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October 19, 2015 - 9:31am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, east pembroke.

A three-car accident with injuries is reported at Slusser and Pratt roads, East Pembroke. Law enforcement is on scene and says extrication will be needed. East Pembroke Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 9:48 a.m.: There were only two cars involved; the third vehicle was driven by a witness who stopped to block off the accident scene. The drivers involved in the accident had minor injuries and both were transported to a hospital; neither had passengers.

October 17, 2015 - 11:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

(Photo of Button Fly with driver Shawn McDonough, courtesy of Paul White.)

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Since coming to Batavia Downs three starts ago, Button Fly had yet to taste victory after three narrow decisions. But class relief and post one worked wonders for him this week as he captured the $8,400 Open II pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 17).

After yielding the lead to Gold Star Spike (Drew Monti) at the eighth pole, Button Fly (Shawn McDonough) pulled and retook the lead by the quarter and never looked back. After putting the field to sleep in a stodgy :58 half, Button Fly paired :28.1 and :28.2 final panels en route to an easy two-length win in 1:54.3.

Sent off as the prohibitive 1-5 favorite, Button Fly ($2.40) captured his fifth win of the year and boosted his 2015 earnings to $40,285 for owners David Ball and Jerry Reinhart. Winning driver, Shawn McDonough, also conditions the 5-year-old Lis Mara gelding.

Shawn McDonough had a very productive night, winning four races as a driver as well as two as a trainer. His driving wins included Red Clay ($2.70), Kruella ($3.80), Button Fly ($2.40) and Enzo Seelster ($17.00); the last two he also trains. Kevin Cummings scored a driving double as did Dave McNeight III. Trainer Dave McNeight Jr. conditioned two that visited the winner's enclosure.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 21) at a new, earlier post time of 6:15 p.m. This will be the post time for all evening cards for the remainder of the 2015 meet.

October 17, 2015 - 11:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

City firefighters are responding to a complaint about "a recreational fire" behind the residence at 7 Ross St. Law enforcement is also dispatched to the scene.

October 17, 2015 - 5:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in halloween safety.

Press release:

Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha shares the following safety tips to help you plan a safe, fun Halloween for your family. Review these safety guidelines with your family and set ground rules before heading out. The sheriffs and other law enforcement agencies will have increased patrols on October 31 but planning on your part is the best way to ensure a safe Halloween.

Never leave your house unattended. If you have to leave your house, make sure all the doors are locked.

Parents DO:

  • Accompany your young children and plan to go when it’s light out.
  • Feed your children a meal or substantial snack before trick or treating.
  • Have children save all candy until they get home.
  • Inspect all treats; throw away unwrapped, open, or suspicious looking goodies.

Trick-or-Treaters DO:

  • Travel in pairs or groups and stay together.
  • Walk on the sidewalk or on the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Stop, look and listen at corners.
  • Plan a safe route; stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on.
  • Carry a flashlight or glow stick.
  • Carry a cell phone if going without an adult.
  • Be respectful of people and their property.

Trick-or-Treaters DON’T:

  • Go into a stranger's house or get into a stranger's car.
  • Run across yards or streets.
  • Venture down dark, empty streets.
  • Approach dark, unlighted houses.
  • Go between parked cars or crisscross back and forth across streets.
  • Eat any treats before your parents check them.

At Home:

  • Put away anything children could trip over.
  • Turn the lights on and replace any burned-out bulbs at the walkway and front door.
  • Remember, your jack-o-lantern and any other candles or electrical decorations can be a fire hazard. Keep them out of the reach of small children and away from flammable materials.
October 17, 2015 - 4:57pm

The 12th annual Fur Ball to benefit the Volunteers for Animals -- Spay/Neuter Program will be held starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Days Inn in Batavia, located at 200 Oak St. And your donations of NEW items for the auction are still being accepted!

You can drop them off at the animal shelter on West Main Street Road during adoption hours, or drop them an e-mail if you need them picked up. (

Next Saturday, expect great food, lots of fun, quality auction items and some surprises, too!

Tickets are $25 each, but $50 if purchased the day of the event. Children 12 and under pay $15. A table of 10 seats is $250. Only 200 tickets are available.

Make checks payable to the Volunteers for Animals -- Spay/Neuter Program.

Adoption hours are:

  • Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Friday -- 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday -- 1 to 3 p.m. and again from 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday -- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Closed Thursday
October 17, 2015 - 4:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC.

Press release:

Genesee Community College will offer two open house events this fall at the Main Campus in Batavia, allowing perspective students and their families to explore the many opportunities the College has to offer. Those interested in attending are encouraged to pre-register at or by calling 866-CALL-GCC.

The first event is scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 - 11 a.m. The admissions, financial aid and advisement staff will be available to answer questions, and enjoy complete tours of the Batavia Campus, College Village and the College's Nursing labs and classrooms located across the street in the Med Tech Building.

The College will also hold its annual Veterans Day Academic Open House on Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. As the biggest recruitment event of the year, visitors have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with professors and instructors at the Academic Fair which runs from 9 to 9:45 a.m., gaining inside knowledge about GCC's many majors and some long-term career projections. In addition, representatives from several four-year colleges will be on hand to talk about transfer options from GCC. If you want a comprehensive look at academics, admissions and the overall GCC experience, don't miss this event!

Genesee Community College provides a variety of convenient learning options for students of all ages. Students can take classes at the main campus in Batavia or at one of six campus centers in GCC's four-county service area, including Lima and Dansville in Livingston County, Albion and Medina in Orleans County, and Arcade and Warsaw in Wyoming County. GCC also has a robust online learning program with more than 100 online courses offered each semester and 15 degrees can be earned fully online.

Establishing new degrees, certificates and concentrations that are focused on careers and jobs of the future has always been a priority for GCC. Among the newest programs are Food Processing Technology AAS, Polysomnographic Technology, AAS, (the study of sleep disorders), Supply Chain Management Concentration and Economic Crime Investigation as two concentrations within the Business Administration program, and GCC recently realigned the science programs into four Natural Science concentrations, specifically Physics, Environmental Biology, Biology and Chemistry.

"I have been at GCC for nearly 20 years and I continue to be impressed by the diversity of our student body," Tanya Lane-Martin, assistant dean for Enrollment Services and director of Admissions said. "While we enjoy our traditional aged students who come from high school, I'm also delighted by our growing number of international students, parents and some grandparents who are attending classes with their children, students from Downstate who love our rural community, and the displaced workers who want to retrain and get back into the workforce ASAP. Serving the needs of all these students and helping them achieve their success is what makes GCC such a special place."

For those interested in upcoming courses, a complete listing of GCC's Winterim, Spring and Summer 2016 course schedules can be viewed here:

October 17, 2015 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county, Don Read.

Plans are being made to honor Don Read, former Genesee County Clerk who retired on Sept. 11, with a dinner at Terry Hills Restaurant. He served as county clerk for 22 years.

It is planned for Saturday, Nov. 7th, with social hour starting at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7. Cost is $30 per person.

To reserve a seat, send your check -- made out to Richard Siebert -- to P.O. Box 171, Batavia NY 14021.

Also, if anyone would like to participate honoring Mr. Read, please let Mr. Siebert know.

October 17, 2015 - 4:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in East Pembroke Fire District.

Press release from East Pembroke Fire District Secretary William R. Joyce:

Please take notice that the November Monthly Fire District Meeting that was scheduled to be conducted by the East Pembroke Fire District at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 will be rescheduled to 7 p.m. on Nov. 12 due to the National Holiday (Veterans Day).

October 17, 2015 - 3:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, public works.

Press release:

The Village of Oakfield’s Department of Public Works plan to flush hydrants throughout the Village and Town of Oakfield beginning Oct. 19th and concluding Oct. 23rd. Residents may notice some discoloration in water and possible low pressure.

(Also, a reminder to Village residents -- street parking regulations change beginning Nov. 1st through April 30th.)

October 17, 2015 - 3:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, batavia, sport.

(Photo of BZ Glide in the forefront driven by Mike Caprio.)

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Neither wind, rain, gloom of night nor five worthy competitors could keep BZ Glide from completing his appointed rounds as he once again won the $9,500 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 15).

After intermittent late-afternoon downpours provided a wet and tacky racing surface for the evenings’ events, Vernon Downs invader Hold On Tightly (John Cummings Jr.) found good footing off the gate and went right to the lead. He maintained that position unchallenged for the bulk of the mile, setting pedestrian off-track fractions of :30.1, 1:01.4 and 1:31.2 in the process. During those same fractions, BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) sat last, gapped two-lengths off, watching it all happen.

But six furlongs at the back of the bus was long enough. Into the final turn, Caprio pulled BZ Glide three-deep before fanning out four-wide at the top of the lane. The pair switched into overdrive, swooped the field and passed Hold On Tightly at the wire to win by a length in 2:01.4.  

It was the seventh victory in 17 starts for BZ Glide ($3.60) and the winner’s share of the purse enhanced his 2015 financial situation to $50,570 for owner Caprio Stable, LLC. Alana Caprio trains the 6-year-old altered son of Yankee Glide.

On a night that went against recent trends, only one driver scored multiple wins on the card; John Cumming Jr. had two. Other than that, 10 different drivers won the remaining 10 races and the Downs top two leading reinsmen, Kevin Cummings and Dave McNeight III, were blanked.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Oct. 16) at 6:35.

October 17, 2015 - 3:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

A caller is reports an open burn is causing a nuisance at 251 Bank St. City firefighters are responding. The location is between Hart and Douglas streets.

October 17, 2015 - 3:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in Notre Dame, batavia, business, Milestones.

Press release:

The Business Teachers Association of New York State awards the Julian A. Milkes Award for Outstanding New Business Educator each school year. Notre Dame High School is proud to announce that its Business Teacher, Lindsay Warner, is the recipient of the 2015 award.

The Julian A. Milkes Award recognizes exemplary efforts of new business educators early in their careers. Individuals must have made significant contributions to Business Education through some combination of program development, professional association activities, professional contributions (through presentations/publications), and civic and community involvement. They will have been involved in innovative, unique and novel programs and have shown extraordinary professional commitment early in their careers.

Retired principal Joseph Scanlan, Ph.D., said “Mrs. Warner has brought Business Education into the new millennium at Notre Dame High School.”

Lindsay’s hard work and diligence have resulted in Notre Dame obtaining college course accreditation for three high school business courses she currently teaches in conjunction with Genesee Community College.

“She is a mover and shaker who teaches business courses using real life business applications," Scanlan said. "Course requests for the courses she teaches are off the charts as the word has traveled quickly that her classes are indeed the real deal."

Warner also masterminded her senior-level marketing class’s participation in the Virtual Business Competition held at GCC in March. The Notre Dame “Cupcakery” team captured four first-place awards and one for second in the competition with 12 other regional schools. She planted the seed, encouraged them to do their best and oversaw their efforts.

Warner has also started a quality shadowing experience program, which is placing interested juniors and seniors in real-life career opportunities during the school year and summer vacation.

A Notre Dame High School graduate, she received her master's in Education from Nazareth College in 2009. She holds a NYS Professional Certification in Business and Marketing Education. She lives in Le Roy with her husband, Jeremy, and two young sons. Congratulations to Lindsay on this prestigious award!

October 17, 2015 - 3:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county park & forest.

We are informed that the phones are not working at the Genesee Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center. So if you want to attend tonight's program about bats, including a slideshow and guided nature tour afterward, please register via e-mail to: [email protected]

Or message the park people on Facebook, Genesee County Parks, Recreation & Forestry.

Either way, registration is required.

You will learn that bats are experts at staying warm -- they have a fur coat, keep a cozy home, and they love to cuddle!!

Explore the world of your local and exotic furry flying friends with a fascinating indoor presentation by a local bat expert. See a slideshow filled with awesome pictures, hear about the lives of bats, learn how they help humans and what you can do to return the favor. After the presentation, attendees will venture out on a creatures of the night hike!

Program is $5/person, $10/family.

Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center is at 11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

October 17, 2015 - 11:11am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia.

A bicyclist was struck by a vehicle and is possibly injured on Veterans Memorial Drive in front of Peebles department store. Town of Batavia fire is responding. Mercy medics are on scene to evaluate the patient.

UPDATE 11:15 a.m.: The town assignment is back in service.

October 17, 2015 - 7:32am
posted by Billie Owens in veterans, American Legion, batavia.


American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett visited Batavia Friday and spoke with veterans at the VA Center.

His Fall Meetings in communities nationwide are aimed at publicizing three things, primarily: the Walk with Veterans campaign to raise awareness about veterans; the VA healthcare system and its value; and role the Amercian Legion plays in fighting for veterans' rights regarding education, jobs, and mental health/reintegration services.

He told the local group that he believes the Veterans Administration is a system worth saving, that it provides greatly needed services for veterans and their families.

Barnett mentioned the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, which the legion successfully lobbied in favor of, state licensing credits, the expanded GI Bill of Rights and new educational opportunties, including the ability to transfer educational benefits to spouse or children.

"We're fighting for benefits that affect them," he said. "We fight for veterans and their families."

Asked about efforts to shore up declining membership, especially among younger vets, Barnett said education and awareness are key. They can't help fix problem if they aren't aware of them.

Since active duty military personnel and National Guards reservists can't lobby legislators about proposed defense cuts, Barnett said, so it's imperative that newly retired and non-active personnel fill that gap, both for the sake of U.S. safety and preparedness, and the benefits and services at stake.

Asked about the alarming rate of suicides among young veterans, he noted that every day 22 veterans take their life. Barnett said the VA is branching out in its efforts to help self-healing, "with less reliance on narcotics, over-medication that may have occurred in hospitals nationwide."

Plus, they've help develop creative programs to help war-weary vets meld back into society and overcome bad experiences, citing a program that pairs vets with horses in Saratoga and another equine program in Montana. There's also the "Dogs for Heroes" program.

And no one is better suited to understanding the wounds of war better than other veterans, Barnett said.

Photo and information provided by our news partner, WBTA.

October 15, 2015 - 1:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in GO ART!.

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council announces a call for artists to submit up to five pieces of winter-related 2-D work for the 14th annual Holiday Group Show. The exhibit will be held Nov. 5 through Dec. 17 at the Batavia Satellite Gallery inside the Genesee County Senior Center, 2 Bank St. in the city.

Drop-off dates are 9 a.m to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 29 and 30, at GO ART! Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia. (The Batavia Satellite Gallery is equipped with the Walker Hanging System.) Remember to include the completed inventory form with your work when you drop it off.

There will be a meet-the-artists reception at the Senior Center from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, during Batavia's Christmas in the City event.

Pick-up dates are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 22 and 23, at GO ART! Seymour Place.

General Guidelines:

1)  The exhibit invitation is open to all artists in 2-D media;

2)  All artwork submitted must be winter-related;

3)  Work MUST be framed, wired and ready for hanging. NO sawtooth hangers;

4)  GO ART! reserves the right to accept or refuse pieces;

5)  All questions should be directed to GO ART! by calling (585) 343-9313 or via e-mail  [email protected]

6)  The inventory/release form should accompany your artwork when you drop it off. These can be picked up at GO ART! or printed out from our Web site;

7)  All artwork should be labeled on the back with name, title, medium and price;

8)  Items may be offered for sale. If sold, GO ART! will receive 10-percent commission;

9)  Insurance is the responsibility of the artist.

October 15, 2015 - 12:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

(Photo of Wicked Elphaba with reinsman Ray Fisher Jr.)

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Wicked Elphaba started slow but finished strong to take the $10,000 Open mares pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 14).

Wicked Elphaba (Ray Fisher Jr.) quickly found herself with a ten-length deficit when Aurora Borealis (Kirk Desmond), Seascape Hanover (John Cummings Jr.) and Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) all battled for the lead in a brisk :27.1 quarter. From there, Seascape Hanover took the front and cut the mile while leaving Country Delight hung out to dry.

As the group passed the half and moved towards five-eighths, Fisher pulled Wicked Elphaba and brushed strongly up the backside. At the three-quarter pole, Wicked Elphaba tipped three-deep around the fading Country Delight, drew even with the front-running Seascape Hanover, and then flew by to take the lead. The mare paced away down the lane to win by three lengths in 1:56.  

It was the fifth win of the year for Wicked Elphaba ($9.20) and the first in the top class for distaff pacers at this meet. The winners share pushed her 2015 earnings to $25,873 for owner Tanah Merah Farms. The 5-year-old Western Terror mare is trained by Ryan Swift.

Drew Monti had a grand slam on Wednesday night, taking pictures with Climate Hanover ($2.80), Missevil ($9.70), R T Lange ($32.20) and Diditagain Hanover ($26.00). Shawn McDonough and Dave McNeight III both had doubles on the card as well.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 16) at 6:35 p.m.

October 15, 2015 - 12:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in WNYIL, disabilities.

Press release:

A focus group on Monday, Oct. 19th, will enable New Yorkers with disabilities in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, New York City and Batavia to have their voices heard on which programs most deserve Federal Independent Living funds allocated for the Empire State in the next three years.

The entity designated by the federal government to oversee this process, the New York State Independent Living Council (NYSILC) has been gathering consumers’ input on the statewide plan for Independent Living (SPIL) for 2016-2019.

In our region, Western New York Independent Living, Inc. (WNYIL), is facilitating this effort by holding the focus group from 2 to 4 p.m. at its 3108 Main St. facility near Hertel Avenue, in Buffalo’s University District. However, video conferencing will permit participation by those at Independent Living of Niagara County, 746 Portage Road, near Pine Avenue in Niagara Falls, and at Independent Living of the Genesee Region at 113 Main St., Suite 5, in Batavia.

Funding ideas presented for past SPIL three-year plans that bore fruit include: the Statewide Self-Advocacy Network (SSAN) in which community-change advocates across New York work collaboratively to help localities become more disability-accessible; development of programs, such as Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance Services (CDPAS), which give individuals control of their own Home Care Attendants; plus research into an array of disability issues, and training to enhance the quality of local services.

Those who wish to register can call Johanna at (716) 836-0822, ext. 120. Additional information is available from Todd Vaarwerk at (716) 836-0822, ext. 101.  Space is limited.

WNY Independent Living, Inc. is Western New York's largest cross-disability, consumer-directed, non-residential organization for persons with disabilities. At WNYIL, individuals of all ages and all types of disabilities learn to exercise their freedom of choice to take control of their own lives in order to live more productively in, and contribute to, the community.

October 15, 2015 - 12:13pm

Press release:

Crossroads House in conjunction with St. James Episcopal Church is offering a FREE Community Concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, titled “A Showcase of a Local Treasure."

“Our community is fortunate to have such a rare treasure in an acoustical setting second to none," said Crossroads House Executive Director Jeff Allen. "In keeping with St. James' 200th Anniversary and the City of Batavia’s Centennial, this concert is given as a gift back to a generous community that has supported us since 1996.”

This will NOT be your typical organ concert. In showcasing the amazing dynamics and broad range of this historic pipe organ, numbers will include sacred hymns as well as songs by The Doors, The Allman Brothers Band, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and more.

Pipe organs have largely been relegated to Sunday morning worship services for centuries and the gift of their sound is kept to a select audience. 

“I liken most pipe organs to a Ferrari that is only backed in and out of the garage once a week, at this concert, we will take the Ferrari out on the open road and reveal it’s amazing horsepower,” Allen said.

Playing the organ will be St. James organist David Lange who will offer powerful renditions of the sacred hymns and Jeffrey Fischer who will put the pedal to the metal and play the modern rock classics.

Again, the concert is free and no offering will be taken, just come and enjoy. You will love it madly.

Date: Friday Oct. 23rd at 7 p.m.

Place: St James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main St., Batavia.

October 15, 2015 - 11:54am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Notre Dame.

Press release:

From 2 to 4 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 18th Notre Dame High School will hold its annual Fall Open House for prospective students. Everyone is invited to come “Experience the Difference” of a Notre Dame education.

Teachers will be on hand along with many clubs and sports coaches. The Notre Dame experience is affordable for all, financial aid and scholarships are available.

Notre Dame is a Catholic school with a physically and emotionally safe learning environment welcoming to all. Our Tradition of Excellence continues with a graduation rate of 100 percent for the Class of 2015, with 100 percent attending college earning $4 million in scholarships.

Please join us to learn more about our small school community with big school possibilities. The school is located at 73 Union St. in the City of Batavia. Phone is 343-2783.




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

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