bergen, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from the lane unsafely. Guzman was stopped at 6:52 p.m. Thursday on Clinton Street, Bergen, by Deputy Michael Lute.

Ramon J. Galvez, 35, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, was arrested as a fugitive from justice. Galvez was located during a traffic stop on Washington Avenue, Batavia. He is wanted in Franklin County, Wash., on unspecified charges.

Russell R. Miles, 48, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Miles allegedly violated a stay away order.

Jacquelyn K. Hildebrant, 35, of State Street, is charged with dog running at large. Hildebrant following an investigation into a complaint that her dog attacked another dog at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 27 on State Street. (Previously: Dog on State Street reportedly involved in two aggressive incidents within weeks of each other)

Marcus L. Speed, 29, of Mellvile Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Speed was charged following a traffic stop on West Main Street, Batavia, at 1:06 a.m. Sunday by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Shaun A. Surowka, 59, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia. Surowka was charged following a traffic stop at 12:43 a.m. Sunday on West Main Street by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Melissa R. Piazza, 27, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with identity theft, 3rd, criminal possession of stolen property, 4th and petit larceny. Piazza was arrested on a warrant for allegedly using the credit card of another person without consent.

Justin Thomas Stephenson, 32, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. The nature of the warrant was not released. He posted bail.

Alisha A. Soule, 20, of Route 237, Stafford, was arrested on two warrants for alleged failure to appear on a traffic ticket and alleged failure to pay a fine.

Thomas A. Culver Jr., 38, of Wood Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to report to the Genesee County Jail per terms of his jail sentence. He was jailed on $2,000 bail or $5,000 bond.

Ryan C. Bishop, 26, of Scottsville West Henrietta Road, Scottsville, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and lights not meeting standards. Bishop was stopped at 2:18 a.m. Thursday on Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Chad E. Alwardt, 37, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, lights not meeting standards, aggravated unlicensed operation, expired inspection, unlicensed driver. Alwardt was stopped on Jackson Street at 12:54 a.m. Friday by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

March 7, 2017 - 2:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Neptunes Gardens, batavia, pets, animals, news.

An SPCA necropsy of a dead animal found in the basement of a former pet store on Ellicott Street has determined the animal was a cat, Batavia PD announced this afternoon.

The cause of death could not be determined, but the SPCA found no signs of abuse and the absence of bite marks or claw marks inside the box indicate it was dead before being placed in the box.

Neptune's Gardens closed more than five months before the dead cat was found by an employee of I.D. Booth, owner of the building, while cleaning it out so the retail space could be rented to another tenant. 

The employee posted a picture of the dead animal on social media and said she had found the skeleton of a dead dog. Regional media outlets, including The Batavian, and the dozens and dozens of people who shared the initial post, did not question the conclusion that the bones were dog remains.

The Batavian spoke with members of local law enforcement a few days later who indicated the remains were probably not of a dog.

During the 31 years that Nick and Kathy LaFarnara owned Neptune's Gardens (the storefront was Ellicott Street, but the actual address is on Liberty Street), people would drop off boxes of kittens and sometimes puppies and the LaFarnara's would try to find homes for the animals.

"We always took them to the vet and made sure they were healthy before we sold them for $5," LaFarnara said. "They object was to find them good homes."

The kittens and puppies needed to be at least 8 weeks old, depending on size, by state law. LaFarnara said she was told the dead kitten found in the box was 6 weeks old.

"The only time anybody ever dropped off kittens that were 6 weeks old, we took them to Lollypop Farms because we could not legally keep them," LaFarnara said.

She said she has no idea how the kitten wound up in the box in the basement.

As far as opening another store across the street, LaFarnara said she and her husband are still discussing it.

March 6, 2017 - 8:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, schools, education, news.

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Jackson School kicked off its winter reading program today; this year it's called "Camp Read-A-Lot." 

The program is intended to encourage students to read at least 15 minutes per day.

Today, faculty and staff performed a play for the students called Camp Read-A-Lot, which tells the story of the campers who will get lost if the students don't read every day.

Thursday is family reading night at the school. There is a book fair from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. and 7:15 to 7:30 p.m. Reading rotations, which includes community guest readers, begins at 5:30 p.m. The Hill Brothers perform a reading-themed concert in the gym at 6:30 p.m.

March 6, 2017 - 1:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
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   Jeremy Armstrong

A 26-year-old man wanted in connection with a shooting on Jackson Street on Dec. 2 has been located in East Hartford, Conn., and taken into custody.

Jeremy R. Armstrong is being held in Connecticut pending extradition following his arrest Feb. 28.

He is wanted on charges of second-degree attempted murder and criminal use of a firearm, 1st. 

Police say Armstrong fired several shots at close range.

He allegedly shot a person while on Jackson Street and the two men reportedly knew each other.

According to sources, the victim suffered shoulder and chest wounds. He was treated first at UMMC and then transferred to ECMC.

Armstrong was located in East Hartford outside the residence of a family member, according to police. He was taken into custody without incident.

"City detectives have been working closely with the East Hartford, Connecticut, Police Department after learning Armstrong may have been in that area," the police said in a statement.

Also assisting in the investigation and attempt to locate Armstrong were Connecticut police in South Windsor, Hartford, and New Britain, as well as the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police.

Batavia PD said no further information would be released since this is a pending investigation.

Individuals with information that may assist in the investigation are asked to call Det. Eric Hill (585) 345-6373, Det. Thad Mart at (585) 345- 6372, or the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

March 6, 2017 - 12:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

Fire and Burglar alarms sounded at Tomkins Bank of Castile on Main Street downtown and city fire and police responded, blocking traffic in front of the building. No smoke, fire or crime reported.

March 6, 2017 - 9:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in track and field, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

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Members of the Batavia Blue Devils indoor track team performed well at the NYS champions Saturday at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island.

Anthony Ray placed ninth in the shot put with an overall throw of 50' 10". In the weight throw, an event he holds the record in for Section V, he earned all-state honors by placing sixth in the NY Federation and fourth among state competitors with a throw of 62' 7". That is his second-best throw ever and led all WNY competitors. He will compete in the shot put and weight throw next weekend at the Indoor National Championships at the Armory in Manhattan.

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The girls 4x400 relay team finished ninth with a time of 4:04.11, which broke an existing school record. They also qualified for nationals next week. The team is Claire Zickl, Regan Henrici, Brianna Bromley and Kiaya Franklin.

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Nate Crane is a team of one for Letchworth, so he trained with Batavia this season. In the pole vault he placed sixth in the NY Federation and fourth among state competitors. He cleared 14' 6" and will also compete next week at nationals.

Photos and info submitted by Coach Nick Burk.

March 5, 2017 - 3:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, corfu, pembroke, news.

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A 32-year-old Depew woman is in custody today after allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase through Corfu, the Town of Batavia and into the City of Batavia where the reportedly stolen car she was driving hit a spike strip before crashing into a tree.

Kimberly A. Genson, of Lancer Court, Depew, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, unlawful fleeing a police officer and reckless driving.

The chase started after Deputy Rachel Diehl was dispatched to the Corfu area to investigate a complaint of erractic driving.

Diehl spotted a vehicle fitting the description, a black SUV, heading eastbound at a high rate of speed on Route 33. Diehl activated her emergency lights, but rather than stop, the vehicle sped up, according to the Sheriff's Office report. Diehl initiated a pursuit and backup units responded.

Spike strips were deployed on Pearl Street in the City of Batavia. The strips caused the vehicle to slow down, but it continued and tried to negotiate a turn onto South Main Street where the driver lost control and the vehicle struck a tree. 

The Sheriff's report includes no mention of any possible injuries.

The vehicle had been reported as stolen earlier in the day in Buffalo.

The investigation is ongoing and being conducted by Diehl, Deputy Ryan Long, Deputy Rich Schildwaster and Sgt. Jason Saile. Assisting at the scene were Batavia PD, State Police, City fire and Mercy EMS.

Genson was arraigned this afternoon in Town of Batavia Court and jailed on $25,000 bail or $50,000 bond.

Photo submitted by Samantha Schoener.

(initial report)

March 5, 2017 - 9:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, news, Valle Jewelers.

Dom Valle, who with his wife, Mary, owned and operated Valle Jewelers after taking over the 66-year-old business from his father, passed away Friday.

He was 63 years old.

Dom's good nature and ease around people were always apparent to customers of Valle Jewelers and in 2011 when reflecting on the store's 60th anniversary, he said he loved what he did.

"I've always been happy to be in the business," Dom said.

And he was raised in the business, so were his children. Stephen Valle and Carrie Lawrence operate the store now.

For his full obituary, click here.

March 5, 2017 - 8:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

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There was a police chase that ended last night around 10:30 p.m. on South Main Street, Batavia, when the suspect vehicle hit a tree.

We've been waiting for a press release from the Sheriff's Office, but the suspect apparently hasn't been arraigned yet so it hasn't been released. We won't have further information until that's released.

Reader-submitted photo.

March 4, 2017 - 8:00am

Super solid and so pretty! This charmer is located in an awesome City location, close to everything and within walking distance to one of Batavia’s favorite coffee shops and a City park! This home is move-in ready with little to do but try to figure out what to do with all the storage space! There is great space and cozy floor plan for such a large home --everyone has their own spot!

This home has been well taken care of throughout the years with maintenance of the everyday "stuff" and yearly maintenance of the things that matter -- roof, insulation and furnace! This is an excellent home for the money, you are going to want to check this one out!

Reliant Real Estate is giving away a $500 gift card to any home improvement store of your choice with a successfully closed contract by June 1, 2017!

Click here to view the complete listing for 27 Ellicott Ave. in Batavia. Call Lynn Bezon at Reliant Real Estate today at 585-344-4663!

March 3, 2017 - 8:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Chamber Awards, batavia, business, news, Foxprowl.

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You know you’ve wandered into a unique store when you see the nearly life-size Freddy Krueger standing, how else but menacingly, just inside the side entrance of the store at 97 Main St. in Batavia. On top of a nearby display case is another clue, the rubbery head of a one-of-a-kind beast with a gaping maw and toothy jowls. 

This is Foxprowl Collectables, of course, a place for sci-fi and pop culture collectors and the young at heart in the heart of the city, and Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Entrepreneurial Business of the Year. Owners Bill and Joy Hume will join other honorees Saturday night at the annual awards ceremony at the Quality Inn & Suites on Park Road.

Deborah Green, a friend of theirs who lives in East Pembroke, nominated the business. She says the Humes are community-oriented and their business brings in people from throughout Western New York to Batavia.

The Humes' enterprise is chock full of action figures, comic books -- 40,000 of them (wrapped in plastic, priced, alphabetized and in chronological order), toy collectibles and more, a place for tots and Boomers alike to look for many of their favorite characters and remember back in the day...

As a young man, Bill, a Batavia native, played in bands, did construction work and delivered furniture and appliances. Although he had collected toys all his life, he had no particular interest in business before starting Foxprowl as an ebay enterprise back in 1999. He had a lightbulb moment about the potential for making a living around his hobby and started buying toys in "lots" or quantities, then selling off excess while building his reserves. 

"Most people know more about their hobbies than they know about their jobs," Bill said. "So if your hobby is your job, you have more of a passion, more of a drive, and you're going to work 12-, 13-hour days because you enjoy it."

The first storefront opened in 2010 on Ellicott Street and then they relocated and opened Sept. 1 last year in the building at Jackson and Main streets.

"It's a new ballgame," Bill said of the new space. "It's a different demographic. (On Ellicott) it was more of a destination. Here there's more foot traffic, quadruple what it was. I'm looking forward to our first summer here, that's for sure."

Bill and Joy both say they are honored to be part of Batavia's business community and thankful for the recognition by the chamber for their hard work.

Joy said "drive, desire, diligence, setting goals, growth, planning the work and working the plan" are the keys to their success to date. And she gives a lot of credit to their employees and supporters.

"We have a great team that has grown with us and works right along with us and we are blessed with an abundance of family and friends who support us in so many ways," Joy said.

These include Tim Schiefer, Wayne Stahler, Marc Tillery and Bill Doetterl.

Stahler for the past two and a half years has run the online side of the business, handling Internet orders, shipping, tracking sales, complying with merchant rules for Amazon, eBay and their own e-commerce site on Big Commerce. His duties include working with a variety of distributors worldwide to get proper authorization to ship certain licensed goods. They only starting selling on Amazon last year and already Stahler said it is quickly reaching par with in-store sales.

Keeping the store itself organized and neat for finicky collectors and grandmothers seeking a special birthday gift for little Tommy is no small feat either.

"I try to keep it pretty shoppable," Bill said.

Glass cases house mint-condition items; on the walls and on countertops Star Wars is kept with Star Wars, likewise for G.I. Joe, KISS, Transformers, etc. There is a big bin for action figures.

"Kids love digging through there, rummaging, digging for the buried treasure buried at the bottom," Bill said.

He has some backstock, too.

In a small closet about 25 Millenium Falcon spaceships from Star Wars are stacked, variously equipped with their dozens of parts. Of those, he said he could maybe put together two whole spaceships with all the parts, in which case one would sell for $150-$160. The rarest bit is the Jedi Training Ball, which hangs down like a boxing bag. That alone sells for more than $20.

"Every mom vacuumed that up and so it's the part that's most often missing," Bill said.

Care to look through an old Atari magazine from the '70s? Ever seen uncut sheets of Three Stooges trading cards? Remember the Snoopy Sno-Cone machine? They are all there! Some people drive four hours just to get the special Japanese-made Godzilla figurines sold there, each exquisitely detailed and not cheap either.

But buying inventory and deciding well in advance of, say, a movie's release, how much of its corresponding merchandise to stock, can be tricky. Consumers are fickle and their memories are short. Despite all his acumen, Bill said it's still "a crapshoot."

A proven adjunct to the business is Foxprowl-Con, which brings together stars, a variety of clubs, artists, fandom and vendors on the weekend before Thanskgiving. It debuted at a local hotel in 2015 after 11 months of painstaking planning.

The first year there were 18 celebrities, dozens of vendors, dealers, crafters, artists, book sellers, and clubs like the Ghostbusters Club with its 20-foot inflatible marshmallow, plus interactive games, contests, experts panels -- like makeup artists and costumers, plenty of family fun all day long.

Putting the convention together was challenging but people loved it. Bill learned on the fly about third-party ticket sales, per diem payments, security, travel planning, promotions, advertising, and on and on. And he said he learned that it was important to treat every customer as royally as each star.

"Everybody is important," he said.

Joy said she thinks Foxprowl is one of Genesee County's coolest places; Foxprowl-Con is a labor of love. Both are places where families and fans can "geek out" and enjoy their favorite characters and artists and have a good time.

The Humes plan to keep having fun doing what they love.

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March 3, 2017 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Brandon L. Doward, 32, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd. Doward was arrested on a warrant following an investigation by the Local Drug Task Force. He is accused of selling crack cocaine.

Paul W. Zeches, 28, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Police came into contact with Zeches (circumstances not released) at 8:40 p.m. on Feb. 23 at 160 Bank St., Batavia, and Zeches was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Dustin W. Bogue, 35, of Tracy Avenue, was arrested on a warrant. The nature of the warrant was not released. 

Richard D. Nagel, 34, of Savage Road, Holland, is charged with controlled substance outside original container and criminal mischief, 3rd. Nagel was arrested following an investigation into an alleged domestic incident at 8:57 a.m., Feb. 26. Nagel allegedly broke a mobile phone belonging to a former girlfriend.

Justin T. Stephenson, 32, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Stephenson allegedly yelled obscene and abusive language while in a populated, residential area, at 5:34 a.m., Feb. 25, on Hutchins Street. He was jailed on $250 bail. He was also arrested on a warrant from 2014.

Nathen E. Brege, 24, of South Main Street, Batavia,  is charged with obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, resisting arrest and endangering the welfare of a child. The charges stem from an alleged domestic incident reported at 6:48 p.m., Feb. 26, on South Main Street, Batavia. When police responded, he allegedly attempted to flee and began to fight the officers. He was also arrested on a warrant stemming from an aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, charge. He was jailed on $1,500 bond. 

Jacob L. Hernandez, 22, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Hernandez allegedly violated a complete stay away order. He was also charged with harassment, 2nd, following a report of an alleged fight involving several people on Liberty Street at Sumner Street at midnight Feb. 26.

Kelly Ann McDonald, 50, of Kingsbury Avenue, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI. McDonald was stopped at 4:43 p.m. Wednesday on West Main Street by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Tyler Michael Frumusa, 20, of West Ham Circle, North Chili, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and driver's view obstructed. Frumusa was stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 1 p.m., Feb. 22, on Lake Street, Town of Le Roy, by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

March 3, 2017 - 10:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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Students at Batavia High School are in the midst of rehearsals for the musical "Hairspray," which they will perform next weekend.

Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m., March 10 and 11, and 2 p.m. March 12.

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March 3, 2017 - 10:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, crime, news.

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A Batavia woman is upset after her 5-year-old beagle Shar-Pei mix was attacked by another dog on State Street last week not only because her dog was injured, but because there was also a recent report of the same dog biting a person earlier in the month.

The dog reportedly bit a person inside of its home on State Street on Feb. 7, according to the owner of the dog that was attacked, who lives on State Street, and a member of law enforcement familiar with the incident. 

Angelina Pellegrino posted about the attack on her dog on social media on Tuesday. 

"Ridiculous that while walking my dog innocently with her harness and leash yesterday I had to witness the horror of my dog getting attacked unprovoked by an unleashed dog," Pellegrino wrote.

Her dog suffered four puncture wounds that had to be treated and the dog has been placed on antibiotics.

"I just kept screaming at the top of my lungs in the middle of the sidewalk," Pellegrino told The Batavian this morning. "I kept trying to get between the dogs to pick my dog up to no avail."

Pellegrino is also upset that the owner of the dog denied that his dog attacked her dog.

"(The) owner insists to the police that his dog did nothing," she said.

According to sources, the dog's owner was cited for letting a dog run off leash. We don't have information on the owner this morning because Assistant Chief Todd Crossett said he would not release the arrest report until a later date with other arrest reports.

"The sad thing is is the cops told me that there is nothing they can do about a dog that attacked their owners or continues to attack their owners," Pellegrino said. "It does not matter. Only what matters is the fact that now the dog attacked my dog and it has to continually attack other people or things for anything to be done."

March 3, 2017 - 8:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Valley Transportation, GCEDC, batavia, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) voted to accept an application for assistance from Genesee Valley Transportation at the board’s meeting on March 2. GVT is looking to add approximately 12,000 square feet to its cross-dock facility in the City of Batavia because of increased customer demand.

In 2010, the GCEDC provided assistance to GVT for the construction of a 25,000-square-foot dock facility where rail cars are loaded and unloaded and then product is transferred to tractor-trailers.  The warehouse features a 280-square-foot indoor rail siding, 27-foot-high ceilings and 22,000 square feet of floor space. GVT is investing $1.011 million to expand the facility and will retain 10 jobs in the process.

“One of the attractions of doing business in Genesee County and Batavia is easy access to transportation routes and GVT provides just that to customers that rely on rail to ship their products,” said Paull Battaglia, chairman, GCEDC.

For every one dollar of investment through the expansion project, it is estimated that there will be a four dollar return. Since the incentives total more than $100,000 a public hearing must be conducted.

March 2, 2017 - 10:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

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More than 700 voters in the City School District turned out today to vote on a proposed $26.7 million capital improvement project and an overwhelming majority of voters checked the "Yes" box on their ballots.

In all, according to the unofficial results released by the school district, 710 people (or 72.6 percent) voted yes and 260 voted no.

The plan uses existing capital reserves plus state aid to undertake improvements at the district's four schools plus rebuild Van Detta Stadium into a more modern facility capable of hosting regional sporting events. School officials said the Vision 2020 plan will not result in a tax increase to support it.

For more on the district's plans, click here.

March 2, 2017 - 11:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, batavia.

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Crews this morning got busy dealing with some of last night's storm damage.

Above, city workers on Jackson Street cleaning up a downed pine tree.

Below, daylight photos of the gas station canopy on West Main Street that blew over last night. Workers there say they won't be able to begin cleanup work until insurance adjusters have finished their work, which may not be today.

Bottom photos, crews on Genesee Street (just west of the NYS Blind School) dealing with snapped utility poles and downed power lines after a large limb on a tree snapped off last night, also damaging a parked car.

Thousands of National Grid customers lost power for at least part of the night last night and currently, National Grid is still dealing with 21 power outages in the county affecting hundreds of customers. There are seven small outages in the city.

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March 2, 2017 - 9:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, batavia, City Schools.

Press release:

Batavia district votes today, March 2, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on proposed capital project

Batavia City School District residents may vote today between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on the proposed 2020 Vision Capital Project.

The $26,768,813 project has no additional tax impact and is designed to address critical program, infrastructure, renovations, site work, and facility needs in each of the District-owned buildings and Daniel A. Van Detta Stadium at Woodward Field.

For residents who live north of Route 5 (Main Street) voting is at the Robert Morris Building at 80 Union St., and for residents living south of Route 5 (Main Street) voting is at Batavia High School at 260 State St.

For more information, including clarification with a street-by-street guide on where to vote, please check the District’s website at www.bataviacsd.org and click on the link for the 2020 Capital Project.

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