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January 19, 2017 - 6:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, batavia, news, business.

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The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce celebrated its arrival in a new home, with a new tourism center, on Park Road, Town of Batavia, today, with a ribbon cutting.

While the upstairs offices are a modern and comfortable place for chamber employees to work, it's the downstairs visitors center that is the star of the renovated building.

Chamber President Tom Turnbull noted its close proximity to the Thruway and the nearby hotels, which by the end of the year will have a total of 1,000 guest rooms between them.

"It will now be our job to encourage these visitors to our county to explore deeper into the county to shop, eat and enjoy many of the fine services available," Turnbull said.

The move was appropriate, said Ray Cianfrini, chairman of the Genesee County Legislature, because tourism dollars are important to the health of our local economy.

"Many people either forget, or they may not be aware, what a significant impact tourism has on our local economy," Cianfrini said. "Aside from the money people spend on their food and their fuel and their lodging, they also contribute significantly to our sales tax and our bed tax revenues. The Chamber has done a fantastic job of promoting tourism in Genesee County."

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Tom Turnbull

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Ray Cianfrini

January 19, 2017 - 10:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, football, sports.

The Batavia Blue Devils have been selected to play a game the opening weekend of the high school football season in the Carrier Dome Classic, an annual event that brings in football teams from all over the state, Head Coach Brennan Briggs said this morning.

The exact time and date of the game -- either Sept. 1 or Sept 2 -- has not been determined yet, nor has an opponent for the Blue Devils been selected yet. It will likely be a Class B or Class A team out of Section IV, Briggs said.

Batavia was selected after Briggs applied for a slot in the classic a year ago.

"I'm excited for the kids," Briggs said. "It should be a blast. It's exciting for them."

The Carrier Dome Classic also puts the Batavia program on a bigger statewide stage, Briggs said. It will give people from all over the state a chance to see what Batavia football is all about.

Many of this year's team members were able to play a regional championship game in 2016 in New Era in Buffalo, home of the Buffalo Bills, so a game in the Carrier Dome is another nice highlight to their high school football careers.

"There are not too many times you get a chance to play both at New Era and the Carrier Dome," Briggs said. "It's pretty sweet."

The Carrier Dome also hosts the state championships, so Briggs said, that yes, indeed, at some point during the year he can use "get back to the Carrier Dome" to help motivate his team. It might inspire the players to dream big.

But the 2017 season is going present challenges each week, Briggs said. Besides what will certainly be a tough opponent in week one, week two is a home game against perennial Monroe County powerhouse Aquinas. The whole schedule for the three-peat Section V champions is likely to be stacked with tough opponents, Briggs said. Honeoye Falls-Lima has been moved to Class B and schools such as Geneva, Hornell and Livonia are always tough.  

"It will be a stacked deck," Briggs said.

January 18, 2017 - 6:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

Possible injuries are reported in a two-car crash in the area of 3757 Pearl Street Road, Batavia.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS responding

UPDATE 6:33 p.m.: One of the engines responding is told to come in non-emergency.

UPDATE 6:36 p.m.: Engine 20 can go back in service.

January 18, 2017 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Terrance Johnson appeared for sentencing in Genesee County Court this afternoon on a robbery conviction.

Johnson was arrested last May for first-degree robbery after being released from a four-month term in the Genesee County Jail for a gang assault in Batavia.

Neither the district attorney nor Johnson’s defense took the opportunity to speak before sentencing; however, Johnson took the chance to casually express that he was “happy to get this out of the way,” but never taking responsibility or expressing an apology to the victim for his actions.

Johnson was smiling for most of the appearance, glancing and mouthing things to members of the gallery and even laughed to himself several times.

He was sentenced to two years in state prison to be followed by three years post-release supervision and was issued orders of protection for two individuals.

Via our news partner, WBTA.

January 18, 2017 - 3:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Pathway to Prosperity, GCEDC, batavia, news.

Press release:

The “Batavia Pathway to Prosperity” (BP2), the program created through an inter-municipal agreement between the City of Batavia, Genesee County, the Batavia City School District, the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) and the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) was showcased at the annual conference of the New York State Economic Development Council in Albany on Jan. 18.

Batavia City Manager Jason Molino, GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde, GCEDC Vice President Chris Suozzi and GCEDC Marketing Director Rachel Tabelski participated in the presentation at the conference to economic development officials from across New York State.

BP2 was conceived to pool resources in order to invest in distressed areas in the City of Batavia. The BP2 program will be implemented though PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) increment financing (PIF), referred to as the “BP2 fund,” the first of its kind in New York State where all local taxing jurisdictions are participating. B2P is supported by the redirection of 50 percent of new project PILOT payments.  

“This was a great opportunity to showcase what is really a unique economic development partnership that we hope other cities like Batavia could implement in partnership with their respective economic development agencies,” Molino said. “The Batavia Development Corporation is playing a key role in leading economic development efforts for the city and as a liaison with the GCEDC and others involved in this partnership.”

“The B2P initiative demonstrates the continued collaboration between the public and private sectors in Genesee County,” said Julie Pacatte, B2P economic coordinator. “It’s extraordinary that all levels of government in Genesee County recognize the importance and priority for the economic well-being of the city of Batavia. It’s a partnership that has already shown early returns.”

The first project to be supported by the B2P program is the $15 million redevelopment of the Ellicott Station site in Batavia. The development will include mixed-use residential, office and retail spaces; a brewery; small beverage warehouse and hops processing facility; entertainment and event area; outside seating; and integration of the new Ellicott Trail pedestrian pathway. The development is expected to create up to approximately 60 – 120 new jobs and approximately 120 jobs during construction. The developer is Savarino Companies in Buffalo.

 “The B2P will help our agency market and attract investment to the most economically distressed areas of the city,” Hyde said. “Through the Ellicott Station development, we have a tangible project to demonstrate the benefits of the B2P program to others interested in development opportunities in Batavia and Genesee County.”

To learn more about the City of Batavia’s Brownfield Opportunity Area, visit www.bataviaopportunity.com.

January 18, 2017 - 11:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
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     Andrew Kosiorek

A Batavia man with no permanent residence has been arrested in connection with a burglary this week of the Rancho Viejo restaurant at 12 Ellicott St., Batavia.

Andrew Kosiorek, 44, has been charged with burglary, 2nd.

Police allege that Kosiorek broke into the business twice in the early morning hours of Saturday.

No information has been released on what if anything was stolen.

Kosiorek was arraigned in City Court and jailed without bail.

The investigation was handled by Det. Thad Mart.

January 18, 2017 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

The death of Kyeongseop Woodhams, the South Korean man living in Batavia whose body was found in the water at DeWitt Recreational Area in September, has been ruled a suicide.

Batavia PD released the result of the Erie County Medical Examiner's report this morning and said given the nature of the death it would not be offering further information or commenting on the case.

January 18, 2017 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, batavia, news.

Press release:

The Holland Purchase Historical Society & Holland Land Office Museum are proud to announce the hiring of the new full-time Executive Director, Ryan Duffy, formerly of Eden, New York.

Ryan received his BA in History from St. Bonaventure University. He received a master's degree in History from Bowling Green University and a Master's Certificate in Museum Studies from SUNY Buffalo State College. His museum experience will advance the quality of the Holland Land Office’s exhibits, collection and programs.

While at Bowling Green, he was the assistant editor of The Northwest Ohio History Journal. Publications include, “Trouble Along The Border: U.S. & Mexican Relations In The Nineteenth Century.”

Duffy worked at The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site Museum in Buffalo, was a tour guide at Canal Side for Buffalo History Tours, and has been a substitute teacher at Eden Junior High and Bishop Timon /St. Jude High School.

As a volunteer, Ryan organized the collections for the Eden Town Historian and the Eden Historical Society and served as a board member on the Town of Eden Historic Review Board. His other interests include studying the American Civil War and the Gilded Age.

The Board of Directors looks forward to Ryan’s leadership and expertise taking Genesee County’s history museum into the future. A Meet & Greet will be announced and HLOM members and the community will be invited to meet the new director.

January 18, 2017 - 8:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Oakfield.

Eric Keith Ricks, 38, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, driving on a suspended registration and driving without insurance. Ricks was stopped at 5:22 p.m. Jan. 11 on Swan Street, Batavia, by Officer Chad Richards. During the traffic stop, Ricks allegedly became confrontational with police and refused to obey verbal commands. He was then taken into custody without further incident.

Sadie D. Waala, 25, of Colonial Boulevard, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding and failure to yield right of way to an emergency vehicle. Waala was stopped at 2:25 a.m. Sunday on West Main Street, Batavia, by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Dustin W. Bogue, 34, of Sunset Parkway, Oakfield, is charged with trespass, 2nd. Bogue is accused of refusing to leave a residence at 10:55 p.m., Sunday.

Timothy J. Wood Sr., 27, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Wood allegedly struck another person during an argument reported at 5 p.m., Jan. 9.

Shane K. Borton, 44, of Chase Park, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Borton is accused of hitting another person during an argument, reported at 2:31 p.m., Friday.

James M. Spangler II, 40, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Spangler allegedly violated an order of protection by mailing a letter to the protected party.

Jonathan S. Cassidy, 45, of Highland Park, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear.

Rorbert L. Jordan, 70, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Jordan allegedly stole a King Size Reese's Cup from the Kwik Fill at 99 Jackson St. at 6:19 p.m., Jan. 1.

January 17, 2017 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Oakfield.

Adam L. Rumley, 26, of Batavia, is charged with aggravated DWI and multiple traffic violations. Rumley was stopped by State Police on the Thruway at 10:22 p.m., Sunday. He allegedly had a BAC of .22.

Linda Ann Martin, 64, of McKinley Avenue, Batavia, is charged with offering a false instrument for filing, 2nd. Martin is accused of claiming she did not make a bank transaction in August 2015.

Ryan James Emery, 19, of Main Street, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Emery was a passenger in a vehicle stopped for an equipment violation at 8:35 p.m., Saturday. He was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia by Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

January 16, 2017 - 7:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in aviation, pete zeliff, batavia, news.

File photo

UPDATED 8:50 p.m.

A plane owned by Zeliff Aviation skidded off a runway while trying to land at an airport in Livingston County, Mich., today and according to news reports from the area, the pilot suffered only minor injuries.

The pilot was Pete Zeliff, owner of p.w. minor and a member of the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board of Directors. Zeliff is avid about aviation and owns planes and a helicopter, which are located at the Genesee County Airport. He annually sponsors an aviation summer camp at the airport for young people.

According to patient information at the University of Michigan Hospital, Zeliff is undergoing treatment but has not been admitted. A source said he was being kept for observation but is OK.

According to reports, Zeliff was attempting to land a Cessna 525C Citation at Howell-Livingston County Airport just before noon. The plane was unable to stop on the runway and it crashed through a barrier and across a roadway. The wings were torn off and the fuselage came to rest upside down.

One of the witnesses and first on the scene was a local mayor, Nick Proctor, who said he talked with the pilot and was told Zeliff had not been alerted to icy conditions on the runway before attempting to land.

Zeliff is active in the community on several fronts and rescued p.w. minor from almost certain closure a couple of years ago. He's invested heavily in the company since, created dozens of new jobs, returned manufacturing from China, and is helping to get a new retail shoe store open downtown. He also developed a subdivision of homes on the east end of Town of Batavia off of Route 5 called Oakmont.

January 16, 2017 - 1:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Alabama, batavia, news, crime.

Jennifer Lynn Greck, 47, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Greck allegedly damaged a room door of a motel on West Main Street Road, Batavia, at 6:53 a.m. Saturday. The case was investigated by Deputy Jenna Ferrando.

Joshua Miguel Laureano, 26, of Cumberland Avenue, South Buffalo, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, driving while on a mobile phone, aggravated unlicensed operation and unsafe tires. Laureano was stopped at 7:07 p.m. Saturday on Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Hannah Marie Zuppa, 19, of Main Road, Pembroke, is charged with two counts of petit larceny. Zuppa is accused of thefts from a location on Judge Road, Alabama.

January 16, 2017 - 12:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Zonta Club, Americorps, batavia, news.

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In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, groups all over are engaging in MLK Day of Service activities, and in Batavia, Americorps and Zonta Club of Batavia came together in the Senior Center this morning to work on a couple of charitable projects.

Volunteers created birthing kits to be shipped to women in Africa and they created book bundles to give to needy children.

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January 15, 2017 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hockey, DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, sports, news.

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Conditions were just right this afternoon for a group of young hockey players to get some practice time in at the outdoor skating rink at DeWitt Recreation Area.

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January 15, 2017 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

We've received messages from several people wanting to know what it was they heard go boom last night in the Manhatten Avenue, Ross Street area of Batavia and we don't know.

One reader reported also seeing a flash.

We've checked with local officials and there was an investigation of the area after the booms were reported. The cause remains unknown.  

The booms were heard around 2 a.m.

January 15, 2017 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bridal Show, batavia, news, terry hills.

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It was a record turnout today for the annual bridal show at Terry Hills, with twice as many registered brides this year, according to Danielle Rontondo.

We actually got there after the peak crowd, but all of the booths were still pretty busy.

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January 15, 2017 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in k-9 destro, K-9, batavia, news, crime.

miller_mug_rob2017.jpgIt didn't take police long to locate a robbery suspect last night, with the help of tracking by a Sheriff's K-9, after a man went into the Subway on East Main Street, Batavia, and demanded money.

The suspect got away with an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on foot.

Deputy Chris Erion with K-9 Destro helped track the suspect and he was located a short time later at a nearby residence.

Taken into custody was Ricky L. Miller II.

At the time of his arrest, Miller was allegedly found in possession of a needle.

He was charged with robbery, 3rd, petit larceny, and possession of a hypodermic instrument.

He was jailed without bail.

January 14, 2017 - 8:45pm

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Batavia chiroprator Tom Mazurkiewicz, in plaid shirt, is pictured above next to national recording artist Joey Belladonna (far left), former lead singer of Anthrax. Belladonna is playing at 10 tonight at T.F. Brown's, 214 Main St., Batavia, with his cover band Big Chief Way.

Also pictured next to Mazurkiewicz is Dave Mickelson, bass player, and Joe Precourt (far right), lead guitarist. They were having dinner this evening at Yume Bistro in Batavia.

Mazurkiewicz says his friendship with Belladonna started 15 years ago when he was working backstage at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, and Belladonna, a five-time Grammy Award nominee, needed a chiropractic adjustment. The two guys became friends instantly and regularly meet for dinner or attend local sporting events in Western New York, such as Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres games.

Belladonna says he enjoys making stops in Batavia to play and visit with friends.

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January 14, 2017 - 11:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

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Batavia PD is looking for the public's assistance in identifying and locating this man for questioning regarding an overnight burglary in the city. The burglary was sometime after midnight at Rancho Viejo on Ellicott Street. The police are not releasing further information at this time. People with information that may assist in the investigation are asked to call  Detective Sgt. Crossett at (585) 345-6353, or the Confidential Tip Line at (585) 345-6370.

January 13, 2017 - 10:49pm
posted by James Burns in sports, basketball, batavia, Batavia Blue Devils.

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Batavia Blue Devils boys varsity basketball had a home game against the Greece Odyssey Leopards tonight. What started as a blow out and continued that way into the fourth quarter was almost an upset loss. 

In the first quarter Batavia did about anything they wanted at either end of the court, easily leading by 13 to 5. After the nice easy warm up of the first quarter, Batavia cruised through the second and led 35 to 17 at the half. 

Once play started in the third,Greece’s’ John Mathis III came out scoring with 14 points, outscoring Batavia by himself. Batavia still led by 47 to 36 at the end of three quarters.

The fourth started slow for Batavia. With about four minutes remaining in the fourth, Greece had caught up to Batavia and tied the game. A few seconds later Greece was in the lead.And Batavia called a time-out. Turnovers and missed shots were causing a lot of damage to Batavia at this point in time. Greece was out rebounding them and clearly in control.

The final minute of play began with the scored tied at 53-53. Antwon Odem (16 points on the night) stepped up and drove hard into the paint with the go ahead two-pointer with 20 seconds left. After that Greece was not able to rally again. Final score: Batavia 57, Greece Odyssey 55. Other standout Batavia team members were Tee Saun Ayala with 15 and Jonathan Liciaga with 12. 

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