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July 1, 2014 - 12:00pm

You have helped us reach 25% of our goal. $1000 has been donated by Joe Parmenter Inc. to the Truth Ministries of Batavia!

A little about the organization: Truth ministries is a nonprofit program that began in Batavia in 2011. Steve and Mona Doyon saw a need to help the local lower-income youths in need of practical hygiene items as well as to offer spiritual guidance. Since creating the program they have helped more than 150 families a month year-round. The youths they help range from ages to 10 to 18.

The Doyons found that because some hygiene products are not covered under Food Stamps, many of the families did not have shampoo, soap, feminine products and other items that are necessities for a healthy life. This is the cornerstone of their donations, but clothing and food are also given. These items make the children feel more confident and increase their attendance in school.

A faith-based non-denominational recovery program was also developed for youths to support with issues such as drug, alcohol, and physical abuse that they have been exposed to or are going through themselves.

If you would like to make a donation to Truth Ministries, you can e-mail [email protected]

Items can also be dropped off at Parmenter Tire and Auto, 4531 W. Saile Drive, Batavia.

July 1, 2014 - 11:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, thruway, Darien.

Two men from Genesee County are dead following a horrific multi-vehicle accident on the Thruway in Henrietta yesterday afternoon.

Trooper Jason Jones, PIO for Troop T, confirmed the two victims were from Genesee County, but said the State Police are not releasing the names pending notification of family members.

One victim was from Batavia, the other from Darien.

The accident was reported at 4:30 p.m. near Exit 46. Six vehicles were involved.

UPDATE July 1 (information from State Police press release): Killed in the accident were Michael F. Pehrson, 51, of Batavia, and Christopher M. Rheinheimer, 25, of Darien. They were pronounced dead at the scene after their pickup truck was struck head on by a commercial vehicle hauling a construction dumpster. That vehicle was traveling eastbound when it left its lane, crossed the center median, and traveled into westbound traffic, according to officials' preliminary investigation. State Troopers, Fire, EMS, and Thruway Authority personnel immediately responded to the scene. The operator of the commercial vehicle, Roger L. Labar, 51, of Prattsburgh, was transported to Strong Memorial Hosptial with non-life-threatening injuries. Seconds after the first collision, a westbound tractor-trailer hauling produce struck the damaged guide rail from the first collision, which punctured its fuel tank causing it to become fully engulfed in flames. The operator of the tractor-trailer, a 49-year-old man from Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, quickly exited the vehicle and was uninjured. A fourth vehicle traveling behind the tractor-trailer struck debris in the road causing it to spin and be struck head on by a fifth vehicle. The operator of the fourth vehicle, a 70-year-old man from Canandaigua, was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the fifth vehicle was uninjured. A sixth vehicle traveling westbound on I-90 struck debris causing damage to the vehicle only, no other injuries were reported. State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Collision Reconstruction Units responded to the scene and are handling the investigation. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets also responded to the scene to assist with the fuel fire and perishable cargo of the tractor-trailer. At this time, no charges have been filed against the commercial vehicle driver, and the investigation remains ongoing. All westbound traffic was diverted off the Thruway at Exit 45 (Victor) for the duration of the investigation at the scene.

Photos submitted by Mark Hough.

July 1, 2014 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Chad Graham Desmit, 20, of Gillette Road, Albion, is charged with unlawful fleeing a police in a motor vehicle, 3rd, reckless driving, speeding (120 in 55 mph), failure to stop at stop sign and unsafe turn. Desmit allegedly failed to stop for an alleged traffic violation and instead fled from police. Deputy Joseph Corona attempted to stop Desmit at 9:24 p.m. Monday on Lockport Road, Oakfield. Desmit was allegedly pursued through the towns of Oakfield, Elba and Byron and into Orleans County, where he eventually stopped. Desmit was jailed on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.

Richard Gerald Harfford Jr., 36, of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant related to an unlawful possession of marijuana charge. Harfford was located by Batavia PD during an unrelated investigation and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. He was jailed on $340 bail.

Lance M. Mercado Sr., 24, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Mercado allegedly tried to fight another person while in the presence of a police officer.

Loma J. Burshtynsky, 55, of Otis Street, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Burshtynsky was arrested following a complaint at 7:33 p.m. Sunday of a driver entering Wendy's and becoming belligerent. Burshtynsky was jailed without bail.

A 17-year-old resident of Haven Lane, Batavia, is charged with forcible touching. The youth is accused of forcibly touching the intimate parts of another person.

July 1, 2014 - 8:55am
Event Date and Time: 
July 3, 2014 -
6:00pm to 8:00pm

Art and Music Painting Class hosted by Brandi Bruggman!

June 30, 2014 - 8:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

From Downtown Batavia this evening, I spotted this towering cloud to the north, so I decided to drive out toward East Saile Drive to get a better look at it. On the way back down Bank Street Road, there were three deer reasonably near the road (they're often in that farmfield, but usually too far away for any lens I own), so I managed to get a couple of shots.

June 30, 2014 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire.

An experienced firefighter joined the City Fire Department today. Zach Gowanloch spent two-and-half years with Lockport before falling victim to a budget ax. Recently married and a new father, Gowanloch is also EMT trained.

"I came down, met with the chief, liked what I saw, was very impressed, met with a couple of the guys," Gowanloch said when asked about why he applied for the job. "It just seemed like a nice place to work."

Gowanloch and his wife are looking for a new home in Batavia.

June 30, 2014 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park, weather, spray park.

Kasandra Sturgeon plays with her sister Hannah at the Spray Park in Austin Park today. It was Hannah's first trip there.

Dozens of kids were out this afternoon on what may be the hottest day of the year so far. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory, warning of an increased possibility of heat-related illness on a day with temperatures into the 90s and high humidity.

Stay cool and stay hydrated.

June 30, 2014 - 3:00pm

We're pleased to announce our Universal Pre-Kindergarten Pre-school
Program (UPK)
Lucky Ducky Daycare UPK Vision Statement:
At Lucky Ducky we believe children learn when they play and are able to freely explore, discover and problem solve in creative ways. Children naturally learn by doing, and as a teacher's role, we are obligated to promote this by allowing the children to use tools and materials in a creative environment that invites children to observe, be active to make
choices and to experiment. The environment as well as the teacher, is to foster a place for concrete opportunities, interactions with people, ideas, and materials in order to promote the child's social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth.
What is Universal Pre-Kindergarten? Universal Pre-kindergarten is a pre-school program for children turning four (4) on or before December 1. Activities are appropriate to the age and developmental level of the child.
Is it a half or full day? It is a half-day program in the morning for three hours, 9:00am - 12pm.
How many days a week? UPK meets five (5) days a week. Our program will operate the same as the Jackson Primary School calendar. Proof of residency is required.
How much does it cost? There is no charge or fee for your four (4) year old child to attend (For Batavia City School District).
How can I enroll my child? Enrollment is through the Batavia City
School District. Also, your child must meet all NYS immunizations and physical exam requirements. Requirements will be contained in the registration packet. Be sure to request your UPK site choice as Lucky Ducky Daycare.
How can I learn more about UPK? You may visit us at Lucky Ducky Daycare by making a visitation appointment and by picking up a registration packet at Batavia City School District Office, located at 260 State Street.
Lucky Ducky Daycare, dba • Divine Family Living, Inc. is located at 4007 Pearl Street Road in the town of Batavia. For more information on programs contact the Director, Kathy Seweryniak at 585-343-2465 or visit us online at:
June 30, 2014 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, Alabama.

Ronald Aaron Arrindell, 29, of Austen Court, Ashawa, Ontario, Canada, is charged with obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, and disorderly conduct. Arrindell is accused of causing a disturbance at the Darien Lake Hotel and Resort. He allegedly refused to comply with being arrested and physically removed from the vehicle he was in. Arrindell was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Alexander Colon-Colon, 20, of Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, no/insufficient tail lamp and failure to dim headlights. Colon-Colon was stopped at 2:47 a.m. Thursday on East Main Street, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Joshua M. Laureano, 23, of Lackawanna, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th, unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Laureano was stopped at 2:25 p.m. Saturday by State Police in the Town of Alabama. No further details released.

June 28, 2014 - 11:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Morton Avenue, Vibrant Batavia.

Residents of Morton Avenue came together today for a block party sponsored by Vibrant Batavia.

While Vibrant Batavia has sponsored other community events, this was the first block party, said Leanna DiRisio, director of Vibrant Batavia.

The event was largely organized by residents Bill and Lisa Scott with help from Rick and Dawn Calkins.

Food and drink was provided by Vibrant Batavia and cooked by Bill and Rick. Neighbors brought beer, desserts and side dishes and pitched in with recreational activities from Ping-Pong to sprinklers to basketball.

Members of the Batavia Fire Department stopped by with Ladder 15 and Officer Nedim Catovic represented Batavia PD (in the Ping-Pong battle between Police and Fire, Fire won 21-19, and then fire went on to trounce Local Media 21-6).

Councilmembers Eugene Jankowski and Patti Pacino also stopped by.

June 28, 2014 - 10:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Lions Club, outdoors, DeWitt Recreation Area.

Joshua von Kramer is all business as he casts his line into the pond at DeWitt Recreation Area today during a youth fishing tournament sponsored by the Batavia Oakfield Lions Club. Fishing with him are Nicole and Eric von Kramer.

Reice Woodward reels in a catch.

Reice Woodward

Ed Staniszewski with the boys and girls derby grand prizes.Other prizes on the table.

Joey Staniszewski

Blake Bradt gets her catch measured by Joe Bradt.

The tournament was dedicated to the memory of Kendra Haacke, who died this Spring at age 31. Above, members of the Haacke family, Melissa, Chris, Ken, Emma, Mary Ann and Lily.

June 28, 2014 - 4:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Grand Jury.

Michael L. Sanders is indicted for the crime of driving while ability impaired by drugs, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 29 in the City of Batavia, he caused serious physical injury to another person while operating a 2013 Acura on Oak Street with his abilities impaired by drugs. In count two, he is accused of vehicular assault, 1st, a Class D felony, for allegedly causing serious injury to another person while driving the same vehicle with his ability to do so impaired by drug use, thereby seriously injuring more than one person. In counts three, four, five, six and seven, respectively, Sanders is accused of the same thing, specifically seriously injuring five different named individuals.

Kevin J. O'Connell Jr. and Samantha L. Hicks are indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on Feb. 24 at 62 S. Main St., Batavia, they knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug, cocaine, with the intent to sell it. In count two, the defendants are accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, a Class B felony, for allegedly knowingly and unlawfully possessing a narcotic drug, heroin, with the intent to sell it. In count three, they are accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, a Class C felony, for allegedly knowingly and unlawfully possessing one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances containing a narcotic drug, cocaine, with an aggregate weight of one-eighth ounce or more.

June 27, 2014 - 11:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, BID, Jackson Square, music, entertainment.

The annual Jackson Square concert series kicked off Friday night with a return engagement by Stone Row, who first played the series nine years ago.

The electrified Irish band entertained the crowd with traditional and contemporary numbers.

Opening the show was a string quartet from the Genesee Symphony Orchestra playing traditional Irish tunes.

For a line-up of this summer's shows, click here.

June 27, 2014 - 7:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Flowers by Dick Burton.

One of Batavia's venerable businesses, Flowers by Dick Burton, is closing its doors the final time Monday evening.

The roots of the business are in Oakfield, growing out of greenhouses owned by Irving Bates and Benjamin Harrison, who opened a flower shop in Batavia sometime in the 1940s.

Eventually, Dick and Mary Burton bought the shop and after operating on Main Street for some time, moved it to Cedar Street.

John and Shelia Hamel purchased the business -- and kept the name -- 34 years ago.

Even though the Hamels have built up a customer database of 21,000 people (including customers in seven other nations), it's become too difficult to compete against Internet businesses, Hamel said.

"Yes, we have local competition, but our main competition is the Internet," John said. "These 1-800, Procom, Just Flowers, all these things -- I just urge our customers and anybody, do not use them because you get taken. You don't get the quality they expect here or any flower shop."

Hamel said customers have compared his prices to Internet prices and complained, but people don't realize the quality just isn't the same. The flowers aren't prepared properly and can even arrived dried out, and shipping costs often exceed the cost of the flowers.

Hamel said he isn't sure what's next for him and his wife. Shelia can still work in the flower industry if she wants. She's a certified master designer who got a near perfect score when she tested for the certification. She was Florist of the Year in 2002, named by the now defunct Floral Association of Greater Rochester.

Flowers by Dick Burton was Genesee County's Retail Business of the Year in 1994. The business as also won numerous awards from FTD and other trade organizations.

Hamel said there are so many people to thank for all the years of support of the business that he can't possibly name them all -- all of the customers, most of all.

He in recent years it's been a treat to do the flowers for brides whose mothers first came to them for their weddings in the 1980s and 1990s.

He said he especially wanted to thank the shop's longtime employees, Barb Spring, Charlie Augrom, Linda Luthart, Sally Case and Lori Mosier.

Through Monday, everything in the shop is half off. On July 9 and 10, the shop will be open for other florists to come in and buy fixtures and cases. The property will be auctioned off July 17.

"We really don't know what we're going to do after that," Hamel said. "We're letting our faith take us at that point."

June 27, 2014 - 4:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure.

Press release:

On Tuesday July 1st, the Trumbull Parkway Infrastructure Project will begin on Trumbull Parkway from East Avenue to Lown Street in the City of Batavia. The project includes installation of a new sanitary sewer main, water services, replacement of damaged sidewalks, and resurfacing the roadway.  The work is expected to be complete by Sept. 19th. Given the scope of the work, sections of Trumbull Parkway will be temporarily closed to thru traffic, excluding the residents who live in the work zone.

June 26, 2014 - 9:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

A person was reported running behind houses between Maple Street and Morton Avenue, Batavia, and members of the Local Drug Task Force happened to be in the area and took the young man into custody.

The person was cuffed and questioned while other law enforcement officers also by chance, apparently, who were in the area (Batavia PD and State Police) stopped by. 

A search of the area found nothing amiss.

With no further reason to hold the young man, he was going to be released, police said.

June 26, 2014 - 2:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Batavia Cab.

After several weeks of being out of service for significant repairs to its engine, Batavia Cab's lone cab is back in service.

Co-owner James Soggs said the cab just went back on the road today.

There were reports of Batavia Cab being out of business, but Soggs said the company hadn't closed, it just didn't have a vehicle it could put on the road.

There's been a lot of turmoil among local cab companies over the past two years with three or four companies opening and closing.

B-Town Taxi, Affordable Cab and Mike's* all appear to be out of business (we've confirmed B-Town is out of business). The only locally owned cab company we know to be currently operating in Genesee County is Batavia Cab.

Multiple readers contacted The Batavian over the past few weeks noting that there no longer seemed to be an operational cab company locally, creating a hardship on a lot of people, so the return of Batavia Cab should please a lot of people.

*I remember another company that started up two years ago and is now apparently out of business, but can't remember the company's name.

June 26, 2014 - 12:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

A NYS Citizen Preparedness Training Program will be offered on Monday, June 30, at The BEST Center. Time is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Batavia City Council President Brooks Hawley invites citizens to attend this free program that provides the tools and resources to prepare for emergencies and disasters, to respond accordingly, and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions.

Each family that attends will receive a NYS Disaster preparedness Kit that contains items to assist people in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. The state training and kits will help New Yorkers be the most-trained and best-prepared citizens in the country.

The BEST Center is located at One College Road, Room T102, at Genesee Community College.

To register for the training program go online to:





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

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