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April 7, 2017 - 12:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, arts, batavia, news.


Gregory Hallock, assistant director of GO ART!, reads off the winners Thursday night of the juried exhibition held by the arts council this month at the show's opening at Seymore Place in Batavia.

First Place, with a $200 cash prize, went to Conrad Borucki, of Alden. Joann Long, of Bloomfield, was second (both pictured below).

Third, Kevin Hammon and honorable mentions to: Rebecca Graham, John Hodgins, Lynnette Celedonia, Sabrina Ahmed, Brian Kemp, David Burke, Tracy Billings and Richard Ellingham.

GO ART! received hundreds of submissions under the theme "Art of the Rural." A total of 68 pieces were selected for the show, which runs through May 12.

Pictured with Hallock, Director Jennifer Gray and Board Member Mary Jo Whitman.






April 7, 2017 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Joe Gerace, charity, Genesee Cancer Assistance, batavia, news.


Karen Rolland, Joe Gerace's daughter, and Dave Chase serve up a plate of spaghetti on Thursday evening during the annual Joe Gerace Spaghetti Dinner, held at the Accession Parish Hall in Batavia.

This was the first dinner, which is a fundraiser for Genesee Cancer Assistance, held since Gerace passed in November at age 80.

More than 40 volunteers helped make the dinner possible this year and nearly 900 dinners were served.

Lois Gerace said the effort was awesome and that her late husband would be impressed.

"I think he would be overwhelmed by the beautiful job they've done," she said. "They've really pulled together. It's a great crowd. It's great to be able to carry on something that he started that meant so much to him."





April 7, 2017 - 6:30am

Press release:

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club is announcing its annual scholarship and Community Service Awards and calling for applications. 

Scholarships are open to all Genesee County high school seniors (male or female).

The students need to have maintained an 85-percent average, need to complete the one-page application and attach a letter of recommendation from a school staff member. The students will also need to submit a personal essay discussing their achievements and future goals as well as an essay from a parent. The application can be found and printed at the Batavia Business and Professional Women’s website: under the Giving tab.

All schools in Genesee County were emailed packages on this program in February. These included the eligibility requirements, guidelines and applications. Parents and students are advised to seek out their school’s guidance counselor/department to receive the needed information and application.

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club has established a scholarship for a returning student from Genesee Community College as well. The recipient is chosen by a college representative and the award is applied to their account in the fall.

Recognition is also given to two outstanding students from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in a form of cash awards for their outstanding scholarship performance.

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club has given scholarships since 1961. The number and amount of scholarships given is dependent on the club’s annual fundraiser.

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club will also offer monetary awards for service groups in June. Deadline for both the scholarship applications and the service awards letters are to be postmarked by Friday, April 14.

Please share with your local service groups that they need to send a short letter requesting to be considered for our service award on service group letterhead to:

Batavia Business and Professional Womens’ Club Service Award
PO Box 1778
Batavia, NY 14020

Any questions contact Peggy Johnson through email at [email protected] or 585-409-8769.

April 7, 2017 - 1:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Police are looking for a black male wearing a red hoodie who is wanted in connection with a disturbance reported about 10 minutes ago on Liberty Street.

He is believed to be heading toward Pringle Avenue. 

Police are tracking his footprints in the snow.

Police were originally dispatched for a disturbance with a report of a man holding a brick. He may have been threatening to damage a vehicle.

April 6, 2017 - 5:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Oakfield, news.
Adriann Smith

Adriann T. Smith, 36, of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance 3rd and one count of criminal nuisance 1st. 

Smith was arrested on a grand jury indictment that was the result of an investigation by the Local Drug Task Force into the sale of prescription drugs in the Village of Oakfield and City of Batavia.

She is accused of selling the drugs to a Drug Task Force agent. 

She was jailed pending arraignment.



April 6, 2017 - 2:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oakfield, business, Tompkins Financial.

emilybossetompkins2017.jpgPress release:

Tompkins Insurance Agencies has hired Emily Bosse as an account executive in its Personal Lines division. She is based out of the Tompkins Insurance office at 90 Main St. in Batavia.

In her new role, Bosse will be responsible for building client relationships and identifying methods to mitigate or transfer risk by creating customized insurance solutions for their organizations. She will primarily serve Genesee County and the surrounding communities.

Prior to joining Tompkins, she worked as a logistics associate for Office Max. Bosse obtained her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Brockport and resides in Oakfield.

April 6, 2017 - 1:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

anthonymancusofinplanner20176.jpgPress release:

Council Rock Wealth Advisory Group, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., has promoted Mary Beth Fairchild and Anthony Mancuso to its ownership team, effective immediately.

Fairchild and Mancuso are two of the longest-tenured advisors with the firm, each with more than two decades of experience in financial planning.

Fairchild specializes in retirement planning strategies, retirement plan distribution, investments, tax planning strategies, women’s financial strategies and divorce financial planning. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) practitioner, an Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor (APMA®), and is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®). Additionally, Fairchild holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations, NY State Life, Accident and Health, and is licensed and registered to conduct business in several states.

“Everyone’s path to retirement is different, so it’s important to have a financial advisor who truly understands your unique situation and goals – and that’s the approach we take with clients,” said Fairchild. “We’re deeply committed to serving the full range of their needs and providing an excellent client experience.”

Mancuso specializes in retirement plan distribution, retirement income strategies, and estate planning strategies. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) practitioner, a Chartered Financial ConsultantSM (ChFC®), and has an extensive background in tax strategies. Additionally, Mancuso holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 registrations, NY State Life, Accident and Health, and is licensed and registered to conduct business in several states.

“Our goal is to make it easy for clients to understand their entire financial picture, and make educated decisions about saving, investing and planning for their future,” said Mancuso.

As financial advisors, Fairchild and Mancuso provide financial advice that is anchored in a solid understanding of client needs and expectations, and provided in one-on-one relationships with their clients. For more information, please contact Mary Beth Fairchild at (585) 461-2280 or visit her Ameriprise office at 2280 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14610. And contact Anthony Mancuso at (800) 847-2332 or his Ameriprise offices at 113 Main St., Batavia, NY 14020 and 6622 Main St., Williamsville, NY 14221.

April 6, 2017 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Visitor Center, chamber of commerce, tourism, batavia, business, news.


Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s new Visitor Center will operate with extended hours beginning Friday, May 26th, in time for Memorial Day weekend o- the “unofficial” start of the travel season.

The Visitor Center volunteer opportunity is open to any Genesee County resident or civic organization that would like to welcome our visitors, provide directions, or suggestions on places to visit or great places to eat. Volunteer shifts are two-and-a-half hours long and can be done on a weekly, biweekly, or as needed basis.

For more information – please stop by the Visitor Center at 8276 Park Road, or give Lauren Humphrey a call at 585-344-4152.


April 6, 2017 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Pavilion, batavia, Le Roy, news.

Stephen Everett Pike, 20, of Big Tree Road, Pavilion, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. Pike is accused of driving recklessly in the parking lot of Pavilion High School at 11:30 p.m., March 11, causing his vehicle to strike the building, damaging it (previous report).

Tonya Marie Ficarella, 30, of Lovers Lane Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Ficarella is accused of stealing merchandise from Kohl's Department Store.

Robert John Leach, 56, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and inadequate plate lamp. Leach was stopped at 11:23 p.m. Saturday on Main Road, Stafford, by Deputy Ryan Delong.

April 6, 2017 - 6:08am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire, news.

A possible structure fire is reported at 3309 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Smoke is coming from heating vents. A Sheriff's deputy is on scene and says the house is evacuated and that there's a vehicle with people in it in the front yard, but a flashlight is seen inside the residence. "Will be checking," he says.

Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding, along with East Pembroke and Mercy medics. The location is west of Wortendyke Road.

April 5, 2017 - 5:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, Announcements.

The Alzheimer’s Association of WNY will hold a seminar titled “Effective Communication Strategies” from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11th, at the Batavia Health Care Center, located at 257 State St. in Batavia.

The seminar is designed to provide practical information and resources to help dementia caregivers learn to decode verbal and behavioral messages from people with dementia.

The goals of the program are for participants to better understand the changes in communication that occur with disease progression and how they manifest in the person with dementia, and to be able to identify ways to connect at each stage of the disease.

April 5, 2017 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Le Roy.

Leonard E. "L.B." Aguayo is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. It is alleged that on Feb. 11 in the City of Batavia that Aguayo knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- crack cocaine -- with the intent to sell it, a Class B felony. In count two, the defendant is accused of the crime of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, also a Class B felony, for allegedly knowingly and unlawfully selling crack cocaine in the City of Batavia on Feb. 11.

Brian F. Kent is indicted for the crime of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in the first degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 5 in the Town of Le Roy that Kent, knowing he did not have the owner's consent, nonetheless took, operated and exercised control over a 2014 Toyota Highlander, with the intent to use the vehicle in the course of or commission of a felony or in the immediate flight from such action. In count two, Kent is accused of the crime of second-degree criminal mischief, a Class D felony, on North Street in the Town of Le Roy. In count two, he is accused of damaging another person's property in an amount exceeding $500 -- the front windshield wiper, passenger side rear and front doors, passenger side front quarter panel, hood, and the driver's door window of a 2007 Dodge Charger police four-door sedan, in the amount of about $3,183.68. In count three, the defendant is accused of another count of second-degree criminal mischief for allegedly damaging a 2014 Toyota Highlander, also on Sept. 5, in an amount exceeding $500. In count four, Kent is accused of the crime of third-degree criminal trespass, a Class B misdemeanor, for allegedly knowlingly entering or remaining unlawfully on real property, which consisted of a right-of-way or yard of a railroad or rapid transit railroad that is designated, and was conspicuously posted as a no-trespass railroad zone. In count four, the defendant is accused of entering onto and driving a vehicle at a high rate of speed on a posted railroad right-of-way in the Town of Le Roy. In count five, Kent is indicted for the crime of fourth-degree criminal mischief, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count five that Kent damaged a gate of a chain-link fence located at Hanson Aggregates in the Town of Le Roy on Sept. 5.

Stacey D. Mancuso is indicted for five Class E felonies, all stemming from driving a 2010 Dodge on Pratt Road in the Town of Batavia on Dec. 4. In count one, she is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree for driving while knowing, or having reason to know, that her driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities, and doing so while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In count two, Mancuso is accused of the crime of DWI for allegedly driving while in an intoxicated condition. In count three, she is accused of the crime of aggravated DWI, per se, for allegedly having a BAC of .18 percent or more at the time. In count four, she is accused of aggravated DWI for allegedly driving while intoxicated with a child age 15 or less as a passenger in the vehicle. In count five, Mancuso is accused of the crime of aggravated DWI, per se, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 percent or more at the time with a child age 15 or less as a passenger in the vehicle.

Gayno S. Standsblack is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on Feb. 27, the defendant -- having been charged with or convicted of a crime and while confined in a correctional facility, in this case the Genesee County Jail, caused injury to a person and intended to do so.

April 5, 2017 - 2:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.


School Board Member Peter Cecere used a not-too-obscure cultural reference to emphasize the point last night that the proposed tax-rate increase for Batavia City Schools in the proposed budget remains at 0.00.

"That's also Blutarsky grade-point average in Animal House," Cecere said.

Business Administrator Scott Rozanski said the no-increase tax rate should remain the same regardless of the outcome of the overdue state budget.

At the time of last night's meeting, legislators in Albany had not yet come to an agreement on the state budget, which includes provisions to aid to local school districts, which left the district, Rozanski said, trying to calculate a budget with a key missing component.

Since last night, the folks in Albany have come to terms on a state budget, but this morning, Rozanski said he hasn't yet seen the breakout on state aid to schools.

Regardless, the only change anticipated to the budget, he said, if aid is less than anticipated then the cost of four new aides, at $150,000, would come from reserve funds and if the aid does come in at the anticipated rate or higher, those funds would be replenished. 

In three of the past five years, the school district hasn't raised the local property tax rate. 

If the district had raised taxes at the rate allowable under the state's tax cap over the past five years, the district's levy would be up $2.8 million. There were rate increases of 1.9953 percent in 2012-13 and 1.99 percent in 2014-15, for a levy increase total of $715,867. The difference between what would have been allowed and what was actually raised is $2.1 million.

This year, the district could have raised the levy by 4 percent and remained under the tax cap. That would have increased the levy by $740,000.

The total levy with no increase is $18.5 million.

The total budget is $49 million.

The school board approved the budget, which will be voted on by district residents for final approval in May.

April 5, 2017 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools, education, schools, news.

There's a student in the Batavia City School District who a few weeks ago was failing all of her classes. Now she's getting passing grades and is eligible for spring sports.

The student benefited, according to school officials, from an after-school program called WIN (What I Need).

The innovative program started in the school district this year and according to Scott Wilson, principal at the high school, Ashley John Grillo, principal at the middle school, and Teresa Morrill, a middle school teacher, the program is showing great results this year.

"This started as an idea and has come together as a really effective intervention program," Grillo said.

Of the 20 students who have participated so far, 16 have shown academic improvement.

As a testament to the program's success, the school officials noted, some who have been with the program have wanted to continue even after their grades improved enough that it was no longer required.

“It’s nice to see where reluctant learners are becoming really engrossed and engaged in the content and making improvements," Grillo said.

The program consists of two and a half hours of tutoring and study time at the high school, for both HS and middle school students, in an atmosphere that is described as "light." Students can take breaks as needed and snacks are often available.

"The best part of what I love is that every time I walk in, there is the relationship there that the teachers are developing with the students who haven't found their way yet academically," Wilson said. "They're making those connections."

Grillo talked about one student who participates in sports who was cleared to play and Grillo told him he could reduce his participation to just a half hour after school at the middle school. The student immediately asked if he could still show up at the program at the high school after practice.

"He likes the fact he has a quiet place and every teacher is available and he can get his work done," Grillo said. That quiet place, a place to study alone is something not available to the student at home, he said.

Part of the one-on-one tutoring is also talking with students about why they're in the situation they're in, whether it's lack of motivation, issues at home, or anything else, Morrill said.

"it's not just two-and-a-half hours just in a book," Morrill said. "We spend time talking about what's going on and why you're having these issues."

The success of the program could mean it expands at some point, Wilson acknowledged. He said there is already additional staff qualified for the tutoring and mentoring. and since the program takes place after school, there is room to expand.

Not all the students want to stay in the program after their grades improve, so right now, the schools have been able to make room for new students who need help as other students move out of the program. Getting out of the program is its own kind of motivation for some students.

"They know why they have to be there and they have a goal," Morrill said. "They want to get out. If that’s their goal, they don’t want to waste their two-and-a-half hours after school. They want to get it done so they can get out.”

April 5, 2017 - 12:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.


Students at Batavia's middle school and high school are getting exposed to a variety of technology and learning opportunities, Robert Mullen told City School District trustrees during a technology department review at the board's meeting Tuesday night.

While he spoke, Dylan Gaus (top photo), a student at Batavia HS, replaced a broken screen on a Google Chrome laptop computer.

Technology infrastructure goes beyond just computer and networking classes, Mullen explained. Middle school students get a bit of technology instruction with culinary courses or embroidery and STEM/STEAM instruction is woven into the district's curriculum.

There's also the traditional technology classes such as robotics, computer operations, and networking.

Mullen is a Cisco Network Certified Associate Instructor and an AP Plus Certified Instructor.

He described his computer classes as noisy and chaotic with no traditional desks but a series of workstations, with one central workstation where the class comes together "to solve big problems."

The course of instruction is rigorous and difficult, he said, and he's thinking of breaking the course into two components: hands-on repair work and the more academic side of computing (how things work and why) so students can take the path most suitable to them because there is so much to learn.

He said he encourages resilience.

"Most students have a strong fear of failure," Mullen said. "I try to get them more comfortable with the failure process because many times that’s the only time to begin again more intelligently."

One of the technology classes at BHS is computer repair, were students fix the Chromebooks other students have brought in for repair.

So far this year, there have been 59 repairs for equipment assigned to high school students, and since January, 19 for middle school students.  The average cost of each repair is $30.

“I think it’s still a significant savings for the district," Mullen said. "It’s just the parts. The school district doesn’t have to pay anybody to do the repairs and our kids have picked up some great skills in the process of doing it.”

April 5, 2017 - 10:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, wrestling, track and field, schools, education, news, batavia.



The Batavia High School wrestling team, and boys and girls track teams, were honored by the City School District board on Tuesday night with proclamations for their 2016-17 Section V titles.

The wrestling team: Joseph Allegue, Richard Lamkin, Lazavia Price, Bohdan Andriychuk, John Folger, Eric Gimlin, Zeshan Armstrong, Jeffrey Cherry, Ryan Kuhn, Gavin Schmidt, Dylan Zurek and Kaden Marucci, and coaches – Richard Stewart, Kenneth Darch and Thomas Garlock.

Boys track: Campbell Andersen, Samuel Bartz, Ryan Bieniek, Isaiah Ciociola, Freddie Cunningham, Trey Kemp, Jerry Reinhart, Ian SanFratello, Chandler Baker, Andrew Cunningham, Eric Davis Jr., Damian Escobar, Marques Hargrave, Ryan Kabel, Nathan Loria, Luke Maltese, Nichalas Neid, Anthony Ray, Tyler Stewart, Julio Vazquez, Valentino Zinni, Matthew Adams, Cameron Austin, John Bruggman, Evan Bartz, Taiyo Iburi-Bethel, Zakariah Jantzi, David Pillo, Jaheim Smith, Jaydon Barber, Brock Every, Garrick Havens, Daemon Konieczny, Mario Rosales, Nate Crane (Letchworth CSD), Job Smith (Alexander CSD), and Kyle VanSlyke (Letchworth), and coaches – Nick Burk, William McMullen, Richard Boyce, William Buckenmeyer, Andrew Cowan, Daniel Geiger, Aaron Sherman and John Williams.

Girls track: Natalie Bigelow, Edmarie Calderon-Torres, Margaret Cecere, Samantha Cohen, Lindsie Cook, Alexis DeLong, Taler Fonda, Aja LeCointe-Wilkinson, Madison Moore, Katherine Wiseley, Rachel Denise, Kiaya Franklin, Tanner Kolb, Madison Murray, Alexis Stork, Paige Wasilewski, Claire Zickl, Brianna Bromley, Emily Caccamise, Elisabeth Cohen, Hannah Finkney, Regan Henrici, Sarah Adams, Juliana Branche, Arianna Brown, Camryn Buck, Sydney DellaPenna, Brianna Gutman, Madeline Taggart, Jadin Vasciannie and Kaitlin Ange, and Coaches – Nick Burk, William McMullen, Richard Boyce, William Buckenmeyer, Andrew Cowan, Daniel Geiger, Aaron Sherman and John Williams.

Photos: Top, wrestlers Joe Allegue and Jack Folger with school Board President Pat Burk and Coach Rick Steward; and girls track members Katherine Wiseley and Madison Murray with Burk and Coach Nick Burk.

April 5, 2017 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Republican Committee is seeking City Republicans interested in running for the position of City Council At-Large.

There are three seats that will be up for election in November and each position is a four-year term. Each seat represents the entire City of Batavia.

Letters of interest can be emailed to City Republican Chairman David Saleh at [email protected] by April 21. If you are interested in getting involved in making Batavia a better place to live and work then we want to hear from you!

April 5, 2017 - 7:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

City fire is dispatched to Ellicott Street and Swan Street for a tractor-trailer leaking oil. 

Batavia PD on scene.

April 4, 2017 - 4:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, batavia.

Three small dogs, all with collars, are reportedly running in the roadway in the area of Ellicott Street and Harvester Avenue.

A police officer has been dispatched.

UPDATE 4:25 p.m.: The officer was unable to locate the dogs and now has a traffic stop in the area.


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