Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Site Sponsors

Billie Owens's blog

October 29, 2015 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in Tonawanda Indian Reservation, Alabama.

Live wires are down and sparking next to a structure at 13810 Sky Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. Alabama Fire Department is responding.

October 29, 2015 - 2:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in GO ART!.

Lauren Picarro-Hoerbelt, president of the GO ART! Board of Directors, reports that the organization is conducting a new executive director search. Heather Grant, the former executive director is leaving Nov. 1. They have hired Interim Director Jennifer Gray until a permanent person is chosen for the position.

Here's their press release:

GO ART! seeks an energetic, organized, communicative manager for a two-county regional arts council, responsible for:

  • Staff of two full-time and three part-time employees;
  • Annual budget of $338,000;
  • Working collaboratively with county and municipal government agencies;
  • Writing and supervising grant applications and projects, including approximately $138,000/year of New York State Council on the Arts regrant funds;
  • Working with a diverse clientele including other arts organizations (historic preservation, music, visual and performing arts), individual artists and groups;
  • Administering an Historic Landmark facility in downtown Batavia, New York and seven local and regional galleries;
  • Supervising GO ART! sponsored and/or based events including annual July 4th “Picnic in the Park";
  • Working with a volunteer Board of Directors, currently eight members representing both counties;
  • Leads development and fundraising efforts including locating possible sources of funds.

Candidate Submissions must include:

1. Letter addressing why the candidate would be a good choice for GO ART!  (Please see the GO ART! Executive Director Job Description on the GO ART! Web site at

2. Résumé.

3. Two (2) Reference Letters (may not be from a relative of the Candidate) – at least one (1) Reference Letter must be from a community leader, an educator, or a person working in the artistic community.

If submitting electronically, submit all documents in .pdf or .docx format to:

[email protected]

If submitting via U.S. Mail, mark envelope as Confidential and mail to:

Executive Director Search Committee


201 E. Main St.

Batavia, NY 14020-2205

Attn.:  Lauren Hoerbelt – Search Committee Chair


October 29, 2015 - 1:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Youth Board, volunteers.

Press release:

Have you ever wondered why one permit is approved and the other denied? Or had great ideas about youth programs but didn’t know who to tell? If you volunteer for a committee then you can have those questions answered and have your ideas heard!

For about an hour a month (or sometimes less!) you can be on the inside and help make your community better. There are a variety of committees and boards so find one that meets your interests.

For example, if you want to help provide leadership development programs for City of Batavia youth, consider joining the Youth Board.

You will be part of a group that focuses on preventing juvenile delinquency by providing youth programs, services and activities! The time commitment is minimal at just a few hours a year but consider the impact those hours can have. Volunteers are needed so get your application in today and start making a difference in our City’s youth!  Applications are available at the City Clerk’s office or online at in the documents section.

Volunteer today to see the difference you can make! Applications are available at the City Clerk’s office or online at in the documents section. 

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”  – Dr. Seuss

October 29, 2015 - 1:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

(Photo of Memumsnotnice with driver Ray Fisher Jr., courtesy of Paul White.)

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Experiencing the same inclement weather as most of the country on Wednesday night (Oct. 28), six top-class distaff side-wheelers went postward in the wind, rain and sloppy track conditions to compete in the $9,500 Open mares pace at Batavia Downs. And when all was said and done, Memumsnotnice dominated her peers once again.

Starting from post one for the fourth consecutive week, Memumsnotnice (Ray Fisher Jr.) briefly yielded the lead to Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) before retaking at the quarter. She then waltzed unchallenged to a :32 second quarter, unfazed by the river of mud underfoot.

While maintaining a solid three-length lead up to that point, Fisher let the mare out a notch and paced a quick :28.3 third panel in an attempt to put the girls away at that station. The ploy was successful and no one had an answer; Memumsnotnice left the field in her spray en route to a convincing, four-length victory.

It was the fourth win of the year (including second in a row) for Memumsnotnice ($4.90) and the spoils pushed her annual earnings to $37,568 for owners Thatsideofthefence, LLC, and John Mungillo, who also trains the mare.

Ray Fisher Jr. scored a driving triple Wednesday while Drew Monti, Dave McNeight III and Jack Flanigen all registered doubles. Trainers Jim Graham, Dave McNeight Jr. and James Clouser Jr. each sent two winners postward.

Racing resumes on Friday night (Oct. 30) with post time set at 6:15.

October 28, 2015 - 4:09pm

(Submitted photo: Kathy Coyne, LPN instructor, caps LPN Graduate Eileen Fugle.)

(Submitted photo: LPN graduates Brandon Hilyard, Ajanee Hill, Emma Greenman, Rima Gebrimariam, Amanda Gath and Eileen Fugle.)

Press release:

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s School of Practical Nursing celebrated its graduation Oct. 16 at Pavilion Central School. Twenty-five practical nursing graduates were capped and pinned during the ceremony. The majority of this high-ranking class achieved a 90 percent or above average.

These students completed the 12-month, 1,200-clock-hour program, which is certified by the New York State Education Department and designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure.

Applications are currently being accepted for this 12-month program that is offered in three locations, Batavia, Greece and Leicester. All of the Adult Education Programs offered by the Partnership are eligible for GI bill ® funding for qualified applicants.

For more information about this program, contact the Adult Education/School of Practical Nursing at (585) 344-7788.


The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership offers a broad scope of adult education programs including a School of Practical Nursing and a Certified Nursing Assistant program, vocational training as well as classes for those seeking to broaden their skill sets. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York state.

October 28, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, wolcott street school, School of Character.

(Submitted photo.)

Last week in Atlanta, Le Roy's Wolcott Street School was honored as a 2015 National School of Character.

Pictured from left are Sam Murphy, board president; JoAnn Hyde, Wolcott Street School counselor; Carol Messura, principal; Jon Wilson, WSS assistant principal; and Sheril Morgan, director of School of Character.

To celebrate the distinction, the school is holding a "Day of Character" on Friday, Nov. 6th, a culminating in an event at 1:40.

Specifics on the award can also be found on

October 28, 2015 - 3:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, NY-ALERT.

Press release:

Today, the City pf Batavia is conducting a test of NY-ALERT, the state's All Hazards Alert and Notification System.

This Web-based portal allows State agencies, county and local governments, emergency service agencies and institutions of higher learning to provide emergency alerting information and private notifications to defined audiences. Road closures, fire and police activity, evacuation notices, and other emergency notifications are some examples of how the City of Batavia may use NY-ALERT.

NY-ALERT is FREE and subscription based. The City of Batavia encourages members of the community to register on the NY ALERT Web site at Your e-mail address will be your identifier. When you register, you can list multiple devices from which you will receive alerts and notifications.

Most alerts are issued locally by Genesee County or the City of Batavia. Local officials determine when to issue an alert and what devices to send alerts to. You may receive information on all the devices you registered, or just one. Each emergency is different; therefor, each alert will be tailored to meet the notification needs of the incident.

If you do not have access to the worldwide Web, you can still sign up for NY-ALERT by calling 1-888- 697-6972.

October 28, 2015 - 3:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in girl scout troop 42001, Announcements.

(Submitted photos.)

Press release:

Girl Scout Troop 42001 completed their Bronze Award during September. 

The Bronze Award is the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn. Following completion of some prerequisites, the Junior scouts submitted and voted on sustainable projects they would like to complete for our community and/or environment.  

The majority vote was to build birdhouses. The scouts had to: locate an organization that needed birdhouses; meet with organizers to determine what to build; obtain plans and determine supplies needed; create a letter for solicitation of supplies; solicit for those supplies; locate someone to cut the lumber; assemble the birdhouses; and finally, install the birdhouses.

Services and supplies provided by Woody at Genesee Lumber, Park at ACE Hardware, Frank Kulikowski, of Frankly Design, and Bob Bathrick, master carpenter and cabinetmaker for TRB Bathrick.

The original installer of the blue birdhouses at the Genesee County Park is Charles Augrom. The scouts met with Augrom to discuss the project. He also provided oversite on the construction of the houses on Sept. 11. The scouts enjoyed installing the blue birdhouses with Augrom and Jerome, an ACORN volunteer, on Septe. 27.

October 28, 2015 - 3:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany.

A live wire is down in the roadway at 9732 Francis Road, Bethany. National Grid is notified. Bethany fire is responding. The location is between Paradise Road and Batavia-Bethany TL Road.

October 28, 2015 - 2:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, alexander, Announcements.

Press release:

The Buffalo Sabres, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), and the National Hockey League (NHL®) have announced the launch of a new hockey-themed educational course as part of the NHL & NHLPA Future Goals Program. Since its launch in September 2014, Future Goals™ has reached over 375,000 students across the United States and Canada in 3,500 schools and yielded over 1.5 million hours of STEM learning.

The Hockey Scholar™ course takes students on an exciting educational journey with a goal of winning the Stanley Cup. As they guide their team, students complete twelve learning modules that educate them and test their knowledge on core STEM concepts covering data analysis, geometry, life science and physical science topics. These topics come to life through real hockey examples that include the dynamics of the ice surface, equipment design, athletic performance, and geometric and energy considerations to how the game is played.

Hockey Scholar™ maps to state and provincial math and science standards as well as the national NGSS and CCSS Math standards. The course was developed by Washington, D.C.-based EverFi, the critical skills education leader that has certified more than 12 million learners.

“The level of engagement in this program from the league, the players, and their clubs is unprecedented in the sports world,” said EverFi Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Jon Chapman. “What’s most important is how this partnership is making a difference for thousands of students and teachers across North America.”

Heather Cummings, sixth-grade Science Teacher at Alexander Central School District will begin using this program today, Oct. 28, with approximately 62 students. This summer, Shannon Whitcombe, Middle and High School Principal and avid Buffalo Sabres fan learned about the program during a meeting with EverFi, Inc. After this First Day Start, there will be over 3,000 students taking part in the Future Goals program locally in Buffalo-Niagara Region. Alexander will be the first Science department in Genesee County to begin utilizing this resource which is provided by the NHL, NHLPA and Buffalo Sabres at no cost to all area schools.

More information on Future Goals™ can be found at or feel free to contact your local Schools Manager, Colleen Schafer at (716) 748-6860 or [email protected]

October 28, 2015 - 2:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, east pembroke.

A house fire is reported at 2463 Brown Road. East Pembroke Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Corfu, Pembroke, Alexander, Darien, and the City's Fast Team. Town of Batavia is requested to fill in at East Pembroke. The location is between Ridge and Halstead roads.

UPDATE 2:27 p.m.: East Pembroke -- all available manpower to the scene.

UPDATE 2:28 p.m.: East Pembroke command calls Town of Batavia to a dry hydrant on Wilkinson Road. Oakfield is asked to fill in at East Pembroke's hall.

UPDATE 2:32: The city's first platoon is called to headquarters.

UPDATE 2:35 p.m.: Command says an occupant is out of the house.

UPDATE 3 p.m.: Tankers from Bethany, Alabama and Oakfield are requested to the scene. National Grid was advised that wires are down. The high winds are making this fire difficult to fight.

UPDATE 3:07 p.m.: A crew from Elba is requested to stand by in its quarters in case needed for the Oakfield Fire District.

UPDATE 3:23 p.m.: Without specifying why they are needed, Mercy medics are called to the scene.

October 28, 2015 - 1:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

A utility pole is snapped and down in over the roadway along with wires at 64 Clinton St.

City fire is responding.

UPDATE 2:04 p.m.: The street will be temporarily closed near the incident. The wires are "still hot and there is concern they could start arcing."

UPDATE 2:33 p.m.: Power is out at Clinton Street and East Main.

October 27, 2015 - 12:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia.

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported at West Main and River streets. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

October 27, 2015 - 12:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in zombie properties, batavia, steve hawley.

Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia):

“I am proud to announce that Gov. Cuomo today signed into law legislation that will provide a property-tax exemption for residents who purchase and renovate dilapidated homes and zombie properties," Assemblyman Steve Hawley said. "This ensures that renovation costs do not exceed property values for homeowners and provide an incentive for residents to purchase these abandoned properties and revitalize our communities.

"This is a revolutionary program that has the potential to work in other cities and is the first of its kind in Batavia. Zombie properties have plagued our city for several years dating back to the housing collapse of 2007. This law will increase the number of properties on the tax rolls, thereby reducing our tax burden and increasing property values.

"My colleagues and I in the Assembly and Senate worked diligently at the end of session to pass this bill through both houses and I applaud the governor’s efforts to make this bill a reality for Batavia.”

October 27, 2015 - 11:20am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, elba.


A house fire is reported at the intersection of Route 98 and Batavia Elba Town Line Road. Elba Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from the Town of Batavia and South Byron.

UPDATE 11:22 a.m.: National Grid is called to the scene. Stafford, Oakfield, Bergen, City of Batavia's Fast Team, and Byron are now called to the scene.

UPDATE 11:24 a.m.: Elba Fire Police are requested to shut down Route 98 at Edgerton Road.

UPDATE 11:25 a.m.: The city's first platoon is called to stand by in headquarters.

UPDATE 11:51 a.m.: Albion Fire Department is dispatched to the scene.

UPDATE 11:27 a.m.: Route 98 is being shut down at Saile Drive.

UPDATE 11:36 a.m.: State Street Road at Town Line Road is being shut down.











October 26, 2015 - 7:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Halloween.
Press release:

The Batavia Police Department would like to remind all parents, grandparents or guardians of the following Halloween Safety Tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable time.

  • If you plan on going door to door make sure you are properly supervised by a parent or responsible adult.
  • Do not go to homes where the porch lights are off.
  • Use a flashlight to let drivers see you, and see where you are going.
  • To avoid tripping or injury don't wear costumes that are loose fitting and too long.
  • Don't wear masks that obscure your vision, make up is a good alternative to masks.
  • Wear reflective, bright colors to be seen by drivers after dark.
  • Walk on the sidewalks, or as near to the curb as possible if there are no sidewalks
  • Observe safety rules when crossing or walking on the streets, and stay clear of traffic.
  • Parents should inspect any treats before you eat them.
  • The Batavia Police HIGHLY RECOMMEND as an alternative to going door to door, attend one of the Halloween events sponsored by local businesses.
  • Choose costumes that are marked flame retardant.
  • Make props such as magic wands and swords out of cardboard, rather than metal or wood.
  • Give and accept wrapped or packaged candy only.
  • Go out in daylight and carry a flashlight in case of delay.
  • Have children stay within their neighborhood; only visit homes you know.
  • All “Trick or Treating” shall be completed by 9 p.m.


Any further questions please contact officer Marc W. Lawrence.

Batavia Police Department:
Dispatch – (585) 345-6350
Confidential Tip Line – (585) 345-6370
Report Suspicious Activity - drug-or-criminal-activity

October 26, 2015 - 4:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, Announcements, history.

In honor of New York State History Month, which is celebrated the entire month of November, the Genesee County Federation of Historical Agencies, Western New York Association of Historic Agencies (WNYAHA) and the Genesee Community College History Club are teaming up to sponsor "History Day" at GCC on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the College Forum.

The aim of the event is to promote awareness of all of the historical assets in Genesee County and is free and open to the public.

Museums and historical agencies from all over Genesee County will set up booths for visitors to explore. In addition, there will be local history books on sale, craft demonstrations, reenactors from different periods in history, firing demonstrations and much more.

The GCC History Club will also provide a photo booth where attendees can have their picture taken with impressionists of Abraham Lincoln, Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

"I am very excited about History Day!" Derek Maxfield, GCC's associate professor of History said. "We did this a few years ago and it was very well received. It is a great way for the public to learn about what our county has to offer in museums, historical societies and historical assets."

New York State History Month was created by the New York State legislature in 1997 and represents an opportunity for historians to assert the vital importance of preserving and learning about our state's history. It is also a time to engage with the public through programs and learning opportunities about the history of New York State and the ways in which we can help preserve our history.

October 26, 2015 - 4:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, business, agriculture.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced that $1 million is now available to aid aspiring farmers to enter the agriculture industry.

The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund will provide up to 50 percent of the cost for new farmers to start projects, purchase farm machinery and equipment and construct and improve farm buildings. The submission deadline for applications for the grant program is Jan. 22.

“As the owner of our family-owned farm for many years, I know firsthand how difficult life in the agriculture industry can be,” Hawley said. “Profits from produce and livestock sales fluctuate and the possibility of drought and flooding is always real. I can imagine the trepidation many young men and women feel as they begin their career in farming and agriculture, and this funding is a tremendous opportunity for aspiring farmers to get on their feet.

"Up to $50,000 in matching grant funds are available for everything from tractor and plow purchases to construction of barns and silos. I am proud of the work we have done to bolster the agriculture industry in New York State and I pledge my continued support going forward.”

October 26, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Run for the Acorns.

Press release:

The third annual “Run for the ACORNS” 10K and 5K Trail Run/Walk was held at the Genesee County Park & Forest in East Bethany on Oct. 11th. More than 200 participants enjoyed a picture-perfect fall morning as they made their way along a course that highlights the beauty of the park.

Holly Sharpe of Batavia, who ran the 5K race, said: "It's a great, well-planned event. As a runner, it is a nice change to have a trail run as opposed to running on the pavement. The trails are beautiful, well- marked, staffed appropriately and it's nice not to have to worry about cars and traffic! It's a beautiful park and a great event! It should be on everyone's calendar for next year!"

The course wound through the park on trails which feature hills, ponds, forests and Black Creek. A dozen environmental education signs entertained runners and walkers as they passed by some noteworthy park features. Post-race activities included an award ceremony and refreshments including yogurt provided by Muller Quaker Dairy, apples from Roanoke Apple Farm and nut butters from Once Again Nut Butter.

Race organizer Julia Garver said, “For the third year, I have heard nothing but accolades for this event. The runners love the course as it is quite unique. We hope the word spreads and there are even more participants next year.”

The race date for the fourth annual Run for the ACORNS is set for October 2, 2016.

Congratulations to all the winners in the race. The overall top finishers in the 10K run were Andrew Macmillan, of Rochester (41:32), and Beth Deciantis, of Rochester (48:41). In the 5K run the top male finisher for the third year in a row was Calvin Patten, of Alexander (18:56), and the top female was Kristina Martin, of Alden (21:06).

Each winner received a wooden medallion with the race logo and race category burned into the wood. Brothers-All-Natural sponsored the awards. First-place winners of the trail runs received a $50 gift certificate from Dick's Sporting Goods, and second-place winners received a fleece jacket from the Tompkins Bank of Castile.

Many thanks to the major sponsors of the race -- the Awards sponsor: Brothers-All-Natural; and the Corporate sponsors: Tompkins Bank of Castile, CC Environment & Planning, Carquest -- Batavia, and D&D Logging.

Also thanks to the volunteers who helped to make this an amazing event, especially members of ACORNS, the USN Sea Cadets and Bethany Volunteer Fire Department. Special thanks also go out to our other sponsors, all of whom helped make the Run for the ACORNS a great success!

For more information and full race results please go to:

October 26, 2015 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Press release:

Chicago--The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) is pleased to announce that the City of Batavia, NY, has received the GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2014/15 budget.

The award represents a significant achievement by the City of Batavia. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the entity had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity's budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.

Budget documents must be rated "proficient" in all four categories, and the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award. The award was presented yesterday to City Manager Jason Molino whose leadership in budgeting has resulted in an increasingly improved bond rating and financial position for the City of Batavia.

City Council President Brooks Hawley said, “This is an important accomplishment for the City of Batavia. It marks a high point in our efforts over the past decade to make our budgeting process effective, efficient and transparent. I commend the City Council, Manager and Staff for setting and accomplishing such high expectations for our City.”

For budgets beginning in 2013, 1,424 participants received the Award; although Batavia marks one of only three cities in New York among the recipients. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

“We will continue to strive to excel in our budgeting process” commented Lisa Neary, deputy director of Finance for the City who shared project management with Assistant City Manager Gretchen DiFante. “It’s important that the taxpayers are assured of our commitment to excellence and transparency in budgeting.”

The Government Finance Officers Association is a major professional association servicing the needs of more than 18,000 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. It provides top quality publications, training programs, services, and products designed to enhance the skills and performance of those responsible for government finance policy and management.

The association is headquartered in Chicago, with offices in Washington, D.C. The GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.




Copyright © 2008-2014 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button