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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
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: ( )

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: (

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

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!”

December 15, 2015 - 12:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy.

Press release:

The Le Roy Police Department is attempting to determine who stole a full-size Frontier Phone Company bucket truck from the Myrtle Street area of Le Roy.  The theft was reported at 4:40 p.m. Monday evening after a lineman parked the truck in the area of 34 Myrtle St. and was conducting work on a nearby pole.

While the lineman was on a ladder at the telephone pole, an unknown suspect entered the truck and stole it.  The truck was last seen Eastbound on Myrtle Street. The truck was located at 7:03 p.m. in the City of Rochester near the Glendale and Maryland Street intersection.

The Le Roy Police are interested in locating and speaking with a person of interest described as a mid-20s, white male seen in the area of both locations wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, white shirt and jeans and carrying a high chair.

If you have any information pertaining to this theft or this person of interest, please contact the Le Roy Police Department at 345-6350.

December 15, 2015 - 12:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Area Jaycees.
Press release:
The Batavia Area Jaycees will be gathering on Wednesday, Dec. 16th, to drive around and look at all the homes decorated for the Holiday Season. Judging will take place within the City of Batavia limits.
This year categories will not be judged, but a list of the best 10 houses to see will be named. This contest is meant to be a friendly community project.
If you have any questions about the contest or about the Jaycees organization, you can contact the Batavia Area Jaycees at [email protected], on Facebook at, on the Web at or leave the a message at 585-343-5775.

The Batavia Area Jaycees is a not for profit, service organization for young people between the ages of 18-41.         

We are from all backgrounds, level of education, and positions of employment, from all walks of life. We all have one thing in common – we care enough to get involved. We are people helping people. Jaycees have been providing local individual development and leadership training since 1943.
December 14, 2015 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia High School, YWCA, zonta club.

The Batavia Zonta Club will be sponsoring a toy drive for the Batavia YWCA on Wednesday, Dec. 16. Members of the Z club will be collecting your new, unwrapped toys curbside at the student drop-off loop at Batavia High School from 7:30 to 8 a.m. 

December 14, 2015 - 2:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy, alexander, batavia, Attica, pembroke, corfu, byron, Pavilion, Stafford.

Joshua M. Gaudioso, of Galloway Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment and second-degree strangulation. He was arrested following a domestic incident at 7:46 p.m. on Dec. 6 wherein he allegedly strangled the victim and threatened to kill the victim along with several members of the victim's family. He was jailed without bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

James E. Wroten Jr., 49, of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested at 10 p.m. on Dec. 7 on Olyn Avenue following a verbal and physical argument between himself and a person who had a stay away order of protection from Wroten. It is alleged that the defendant called the protected party names and pushed a plate into her face during an argument. He was jailed without bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

Kenneth C. Roma, 28, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, operating with a BAC of .08 percent or more, uninspected motor vehicle, cracked/broken windshield, and driving to the left of pavement markings (a no-passing zone). The Sheriff's Office received two calls from other motorists about the poor driving habits of the driver of a pickup truck eastbound on Route 5 in the Town of Batavia at around 10:20 p.m. on Dec. 11. The callers continued to follow the pickup and provide dispatchers with the current locations and details of when the pickup allegedly interfered with other vehicles on the roadway. Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Meides located the pickup on West Avenue in the Village of Attica with a caller's assistance. The driver indicated he was lost and did not know where he was. Meides was assisted by other members of the Sheriff's Office and two officers from the Attica Police Department. Roma was released on an appearance ticket and is to be in Alexander Town Court on Jan. 12. Sgt. Meides was assisted in the investigation and report by Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster.

Heather R. Frizol, 35, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, DWI, speeding, failure to maintain lane, and passing through a red light. She was arrested following a traffic stop at 1:28 a.m. on Dec. 6 on Main Street, Batavia. Frizol was also charged as an unlicensed driver and for allegedly having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle. She is to appear in City Court on  Dec. 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Richard Dean McKague Jr., 25, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to yield right-of-way to an emergency vehicle, failure to stop at a stop sign, and being an unlicensed operator. His arrest at 6:06 a.m. on Dec. 10 came after a vehicular pursuit that started in the Town of Stafford and ended in the Town of Byron. It is alleged that McKague was observed violating sections of state vehicle and traffic law and then when a traffic stop was initiated, be failed to comply. The pursuit through two townships concluded on Beaver Meadows Road and he was taken into custody without incident. A search of his person allegedly produced a small quantity of marijuana. He was jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond and will respond to both Stafford and Byron courts to answer the charges. The investigation was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona, with the assistance of Deputy Christopher Erion, Sgt. Eric Seppala, and State Police.

Jeffrey Lynn Shultz II, 21, of Walkers Corners Road, Byron, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs -- first offense, driving left of pavement markings, and operating a motor vehicle without an inspection certificate. He was arrested at 1:51 p.m. on Dec. 12 on Byron Road in Byron. He is to appear in Byron Town Court on Dec. 15. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona, assisted by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Roger James Farney, 33, of Clayton Street, Buffalo, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at 1 p.m. on Dec. 9 on West Main Street in Batavia after allegedly making derogatory statements toward a person who has an order or protection. He turned himself into Batavia PD headquarters and is to appear in City Court on Dec. 29. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan.

Jeannine Nicole Armbrewster, 38, of Ridge Road, Medina, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs. She was arrested at 7:42 p.m. on Dec. 12 on Alexander Road, Alexander. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Dana Richardson, assisted by Deputy Christopher Parker.

Ryan Joseph Bellinger, 25, of Route 209, Varysburg, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree -- brass knuckles, unlawful possession of marijuana, and operating a motor vehicle with obstructed vision. Bellinger was arrested following a traffic stop at 10:21 p.m. on Dec. 13 on Alleghany Road, Pembroke. He was issued an appearance ticket for Pembroke Court on Jan. 21. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Lonnie Nati.

Daniel C. Brinkman Sr., 55, of Mill Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal trespass. It is alleged that at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 9, Brinkman trespassed onto CSX Railroad property (located at 100 Evans St., Batavia) after having been warned to stay off the property. He is due in City Court on Dec. 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Jason L. McKenzie, 37, and Pamela L. McKenzie, 39, husband and wife from Pavilion, were arrested by state Troopers on Dec. 6 and charged with petit larceny for allegedly stealing items from Kohl's earlier in the week.

Kelli E. Wallace, 53, of Swan Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested at 7:20 p.m. on Dec. 7 after allegedly stealing property from Dollar General. She was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in City Court on Dec. 15. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Michael F. Geer, 24, of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, was arrested at 3:56 a.m. on Dec. 11 as the result of an investigation into an incident that occurred on East Main Street on Nov. 13. Geer, who is currently in county jail, was issued an appearance ticket charging him with petit larceny. He is to be in City Court on Dec. 15. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels.

Robert Ernest Saari, 33, of Alleghany Road, Attica, was arrested on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court for failing to appear at a scheduled court date. He posted bail and was released on an appearance ticket. He is to be in City Court on Dec. 22. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards. 

Robert Ernest Saari, 33, of Alleghany Road, Attica, was arrested at 6:04 p.m. on Dec. 11 and charged with having insufficient tail lamps and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. After being pulled over for allegedly having insufficient tail lamps, it was found that the defendant's license was suspended more than 10 times on 10 dates. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer, assisted by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Martin James Rodgers, 31, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with parole violation. As the result of a search of his residence at 10:45 p.m. on Dec. 10, is alleged that he violated parole. A court date for him has not yet been scheduled. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by Deputy Howard Carlson.

Daniel Colin Healy, 24, of North Street, Le Roy, is charged with failure to appear on a traffic summons. He turned himself into Batavia PD headquarters after being notified by mail that he had a warrant out for his arrest. He is to be in City Court on Dec. 15. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Zachary B. Reeves, 19, of Maine, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. On Dec. 12 at Route 33 and Prospect Street, Corfu, Reeves was pulled over for allegedly driving 54 in a 35-mph zone and for having a loud muffler. The patrol officer allegedly smelled marijuana in the vehicle and allegedly found marijuana residue on the passenger seat. Subsequently, the officer allegedly found a jar containing about 1 gram of marijuana as well as two glass smoking pipes and "1 false cigarette containing marijuana residue." The case was handled by Corfu PD Officer Michael Petritz, assisted by Sheriff's Deputy Lonnie Nati and Deputy Chris Erion and K-9 "Destro."

December 14, 2015 - 12:48pm

Press release:

Batavia High School is one of 425 school districts in the United States and Canada named to the College Board’s Sixth Annual AP® District Honor Roll.

To be included on this short list (there are more than 14,000 public school districts in the United States alone, according to the Census Bureau), school districts must have, since 2013, increased student access to AP (Advanced Placement) course work as well as maintained or increased the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.

Reaching these goals indicates that a district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for the opportunity of AP. While the recognition is welcomed, it is not news to Batavia administrators and staff. They have been working to increase student participation and success in AP courses as one more way for high-achieving students to have access to more rigorous challenges as well as to get a low-cost jump on their college career before leaving high school.

They have noted with pleasure that increasing numbers of our high school students are seeing the value of doing this. From 2010-2011 to 2014-2015, the number of BHS students taking AP courses increased from 62 to 76, and, because one student can take more than one AP course, the number of exams taken has increased from 116 to 137.

In addition to more students being willing to take the more challenging courses, more of them are achieving higher grades on the exams. With success on an AP exam being defined as a score of 3 or higher (which is also the point at which most colleges will accept the course as a transfer credit), College Board records show the percentage of our students reaching that success level  increased from 74.2 percent in 2011 to 82.9 percent in 2015. Plus, our students’ scores are better than the average AP scores in New York State and around the world. NYS had a 66-percent success rate in 2011 and 65.6 percent in 2015, while global figures were 60.2 percent in 2011 and 60.7 percent in 2015.

Currently, there are 10 AP courses offered at the High School: English Literature and Composition, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, U.S. Government and Politics, U.S. History, Studio Art/2D Design Portfolio, and Studio Art/Drawing Portfolio.

One of the goals BHS Principal Scott Wilson has set for the High School is an increase in student participation and success in AP courses. Physics, taught by Burt Howell, is one of the AP courses offered at the High School. Success rate for BHS students on the AP Physics exam for the 2011-2015 timeframe was close to 65 percent, compared to 37 percent for New York State.

December 13, 2015 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia.

A car vs. pedestrian accident is reported at the entance to Kmart on Lewiston Road. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding and Mercy medics are on scene. A male reportedly has a minor head laceration.

December 13, 2015 - 12:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, wildlife, foxes.

Press release:

The Village of Le Roy Police Department has been receiving increased complaints about a fox or foxes, which have been seen in multiple locations inside the Village. The Police have responded but have yet to find a fox acting sick, injured or aggressive this year.

The Le Roy Police have consulted the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation which advises that the foxes are present in the area due to three specific reasons: 1) they have located a food source nearby, possibly garbage or available dog/cat dishes, 2) they feel safe due to a lack of predators, and 3) they may have located a safe place to den or hide.

The DEC further stated that if a fox is not posing a danger to society such as acting sick/injured/aggressive or chasing a domestic animal, it is illegal to kill or trap them without the proper trapping permit. If a homeowner would like a fox trapped, there are several trappers who can be hired for a fee to the homeowner and a list can be found on the DEC Web site listed under NWCO.

Further more information can be obtained from the Internet including “

Le Roy Police ask that if a citizen sees a fox acting dangerous, sick or injured, please call 9-1-1, so that a police officer can respond and check on the fox.

UPDATE: Jeremiah Russell submitted this picture of a fox on North Street, Le Roy.


December 12, 2015 - 2:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

Press release from Raymond Tourt, city superintendent of maintenance:

Due to fair weather, the city will be reopening the yard waste station for the week of Dec. 14-19.

Any resident with leaves can bring them and other vegetative yard waste matter to the yard waste station. No stumps, construction debris, fill or other refuse.

Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday Dec. 14 through Saturday Dec. 19. Entry from Law Street only.

Citywide leaf collection ended Nov. 25. Any resident with leaves are encouraged to take this opportunity to bring their leaves to the yard waste station. 

December 12, 2015 - 2:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley.

Press release: 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) commented on the apparent closing of the Mueller Quaker Dairy Plant in Batavia as well as economic development opportunities ahead as a result of the Finger Lakes Region winning the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

“I am disheartened to learn of the closing of the Mueller Quaker Dairy Plant as a result of the company’s sale to Dairy Farmers of America (DFOA). The news comes as a shock but my hope is that DFOA will open a new facility in Western New York very soon and rehire many of the same employees that will be laid off due to Mueller Quaker’s closing. I look forward to working with DFOA in the future and wish the company the best of luck.”

A total of $120.1 million was awarded for 134 projects in the Finger Lakes Region. They include: $750,000 was awarded to Genesee Biogas to purchase new equipment in the Genesee Industrial Agricultural Park, LLC; $420,000 to the Genesee County Economic Development Center; $500,000 to the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation to expand infrastructure; $1.5 million to install new water lines at the STAMP Park in Alabama; $600,000 for the Orleans County Economic Development Center; and $70,000 to fund the Orleans Renaissance Group.

“Although I am discouraged by the closing of the Mueller Quaker plant in Batavia, I am inspired by the opportunities that await us in execution of the dozens of projects in my district funded through the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) and Upstate Revitalization Initiative. These six project only scratch the surface of what we have in store for Western New York and I look forward to assisting with the dozens of projects throughout my district in any way possible.”

December 12, 2015 - 1:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

The curtain comes down on another racing season at Batavia Downs tonight (Dec. 12).

This is closing night and once again features the free to play $500 Pick-6 contest. This final contest will be paid out to the player(s) that pick the most winners, if no one selects all six winners. 

And it’s also the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association’s annual “Night of Distinction” where awards will be distributed to both human and equine performance leaders throughout the evening in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle. Post time is 6:15 p.m.
“It’s been an outstanding year and we’re capping it off with one more action-packed weekend of promotions and giveaways” said Todd Haight, director/general manager of Live Racing. “...I would also like to thank all the horsemen, fans, Downs employees and off-track locations for their support this entire racing season.”

December 12, 2015 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, zoning board, assessment review board.

Press release:

The Town of Darien is looking for interested candidates to fill open positions on the Zoning Board of Appeals and Board of Assessment Review. Please contact
the Town Clerk's office by e-mailing: [email protected] or calling 585-547-2274, ext. 26 for more information on these boards.

Letters of intent kindly requested by Dec. 28.

Alice Calmes
Darien Town Clerk
Ph:  585-547-2274, ext. 26
Fax:  585-547-3331
e-mail:  [email protected]

December 12, 2015 - 8:16am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, hockey, Notre Dame.

Press release:

Notre Dame High School congratulates varsity hockey Coach Marc Staley on setting a new all-time wins record of 73 with a win over Rush Henrietta on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2015.

Notre Dame High School varsity hockey team hosts Batavia High School today (Dec. 12) at Faletti Ice Arena. Puck drops at 3 p.m. and there will be a quick presentation prior to present Coach Staley with a plaque commemorating his achievement.

After the ’14 – ’15 season, Coach Staley had 69 overall wins since starting his coaching career at Notre Dame in 2008. The previous record of 72 was held by legendary Coach Jack Porter. So far this season the hockey team has won all three games, which gave Staley the record.

Marc attended Batavia High School and played varsity hockey there from 1988 – 1991 and was named captain in 1991. He went on to play college hockey at RIT in ’92 – ’93 and then played professionally overseas for two seasons in Italy and Switzerland. He began his coaching career at his alma mater RIT Tigers in 1999. He coached at SUNY Geneseo from 1999 to 2003 when he became an Assistant Coach at Notre Dame High School until 2006.

Marc started on this journey to the all time wins record for hockey at Notre Dame when he became the head coach in 2008 and has accomplished that record now in his eighth season. Marc lives in Batavia with his wife, Erin, daughter Helaina and son Luke.

“It has been a lot of years getting up very early and it has paid off. I love coaching at Notre Dame and it has truly enriched my life,” Staley said. “I also coach the Junior A Roc City Royals in Rochester and the Beginner Program here in Batavia and I have coached in the Genesee Amateur Hockey Association for over 15 years now!”

“We look forward to many more years of having Marc coach our varsity hockey program,” said Athletic Director Mike Rapone. “Marc has done an outstanding job of not only teaching our students how to play hockey, he has also guided them on how to be successful at the game of life. He had been an outstanding representative of both our school and its hockey program."

Notre Dame Principal Wade Bianco added “Coach Staley brings to life the Notre Dame mission statement in his work with our student athletes. Their families come first. They are expected to work to their potential in the classroom and conduct themselves in a dignified and respectful manner. As a result his players are strongly positioned for long term success in all phases of their lives."




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

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