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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.

February 21, 2017 - 9:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Area Jaycees, batavia, news.

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Kelsey Torrey, Kristsen Danosos and Mark Ditzel were among the crew of Batavia Area Jaycees members who put out, and then took down, the U.S. flags along Main Street yesterday for President's Day.

The Jaycees are on a recruitment drive, backed by a group of past presidents and former members, said past president Tom Ditzel.

"I joined Jaycees in 1980 and made lifelong friends," Ditzel said.

Jaycees is a leadership training organization open to young men and women age 18 to 40. The Batavia Area Jaycees have a rich heritage and were instrumental in getting public support to create Genesee Community College and pushing the County Legislature for the Genesee County Park. They installed lights on the Upton Monument, put up flags on Main Street for all national holidays, and run countless other local projects around the county.  

For those interested in membership, email [email protected] or visit the group's Facebook page.

February 20, 2017 - 3:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

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Investigators are looking for help in identifying three individuals involved in a theft from Target and an attempted theft from Game Stop on Veterans Memorial Drive.

The three individuals entered Game Stop at 6:46 p.m., Feb. 15, and while two of the men distracted a store employee, a third went behind the counter and attempted to gain access to the safe. 

It was locked.

The three men then went to Target, stole a magnetic unlocking device, and then stole about $800 in Beats headphones.

They then left in a gold Honda Odyssey. No plate number could be obtained.

Investigators checked with other stores in the area but no similar incident was reported at those stores.

One suspect was wearing pink shoes and a Coca Cola jacket.

People with information that may assist investigators can call Investigator Chad Minuto at (585) 345-3000.

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February 19, 2017 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in indoor track, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

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Both the boys and the girls indoor track teams for Batavia High School won Section V titles at RIT on Friday night. It was the 13th title in 15 seasons for the Lady Devils and the 5th in the last 10 tries for the boys team.

The girls team dominated throughout the meet, finishing with 124 points to 71 for second-place Pal-Mac, and featured several outstanding individual performances. Katherine Wiseley won the shot put and weight throw. Lizzie Cohen won the triple jump, the 55 hurdles, and placed second in pole vault. Claire Zickl won the 600 meter, and Maddie Moore won the 1500 race walk. Bri Bromley had a strong meet with a second-place finish in the 1000 meter and a fourth-place finish in the 1500 meter. The 1600 relay of Regan Henrici, Bri Bromley, Claire Zickl and Kiaya Franklin also won.

The boys faced a bigger challenge with U-Prep keeping things close until the final event. The final point margin for Batavia over U-Prep was 15 points, with Batavia notching 91 total points. Anthony "Butch" Ray continued his dominance in the throws by winning the shot put and the weight throw while regaining the Section V record in weight, with a throw of 62'. Eric Davis had a strong performance, winning the 55 hurdles. Campbell Andersen won the 600 meter and placed third in pole vault. Nick Neid placed second in the 1600 meter. Ian SanFratello placed second in the weight throw. The 1600 relay of Isaiah Ciociola, Jerry Reinhart, Freddie Cunningham and Campbell Andersen also placed second.  

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February 16, 2017 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, Neptunes Gardens, batavia, news.

An employee of a local electric supply company, while cleaning out the basement of a former pet store in the same building, made a grisly discovery today  -- the bones of a dead dog in a box.

The box was reportedly stuck into some shelving in the basement.

Police were contacted immediately, according to John Booth, CEO of I.D. Booth, the company that owns the building on Ellicott Street in the City of Batavia.

Somebody who identified herself as an employee of I.D. Booth also posted the picture on social media and it was shared dozens and dozens of times today and became fodder on the radio talk show of Kimberly and Beck in Rochester.

Booth said he and his company are fully cooperating with the police on their inquiry into what might have happened.

Kathy LaFarnara, co-owner of Neptune's Gardens with her husband, Nicholas, told The Batavian today that neither she nor her husband knew anything about the dog prior to posts about it popping up on social media.  

They closed the location, which was behind the Pok-A-Dot, about five months ago and haven't been back inside since, she said. They were intending to open a smaller store on the other side of Ellicott Street, but with all the negative publicity on social media and Kimberly and Beck, she isn't sure what their future business plans are now.

"In 31 years of business, we always disposed of animals properly, even the rabbits," LaFarnara said.

Asked if an employee might have put the box in the basement, LaFarnara said their only employee was Nick's daughter.

"And she didn't like to go down in the basement," she said. "I didn't either. It was creepy down there. The stairway was open and you always felt like somebody might reach up and grab your legs.

"Right now, I have no idea where the dog came from," she added.

Det. Eric Hill this afternoon could not confirm anything other than that police had been called and asked to look into the matter.

Booth issued the following statement this evening:

I.D. Booth, Inc. learned of a tragic and disturbing situation on February 16, 2017. While an I.D. Booth employee was cleaning out property that is presently owned by I.D. Booth, but had been leased to former tenant Neptunes Gardens, the I.D. Booth employee discovered what appears to be the remains of an animal. The remains appear to not have been handled properly.

I.D. Booth has never occupied the Neptunes Gardens property, and has no information about the condition of remains, or the treatment or condition of any animals that were housed at the facility. I.D. Booth is horrified about this alarming discovery, and does not condone the unethical treatment of animals.

Upon discovering the remains, I.D. Booth immediately reported the discovery to the police, who have opened an investigation. I.D. Booth takes this situation very seriously, and is cooperating fully with the Batavia Police Department. Anyone with any information about this situation is encouraged to pass such information to the Batavia Police Department.

February 16, 2017 - 10:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Old Courthouse, batavia, news.

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The folks at Lighting Design Innovations want to give something back to their community, so they are offering to donate hardware, software, lights and wiring to illuminate the cupola atop the Old Courthouse 365 days a year.

Paul Mercier, a partner in the company, told members of the County Legislature about the proposed donation at a meeting of the Public Service Committee earlier this week. The committee voted to accept the donation, which is valued at $7,500.

"For us, the significant aspect of being here is we believe in community," Mercier said.

LDI is a multinational corporation with headquarters in Batavia and an office in Western Canada and clients spread throughout North America, Mercier said. They chose to base the company in Batavia because his partner is from Batavia and they like it here and think it's geographically well placed for their business.

"People often ask why we’re in Batavia and I always say, it’s the best place to be," Mercier said. "It’s the best place to be for business. If you take a string on a map and go 500 miles we hit a great deal of the population and I can tell you that within that 500-mile string, we are working in all of it right now."

Mercier shared a few slides of municipal lighting projects installed by LDI.

Then he presented mock-ups of what the Old Courthouse might look like with illuminated decorative lights.

While LDI is donating just enough equipment to illuminate the copula, it's Mercier's hope that other people in the community will step forward with donations sufficient enough to enable the entire building to be illuminated. As part of his presentation, Mercier showed Photoshopped mock-ups of what the courthouse might look like when fully illuminated.

The lighting system consists of LED lights that can display millions of colors that shine on an object, such as the cupola, with color designs being made by software attached to the lighting system.

Assistant County Manager Matt Landers said the new system will replace a conventional lighting system that is used on special occasions. The electricity cost between the less-efficient system and the new LED system used more frequently will be about the same, Landers said.

Mercier, Landers and county staff did meet one evening recently for a demo lighting of the cupola. 

“What I was surprised by that night is how from how far away you can see the cupola," Mercier said. "It is truly a beacon from all directions.”

Once the lighting is installed, which Mercier said is an easy process, he thinks legislators will be eager to see the entire building illuminated.

"You’ll love the way it is, we have no doubt about that, but we think you’ll want to consider a second and third phase that you can celebrate all over again that you’ve illuminated something else on the courthouse," he said.

February 16, 2017 - 2:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A Batavia resident accused of menacing a police officer with a knife nearly a year ago has until Tuesday to decide if he will withdraw his guilty plea on a weapons charge and take his case to trial.

Bill A. Thomas, 57, first entered a guilty plea to criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, on July 21. When he was supposed to be sentenced in November, he tried to withdraw his guilty plea and asked for a new attorney.

While Thomas wasn't allowed then to change his plea, he was given time to find a new attorney.

Today, with Michael Mohun, normally the judge in Wyoming County, presiding in County Court for this case and one other, the case took another twist.

After hearing Officer Peter Flanigan read a victim's statement, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman argue for a harsh sentence and Jamie Welch, representing Thomas, advocate for a probationary sentence, Mohun summoned both attorneys to the bench.

There was a short conversation, then Mohun said he and the attorneys would meet in chambers to discuss a procedural issue.

Nearly two hours later, the attorneys, judge, defendant and his family members were all back in court after several private discussions involving all parties.

Mohun announced that when Thomas entered his guilty plea there was a procedural error related to what he admitted to and what was stated in the SCI (Special Court Information, a document used in lieu of a Grand Jury indictment). The procedural error could potentially invalidate the guilty plea, and that is why Thomas now has a chance to reconsider his plea.

Since Welch is new to the case, joining only after Thomas entered his guilty plea in July, Welch said he hasn't reviewed all of the evidence. Also, Thomas would like more time to think through his decision and confer with his family.

In his statement, Flanigan recalled a potentially catastrophic confrontation at 4 a.m., March 16, when he entered the Thomas home on State Street. He said Thomas moved aggressively toward him with a knife, and after Thomas failed to obey his verbal commands to drop the knife, Flanigan said he realized he would have to shoot Thomas to protect himself. As he reached for his pistol, the brother of Thomas entered the hallway in an attempt to leave the house, and he came between Flanigan and Thomas. Flanigan said he no longer had a clear shot at Thomas and the situation defused at that point.

The confrontation -- in which Flanigan said he both knew he might have to kill Thomas and that his own life was in danger, causing thoughts of his family and coworkers to flash through his mind -- left him shaken and he described having times of trouble sleeping and displaying other symptoms of stress, he said. 

Friedman spoke next and said that Thomas was prepared to go to trial until Interim Judge Micheal Pietruszka proposed a plea settlement, which both sides then accepted. Friedman said Thomas was a lucky man -- lucky to be alive, lucky that he wasn't charged with a more serious crime, lucky to get the plea offer he did and given his good fortune, but the serious nature of the crime, he should be given no leniency in sentencing.

Welch noted that his client never had a prior violent felony charge and it had been nearly two decades since his last criminal conviction, a misdemeanor, and it's been since 1996 that he was convicted of a felony, a DWI. Therefore, he said, he deserved a probationary sentence with credit for time served (he's been in jail for 11 months).  

While Flanigan noted that Thomas hasn't admitted to threatening the officer, Welch said when a blood sample was taken from Thomas at 8 a.m., four hours after the alleged confrontation, Thomas had a BAC of .22 and has said he doesn't remember much about that morning and doesn't believe he would have threatened a police officer with a knife.

The defense attorney also noted that even though police had control of the crime scene from the time they arrived until the investigation was completed, there was never a knife found on Thomas or at the scene.

February 16, 2017 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Stafford, Darien, Le Roy, alexander.

Davon Shaquille St. John, 18, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with assault, 2nd. St. John is accused of assaulting somebody while confined at the Genesee County Jail at 8:49 p.m., Monday. He was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Wayne L. Pierce, 75, of Alexander, is charged with forcible touching. Pierce is accused of inappropriately grabbing a female employee at the Ben Go's gas station in Attica.

Bishop Williams, 23, of Genesee Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 4th, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th. Williams is accused of selling Suboxone in May while in the Village of Wyoming. He was arrested by Wyoming County Drug Task Force following an investigation. He was jailed on $15,000 bail.

Odanis Betances, 21, of Morris Avenue, Bronx, is charged with petit larceny. Betances is accused of stealing $125.99 in merchandise from Kmart.

Brian James Lipinski, 33, of Richley Road, Darien, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument. Lipinski allegedly used a counterfeit bill to pay for food delivered to his residence.

Jarvis Davon Seymore, 33, of Michigan Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, unlicensed driving, aggravated unlicensed driving, and speeding. Seymore was stopped at 1:51 p.m., Monday, on Clinton Street Road, Stafford, by Deputy Chad Cummings.

February 15, 2017 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A property-damage accident is reported in the area of 5768 Clinton Street Road, Batavia.

A caller reports smelling smoke coming from one of the vehicles.

No injuries are reported.

Town of Batavia fire dispatched.

UPDATE Noon: Mercy EMS requested non-emergency.

February 14, 2017 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Rotary Club, batavia, news.

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Members of the Batavia Rotary Club were introduced to a new fundraising concept at their lunch meeting today that as far as anybody knows hasn't been tried in Genesee County before.

It's called a meat raffle and Andrea Aldinger, pictured, has participated in such raffles in Wyoming County.

She demonstrated the raffle for members today because the club will be hosting one April 7 at the Sacred Heart Social Center.

How a meat raffle works is, people pay to attend, in this case $5, and then they can buy raffle tickets for each item as it becomes available. For example, the person running the raffle holds up five pounds of bacon and says the bacon will go to the next auction winners.  Participants then have five minutes to buy raffle tickets, each numbered from 1-7, for $1 each. Then the person spins the raffle wheel and each person with the winning number (yes, there can be more than one winner) wins five pounds of bacon.  

There will be 20 such raffles, including not just bacon, but steaks, chickens, turkey, roasts and ribs.

Aldinger said participants need to bring a cooler to hold their meat, because they will win meat.

She also recommended making it a social event, getting a table of 10 as a group and bringing your own snacks and food dishes to eat during the three-hour raffle. The club will provide two kegs of beer, free until it runs out, and sodas will be free. There will also be a hosted bar, hosted by the church.

Raffle tickets will only be sold at the event, but there are separate prizes, including a wheelbarrow of booze and a freezer filled with meat, that people enter to win. See a local Rotarian for tickets.

February 14, 2017 - 10:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, Batavia PD, news, batavia.

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Press release:

Batavia High School Student Government in conjunction with Batavia Police Department raised $800 Monday night. The money will be used to give back to a BHS student or students in the form of a scholarship at awards night in the spring awarded to seniors looking into law enforcement or criminal justice.

This is the second year of the event and coincides with the high school "Snowcoming" week where BHS celebrates winter and winter athletes. The senior Class of 2017 beat out staff members and the Police Department team and will be awarded the trophy during the winter pep assembly later this week. 

Top photo: Submitted photo; photos below, by Howard Owens.

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February 13, 2017 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools, news, education, schools.

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Press release:

Batavia City School District Board of Education Awards on Feb. 7

Two Board members – Karen Tomidy and Leslie Johnson – each received a Certificate of Completion for finishing a NYS-mandated training for Board of Education members.

Batavia Middle School student Garrett Schmidt was presented with an Outstanding Student Award by Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the February Board meeting. He was nominated by BMS Principal Ashley Grillo, who wrote, “Garrett Schmidt is a stellar student who has transitioned into sixth-grade seamlessly. Even with increased expectations and responsibilities, Garrett is going above and beyond on a daily basis. Not only is Garrett kind and helpful to ALL students, he is meticulous in his work and his effort exceeds expectations. He is a quiet leader, which spurred his nomination to a leadership conference this summer. Garrett will attend the Ambassador Leadership Summit with students from 140 different countries that will enhance and refine his strong leadership potential. He is a student you trust. He works in the Counseling Center during his Home Base time and was even chosen to help a student travel to and from classes due to a broken wrist.”

Batavia Middle School staff members Karen O’Donnell, Laura Kaczmarek, Karen Cima, Jessica Korzelius and Frank Ferri were presented with Outstanding Employee Awards by Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the February Board meeting. They were nominated by BMS Principal Ashley Grillo, who wrote, “These Batavia Middle School teachers are being recognized for their help in organizing the fifth-grade Staycation Field Trip. Mrs. Korzelius, Mr. Ferri, and Mrs. O'Donnell approached the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership about having them come to BMS with devices and other technological resources acquired through the GAMETech Grant. These devices included LittleBits, Cubelets, Lego WeDo Robotics, Lego StoryStarters, and Lego EV3 Mindstorms Robotics Kits. Once the Staycation was approved, Mrs. Cima and Mrs. Kaczmarek organized the Staycation and had the students rotate through various stations throughout the school day. Stations were setup for programming and others were set up for building. The technological modules are hands-on activities that fit into instructional learning standards and learning targets. All the students were engaged in problem solving and creativity at each station. The Staycation took two months to plan, as it was extremely involved. Congratulations to these teachers for thinking outside the box and coming up with an excellent idea for our BMS Students.”

Jackson Primary School teacher Kelly Radley was presented with an Outstanding Employee Award by Board of Education President Patrick Burk at the February Board meeting. She was nominated by Jackson Principal Diane Bonarigo, who wrote, “Ms. Radley serves as a Teacher on Special Assignment for Jackson Primary School and is the District’s Mentor/Mentee Coordinator. She is a highly respected teacher leader and serves the school in many different ways. Ms. Radley can always be seen at evening and Saturday events at Jackson Primary and consistently goes above and beyond to serve the needs of our students, staff and parents, and does this with great enthusiasm. Thank you, Ms. Radley, for making a significant contribution to our school community.”

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February 13, 2017 - 3:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Announcements, Youth Board.

Press release:

The Genesee County & City of Batavia Youth boards are looking for nominations for their annual Youth Recognition Banquet. Nominations are due by Wednesday, Feb. 15.

There are three awards presented at the Youth Recognition Banquet:

·      Youth Recognition Award — This award recognizes young people who have performed exceptional service to the community and/or have assumed extraordinary roles in their families. Typically, the best candidates for this award are high school students, but we also know there are 12-, 13-, 14-year-olds who exemplify distinctive qualities of service.  Several youth will be recognized; however the Youth Boards reserve the right to limit the number of recipients.

·      Adult Volunteer — This award recognizes an adult who provides service as a volunteer to youth in Genesee County.

·      Adult Youth Worker — This award recognizes a youth service professional whose work surpasses normal expectations.

Recipients will be honored at the Youth Recognition Banquet on March 30.

For more information or to receive nomination forms, please call the Genesee County Youth Bureau at 344-3960 or [email protected]. The forms are also on the Youth Bureau page of the Genesee County website, www.co.genesee.ny.us.

February 13, 2017 - 3:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department has received multiple complaints where small denomination counterfeit bills have been passed at local businesses. The Batavia Police Department is reminding everyone to check their money carefully. If you feel that you may be victim to receiving counterfeit bills, please report it to the Police Department.

A few simple items to check for on U.S. Currency that are hard to recreate on counterfeit bills:

  • Color-shifting ink -- the bill denomination on the bottom right-hand corner has color-shifting ink;
  • Raised printing -- to detect raised printing, take your fingernail and run it carefully down the collar/jacket. You should feel some vibration on your nail from the ridges.
  • Blurry borders/printing/text -- significantly blurry borders, printing, or text, it is an automatic red flag.
  • Red & Blue threads -- If you take a close look at an authentic bill, you will see that there are small red and blue threads woven in and out within the fabric of the bill.
  • Watermark -- In many of the new bills, the watermark is actually a replica of the face on the bill.
February 13, 2017 - 3:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford, batavia, news.

Gari Lyn Fields, 33, of Lehigh Street, Rochester, is charged with failure to dim headlights and aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd. Fields was stopped at 2:21 a.m., Feb. 8, by Deputy Jeremy McClellan on Morganville Road, Stafford, and arrested on a warrant out of Town of Stafford Court from Sept. 4, 2007. Fields was held on $250 bail or $2,500 bond.

Eileen L. Biaselli, 58, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant from 2005. The warrant was discovered by Batavia PD officers during an investigation of an unrelated domestic dispute. Biaselli was jailed without bail.

Taylor Maya Miley, 20, of Heidt Avenue, Middletown, is charged with harassment. Miley allegedly threatened another person at Genesee Community College at 2:30 p.m., Feb. 8. 

Chevon Mae Duryea, 25, of Watercure Road, Nunda, is charged with petit larceny and possession of a hypodermic instrument. Duryea is accused of shoplifting from Kohl's Department Store. During the investigation he was allegedly found in possession of a needle. Also arrested and charged with petit larceny was Carl Abraham Goossens, 32, of Coverdale Road, Leicester.

Christine Ann Gelardo, 64, of Fargo Road, Stafford, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and possession of a controlled substance not in original container. Gelardo was arrested following the completion of an investigation stemming from an incident reported Sept. 27 on Fargo Road in Stafford. Also arrested and charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument was Daniel Leonard Pelton, 59, of Fargo Road, Stafford.

Katrina L. Drake, 26, of Locust Street, Lockport, is charged with disorderly conduct and aggravated unlicensed operation. Drake was arrested by Officer Peter Flanagan following a complaint of a fight in the roadway at 1:07 a.m. Sunday on Summit Street, Batavia.

Robert S. Sodja, 52, of Lake Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant out of City Court and jailed on $1,000 bail.

Jessie J. Sayyeau, 23, of Iroquois Street, Rochester, was arrested on a warrant out of City Court for alleged failure to appear and jailed on $1,000 bail.

Joseph M. Marsceill Jr., 31, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant by Batavia PD after being located by probation officers in a home of one of their probationers. He was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

February 11, 2017 - 11:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, batavia.

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A three-car accident with air-bag deployment and possible injuries is reported in front of Batavia Downs on Park Road. Town of Batavia Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 11:29 p.m.: No injuries. A car was stopped in front of the Downs' entrance to unload passengers and another vehicle rear-ended it, then another vehicle rear-ended the second vehicle -- a chain reaction.

February 11, 2017 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, batavia, history, Ryan Duffy, news.

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Ryan Duffy decided in high school that he wanted to work in a history museum.

Now, he's running one.

Duffy is the new director of the Holland Land Office Museum in Batavia and yesterday the museum held a reception to welcome him to his new job.

He started Jan. 17 and said he's already fascinated by what he's finding in the museum.

"I go upstairs every day to work on some things and I find something new that I find I’m amazed that it’s here, that you would expect to be some place much bigger than here," he said.

One reason Duffy is going through the collection is he's trying to plan future exhibits, which he said may focus on local history, or he may explore cooperative efforts with other museums for exhibits with ties to Genesee County, but not specifically Genesee County. He's currently working on a possible World War I exhibit and he's found some items he was surprised might be part of the local collection, such as a war department document. He said he's also impressed with the range of military uniforms the museum owns, representing all branches of service spanning the history of the country.

To help get more people to visit the museum, he's exploring the idea of trivia nights and more family-oriented events.

Duffy, originally from Eden, received his BA in history from St. Bonaventure University. He received a master's dpegree in history from Bowling Green University and a Master's Certificate in Museum Studies from SUNY Buffalo State College.

"I’ve become more and more interested in local history as I’ve gone along, so I thought, ‘I’m still in Western New York -- it’s still my history in that regard,’ " Duffy said, explaining why he applied for the job when he heard HLOM was looking for a new director. "I still feel a connection to it and I get to do what I actually want to do.”

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