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July 9, 2013 - 10:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alabama.

Medics and Alabama fire are responding to a location at Judge and Feeder roads, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, to assistant a patient with an apparent arm injurying following a high speed chase that started in a neighboring county.

The pursuit involved a motorcycle and the rider reportedly laid the bike down at Judge and Feeder.

July 9, 2013 - 10:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Pavilion, code enforcement.

Jacob and Steven Weber, father and son, entered guilty pleas in Town of Pavilion Court to 45 and 15, respectively, violations of the state's property maintenance code.

Under the plea deal, Jacob Weber will avoid jail time, but Steven Weber could still be incarcerated if he does not rid his property of the remaining seven disabled, unregistered vehicles on his property at 11076 Lake Road.

Weber admitted in court today that he had 16 unregistered, disabled vehicles on his property -- one more than the law allows. He made a point of clarifying before pleading guilty that he was allowed one vehicle on the property.

The 46 vehicles on property owned by Jacob and Mary Weber at 11256 Perry Road are also apparently the property of Steven Weber.

The Webers are scheduled to appear for sentencing at 3 p.m., Aug. 13.

Town of Pavilion Attorney Jamie Welch said the agreement includes no sentence cap and doesn't limit any possible fines beyond what is allowed under the law.

Previously: Town of Pavilion begins enforcement effort on two properties with alleged code violations

July 9, 2013 - 8:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, STAMP.

This week, staff members of the Genesee County Economic Development Center are at SEMICON West, the largest trade show globally for the semiconductor industry, held at the Mascone Center in San Francisco.

The staff is there to promote WNY STAMP, the high-tech/nano-tech industrial park in the Town of Alabama that GCEDC hopes will some day be home to at least one large technology company employing thousands of people.

Joining the GCEDC staff are representatives from Greater Rochester Enterprise, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the University at Buffalo.

The photo is from GCEDC's Facebook page. At left is Chris Suozzi and second from left is  Rachael Tabelski. IDs are not provided on the other people in the picture.

July 9, 2013 - 4:27pm

The Landmark Society of Genesee County presents the House and Garden Tour. This event will take place on Sunday, July 14, from 12 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and include dessert reception, door prizes and a presentation by landscape designer Tim Richley! Tim has designed landscapes for some of the most beautiful gardens in and around the Batavia and Buffalo areas and will share his expertise with attendees. 

Tickets can be purchased at St. James Episcopal Church 585-343-6802 or at Harrington's Produce (in Batavia) 585-343-0805. Tickets will be available the morning of the tour at St. James Church only, beginning at 11 a.m.

Some of the homes featured on the tour:

  • Jason and Anna Molino’s 1915 Vernon Ave. home has flower and vegetable gardens; their sunroom will be open for viewing.
  • Brenda Fox’s home on Angling Road in East Pembroke has extensive gardens and a pond. Brenda likes to color code her gardens.
  • Diane and Keith Boeheim’s home and gardens on Violet Lane: The house has arts and crafts influences. Diane is a collector of frogs and fairies for her garden and teapots in her home. There is a pergola over the back patio.
  • Jennifer and Richard Dunn, 226 State St.; their 1904 home, which will be open for viewing, is distinguished by its circular staircase tower and curved dormers.
  • Dennis Wood and Jenny Myers on 3323 W. Main Road. This unique home built in 1944 was originally owned by Batavia nurseryman Jerry Wallace. It combines elements of local craftspersons with classic homage to Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Georgia Childs and Paul Freeman’s 1944 home sits on a corner lot. These owners have transformed it into a welcoming and semi-private garden retreat.
  • Debbie and Mike Barone’s 1948 home has an arbor with climbing clematis which is the gateway to their peaceful backyard.
  • Susan Wakefield’s home has winding gardens that create beautiful views and her clever use of planters create balance.
  • Carol and Dick Queal and Sharon and Bob Gray are neighbors on Fargo Road. Bob is also a master gardener. Come and enjoy all these two gardens have to offer.
July 9, 2013 - 12:12pm

Terry Hills Restaurant Invites You to Dinner, Dance and a Swinging Sunset! Thursday, July 11th. Dinner seatings 5-5:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. Serendipity Swing will be playing from 6 to 8 p.m. We will be offering a special menu that includes: Chicken Cordon Bleu, Seafood Stuffed Haddock, Prime Rib, Vegetarian Pasta Capri and Stuffed Pork Tenderloin. Reservations required -- Last call.

Serendipity Swing: “A Little Big Band,” is an Eight-Musician Ensemble with a female and male vocalist from Buffalo that performs music associated with the Golden Age of Glamorous Ballrooms, Classy Supper Clubs, the Most Elegant of Private Parties, and the Great American Songbook.

The music library, with more than 300 titles, contains selections which explore and mirror the beauty of the music elements; melody, harmony and rhythm. It is music that is artful, graceful, whimsical and listenable. The melodies are memorable. The harmonies are soothing and rich in texture. The tempos, rhythms, are danceable and toe-tapping.

Terry Hills Restaurant, 5122 Clinton St. Road, Batavia
Visit us online at:
July 9, 2013 - 11:48am
posted by Bonnie Marrocco in batavia, Funeral Homes.

From the time he was in high school Michael S. Tomaszewski dreamed of being a funeral director.

“I liked dealing with different people, different families and different emotions,” says Michael. “Although I did not come from a background of funeral homes, I always knew that was what I wanted to do.”

Five years ago, Tomaszewski and his wife, Valerie, turned dream to reality when he purchased property on West Main Street, designing a a home-like facility with soft tones, vaulted ceilings, comfortable furniture and a kindling fireplace.

That's not all that gives Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel a degree of distinction: The Dibble Family Center opened adjacent to the funeral home in 2009. It is the first and only Family Center in Genesee County, Tomaszewski said.

It’s a multipurpose facility with a cozy atmosphere, right down to the pictures of Michael and Valerie’s families on the walls. It is a dedicated place to spend time with family and friends.

The staff relieves families of the burden of planning a gathering after funeral services, as well as offering a private setting to relax between visitation hours, where refreshments are always available.

“Our goal is to ensure that your family and friends are extended the same hospitality we all share in our own homes,” Valerie said.

“The Family Center grew from being a complement to the funeral home, to a separate facility open to the community," Michael said. "Guests enjoy special events in a homey, family-type of environment."

Included when you rent the space is food cooked on the premises by Michael’s family, a bar with bartender, as well as set up and clean up. An outdoor reception area is available during the summer months.

Also unique to the concept of the traditional funeral home is the Children’s Room, which is a comfortable, safe space just for children.

Being parents of two children themselves, Michael and Valerie understand that it's important to include them in the funeral process. The Children’s Room offers handpainted murals painted by Valerie, along with toys, games and a TV (with age-appropriate videos).

Signature services provided are: airline reservations and hotel accommodations, airport transportation, local restaurant reservations, florist, monument service, dry cleaning service and consultation with an attorney or financial planner.

Michael said he is passionate about the business and committed to providing the best experience for all his guests. That can include putting together picture slide shows to view at services, or maybe bringing in personal belongings -- even motorcycles -- for services, and hanging the grieving family’s portrait above the fireplace. Military magnets can be placed on the hearse to honor the deceased military service, and they can create a “widow’s chair," which is a tall chair that allows the widow to sit down and still be able to look eye-to-eye with guests.

“We take great pride in what we do. Our promise is to give every funeral the respect it deserves and make the service truly memorable down to the smallest detail, that is The Tomaszewski Difference,” Michael said.

July 9, 2013 - 11:41am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A three-car accident is blocking traffic in front of the jail on Main Street. No injuries are reported. Batavia PD is responding.

July 9, 2013 - 11:32am
posted by Billie Owens in rob thompson, linden murders.

Rob Thompson will be signing copies of his new best-selling book "The Linden Murders...Solved" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, July 13, at Coffee Culture in Batavia. Copies are $20.

The Linden murders are the most infamous of unsolved crimes in perhaps all of Western New York. Four grisly murders were committed during an 18-month period between 1922 and 1924. Thompson reopened the existing case files and by using modern profiling techniques and with the aid of a former FBI profiler claims to have solved the murders and names the killer.

Coffee Culture is located at 6 Court St.

July 9, 2013 - 9:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Batavia's police officers have a new four-year contract after the City Council approved the pact last night that gives officers a 2.75-percent annual pay increase.

The new contract reduces sick days for new hires and new officers won't receive city-paid healthcare upon retirement.

The council also approved a pay raise of 1.5 percent for City Manager Jason Molino. Molino will make $87,299 per year.

Four council members balked at the idea of using $10,000 of video lottery terminal (VLT) money to help pay for a new Dumpster enclosure on School Street, near Center Street.

The project would have cost $35,000.

Council members Rose Mary Christian, Kathy Briggs, Jim Russell and Brooks Hawley favored requiring the four businesses that would use the Dumpsters to pay the $10,000.

The first $25,000 in costs would be covered by various state grants.

The council will reconsider the proposal at a future meeting.

Finally, Zoladz Construction out of Alden will receive a $2.5-million contract for reconstruction of Cedar Street.

(Information from The Batavian's official news partner, WBTA).

July 8, 2013 - 11:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield.

A two-car motor vehicle accident is reported in the area of 40 Sunrise Parkway, Oakfield, with injuries.

A victim is reportedly lying in the driveway of the Town Highway Department.

The accident may be a hit-and-run.

Witnesses reported seeing a black pickup truck flee the scene and head south on Route 63. The truck may have front-end damage.

May be unrelated, but there have been recent calls for apparent fighting at Sunrise Parkway, including today.

UPDATE 11:33 p.m.: Two patients, both are ambulatory. They just want to go in for evalutation, a chief reports.

UPDATE 11:40 p.m.: A trooper on scene says the pickup most likely continued northwest from the village.

UPDATE 11:48 p.m.: Oakfield assignment back in service.

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July 8, 2013 - 9:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A car versus bicyclist accident with minor injuries is reported in the Clor's Meat Market parking lot at Lewiston and West Main Street roads. Law enforcement is on scene along with Mercy medics and the Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding.

July 8, 2013 - 8:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A 40-year-old truck driver from Batavia died today in an unusual accident in Rochester, according to State Police.

The victim has been identified as Shawn Wetmore.

According to WHAM-13, Wetmore was driving a box truck southbound on I-590 when a tanker truck on a westbound overpass of the I-490 rolled off the bridge and tumbled on the Wetmore's cab.

Wetmore was pronounced dead at the scene.

The tanker driver, Daniel Baker, 25, of Wyoming, was taken by ambulance to Strong Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.

The cause of the accident, which was reported at 1 p.m., has not yet been determined.

Baker was hauling liquid food waste and some 8,000 gallons spilled at the scene.

According to a coworker, Wetmore leaves behind a wife and infant daughter.

The interchange was closed for several hours and portions are expected to remain closed until at least 10 p.m.

July 8, 2013 - 6:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, art, Esther von Kramer.

The colorful and vibrant artwork of Esther von Kramer is on display this month at the Richmond Memorial Library.

The artist was born in Buffalo in 1893, but spent much of her adult life in Batavia and was an original member of the Batavia Society of Artists.

She died in 1981 at the age of 88 in East Aurora.

Her grandson, Eric von Kramer, helped organize the show, pulling together pieces of her work from family and friends.

Esther von Kramer's work in the show is comprised primarily of still lifes and a few landscapes, with work on canvas as well as household items such as serving trays, chairs and milk buckets.

Von Kramer had to move east to work during the war, but returned when it was over and opened a studio and shop in her home. She was an art instructor for adult education programs in Corfu and Le Roy. She also taught painting at the YMCA.

"Those years were some of the happiest of her life, filled with all the dear people who came as students and customers, and remained as lifelong friends,"  according to a family biography.  "She loved everyone!"

There will be a reception at the library tomorrow (Tuesday) from 7 to 9 p.m.

July 8, 2013 - 6:02pm
posted by Bonnie Marrocco in genesee county, Earth Day, Buffalo Zoo, Party for the Planet.

Students and teachers throughout Genesee County who are involved in environmental studies participated in an Earth Day-related event at the Buffalo Zoo in late June. The students created projects about climate change, natural habitats, invasive species, renewable energy, and recycling.

These were showcased in an Environmental Education Science Fair at the “Party for the Planet” -- sponsored by the Sierra Club/Niagara Group along with Daemen College Center for Sustainable Communities & Civic Engagement.

Alexander Central School submitted posters and projects highlighting its Outdoor Classroom. Alexander School is building the first certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom in WNY -- where nature will be connected to curricula.

This outdoor classroom provides experiences that encourage students to appreciate the environment. Students will be able to participate in such activities as building, balancing, adding, subtracting, sorting and classifying using materials from nature like pinecones, sticks, plants, etc. Various stations will facilitate nature observation and art, poetry, journaling, music, drama and physical activities.

Batavia School District entered three projects from Jackson Elementary School.

Students in Aimee Nelson and Heather Landers’ first-grade classes submitted projects on the Rainforest, which combined science and art. Each student prepared a research report focusing on a particular animal in the rainforest. They also submitted 3D projects depicting the four layers of the rainforest.

Jessica Torrey's class studied the temperate deciduous forests. Detailed artwork and individually written reports highlighted each student's understanding of the interconnectedness of life in the forest.

Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia submitted its Gardeners and Scientist project, which children's librarian Kelly March organized.

The submission is from "The Great Sunflower Project," which is one of the programs offered through the library’s “Dig into Reading” summer reading club. Activities for Great Sunflower Project include the study of pollination and pollinators, growing sunflowers, as well as taking part in the national “Backyard Bee Count” – the world’s largest citizen science project focused on pollinator conservation.

Each participant in the Environmental Education Science Fair in Buffalo will receive special legislative recognition for their work.

For more information on environmental education programs in Genesee County, contact Judy Spring at 343-2362 or 344-1122 or e-mail [email protected].

July 8, 2013 - 3:20pm

Press release:

Dan Kennedy, author of "The Wired City: Reimagining Journalism and Civic Life in the Post-Newspaper Age," will be signing copies of the book at Present Tense on Saturday, July 13, at 11 a.m.

The book is a vivid, on-the-ground account of the changing face of contemporary journalism. In it, Kennedy tells the story of The New Haven Independent, a nonprofit community Web site at the leading edge of reinventing local journalism. He also examines a number of other online news projects, including a lengthy section about The Batavian, a local, online-only news source for Batavia and Genesee County.

"The Wired City" includes the perspectives of journalists, activists and civic leaders who are actively re-envisioning how journalism can be meaningful in a hyperconnected age of abundant news sources.

Kennedy provides deeper context by analyzing the decline of the newspaper industry in recent years and, at a time of pessimism over the future of journalism, this book offers hope. What Kennedy documents is not the death of journalism, but rather the uncertain and sometimes painful early stages of rebirth.

Dan Kennedy is assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University and has been a working journalist for nearly 40 years. He currently contributes to the Huffington Post and the Nieman Journalism Lab. You can follow his Media Nation blog at <>.

The book signing is free and open to the public. Present Tense, a locally owned, independent bookstore, is located at 101 Washington Ave., Batavia. For more information call 815-7640 <>.

July 8, 2013 - 3:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in catholic church.

Press release:

Catholic Charities of Buffalo officials recently announced that the 2013 Appeal exceeded its $10.7 million goal, with cash and pledges received to date totaling $10,819,043.65.

Completing his first Appeal since being installed as Bishop of Buffalo last August, Bishop Richard J. Malone addressed donors and supporters of Catholic Charities at the organization’s headquarters regarding the final report of the 2013 campaign.

“As a result of the incredible generosity of the Western New York community, I have the great joy of announcing we have met, and surpassed, our goal again this year,” Bishop Malone said.

These are the totals raised by parishes in Genesee County:

St. Brigid -- $17,755.00
Resurrection -- $73,434.00
Ascension -- $34,112.02
Our Lady of Mercy, Le Roy -- $96,672.00
St. Padre Pio, Oakfield -- $40,595.45
St. Maximillian Kolbe, Corfu -- $23,931.31
Mary Immaculate, East Bethany -- $25,047.00

TOTAL -- $311,546.78

Joined by Catholic Charities’ leaders, staff, and the Appeal leadership team and volunteers, Bishop Malone thanked donors and supporters for their dedication and commitment toward achieving this year’s Appeal goal.

“After months of planning, we launched this year’s campaign on a cold but sunny morning in early January, with hopes of raising $10.7 million,” he said. “Much like a long-distance runner facing the last several miles of a marathon, our Appeal leadership team, our many volunteers throughout the Diocese of Buffalo, and of course our dedicated staff, simply refused to give up until the race was complete, raising more than $2.2 million since March 25.”

Bishop Malone recognized the hard work of everyone involved in the Appeal.

“On behalf of all those served by Catholic Charities and all those who have in any way contributed to this year’s Appeal, I thank you for your support,” said Bishop Malone. “Your continued efforts will allow us to protect, strengthen and empower those in need throughout our eight-county diocese.”

Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, Catholic Charities’ diocesan director, also highlighted the work and dedication of all the individuals involved in this year’s Appeal, specifically the community’s youngest and most faithful supporters.

“The compassion and help demonstrated by students this year show us that the future of the Appeal is in good hands!” she said.

Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, we deliver support to meet immediate needs and then assess for other needs to ensure long-term success. We are the most comprehensive human service provider serving more than 130,000 people in all eight counties of WNY with 70 programs and 61 locations. We receive highest ratings for quality of service from the Council on Accreditation and for financial health/accountability from Charity Navigator. For 89 years, Catholic Charities has been making a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity in WNY.

The patron of Appeal 2013 is Blessed Frederic Ozanam, a layman who co-founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

For more information on Appeal 2013 or to make a donation, contact Catholic Charities at (716) 218-1400 or go to Check out Catholic Charities on Facebook at and on Twitter at

July 8, 2013 - 2:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports.

Press release:

One of the biggest events on the promotional calendar at Batavia Downs every season is the Wiener Dog Races and 2013 will be no exception as the dachshunds take to the track during this year's Family Fun Day at the races, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 25.

Entry into the races begins today, July 8. To enter your dachshund, call event coordinator Arna Tygart at 585-343-3750, ext. 437.

There is an 80-dog limit and an also-eligible list will be started if needed. The first 70 dogs entered will receive a "Doggie Gift Bag" courtesy of the race sponsor -- Petco of Batavia.

The fleet-footed dachshund named Gordon, owned by Lindsay Ryan, of Lancaster, will be looking to three-peat in this year’s event. He dead-heated with another wiener dog legend, Jake Arnold, and then scored a very narrow victory last year.

A total of 10 heats will be contested this year with eight wiener dogs in each race.

The winners of each qualifying heat will receive $25 in free play at Batavia Downs Gaming. The winners of each heat will advance to the finals with the champion getting $100 of free play for the gaming machines.

The second- and third-place finishers will also receive free play. The wiener dog competition, a dash down the homestretch of Batavia Downs, will begin after the last live harness race, at approximately 4:20 p.m.

"This is one of our biggest days of the year and it definitely brings out one our largest crowds of the season," said Batavia Downs' General Manager of Live Racing Todd Haight. “We'll get dogs coming in from all around New York State. In fact, we have heard some are already in training."

Besides the wiener dog races, other highlights of the Family Fun Day will include free pony rides from 2 until 4 p.m. sponsored by Castilone Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep of Batavia.

The day will also see appearances by the ever popular Pringles the Clown and Mr. Scribbles. There will be $1 Salhen’s hot dogs and $1 sodas available from noon until 4.

A 12-race card of afternoon harness racing is scheduled on Family Fun Day with first post slated for 1:15 p.m. Admission and parking is free.

Batavia Downs, the oldest lighted harness track, will kick off its 67th season on Monday, July 22.

July 8, 2013 - 2:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, animal cruelty, animal abuse.

A dog is reportedly locked inside a 2012 Chevy Malibu with the windows rolled up in the parking lot of Tops Market in Batavia. A Sheriff's deputy is responding.

July 8, 2013 - 2:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, thebatavian, present tense books and gifts.

A few summers ago, Dan Kennedy, a journalism professor at Northeastern, visited Batavia while researching a book on the future of journalism, focusing on digital efforts to provide communities with news.

In May, his book, "The Wired City," was released by the University of Massachusetts Press.

While the majority of pages in The Wired City are devoted to the New Haven Independent, a nonprofit community Web site in Connecticut, there is a section in the book about for-profit sites, including The Batavian.

For the book, Kennedy interviewed me, of course, and Tom Turnbull  and Mark Graczyk at the Batavia Daily News, Dan Fischer at WBTA, City Manager Jason Molino, Chamber of Commerce President Lynn Freeman, and Patrick Weissand, then HLOM director, among others.

In the book, you can find out a little more about the background of The Batavian, a little insider information and what some people -- Turnbull, say -- were saying about The Batavian when we were barely a year old.

Kennedy remains fascinated by an off-hand remark I made while we were driving past the Stafford Country Club during his visit -- that if I were ever a member, he'd know I was doing well with The Batavian. He mentions it his book and in a column today updating readers on the progress of The Batavian on Nieman Journalism Lab (spoiler alert: I'm not a member, not even a social member, even though I recently found out membership is a heck of a lot less expensive than I thought back during Kennedy's visit to Batavia.)

This Saturday, Kennedy will be at Present Tense Books on Washington Avenue to talk about the book and sign copies.

Fischer will interview Kennedy and me for Friday morning's Main and Center on WBTA, so tune in. I anticipate a lively discussion about local journalism, past, present and future.





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

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