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August 8, 2015 - 8:47am
posted by James Burns in batavia, Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Photos by Jim Burns / Press release from Batavia Downs:

There is a small but select group of 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings entered to compete in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 9). Thirteen entrants will compete in two divisions (carded as race two and four) for their share of the $108,000 purse up for grabs.

The first $54,500 division features Autotune Hanover (Art Major-Anderosa Hanover) who has been on fire at Yonkers Raceway recently. Last week he won a division of the $76,512 NYSS wire to wire, and 12 days prior to that, was victorious in the $107,500 L.B. Sheppard Stake final in a lifetime best 1:54.3.

Autotune Hanover has earned over $95,000 in only four starts this year and the speed and versatility he has shown on a half-mile track over the past two weeks is evidence he is a serious contender for the major share again this week. 

The track record for 2-year-old pacing colts at Batavia Downs in 1:54.2 set by Doctor Butch in 2012 and then tied by He’s Watching in 2013. Based on his effort in the Sheppard Stake at Yonkers, Autotune Hanover has a very good chance of setting a new standard at Batavia Downs on Sunday.

Autotune Hanover is trained by Mark Harder and will start from post three for driver Tyler Buter. He has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite.

Fine Diamond (Rock N Roll Heaven-Yellow Diamond), who hails from the stable of North America’s leading trainer, Ron Burke, looks to be his major competition. Although the colt is winless in four starts this year, he has not finished out of the money during that time. Fine Diamond can leave enough to gain early position in order to track Autotune Hanover, who will most certainly set the pace.

Fine Diamond starts from post five for local driving favorite John Cummings Jr. and has been designated as the early second choice at 5-2.

There is no clear-cut favorite in the second $53,500 division and the two main players should be in a battle to the wire.

Joe Larry N Curly (Roll With Joe-Life’s Image) is currently the top point-getter in NYSS competition for this sex and gait to date and Travel Playlist (Art Major-Village Madonna) sits third behind him. Whereas they both have two wins in NYSS competition, Travel Playlist is undefeated and one of his wins was over Joe Larry N Curly last week at Yonkers.

Both horses 2015 earnings are separated by only $845 (both in excess of $56,000) and their lifetime marks are only three-fifths of a second apart. They can both leave the gate and in this short field (only six horses entered) they will probably be looking to do just that, having drawn the outside posts.

Joe Larry N Curly will start from post five for NYSS leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. and is listed at 8-5 in the early line. Mark Harder conditions Joe Larry N Curly.

Trainer Erv Miller has appointed Mark Macdonald to steer Travel Playlist and he will wear number six behind the gate, rated second choice at 9-5.

There are also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior Series “A” races on the card that will go for a total purse of $30,000.

Post time for the first of 12 races is set for 1:15 p.m.

Southern Tier Brewing Company's free beer tasting.

One dollar hot dogs all night.

August 7, 2015 - 10:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Vibrant Batavia.

Vibrant Batavia is sponsoring a communitywide garage/yard sale weekend and many of the sales have been posted to the Garage Sale Map on Batavia's List.

If your sale isn't posted, post it.

 

August 7, 2015 - 7:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

The body of an as-yet-unidentified white male was retrieved from Tonawanda Creek this afternoon, but police officials have little other information to provide the public at this point.

Around 2:30 p.m., authorities received a call about a possible body in the creek near Kibbe Park. City police and fire, Sheriff's deputies, a rep from the District Attorney's Office, and a county Coroner, converged at the scene, described as the embankment near where the creek curves by the park.

They confirmed a dead body, dressed in shorts, a T-shirt, no shoes. There was no canoe, boat, kayak or other vessel around, "but nothing's off the table at this point," said Batavia Police Det. Eric Hill.

"I couldn't even tell you an age," Hill said. "Looks like he may have been in there awhile, but we don't have an exact time on how long it was. ... We won't know until the autopsy comes back officially. ... We'll probably have more information on that tomorrow or Monday, depending on when the autopsy takes place -- possibly who he is or what the cause of death is."

August 7, 2015 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GLOW Corporate Cup, sports, 5K, batavia, YMCA, business.

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Photos by Shannon Dent.

Previously: Record-setting day for GLOW Corporate Cup

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August 7, 2015 - 5:25pm

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Genesee Cancer Assistance held its annual golf outing today at the Batavia Country Club.

Above, Andy Squire, of Spencerport, hits a shot off the first tee.

Below, Debbie and Dan Fischer, of WBTA, flank Mary Blevins and Andrea Mazukiewicz, ESL Credit Union, while playing bocce ball.

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August 7, 2015 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in history heroes, hlom, batavia.

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The History's Heroes summer educational program at the Holland Land Office Museum culminated today in historical scenes and music performed by the students who took part in the day camp at the museum. They performed in the Legislature chambers at the Old Courthouse.

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August 7, 2015 - 12:45pm
posted by Traci Turner in crime, batavia, Le Roy, Darien, elba, Stafford, pembroke.

Timothy J. Corke II, 28, of Liberty Street, Batavia, was arrested twice on Aug. 5 by Le Roy Police. Corke was arrested about 3:45 p.m. and charged with endangering the welfare of a child following an investigation into an incident. Corke allegedly threw a wristwatch at a 3-year-old child then slapped the child across the head causing bruises on the child's forehead and left eye. He was arraigned in the Le Roy Town Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice and a full stay away order of protection was issued. Later that night Corke was arrested again and charged with criminal contempt of court after he allegedly called the protected person violating the order of protection. He was arraigned and put in the Genesee County Jail on $2,000 bail.

Cherylann Bevilacqua, 29, of Depew, is charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest following a traffic stop on Sumner Road in Darien. Bevilacqua was a passenger and exited the vehicle while the driver was performing a sobriety test. Deputies told her to get back in the vehicle but she allegedly refused to do so. When confronted, she allegedly started to punch, scratch and spit at a deputy. She was put in the Genesee County Jail on $2,000 bail.

Joseph M. Platten, 31, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, leaving the scene of a property damaged accident, following too closely, backing unsafely, and no front plate after a hit and run accident on Ross Street Aug. 4. Platten allegedly rear-ended another vehicle and fled the scene cutting through a parking lot. Platten's front license plate fell off his vehicle at the scene of the accident. In addition to the charges, he was issued traffic tickets for driving with an obstructed view and disobeying a traffic control device. He posted $250 bail.

Andrew L. Kosiorek, 43, of Haven Lane, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, and unlicensed operator following a traffic stop by Officer Chad Richards on Cedar Street. Kosiorek allegedly had multiple suspensions/revocations and did not possess a valid driver's license in any state. He was put in Genesee County Jail without bail.

A 16-year-old from Elba is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under 21, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on a highway. Deputy Joseph Corona pulled over the youth on Clinton Street Road in Stafford.

A 17-year-old from Varysburg is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. The youth allegedly shot a BB gun pistol at the rear window of a vehicle causing it to shatter. The incident occurred in the parking lot at Walmart in Batavia.

Charles-Gus T. Williams, 36, of Lockport, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child after an alleged domestic incident on Liberty Street in Batavia. Williams is accused of punching another person.

Cynthia E. Houseknecht, 35, of Jackson Street, Batavia, and Melvin L. Thomas are charged with harassment, 2nd, following an investigation into an alleged domestic incident. 

Charles W. Lococo, 25, of Depew, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 percent or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, unlicensed operation, and failure to obey a police officer. While leaving the Kid Rock Concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Lococo was pulled over by deputies after he failed to obey a traffic direction. Lococo is accused of driving while in an intoxicated condition with no driver's license. He was also ticketed for allegedly refusing a prescreen device.

Ralph A. Jones, 24, from Oregon, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and driving while ability impaired by drugs following a traffic stop by Deputy Michael Lute on Alleghany Road in Pembroke.

Tera M. Williams, 42, of Bacon Street, Le Roy, was arrested on a bench warrant issued out of Batavia City Court after Chili Police pulled her over for a traffic stop. Williams is accused of failing to pay a fine for a disorderly conduct conviction. She was turned over to Batavia Police and issued an appearance ticket.

August 7, 2015 - 12:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 12 and 13, from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the general area north of East Main Street and east of Bank Street.

Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored. If you experience discoloration in your water after crews have been flushing in your neighborhood, clear the pipes in your home or business by running all water faucets for a minute or two.
Thank you-
Lieutenant Greg Ireland

August 7, 2015 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GLOW Corporate Cup, Merrill Lynch, batavia, business, sports.

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With 840 runners and walkers, 51 company teams and 42 corporate tents set up in Batavia's Centennial Park, the third year of the GLOW Corporate Cup proved to be the biggest yet.

The event, organized primarily by executives with the Merrill Lynch office in Batavia, will have raised more than $20,000 for the GLOW YMCA once receipts are tallied.

Batavia City Schools fielded the winning team and Corey Brown of Crickler Vending posted the race's fastest time at 17:42.

The organizers got a lot of positive feedback, said Joshua Dent, a VP with Merrill Lynch.

"If they're serious runners, the racers are very happy with the course Steve Tufts set up," Dent said. "It runs like a professional race. Then, unlike most races, there is this incredible after-party that makes it unique and different. The environment is fun. So we get the serious runners who are happy with the event, and then the businesses who participate and send walkers and then get to hang out after and listen to a band and they're satisfied as well. Those two aspect help make it a successful and unique event."

Dent looks forward to seeing the event grow, especially as the promoters work to attract more corporate teams from Orleans, Livingston and Wyoming counties.

It's gratifying to see the hard work of Tufts and John Ritter pay off in a big way for the GLOW YMCA, Dent said.

"It obviously means a lot to be able to give that much back to the community," Dent said. "The support of all the volunteers means so much. There's just an incredible amount of work that goes into putting this together. John Riter and Steve Tufts worked tirelessly to pull this off.

"It's not a one-day process. It's days and days and days. So to see the culmination, to see all the businesses that participate and do something that is fun and good for you and get the chance to hang out on a beautiful day and network, it clicked on all points."

UPDATE: Photos posted previously were from last year.

Top photo: City fire's team.

If you have photos to share, e-mail them this morning to [email protected]

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Upstate Toyota's team.

Three photos below, from Genesee Community College.

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Photo from Elizabeth Downie

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The Crickler Vending team. Photo submitted by Bob Brown.

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Reader submitted, but company ID not included. Will try to update when we get it.

August 6, 2015 - 6:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

An ATV is reportedly on fire at Bank and Vine street. City firefighters are en route.

August 6, 2015 - 4:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, chamber of commerce.

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The smoke-gray, vinyl-sided building may not look like much now, but when Genesee County Chamber of Commerce officials gaze upon the vacant house converted into office space on Park Road, they see a spruced-up facade and a big sign that says "Visitors Center."

It's been a decades-long dream for the Chamber to relocate its headquarters and visitors bureau to space closer to the Thruway exit in the Park Road/Oak Street area.

Now plans are coming together to purchase this building on Park Road across from the Sheriff's Office and just south of the Clarion Hotel.

The building isn't as visible as something right at Park and Oak, but it will still be plenty visible to visitors passing through Genesee County, said Chamber President Tom Turnbull.

"The location is right in the middle of everything," Turnbull said. "There are 800 hotel rooms right in the area. There's the Clarion, Batavia Downs, Alex's, Applebee's. It's where we want to be. It's someplace where we can capture people as they come into the area and bring them into the county. That's what we've always wanted to do. That's been the dream to get there."

There's a sign outside the current chamber offices in the City Church building on East Main Street that says, "Visitors Center," but tourists rarely stop there. There's also the visitors hut in the parking lot of the Holland Land Office Museum, but with the median on Route 5 restricting traffic flow, it's hard to access and is seldom visited.

Turnbull thinks the proposed location on Park Road will get more tourist activity and help the tourism staff and volunteers do a better job of guiding people to the abundance of sightseeing opportunities locally, from HLOM, to Darien Lake, to the Jell-O Museum to Genesee County Park & Forest and the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

"We want to get people out into the county," Turnbull said.

Turnbull has heard from the critics, the people who are skeptical or concerned about chamber leaving Downtown.

We can do more for Main Street out there than we can down here," Turnbull said, adding, "The chamber itself might be better off here, but tourism isn't. While the chamber can be good out there, tourism can be great out there."

The location, at 8276 Park Road, was first spotted on Google Maps when a committee of chamber members were scouring the area for a potential location.

Turnbull admits that at first he didn't see the potential for the building.

"My vision isn't very good," Turnbull said. "I looked at it and said it's an ugly old house, but start talking to people and they say you can dress it up and put a nice facade on it."

Ed Smart has been hired to do a feasibility study and initial architectural drawings so officials can see just what can be done with the building.

Turnbull remembers the chamber talking about a project like this in 2000, when he was president of the Board of Directors, and in 2001, the chamber was about to purchase the former armory at Oak and Park, but then the 9/11 tragedy happened and the federal government decided it wanted to hold onto its buildings. The INS now occupies that space.

Then in 2007, the chamber and Town of Batavia started talking about a joint facility a little further west on Park Road, where Park turns south and Veterans Memorial Drive splits off to the west.

The plan was to open a joint court facility shared with Elba and Oakfield. But Elba and Oakfield backed out of the project as it neared the approval stage, so its languished since, which is what sent the chamber on a quest to find another potential location to fulfill its dreams.

The chamber has made a purchase offer that is contingent on the outcome of the study.

The plan is to tap into the $500,000-bed-tax reserve to pay for the tourism bureau's portion of the project. This is the kind of project the bed tax is meant to help fund, Turnbull said -- and County Manager Jay Gsell agrees -- and so the chamber will seek County Legislature approval for the expenditure of nearly all of the reserve.

The bed-tax money can only be used for the facade to promote tourism and the downstairs portion of the building that will be used as a visitors center. That is the bulk of the cost of the project.

But since this project is primarily about promoting tourism, Turnbull said he expects tourism revenue to fund some 70 to 80 percent of the total project. The chamber itself will pay for the balance and he said that balance is within the chamber's financial reach.

If the project goes through, the new visitor center could open in about a year.

August 6, 2015 - 4:04pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, Holland Land Office Museum, history heroes.

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As part of the History Heroes summer program, the Holland Land Office Musuem held its first penny carnival this afternoon. The kids were responsible for creating their own games. Some of the activities included a ping-pong toss, bowling, obstacle course and duck pond.

The museum has been hosting the summer history education program for five years. Museum Director Jeffrey Donahue decided to have an outdoor carnival this year to celebrate the bicentennial of the Holland Land Office building. Over the past two weeks, the kids have been learning about the history of landmarks in Batavia, firefighting and aviation.

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August 6, 2015 - 1:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in foxprowl collectables, batavia, business.

Press release:

Foxprowl Collectables is celebrating being open five years at 440 Ellicott St. in the City of Batavia, this Saturday Aug. 8. Former Heavyweight Champion TNA Wrestler ERIC YOUNG will be at the store doing autographs and taking pictures with fans from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.!

Foxprowl Collectables opened against the odds during the recession and the state's Ellicott Street lane reduction project. But it has since created local jobs and grown into a
Batavia attraction for many out-of-town and out-of-state consumers.

The event "Foxprowl-Con" promises to bring high-profile attention to the city and the store, continuing the rapid growth of Foxprowl Collectables.

Saturday's event will include free hot dogs and sodas, giveaways and more. See you there!

August 6, 2015 - 11:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chalk the walk, Summer in the City, batavia, downtown, GO ART!.

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Gena Korn and Jennifer Gray are creating a bit of chalk artwork in front of City Hall this morning to help promote GO ART!s Chalk the Walk event Aug. 15 during Summer in the City. (Photo by Howard Owens).

Press release:

GO ART! will be presenting the second annual Chalk the Walk on Aug. 15th from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. during Summer in the City. Artists, professional and amateur and young and old, will be able to purchase a square section of concrete by the City Center to decorate with chalk pastels. There will also be a children’s section for fun scribbling.

Using materials available, artists will follow the theme “GO ART!...Where does art take YOU?” to create inspired pieces for a crowd of more than 2,000 people. Prizes will be awarded to those whose pieces are most outstanding. Adult First Prize will be $250. People’s Choice Award will be a $20 Alex’s Place gift card, two T-shirts, and two mugs. The Youth Prize will be a basket of goodies worth over $50.

A jury will select the winners for Adult First Prize and the Youth Prize. People’s Choice will be chosen by the general public by way of donation voting (ie: the art piece that receives the most donation money will be the People’s Choice winner). All donations collected for the People’s Choice Award will go to funding GO ART! youth programs.

To sign up for this event, people need to register online at http://www.goart.org/chalk-the-walk/ or register in person at GO ART!, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, from Tuesday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. People can also sign up and pay the day of the event but it is highly encouraged to do so ahead of time.

Remember, no one is officially registered until payment is received. Fees are $20 for adults (18+) and $10 for Youths (17 & under). Every registered artist will receive a box of chalks and a drink to get them started. There will be a chalk swap area where people can trade out their chalks for other colors they need. Artists are encouraged to bring their own chalks as well.

It is important to assure that each artist and their work, as well as the event itself, is respected, so there will be rules and regulations. These are available on the Web site at athttp://www.goart.org/chalk-the-walk/.

People can find updates on Chalk the Walk by going to the Web site:http://www.goart.org/chalk-the-walk/ or by following Chalk the Walk on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/BataviaStreetPaintingFestival.

Please consider participating! It's going to be a great event! If you have any questions, please feel free to phone 585-343-9313 or visit [email protected].

August 6, 2015 - 11:19am
posted by Traci Turner in crime, Le Roy, batavia, byron.

Jessica Horton, 25, of Telephone Road, Le Roy, is charged with seven counts of offering a false instrument for filing, 1st, and grand larceny, 3rd, following an investigation by the Genesee County Department of Social Services. Horton is accused of receiving more than $10,000 in Temporary Assistance and Food Stamp benefits that she was not entitled to after she submitted various forms stating her two children were residing with her when they were not. She was put in the Genesee County Jail on $5,000 bail.

Tia E. Schmieder, 23, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, and identity theft, 2nd. Schmieder allegedly used another person's Target credit card without authorization to purchase $2,685 worth of merchandise from the Batavia store. Schmieder also is accused of using the same person's Bank of America credit card account number to obtain services exceeding $1,482 at Alex's Place and Best Western Crown Inn in Batavia.

Yolanda E. Johnson, 29, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with two counts of petit larceny following an investigation into a report of money that was allegedly stolen from a Byron resident. Johnson is accused of stealing money on two occasions while she was working at the person's home as an aide.

August 6, 2015 - 11:16am
posted by Traci Turner in crime, batavia.

A Batavia man involved in the Summit Street raid in December received eight years in state prison yesterday, the maximum sentence available to Judge Robert C. Noonan.

Philip R. Ayala, 30, of Summit Street, was given the maximum sentence after he was arrested on additional felony possession of a controlled substance charges earlier today.

The recent charges result from an incident on July 9 when Ayala was arrested on a sealed indictment warrant out of Orleans County while on Vine Street in Batavia. When Ayala was arrested, he allegedly possessed 62 bags of crack cocaine.

Those charges violate the plea offer he accepted in June regarding the raid in December.

On June 3, Ayala pled guilty to fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class C felony. After a $40,000 bond was posted for him, he was released until sentencing scheduled for Aug. 4. With the plea deal, he would have received no more than five years in prison if he didn't break any more laws prior to the sentencing date.

Due to Ayala's additional pending drug charges after he was released, Noonan adjourned the sentencing yesterday to conduct a pre-sentencing investigation. The sentencing resumed after Ayla was arrested today.

Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl requested that Ayala be given the max.

"One thing that is clear is the defendant is deeply committed to drug dealing and undertakes it as a business venture," Zickl said. "Ayala's criminal record and recent charges suggest he will never stop dealing drugs."

Ayala's attorney Jamie Welch argued that the defendant didn't violate the plea offer because he wasn't arrested prior to the original date of sentencing, Aug. 4. As a result, he stated the judge should impose no more than five years in prison.

Ayala made a short statement telling the judge he knew what he did was wrong and that he was sorry.

After hearing all the statements, Noonan said this was not the first time he has adjourned a sentencing to conduct an investigation after a defendant has been accused of additional charges. Noonan stated Ayala did violate the offer and should receive a longer prison sentence. Thus, Ayala was sentenced to eight years in state prison and three years post-release supervision.

August 5, 2015 - 7:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia.

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From this day forward, when city firefighters pass down the hall leading into the aparatus bay to answer an alarm for a fire or medical call, they will pass a picture of Capt. Loren J. Michel, the only city firefighter to ever die in the line of duty.

The memorial to Michel also contains his badge, ID and the page from the logbook of his final call Aug. 5, 1965.

Looking over the mementos of his late friend, Bill Benedict stared at each item intently. It was a sad, sad day, the day he died, Benedict said.

"A lot of sadness that day," he said. "I was there that day. I was driving the aerial truck. I was on the top floor ventilating the roof. After I cut a hole in the roof, I nearly passed out with the gas. It was bad, bad gas."

The structure fire was reported at 402 Bank St. and a resident indicated her two children might still be inside. As acting chief that day, Michel led his crew into the house, kicking down the front door. As firefighters entered ahead of him, a fireball of flames exploded out of the house and Michel apparently inhaled the flames, burning his lungs. His face was also burned.

Michel was not wearing an air pack and staggered out of the house to get some oxygen. Wilbur Hinz, president of the Western New York Volunteer Firemen's Association, helped Michel walk to the truck.

Hinz drove Michel to Genesee Memorial Hospital.

Michel told Hinz to go to his house and tell his wife and daughter that he would be OK. By the time Hinz returned to ER, Michel was dead.

The service today, attended by members of Michel's family, included prayer and remembrances. A plaque was dedicated that will be placed on the outside of the fire hall and a wreath was lain at the grave of Michel in Grandview Cemetery.

The service was intended to recall the kind of man Michel was and his dedication to firefighting. He was an instructor, instrumental in creating the mutual aid and emergency management coordination that is still in place today.

He served the city for 24 years and was an honorary member of every volunteer fire company in the county.

"Capt. Michel's death was a devastating loss to his family, his community and the entire fire service," said Adam Palumbo, president of Local 896.

Palumbo and firefighter Mike Dorgan took the lead in organizing today's service.

Leonard Smatak, a firefighter and son-in-law of Michel's, recalled how this fallen hero devoted his life to serving others.

He shared one story of a structure fire that started with a boy who accidently lit his sister's bed on fire. The alarm was sounded quickly and the house was saved, but the boy was nowhere in sight when it was all over. Firefighters and police began a neighborhood search, but Michel said he would handle matters.

He figured the boy was hiding in the house, and he was right. Soon he and the boy came walking out of the house hand-in-hand. Michel sat the boy on the front seat of a fire truck and had a private chat with him. Smatak said that to this day, that boy, now a man, credits Michel with changing his life.

"To truly honor Capt. Michel in all that you do, do it right the first time, take no shortcuts, do it by the numbers, just as you were all trained to do," Smatak said.

Standing before the memorial, all city firefighters will pass from this day forward. Benedict said he'll never forget his friend or that tragic day.

"He was a nice man, a good leader," Benedict said. "Everybody liked him. He was well respected. We all miss him."

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Firefighter Greg Ireland presents the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the service.

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Firefighter and Local 896 President Adam Palumbo with opening remarks.

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City Fire Chief Jim Maxwell.

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Firefighter Ryan Hendershott sounds the final bells for Capt. Michel.

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Michael Szustak and Michel Lujan

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Retired firefighter, Capt. Mike Mullen.

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The service pin, as shown above, is the same one city firefighters will wear from now on on their Class A uniforms to honor Capt. Michel and the date of his death.

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The laying of the wreath at Grandview Cemetery.

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Four of the county's volunteer firefighters pay tribute to Capt. Michel.

August 5, 2015 - 4:30pm

Hog For Paws will be held on Saturday, Aug. 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Stan’s Harley Davidson, Inc., 4425 W. Saile Drive in Batavia. Hogs for Paws is a fundraising and reunion event for our local Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Activities at the event: 

  • Microchipping for dogs and cats­ $30; Obedience Training with the K­9 Kahuna K­9 Demonstration; Face Painting;
  • Magic w/Joe; 50/50 Raffle; T­shirt sale Vendors Open Arms Rescue;
  • NEW this Year! 100-MILE RIDE -- $10 per person (includes lunch);
  • Kickstands up at 10 a.m.;
  • Lunch -- $5 per person -- All monies are donated to Volunteers for Animals -- includes a hotdog, salad and a drink. Thank you for your support! 

You can also show your support on: http://www.gofundme.com/vw967fc

August 5, 2015 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in comics, Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, entertainment.

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Comics have been a hobby, a career and now an ambition for Batavia resident Dan Hosek.

The Long Island native is a former Marvel Comics editor who came to Western New York when his wife started school at SUNY Brockport. He happened to work for a graphics company at the time that had an office in Buffalo. They settled in Batavia, and now Hosek is a free-lance graphic designer.

But he still has a passion for the comic book business, and love that goes back to his childhood and a passion that survived a rocky bankruptcy reorganization by Marvel in the 1990s.

Hosek shared some of his expertise in comic book creation, marketing and distribution with a room of like-minded people at the Richmond Memorial Library on Tuesday night.

His advice: If you want to get published, work at it. Be prepared for long hours and don't be afraid to self-publish -- that can be a road success.

It's certainly a road he and his partners Keith Koppenhoefer and Ryan Gutierrez hope helps propel their series, File 13, to a bigger audience.

The trio hatched the idea for the series a few years ago -- based primarily on a character developed by Hosek when he was 12 years old. A year ago, they raised enough money through a Kickstarter campaign to get the first edition printed.  

Without a distributor, however, it's been a lot of work getting the comic book onto store shelves, but they have been making headway and sales.

"The micro-distribution route, that can be a full-time job in itself," Hosek said. "Calling comic shops, visiting comic shops, sending e-mails, and the whole follow-up is a lot of work, but we're getting there. It's growing. We're hoping the numbers get high enough that we can go back to Diamond (the only comic book distributor in the nation) and say 'we've sold this many,' and hopefully they'll look at the numbers and look at what we're doing and decide to distribute it."

The story is about two twin brothers who inherited a company and they have opposing views on the value of science. One brother believes science should only be used for the greater good, while the other believes science should be used in the service of the bottom line of the company they own. One brother is fired from the company, and he steals battle armor developed by the company. This leads to a whole universe of super heros who return to Earth after not being around since the 1980s.

While being both one of the creators and part of the whole marketing and distribution effort is a lot of work, the reception File 13 has received has been worth it, Hosek said.

"When you hold that finished comic book in your hands or somebody tells you how much they enjoyed it, it's a reward, so part of the drive comes from that, hearing from other people that they liked it and that you're producing something other people enjoyed," Hosek said.

You can find out more about the comic book series at www.whatisfile13.com, like the series on Facebook, or purchase editions at Foxprowl Collectables on Ellicott Street, Batavia.

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August 5, 2015 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in National Night Out, Birchwood Village, batavia.

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The City of Batavia hosted its annual National Night Out community event at Birchwood Village on Tuesday evening.

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