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December 24, 2015 - 1:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, byron.

(Submitted photo and info from Lucky Ducky Daycare.)
 
Lucky Ducky Daycare gets a very special visit from Santa every year. Isabella, pictured above, got to tell Santa all her Christmas wishes.
 
Indeed, this is a very special family tradition for Tim McKenrick, of Elba. He's a lifetime volunteer at the Byron Fire Department and follows in his father’s footsteps, the late Ken McKenrick.
 
Knowing Santa very well, if you know what we mean, Ken would arrange to have Santa visit the children of Byron at the Fire Hall and take note of their many Christmas wishes.
 
For several years now, Tim McKenrick has followed suit by arranging for Santa's annual visit to Lucky Ducky Daycare in Batavia, to the delight of several good boys and girls in the area.
 
"Christmas would not be the same without our Special Santa," says Kathy Seweryniak, director of the daycare center.
 
Santa typically leaves the daycare center with these jolly departing words: “Ho! Ho! Ho! and a merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!"
December 24, 2015 - 1:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Chapin Manufacturing, business.

(Submitted photo and story from Chapin Manufacturing, Inc.)

We do not often these days hear about lifelong employment and people who spend their entire career at one company. But, that very thing has happened here in Batavia at Chapin Manufacturing. Batavia native Ron Odessa joined Chapin in September 1965 and just celebrated his 50th anniversary with the company.

Mr. Odessa’s anniversary celebration was capped off by a presentation of a solid gold “Chapin Chip” presented to him at the annual shareholders’ luncheon by Andris Chapin, chairman of the Board of Directors. He accepted the gift graciously, saying with a sly grin, “Things are going well here, I’m thinking about making a career of it.”

Upon close inspection, a visitor might notice the name Ronald Odessa on many of the patents hanging in the hallway at Chapin. These innovations were made possible by Ron’s imagination, creativity and pragmatism developed during a lifetime spent in Manufacturing, Engineering and Quality.   

In his spare time, Mr. Odessa, an eighth degree Black Belt, teaches martial arts at Borell’s Karate Academy in Batavia, and was once considered somewhat of a rock star having played in a well-known Batavia-based band in the 1950s.                  

Chapin International, Inc., is a manufacturer of compressed air sprayers and broadcast spreaders. Homeowners and commercial customers know the familiar red Chapin logo means quality, innovative engineering and quality.

December 24, 2015 - 1:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Announcements.

Bergen-based Liberty Pumps, which is celebrating a half century in business this year, sent us this photo to share with you of their entire crew. They wish everyone "Happy Holidays!"

December 24, 2015 - 1:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, Alabama.

(Submitted photos and info from Karen Reamer.)

The dynamic members of Girl Scout Troop 42182, from Oakfield and Alabama, sponsored a Toy Drive for the second year in a row on Saturday, Dec. 19th. The girls are Cadettes and are earning their Silver Award.  

The girls collected donations for gently used and new toys and clothing from the residents of Oakfield and made them available to anyone in need. They also invited Santa Claus and had crafts and cookies for the kids while their parents shopped.

A special thanks to the Oakfield Dollar General for donating new toys.

 
December 24, 2015 - 3:26am
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, accident.

An accident with minor injuries is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 382.1. Le Roy fire and ambulance are responding. A car reportedly rear-ended a tractor-trailer, then rolled over several times.

UPDATE 4:01 a.m.: A 39-year-old victim in the car that rear-ended the semi is being transported to UMMC in stable condition.

December 23, 2015 - 2:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia.

File under "Christmas Spirit Fail." A complainant at Top's Market told a dispatcher she was the victim of a road rage incident. The male driver of a blue Dodge Magnum (which reportedly has a broken or inoperable tail light) exchanged words with her, then he spit in her face before driving off in an unknown direction. Law enforcement is responding to the harassment complaint.

December 22, 2015 - 9:46am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, elba.

elbafiredec222015_01.jpg

A house fire with smoke and flames showing is reported at 4478 Lockport Road in Elba. There is also a propane tank out front. The location is between North Byron and Quaker Hill roads. Elba Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding, along with mutual aid from Oakfield, Stafford, Bergen, Byron and South Byron.

UPDATE 9:47 a.m.: Lockport Road is being shut down at Quaker Hill Road and at Oak Orchard Road.

UPDATE 9:52 a.m.: Town of Batavia is requested to fill in at Elba's fire hall.

UPDATE 9:57 a.m.: National Grid is called to the scene.

UPDATE 10:14 a.m.: Fire is out. The chief says looks like the fire may have started in the living room. Beginning investigation. Mercy medics are back in service.

UPDATE 10:16 a.m.: Some mutual aid responders being put back in service.

elbafiredec2220154.jpg

December 21, 2015 - 4:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day.

NEW TODAY!  El Rincon Colombiano Restaurant, 4152 W. Main St. (in Valu Plaza), Batavia, NY 14020: Visit Colombia without ever leaving Batavia! Enjoy fresh, authentic, deliciously prepared Colombian-style steaks, seafood, specialty soups, plus an American menu. Take out available. Phone is 201-7602. Open for lunch and dinner Sunday through Friday. Closed Saturday. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $10.50.

Chap's Elba Diner, 5 S. Main St., Elba, NY 14058: Great food, excellent service in a friendly, family atmosphere await you at this small-town diner featuring breakfast, lunch, weekly specials and all-you-can-eat dinner options. Catering, too! Home of the Muck Plate and Mrs. Bennett's Ham Loaf. Other favorites include Steak Diane, San Francisco Chicken, genuine Hungarian goulash, All-American chicken 'n' biscuits, Friday fish fry. Soups are fresh and tasty. Hours are: Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Phone is 757-5001. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St., Batavia, NY: In Irish pubs, it doesn't get more authentic than O'Lacy's. Be sure to try the homemade chips. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

The Mane Attraction Salon and Spa99 Main St., Batavia, NY: offers "Affordable Luxury" in Downtown Batavia. We pride ourselves in the great customer service we give to the entire family. Men, women and children are all welcome either by appointment or walk-in. We offer all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, facials, leg and back waxing, Shellac Polish System, manicures and pedicures. We are the only salon in Batavia that has an airplane chair for kids' cuts! Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. We have a $20 gift certificate for $7.

Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Rose Garden Bowl, 21 Buffalo Road, Bergen, NY: Open for lunch Monday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. Dinner favorites are our succulent prime rib and Friday fish fries! We are always happy to help plan your special occasion -- wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, stag party, graduation, company function, banquet, family or class reunion. We have a $20 gift certificate for $7.

Fortune's restaurant inside Batavia Downs, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY 14020: Italian-style menu, drinks in one of the region's most popular entertainment venues. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15. (Must be new or current Players Club member to redeem.)

LJ Nails Hands. Feet. Wax., 583 E. Main St., Batavia NY 14020: Pamper yourself with top-quality manicures, luxurious pedicures in massaging spa chairs, gel and acrylic nails and custom design work, waxing, and more in a safe environment with all equipment sanitized and clean. Gift certificates available. Hours are Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Sunday. Stop in, call 344-8888, or check us out on facebook @.https://www.facebook.com/ljnailsbatavia. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $12.

The Original Woody's Deli, 47 North St., Le Roy, NY 14482: It's all here at Woody's "The Corner Deli" -- Made-to-order, hand-battered chicken tenders, homemade cannolis and soups, specialty pizza, wraps, hot and cold subs, Mexican favorites, fresh salads, Garbage Plates, Kids' Menu, wings, catering, delivery. Hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 8 p.m. Stop by today! Or phone in your order 768-8585. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

Pudgie's Lawn & Garden Center, 3646 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Merry Christmas, last minute shoppers! Christmas trees -- your choice -- just $20. These are from the NY State Christmas Tree Growers Assoc. and as always are all hung indoors for your convenience! Also featuring beautifully decorated wreaths, nice, plush poinsettias, swags, greens, roping, centerpieces, and great unique gifts, including flashlights from NEBO. Stock up on houseplant care! This is Genesee County's ONLY "Master Nursery" Garden Center. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

The Little Ridge, 107 Evans St., Batavia NY, 14020: The Little Ridge continues the long-standing history of fantastic food from Batavia's local favorite, Delavan's. Fine dining and family fare combine to offer the best of both. We offer Friday night Fish Fry, prime rib dinner on Saturdays, steaks, burgers, salads, and classic Italian dishes. Open Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Phone 815-5118. Take-outs available. Kids' menu. Weekly and daily lunch and dinner specials. On Saturday, breakfast is served from 9 to 11 a.m. Good food, good friends, good times! We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

Byron Hotel & Trail House, 6874 Byron Holley Road, Byron, NY: Casual, friendly atmosphere centrally located in Byron offering a full menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, seafood, steak, and pasta. Lunch punch pass Monday -- Friday 11 a.m.  to 1 p.m.; Tuesday -- Trivia; Wednesday -- Clam & Wing Specials 6 to 10 p.m.; Friday -- Best Fish Fry around. Dining room available for private parties or corporate events. Patio open. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $9.50.

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, 9 Main St., Le Roy, NY. The kind of downhome, laid-back and comfortable place that just feels right. Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, this eatery and bar features a variety of eats and drinks that are outstanding. Specializing in smokedv meats -- each meat is dry rubbed with a proprietary mix of seasonings, then smoked slowly in their on-site smoker for maximum flavor and tenderness. With a variety of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, combo platters and entrées, there's always plenty of choice for even picky eaters. Great food, frosty brews and some of the best folk around call the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew their favorite -- make it your favorite today! Don't forget to ask about our catering! We have a $20 gift card for $9.50.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Rochester Club West @ Bohn's, 5256 Clinton Street Road (Route 33), Batavia, NY 14020: Formerly Bohn's, the restaurant is now under new management with a new name. Enjoy fine dining in casual elegance amid beautiful dark woods and skylights. This ideal location centrally located to both Buffalo, Rochester and surrounding areas offers extensive menu selections, freshly prepared foods and quality service. Entrees include prime rib, Gateau of Crepes (vegetarian), seafood, steaks, chicken and pasta, heavenly desserts, full bar. Dinner is served Thursday 4 to 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday 4 to 10 p.m., & Sunday 4 to 8 p.m. The restaurant is also open on some major holidays such as New Year's Eve, Valentine’s Day, Easter Sunday Brunch, Mother's Day Brunch and others. Sunday Specials, and on Thursday Early Bird dining is available. Private parties may be scheduled anytime for any style event, including corporate events, conferences and business meetings, wedding receptions, rehearsals and showers, sports banquets, memorial events and all kinds of social events. Accommodating parties as small as 10 people and over 200 people, our experienced banquet and catering personnel are available to assist you in planning your event both on and off premises. Phone 344-1543. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's."  Stop in and check out our Jumbo Chicken Wings, Roast Beef on Weck and Friday night fish fry. The original family spaghetti sauce still adorns all of our Italian specialties. The other popular selections from our menu range from Super Salads, butcher cut Strip Loin and South of the Border items. We offer daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a full adult and children’s menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

RULES

[Last updated Oct. 5, 2015. Subject to change without notice.]

NOTE: A $1 PayPal service fee applies on items more than $10. The fee is 50 cents on items $10 and below.

The gift certificate must be used by within 30 days of purchase, unless it states otherwise. It is not valid with other offers, has no cash value, and does not include gratuities. Only one gift certificate per-merchant, per-household every SIX months. Gift certificates cannot be combined with other offers without prior approval of the merchant. Gift certificates bought separately cannot be combined for a single purchase. Individuals buying gift certificates must use their own personal PayPal account for the purchase. For hair and nail salons, good for services only, not products.

How to Win: Purchase using the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. After the first person to hit the "buy now" button completes the purchase, PayPal will let you know that the item has been sold. Unless other arrangements are made immediately after purchase, the gift certificate will mailed to the winner at his or her PayPal-provided postal address within two or three days of purchase.

SOLD OUT

December 21, 2015 - 2:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, BID, charles men's shop.

Press release:

The Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) would like to announce the winner of the Downtown Batavia Holiday Window Decorating Contest. It is Charles Men’s Shop, located at 200 E. Main St.

As the winner of the contest, Charles Men’s Shop will receive $200 as the prize for the best window. Second and third place were Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, and Art Ah La Carte, respectively.

The annual contest is a chance for downtown businesses to not only put their best foot forward in decorating their windows, it is also an opportunity for them to encourage people to come downtown and walk around, hence “More Feet Downtown.”

Ten judges, who are senior ladies, were driven by bus, which was provided through the Genesee County Office for the Aging. Anita Dziekan, of Batavia, coordinated the group and provided them with Santa hats and made the experience a very merry morning. The judges walked around the downtown and viewed 16 windows.

Even before the official judging today, Dec. 21, the judges also looked at the windows at night to see the displays lit up. The judges were impressed not only by the display, but also admitted that their window looks wonderful and inviting even at night.

The judges ranked the windows based on certain criteria, such as creativity, attracted a person to want to go inside, or if the content was related to their business, among other criteria. For example, the judges liked that Councilperson Rosemary Christian took the time to decorate one of the Carr’s vacant windows.

“Given the great weather, they were able to walk around a lot more and discuss the windows and what they saw downtown. It was very insightful to hear their comments,” said Laurie Oltramari, BID executive director.

“Walkability is my primary focus for the downtown. If people do not want to walk around, they will not stay or even come. It is a simple answer to a complex set of challenges.”

You can post on the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District Facebook page or contact Laurie Oltramari at (585) 344-0900 or e-mail [email protected] to share pictures or to ask questions about the contest. Please contact David Howe at Charles Men’s Shop at (585) 343-2086 to coordinate a time to take a picture of their windows!

December 20, 2015 - 1:31am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

A house fire is reported at 5 Thomas Ave. 

City firefighters are responding.

UPDATE 1:49 a.m.: No smoke or flames showing, although there was a fire at this apartment building, which has been evacuated. Firefighters are dismantling a portion of the front porch looking for any extention.

UPDATE 2:05 a.m.: There were flames showing when firefighters arrived on scene. Ten residents were evacuated by firefighters, including an infant who was carried from an apartment by a firefighter. Some of the residents were taken in by neighbors, others were still outside watching. The cause is under investigation. It will be up to a city building inspector to determine whether the residents can return to their apartments tonight.

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December 19, 2015 - 5:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Bethany.

A one-car rollover accident is reported at 9662 Bethany Center Road. The car landed on its roof, but the driver is safely out. Bethany Fire Department and Mercy medic #2 are responding.

December 18, 2015 - 3:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in GO ART!, art, members exhibition.

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council announces a call for artists to submit their work in all media for the fifth annual Members Exhibition.

The works selected will be on display for March -- Arts Awareness Month -- and remain in place at the GO ART! Bank of Castile Main Gallery in Downtown Batavia until April 22.

Artwork can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Feb. 24-26. Remember to include the completed exhibition registration form with work that is dropped off. (The gallery is equipped with the Walker Hanging System.)

The opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 11. 

For the second year in a row, there will be an Audience Favorite Award designated.

Artwork pickup will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 26-28.

For general guidelines and additional details, visit the GO ART! Web site, call 343-9313, or e-mail:  [email protected]

December 18, 2015 - 3:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Area Jaycees, holiday lights.
Press release:
 
In no order, here is a list of houses the Batavia Area Jaycees would like to recognize for their holiday displays for 2015:
 
2 Leigh Ave.
209 Richmond Ave.
1 Elmwood Ave.
208 Osterhout Ave.
15 Porter Ave.
23 Allenview Drive
101 Naramore Drive
114 Elm St.
29 Burke Drive
13 Edgewood Drive
 
Honorable Mentions:
27 Clinton St.
114 S. Main St.
20 Pickthorn Drive
 
We did receive calls to view Union Avenue and 12 Washington Ave.!
 
Take a drive and view all the lights in the City, as we know there are many more than just this list. 
 
Batavia Area Jaycees PO Box 285 Batavia, NY 14021 585-343-5775www.bajny.com
December 18, 2015 - 2:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations:

The 69th live racing season at Batavia Downs wrapped up last Saturday (Dec. 12) much the same way it kicked off back in July; with a packed house of fans watching the best racing in Upstate New York.

The stellar calendar of stake races provided those in attendance a great opportunity to see some of the best horses in New York State and a fair number of Grand Circuit players as well.

The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) produced three record performances. The first was on Sunday (Aug. 30) when 3-year-old pacing colt Betting Exchange (Bettor’s Delight-Cheeky Hanover) tied the track record of 1:51.2 for sex and gait in winning his division of the $120,400 NYSS event. This was the fastest pacing mile of the meet.

Then on Wednesday (Sept. 16), Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance Hanover) took advantage of a lightning-fast track and 80 degree temperatures to set a new world’s record of 1:52.4 for 2-year-old pacing fillies in winning her division of the $109,000 NYSS race. It (obviously) was also a new track record for Batavia Downs, smashing the old standard of 1:54.2.

The 13th renewal of Batavia Downs signature event, the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace, took place on Saturday (Oct. 3) and one of the winningest horses in North America added his name to the roster of champions of that race. Seventeen-time winner in 2015, Atta Boy Dan (Western Terror-Dropitlikeitshot), paced his last quarter in :27.4 and pulled away to an easy win in 1:52.1.

The all-time pacing track record of 1:51.1 was not broken in that race, however track trotting history was made instead in the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial the same night.

Top local trotting star Lutetium destroyed the field, at one point opening up a gap of as much as 15 lengths, before scooting home to a six-length victory in 1:55.2. The winning time broke the existing track record of 1:56 for aged trotting geldings set in 2014. This race was also the fastest trotting mile of the meet.

Kevin Cummings easily defended his driving title at the Downs by winning 134 times during the meet, far ahead of the rest of his competition. Those rounding oIut the top five included Dave McNeight III with 89 wins, Shawn McDonough with 82 wins, Jack Flanigen with 81 wins and Drew Monti with 73 wins.

JD Perrin also defended his training title by sending 57 horses to the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle. The competition behind him was decidedly closer and included James Clouser Jr. with 45 wins, Dave McNeight Jr. with 41 wins, Maria Rice with 34 wins and Kirk Desmond with 32 wins.

Cobble Beach (Artiscape-Mirmattculous 1:51.2 $176,867) was named pacer of the meet with six Open wins, $42,270 in earnings and a seasonal mark of 1:52.4.

Lutetium (Credit Winner-Luby 1:52.4 $356,617) was the trotter of the meet with six Open wins, $37,750 in earnings and a new track record of 1:55.2.

Memumsnotnice (Jereme’s Jet-Bunny Town 1:51.4 $308,343) was named distaff performer of the meet with four Mares Open wins, $32,942 in earnings and a personal season's mark of 1:55.

The top three winningest post positions for the meet were post 1 with 230 wins, post 2 with 131 wins and post 4 with 129 wins.

In 2015, the on-track handle took a dip of 5.4 percent, or $1263 a night. But the export handle was up a substantial 21.2 percent, or $13,220 per night. Combined, the total handle was up a healthy 9.6 percent, or $10,250 per night.

Batavia Downs paid out $5,438,400 in purses this year, up $208,400 over 2014.

There was no shortage of promotions for Batavia Downs customers this year as something special was going on during 31 nights of the season. Giveaways, contests and food specials dotted the schedule but the year featured four major happenings.

In August the Downs hosted the annual wiener dog races, to the delight of thousands who gathered at the rail to see them. September included the Drew Monti bobblehead night, the annual Labor Day driver’s bike race and a special fund raiser for the family of Brad Hanners.

Then on Sunday (Nov. 15), Batavia Downs hosted the USTA District 8 membership meeting, Director election and New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) year-end awards banquet, sponsored by the New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund.

"We couldn't be happier with the way things went this year" said Todd Haight, GM/director of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. "We had outstanding weather the whole year; not one flake of snow. That facilitated many opportunities for our live crowd to come out and that they did.

"The product on the track was as good as it's ever been and the export numbers confirm that. A lot of people were betting the action at Batavia Downs at all the simulcast facilities that took our signal. The meet ended very strong."

To watch video highlights of the 2015 racing season, click on this link: (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B54kiFXcdsHxM0kxcmQ1dVNxbGM/view?pli=1 )

Live racing will resume at Batavia Downs in July; dates pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission.

December 18, 2015 - 2:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in assemblyman steve hawley.

Press release: 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today wished his constituents and all New Yorkers happy holidays as we approach the Christmas and New Year’s season. Hawley also encouraged residents to take advantage of the many programs and charitable organizations in their local communities.

“I would like to wish all my constituents a Merry Christmas and enjoyable holiday season,” Hawley said. “Please take this time of year to relax, enjoy the company of family and friends, and give gifts to those most important in your life.

"Also, take time to reflect on those servicemen and women defending our country overseas who will not be home with their families this holiday season. Many have paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can safely enjoy this special time of year.

“Despite the joy and comfort that comes with the holidays, it remains a struggle for many families in our communities, and many children are not fortunate enough to receive presents for Christmas. But, with your help, we can change that. I encourage my constituents and all New Yorkers to consider donating to the tremendous organizations we have here locally.”

December 18, 2015 - 2:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, pembroke, basketball, Roswell Cancer Institute.

Submitted photo of Pembroke High School Girls Basketball Team.

Press release:

During the last four seasons, the Pembroke High School Girls’ Basketball Team has focused on winning—not just league games, but the battle against breast cancer. They will host their fifth annual "Shooting For A Cure!" game at 7 p.m. on Jan. 5 in support of funding breast cancer research at Roswell Park.

To date, the Pembroke team has raised more than $30,000 for the cause and hopes to raise more than $10,000 in one night on Jan. 5.

It’s a cause that is personal to the team and their school district because of the number of faculty and family members who have been affected by the disease.

Yet according to senior captain Aralyse Johnson, this year’s fundraiseris particularly important, as it marks the final season this group of six seniors will be able to play in the event.

“I was only an eighth-grade when my older sister Breanna and her teammates came up with the idea to host the first 'Shooting For A Cure!' basketball game in support of Toni Funke’s battle with breast cancer,” Aralyse said.

The team spent that season seeking support from the community and local businesses in hopes of funding research efforts at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in honor of Mrs. Funke.

“Impressive Marks donated pink uniforms and Walt Disney World donated park passes," Johnson said. "The support was overwhelming. That original team laid the foundation to what has become an annual event that we look forward to before the season even starts.

"This fundraiser means so much to our team and our community; we are all dedicated to supporting those in our community battling cancer and using our event to help fund research. This game has become the identity of Pembroke Girls’ Basketball and we take great pride in that."

The 2016 "Shooting For A Cure!" donors list numbers more than 80 merchants and individuals such as the Buffalo Bisons, Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bandits, GLOW YMCA of Batavia, Carly’s Club, Chestnut Hill Country Club, Darien Lake, Dry Creek Group, Fava Brothers Lawn Care, Insty-Prints, Kendall's Impressive Marks, Meinke Agency, Party City, Target, and Save-A-Lot to name a few.

Many of the product donations will become game night auction baskets and raffle prizes. Monies will also be raised from food and ticket sales with the generous support of local pizzerias and vending companies. Additionally, online donations are being accepted at the team’s online fundraising page: (https://www.crowdrise.com/shooting4acure).

The team hopes "Shooting For A Cure!" will continue its tradition of topping the previous years’ fundraising total. According to senior team member Emma Patterson, the event succeeds because of the format.

“Every penny that we raise goes to Roswell Park Cancer Institute to help fund cancer research,” Emma said. “It’s truly about service over self. As athletes we always put our team first. This game has the same guiding principle on a much larger scale.

"To think that this will be our team’s fifth 'Shooting For A Cure!' game is unbelievable to me. I can remember every single game vividly since I was in eighth grade, and it’s an honor to be a part of it. Each year our small community comes together to support this event, and it becomes more meaningful each season.”

RPCI has officially sanctioned "Shooting For A Cure!" as a Team Cure fundraiser and as a valuable example of the way that young people can make a difference.

“We continue to be impressed by the Pembroke Girls’ Basketball Team as they push themselves, not only on the court, but off the court as well," said Julia Harvey, Team Cure coordinator. "It’s inspirational to have a group of teens who are so passionate about raising critically needed funds for cancer research at Roswell Park. These girls continue to demonstrate an incredible amount of compassion.

"This team is special and their community is amazing. Although the players may change each season, 'Shooting For A Cure!' has remained constant, with the girls leading the charge, for five consecutive seasons. To me, it’s just remarkable.”

For more information go to the Shooting or A Cure Web site, Twitter, Pinterest

ABOUT PEMBROKE HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS’ VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAM: The Pembroke High School Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team is comprised of 11 outstanding girls, ages 15 to 18. Their 2015-2016 captains are Aralyse Johnson and Mandy-Jean Skeet. They are coached by Ron Funke. Team colors are green and black and their nickname is The Dragons. The team’s motto is Family-Hustle-Winning. The team began "Shooting For A Cure!" as an annual event in 2012 and they are committed to the hard work and dedication it will take to win the battle against breast cancer.

ABOUT ROSWELL PARK CANCER INSTITUTE: RPCI is among the first and only upstate New York facility to hold the National Cancer Institute designation of "comprehensive cancer center" and to serve as a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Many RPCI faculty serve on the NCCN panels that create the Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ — the internationally recognized standards for clinical policy in oncology, and the most comprehensive, most frequently updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine.

The RCPI campus spans 25 acres in Downtown Buffalo and consists of 15 buildings with about 1.6 million square feet of space. A new hospital building, completed in 1998, houses a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment center. In addition, the Institute built a new medical research complex and renovated existing education and research space to support its future growth and expansion.www.roswellpark.org

December 16, 2015 - 5:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia.

An accident at Park Road and Oak Street has traffic backed up in every direction, including Thruway motorists trying to exit nearby. Town of Batavia and city fire crews are on scene along Mercy medics.

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: The accident scene is nearly clear. A car coming off the Thruway turned onto Park Road and went straight. A car making a left turn from Oak Street onto Park Road struck the other vehicle. Both vehicles had air-bag deployment and both drivers were transported to UMMC for evaluation.

December 16, 2015 - 3:45pm

Photo of "Mike."

This information is from the newsletter of the Volunteers for Animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter. They encourage everyone to give the gift of health and compassion for homeless and needy cats and dogs by donating money, food and/or supplies to the shelter. And consider bringing home a new BFF by adopting a pet today. Just in time for the holidays, you could give a forever home to a forever friend.

How "Mike" got a second chance at life and to learn what it means to be loved and cared for...

A scrawny, hairless dog was brought to the Genesee County Animal Shelter by the woman who found him lying in the road. She stopped and helped this oozing, smelly, weak dog into her car. That alone is amazing but she continued to visit him at the shelter right up to the day he was adopted about six weeks later.

"Mike" had a terrible case of mange and a skin infection. He was very underweight and bony. His skin was bright red, oozing and itching constantly. He was taken to the vet and started on medications for the mange, the infection, and the itching. He was bathed regularly and put on a special diet to gradually increase his weight.

It wasn't long before little patches of fur began to grow in. Mike gained weight and started to show interest in his surroundings and in the volunteers who cared for him. His rescuer visited at least two or three times a week. She walked him and brought him special treats. He loved visiting with her and always wanted to check her pockets to see what she had brought for him.

Mike had a bout of stomach problems and needed further treatment but within a week or so he was back to normal and enjoying his walks again. Mike's new fur came in soft and shiny and by the time he went home his coat was almost perfect. The volunteers spent a lot of time with Mike, walking and playing with him. He was always a gentleman, polite with other dogs and gentle with every person he met.

Mike's rescuer couldn't adopt him but she brought a few potential adopters to meet him. In the end it was Mike's patience and good nature that made the difference. He found his person.

There was a celebration at the shelter when Mike finally walked out the front door to go home and his rescuer was there to share the big moment along with the volunteers. What a lucky dog! How many cars must have passed Mike while he laid on the road before this wonderful, compassionate woman stopped and scooped him up off the road.

Photo of "Lucky."

How "Lucky" lucked out and found a bunch of new friends to chill with...

"Lucky" is a 14-year-old cat that was brought into the Genesee County Animal Shelter because her family had no place to live that would allow animals. She had been theirs for 14 years. They said she was a very sweet cat who loved having her belly rubbed.

Lucky was tested for FIV/FeLV, which was negative, and given her vaccines. She was not spayed so the issue was debated and volunteers consulted with a vet. She did great with the surgery. Finally, she was available for adoption.

They knew it would take a very special person to adopt this very special kitty but we were patient. Her story was posted on Facebook, which got over 2,500 views and 30 shares! They were hopeful.

After a couple of weeks, there was an opening at Petco and someone suggested Lucky go there to try her luck. They packed up her favorite bed and got her settled at Petco. With little time to settle in, someone came along and fell in love with her. They put their application in for review.

As luck would have it, the person was a resident of a local group home. The manager of the home spoke highly of the resident and she was immediately approved. No one could imagine a better place for Lucky. Word is that Lucky has settled right in and gets along great with all the residents. And best of all she is a part of their family now!

******************

So far in 2015, Volunteers for Animals have spent more than $70,000 on vet care, tests, vaccines and medications. They paid for: orthopedic surgery on a lab with a badly healed fracture; provided heartworm treatment on a sweet lab girl; covered the cost of a C-section on a mama dog who was having trouble birthing her puppies; provided dental care for a JRT with a mouthful of rotten teeth; and did treatment for possible parvo on a little pit puppy.

A local vet reached out to take over rehabilitation of a cat that had such a badly infected bite wound that they had to surgically remove part of her shoulder; she recovered and was adopted. Numerous cats and kittens came into us suffering from dehydration, diarrhea, fleas, worms, bite wounds, eat mites or infections, and upper respiratory infections.

More than 100 kittens too young to be adopted went into loving foster homes until they were big enough to be spayed and neutered prior to adoption. All of the animals adopted out of the Shelter left with vaccines, deworming and flea treatment, and were spayed/neutered. These are just some of the things donations go toward for the animals that come through the doors of the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Last year, 523 dogs and cats were spayed and neutered. This year, they are on track to do even more. Also, they have started to provide assistance to the community for the spaying and neutering of pets. After receiving a substantial donation at the end of 2014, they started a Community Spay/Neuter Program. In partnership with local vets, they are now providing low cost spay/neuter for pets to the local community.

So far this year, more than 230 families got their cat or dog spayed/neutered thanks to the new program, as well as vaccinated against rabies and other deadly viruses.

In August, they were awarded a grant for $20,000 from the ASPCA to provide low-cost spay and neuter of dogs and cats belonging to NYS residents who receive public assistance. The grant, via a voucher system, will cover the spaying or neutering of the pet, a rabies vaccine, a distemper vaccine and deworming. They hope to help close to 250 animals with the grant. They are committed to reducing the population of “unwanted” dogs and cats in Genesee County and are asking for your help and support to continue this important work.

Volunteers For Animals is a 100-percent volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists the Genesee County Animal Shelter, making possible efforts that cannot be achieved via the County’s operating budget. Your charitable gift is tax deductible and goes directly toward saving lives and providing comfort to the animals that depend on us.

To learn more and to donate, visit the Volunteers for Animals on the Web, or mail a tax-deductible contribution, payable to Volunteers for Animals, to this address: Vol.unteers for Animals, P.O. Box 1621, Batavia, NY, 14021.

Visit the shelter during visiting hours to meet potential furry companions, and to drop off much-needed cat and dog kibble, canned food, cat sand, paper towels, cleaning products, etc.

December 15, 2015 - 12:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia.

Alysan Courtney Gaebler, 38, of Soccio Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Following the investigation of a shoplifting complaint on Veteran's Memorial Drive in the Town of Batavia, Gaebler was arrested for allegedly stealing $98 worth of merchandise from a department store. She was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court and is to appear there on Jan. 21. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer, assisted by Deputy Jason Saile.

December 15, 2015 - 12:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in Park Ave Bike Shop, Genesee ARC, charity.

Submitted photo: Park Avenue Bike Shop owner, Andy August (left), and Inventory manager Alex Oliveri (right), delivered 20 bicycles to the Genesee ARC Community Center.

Press release:

For a second year in a row, the Park Ave Bike Shop of Rochester made a Christmastime visit to Genesee ARC -- last year, with 20 bicycles, this year with 20 more!

Bike Shop owner Andy August said he enjoys playing “Santa’s helper” and that these types of deliveries are the best!

“The kids are going to love these bikes,” August said.

The bicycles are courtesy of two Rochester area donors who have befriended Genesee ARC and support its mission of serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

As a friend of the donors, August said, a donation of such magnitude matches their giving spirit.

“They are generous, unassuming individuals with big hearts, that just want to give back to the community,” he said.

“We are thankful the donors believe in Genesee ARC and are helping to make some Christmas wishes come true,” said Genesee ARC Director of Development Shelley Falitico. "Thanks to Andy August and Park Ave for working with us to match bicycles to recipients and for delivering this amazing donation in time for Christmas."

Three of the bicycles have been earmarked for Rainbow Preschool operated by Genesee ARC’s sister Chapter, The Arc of Orleans County. The two chapters share Donna Saskowski as executive director and are undergoing steps to eventually unify. 

”This is such a special gift to our agency and the children and adults we serve,” Falitico said. “Our donors, who prefer to be unnamed, have helped us in so many ways already, supporting agency events and funding equipment and program items from our wish list. It will be a very special Christmas for so many children, thanks to their generosity!”

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

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