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June 6, 2017 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

Press release:

On Wednesday June 14, the City of Batavia will be applying for Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) Competition. Prior to submission the Batavia City Council and the City Manager’s Office want to hear from you.

“City Council has ramped up engagement with our citizens over the last few years with the Batavia Opportunity Area planning, the 2016 DRI process, the 2017 Comprehensive Planning process and other strategic initiatives that the city has completed, and we want to continue to connect with residents,” said Eugene Jankowski, City of Batavia Council president. “We need citizens and businesses to share their thoughts, ideas, and stories with us” said Jankowski.

The Governor’s DRI competition is in the second year. The program funds communities to implement transformative projects in their downtown neighborhoods. The goal is to create vibrant sustainable communities that are inclusive of all ages and socioeconomic situations. Last year the City of Geneva was granted the top prize for the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Region (FLREDC), and this year Batavia hopes to bring home the prize.

“Through the leadership of City Council, we have undergone major planning in the last few years to set the direction of the City of Batavia,” said Jason Molino, City of Batavia Manager.

“These plans that have yielded considerable community feedback and participation are shaping our 2017 DRI application. We know that receiving the top prize will propel the downtown, and the community, to a new level and yield more investment and jobs that are needed for residents."

The City of Batavia is at a tremendous disadvantage to the rest of Genesee County with three, out of six, census tracts are classified as highly distressed. No other community in Genesee County is in such a difficult situation as the city. Recent activity to combat the high unemployment and poverty has included the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (BP2), a program to reinvest PILOT payments from all taxing jurisdictions directly into the City to combat brownfields and poverty.

“The BP2 is a long-term plan to help reduce the blight and poverty within our city, but the 2017 $10 million DRI could bring immediate change that you will be able to see and feel within months of the award. Please contact us at the email listed or reach out to your councilmembers to start the discussion,” said Jankowski.​

The email address $[email protected] will be operational starting today (June 6th) and serve as a general email address for citizens input on the direction of the city as it relates to economic development and planning in the City.

June 6, 2017 - 4:28pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in batavia, news, Old Courthouse.

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A lighting ceremony of the cupola on top of the Old Courthouse in Batavia was held at 8:30 p.m. on Monday.

The new lights are made up of four colors which can be mixed to create any color. The lighting design and equipment was donated by Lighting Design Innovations, Paul and Kim Mercier and Vertex Solutions.

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June 6, 2017 - 3:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, first presbyterian church, batavia.

The Knox Choir, a youth choir from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton, Ohio, is coming to Batavia on Wednesday, June 7, to perform a free concert.

The youth choir will be touring this summer and performing at different communities in the Northeast.

Batavia will be this tour's debut performance. It's at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, located at 300 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia.

A wide variety of music will be sung, including works by Faure and Bach, as well as music from the Gospel tradition, and songs from around the globe.

Since 2007, this choir has completed eight tours, including three Presbyterian Heritage Tours of Scotland.

June 6, 2017 - 2:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, announcements news, baseball, batavia, muckdogs.

Press release:

Would you like to live with the next Matt Carpenter, Ryan Howard or Chase Utley? 

The Batavia Muckdogs are again seeking local families to assist in housing players during the 2017 baseball season.

Anyone can help provide lodging for this year's Muckdogs by either providing space or renting a room, apartment, or home. While many host families come back year after year, the team is always looking to add to their list of availabilities for the players.   

Host Families play a crucial role in helping young players feel comfortable in a new environment. Many who have hosted players in the past have had incredibly wonderful experiences. However, with players coming and going throughout the season, we have constant needs as far as housing.

The 2017 season runs from June 17 until Sept. 5 and players typically range from 18-23 years of age. Because of the players' schedule, they typically spend about 40 nights in their Host Family home. Host families are not required to provide meals or transportation for players. 

Anyone in need of more information on becoming a Host Family is invited to contact the Muckdogs’ office at (585) 343-5454 or [email protected] You can also call our housing coordinator Shirley Fanara directly at (585) 356-3411.

June 6, 2017 - 12:00pm


Any nonprofit or service agency that would like to host a night and set up to sell drinks or snacks can contact Beth Kemp, executive director at the BID. Any business interested in sponsoring a night/band in the Square can also contact Kemp at 344-0900 or via email at [email protected]

June 5, 2017 - 6:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia.

A man wearing an all white painter's uniform was found by maintenance workers inside the Salvation Army center on East Main Street in Batavia after breaking a window and entering the facility. He was said to have "smelled of alcohol" and fled on foot after he was caught.

Police are allegedly out with the suspect now in front of GCASA on East Main Street.

June 5, 2017 - 2:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A caller to dispatch reports a subject walked into the Rite Aid at Lewiston Road and West Main Street, plucked a beer from the cooler, open it, and started drinking it inside the store. He's working on beer #2 now. Law enforcement is responding.

UPDATE 2:56 p.m.: Law enforcement is on scene. Mercy medics called.

June 5, 2017 - 1:57pm

Press release:

Get out and try a hi-tech scavenger hunt! Join us for Geocaching at DeWitt Recreation Area from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 10th.

Create a personal alias or team name to let others know you were here. Sign up as a group or by yourself. Never geocached before? No problem! No prior geocaching experience is necessary. A tutorial will be provided, along with GPS units.

Dress for the weather and be ready for adventure.You never know what you’ll find in a geocache. Meet at Pavilion #2 at DeWitt Recreation Area, location at 115 Cedar St. in Batavia.

Cost is $5/person, $10/family. Preregistration is required. Call 585-344-1122 to register and reserve your spot.

June 5, 2017 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Insurance, batavia, business.

Press release: 

Tompkins Insurance Agencies recently was appointed to The Hanover Insurance Group’s President’s Club, an elite group of independent insurance agencies from across the country. 

Tompkins Insurance Agencies was one of only 125 independent agencies recognized with this distinction across the country. The Hanover partners with a select group of 2,200 independent agents nationwide. Agencies named to the company’s President’s Club are recognized for delivering outstanding value to their customers through insurance expertise and responsive service.

“For more than a century, Tompkins Insurance Agencies has been committed to providing unrivaled customer service to those who have trusted us with their insurance needs,” said David Boyce, President & CEO, Tompkins Insurance Agencies. “We’re proud to be named to the President’s Club, which is a recognition of the value we place on providing specialized insurance strategies to help the families and businesses in the communities we serve.”

The agency was formally recognized for its inclusion in the company’s President’s Club at a national business conference in Laguna Beach, Calif.

“The team at Tompkins Insurance Agencies truly understands the needs of its customers and delivers a top-of-the-line customer experience, providing expert insurance counsel and high-quality service,” said John C. Roche, president, Hanover Agency Markets. “We’re proud to partner with Tompkins Insurance Agencies and appreciate its commitment to going above and beyond to serve its customers.”

June 5, 2017 - 1:36pm

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The Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic is underway at Terry Hills today after Kelly delivered welcoming remarks and shared the rules of the tournament.

The annual tournament benefits the Kelly for Kids Foundation, which provides grants to area nonprofits that assist children.

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June 5, 2017 - 1:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

There is a report of lights flickering and smoke in the building at Kohl's Department Store on Veterans Memorial Drive.

Town of Batavia Fire dispatched.

June 5, 2017 - 1:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, fire.

The odor of smoke in the building is reported at Kohl's Department Store on Veterans Memorial Drive. Lights inside the store are flickering. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding.

June 5, 2017 - 1:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia.

A two-vehicle accident with injuries, abd blocking traffic, is reported at the intersection of Galloway and Kelsey roads. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medics.

UPDATE 1:28 p.m.: Command reports that shovels and brooms will be needed to clean up the debris. No fluids are leaking.

June 5, 2017 - 12:02pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Genesee Community College is pleased to announce Katherine (Kate) Trombley as the new director of the Adult Education Opportunity Center (AEOC).

Trombley joins GCC with a wealth of experience and is excited to work with and support adults in Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties as they begin, resume or continue their educational objectives, goals and dreams.

"I am extremely passionate about education and learning," Trombley said. "Through this position, I will be able to assist adults who would like to attend college, obtain vocational training or change careers through the support of the services that AEOC offers to the region.

"I am very excited to share the resources and opportunities with potential students from Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Cattaraugus, Allegheny and Livingston counties."

The AEOC at GCC strives to assist adult students in connection with the appropriate resources that will help them to meet their individual goals.

With locations in Batavia, Arcade, Albion, Geneseo, Warsaw, Belmont and Basom, adults receive assistance with the admissions and financial aid forms and processing, as well exploring academic and career options, scholarships, and sorting through different academic scheduling that can include evening, weekend and online learning opportunities.

Trombley's prior position was with Western New York Independent Living in Buffalo where she served as director of outreach and community engagement and as the director of the Medicaid Application Assistance Program since 2012. At Western New York Independent Living, she was responsible for community engagement, education and outreach efforts.

These included community presentations, training about Medicaid, and community events to broaden the general understanding about programs and services which assist individuals with disabilities to achieve goals surrounding education, employment, housing, or other personal and professional growth through the Independent Living Center.

Trombley also taught Business Technology as an adjunct instructor at Bryant and Stratton College from 2012 – 2015, and was an adult educator of Strategic Planning/Business/Marketing at ITT Technical Institute in 2010.

She earned a master's degree in Executive Leadership and Change from Daemen College, a master's degree in Adult and Continuing Education and a bachelor's degree in Public Communications from the University at Buffalo. She is a resident of Lockport.

For further information on the AEOC, including available resources, locations, and contact information, visit the Center's website at http://www.genesee.edu/home/resources/adult-educational-opportunity-center/ or contact Kate Trombley directly by calling 585-345-6836 or emailing [email protected].

June 4, 2017 - 9:27pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, Batavia Downs, music, news.

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Batavia Downs was the luckiest place in town today. Against all odds and predictions, the weather was great for tonight’s  opening of a six-concert series “Rockin’ the Downs."

Four acts took the stage in a festival atmosphere in the center of the Batavia Downs track. The track estimated that more than 3,000 were in attendance. Food and beverage vendors lined the viewing area for those who came to see tonight's headliner, Lonestar.  

The band met with Batavia Downs VIP players backstage before the show and signed a guitar that was auctioned off after the concert. The proceeds of the guitar auction raised more than $600 for the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

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Former Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas, below, elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007, made an appearance at the concert to speak to the crowd. Afterward, he hung around to see Lonestar and take pictures with some of his fans. 

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Next up, on Friday, June 23rd, is Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx.

June 4, 2017 - 7:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in VA Medical Center, batavia, news.

City police are responding to the VA Medical Center at 222 Richmond Ave. after the security police on site called about a raccoon that is "acting strange" near the ambulance entrance.

"Apparently it charged three people," says a dispatcher.

June 4, 2017 - 5:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in paolo busti foundation, Italian Americans, batavia.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation’s Outstanding Italian American awards and scholarship event for Spring 2017 will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 14th at Terry Hills Restaurant in Batavia.

This honor is awarded to a man and/or woman who has given exemplary service to their community.

This year the awards are being presented to Rick Mancuso and Peppina (Peppi) Palmer. These honorees have left a special mark on their communities. Youth groups, veterans, seniors and those lonely, ill and nearing the end of their lives have experienced their love and thoughtfulness.

The Foundation is proud of these Italian American heroes for their representation of the Italian American community.

Tickets for the dinner are available from any board member, at Giambroni Appliance and the VJ Gautieri offices on Liberty Street.

About Rick Mancuso

Rick Mancuso was born in Batavia to Benjamin Jr. and Mercedes Mahoney Mancuso. He is graduate of Notre Dame High School and Niagara University.

Rick’s Nana and Nanu Mancuso immigrated to the United States from Vallelunga, Sicily, and Rick was raised living and working the “American Dream” alongside his grandfather. Upon graduation from Niagara University with a BS in Management, Rick returned to work full time at Batavia Plumbing Supply. Following the sale of that company he began at Mancuso Real Estate & Mancuso Restaurant.

In 1995, he opened T.F. Brown’s Restaurant along with continuing the Mancuso Bowling Center and he remains there as president/owner today, as well as the president/broker of Main and Ellicott Properties (Mancuso Real Estate). He has exemplified the morals and values of hard work, family first and supporting his community for all his adult years in the Batavia area.

Rick has served many community organizations over the years, including leadership roles in the Batavia Area Jaycees, Batavia Rotary Club, The Batavia Club, Children’s Home Association, Genesee County United Way, Batavia Improvement District, Batavia Area YMCA, and the Genesee County Planning Board. He has also held positions on the Advisory Board for Genesee County Stop DWI and as a Coalition Member for Drug Free Communities.

Through his strong faith, he is committed to his church and Catholic education. Rick was President of the Lady of Loretto Society for several years through St. Anthony’s Church (an Italian heritage organization), and was a long-standing member of the Board of Directors for Notre Dame High School. Rick is a member of Resurrection Parish and is often found at daily mass.

Locally and regionally, Rick has been well known as a coach of youth sports since his return to Batavia following college. Perhaps most noteworthy, for 20-plus years as a football coach at Notre Dame High School. Under his leadership as the ND Girls Varsity Softball coach, his teams­­­ also attended state playoffs for several years with Rick being honored as both the Section V Coach of the Year and the New York State Coach of the Year for Girls Softball.

Rick has been coaching the youth of Genesee County for over 36 years! He has coached a wide variety of sports including Batavia Minor & Little League Baseball, Batavia Youth Football (also serving on the board and as board president) Genesee Amateur Soccer and YMCA Youth Basketball.

Perhaps one of the most notable contributions Rick has made as a community volunteer is his continued support of the T.F. Brown’s Community Christmas Dinner. Along with the Lion’s Club, Rick and his family have hosted this event on Christmas Day for the past 25 years! His support can also be seen regularly throughout the community as Rick and T.F. Brown’s are frequent sponsors of sporting teams, and just about ANYTHING youth oriented.

Naturally, Rick Mancuso has been honored by several local organizations for his accomplishments. However, when asked, Rick shares enthusiastically that his greatest accomplishment is found in the five children he shares with his wife of 34 years, Julie:

Morgan (Doug) Sicheri, Alexandra (Don) DiLaura, Rick Jr., Patrick, Madelyn and his dearest pride and joy – grandsons Vincent and Benjamin DiLaura.

Rick is a proud Italian American who states that “I never really considered the affects of growing up in a family strongly rooted in Italian traditions. Knowing no differently, I just thought everyone went to mass on Sunday and then to Nana’s house, and holidays and specials occasions always involved too much amazing food, tons of family time and great memories. All of which I intend to continue for generations to come.”

About Peppina (Peppi) Palmer

Peppina (Peppi) Palmer will be honored this year with the Paolo Busti Award for positive achievements and contributions to her community.

Born on Dec. 16, 1949, she was named Peppina in honor of her recently deceased paternal grandmother, Giuseppina Palmer. Her name was not Americanized to be Josephine. She was and always will be Peppi, someone who has demonstrated in her life, in her work and in her faith all that it means to be an outstanding Italian American.

Her parents, John Palmer and Anna Tresco Palmer, were born and raised in Batavia, first generation Italian Americans. Her maternal grandfather, Joseph Tresco, like many Italian immigrants, worked for the New York Central Railroad. Her paternal grandfather founded and was the proprietor of a successful Italian restaurant located on Ellicott Street in the heart of the Southside, mainly Italian district, of Batavia.

Peppi attended St. Mary’s School through eighth grade and then attended Batavia High School.

During her high school years Peppi became interested in nursing. She decided to enroll in the BHS BOCES course in nursing assistance. Upon graduating from BHS in 1968, she secured a nursing assistance position at the Veterans Hospital.

Devotion to her family was matched only by her devotion to “her” vets. “It’s not a job,” she would say. “It is a privilege to be in the company of heroes every day.” In addition to providing nursing assistance, she enjoyed socializing with the vets. She prepared the food, hosted and served an annual spaghetti supper for them. On Sundays she could be found transporting patients back and forth to the chapel so they could attend Mass. It was a much-anticipated event at the hospital when Peppi would bring in her therapy shih tzus, "Lottie," "Jelly Bean" and "Tinkie." The patients greatly enjoyed holding and petting the sweet, tiny dogs. Even after her retirement in 2014 she spent time at the hospital visiting patients and volunteering in the physical therapy department.

In 2006, she was recognized for her service to patients. Planetree, the nonprofit patient-centered care organization, honored her with a Designation Award. The award is given annually to those persons within the healthcare system who demonstrate the highest level of patient/person centered care based on evidence and standards.

Her volunteer work did not end at the NYS Veterans Hospital. She has volunteered for almost 20 years at Crossroads House; for 10 years with the Michael Napoleon Foundation; for the Ricky Palermo Golf Tournament and with the Batavia Peace Garden. For the past seven years she has been active in Our Lady of Mercy parish in Le Roy. She is a Eucharistic Minister, participates in the Parish Outreach program and leads the efforts of the parish to provide Mercy Meals for bereaved families.

Her life will always be centered on the three Fs of Italian heritage – Faith, Family and Food.

Peppi wants it to be known, in accepting this award with deepest gratitude and humility, that none of her accomplishments, whether personal or professional, would be possible without the love and encouragement she receives from her daughters, Andrea Schoenberger Casey and Sarah Schoenberger; daughter-in-law, Colleen Schoenberger; son-in-law, Ryan Casey; grandsons Luke, Caleb and Brooks Casey; and her many friends.

Peppi will forever be indebted to her mother, Anna, who was the best role model for what it means to be an outstanding Italian American.

June 3, 2017 - 3:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A two-car accident with unknown injuries is reported at Ellicott Street and Jackson Street, Batavia.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE: No injuries. Both City fire and Mercy EMS are back in service.

June 3, 2017 - 3:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in festival of hope, Batavia Downs, batavia, news.

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Genesee Cancer Assistance held its annual Festival of Hope today at Batavia Downs, which included a crossing-training competition as well as basket raffles, music, a live broadcast by WBTA, and other events.

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June 3, 2017 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in volunteers for animals, batavia, news, animals, pets.

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Volunteers from Volunteers for Animals were at the Animal Shelter today collecting donated scrap metal as a fundraiser for the shelter and the support provided by Volunteers for Animals.

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