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June 6, 2015 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, religion, St. James Episcopal Church.

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St. James Episcopal Church celebrated 200 years in Batavia today with a special service highlighted by musical performances and officiated by Bishop William Franklin of the Western New York Diocese and former interim pastor Allen Farabbe.

A six-piece brass ensemble and percussion section, led by Dave Porter, performed “Fanfare for the Common Man,” “Crown Him With Many Crowns,” “Lift High the Cross” and “Christ is Made the Sure Foundation.”

The Genesee Chorale, conducted by Ric Jones, also performed, with accompaniment by pianist Doug Henson.

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June 6, 2015 - 1:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pudgie's Lawn and Garden, Gardening, batavia.

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Pudgie's Garden Center hosted a butterfly clinic today taught by Ardell Olin. Visitors could learn about what plants attract butterflies and the type of habitats they prefer. (For example, they like rocks to land on to dry their wings.)

Above, Tracy Dean, of Alexander, with her son Keith prepare to leave with a couple of plant purchases after talking with Olin.

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June 6, 2015 - 1:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in VA Hospital, veterans, PTSD, batavia.

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The names of five more veterans were added to a walkway of honor at the VA's PTSD Clinic in Batavia this afternoon. There are 45 names on the walkway. Each year, the names of those who have been through the PTSD program but passed in the previous year are added to the walkway.

June 6, 2015 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in 5K, sports, all babies cherished, batavia.

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The first runner rounds the corner on Bank Street this morning to start a 5K race benefiting All Babies Cherished.

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June 6, 2015 - 6:00am


HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO BUILD!! The opportunity to have prime pick of what is going to be a beautiful neighborhood! Super location for this new development that is close to all amenities but when you drive in, is like living in the country. Surrounded and backed up to fields and woods, has perks of sewer and public water! It doesn't take a lot to envision your dream home here! All APPROVED & READY TO BUILD you can bring your own plans and favorite contractor or can choose from six already made prints! Batavia hasn't seen anything like this in many years! Come see and be a part of this new and exciting community! Oakwood Hills is located at 5101 E. Main Street Road, Town of Batavia. For more information or questions, please call Lynn Bezon at 585-344-4663.

June 5, 2015 - 8:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lawn Fete, batavia.

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The 59th annual Resurrection Parish Lawn Fete is under way.

Festivities continue tomorrow from 1 to 11 p.m., and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday outside the church, 2 Summit St.

The annual parade is tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

There are rides, raffles, live music, games and a beer tent to keep both the kiddies and adults entertained.

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June 5, 2015 - 1:48pm
posted by Traci Turner in crime, corfu, batavia, Stafford, elba, Le Roy, darien center.

David A. Simpson, 34, of Pittsford, was charged with speeding, aggravated unlicensed operator, 2nd, and felony criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, on Route 77 in Corfu. Simpson is accused of having a butterfly knife after he was previously convicted of a crime. He was jailed on $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond.

Dillon M. Brito, 23, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a narcotic drug with intent to sell, a Class C felony. Brito was allegedly found in possession of crack cocaine in the parking lot at Kibbe Park. He was jailed without bail.

Nicholas J. Elmore, 26, of Colonial Boulevard, Batavia, was charged and arraigned on a bench warrant for theft of services charge. Elmore allegedly committed the offense in the City of Batavia. He was held on a detainer from the City of Batavia Court and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash/bond.

Shane M. Nugent, 30, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after he was pulled over on Route 77 in Corfu for speeding, uninspected motor vehicle and aggravated unlicensed operator, 3rd.

Samantha A. Talmon, 26, of Main Road, Corfu, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and operation of an uninspected motor vehicle on Main Street in Oakfield.

Dustin R. Benham, 25, of Darien Center, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Benham was allegedly stopped on Route 77 in Corfu for not wearing a seat belt.

Scott D. Smith, 39, of Ridge Road, Brockport, was pulled over for allegedly possessing a small quantity of marijuana and speeding on Route 77 in Pembroke.

Coty A. Patrizi, 24, of East Main Road, Le Roy, is charged with the unlawful possession of marijuana and operating a vehicle without brake lights on Main Street in Batavia. Patrizi allegedly possessed a marijuana grinder and some marijuana.

Larry D. Williams, 57, of Elba, was charged with violation of ENCON laws. Williams was accused of burning tires.

Stephen M. Tytler, 28, of Beahan Road, Rochester, voluntarily turned himself in to the Batavia Police Department after he allegedly failed to appear in court for an aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 3rd. The City of Batavia had issued an active bench warrant on him. 

Scott R. Krieger, 39, of Dumon Street, Rochester, is charged with having an unlicensed vehicle on his property on Law Street, Batavia. Krieger was arrested on a warrant issued by the Batavia City Court. He is accused of being in violation of the Batavia Municipal Code for an unlicensed vehicle on various dates in 2007. 

Megan J. Thomas, 33, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Thomas allegedly left two children unattended in a running vehicle at the Batavia City Centre.

Garrett C. Gildner, 40, of Andiron Lane, Rochester, was arrested on two Batavia City Court warrants for allegedly failing to pay a fine for municipal violations. Gildner was previously charged with Batavia Municipal Code violations for hedge height and corner visibility and a loose metal fence on West Main Street in Batavia. 

Alicia M. Warney, 29, of West Ridge Road, Brockport, was arrested for a bench warrant on West Main Street in Batavia. Warney allegedly failed to appear in jail for a violation. She was held on $1,000 bail.

Andrew J. Darling, 40, of Route 237, Stafford, was charged with petit larceny. He is accused of stealing a cell phone valued at $200. The incident happened on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia.

A Le Roy youth is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. He allegedly caused damage to a closet door. He was arraigned in the Le Roy Town Court and put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $250 bail. An order of protection was also issued.

June 5, 2015 - 1:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Police Facility.

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The way Ron Panek sees it, there's no way the city should build a police station at the Salvation Army location on Jackson Street.

Panek is Batavia's certified floodplain manager, trained by FEMA in Washington, D.C., on issues related to floodplains in municipal areas.

The Police Facilities Task Force, which had winnowed possible locations for a new police HQ down to three locations, including Jackson Street, heard from Panek and Assistant City Manager Gretch Difante during a meeting Thursday evening.

"As floodplain manager, I have to strongly discourage (the Jackson Street location)," Panek said. "I can't tell you, you know, you can't do this, but common sense should tell you that in a catastrophic event, we don't want our critical response facility in a floodplain."

Panek said he decided to bring his concerns to the assistant city manager and city manager after he saw Jackson Street was still under consideration by the committee after eliminating several other proposed locations.

The task force considered what Panek and Difante had to say and as a matter of consensus, agreed to drop the Salvation Army location from consideration.

It's not just the obvious problem of the facility becoming potentially unusable during a flood emergency that concerned task force members, it's also what such a building decision could do to the price of flood insurance for city residents.

There are two programs that impact local insurance rates and evaluators for both programs would take a dim view of the city building critical response facility in a floodplain.

Both Difante and Panek hedged on any sort of guarantee that rates would go up, but certainly left the impression that would be the expected outcome.

The issue is important to all residents of the city, Difante said.

"There are 1,050 properties in the special flood-hazard area," Difante said. "Without some kind of relief, these individuals can't sell their homes. Some have had to abandon properties, or they can't afford repairs or they wind up in a short sale for a loss. Do we really believe that if 1,050 properties suffer we don't all suffer? It affects the whole city."

There are residents, City Manager Jason Molino said, paying more than $1,000 a year in flood insurance, which is higher than their city taxes. He said taking two houses, one in a floodplain and one not, and doing a comparison on lot size, building size and year built, a house in the flood zone is assessed at about 15 percent less than a house in a flood area.

The city has been a part of the National Flood Insurance Program since 1977. The current city fire station and Falleti Ice Arena complex was build with federal grants prior to 1977. If the city was seeking similar funding today, there's no way the government would fund that facility in a floodplain.

The location of the fire hall in a floodplain is another reason, Molino said, that the city shouldn't also build a police station in a floodplain, even though a new building would be elevated, use other strategies to mitigate flood damage.

"If you have a catastrophic event, I'm sure the building would be good, but it would be surrounded by water," Molino said. "You wouldn't have access to it. You wouldn't have utilities. You wouldn't be able to use it."

Under the NFIP, FEMA could tack on a $20 surcharge on everybody's flood insurance policy if the city built a new police headquarters in a flood zone.

"We are obligated to follow FEMA's rules and regulations," Panek said. "If we do not follow all of the rules of FEMA, which highly discourages building critical response facilities in flood zones, we could be sanctioned by the NFIP."

One of Difante's tasks since starting her job last year has been to get the city into a federal program that, essentially, helps lower insurance rates for property owners. The city's flood readiness and mitigation efforts are rated, points are assessed; and the higher the point total, the lower the insurance rates.

Difante met with a federal auditor May 14 and that date is a significant demarcation on how the city is scored going forward. In other words, the location of the fire hall doesn't hurt the city's score, because it's pre-existing, but building a new critical response facility in a floodplain could potentially lower the city's score.

"(May 14) was Day 1," Difante said. "That day started the new rules. They're going to look at things differently. It's not a clean mathematical scale. There is so much human decision making that goes into it. It's subjective, so I don't want to say it will hurt our score, but they can take points off for that, yes. Does that mean rates go higher? I don't know if we can say that. There are also other ways we can make up points. It's a very multifacited, multilayered system."

The decision to drop Jackson Street leaves the task force looking at two final locations -- Alva Place and Bank Street, in the heart of Downtown Batavia, and at the former Wiard Plow Factory location on Swan Street.  The task force is inviting the public to a 6 p.m. meeting June 23 to hear a presentation on how the task force arrived at the two final locations and to solicit public feedback. The meeting will be in Council Chambers at City Hall.

Near the close of Thursday night's meeting, task force members raised the issue of what happens to the Brisbane Mansion if the police vacate the building for a new facility. A couple of task force members were worried some residents might raise that as a concern. Chairman Marc Staley said there is an easy answer to that question: The task force wasn't charged with deciding the fate of the Brisbane Mansion. That is beyond the purview of what it was asked to study.

June 5, 2015 - 12:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported in front of the Deli Express, 8204 Park Road. Town of Batavia Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 1:01 p.m.: A second ambulance is called to the scene. Injuries are minor.

June 5, 2015 - 12:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in art, BID, Centennial Arts Fest, batavia.

Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) is sponsoring the Centennial Arts Fest, exhibiting artists work from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, in Jackson Square. This event is in conjunction with the City of Batavia’s Centennial celebration.

Centennial Arts will be an outdoor gallery displaying artists of any age, media and location around Western New York. This is a free event for artists to display three or four pieces of their best work. The public is invited to browse and buy art during the show.

There is still room for artists to display and/or sell their work!  The B.I.D. Promotion Committee will be offering a $100 prize for the “People’s Choice” award for the best all-around artist.

If you are interested in exhibiting in Centennial Arts or have questions please contact Don Burkel at dburkel@downtownbataviany.com or call (585) 344-0900 for an application.

June 5, 2015 - 12:44pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, downtown, construction.

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National Fuel is doing repairs on gas lines on East Main Street, Batavia. The sidewalk is closed in front of the former Carr's department store. The construction is expected to be completed in a few hours.

June 5, 2015 - 8:41am
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, BID, business.

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(Laurie Oltramari)

Laurie Oltramari, new Batavia Business Improvement District director, has a passion for urban design and architecture.

Oltramari is currently the assistant BID director and has worked with the organization for three and a half years. She will replace Don Burkel, director of the BID, who is retiring, and take over as the new director at the end of July. 

She was offered the director position after submitting her application and being reviewed by the BID hiring committee. The committee was formed to give more than 50 applicants a fair shot at the job. The committee included members of the BID board and community members.

As the new director, one task she would like to accomplish is to reach out to the public for their input and let Burkel's contacts know her door is always open. According to Oltramari, you need community involvement for a city to be successful. 

"I want to continue on the legacy that Don has left and what's been done and what has worked," Oltramari said. "Just like when you do a business you need to reevaluate every year so that's what I plan to do."

Another component she thinks is important for Batavia is the BID's ability to manage and balance event planning, help business development, and foster "placemaking," which is a quiet movement that is inspiring people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Placemaking is a multifaceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces that capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and well being.

"You have to create a place where people want to be and you can't just flap down some papers and put on your facade and your good to go," OItramari said. "It comes down to details and that is where her urban design background comes into play."

Oltramari was born in Hornell and grew up in Belmont. Her father owned an excavating and construction company, which is the reason she has always loved architecture and design. She received her undergraduate degree from SUNY Geneseo in 1999 and master's degree in Architecture and Urban Design in 2003. 

Oltramari has lived in Batavia for nine years with her husband, Felipe Oltramari, director of the Genesee County Planning Department, and their two daughters. Batavia is very different from the small town that she grew up in.

"I like Batavia because it's very family friendly and safe," Oltramari said. "It has all the amenities of a big city without being a big city. There is a real level of comfort here and it's big enough that you don't run into everybody you know but when you do it's really special."

For the future of small business in Batavia, she thinks businesses have to bring out the community in people like they used to. Face-to-face interactions and personal customer service gives small businesses an advantage against Internet businesses.

"I think the biggest competition is the Internet and it's back to TV again," Oltramari said. "People are doing the binge watching of Netflix so they will stay in and have food at home instead of going to a restaurant like people usually do for entertainment."

Upcoming BID events include the Jackson Square Concert Series, Downtown Batavia Public Market and the Centennial Arts Fest.

June 4, 2015 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in jackson square concerts, music, batavia, downtown.

Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) is sponsoring the 16th Annual Jackson Square Concert Series, each one is from 7 to 9 p.m. on Fridays, June 12th – Aug. 28th, in Downtown Batavia. Free to the public. Food and refreshments available. Rain Days at Batavia City Centre. Bring your own seating. More Info: Don Burkel at B.I.D. at 585-344-0900. Visit: www.downtownbataviany.com

The Jackson Square Concerts “ Friday Nights In The Square” will be featuring:

  • Genesee Symphony (Friday, June 12th)
  • Emerald Isle (June 26th)
  • Fat City (July 3rd)
  • Mitty & The Followers (July 10th)
  • Penny Whiskey (July 17th)
  • OHMS Band (July 24th)
  • Ghost Riders (July 31st)
  • Ghost Riders Drum & Bugle (July 31st)
  • It’s My Party (Aug. 7th)
  • Bluesway Band (Aug. 14th)
  • John Cole Blues Band (Aug. 21st)
  • C’est Bon Dance Band (Aug. 28th)
June 4, 2015 - 2:27pm
posted by Lisa Ace in crossroads house, garage sale, batavia, ny.
Event Date and Time: 
July 25, 2015 -
9:00am to 12:00pm

July 23­-25, 2015 – Annual Crossroads House Garage Sale. Thursday & Friday 9am – 4pm & Saturday 9am – Noon – Behind Ficarella’s on School Street. Drop off s are being accepted at CH or to have items picked up contact Jackie at 585­-734­-0125 or Tami at 585­-205­-1906. Volunteers will be at CH on Tuesdays from 9am – 1pm and Thursdays from 4pm – 7pm from May 19 to July 9. To make a drop off, please call CH first at 585-343­-3892 to ensure a volunteer can help you as resident needs will continue to be the priority.

June 4, 2015 - 2:26pm
posted by Lisa Ace in crossroads house, garage sale, batavia, ny.
Event Date and Time: 
July 24, 2015 -
9:00am to 4:00pm

July 23­-25, 2015 – Annual Crossroads House Garage Sale. Thursday & Friday 9am – 4pm & Saturday 9am – Noon – Behind Ficarella’s on School Street. Drop off s are being accepted at CH or to have items picked up contact Jackie at 585­-734­-0125 or Tami at 585­-205­-1906. Volunteers will be at CH on Tuesdays from 9am – 1pm and Thursdays from 4pm – 7pm from May 19 to July 9. To make a drop off, please call CH first at 585-343­-3892 to ensure a volunteer can help you as resident needs will continue to be the priority.

June 4, 2015 - 2:25pm
posted by Lisa Ace in crossroads house, garage sale, batavia, ny.
Event Date and Time: 
July 23, 2015 -
9:00am to 4:00pm

July 23­-25, 2015 – Annual Crossroads House Garage Sale Thursday & Friday 9am – 4pm & Saturday 9am – Noon – Behind Ficarella’s on School Street. Drop off s are being accepted at CH or to have items picked up contact Jackie at 585­-734­-0125 or Tami at 585­-205­-1906. Volunteers will be at CH on Tuesdays from 9am – 1pm and Thursdays from 4pm – 7pm from May 19 to July 9. To make a drop off, please call CH first at 585-343­-3892 to ensure a volunteer can help you as resident needs will continue to be the priority 

June 4, 2015 - 2:15pm
Event Date and Time: 
July 11, 2015 -
9:15am to 5:00pm

July 11, 2015 – 5th Annual Jerry “Rat” Cone Memorial Run Starting and finishing at Stan’s Harley Davidson, 4425 W. Saile Dr., Batavia,. Registration begins at 9:15am with the ride line up at 11am. Driver’s $20/Riders $5 (Donation includes pancake breakfast, tailgate grilling after ride & one raffle ticket) All proceeds go to Crossroads House. 

June 4, 2015 - 12:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in aviation, batavia.

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A Cessna airplane have landing gear difficulties needs to make an emergency landing at the Genesee County Airport, according to the FAA facility in Rochester. Town of Batavia Fire Department is dispatched to the airport in case they are needed when the plane lands. Only the pilot is aboard and the plane is carrying five hours worth of fuel.

UPDATE 12:39 p.m.: Mercy medics are also responding.

UPDATE 12:41 p.m.: "You will observe a low-flying plane approaching the runway," says a dispatcher. "They are trying to get the landing gear down manually." The airport is located at 4701 E. Saile Drive.

UPDATE 1:09 p.m.: The plane safely landed with all three landing wheels touching ground. Mercy medics are back in service, along with Town of Batavia. (There are three sets of landing wheels on the Cessna, in front, on left, and the right of the fuselage.)

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Top photo is of the pilot and plane heading to the hangar. Photo above, seconds after a safe landing.

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The Cessna passing over the airport for a visual inspection of his gear by ground crews.

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The pilot with ground crew members looking over his plane shortly after being pulled into the hangar.

The pilot declined an interview request, but he could be heard telling a member of the ground crew when his cockpit door was first opened, "that scared the shit out of me."

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The pilot, safe in the hangar. He was flying from Batavia to Rochester when he experienced a problem with his gear and returned to Batavia for a possible emergency landing. The gear functioned properly on landing.

 

June 4, 2015 - 12:29pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in crime, batavia, murder, Attica.

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Charlene Mess pled not guilty today in Wyoming County Court to the seven count indictment handed down by the Grand Jury. Mess is accused of murdering her husband Douglas Mess, April 19, at their farm in Attica. Douglas Mess was found dead April 20, following a missing persons report filed earlier that day. The 52-year-old farmer and Baskin Livestock employee was found stabbed, shot in the back of the head and buried under a pile of manure on the farm the couple owned and worked.

Charlene Mess is charged with murder in the second degree, a Class A felony; criminal use of a firearm in the first degree, a Class B felony; assault in the first degree, a Class B felony; assault in the second degree, a Class D felony; tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony; offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a Class E felony; and making a punishable false written statement, a Class A misdemeanor.

“There are seven counts in the indictment, with the most serious charge of murder in the second degree,” said Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen. “The allegations contained that the murder was performed by Mrs. Mess with a small caliber, .22, weapon. The evidence revealed... The allegations are that Mr. Mess was shot in the back of the head. Mrs. Mess pled not guilty, which is typical at this state of the proceeding.”

Wyoming County Court Judge Michael Mohan set bail at $1 million cash or $2 million bond. It was stated that Charlene Mess sold all her livestock at a significant profit and therefore has the resources for the bail set.

“It is our understanding that those resources are tied up,” said Public Defense Council Greg Kilburn. “Mrs. Mess is a lifelong resident of Wyoming County, a graduate of Letchworth High School, is 48 years old, and has no criminal record. We submit bail to be set at $100,000.”

“Because of the possibility of the risk of flight,” Mohan said. “I will set bail at $1 million cash and $2 million bond.”

“With this type of case, the person, when they are facing life in prison, they are considered a very high flight risk,” O’Geen said. “Bail is about flight risk. I wanted to make sure that Mrs. Mess is where she needs to be until trial, which is hopefully in jail. However, she does have the opportunity to post bail and that would secure her attendance at future proceedings.”

It is alleged in the indictment that prior to shooting the victim in the back of the head with a .22 rifle, Charlene Mess struck Douglas Mess in the head and body with a pitch fork. It is then alleged that she tampered with physical evidence by attempted to hide the body by burying Douglas Mess in a pile of manure in the back of the family farm.

At this time, the DA’s Office does not know what happened prior to the murder.

“There is no indication that there was a domestic incident prior to this incident (the murder),” O’Geen said. “We do not know what happened prior to the events that took place.

“I want to state for the record that these are just allegations,” O’Geen said. “Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty of what they are accused of. We will find everything out in court.”

Both the DA’s Office and defense counsel will be in court at 9 a.m. on June 11 to argue a motion regarding the taking of a DNA sample from the defendant. Other motions made may be ruled on when the case resumes at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 6.

See related: Murder of Douglas Mess a big loss for Baskin Livestock 

See related: Attica woman charged with murder in missing man's death 

See related: Missing man found dead in Attica  

June 4, 2015 - 12:20pm
Event Date and Time: 
June 9, 2015 -
7:00pm to 9:00pm

Wine tasting and glass art demonstration to be hosted at Glassroots, located at 12 Center Street in downtown Batavia, from 7pm to 9pm on Tuesday, June 9th. This event is free to members of the Batavia Artist Society. Non members will be asked for a $5 entry fee. Teresa Major will be handling the Batavia Artist Society fees.

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