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September 20, 2016 - 4:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in richmond library, batavia, Announcements, news.

Press release:

A free series of five classes on exploring your family history will be offered at Richmond Memorial Library on Tuesdays beginning Oct. 4.

Classes start at 6 p.m. and run weekly through Nov. 1.

Have you ever wondered about your ancestors -- who they were, where they came from, or what you have in common with them?

This is an excellent opportunity to start a geneology search and explore your family history.

Contact the library at 343-9550 to register.

September 20, 2016 - 2:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Jessica Molins, of Batavia, graduated from Buffalo State with a bachelor's degree in Hospitality Administration.

Buffalo State offers bachelor's and master's degrees in the arts, education, natural sciences, social sciences, and professional studies.

Buffalo State is located in the heart of Buffalo's cultural corridor.

September 20, 2016 - 2:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, batavia.

William Glenn Walters, 37, of Wolcott Street, Le Roy, is charged with disobeying a court mandate. Walters was arrested at 6:37 p.m. on Sept. 19 following a domestic incident on Warsaw Road in the Town of Le Roy. Walters allegedly violated a Family Court stay away order of protection. He was released on an appearance ticket returnable to Town of Le Roy Court on Oct. 17. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute.

Amber Meadows, 25, of Canandaigua, was arrested on Sept. 16 by SP Batavia Troopers on a warrant issued by the Town of Batavia Court for petit larceny. She is accused of stealing $638 worth of merchandise from the Target store in Batavia on Aug. 8. Meadows was arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court and released with a return court date. Troopers then turned Meadows over to the Ontario County Sheriffs Office where she was wanted on another warrant.

September 20, 2016 - 1:43pm

Press release:

This week is National Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 18-24). As part of the campaign, National Safety Check Saturday will be hosted by the City of Batavia Fire Department this Saturday, Sept. 24, at City of Batavia Fire Headquarters, located at 18 Evans St. in Batavia. It begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m.

Nationally Certified Technicians will be able to ensure your child passenger's seat is installed correctly and answer any questions caregivers may have regarding installation, selection and the use of car seats.

Motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 through 12. Most tweens (8- to 12-year-olds) seriously injured or killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts or were wearing them incorrectly. Tweens are also more likely to get hurt in crashes when riding in the front seat. Many deaths and injuries could be prevented if children were properly secured in an appropriate child restraint.

Many parents and caregivers assume they know how to choose and use the correct child restraints for their children, but sadly these restraints are frequently used incorrectly. In fact, three out of every four children are riding at an increased risk of injury because their car seats are not being used correctly.

As always, technicians are available by calling Fire Headquarters at (585) 345-6375 to schedule an appointment.

September 20, 2016 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A caller reports a fight just breaking up on Highland Park, Batavia.

Eight to nine people were reportedly involved.

There is a report of a possible injury.

Police are responding.

One person who ran from the scene has been identified by a witness.

UPDATE 11:18 a.m.: Police transmissions have gone encrypted.

September 19, 2016 - 3:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia.

Tonight the family and friends of Kevin Woodhams (nee Kyeongseop Kim) will gather to share fond memories of his life at Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel on West Main Street Road in Batavia.

The 25-year-old native of Ulsan City, South Korea, only arrived in America in February and is said to have fallen in love with it instantly.

He was a stargazer who enjoyed watching the night sky. He liked our local parks and loved listening to music.

Kevin also was a shopper at Wegmans, an aficionado of Starbucks, a nosher at McDonald's. But he also enjoyed his favorite Korean cuisine (perhaps bulgogi or a hot stone bowl of bi bim bap)

He died unexpectedly on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5.

For his complete obituary, click here.

For previous coverage, click here.

September 19, 2016 - 1:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, news, business, Made in America store.

Press release:

Officials from Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) and the Made in America Store today announced their partnership to bring a Made in America Store to Batavia Downs. The grand opening of the new store and ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, in the lobby of Batavia Downs on Park Road. A performance by Nashville Recording Artist Ricky Lee will follow the ceremony at the facility.

The Made in America Store, which started with just 50 products, today carries 7,000 products from more than 500 U.S. manufacturers, all 100-percent American made. The Store is headquartered in Elma, New York.

“We are proud to partner with Batavia Downs to bring our line of American-made products to the great people of Genesee County and the many tourists and visitors who’ve made this venue a world-class destination,” said Mark Andol, founder of the Made in America Store. “The people of this community are as patriotic as any you will find across the country. We are confident that this store will be one of our busiest and most successful locations.”

For Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation, the Made in America Store will be its first retail venture on the grounds of Batavia Downs.

“Over the years, we’ve had a multitude of opportunities to partner with entities from the retail sector at Batavia Downs,” said Henry Wojtaszek, CEO/president of WROTB. “In deciding to partner with MIA, the decision was not a difficult one; we both support American workers, jobs in this community, and American jobs across the country.”

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 29 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility. Since its inception, Western OTB has generated over $215 million in operating and surcharge revenues to the taxpayers of those participating municipalities.

“As a public benefit corporation, it is imperative that every decision we make is in the best interests of the 17 municipalities that encompass the corporation and share the revenue generated by the corporation,” Nolan said. “I can’t think of a retail collaboration that fits better into our mission than partnering with MIA.”

September 19, 2016 - 10:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in walmart, batavia, news.

A caller at Walmart reports a suspicious condition -- a man attempted to purchase numerous iPads from the store.

Apparently, the purchase did not go through for some reason.

The man left in a gray Chevy Tahoe with Georgia plates.

A deputy is responding.

UPDATE 11:08 a.m.: The Tahoe is a rental.

September 18, 2016 - 3:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news.

A tree and unknown-type wires are reportedly down in the roadway, partially blocking, at 151 Ross St. City fire is responding.

September 17, 2016 - 3:53pm


It was on a Saturday in September 10 years ago that I first drove into Batavia.

I returned to that event today to sort of mark the anniversary.

It was through a calendar item in the Gardener's Journal 10 years ago that I saw something about a Master Gardeners' Gala at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in a placed called Batavia.

"Batavia can't be too far of a drive," I thought, while sitting in my hotel room in Fairport.  

I made the drive, and it was a bit more of a drive than I expected, but eventually, I found Batavia, and I found it charming.

I came out here looking for information on growing roses in Western New York (we were getting ready to move from Bakersfield, Calif.) and left charmed by this little city.

Little did I know then, that within two years, I would be starting an online news site for Genesee County and eventually moving here myself. But Billie and I are quite happy with that turn of events.

Thank you all for supporting our experiment in online-only news and embracing and accepting us as you have.

And yes, I've found it possible to quite successfully grow roses in Western New York.



September 17, 2016 - 1:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news.

A tree has fallen onto a house at 37 Columbia Ave. City firefighters are responding.

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: The house is bieng evacuated.

UPDATE 1:48 p.m.: A large limb broke off a tree on property on Manhattan Avenue, which runs parallel to Columbia Avenue. The broken branch spans the entire length of the Columbia Avenue house.

UPDATE 1:52 p.m.: The city's fourth platoon is called into headquarters.

September 17, 2016 - 9:27am


U-Prep and Batavia kept everyone on their toes in a hard-fought game where mistakes were made on both sides last night at Salen's Stadium in Rocheter. Pictured above is Ray Leach for Batavia, catching a pass from quarterback Jerry Reinhart to win the game with 0:07 seconds left on the clock 30-26.

Highlights of the game: First quarter – Terrance Bethel Touchdown scored early 4:25, missed two point conversion, giving U-Prep a 6-0 lead. Batavia and U-Prep exchanged the ball until Batavia recovered a fumble.  

Second quarter -- Batavia scores midway to tie it 6-6. U-Prep carried the ball and converted on a fourth down to score at 7:52 and lead 12-6. Batavia's Eric Davis goes out on a leg injury. Near the end Jerry Reinhart passed a 38-yard touchdown pass to Chandler Baker, two-point conversion is good. Batavia leads 14-12.

John Garlock recovers an onside kick, which Ray Leach scored for Batavia and led at halftime 22-12.

Second half -- Jonathan Williams touchdown for U-Prep at 6:17 thrown by Amari Masse; two-point conversion is good. Batavia's lead is cut to only two points, 22-20. 

U-Prep runs 45 yards to Batavia 10-yard line at 7:36, batavia and U-Prep exchanged a fumble and interception. U-Prep scores late in the fourth to lead 26-22 with 2:52 left.

Batavia dominated on driving down the field with 7 sconds left on a pass caught by Ray Leach. Batavia wins 30-26​.

Batavia moves to a 3-0; U-Prep moves to a 2-1 record.

To view photos and purchase prints click here.






September 17, 2016 - 7:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, schools, education, batavia, news.


John Kennedy School hosted its annual Community Night on Friday evening.








September 16, 2016 - 3:03pm

Press release:

YWCA of Genesee County has decided to step things up with its annual Domestic Violence Awareness Walk by offering a USATF (Track & Field) certified 5K for runners and walkers alike.

Described as a mostly flat and fast course, this race will also include family activities, Limited Edition purple baseball caps, a few words from Notre Dame High School Principal Wade Bianco and a purple powder finish line celebration. Bianco recently earned an honored spot in the Coaches category for the Section V Football Hall of Fame.

The event is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at YWCA, 301 North St.

“We don’t ever want to lose sight of why we started the walk in the first place: to honor victims and survivors of domestic violence,” Executive Director Jeanne Walton said. “But we are also aware that people love 5Ks! Three miles is just far enough for serious runners to feel competitive and not too far for walkers to enjoy as well. We strongly encourage people of all ages to wear some purple and help us to highlight Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”

A professional timing company will be on site with an inflatable arch and results will be available to participants during and after the event. Prizes will go to overall fastest male and female finishers and to the top two male and female finishers in each age category: 19 and under; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69 and 70-plus.

Perhaps the most notable aspect will be the haze of purple powder as participants engage in friendly interaction of tossing the clothing-safe powder on one another and in the air. Purple is the signature color of domestic violence awareness and will play a key role in coloring the day, organizers said.

For those that may work up an appetite, the YW’s traditional Harvest Supper will also be served that day from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Takeouts will be available. The supper is a way to highlight the area’s agricultural industry with hearty soups, stew, crusty breads, fresh fruit desserts and many other items that highlight ingredients provided by local farms and ag producers.

Cost is $25 for the 5K, $8 for the supper, or $30 for both events. Kids 10 and under may walk for free and Limited Edition 5K baseball caps will go to the first 150 paid registrants. For more information, go to or call (585) 343-5808.

September 16, 2016 - 2:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, byron.

Matthew Arthur Harder, 19, of Geddes Street, Holley, is charged with fourth degree criminal mischief. Harder was arrested following an investigation into damaged property in the parking lot of Genesee Community College at 9:15 a.m. on Sept. 9. He was arraigned on Sept. 15 in Town of Batavia Court and is to appear there at a later date. He was also issued an Order of Protection to stay away from the victim whose property was damaged. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Richard Todd Harter, 40, of Townline Road, Byron, is charged with second-degree harassment. On Sept. 15, Harter was arrested on a bench warrant for the charge, out of Holley, and turned over to Holley PD. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings.

September 16, 2016 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, schools, education.


Campbell Anderson, a senior at Batavia High School, pictured with Principal Scott Wilson, has qualified as a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. As far as Wilson knows, he's the only semifinalist in the region and one of only 99 in Western New York.

Anderson is a candidate for West Point and the Air Force Academy. He's also a standout in track and cross-country. Wilson said one of Anderson's unique accomplishments was completing all of the match courses offered by the high school, including advanced placement calculus, by the end of his sophomore year. The school has arranged his senior schedule so he can also take classes at Genesee Community College. He remains at the top of his class.

Photo and info provided by Scott Wilson.

September 16, 2016 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in County Airport, batavia, business, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $1,411,200 in federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for the Genesee County Airport, located in Batavia. The grant will assist the Genesee County Airport in funding the final phase of its airport construction project. The airport is building an aircraft-parking apron, a taxiway extension, and removing of a number of runway obstructions.

“Using federal funds to support local infrastructure projects will help establish an environment that promotes future economic development and employment opportunities,” Congressman Collins said. “This $1,411,200 grant will provide Genesee County with the funding it needs to complete the final phase of its project. Grants like these allow for more efficient and effective airport operations that will benefit our region for years to come.”

“This crucial FAA grant will allow Genesee County to complete Phase 3 of our Airport project, which includes the removal of the old terminal building and hangar,” said Raymond Cianfrini, chairman of the Genesee County Legislature. “We appreciate our partnership with Congressman Collins and look forward to giving him and our community a tour of the completed project.”

The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any local government pursuing a federal grant.


September 16, 2016 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GLOW Corporate Cup, Freed Maxick, batavia, business, news.


As part of the GLOW Corporate Challenge last month, organizers put together a T-shirt design contest and this year, based on volunteer votes, Freed Maxick came up with the winning design. The prize was a $500 donation to the charity of their choice, and staff chose the UMMC Foundation and the Justice for Children Foundation.

Photo: Sam Schafer, Carmela Piazza, Liz Renz, Lori Aratari, Steve Tufts, Jason Armbrewster, Kim Mills (who also had the fastest women's time), Olivia Engel and Tim Moag. Aratari is with UMMC, Ambrewster with Justice for Children, Tufts and Piazza are with Merrill Lynch representing GLOW Cup, and the others are with Freed Maxick. Each charity received $250 and the balance of the proceeds from the event benefit the YMCA.



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

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