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August 16, 2016 - 11:43am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Le Roy, news.

A motor-vehicle accident with unknown injuries is reported at Route 19 and Parmalee Road in Le Roy. Unknown injuries. Le Roy fire and ambulance are responding.

UPDATE 12:14 p.m.: An elderly female driver in a sedan was southbound on Route 19 when she slowed to make a left turn onto Parmalee. Behind her was a Chevy Suburban with four teenagers in it and the driver was following the sedan too closely and failed to notice the sedan slowing to turn, resulting in a rear-end collision, according to the officer at the scene. No one was apparently injured, however. A family member drove to the scene and took the elderly female home after she was evaluated by medics.

August 15, 2016 - 1:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, Announcements, Tompkins Bank of Castile.

Press release:

Proving that a minute can matter, Tompkins Bank of Castile is kicking off the "Community Minute Challenge," a contest that invites participants to vote on the bank’s Facebook page and rewards local not-for-profits with a total of $10,000 in much-needed funds.

The first round will begin Aug. 17 through 31, and the public is invited to watch one-minute videos produced by participating nonprofits in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, Monroe and Orleans counties, and then vote for their favorite. Each video explains how the non-profit will use the awarded funds. The contest will run in four different quarters and will award $2,500 to each quarterly winner.

Competing in this round are: Going to the Dogs Rescue in Wyoming County, Community Action of Genesee and Orleans County, United Way of Genesee County’s Backpack Program, Mary Cariola Children’s Center of Rochester, GO ART!, and Sweet Adelines Chorus of Rochester.

To show support, participants should “like” Tompkins Bank of Castile’s Facebook page (, click on the Community Minute Challenge app and then select their favorite nonprofit. Each individual can vote once per day during the contest period.

August 15, 2016 - 1:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia peace garden, news, batavia, music, entertainment.

Press release:

The International Peace Garden Foundation, in conjunction with the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden, are bringing a special concert to Batavia from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13.

The "Peace on Earth" concert will launch the holiday season and feature Colleen Marcello, an acclaimed soprano in Western New York, and the Irrera Brothers, who are world-famous musicians.

All three artists have roots in Genesee County. The Irrera’s are graduates of Batavia High and Colleen’s grandfather, Philip Marcello, was a former Mayor of Batavia. Together they proudly represent Batavia’s rich Italian heritage.

The critically acclaimed Irrera Brothers have captivated audiences throughout the United States and abroad. The New York Concert Review cited their 2013 concert in Carnegie Hall as a “riveting and dynamic performance.” Additional concert engagements have brought Joseph and John to notable venues such as the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Eastman Theatre and internationally throughout France, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Latin America. With a range of educational venues, the brothers both received their doctorates in Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music in 2014. Besides performing together and as soloists, the Irrera Brothers have served on the faculty at the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Community Music School.

Marcello received her Master of Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College. A frequent area soloist, Marcello “won the audience over” as Sister Blanche of the "Agony of Christ" in Opera Sacra’s recent production of the "Dialogues of the Carmelites." She has also been a featured soloist under the baton of Robert Franz and Marvin Hamlisch with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Her musical talents have also led her to Off-Broadway musical theater in such productions as "State Fair," "The King and I" and "Fiddler on the Roof."

Another notable feature of this concert will be the Steinway piano cosponsored by Denton Cottier and Daniels. Joseph Irrera is one of 500 Steinway musicians worldwide.  The quality of the music at this event will be unparalleled, and will be a wonderful way to kick off the holidays.

The concert will be held inside the Batavia High School Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at Roxie’s Music Store on West Main Street in the city and at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, or by calling 585-201-7100 or 585-343-2387. The ticket costs range from $15 for General Admission to $30 for VIP tickets, which also includes a Meet-the-Artist cocktail reception at the Dibble Center following the event. VIP tickets are very limited. Student tickets are $10. Advance purchase is recommended.

Make this an early holiday gift for those friends and family who are music lovers. This advance notice will insure that you can put the date aside and mark it on your calendar. This is a great way to support the arts in Western New York.

August 15, 2016 - 1:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

(Photo of Goosebumb Hanover with driver Jim Morrill Jr.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Despite the oppressive humidity at post time, victory in the $119,300 New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies was no sweat for Goosebump Hanover and Non Stick at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 13).

Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) took a wait-and-see approach in the first $59,100 division as Jim Morrill Jr. took back to last while Lindylicious (Kevin Cummings), Swinging Royalty (Chris Lems) and Earn Your Wings (Charlie Norris) accounted for three lead changes before the half that was reached in :58.2.

At that station, Earn your Wings was on top by two when Morrill pulled Goosebump Hanover to follow the live cover of Lindylicious, who had made a move at five eighths. Morrill followed the outer flow until it stalled and then swung three-wide at the top of the far turn and started pouring on the speed. When they hit the straightaway, Goosebump Hanover was in full-stride and scored a one length victory in 1:58.

After the race, driver Jim Morrill Jr. spoke glowingly of his filly. “The race set up perfectly for her with the fast half. But when I tipped her and asked her for more, she trotted strong to the wire.”

Goosebump Hanover ($10.40) is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable, LLC, J&T Silva Stables, LLC, Crawford Farms, LLC, and Joseph DiScala Jr.

(Photo of Non Stick with trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt.)

In the second $60,200 leg, Non Stick (Lucky Chucky-Meucci Madness) took no prisoners as trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt left immediately and worked his way to the lead by the quarter in :29 flat. Open Access (Charlie Norris), who left behind Non Stick, was pressuring her on the outside at that point but made a break in the turn and that allowed the leader a :30.4 breather in the second panel.

Approaching the five eighths pole, post time favorite Fad Finance (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled from third and drafted outside of Non Stick up the backside. But as soon as the pair hit the final turn, Morrill gave the filly her head and Fad finance surged a length ahead of Non Stick. However the tables turned quickly when they straightened out in the lane as Non Stick came back on and pulled away to an easy two-length win in 1:58.2.

Non Stick ($5.60) is owned by Ake Svanstedt, Inc., and Little E, LLC.

There were also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card and two of them showed up the headliners by just missing the track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies by a fifth of a second (Cowgirl Hall, Bouncing Bax-1:57.2).

The first division was won by Wendy’s Girl (Lucky Chucky-East Creek Wendy) who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. in 1:57.3. Wendy’s Girl ($2.80) is trained by Tracy Brainard for owners Howard Taylor and Edwin Gold.

The second leg was won by Dazzling Dollars (Cash Hall-Designed To Dazzle) who was also driven by Jim Morrill Jr. and was also timed in 1:57.3. Dazzling Dollars ($3.30) is trained by Trond Smedshammer for owner Wanda Polisseni’s Purple Haze Stable.

The third split was captured by Hullaba Lulu (RC Royalty-Lulu Pernilla) who was teamed by his trainer, John Stark Jr. in 1:58.2. Hullaba Lulu ($16.20) is owned by the estate of Edmund Smith, Daniel Giannuzzi, James Giannuzzi and Carol Wink.  

Jim Morrill Jr. had a driving triple on the card while Dave McNeight III won with two.

August 15, 2016 - 12:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in Diana Kastenbaum, news, politics, NY27.

Press release:

Diana Kastenbaum, the Democratic Congressional Candidate for NY-27, has been endorsed by the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) union.

The NYSUT announced endorsements in races for Congress and the State Legislature last week. The union backs candidates who have championed public education, health care and workers' rights.

NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said, "candidates earning NYSUT's endorsement this year have shown a willingness to listen to our members in public schools, colleges and hospitals. They value their relationships with our more than 600,000 politically active and energized members and champion their interests.”

Kastenbaum says, “I am honored to be endorsed by NYSUT (New York State United Teachers), as they do tremendous work to help improve our public education system throughout our state! Good teachers instill a love of learning that doesn't end in the classroom, but carry us throughout our entire life. I am proud to say that I am a product of New York State's public school system and my teachers helped shape and guide my life.”

This is the second union to endorse Kastenbaum. The first union to endorse her was the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local One. 

August 15, 2016 - 12:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Le Roy, news.

A possible barn fire is reported on Hebbard Road near North Road in the Town of Le Roy. A caller reports seeing smoke coming from the barn. Le Roy fire is responding along with mutual aid from Bergen. Caledonia is asked to stand by in their fire hall.

August 13, 2016 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, news, Grand Jury, crime.

Josiah C. Yantz is indicted for the crime of third-degree rape, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 15 in the Town of Oakfield, Yantz engaged in sexual intercourse with another person without such person's consent. This allegedly occurred "where such lack of consent was by reason of some factor other than incapacity to consent."

In count two of the indictment, Yantz is accused of the crime of sexual misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor. In count two, it is alleged that on Oct. 28, Yantz, while in the Town of Oakfield, engaged in sexual intercourse with another person without such person's consent.

August 13, 2016 - 1:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

(Photo of J A T O with driver Mike Caprio, courtesy of Paul White.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

J A T O is an acronym for jet-assisted take-off and given the style of his racing, there has probably never been a more aptly named horse. At Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 12), J A T O (Mike Caprio) turned on the jets from last and flew home to capture the $10,000 Open trotting feature in the fastest trotting mile of the meet.

Lutetium (Todd Cummings) took his familiar position up front as he left from post six and dictated the fractions. He went to the half in :57.2 with a two-length lead before anyone made a move. As they motored up the backside, Lutetium then opened up a four-length lead and was beginning to look like a winner, but Mike Caprio pulled J A T O from last and made a very strong three-wide move.

When the field reached three quarters in 1:26.3, J A T O had moved into second and cut Lutetium’s lead in half and when they hit the top of the stretch, it was all over; J A T O simply trotted away to a length victory in 1:57.2. Lutetium hung on for second and Noble Legend (Kevin Cummings) closed well for third.

It was the third win in nine starts for J A T O ($3.80) and it pushed the 4-year-old gelded son of Big Apple Deli’s bankroll to $35,075 for 2016. The time of 1:57.2 was a seasonal mark for the winner.

J A T O is trained by Alana Caprio for owners Margaret Butler and Amy Butler.

Kevin Cummings scored a driving triple and that pushed him into second place among the local driver colony for dash wins, now with 15. Drew Monti and Todd Cummings both had doubles on the card as well. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Aug. 13) with two legs of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies on the card. Post time for the first race is 6:15 p.m.

August 12, 2016 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, crime, news.

Aaron W. Gillard, 28, of Bergen, was arrested at 2:26 p.m. on Aug. 7 in the Town of Covington after he allegedly crashed his car into a house on Wyoming Road. He subsequently allegedly failed field sobriety tests and deputies say they found more than an ounce of marijuana in the vehicle. He was transferred to Wyoming County Sheriff's Office where he refused a chemical test to determined his BAC. Gillard was found to be driving in violation of his conditional license and without a required ignition interlock device in his vehicle. Gillard had a previous conviction of DWI within the past five years. He is charged with: felony DWI; felony unlicensed operation in the first degree; operating without an interlock device; violating conditional license; moving from lane unsafely; and speed not reasonable and prudent. He was also charged with criminal possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor. Gillard was arraigned in the Town of Covington Court and put in Wyoming County Jail on $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. He is due back in court at a later date. Gillard's license was also suspended pending prosecution of this case, which was handled by Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies Bradley McGinnis and Mike Majtyka.

August 12, 2016 - 2:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, Alabama.


A one-vehicle rollover is reported in the area of 7142 Alleghany Road, near the Bloomingdale Road intersection. Unknown injuries. Alabama Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 4:16 p.m.: This is a "rolling domestic" incident which began in Lockport. The couple involved fled the scene and law enforcement is searching for them. Fire police have cordoned off the area and a K-9 unit from Medina PD is working to find the parties. A State Police helicopter cannot be deployed due to the possibility of thunderstorms.

UPDATE 4:21 p.m.: Law enforcement is looking for a black male, about 5'6", wearing an orange T-shirt and black shorts; but the white female, also about 5'6", wearing a pink floral dress, is now out talking with Alabama Fire Chief Gary Patnode -- the chief is in a gator and he and the female are about 100 yards from the roadway of Route 77.

UPDATE 4:28 p.m.: Patnode said both parties had blood on them and the male appeared to have a cut near his eye. The vehicle was found a little north of the Post Office here and had rolled over. Bystanders uprighted the vehicle and afterward the couple got out and ran through yards and into the woods. First responders staged in the area until law enforcement arrived. Patnode said the scene was confused and chaotic at first.

UPDATE 5:03 p.m.: The female, who was the driver, was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy medics. The Erie County "Air One" Sheriff's helicopter was eventually allowed to be deployed. The investigation of the incident continues.

UPDATE 5:09 p.m.: "We do not know why he fled the scene," said Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Saile. Alcohol has not been ruled out as a factor in the accident, Saile said, noting that a deputy is heading to Strong to interview the female driver. She told officers that the male "was picked up by a friend," but they are not certain of the truthfulness of the statement and are continuing to search for the male passenger for the time being. A perimeter was set up soon after first responders arrived and the couple fled the scene. The K-9 and helicopter are still deployed.

UPDATE 5:35 p.m.: Air 1 has left the scene; they will probably be stopping the search soon.

UPDATE 6:13 p.m.: Sheriff's deputies "believe" they are out with the suspect, who they found walking southbound on Route 77.

UPDATE 6:23 p.m.: A male is being detained and medics are treating his injuries. After Air One left the scene, the State Police helicopter flew to the scene for personnel reasons.



August 12, 2016 - 1:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, muckdogs, baseball, batavia, news, buffalo bills, Ray Bentley.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs today announced that former Buffalo Bills linebacker Ray Bentley will sign autographs at Dwyer Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 21st, when the Muckdogs battle the West Virginia Black Bears at 4:05 p.m.

Prior to throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, Bentley will sign autographs from 3 to 3:45 p.m. Bentley will then sign again from 4:10 to 5 p.m.

Bentley is also the author of a series of children’s books about the characters Darby the Dinosaur and Bubba Gator. In addition to Bentley’s autograph signing, the first 150 kids 10 and under will also receive a free copy of the book “Darby’s Christmas Adventure.”

Bentley spent six seasons with the Bills (1986-1991), including two of the four historic consecutive Super Bowl appearances. After suffering an injury with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1992, Ray retired from professional football. Once retired, Ray became a radio show talk host in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., on WOOD 1340 AM, as well as a play by play announcer on FOX for the NFL. In 2000, he became the Head Coach and General Manager of the Buffalo Destroyers, an Arena Football League team. After resigning in 2003, he made his way back to the television screen, becoming a color analyst for ESPN college football games, the job he still holds today.

For tickets, call the Muckdogs box office at (585) 343-5454, ext. 1005.

August 12, 2016 - 1:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Oakfield.

Submitted photo and press release:

Bank of Akron is pleased to announce the promotion of Kimberly Staniszewski to assistant vice president.

Kim serves as Loan Compliance Manager where she is responsible for reviewing loan compliance regulations at both the federal and state level.

She is a certified community bank compliance officer. Kim has beenwith the bank for 21 years. Kim is a member of the Oakfield-Alabama School Board of Education, a member of the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club, and a volunteer with the Oakfield Betterment Committee. She is a graduate of Genesee Community College and resides with her family in Oakfield.

Established in 1900, Bank of Akron provides a full range of financial services including residential mortgages, construction loans and home equity lines of credit as well as commercial loans and mortgages. Bank of Akron has five branches located in Akron, Clarence, Clarence Center, and Lancaster and plays an active role in supporting each community it serves.

August 12, 2016 - 12:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in pavilion clothes closet, Pavilion, news, Announcements.

Press release:

The Pavilion Clothing Closet has found a new home! It has moved from Pavilion High School to the Pavilion First Baptist Church, 10956 Lake Road (Route 19), Pavilion.

The Clothing Closet will be open for two consecutive Saturdays, Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, and by appointment. For an appointment, call Hope Speechley at 585-483-1858 or 584-3727. DO NOT leave a message; just try to call again.

The Pavilion Clothing Closet is a place where any Pavilion Central School student and their family can go to acquire gently used and sometimes “new” clothing, shoes and outerwear for FREE.

Very generous community members have and continue to donate to the Closet, these donations are very much appreciated!

There is an amazing abundance of clothing free for the taking. Please stop in to see what's available.

To donate, there is a green drop-off box at the front door of the church.

Additionally, we will continue to coordinate opening the Clothing Closet with the high school's Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Basket programs.

August 12, 2016 - 12:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

(Photo of Non Stick courtesy of Fotowon.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

When the 3-year-old trotting filly division of the New York Sire Stakes rolls into Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 13), three of the top six richest distaff sophomore trotters of 2016 will be on hand to compete for the $119,300 in purses being offered. 

In the first $60,200 leg that is carded as race three, Non Stick (Lucky Chucky-Meucci Madness) comes in with $158,332 bankrolled this year on the strength of a win in the $225,000 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) at Vernon Downs on Sunday (June 19) in a career best 1:54 time. Those earnings rank her fourth among all 3-year-old trotting fillies in North America.

Last week at Yonkers Raceway, Non Stick was a beaten 1-5 favorite after making an uncharacteristic break for driver Daniel Dube while on the lead in the last turn. But the filly drew well again here and will look to make amends this week.

Non Stick is the 2-1 morning line favorite and will start from post two. Trainer Ake Svanstedt takes back the reins and will do the driving here.

Fad Finance (Credit Winner-Armbro Vanity) is more than a formidable foe and comes in boasting three straight NYSS victories. On Sunday (July 24) Fad Finance finished third in the $140,000 Zweig Memorial trot at Vernon Downs, beaten by Flowers N Songs and Woman’s Will who both competed in the Hambletonian Oaks eliminations at the Meadowlands on Saturday (July 30).

Fad Finance has four wins this year, is the leading point-getter in her division of the NYSS and has $141,806 banked, putting her sixth in North America in earnings for age, sex and gait. The filly is picked second and listed at 5-2 morning line and will once again get the services of Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike.

Race four is the second $59,100 division and Swinging Royalty (RC Royalty-Swing Anna Cash) comes in with a very impressive resume. After finishing second to Non Stick in the EBC, Swinging Royalty scorched the Vernon Downs oval in an overnight event in 1:54.1, winning by 15 lengths and registering a new lifetime mark. The filly then backed that up with her first NYSS win the week after at Tioga Downs.

Swinging Royalty is the third highest point-getter in her division and her $142,147 in earning this year has her ranked fifth among all 3-year-old trotting fillies in North America.

Trainer George Ducharme has Chris Lems back in the bike after a two-week hiatus and he will leave from post six at 2-1. Lems has been aboard for all four lifetime wins by Swinging Royalty.  

Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) had a slow start this year before winning the $27,690 Tompkins trot at Tioga in July. However her subsequent two outings may have been considered less than expected. So trainer Ron Burke added Lasix for her last start at Yonkers and that could make a difference this week.

Jim Morrill Jr. will steer again this week and leave from post 5 at 3-1.

Earn Your Wings (Credit Winner-Southwind Serena) put in a stellar effort at Yonkers last week, winning from post eight in 1:57. After leaving in :28.2, Earn your Wings yielded the lead to heavy favorite Non Stick and then sat in the pocket. Non Stick made a break before the stretch and Earn Your Wings took it from there, scoring a length victory at 30-1.

With three wins this year and just under $100,000 accumulated, Earn Your Wings drew post two and trainer Annette Lorentzon has called on Mark MacDonald to pilot this week.

There are also three divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior A series carded as races five through seven and all look like solid wagering opportunities.

Wendy’s Girl (Lucky Chucky-East Creek Wendy) is the 8-5 choice in race five for trainer Tracy Brainard and driver Jim Morrill Jr., Winky’s Gal (RC Royalty-Tessel) is the 5-2 favorite in race six for driver Chris Lems and trainer James Weidman and Outsidecourt (Conway Court-Getaway Cheyenne) is the 2-1 morning line in race seven for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Gary Messenger.

Post time for the first race is 6:15 p.m.

August 12, 2016 - 12:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, Le Roy, pembroke, Darien, bergen.

Brenda Carol Shryock, 49, of Oak Drive, Beech Island, S.C., is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested at 7:03 p.m. on Aug. 11 following an investigation into a domestic violence complaint in the Town of Le Roy. She allegedly punched a person. She was put in Genesee Cpounty Jail and is due in Le Roy Town Court on Thursday, Aug. 18. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Rachel Diehl, assisted by Dpeuty Ryan DeLong.

Bonnie Marie Breissinger, 52, of County Line Road, Darien, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt and second-degree harassment. She was arrested at 4:27 p.m. on Aug. 4 on County Line Road in Darien for allegedly subjecting another person to physical contact in violation of a no-offensive-conduct court order. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Patricia Jean Kendall-Cargill, 51, of Swamp Road in Bergen is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. She was arrested at 6 p.m. on Aug. 7 on Swamp Road following an investigation into a violation of an order of protection. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by Deputy Jason Saile.

A 17-year-old male who lives on Woodland Terrace in Cheektowaga is charged with trespass. The subject was arrested at 4:44 p.m. on Aug. 10 on Gilmore Road in Pembroke for allegedly trespassing on private property. He was issued an appearance ticket for Pembroke Town Court on Aug. 30. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Robert Henning, assisted by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

A 16-year-old male who lives on Lamarck Drive in Amherst is charged with trespass. The subject was arrested at 4:44 p.m. on Aug. 10 on Gilmore Road in Pembroke for allegedly trespassing on private property. He was issued an appearance ticket for Pembroke Town Court on Aug. 30. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Robert Henning, assisted by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

August 12, 2016 - 12:21pm

Press release from the American Red Cross:

The first ever Battle of the Badges Blood Drive in Genesee County, which took place Thursday, Aug. 11, between Mercy EMS, Batavia City Fire Deptartment, Town of Batavia Fire Department, State Troopers, Batavia City Police and the Sheriff’s Office initially ended in a TIE!

But after the tie, the American Red Cross turned to the votes of the wonderful volunteers, who donate their time and efforts at the blood drives throughout Genesee County, led by Jennie Starowitz (Bergen) and Sharon Frost (Le Roy).

All the departments received many votes. Votes came from all the donors who donated at the Annual Genesee County Community That Cares that is held every year at the Quality Inn & Palm Island Indoor Waterpark. There were many civilian donors and there were many first responders who donated as well from all departments from as far out as Jamestown. Donors also came from Genesee, Orleans, Monroe, Niagara and Erie counties.

The premiere 2016 Genesee County Battle of the Badges winner is the STATE POLICE. The Troopers, led by Major Nigrelli, edged out the Sheriff’s Office by two votes and Mercy EMS came in third place, just two votes behind the Sheriff’s Office. The City fire, Town fire and City Police all were represented and all ended up in a three-way tie.

But for now, the State Troopers have the bragging rights for the next year. 

Tompkins Financial sponsored this great event and the Quality Inn & Palm Island Indoor Waterpark hosted this blood drive that will end up helping hundreds in need of life-saving blood donations. Thank you to all first responders for all that they do every day on the front lines and to all of the wonderful citizens who came to donate, the volunteers, sponsors and host.

August 11, 2016 - 3:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, 4-H.

Yuki and Katie at the Attica Rodeo.

Katie and Yuki ready to ride.

Submitted photos and press release:

A local Genesee County 4-H family is hosting a youth delegate from the States’ 4-H International Exchange Programs (S4-H).

The Summer Inbound program brings international youth to the United States each summer to stay with a host family for four weeks. The Ewert family, of Batavia, applied to be a host family in May and was then matched with a youth delegate from Japan.

Doug and Nancy Ewert’s daughter Katie, is an active member of the Genesee County 4-H Horse Program and was paired up as a “host sibling” to Yuki Ishigaki from Hanesawa, Japan. Yuki arrived in Batavia the last week of July; the girls have become fast friends and have enjoyed several fun experiences together.

They have gone horseback riding, attended the Attica Rodeo, participated in the summer park recreation program and are planning to visit the Pike Fair and Niagara Falls. They are learning a lot about each other’s cultures, along with new ways to communicate.

S4-H is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Seattle. It works with 4-H Youth Development Programs in the United States and international partners around the world to conduct immersion and exchange programs. S4-H’s mission is “enhancing world understanding and global citizenship through high-quality 4-H international and cultural immersion and exchange programs for 4-H aged youth.” Since 1972, their exchanges have impacted nearly 50,000 youth and their families in 24 countries on six continents.

To learn more about S4-H visit:  To learn more about Genesee Co. 4-H visit:

August 11, 2016 - 2:02pm

Nick Grasso is battling cancer and he's the honoree for the 2016 Genesee Cancer Assistance Golf and Bocce Tournament.

The first time Nick was diagnosed with cancer was soon after the birth of his daughter, Gia, in the fall of 2014. He had surgery to remove the growing "retroperitoneal cystic mass," which was found after testing following a visit to the doctor for abdominal pain.

Later, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Meanwhile, little Gia, while still an infant, was found to have two tiny holes in her heart and had to undergo open heart surgery at Strong Memorial Hospital.

It seemed a long time in coming, and sometimes touch-and-go, but on Memorial Day, 2015, dad and daughter enjoyed swimming for the first time together. They have a special bond.

For one thing, both are certifiably "Grasso Strong," the apt motto adopted by friends, family, neighbors, caregivers, supporters -- all those who've rallied around this fierce family of cancer-slayers and heart-menders, outfitted in T-shirts bearing this bragging right.

If you would like to help them and others like them, consider taking part in the upcoming golf and bocce tournament. The fun is a given. The goodwill is guaranteed. The time is worthwhile. The cost for this cause is priceless.

The fundraiser will be held at Batavia Country Club on Friday, Aug. 19. It is located at 7909 Batavia Byron Road in the Town of Batavia.

This is a four-person Scramble Tournament. While foursome registrations are encouraged, individual registrations are welcome. You will be asked to name your desired teammates at registration.

There will be hole-in-one-prizes on all Par 3 holes, as well as a putting contest. Mulligans (can be used anywhere EXCEPT Par 3 holes) and Skins available for purchase at the event.

Golf -- Entry fees are $95 per golfer and include: green fees, cart, lunch, dinner, T-shirt and prizes.

  • Registration opens at 10:30 a.m.
  • Lunch is at 11
  • Shotgun start -- noon
  • Dinner, awards, prizes, raffles immediately following golf

Bocce -- Entry fees are $50 per player and include: Lunch, dinner, T-shirt and prizes.

  • Registration opens at noon
  • Game starts at 1 p.m.
  • Dinner, awards, prizes, raffles immediately following game

For more information, contact Genesee Cancer Assistance at 345-0417. "Working Together to Make A Difference." Office hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Or register via the nonprofit organization's website by clicking here.

August 11, 2016 - 1:03pm

Submitted photos of the Oakfield Fire Department Honor Guard and press release:

The Oakfield Fire Department Honor Guard is pleased to announce that it has received a very rare invitation to participate in honors training with the Marine Corps Honor Guard detail at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday, Aug. 17, through Saturday, Aug. 20.

The OFD Honor Guard was formed and has been training since the fall of 2015, with the purpose of providing funeral honors to local firefighters, who may in the future, die in the line of duty. 

“A locally based fire department honor guard has been a passion of mine for many years,” said 2nd Assistant and Past Chief Randy McIntire.

Chief McIntire is a local funeral director and partner in H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, Bohm-Calarco-Smith Funeral Home and Burdett & Sanford Funeral Home and brings knowledge of the funeral process to the team.

“My son, Lt. Jeffery McIntire and Chief Sean Downing, share my passion, and we have worked to bring the concept of the Honor Guard to a reality,” McIntire said.

The Oakfield Fire Department sponsored Honor Guard consists of both of the McIntires, 3rd Assistant and Past Chief Sean Downing, firefighters, Casey Arnold, Tyler Hamm and Nate Klos. These men are all members of the Oakfield Fire Department.

“As a 12-year Marine Corps veteran, I was able to make some inquiries to the Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington. D.C. Those contacts moved along the chain of command and the result was an invitation to train with the Marine Honors Detail,” Lt. McIntire said. 

The OFD Honor Guard will receive specialized training in precision maneuvering, military bearing and burial traditions as well as Color Guard procedures and practices. 

Our invitation was offered by General Robert B. Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps and his staff. He has provided us with unprecedented access to those Marines who have dedicated themselves to providing honor and dignity to their fallen comrades.

The Honor Guard will return from Arlington National Cemetery with very unique training that will assist them in honoring our local firefighters should the need arise.

August 11, 2016 - 12:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

(Photo of Who Says That with driver Drew Monti.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After getting away fifth and chasing a stiff pace to the half, Who Says That ($11) followed live cover in a wily drive by Drew Monti to capture the $9,500 mares Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 10).

My Tallia Ideal (Mike Caprio) left and got the lead in a speedy :27.1 first panel. But as soon as she settled in, Yes You Can (Todd Cummings) pulled and went right after her and in doing so, rang up a :55.2 half.

Out of the third turn, My Tallia Ideal had pulled a full length ahead, but V’la Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) tipped three-deep around the now back-peddling Yes You Can and Who Says That pulled from fifth to follow that move. The three mares paced side-by-side around the far turn and into the stretch when Who Says That inflicted her will on the opponents and pulled away to a three-length victory in 1:54.

It was the 10th win in 27 starts this year for Who Says That and it pushed her earnings total for 2016 to $44,162. The time of 1:54 was a new lifetime mark for the 5-year-old Badlands Hanover mare that is trained by Maria Rice for owners Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Christopher Shambo and Jack Rice.  

Todd Cummings and Ray Fisher Jr. both scored driving triples and Drew Monti had a double. Trainers Tony Cummings and Maria Rice both sent two winners postward.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Aug. 12) at 6:15.




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