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March 26, 2013 - 9:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Hutchins Street.

The death earlier this month of a Hutchins Street resident who was found in his home bleeding -- initial reports said from his neck -- has been ruled accidental, Det. Pat Corona, Batavia PD, said this morning.

Peter Ackley, 55, of 12 Hutchins St., had been released from the hospital March 12, the day before the incident, and had ongoing health issues.

Witnesses said he had been outside his house earlier that day and appeared disoriented and was helped back into his apartment. He was later found by a friend unconscious and bleeding inside his residence.

An autopsy found that ongoing medical problems apparently caused him to collapse. He fell against a household fixture, which caused his wounds.

Ackley was transported by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital where he later died.

There is no evidence, Corona said, of any foul play.

March 25, 2013 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Stafford, Alabama.

A Batavia resident arrested after leading local law enforcment on a multi-jurisdiction chase will spend three to six years in state prison following his sentencing in Genesee County Court today.

Todd Weaver, 44, of Seven Springs Road, previously admitted to a mischief charge, was also fined $1,000.

The chase began in Medina and wound onto the Tonawanda Indian Reservation where Weaver used his car to strike a Medina patrol vehicle. The patrol vehicle was disabled and the police officer lost sight of Weaver's vehicle.

Weaver was also accused of striking a mailbox on Skye Road.

His vehicle was next spotted by Batavia PD at Oak and Richmond, with Weaver then leading police on a chase that reached speeds of 50 mph through the city.

Police tried to use spike strips to stop Weaver, but he avoided them. 

He eventually ran out of gas on Clinton Street Road, Stafford.

March 25, 2013 - 3:57pm

Sweet Ecstasy Bakery Easter Menu! Pick up Saturday - March 30 - from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All items are by order only. You must order by Thursday, March 28.

CookiesFrosted Sugar Cookies: choose from Easter Egg, Bunny, Crosses, Butterflies, Flowers, Chicks and more. $9/Dz. Lemon Drop Cookies: Small: $4/Dz.  Large: $8/Dz.

Breakfast Items: Lemon Bread $5, Coffee Cake $11 -- Cinnamon, Cinnamon Nut, Apple. Scones $9 1/2 Dz. -- Lemon Blueberry, Chocolate Chip, Blueberry, Glazed Raisin. Jumbo Muffins $8 1/2 Dz. -- Chocolate Fudge Chip, Apple Streusel, Blueberry Streusel, Strawberry Streusel, Banana, Honey Bran, Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Lemon Poppy Seed.

Pies: $15 each. Flavors: Apple, Banana Cream, Blueberry, Caramel Apple, Cherry, Chocolate Banana Cream, Chocolate Cream, Coconut Cream, Dutch Apple, Key Lime, Lemon Meringue, Mince Meat, Mixed Berry, Peach, Pineapple Cream, Pumpkin, Sugar Free Apple, Sugar Free Cherry, White Chocolate Raspberry, White Chocolate Silk.

Cakes & Cupcakes: 9" Round -- $22 | 12" Square --  $45 | 1 Dz. Cupcakes -- $18. Coconut -- A fluffy white cake with coconut filling and frosted with coconut buttercream.

Good Bunny - Spiced cake with fresh carrots & raisins topped off with a rich cream cheese icing and walnuts.
Lemon Raspberry -- Lemon Cupcake filled with Raspberry topped with a vanilla buttercream.

Cheesecakes: Orange creamsicle, triple citrus, classic cheesecake, cookie dough, lemon blueberry.

SweetEcstasyBakery.com
716-795-2253 •  6173 Main Road in Stafford

March 25, 2013 - 3:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Batavia Showtime.

The former Dipson Theater's sign on Main Street, Batavia, was updated today with the sign for the renamed theater: Batavia Showtime. Downtown businessman Ken Mistler purchased the theater earlier this month and is planning several renovations.

March 25, 2013 - 2:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire.

Press release:

On Friday, March 29 (Good Friday), the City of Batavia Fire & Police Departments will hold a free Child Safety Seat Check Event at Fire Headquarters (18 Evans St.) from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., rain or shine.

Nationally certified technicians will be on hand to answer questions, check recalls, and assist with making sure all seats are installed correctly. Parents should remember to bring both the car seat and the child so that proper instruction/installation can be done.

Did you know three out of four car seats aren’t used correctly? Surprised? Stop down this Friday, March 29 to our event and ensure your children are traveling safely.

For more information contact City Fire Headquarters at 345-6375.

March 25, 2013 - 2:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, Sponsored Post, advertisement, The Batavian Club.

Brian and Beth Kemp, of T-Shirts Etc., 111 Main St., Batavia, have designed a brand-new, exclusive, limited edition T-shirt for The Batavian.

We're going to offer these shirts in two stages: a free T-shirt for new members who join before 5 p.m., April 3; and, later, at a discounted rate for existing members.

Why the delay for existing members? Because technically, I need a "certificate of authority" to collect sales tax on the shirts, and it will be at least 20 days before I receive that from NYS. When The Batavian has the certificate, members will be able to buy shirts (as many as they like) for $9 each (plus tax and $5 for shipping (or avoid the shipping cost and pick up your shirts at T-Shirts Etc.). Non-members will be able to buy the shirts at that time for $20 each (plus tax and shipping).

For new members, shirts will be available for pick up (pick up only, no shipping) on or about April 17.

Once all members have had a chance to buy shirts, the offer will be discontinued and this particular shirt will no longer be available for purchase.

Use the PayPal buttons below.

Or, you can phone in your credit card number and details to (585) 250-4118 during normal business hours, Monday thru Thursday.

Or, you can mail your name, address, phone and T-shirt(s) sizes to The Batavian, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY 14020.

To join the club and get a T-shirt and pay by check or credit card, download this form and mail it to us. Be sure to write your shirt-size information on the form.

To learn about the club, visit the club's new Web site.

Annual membership, no recurring payment, $60


Sizes:

Annual membership with automatic recurring payment of $50 per year

Sizes

 

March 25, 2013 - 1:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Basom.

Press release:

Sam Scarborough, of Basom, won $5,000 that will be used to benefit two local organizers. He was selected a winner in America's Farmers Grow Communities, sponored by the Monsanto Fund.

The winnings will go to Care-A-Van Ministries and the Genesee County Cornell University Cooperative Exchange.

America's Farmers Grow Communities allowed farmers in 1,271 eligible counties in 39 states to sign up for an opportunity to win a $2,500 for their favorite nonprofit organization. In addition, winning farmers in counties declared disaster areas by the USDA due to historic drought -- such as Genesee County -- received double the donation.

This year, the Monsanto Fund will invest more than $5 million to help support rural areas through the America's Farmers Grow Communities program.

March 25, 2013 - 12:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, bergen.

Major General Patrick A. Murphy, the Adjutant General for the State of New York, announces the promotion of members of the New York Army National Guard in recognition of their capability for additional responsibility and leadership.

Charles Jensen, from Byron, serving with the Company A, 2-108th Infantry, is promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class.

Army National Guard promotions are based on overall performance, attitude, leadership ability and development potential.

These promotions additionally recognize the best qualified Soldiers and attract and retain the highest caliber Citizen Soldiers for a career in the New York Army National Guard.

For more information about the New York Army National Guard, visit www.dmna.ny.gov or www.1800goguard.com.

On the Web: http://readabout.me/achievements/Charles-Jensen-Receives-New-Rank-New-Re....

March 25, 2013 - 9:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Darien, Le Roy.

Weston J. Johnson, 24, of 173 Hollybrook Road, Brockport, is charged with DWI, failure to keep right and speed not reasonable and prudent. Johnson was reportedly driving northbound on Naramore Drive, Batavia, at 2:36 a.m., Sunday, when he failed to safely negotiate a curve in the roadway. Johnson's vehicle crossed the south shoulder of the roadway and became stuck in the lawn of a residence. Upon further investigation by Officer Darryle Streeter and Sgt. Dan Coffey, Johnson was found to be allegedly driving drunk. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Sarah E. Gioia, 20, of 9 Pringle Ave., upper, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Gioia allegedly threatened another person with physical injury while at Tops at 8:50 p.m., Friday.

Mark D. Tomaszewski, 50, of 4 Franklin Ave., Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle and failure to use a turn signal. Tomaszewski was stopped Saturday by Le Roy PD for alleged traffic violation.

Traci Kiniko Jones, 18, of Thomas Avenue, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Jones was allegedly at College Village after being banned from the property.

Amanda Jane Slack, 25, of Strouts Road, Elba, is charged with petit larceny. Slack is accused of stealing $248.57 of merchandise from Walmart.

Bradley Richardson Hanpeter, 26, of Kiwassa Road, Saranac, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and possesion of a controlled substance not in original container. Hanpeter was stopped for an alleged traffic infraction at 6:15 p.m. Friday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrict Reeves. Hanpeter was also allegedly driving on a suspended driver's license.

Aboubaker Thiam, 18, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd. Thiam was allegedly at College Village after being banned from the property.

David B. Marsceill, 35, of Elba, is charged with menacing, 2nd, criminal mischief and criminal contempt, 1st. Marsceill was arrested by State Police on Old Ford Road, Elba, on charges related to an incident reported at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Village of Elba. Marsceill was held without bail. No further details released.

Hector G. Riguard, 31, of Rochester, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Riguard was stopped at 2:09 a.m. Sunday at Main and Lewiston, City of Batavia, by State Police.

State Police have released the names of the drivers involved in Friday's accident on Route 98, Alexander. The driver of the northbound sedan was Tianshu Liu, 25, of Rochester, and the driver of the southbound vehicle was Mary B. Meides, 45, of Darien. The name of Liu's passenger was not released. No charges are listed in the blotter item.

March 24, 2013 - 7:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire.

A vacant house is fully engulfed in flames at 4973 Hundredmark Road, Elba, and a second fire has been sparked about 50 yards into the woods.

An Oakfield chief came across the fire and reported it.

Elba Fire Department is responding with mutual aid from Barre.

UPDATE 7:18 p.m.: Elba chief reports fire knocked down.

UPDATE 7:19 p.m.: Oakfield requested to fill in at Elba's hall.

UPDATE 8:37 p.m.: Elba back in service.


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March 24, 2013 - 4:09pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in GCC, sports, lacrosse.

The #3 Genesee Community College men's lacrosse team improved to 6-0 this year after beating #4 Suffolk Community College 13-4 on Sunday afternoon.

Christian Reiller put Genesee in front early with a first quarter goal but Suffolk responded and tied the game halfway through the opening period. Reiller scored again with 15-seconds remining in the first frame to give the Cougars the lead for good.

Chris Rabung scored a man up goal early in the second quarter to spark the Cougars offense. GCC scored five more times in the second, including two goals from Nick Gray and a goal from Steve Raimondi, to take a 7-1 lead into halftime.

(Chris Rabung (white) fires a shot on the Suffolk CC net)

 

The Genesee penalty kill was tested in the second half and Suffolk scored the first goal of the third quarter on a man up advantage to draw within five at 7-2. GCC responded with a man up goal of their own and a late goal by Marcus Palvino gave the Cougars a 9-3 lead going into the fourth.

GCC scored four times in the final frame and the win extends their unbeaten streak to six games.

Reiller finished the afternoon with four goals and two assists. Gray tallied three goals, Rabung and Raimondi each added two goals, Jonathan Gill recorded a goal and an assist, Luke Grahnert had two assists and Charlie Evans chipped in one goal.

Brady Lawrence had another strong performance in net making 18 saves. Jordan McElligott led the defense with five takeaways and five ground balls. Bobby Wheeler had four takeaways and Pete DiLaura had five takeaways and three ground balls.

Mike Breindel was 8 of 12 on faceoffs.

The Cougars will host Alfred State in their next contest on Wednesday night at 7pm.

March 24, 2013 - 1:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Whether you need just the right gift or a memorial or just want to brighten your own home or workplace, The Enchanted Florist can put together just the right floral arrangement for you. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Dave's Ice Cream, 3872 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY. Dave's offers only locally purchased products, including Perry's hard ice cream in a wide variety of yummy flavors, with a wonderful assortment of toppings and homemade waffle cones. Different soft-serve flavors are offered weekly. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

The Color Salon, 35 Center St., Batavia, NY: Our attention to detail, combined with the focus on precision haircutting techniques will ensure that your hair will be your best accessory when you leave The Color Salon. We offer all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, up-dos, as well as waxing services. We carry products such as KMS and Paul Mitchell. Now available: Bella Taylor purses! We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY: Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Daphne's Restaurant, 241 Swan St., (Off Rt. 63/Ellicott St.) Batavia, NY. Daphne's is destined to become a favorite for any who enjoy something special in a dining experience. Formerly the old St. Nick's Social Club, now unrecognizable to those who used to frequent the club, Daphne's provides you with a warm, inviting atmosphere and decor, which complements the array of wonderful dishes. We offer homemade seafood and pasta dishes, meatballs that are addicting as well as large salads, hot sandwiches & homemade potato chips. Fresh desserts are prepared in our own kitchen (tiramisu has been the top seller so far). We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. (Good only at the Batavia location.)

Greg'ry's Bakery, 13 N. Lake Road, Bergen, NY: The bakery offers a variety of the finest cakes, cookies, pies, cupcakes, breads, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and so much more. Each treat is made the same as it has been for decades and baked right here. Come in and sample some for yourself! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Santino's Pizza, 2 Main St., Oakfield, NY: We're pizza and a whole lot more! Voted #1 pizza in Genesee County in blind taste test! Santino's features pizza, wings, subs, wraps, ice cream, and more! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, 9 Main St., Le Roy, NY. The kind of downhome, laid-back and comfortable place that just feels right. Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, this eatery and bar features a variety of eats and drinks that are outstanding. Specializing in smoked meats -- each meat is dry rubbed with a proprietary mix of seasonings, then smoked slowly in their on-site smoker for maximum flavor and tenderness. With a variety of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, combo platters and entrées, there's always plenty of choice for even picky eaters. Great food, frosty brews and some of the best folk around call the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew their favorite -- make it your favorite today! Don't forget to ask about our catering! We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Rose Garden Bowl21 Buffalo Road, Bergen, NY: Open for lunch Monday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. Dinner favorites are our succulent prime rib and Friday fish fries! We are always happy to help plan your special occasion -- wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, stag party, graduation, company function, banquet, family or class reunion. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Palm Island Indoor Water Park, 8250 Park Road, Batavia, NY: The newest family fun center in Genesee County, featuring a hot tub, monsoon lagoon pool and play area, tipping buckets, water slides, arcade with 15 games and birthday party rooms. We have a pair of gift certificates worth $40 in merchandise or services for $20.

Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. Come try one of our many delicious burgers that we have to offer, as well as our HUGE Bomber Sandwich, homemade chicken fingers made to order, and the all-time favorite Dumpster Plate with many choices. We deliver. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Alabama Hotel, 1353 Lewiston Road, Basom, NY: A historic and legendary tavern and restaurant. The Alabama Hotel is famous for its fish fries, but also serves a variety of top-quality entrees, featuring Certified Angus Beef. Now with expanded hours. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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

Present Tense Books and Gifts, 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, NY: Whether your taste runs to local authors, the finest in fiction or nonfiction or you're looking for a unique and special gift, this charming store in a cozy Victorian house on the edge of downtown is a great place to stop and shop. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

SOLD OUT

March 24, 2013 - 12:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in country cottage.

NOTE: Earlier this year, the Chamber of Commerce published its annual Genesee County Tourism magazine and for the second year in a row, The Batavian participated in the publication by producing photos and stories. Today, for our Sunday reading, we're publishing four of our stories. For more on why Genesee County is a great place to live and to visit, click here for VisitGeneseeNY.com.

On a bright afternoon in Darien Center, friends ambled around The Country Cottage Gift Shop and Gardens, passing the time in a place that became more interesting the longer they browsed.

At every turn, around every corner, something caught their eye, brought back a memory, sparked an idea for a fixing up a special space.

“You wander to your hearts’ content,” owner Peggy Tyrell told them. “You guys poke around, OK? If you need anything, give us a holler.”

On five acres off Harper Road, not far from Route 20 in Darien Center, Peggy has created an enchanting wonderland chock-full of unique gifts and handmade decorative items.

“I like to think of us as a hidden gem,” says Peggy, noting that she started the business 26 years ago.

At last count, there were about 200 varieties of goods for sale from dozens of artisans. They range from exquisite, seasonal dried flower arrangements and gourds, to exotically scented soaps such as Thai-pear or wisteria, and lamps, candles, essential oils, garden décor, and more.

Plus, a light and flavorful menu -- offered only on weekends in May through October -- is another reason to stop by.

This haven of homey delights has become a destination spot for treasure hunters who like Colonial American crafts and urban warriors in need of a little respite and fresh air.

Walk off the gravel paths into any of the three rustic cottages on the property, and your senses are met with wonderful fragrances, soft ambient lighting, soothing instrumental music and an amazing array of things to browse in a wide range of prices.

“We have a lot of people who come in here and the first thing they say is ‘Oh, I needed this so bad. I needed to come in here,” says Peggy, adding that some of her regular customers joke about needing “a Peggy fix.”

And she’s always on hand to help you find just the right item. If she doesn’t stock what you want, she knows plenty of vendors so you can special order woven rugs, lighting, quilts, etc., with just the right colors, finish or design.

“We have a little bit of everything,” Peggy said. “And lots of white elephants, too.”

There’s a trove of ideas for home decorators and little vignettes of days gone by – old boxes from Schraff’s Candy Store, an ancient “Majestic” stove, toiletry bottles, vases, hand-painted signs.

For the garden and porch, you’ll find harmonic wind chimes, whimsical whatnots, lawn ornaments, and the like.

Peggy grows most of the flowers and plant materials she uses in her crafts. She has a potting shed, small greenhouse and flowers are hung up to dry in one of the cottages. Upstairs in the main cottage is the loft where she creates the arrangements.

For those who are not keen on browsing, or who need to rest a bit, there’s a little pond out back surrounded by a lovely landscape and seating. It’s a nice place to have a nosh and read.

A dozen years ago when the Tyrells opened their weekend grill, which is in an enclosed tent, the idea was to keep the men happy while the women browsed.

It’s worked out well and most of the credit goes to Bruce, who worked for more than 15 years at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center handling catering for special events and concerts.

These days he uses his professional culinary skills to create tasty lunches with fresh, seasonal produce and to make take-away goods like pies, muffins, cookies and such.

People rave about his scones, Louisiana chili, pumpkin praline cheesecake and soups.

In many cases, customers have become like family.

“Our customers have become our good friends, it’s amazing how close you can get,” Peggy said. “And I’m happy to say I’m their friend, too. It’s not about making a living, really, it’s about keeping people happy and making yourself happy.”

 

The Country Cottage Gift Shop & Gardens

10448 Harper Road

Darien Center, NY 14040

(585) 547-9591

Open 7 days a week

11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Lunch menu available from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends in May through October.

March 24, 2013 - 12:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, arts, business, Oatka Glass.

NOTE: Earlier this year, the Chamber of Commerce published its annual Genesee County Tourism magazine and for the second year in a row, The Batavian participated in the publication by producing photos and stories. Today, for our Sunday reading, we're publishing four of our stories. For more on why Genesee County is a great place to live and to visit, click here for VisitGeneseeNY.com.

It's a little studio with a big reputation.

Lance and Amanda Taylor opened Oatka Studio in 2007 and now attract students and teachers from the world over.

"We’re fortunate we know many, many world renown glass artists," Lance said. "We’re able to bring those people to Batavia and that is something that sets our school apart from many smaller glass studios."

The Taylors both have a long history in various art forms, as well as business and science backgrounds, that evolved into an interest in glass.

Lance started with stained glass in the 1970s, went to ceramics in the 1980s, woodworking in the 1990s and then back to glass.

Amanda was a geophysist who pursued art on the side, including metal smithing, ceramics, photography and welding.

Lance is from Le Roy and Amanda is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The husband and wife team met at a glass conference in Corning in 2006.

Oatka Glass is located in the historic Harvester Center, a 150-year-old former tractor factory in Batavia that is home to a variety of small businesses, including a community theater, photography studio and two art studios.

Much of the current studio is centered around kiln glass -- melting cut or crushed glass in a kiln until it becomes a single piece and then shaping the glass with molds or cutting and sanding -- but the Taylors also offer glass blowing glasses and are expanding that part of the studio.

"People might be surprised that we have a world-class glass facility right in Batavia," Lance said. "Anybody in the area has a phenomenal opportunity to work with masters in glass and use some of the best equipment that is available."

The studio has become popular with groups, Amanda said, from business executives looking for team building exercises to Girl Scouts trying new craft projects.

"We are expanding that part of the business," Amanda said. "We want to get more of the local community involved."

Typically, classes run three or four days, but there are one-day classes, multi-week classes and artists can rent studio time to work on projects. The Taylor's also offer one-on-one instruction.

Basically, the Taylors can fashion an instruction or studio experience to fit the needs of an individual or group.

Just recently, Oatka Glass started a lecture series featuring well known glass artists that are free and open to the public.

"A lot of the instructors who have taught here love coming here," Amanda said. "What we offer is unique and a little more personal."

For example, Amanda said, for daylong classes, Amanda cooks gourmet lunches.

"We don't just send out for sub sandwiches or pizza, and we can cook a lunch to accommodate vegetarians or any dietary health issue," Amanda said.

"It's all very personalized," she said. "This is a small place so a lot of attention is paid to each student."

March 24, 2013 - 12:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, recreation, parks, Darien Lakes State Park.

NOTE: Earlier this year, the Chamber of Commerce published its annual Genesee County Tourism magazine and for the second year in a row, The Batavian participated in the publication by producing photos and stories. Today, for our Sunday reading, we're publishing four of our stories. For more on why Genesee County is a great place to live and to visit, click here for VisitGeneseeNY.com.

Doug Kelly gets to do things every day he really enjoys: Helping to maintain a diverse and interesting ecosystem and providing people with a place to play and relax.

"This park is a kind of joy for me," said Kelly, who is manager for Darien Lakes State Park. "I enjoy being able to work outdoors and have interaction with people who have come to be in the outdoors. I can teach them a little and give them something to enjoy."

Kelly overseas a more than 1,800 acres of woodlands and meadows with thousands of plant and animals species, a 12-acre recreational lake (boating, swimming and fishing), and 158 campsites.

In his four-year tenure as park manager he's introduced weekly music concerts and disk golf as well as overseen various conservation measures, including partnering with a local group to reclaim several acres of former farmland into meadows.

The park is traversed by more than 18 miles of trails, both for hiking and snowmobiling, and the picturesque-in-places Eleven Mile Creek.

"The amount of open space is really one of the park's strengths," Kelly said. "There are a variety of paths for activities and all of it is open for recreation, hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, hunting. That's a real plus for the park. You're able to camp here, hike here, swim here. That's the benefit of the park."

Kelly, who is married with two school-age children, lives in his hometown of Perry, in Wyoming County, just south of Genesee County. He started his parks career as a teenager at Darien Lakes, working as a recreation assistant.

As he completed his bachelor's in technology of wildlife management at SUNY Catskills, he moved his way up in park management. After a stint with the Delaware parks system, he moved back to New York and managed Beaver Island on Grand Island.

When the chance came to return to Darien Lakes, he couldn't let the opportunity pass by.

"The biodiversity of the park is special," Kelly said. "The land can vary so much, from older forest -- stands of trees that have been here before the park was formed -- to meadows we are helping to restore and maintain, and the shrub in between. That kind of layout gives the park a great number of different communities and habitats."

One of Kelly's biggest innovations at the park has been disk golf. The year-old course is bringing in amateur and pro golfers alike from throughout Western New York. Expert golfers find that the new course, which winds through an old apple orchard and wooded hills, presents a fun challenge.

Though Kelly doesn't play the sport himself, he learned how successful a course could be at Beaver Island.

"To see people that come in, a new group of people that never would have come if we didn't have this activity here, is really exciting," Kelly said.

He believes the challenging course will grow in popularity as more disk golfers learn about it.

All-in-all, Kelly said he will continue to work to find ways to improve the park and make it more attractive to the people of Western New York.

"Once in a while I hear, 'wow, I never knew this park was here,' " Kelly said. "If we can reach out and grab people who wouldn't normally come to the park and then they see what we have and come back year after year, that is really good."

March 24, 2013 - 11:59am
posted by Billie Owens in d&r depot.

NOTE: Earlier this year, the Chamber of Commerce published its annual Genesee County Tourism magazine and for the second year in a row, The Batavian participated in the publication by producing photos and stories. Today, for our Sunday reading, we're publishing four of our stories. For more on why Genesee County is a great place to live and to visit, click here for VisitGeneseeNY.com.

When Nancy Nickerson decided late in life to open a restaurant, she knew what she didn't want -- a cookie-cutter establishment that heated up frozen food and took other shortcuts.

"I wanted a building that looked different, I wanted something that would attract people," said Nancy, who opened D & R Depot Restaurant in Le Roy in 1991. "And partly that was also due to our menu. We were doing things from scratch. People don't do homemade things anymore. They don't have time, so we offer them that."

Combine unbeatable home-cooked flavor with "a different ambiance" and superior service and you have the recipe for success that has built a legion of loyal patrons.

Her business partners, Sean Valdes and his wife, Jennifer, who's the head chef, began working there 20 and 18 years ago, respectively. They both started as dish washers.

The building itself is an old train station, located at 63 Lake St. (Route 19). It was one of the busiest passenger depots in the area until it closed mid-1960s. The railroad line that currently travels the tracks is the Genesee-Wyoming-Southern.

Inside, things remain much as they were, but with fresh paint and decor, of course. There are elegant 20-foot-high ceilings, wainscoting along the walls and lots of windows. The ticket clerk's office is still there, and so is the luggage portal. Big Band-era music plays softly.

Look up in the main dining room and you'll see a little feat of engineering -- a choo-choo train on a platform, which is decorated seasonally. Everything on it hangs upside down; the train runs along its track upside down, too.

It's unique and kids love it.

Customers also enjoy the personal touches that D & R Depot offers. If a real train passes by the restaurant while you're there, you get a keepsake "wooden nickel." You can sign up to receive a $10-off coupon and a free cupcake for your birthday. They also have a word game to win gift coupons and a guessing game at Christmas season with a chance to get a $400 gas card.

There are gifts for sale -- like hand-painted button pins, scarves, stuffed animals -- and history books such as one about the Jell-O Gallery Museum (which is also in Le Roy). Patrons on the mailing list get a newsletter to keep up to date on dinner specials, contests, etc., and the Web site is kept current.

"People feel an emotional connection to us -- like they're part of the business," Sean said. "And they are part of the business. They are the reason we're here."

Their loyalty has enabled the proprietors to acquire Double L Rental, which rents tents, linens, chairs, tables, etc., for weddings, corporate parties and the like. And soon, their banquet hall at another Le Roy location will open with seating for about 175 people.

But it's the food that keeps people coming back for more.

A basket of fresh-baked muffins, scones and rolls is brought to each table at dinner time. Jen develops new dishes, such as the "No Nothing Pie." After some trial and error, she created a vegan apple pie without added sugar, no gluten, and nut free.

Authentic Polish glomkis -- stuffed cabbage leaves topped with a tomato sauce -- are occasionally offered for the famous all-inclusive dinner special, available every Sunday.

Old-fashioned chicken pot pie is a customer favorite. It's brought to the table, turned upside down onto the plate and served piping hot. The French onion soup is made (without a starter base) from slowly carmelized, fresh onions, a touch of sherry and thyme, topped with croutons from homemade bread and melted cheese. (A tiny pair of scissors is included with each bowl to snip strands of cheese!)

"People will always purchase if they perceive a value," Sean said. "If you're giving them a good product, good price, good service."

D & R Depot Restaurant & Catering Services

63 Lake St. (Route 19)

Le Roy, NY 14482

(585) 768-6270

www.DandRDepot.com

March 24, 2013 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports, high school sports, Notre Dame.

Parents, ensure the moments from the recent basketball season are preserved for years to come -- buy prints of photos from the games of the Batavia Blue Devils and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

We captured the post-season action (and for the Notre Dame girls, the Rotary Tournament). (State championship photos are not for sale because of NYSPHSAA rules.)

Click the graphics in this post for links to the galleries of each of the games, which includes all sports covered so far in 2013 for both schools. Or for Batavia, click here, and for Notre Dame, click here.

And for today only, we'll offer one more time: become a member of The Batavian Club and receive a free 13x19 print of the basketball photo of your choice. Click here for details.

March 23, 2013 - 8:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Kiwanis Club.

Bryanna Dunlap and Andre Dunlap serve up spaghetti Saturday night at the annual Kiwanis Club of Batavia Spaghetti Dinner at the YWCA.

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