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January 10, 2017 - 7:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Someone stole a chair and "a wet floor sign" from a business on West Main Street about 15 minutes ago. They have video. Batavia police are responding to the reported larceny.

January 10, 2017 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, batavia, news, schools, education.

chaya_patty.jpgPress release:

Genesee Community College has appointed its next dean of Student Services, a familiar face with years of experience working with students, faculty and staff, and service to the College. Patricia "Patty" Chaya emerged as the top choice from a lengthy search of many qualified candidates, and will assume the responsibilities of dean of students, transitioning from her previous role of associate dean of the GCC Warsaw and Lima campus centers.

Chaya joined the College in 2002 as associate dean of the Warsaw campus, and inherited the same role with the Lima campus in 2012. Handling multiple duties, she was charged with leading, directing, team building and administrative oversight for all operations at both campus centers. In 2013, Chaya was awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service, an award given to recognize consistent superior professional achievement.

"Her familiarity with the GCC community and experience working with our students will make her an invaluable asset to our team," said Virginia "Ginny" Taylor, Ph.D., vice president for Student and Enrollment Services. "We are excited for the students, faculty and staff at the Batavia campus to begin working with Patty, whose passion for helping others has always been evident."

Chaya holds a bachelor's in Sociology from SUNY Fredonia and a master's in Student Personnel Administration from the University at Buffalo. She was a resident assistant while attending SUNY Fredonia and became residence hall director after earning her bachelor's degree.

"I am thrilled for the opportunity to take on a new professional challenge," Chaya said. "There is great potential with the dean of Student Services position, and new initiatives are important for moving forward. Not only do I hope to cultivate new programs such as those relating to wellness, but I plan on expanding the delivery and availability of these programs using our current technology, making them more accessible for our students."

Prior to working at GCC, Patty was the associate director at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, and also worked for the Genesee County YWCA as the director of the Domestic Violence Program. She is heavily involved in the GLOW community, serving as the vice president of the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Business Education Alliance (BEA) Board of Directors in Livingston County.

"I live in the community and am familiar with local issues," Chaya explained. "I have a strong commitment to GCC and am confident I can be a strong ambassador for the College."

As the dean of student services, Chaya will work closely with College administration to enhance its current leadership program and expanding innovative student development programs. Among numerous other areas, she will focus on student retention and degree completion, as well as handling student conduct and discipline.

Chaya officially began her new role on Jan. 3rd. Patty and husband, Ray, a former GCC BEST Center staff member, currently reside in Batavia.

January 10, 2017 - 2:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

While on surveillance yesterday, members of the Local Drug Task Force observed occupants of a vehicle toss garbage from the car so they initiated a traffic stop.

Upon further investigation, the occupants were allegedly found in possession of Suboxone and drug paraphernalia.

During the course of the surveillance, both occupants were allegedly seen operating the vehicle and both were later found to have suspended driver's licenses.

Isaac C. King, 30, of Hoyt Street, Buffalo, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and littering.

Daniel H. Mooney, 30, of Cone Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, and aggravated unlicensed operation.

Following arraignment in City Court, King was jailed without bail. He has a detainer from NY State Parole.

Mooney was ordered held on $2,500 bail or $5,000 bond.

January 9, 2017 - 3:00pm
posted by Lisa Ace in Sponsored Post, advertisement, Empire Access, batavia, ny.

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January 9, 2017 - 1:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

Batavia Players held its annual gala and awards ceremony at the Harvester 56 Theater on Saturday night.

Here are the award winners:

  • Outstanding Performance of the Year, Evan Bellavia as Harry the Horse, "Guys & Dolls"
  • Outstanding Actor in a Play, Norm Argulski as Lionel Percy, "Bakersfield Mist"
  • Outstanding Actress in a Play, Michele Stamp as Martha, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf"
  • Outstanding Dramatic Performance of the Year, Kevin Partridge as George, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf"
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play, Alex Farley as Nick, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf"
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play, Wendy Williams as Sissy, "Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean"
  • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, Jesse Conklin as Corin, "As You Like It"
  • Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, Kathy Johns as Joanne, "Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean"
  • Outstanding Actor in a Musical, William Grimble as Nicely Nicely Johnson, "Guys & Dolls"
  • Outstanding Solo Vocal Performance, Amy-Catherine Cunningham as Charity Hope Valentine, "Sweet Charity"
  • Outstanding Actress in a Musical, "Sweet Charity," "Little Women"
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical, Nash Johns as Laurie Lawrence, "Little Women"
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical, Emily Crawford as Marmee March, "Little Women"
  • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, Patrick Burk as Daddy Brubeck, "Sweet Charity"
  • Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Wendy Williams as Aunt March, "Little Women"
  • Outstanding Musical Ensemble, Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat, "Guys & Dolls"
  • Outstanding Youth Performance, Evan Bellavia as Harry the Horse, "Guys & Dolls"
  • Outstanding Youth Performance -- Female, Celia Flyn as Adelaide, "Guys & Dolls"
  • Outstanding Child Performance, Paige Sikorski as the Snowflake, "A Christmas Gift"
January 9, 2017 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Le Roy.

Robert Lee Williams Jr., 26, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd. Williams was allegedly involved in a road rage incident at 6 p.m., Dec. 21, on East Main Street, Batavia. There was reportedly a physical altercation resulting in injury to another person. Williams turned himself in on a warrant.

Christopher Charles Say, 26, of Goddard Street, Webster, Mass., is charged with bail jumping, criminal contempt, 2nd, and obstructing governmental administration, 2nd. Say was arrested on a warrant and turned over to Batavia PD. He was arraigned in City Court and jailed on $2,500 bail.

Jill M. Turner, 24, of Burke Drive, Batavia, is charged with dog running at large. Turner is accused of allowing her dog to run loose on a neighbor's property.

Robert E. Wood, 26, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd. Wood allegedly entered the secured residence of a person he knew without permission at 2:26 a.m., Wednesday.

Branden L. Daymon, 32, of Norwich Drive, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a vehicle and traffic violation.

Lexus M. Brown, 20, of Raines Park, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Brown posted $300 police bail and was released.

Aaron Michael Gardner, 35, of Britt Road, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, no seat belt, unreasonable speed and failure to keep right. Gardner was arrested following the completion of an investigation into a motor-vehicle accident reported at 3:59 p.m., Nov. 11, on Oatka Trail Road, Le Roy. The investigation was conducted by Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

January 6, 2017 - 4:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Announcements.

Press release:

City Bureau of Maintenance crews have started picking up Christmas trees, and will continue to pick up trees through Jan. 31.

City residents are asked to place their trees in the parkway without bags, stands, or decorations as these can damage equipment. Please keep trees free of snow and ice so they are visible.

January 6, 2017 - 3:00pm

What more do you need? This home covers it all for those that are just starting out or thinking about downsizing! Cute and spacious, it has a first floor bath and laundry and nice area for entertaining downstairs and the privacy of the bedrooms up! A lot has been done to this home and you can easily move in and get your bearings before you have to do anything! Think ahead to SPRING and look forward to working outside in your cute yard that is actually a double lot in the City. There is a lot to consider here for the money...easy to see anytime definitely one to check out and think about! Click here to view the complete listing for 9 Colorado Avenue in Batavia. Call Lynn Bezon at Reliant Real Estate today at 585-344-4663!

January 6, 2017 - 2:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department is looking to question Joel Zsebehazy, in reference to the Key Bank robbery which occurred on Dec. 27 at approximately 10:10 a.m. Zsebehazy is approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 165 pounds with brown eyes. His last known address was 1570 Buffalo Ave. in Niagara Falls.

Zsebehazy is also wanted by NYS Parole for a violation of his parole. Crimestoppers Buffalo is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Zsebehazy has a violent, assaultive history, and should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Zsebehazy should contact Detective Czora at 585-345-6311, the Batavia Police Confidential Tip Line at 585-345-6370 or Buffalo Crimestoppers at 716-867-6161. The Batavia Police Department is currently being assisted by NYS Parole, FBI Buffalo and Buffalo Crimestoppers.

Earlier today: Local police looking for man on possible parole violation with bank robbery history

January 6, 2017 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

joelzsebehazywanted.jpg

A Niagara County man with an attempted bank robbery conviction is wanted on a warrant for an alleged parole violation and a police source confirmed this morning that local authorities have been asked to look for him as well since he could be in, or pass through, Genesee County.

Joel Zsebehazy, 33, 5’10” 165 lbs, has blond hair and brown eyes.

Authorities say he has a violent history and could be armed. If seen, call 9-1-1. If you have information on his whereabouts, you can call (585) 343-5000 or the Batavia PD confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

WIVB reported that authorities want to question Zsebehazy about a recent bank robbery, but we couldn't confirm that with local law enforcement.

After he was convicted on a drug dealing charge in 2015, the Buffalo News reported that Zsebehazy was an Afghan War vet looking at his last chance for rehabilitation after previous difficulties at drug treatment facilities. The Buffalo News reported that Zsebehazy suffers from PTSD.

January 6, 2017 - 7:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accidents, news, batavia, thruway.

A car has hit a guard rail on the Thruway in the area of mile marker 388.2 in the westbound lane.

Unknown injuries.

About 30 minutes ago, there was a motor-vehicle accident with apparently minor, if any, injuries in the area of 392.3 in the westbound lane.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS dispatched to both calls.

UPDATE 7:38 a.m.: No injuries on the accident at mile marker 388.2. Ambulance response is canceled. There is a fuel leak.

January 5, 2017 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Stafford, Le Roy, news.
mug_giancarlomiranda2016.jpg mug_ogden-haleigh2016.jpg
   Giancarlo Miranda      Haleigh Ogden

Two people arrested in December following an accident and pursuit through the woods off Keeney Road in Le Roy are now being accused of attempting to rob a nearby gas station that same night.

Giancarolo A. Miranda, 18, of Clipnock Road, Stafford, and Haleigh I. Ogden, 19, of East Avenue, Batavia, were charged today with attempted robbery, 2nd.

The arrest stems for a series of incidents the night of Dec. 12 that started the Kwik Fill in Le Roy when the pair allegedly showed up there about 10 p.m. with the intention to steal property. 

Ogden allegedly displayed a handgun.

The sole employee of the gas station had already locked the front door and there was apparently nothing stolen.

Miranda and Ogden then left the station and were involved in a motor-vehicle accident on Keeney Road.

They fled into the woods and after a search that involved deputies, Le Roy PD, troopers, a helicopter, and a K-9, the duo was located and taken into custody.

Once located, they were identified as suspects in a burglary a few days earlier. They were found in possession of a pit bull allegedly stolen from the animal shelter.

They were charged with burglary, 3rd.

They remain in custody with bail set at $15,000 each.

January 5, 2017 - 1:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, bergen, news.

Christopher Charles Say, 26, of Goddard Street, Webster, Mass., is charged with: criminal mischief, 4th; criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation; endangering the welfare of a child; harassment, 2nd; and criminal contempt. Say was arrested by the Orleans County Sheriff's Office on a warrant out of Genesee County Court. He is also wanted on City of Batavia warrants. 

Dennis Allan Norris, 53, of Overbook Road, Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Norris was stopped at 9:55 a.m. Dec. 23 on South Lake Road, Bergen, by Deputy Rachel Diehl.

Joseph Mark Dickinson, 26, of East Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08, speeding and driver's view obstructed. Dickinson was stopped at 5:32 p.m. Wednesday on Pearl Street Road, Batavia, by Deputy Jenna Ferrando.

January 5, 2017 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.

rotarybataviajan42017.jpg

Ryann Stefaniak scored 26 points and Taylor Stefaniak added 15, but it wasn't enough to overcome an experienced an athletic Cal-Mum team in the opening round of the annual Rotary Tournament at GCC.

Cal-Mum moved to 8-1 with the 59-53 win.

Batavia drops to 2-8.

The Lady Devils rallied in the 4th quarter, closing a double-digit deficit and at one point pulling within three points of the Red Raiders. In that quarter, Ryann hit three three-pointers along with a pair of two-point goals and two free throws.

Taylor also hit a pair of threes in the 4th quarter. Melissa Mountain scored six and Bri Janes 6, including adding a three in that 24-point fourth quarter.

For Cal-Mum, Gillian Flint scored 19 points and Isabella Slocum had 13.

For coverage of the Notre Dame - Attica game, click here.

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January 4, 2017 - 4:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gerace Realty, batavia, business.

geracerealtylaunchjan42016.jpg

The Gerace family is returning to their locally owned roots in real estate in Genesee County.

Two years ago, Joe and Lois Gerace sold Bob Harris Realty to Realty USA, a Buffalo-based company, but in July, the CEO of Realty USA sold his company to Pennsylvania-based Howard Hanna Company and when John and Robert Gerace got word that new owners wanted to consolidate offices, that just didn't make sense to them.

"It doesn't make sense to say you're local and then have a business card with Lancaster or Depew on it," John said. "Are you local or aren't you? I think it was confusing."

The new company will be Gerace Realty. The new website is geracerealty.com. Like Bob Harris, and RealtyUSA, the new logo is red, white and black.

Lois, who has 40 years experience in real estate, will be part of the new company along with John and Robert. Much of the staff will be the same as it was for years when the company was Bob Harris.

The new signs, on the same converted house on Ellicott Avenue that was home to Bob Harris Realty when Joe and Lois bought the company in 1986, went up yesterday while the transition is still underway.

John Gerace said managers at Realty USA were supportive of their decision to go back to being a locally owned office and the relationship with staff there remains good and Gerace Realty will be able to tap into the larger company's network of bankers and attorneys as needed.

Howard Hanna also acquired Nothnagle, and both John and Robert see an advantage being outside of Rochester and Buffalo as a smaller, locally focused company.

"You're dealing with experienced agents," Robert said. "This is something we do full time. You're not dealing with somebody who is part time. This is what we do." 

John thinks more and more people value that local connection. He compared it to smaller hardware store surviving in the face of competition from Home Depot and Lowe's.

"There's great service when you walk in," John said. "They know you by name. I think people want that back."

January 4, 2017 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, pembroke.

Ronald Francis Ratulowski Jr., 43, of Eleanor Place, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested at 12:49 a.m. on Dec. 28 on Eleanor Place following a domestic dispute. He was issued an appearance ticket for Jan. 17 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Eric Bolles.

Melanie M. Matesz, 51, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested at 8:50 p.m. on Dec. 26 on Dellinger Avenue following an investigation into an incident wherein she allegedly struck another person. She was issued at appearance ticket for Jan. 3 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Richard C. Clark, 46, of Main Street, Corfu, is charged with second-degree harassment. Clark was arrested at 9 p.m. on Dec. 29 on Tracy Avenue in Batavia following a domestic dispute wherein he allegedly grabbed and pushed another person. He was arrainged then released on his own recognizance. He is due in City Court today (Jan. 4). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Robert R. Gerety, 43, of Elm Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, resisting arrest and criminal mischief. At 12:58 a.m. on Dec. 28, Gerety was arrested after a domestic incident in which the defendant is alleged to have damaged property at the residence, possessed marijuana, and resisted arrest. He was put in Genesee County Jail and in due in City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Darryle Streeter, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Jessica Lynn Polk, 40, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal tampering. Polk was arrested at 10:10 a.m. on Dec. 23 after she allegedly tampered with property belonging to another person. She was released with appearance ticket for Jan. 3 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

A 16-year-old who lives on State Street in Batavia is charged with criminal contempt in the second degree. The youth was picked up on an active warrant out of City Court for this alleged offense, a violation of a Family Court order, which occurred at 8 a.m. on Oct. 20 on State Street. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket for Jan. 10 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards.

Robert M. Schryver, 53, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. At 9:45 a.m. on Dec. 29, Shryver was allegedly found to possess a quantity of marijuana and was arrested. He is due in City Court on Jan. 10 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole Salamone, assisted by Frank Klimjack.

Kyle James Whitcombe, 19, of Westchester Drive, Cheektowaga, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and driving left of pavement markings. Following a one-car accident at 6:26 a.m. on Jan. 3 on Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke, Whitcomb was allegedly found in possession of marjiuana. He was issued an appearance ticket for Jan. 24 in Town of Pembroke Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

January 4, 2017 - 8:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, arts, batavia, corfu, news.

pianoteacherjan2017.jpg

The way Laura Kauppi sees it, every child, regardless of income, should have a chance to learn piano.

The Corfu native who teaches piano to a lot of higher income kids in Amherst, decided recently that she wants to give back to her local community and has partnered with Roxy's Music to offer piano lessons to low-income children.

"Every child should be able to learn piano," she said.

She's calling the program, "Every Child Music School."

For qualifying students, classes are three times a month for 20 minutes at $3 per lesson. To qualify, parents need to show a benefits card, such as a WIC card, at the first lesson.  The lessons are available to children 18 months and older.

She's looking for donations of touch-sensitive keyboard (press hard for a louder note, soft for a softer note) to help ensure students have an instrument to practice on.

Kauppi studies piano performance at Geneseo while pursuing an undergraduate degree in another field, but put herself through college teaching piano.

"When I started teaching, I realized I absolutely loved teaching piano and I wanted to keep doing it, so I’ve been teaching for 12 years now," Kauppi said.

To donate or register, call Kauppi at 585-861-0153.

January 3, 2017 - 6:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, thruway, news, batavia.

A motor-vehicle accident, unknown injuries, is reported in the westbound lane of the Thruway near mile marker 386.1.

Town of Batavia fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 6:28 p.m.: Patient has possible knee injury.

January 3, 2017 - 4:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy, news, east bethany, batavia.

Press release from the Le Roy Police Department:

On Dec. 7th, Village of Le Roy Police arrested 31-year-old Danielle L. Barager, of 9 Summit St., Le Roy, and charged her with endangering the welfare of a child. The arrest stems from an investigation by Village Police into an incident that occurred in the Village of Le Roy on Dec. 4. It is alleged that during an argument Barager threw a claw hammer which ricocheted off the floor and struck a 3-year-old child in the shoulder causing injury. Barager was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in the Town of Le Roy Court at a later date.

 ____________

On Dec. 24, at about 6:30 p.m., officers of the Village of Le Roy Police Department arrested Matthew McCracken, 33, of 10 Clay St., upper apt., Le Roy, for attempted criminal mischief, 4th degree, and harassment, 2nd degree. This arrest occurred after Le Roy Police Officer’s responded to a report of a male threatening to kill the neighboring residents of an upper apartment on Clay Street in the Village of Le Roy. The investigation alleged that during a dispute, McCracken had threatened to kill and injure his neighbor and burned the door and door frame of his neighbor’s apartment with a blow torch. At the time, McCracken was refusing to answer both his phone and the door to his apartment to communicate with officers and McCracken was believed to be in his apartment with a blow torch and a 2-year-old child. Out of concern for the child, Officer’s forced entry into the apartment and McCracken was taken into custody without incident. The child was found unharmed and was turned over to the mother. McCracken was arraigned in the Town of Le Roy Court and was put in Genesee County jail in lieu of $500 cash bail. Further investigation is pending. Le Roy Police were assisted at the scene by members of the New York State Police.

____________

On Dec. 27th, officers of the Village of Le Roy Police Department arrested Gregory P.  Bernard, 22, of East Bethany, for aggravated DWI, DWI and moving from lane unsafely. His arrest was the result of an auto accident in which it is alleged that Bernard, while on West Main Street in Le Roy left his lane unsafely, jumped a curb and struck a sign and tree causing damage. Bernard was processed and issued appearance tickets returnable to the Town of Le Roy Court on Jan.  23. The aggravated DWI charge stems from an allegation that Bernard had a BAC at or above 0.18 percent.

____________

On Dec. 28th, Village of Le Roy Police stopped a vehicle on State Route 19 in the Village of Le Roy alleging an inadequate exhaust. The operator, Michael A. Ellis, 27, of Batavia, was allegedly found to have a suspended New York State driver’s license. The vehicle was turned over to a relative at the scene. Ellis was issued uniform traffic tickets for aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd degree, uninspected motor vehicle, and inadequate exhaust returnable to the Town of Le Roy Court on a later date.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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