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February 27, 2017 - 11:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, news, fire.

Audio and visual fire alarms at Batavia Downs have been set off.

The building has been evacuated.

City fire is on scene, investigating.

Town of Batavia fire responding.

A possible pull station was activated. Investigating.

UPDATE: I thought I updated this earlier: False alarm. 

February 26, 2017 - 5:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, Bridal Show, batavia, news, business.

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Batavia Downs hosted a bridal show today.

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February 26, 2017 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in MöbileSchlägen, batavia, Oakfield, news, business.

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The inventors of MöbileSchlägen hosted a party at Ken's Charcoal Pits & Bar-B-Q to kick off their Kickstarter campaign, aimed at raising $150,000 so they can begin production of their hammer, nail and log game based on a popular game with a German ancestry. 

Photos: Co-owner Marc Johnson demonstrates how to play the game.

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February 25, 2017 - 6:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Batavia HS, batavia.

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The Blue Devils are moving on in the post-season with a Section V playoff win today over Honeoye Falls, 59-49.

Antwan Odom scored 22 points, hitting two threes along the way. Tee Sean Ayala scored 14 points, hitting two three-pointers. Jonathan Liciaga scored 11. John Kindig added six.

For HF-L, Owen VanNewkirk hit 15 points, including a trio of threes.

It was the 400th win for Head Coach Buddy Brasky (submitted photo below).

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To purchase prints, click here.

February 24, 2017 - 10:05pm

Super solid and so pretty! This charmer is located in an awesome City location, close to everything and within walking distance to one of Batavia’s favorite coffee shops and a City park! This home is move-in ready with little to do but try to figure out what to do with all the storage space! There is great space and cozy floor plan for such a large home --everyone has their own spot!

This home has been well taken care of throughout the years with maintenance of the everyday "stuff" and yearly maintenance of the things that matter -- roof, insulation and furnace! This is an excellent home for the money, you are going to want to check this one out!
Click here to view the complete listing for 27 Ellicott Ave. in Batavia. Call Lynn Bezon at Reliant Real Estate today at 585-344-4663!

February 24, 2017 - 12:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in JCPenney Co., batavia, news, business.

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National retailer JCPenney reported today a continued decline in sales and as a result the intention to close from 130 to 140 stores nationwide.

The list of stores that will be closed has not been released, so we don't know yet if the Batavia location will be on the chopping block.

The Batavia store has survived a previous round of JCPenney's cost-cutting.

According to Reuters, JCPenney continues to struggle in an era of dying shopping malls and increased competition from online retailers.

The store in Batavia is the lone anchor tenant of the long-struggling City Centre Mall in Downtown.

City Manager Jason Molino told WBTA, “We just spoke with JCPenney as early as last week. They did not relay that message to us and they did not tell us that was going to be the case, so as far as we know that is new news or it's nothing that I can confirm.”

February 24, 2017 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in BID, chamber of commerce, batavia, business.

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The Business After Hours gathering for the Chamber of Commerce yesterday was also a celebration of the arrival of a news director for Business Improvement District.

Beth Kemp moved into the BID office more than a month ago and she and her husband, Brian, co-owners of T-Shirts Etc. and both artists, went right to work redecorating the space, so for many of the people attending the event were seeing the bright and attractive revamped space for the first time.

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February 24, 2017 - 8:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, batavia.

A person is reportedly pinned under shelving that tipped over at Graham Manufacturing, 20 Florence Ave., Batavia.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 9:01 a.m.: The patient was freed and City fire is back on service. No word on injuries, if any.

February 24, 2017 - 8:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Le Roy.

Edward Jordan White, 21, of Michigan Street, Lockport, is charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, unlawful possession of marijuana and aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd. White, who is currently on parole, was stopped by Batavia police officers after being observed driving in the city. During the traffic stop he was allegedly found to have a suspended license and in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was jailed on $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond. The Local Drug Task Force assisted in the investigation.

Billy Joe Johnson, 39, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with forcible touching. Johnson allegedly forcibly touched the intimate parts of another person while in a store on Veterans Memorial Drive at 9:15 p.m., Feb. 14.

Sergio Antonio Forte, 51, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, was arrested on a warrant stemming from a charge of unauthorized of a use of a vehicle, 2nd. Forte turned himself in at the Sheriff's Office on the warrant. He was jailed without bail.

February 23, 2017 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wound care, UMMC, Rochester Regional Health, batavia, news, business.

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After a ceremony honoring the wound care team at UMMC, a patient who had sat quietly at the back of the room spoke up and said, “I want to thank everyone here because if it wasn’t for you, I would have lost my leg. I’m just grateful.”

That was the message of the award, according to Stacey Bancker, a representative of Healogics, the nation’s largest wound care management company, which presented the award.

Of nearly 400 patients treated by the team, 94 percent had their wounds healed, Bancker said. There was a 92 percent patient satisfaction rate and the median number of days to heal was 21.

"We can talk about the numbers, but this really is a patient care ward," Bancker said.

That was a point stressed by Dan Ireland, the hospital's CEO when he spoke to congratulate the team members.

"This isn’t about the metrics," Ireland said. "It isn’t about the numbers. It’s about the real people and the patients. Our mission statement at Rochester Regional Health, United Memorial, starts with preserving health and enhancing the life of patients. There isn’t a better example of where we can do that than in the heal rate we see here and in the care the patients receive."

Bancker said there were 800 wound centers in the nation eligible for the award and only 334 were recognized for outstanding patient care results.

Dr. Mohamed M Ibrahim, a general surgeon before joining the wound care team nearly two and a half years ago, said he was really proud to be part of the team. As a surgeon he had been on the other end of the wound care process, he said, and then he didn't realize how much more there was to know about wound care. 

“I have to say, I’ve learned a lot from our nurses," he said. "Our nurses are very knowledgeable, so I would like to thank everybody on our great team.”

Program Director Lisa Albanese also emphasized the team aspect of the effort and how the numbers are merely a reflection of the team's focus on taking care of patients.

"Even though the numbers are driven by KPIs (key performance indicators), the bottom line is every day we make a difference in the lives or our patients," said. "You guys are dedicated to making that difference and every day we have stories that we share with our administration."

Ireland said he hears those stories.

"I get countless emails, phone calls and letters from patients telling me real stories, stories about how they've been to five or 10 other centers or doctors and they've not been healed," Ireland said. "Then they come here and they are healed."

The patients also always note the compassion of the team, Ireland said. 

"They talk about the personal care they get, that the team cares about them as a person, not just as a person with a wound on their skin," Ireland said.

Photo: Dr. Mohamed M Ibrahim, Michelle Rector, Emily Casacelik Alicia Prusinowski, Holly Siverling, Alissa Gorman, John Wickett, Joseph Canzoneri, and Lisa Albanese.

February 23, 2017 - 12:00pm
posted by Lisa Ace in Sponsored Post, advertisement, Empire Access, batavia, ny.


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February 22, 2017 - 8:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, alexander.

Jerald Alfred Shuler III, 23, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, unlicensed operator, aggravated unlicensed operator in the third degree, and having a suspended registration. The charges stem from a traffic stop at 6:05 p.m. on Feb. 8 on West Main Street, Batavia, during which it was allegedly determined that the vehicle Shuler was driving had a suspended registration and that his driver's license was also suspended. During the investigation, he was allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana, located inside his vehicle. He was issued appearance tickets for Batavia City Court on Feb. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Maurillo C. Osorio, 32, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with: DWI; aggravated DWI -- per se with a BAC of .18 percent; unlicensed operator; open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle; and failure to keep right. Osorio was arrested at 1:56 a.m. Feb. 19 on West Main Street in Main Street in Batavia. He was jailed on $2,500 cash bail or bond. He was due in court on Feb. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Eric Bolles.

Summer Lynn Haskins, 23, of Old Creek Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI, operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, and having no or inadequate headlamps. She was arrested at 12:57 a.m. on Feb. 20 on Ellicott Street in Batavia following a traffic stop for an equipment violation. She was issued appearance tickets for March 1 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczk.

Keith J. McKenzie, 50, of Lewis Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, making an improper right turn, and refusal to take breath test. He was arrested at 6:35 p.m. on West Main Street in Batavia following an investigation into an erratic operation complaint and subsequent traffic stop. He was arraigned then released on his own recognizance. He was due in City Court today (Feb. 22). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Tatiana C. Lugo, 22, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree menacing. Lugo was arrested at 8:53 a.m. on Feb. 15 after a domestic incident in which she allegedly threatened to cut the victim's hair off and do bodily harm. She was arraigned then released under supervision of Genesee Justice. She is due in City Court on March 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

William A. Andrews, 37, of Brooklyn Avenue, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested at midnight on Feb. 18 following an incident on Brooklyn Avenue. He allegedly violated two orders of protection by being present at the residence. Andrews was jailed without bail and was due in City Court on Feb. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Emily A. Andrews, 38, of Brooklyn Avenue, Batavia, is charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. She was arrested at 2:33 a.m. on Feb. 18 as the result of an unspecified incident that allegedly occurred at a residence on Brooklyn Avenue earlier in the evening. She was jailed on $2,000 cash bail or $4,000 bond and was due in City Court Feb. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Tyler D. Price, 24, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree criminal contempt. On Feb. 18 at 3:45 p.m., Batavia police responded to a Liberty Street address for a distrubance call. An investigation found that Price allegedly came to the residence, attempted to enter it and in the process damaged a rear-door window, violating a stay away order of protection. On Feb. 19, he was located on Liberty Street and taken into custody. He is due in City Court on Feb. 28. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Brenden Michael Mullen, 31, of Batavia Elba Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Mullen was arrested at 9:18 p.m. on Feb. 17 following an investigation into a domestic incident wherein it is alleged that he sent numerous unwanted and threatening text messages and phone calls. He was arraigned and released and was due in City Court Feb. 21. Mullen was also arraigned on a City Court arrest warrant for failing to appear for two traffic tickets, operating with a suspended vehicle registration and having an uninspected motor vehicle. He was also due in court Feb. 21 to answer those charges. The case was handled by Batavia Police Sgt. Dan Coffey, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Vincent A. Sanfratello, 51, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested at 8:10 p.m. on Feb. 10 for allegedly stealing a magazine from Southside Deli on Ellicott Street in Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket for Feb. 21 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Timothy R. Johnson, 35, of Monroe Street, Silver Creek, was arrested on a bench warrant out of City Court on Feb. 18. It was issued after he failed to appear for sentencing on a conviction for fourth-degree criminal mischief, an incident which occurred on March 3, 2011. Johnson was jailed on $1,000 cash or $2,000 bond and was due in court on Feb. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Eric MacKenzie Smith, 31, of Iroquois Road, Caledonia, was arrested on a Batavia PD bench warrant for failing to comply with court-ordered treatment and turned over to Officer Jamie Givens at 10:29 a.m. on Feb. 21. He was jailed in lieu of $500 bail and was due in court this afternoon (Feb. 22).

Paris J. MacCrimmon, 24, of Whitney Avenue, Niagara Falls, was arrested on Feb. 20 on a bench warrant issued by Batavia City Court. It was issued after the defendant failed to appear at a scheduled court appearance. MacCrimmon was jailed on $100,000 cash bail or bond and was due in court on Feb. 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Tyrone L. Richardson, 41, of Brooklyn Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant at 7:15 p.m. on Feb. 13. It was issued after he failed to appear for a scheduled court appearance stemming from an incident on Nov. 5, 2015. He was jailed on $1,000 cash bail or $2,000 bond and was due in City Court on Feb. 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Henry L. Banks, 46, of Ross Street, Batavia, was arrested on Feb. 18 on Ross Street on a bench warrant out of City Court for failure to appear on unspecified charges. He was released on his own recognizance and was due in court today (Feb. 22). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole Salamone, assisted by Mitchell Cowen.

February 22, 2017 - 6:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, New York School for the Blind.

NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning announced an employee of the NYS School for the Blind in Batavia was arrested Feb. 21 for harassing and endangering three children in his care.

Kenneth L. Darch, 57, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor, and two counts of harassment in the second degree -- with physical contact, a violation.

The charges stem from an investigation into an incident on July 28 in which the defendant allegedly struck two of the children on an outing to Blondie's Sip-n-Dip, an ice cream/yogurt stand on East Main Street in Batavia, and used abusive language against them. The defendant additionally is alleged to have taunted all three by directing their bus driver to take them to the local jail, with the threat of incarceration.

The NYS School for the Blind is operated by the State Education Department. Darch, a recreation therapist, was arraigned before Judge Robert Balbick of Batavia City Court and is scheduled to reappear in court March 7. Darch has been placed on administrative leave.

“People with special needs should never be intimidated, frightened or harassed by the very people who are responsible for caring for them,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning. “This case came to light because a conscientious employee witnessed the alleged abuse and reported it. We are grateful to those who step up and call out workers who choose to taunt and threaten children instead of doing their jobs, like this defendant is alleged to have done.”

Supervising Assistant Special Prosecutor Jennifer A. Whitman is prosecuting the case. Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence handled the case, with assistance from the Justice Center.

February 21, 2017 - 5:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Milestones, batavia, batavia peace garden, news.

Submitted photo and press release:

Batavia resident and International Peace Garden Foundation President Paula Savage, recently returned from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where she participated in the dedication of the 2017 International Peace Garden located at the Vallarta Botanical Garden.

Mexico was nominated for the honor because of its substantial contributions to the UN in areas such as peaceful settlement of disputes, struggle against apartheid, promotion of disarmament and halting of climate change. Puerto Vallarta is known to be a leader in Mexico for respecting diversity of cultures and human rights.

Savage said “It was a unanimous decision to select the Vallarta Botanical Garden to convey the message of world peace believing the Botanical Garden of Vallarta is a place of calm, comfort and healing of body, mind and spirit."

Inclusion and unification was the message of the day. During the dedication ceremonies on Feb. 16th several representatives from the interfaith community addressed the audience with wide praise for the mission of the International Peace Garden Foundation.

The new International Peace Garden adorns the slope that rises toward the entrance of the recently constructed Chapel of multiple doctrines. The Chapel is a replica of the well-known Franciscan mission in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The plants, together with Mexican wildflowers, represent the Mediterranean region of the Holy Land, a geographical region that gave birth to some of the most prolific religions in the world. Bob Price, curator of the Vallarta Botanical Garden “the intention is to cultivate them harmoniously, to create a sanctuary for prayer and meditation without disturbance.”

The International Peace Garden Foundation is a charitable organization established to advance global friendship through the creation of worldwide Peace Gardens. Since 1990 these Peace Gardens span five continents. Residents and visitors to our community have enjoyed the Batavia Peace Garden since it opened in 2011 to celebrate 200 years of friendship with Canada.

The Batavia Peace Garden flies the flags of all the recipient countries and is registered as an Honorary International Peace Garden. There are nine Honorary International Peace Gardens in New York State along the Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail. More information about the Foundation can be obtained by visiting www.ipgf.org.

February 21, 2017 - 5:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia.

Submitted photo and press release:

Effective Feb. 19, Todd Crossett was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Batavia Police Department.

Assistant Chief Crossett most recently held the position of Detective Sergeant having been promoted to that position in 2014. Prior to being promoted to Detective Sergeant he held the ranks of Detective, temporary Road Patrol Sergeant and Police Officer.

Assistant Chief Crossett started his law enforcement career with the City of Rochester Police Department before being hired in 1998 as a Police Officer for the City of Batavia.

He is a veteran of the Army, having been deployed to Somalia during the Battle of Mogadishu; he achieved the rank of E-4 Specialist.

Todd lives with his wife of 23 years, Cheryl, in the Town of Batavia; they have two children, Alex, age 19, and Megan, age 17.

Assistant Chief Crossett replaces Robb Yaeger who retired after 28 and a half years of service with the Police Department.

February 21, 2017 - 4:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Next month, nearly a year after he was arrested and accused of menacing a police officer, Bill Thomas will find out when his jury trial on the two felony charges against him begins.

Thomas withdrew his prior guilty plea to a count of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, today. He was also charged with menacing a police officer, a Class D violent felony.

He was arrested March 16. He will next appear in court on March 13.

In the intervening months, he's been through three attorneys, was about to start a jury trial but then entered a guilty plea on the day the trial was supposed to start, then at his first sentencing date, tried to withdraw his plea. That wasn't allowed and then again, last week, appeared for sentencing only to learn from Judge Michael Mohun that there was a procedural error by the court when his guilty plea was accepted.

Thomas was given time to confer with his attorney, his family and think over his options, which included withdrawing his plea and taking his case to a jury or sticking with his guilty plea and accepting whatever sentence Mohun might impose.

This afternoon, Mohun granted Thomas his request to withdraw his prior guilty plea.

Attorney Jamie Welch said he doesn't discuss ongoing cases and declined to say why Thomas decided to withdraw his plea.

One salient fact that came out last week at the sentencing hearing, before Mohun put a stop to it, was that even though Officer Peter Flanigan said he was threatened by Thomas while Thomas was holding a knife, there was no knife recovered on or near Thomas after he was arrested.

Four hours after the confrontation, Thomas was found to have a BAC of .22 and said he had few memories of events that early morning on State Street, but maintained he wouldn't have threatened a police officer, according to statements Welch made in court last week.

February 21, 2017 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia.

About six people are said to be fighting outside the Batavia Meadows apartment complex at 4112 W. Main Street Road, near apartment B1. Law enforcement is responding.

February 21, 2017 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.

The remains of an animal found in the basement of a former Batavia pet shop have been sent to an office of the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), according to Officer Eric Hill, spokesman for Batavia PD.

One of the things SPCA examiners will try to do is determine what kind of animal it was that was found in the basement of the former location of Neptune's Gardens.

An employee of I.D. Booth, the company that owns the building on Ellicott Street, with a store next door, reportedly found the remains in a box while cleaning out the basement to prepare the store space for a potential new tenant. That employee posted a picture of the dead animal to social media, saying it was a dog, and the dozens of people that reposted it (the post has since been removed) and media who reported on it, including The Batavian and the radio show Kimberly and Beck, didn't stop to question whether it really was a dog in the picture.

The skull was not in complete profile in the picture, so it's indistinct, but there is no clear sign that it had a snout or canine-like teeth. Also, from a picture, without anything of scale next to the remains, it's impossible to tell the actual size of the animal. 

Asked if it might not be a dog, Hill said, "Nothing has been ruled in or out at this time."

Reached last week, at a time when everybody believed the bones were the remains of a dog, Neptune's co-owner Kathy LaFarnara said she had no idea how bones from a dog could have wound up in the basement of their former store. Neptune's closed that location, with plans to open another one in a smaller space across the street, more than five months ago.

Hill said the case is open pending a report from SPCA and otherwise there is no new information to report.

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