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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.

March 1, 2017 - 10:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news.

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Sharon Herdtner submitted this photo of a double rainbow that she took from Richmond Avenue that seems to stretch from the Blind School over North Avenue to Northside Deli.

March 1, 2017 - 10:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news.

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This is a power line arcing on Washington Avenue at Ellicott Avenue this evening.  

There are a total of 14 power outages in the City of Batavia, affecting 4,371 National Grid customers. 

The largest outage by geography starts in the city just west of Clinton Street at Main Street and spreads in a triangle shape from there to Nilesville Road in Stafford, as far north as the Thruway and south to East Bethany.

There are 2,093 customers effected by that outage (that number is included in the 14 outages mentioned above). The power went out for this outage at 7:49 p.m. and there is not yet an estimate when power will be restored.

There are also outages in Darien, Indian Falls, Le Roy, Pavilion and South Byron.

Below, a picture of a broken pole on Ellicott Avenue.

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UPDATE: A reader submitted photo of a downed tree on Richley Road, Darien.

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UPDATE: Ashley Smith submitted this photo of arcing near the Arrow Mart in Batavia.

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March 1, 2017 - 8:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, batavia.

A reader submitted this photo of the Sunoco gas station on Main Street in Batavia. The wind toppled the gas tank island's roof, breaking the metal pillar which holds it up at the base. The station was closed at the time and no injuries were reported.

High winds are wreaking havoc countywide and numerous power lines and tree limbs are reportedly down, keeping first responders and maintenance crews busy.

March 1, 2017 - 5:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in YWCA, batavia, New, Announcements.

Press release:

Join us at Shimmy Mob and be a part of dance history for a great cause on Saturday, May 13th! This will be the first year Batavia is participating in this "flash mob" type bellydancing event.

Shimmy Mob is actively seeking dancers and instructors of all backgrounds to participate.

This event is a community event run on a global level and has several purposes in promoting local and worldwide awareness of domestic violence and its victims and in raising money for them. The designated local charity for the proceeds is the YWCA.

Details and registrations at www.shimmymob.com.

The Shimmy Mob registration includes links to online videos of the choreography breakdown, and the official 2017 “Shimmy Mob” T-shirt to wear on the day of the event.

Registration deadline is March 31.

For additional information on the Batavia Shimmy Mob, please contact Connie Boyd (343-3220) or Jessica Whiting (281-9408).

March 1, 2017 - 4:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in girl scouts, batavia, news.

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This year marks the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts selling cookies and the Scouts also introduced a new flavor this year, S'mores.

To commemorate, a group of local Scouts stopped by the office of City Manager Jason Molino today to have him do a taste comparison on which cookie he liked better, S'mores and Thin Mints.

Above, Molino holds up the Thin Mints picture signaling his pick. With him are Abbie Mattern, WNY Girl Scouts CEO Judy Cranston, Aubrianna Martinez and Sara Nickerson.

Scouts throughout the county are selling cookies now.

March 1, 2017 - 4:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GAMS, batavia, city centre, business.

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Opening a bakery is something Batavia resident Vangre Canty has always wanted to do, so after a few decades working in the corporate world, she said she decided to do it.

Canty has opened GAMS in the City Centre, right by the entrance to City Hall.

"It's just a passion of mine," she said. "A passion to bake and cook. It puts smiles on people's faces."

All of the baked goods -- cookies, cream puffs, brownies, cheesecakes and more -- are prepared fresh every morning.

She also prepares a lunch special daily of sandwiches, soups or salads, with Friday's special usually being something meatless.

GAMS opens at 8 and closes around 3, unless a customer calls in with a special request.

March 1, 2017 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Announcements, animals, pets, volunteers for animals.

From Volunteers for Animals:

We all know that it is important to have ID tags on our pets but how many of us don't have them? Be honest. VFA is committed to helping families get lost and missing pets back home.

Since 2006, we have offered low-cost microchipping and continue to encourage it. But we all know that ID tags on our pets will help get them even faster, many times by passing the Shelter altogether.

To help encourage getting our pets properly tagged, VFA recently purchased an engraving machine. Now you can stop by the Genesee County Animal Shelter during regular adoption hours to have a personalized ID tag engraved while you wait. All we are asking is for is a donation for the tag and to go home and get the tag on your pet.

We are also encouraging you to put collars and ID tags on your cats, including indoor cats. No one plans for our cats and dogs to escape the house or yard, so please plan ahead!

March 1, 2017 - 4:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Milestones, batavia.

Trevor J. Day has accepted an accounting position with The Bonadio Group in Amherst. Trevor is a 2016 graduate of Geneseo State College and a son of Sharon and Jeffrey Day, of Batavia.

March 1, 2017 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, fashion show, batavia, news.

Press release:

Community members of all ages should save the date for Genesee Community College’s 36th Annual Fashion Show scheduled for Saturday, April 29.

This year’s show entitled “Elysium” was introduced by fashion student Ciera Schwartz, of Akron, Elysium can be defined as “an often imaginary place or state of utter perfection and happiness.” Schwartz explained how the word is derived from the Greek mythological interpretation of heaven, and is often referred to as paradise or a land where all beauty lies. Hence, this year’s Fashion Show theme focuses primarily on student’s interpretations of different Greek gods and goddesses.

“Elysium” gives students the opportunity to not only express their creativity and originality, but to tell a story. By tying together elements from Greek mythology and drawing inspiration from the lives and personalities of Greek gods and goddesses, GCC students intend to show how today’s fashion is much more than just a materialistic concept. The show will illustrate how GCC fashion students appreciate both art and history, and how aspects from different cultures are presented universally in the fashion world today.

To quote Homer from "Odyssey" in “Elysian Fields,” Elysium can be described as a paradise: “to the Elysian plain… where life is easiest for men. No snow is there, nor heavy storm, nor ever rain, but ever does Ocean send up blasts of the shrill-blowing West Wind that they may give cooling to men.”

Due to the overwhelming popularity of GCC’s annual Fashion Show, the event features two complete shows scheduled on April 29 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the William W. Stuart Forum of GCC’s Batavia Campus. Tickets for the show are available for $5 in advance or $7 at the door and can be purchased by calling 585-345-6830. Advance tickets are strongly recommended.

Sponsors for the production are currently being solicited and accepted. Business donations of $10 or personal donations of $5 are available. To extend appreciation, the business or personal name will be included in the souvenir program and on the Fashion Show website. If writing a check, please make it payable to GCCA. To schedule a time for pick up or to make special arrangements for your donation, please contact Cheryl Young, 585-345-6830.

To stay current on details and information about this year’s show and to gain an inside look at the lives of the fashion students at GCC, follow @trendygcc_ on Instagram and @trendygcc on Twitter for updates!

March 1, 2017 - 3:00pm

YMCA Preschool Registration for Fall 2017 is now OPEN! The YMCA offers structured preschool programming for children ages 2- 5. Playgroup, designed for children turning 2 before Dec. 1, 2017, teaches children social, emotional and play skills while being introduced to a classroom environment. Nursery School, also designed for children turning 3 before Dec. 1. 2017, focuses on inquiry based learning, social and emotional development, along with introduction to swimming. Pre-K Plus is designed for children old enough to attend kindergarten, but may need an additional year of Pre-K due to a late birthday or simply needing an extra year of prekindergarten learning. Swim lessons included for Nursery School, UPK and Pre-K plus.

Registration for Playgroup, Nursery School and Pre-K Plus is done through the Batavia YMCA. Need more information? Contact Maria Thompson, preschool director, at 585-344-1664.

UPK follows the Batavia City School District curriculum and follows NYS Common Core Standard for Prekindergarten. UPK registration is done through Batavia City School District and will begin in early April. Contact the District beginning after April 1st to receive a registration packet.

March 1, 2017 - 2:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Tompkins Insurance, batavia.

(Submitted photo)

Press release:

Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc. has added a second full-time staff member to its newly opened office in Brockport. 

Kyle Kurkowski, assistant vice president/account executive previously based in the company’s Batavia office, has joined the new office located at 4675 Lake Road.

Kurkowski has been with Tompkins Insurance Agencies since 2010, and has extensive experience supporting the company’s offices across Western New York. Licensed in New York for both personal and commercial lines of insurance, he is responsible for focusing on those particular insurance needs, as well as for new business development.

Active in the community, Kurkowski is on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity in Genesee County, and is a Lions Club member. He is a graduate of SUNY Brockport, with a bachelor’s degree in business management.  

The Tompkins Insurance Agencies Brockport office provides service to more than 500 customers in the area. The new office was established in a convenient, central location in order to support its customers in the area and the entire community.  

In addition to the Brockport location, Tompkins Insurance Agencies has offices throughout Western New York, including Alden, Arcade, Attica, Batavia, Caledonia, Chili, Dansville, Geneseo, Greece, Leroy, Nunda, Perry, and Pittsford. More information about Tompkins Insurance Agencies is available at www.tompkinsins.com.

March 1, 2017 - 2:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in mma, Mixed Martial Arts, sports, batavia, news.

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Mixed Martial Arts returns to Batavia March 25 with a 16-fight card from local promoter Ground Force Fights at Quality Inn & Suites.

The card includes title fights, including two female title fights.

Three Batavia fighters will be competing. Pictured above are promoter Richard Mitchell and local fighters Steven Kleckler, Kevin James Hodge and Peter Flanagan.

For more information and tickets, visit groundforcefights.com

Previously: Batavia's first MMA event draws capacity crowd

March 1, 2017 - 1:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, genesee county youth bureau.

Press release:

The Genesee County Youth Bureau will honor its AmeriCorps members during National AmeriCorps Week, March 4 – 11. AmeriCorps programs use this opportunity to celebrate the great things that our members have accomplished, to encourage participation in national service and to thank our community partners for their support of the program.

AmeriCorps members, who must be at least 17 years old and a U.S. citizen, agree to complete a specific number of service hours over a set time period. Members receive a modest living allowance while serving and upon completion of their commitment qualify for a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. The education award can be used to pay for college or graduate school or to repay qualified student loans.

The Youth Bureau received a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service to establish an AmeriCorps program in October 2004. Since that time, 404 members have been placed at over 70 host site locations performing a combined total of 288,000 hours of service and earning over $799,000 in education awards.

Members serve at a variety of organizations in Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming and Cattaraugus counties. Sites include schools, community centers, libraries, county government departments and other human services agencies. Assignments fall under the categories of healthy futures fitness and nutrition education, environmental stewardship and capacity building. Members are celebrating AmeriCorps Week by writing articles about their experience, creating displays and coordinating service projects for youth volunteers.

Members have been able to explore career options, learn valuable skills, help finance their education and have the satisfaction of knowing that they have made a positive contribution to their community. If you would like more information about serving in AmeriCorps or hosting a member at your agency, contact Kathy Frank at 585-344-3960 or [email protected]

March 1, 2017 - 1:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, hlom, No Blarney!, music, irish music, news, Announcements.

Press release:

The Holland Land Office Museum presents its annual Irish Music Night at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 10. The music will be provided by the well known local group No Blarney!

The event will be held at the Holland Land Office Museum at 131 W. Main St., Batavia. Light refreshments will be served and the museum will be open for visitors to tour.

Tickets for Irish Music Night can be bought by calling the museum at 585-343-4727, or by purchasing in person at the museum. Tickets are $5 in advance, or $7 at the door. Space is limited so advance purchase is recommended.

March 1, 2017 - 12:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Batavia HS, batavia, news.

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The Batavia Blue Devils played hard but came up short, letting a five-point lead slip away in the closing minutes of play against Wilson in a Section V semi-final to lose 57-55.

"My guys fought," said Head Coach Buddy Brasky. "They fought. We could have folded and they fought."

They fought on even after star guard Tee Sean Ayala fouled out with more than a minute left in the third quarter, putting him and his game-high 24 points on the bench the rest of the way.

That isn't the reason Batavia lost, though. Jonathon Liciaga in particular stepped up to fill the void, finding ways, even at 5' 9", to slip in behind Wilson's big center, 6' 7" Patrick Phillips, for easy baskets. He scored six points in the final quarter.

"I give a lot of credit to our guys," Brasky said. "After Tee Sean went out, they could have folded. They didn’t. Some other guys stepped up, but it just wasn’t enough."

Liciaga, who scored 11 points total, has become a bigger factor in Batavia's offense as the season has worn on as his talent for finding open space on the court has become more apparent.

"Guys figured out as the year went on, he’s open and he can put the ball in the basket," Brasky said. "As the year went on they started finding him more and more."

In the final minute, the Blue Devils didn't score and Brasky said that was the result of some bad decisions.

"The initial pressure (from Wilson) didn’t hurt us," Brasky said. "On the back end, we had some turnovers down the stretch. We made some bad decisions. We missed some open guys. That’s what young teams do, I guess."

Brasky and every player on the team certainly wanted to end the season with a Section V trophy. That, after all, is kind of a Blue Devil's tradition under Brasky, but as Brasky noted, this is a young team (only three seniors). The team has come a long way over the course of the season from a rather disorganized, mistake-prone group to being more disciplined on offense and defense.

"We preach at beginning of the year, especially this year, that it’s going to be a journey," Brasky said. "We had to keep trying to improve and we wanted to try and peak at the end.

"We went through some tough stretches and at the end of the year, we started playing some pretty good basketball. I thought we played, for the most part, tonight, we had stretches of really good basketball from a lot of guys, but again, it wasn’t enough."

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