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March 13, 2012 - 5:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, Darien, accidents.

A tractor-trailer and another vehicle crashed in the area of 2732 Route 20 in Alexander. The tractor-trailer is off the road and the roadway is partially blocked. There are possibly injuries. Mercy Flight is contacted. Alexander Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

Darien Fire Police are called to shut down eastbound traffic at Route 20 and Darien -- Alexander Town Line Road. Darien's ambulance is also called.

UPDATE 5:38 p.m.: Traffic will also be shut down at Bowen Road. A total of three ambulances are responding.

UPDATE 5:39 p.m.: Mercy Flight out of Buffalo is called to the scene. The landing zone will be a wheat field next to the accident scene.

UPDATE 5:41 p.m.: Mercy Flight is airborne with a 13- to 15-minute ETA.

UPDATE 6:19 p.m.: Alexander is back in service. Two women are being taken to UMMC. One is a 20-year-old complaining of shoulder, neck and head pain; the other is 19 and has pain in her head and ribs. One lane of Route 20 traffic is being opened now.

UPDATE 6:24 p.m.: Darien is back in service. State Troopers Sheriff's Office deputies are handling the scene.

UPDATE 6:25 p.m.: Mercy Flight transported one patient to Erie County Medical Center.

UPDATE 7 p.m.: Darien Fire Police are now called to shut down traffic at routes 20 and 238. They are redirecting traffic so the tow company can remove the tractor-trailer at the accident site.

UPDATE 7:14 p.m.: Earlier, a fourth patient was transported, and taken to Buffalo General Hospital.

UPDATE 7:47 p.m.: They are going to allow traffic to flow on Route 20 in one direction, then another, alternating until the accident scene is cleared.


March 13, 2012 - 5:18pm

PepsiCo and the Theo Muller Group -- partnering on Project Wave in Batavia -- will receive more than $11 million in tax relief for the planned yogurt plant in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

The incentive package was approved by the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board on Monday.

The PILOT on the project -- relief from taxes on the increased value of the assessment -- is 100 percent for the first six years and 50 percent in years seven through 10.

The total PILOT abatement is estimated at $5.6 million over 10 years.

The companies will also receive $5.4 million in sales tax abatement on materials and supplies for construction of the facility.

The project will add 186 new jobs to the local economy, and early planning for the plant projected as many as 600 jobs by 2033.

Wave Holding, LLC (the company formed by Pepsi and Muller for the project) will spend $206 million on construction of a 363,000-square-foot facility.

Construction on the project began in November.

The agreement calls for the first 186 jobs to be filled within three years of Wave Holding receiving a certificate of occupancy.

GCEDC competed with shovel-ready sites in Avon and Pennsylvania.

According to a GCEDC press release, for every $1 invested by Waving Holding the local economy will benefit by $14.47.

March 13, 2012 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, City Schools.

Summary of the school board meeting provided by Batavia City School District:

Highlights from the BCSD Board of Education meeting on March 12, 2012:

Parent Shares Concern Regarding Consolidation
A parent addressed the Board of Education, voicing concerns regarding the proposals for consolidation and cutting programs. In regard to consolidation, her concerns were about people losing their jobs and about test scores decreasing as class sizes increased. In addition, claiming that Batavia is growing, she felt the District will need to reverse the decision soon in order to accommodate an increase in students. In regard to cutting programs, she also cited concern for people losing jobs, keeping students involved in productive activities, and providing students withoutlets for accomplishments that enhance their college applications. Her recommendation was to avoid consolidation and cuts to programs, move administration functions to the Middle School (rather than fifth graders), have a voluntary pay freeze, and have staff increase their portion of paying for benefits to 20%.

Students Voice Support for Music Department
Five students addressed the Board to show support for the Music Department. In addition to mentioning the fun and enrichment of participating in musical productions and performances, several emphasized that the District’s music program had helped them identify what they wanted to pursue as a career and had offered opportunities for achievements and recognition that helped them stand out on college applications. Two are pursuing careers in music, with one majoring in Music Education and Performance at Ithaca College, and the other majoring in Fine and Performing Arts at Genesee Community College. Noting that cuts were made to the music department during the past two years, several mentioned that, although they were graduating, they would like underclassmen to have the same opportunities to grow in skill and confidence that they were given. All were particularly grateful and complimentary to music teacher Daniel Grillo, who they said has been an inspiration and mentor as well as a skillful teacher of music.

Update on 2012-2013 Budget Preparation
Business Administrator Scott Rozanski provided an update on the District's preliminary spending plan for the 2012-2013 school year, presenting a “roll-over” budget, or one in which minimal adjustments to the services provided in 2011-2012 (current)school year were made. This roll-over budget amounts to $40,622,313.

As noted previously, one significant change in expenses is an accounting change which affects the budget total but not the tax levy: in the past, instead of budgeting for such expenses as post-retirement and unemployment, those items were charged directly to the reserve funds - regarded somewhat as a sidebar to the budget. Now both are added into the budget figures as both an expense and a revenue, creating a larger number in both columns but no impact on the tax levy. Partly as a result of the accounting change, the budget shows an increase in expenses of $1.256 million or 3.19% over the current 2011-2012 school year. When the accounting change (which represented about two-thirds or $850,000 of the increase), is factored in, the real increase is about $403,000 or 1%.

The consequent tax levy needed to close the gap between roll-over expenditures and lessening revenue from such sources as State Aid, shows an increase of$980,957, or 5.515%. This amount is well over the District’s tax cap limit or threshold of 2.59%.

As mentioned in previous reports and news articles, the Tax Cap legislation is referred to as a 2% Tax Cap, when in reality, the “2%” figure is only one of the factors used in an eig determine each school district's and municipality's allowable tax levy increase that requires simple majority approval. Anything over that allowable limit or threshold requires a supermajority (60%) voter approval to pass. The School District’s Tax Cap Threshold is 2.59%; any higher increase requires a super majority of voter approval.

In order to bring the budget down to within range of a 2% to 2.59% tax levy increase, between $520,074 (for the 2.59% threshold) and $625,241 (for a 2% limit) would need to be cut from expenditures.

In providing direction to Mr. Rozanski on how to proceed with the budget, Board members agreed that preserving programs to whatever extent possible was a high priority. With that in mind, they opted to support a budget that does not exceed the allowable threshold increase of approximately 2.59%. This, they noted, will still require cuts totaling slightly more than a half-million dollars.

Board of Education Legislative Committee Chairperson Patrick Burk indicated that members of the NYS Assembly are working to restore approximately $178 million in aid through a more equitable basic Foundation Aid formula, while members ofthe NYS Senate or working to earmark $200 million in Gap Elimination Adjustment aid. Whether either of those efforts will succeed is unknown, and our budget preparation uses the projected figures released by the governor’s office.

School Consolidation Update
Superintendent of Schools Margaret Puzio requested that the Board provide direction on the much-discussed consolidation of schools. Weighing the difficulties and reluctance expressed by some families affected by the change against the educational efficiency and benefits of having grade levels in the same building and the financial benefits of being able to preserve more programs for students, the Board adopted the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the Batavia City School District has invested heavily in its facilities as an important vehicle through which it delivers its quality educational program; and
WHEREAS, Board of Education is charged with ensuring that District buildings are being deployed in the most efficient manner in order to provide the best possible educational opportunities for students at the lowest possible cost; and
WHEREAS, the Batavia City School District Board of Education has officially established the Buildings and Grounds Committee as a sub-committee of the Board to make recommendations regarding the condition and use of District facilities; and
WHEREAS, the Buildings and Grounds Committee is composed of a number of individuals including Board of Education members, District administrators, and a certified architect; and
WHEREAS the Batavia City School District Board of Education referred to the Buildings and Grounds Committee (June 7, 2011) the review of a possible building consolidation process that included the possible closing and reorganization of specific buildings for the purpose of increasing efficiency and reducing operational costs; and
WHEREAS, at various times public forums were held to obtain community input related to multiple options for building consolidation; and
WHEREAS, a final report was presented by the Buildings and Grounds Committee to the Board at the February 6, 2012 meeting, recommending the clustering of elementary grades Pre-K through 4 in two elementary buildings and 5th grade at the Batavia Middle School; and WHEREAS, the Board of Education has determined that it is in the best interest of the community to adopt the recommendations contained in the Batavia City School District Consolidation Feasibility Study.
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED AS FOLLOWS - the Robert Morris Elementary School shall close effective June 30, 2012, and Jackson Elementary will be converted to a facility housing primary students in grades Pre-K through 1, and John Kennedy Elementary will be converted to an elementary facility housing students in grades 2through 4, and 5th grade students will be educated at the Batavia Middle School. District administrators and necessary to effectuate the assignment of affected students who previously attended each school to another school building. While details of the plan have yet to be worked out, parents who are registering their child(ren) for kindergarten are still asked to so at their neighborhood elementary school.

Superintendent’s Report Superintendent of Schools Margaret Puzio reported briefly on several other items:

* Petitions     for election to one of the seats on the Board of Education are now     available and can be picked up in the Administration Building’s Business     Office. * Student     Artwork is on display in Richmond Library, with a celebration of the     artists scheduled for this Friday at 6:50 p.m. * The     Administration Building, currently up for sale, has had many showings,     much interest, but no offers to date. * There     have been inquiries about utilizing one of our school buildings if     consolidation was to take place; now those inquiries can be pursued. * Friday,     March 16, will be a full day of staff development, with the focus being on     implementing the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) adopted by NYS.     The Staff Development focus will be on Common Core Literacy, with specific     attention on “Deconstruction of Common Core Standard” for identifying     learning targets, cognitive load, learning progression, and daily objectives;     “Close Reading” for making sense of complex text; “Building Academic     Vocabulary” for acquiring and comprehending more sophisticated vocabulary;     and “Writing to Respond to a Text-Dependent Prompt” for attending to persuasive and explanatory writing that utilize reasoning and evidence,   organized in logical ways. (The Common Core State Standards Initiative     is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association     Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The     standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school     administrators, and other experts, to provide a common understanding of     what students are expected to learn, and a clear and consistent framework     to help all children become well-prepared for college and the workforce     through rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills.)

Post-Graduation Report
Administrator of Student Assessment/Data Analysis Pam Buresch presented a summary of the District’s Post-graduation Report, obtained through working with the National Students Clearinghouse (NSC), a not-for-profit organization that tracks student enrollment in colleges. Ms. Buresch noted that tracking this information helps the District evaluate our academic programs and curriculum to assess their value in helping District students to be college andcareer ready, to align coursework with college and work expectations, and toensure a rigorous curriculum where students are prepared to succeed in a global economy and society. NSC tracks such things as the percentages of college enrollment; the timetable for enrollment (immediately after graduation orlater); the types of institutions attended - public or private, two-year or four-year; whether the institutions are in-state or out-of-state; the rate of freshman to sophomore year “persistence” (whether students return after freshman year); degree completion rates and timetables; and the most common institutions for enrollment.

Some ofthe findings indicate that college enrollment is typically in the mid-70% range, that our students are more likely to enroll in public institutions, aremore likely to enroll in-state, that enrollment has been higher for four-year institutions than two-year, and overall persistence rate is about 85%.

For more details, the full National Student Clearinghouse report is available on theBatavia City School District web page: clicking on the file folder labeled “District Forms and Publications,” then on the file folder labeled “District Information,” then on the document labeled “National Student Clearinghouse Graduation Report.”

District Calendar for 2012-2013
Deputy Superintendent Christopher Dailey announced that the calendar committee finalized the District Calendar for 2012-2013. It is available on the District’s website.

News from Batavia High
Student Ex-Officio Board Member Taylor Harkness reported to the Board that auditions for the High School play are scheduled, and that spring sports are starting. She also passed on a request that the Board look into inequity of improvements that have been made to the VanDetta Stadium site, noting that the boys’ locker room has received some updates and cosmetic improvements while the girls ’locker room has not, and still has, for example, only one bathroom stall. The matter was referred to the Buildings and Grounds Committee which will meet next week.

March 13, 2012 - 4:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, Genesee ARC.

Press release:

Genesee ARC is accepting applications for the Genesee ARC Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarship Program. Three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to high-school seniors interested in working in human services, special education or related fields.

Applications for the 2012 program are available at high school guidance offices throughout Genesee County or at the Genesee ARC website at Completed applications must be submitted by the April 1 deadline. Winners will be recognized at the Genesee ARC Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony May 18 at the Clarion Hotel. The scholarship is named in memory of Mary Anne Graney, a special education teacher, who died in 2004.

The scholarship program began in 2006, when one $1,000 award was presented to Pavilion native Caylin Clark, now a teacher at St. Joseph School. During a recent interview, Caylin talked about what it was like to receive the scholarship recognition.

Where did you go to school and what did you study?

After graduating from Pavilion High School, I went on to SUNY Geneseo.  I graduated with a degree in childhood special education, and I also obtained an additional certification in math for grades 7-12.

Can you share your thoughts about being the first winner of the Genesee ARC Scholarship program?

Being the winner of the Genesee ARC Scholarship was a great experience. The money helped pay for some of my schooling. It was incredible to get a scholarship from Genesee ARC because I really enjoy the field of Special Education.

How long have you been teaching at St. Joseph School and what do you teach?

This is my second year teaching at St. Joe's and I teach sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade math.

What other activities have you participated in that support people with disabilities?

During my freshman year of college I got involved in Special Olympics and have been very involved ever since. I coach four sports per year (basketball, floor hockey, volleyball and softball), traveling with the team for both regional and state level events. In addition to coaching, I also help run some events for the Genesee Region. The events include basketball skills, softballs skills and one track meet per year. I dedicate a lot of my time to Special Olympics and I really enjoy it.

Do you have any words of encouragement for seniors thinking about applying for Genesee ARC Mary Anne Graney Memorial scholarship program?

APPLY! Don't let the fear of not getting an award keep you from trying for it. I wasn't expecting to get it, but I applied anyway and it worked out really well for me. Also, if the students are majoring in education I highly recommend getting multiple certifications, special education, in particular!

Anyone with questions on the scholarship or application process may contact the scholarship chair, Genesee ARC Director of Development Shelley Falitico at 343-1123 or [email protected].

March 13, 2012 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A grass fire is reported just south of 4826 Ellicott St. Road. It is blowing across the roadway. Town of Batavia Fire Department is dispatched.

UPDATE 3:40 p.m.: Nothing was found. One engine is continuing to check the area. The other responding unit is returning to quarters.

UPDATE 3:47 p.m.: This may have been a lot of dust blowing around, which can give the appearance of smoke, according to a firefighter. They checked the area from the viaducts all the way to Batavia Town Line and Bethany Center roads and found no indications of fire. Town of Batavia is back in service.

March 13, 2012 - 2:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, GCC, tech wars.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is pleased to once again offer an exciting hands-on opportunity for area middle- and high-school students to apply what they know about technology and learn even more. The fifth annual Tech Wars competition will take place this Thursday, March 15 at the Batavia campus.

The competition is open to middle- and high-school students, who will participate in multiple project-based events of skill, chance and ability. Events will include CO2 dragster design; AutoCAD technical drawing and architectural design; logo design; manual drafting; sculpture; web page design; bridge design; catapult; mousetrap cars; robot tractor pull; Rube Goldberg demonstration; king of the hill and the ever-popular sumo robots.

Teams of students aged 9 through 14 will also compete in the NXT/RCX robotic marshmallow catapult launch to try to propel their marshmallows the farthest from various points.

"The interest in this competition continues to grow each year because it's fun, but it also illustrates the how the broad range of careers in technology young people can explore," said Debbie Dunlevy, GCC tech prep program director and co-chair of the Tech Wars competition. "The Tech Wars encourage kids to think beyond the classroom, engage their creativity and strengthen their team-building and problem-solving skills to embrace technology as a fun, yet rewarding, way to make a living."

College Tech Prep helps students explore various career options and make a smooth transition from high school to college and ultimately to professional careers. The Tech Wars is among several dynamic programs giving students the opportunity to learn hands-on, often in business settings and with industry professionals.

For more information, please contact Debbie Dunlevy, Genesee Community College tech prep program director at 343-0055, ext. 6316, or [email protected] or visit the Tech Wars website at

March 13, 2012 - 1:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GO ART!.

On Monday, GO ART! announced gallery exhibits through April. The following information is about the two in Genesee County.

  • GO ART! Bank of Castile Main Gallery, Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia – The premier GO ART! "Members Exhibition" featuring more than 60 works by 22 artists. Exhibit dates: Weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday, April 27.

***A free Meet-the-Artists Opening Reception takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 16, at the Bank of Castile Main Gallery.

  • GO ART! Batavia Satellite Gallery, Genesee County Senior Center, 2 Bank St., Batavia – The inaugural “Digital Art Show.” In the Batavia Satellite Gallery, 24 works by 13 artists are featured. Exhibit dates are weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday, April 27.

***A free Meet-the-Artists Opening Reception takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 16, at the senior center.

For more information on these exhibits and other GO ART! programs and services, please visit <> , email [email protected] or call 343-9313.

GO ART! exhibits are supported, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

March 13, 2012 - 12:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A car has reportedly struck a pedestrian in the parking lot of Tops Market, located at 390 W. Main St. in the City of Batavia. There are injuries. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 12:59 p.m.: A responder on scene reports there is no damage to the vehicle and the pedestrian is being treated at the scene by Mercy medics.

UPDATE 1:09 p.m.: City fire is clearing the scene. The patient is being taken to UMMC.

March 13, 2012 - 11:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A 26-year-old Batavia mother of three young children who was among the first people in the state arrested in 2009 under "Leandra's Law" avoided a felony conviction in that case, reports WHAM 13's Sean Carroll.

Following her conviction on a single count of driving while ability impaired, Michelle Crawford also wasn't required to drive a car with an interlock ignition device.

Crawford was seriously injured in a single-car rollover accident in Byron last week and investigators say charges are pending in that case.

Erie County Judge William Boller who convicted Crawford of DWAI and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, berated Crawford for putting her children in harm's way and then sentenced her to 60 days in jail and probation, according to video in Carroll's report.

At the time of the December 2009 arrest, Crawford's three children were 4, 3 and 17 months old.

"Leandra's Law," named after a little girl killed in a car crash involving an allegedly drunken driver, makes it a felony to drive drunk with children 15 years old or younger in the car.

The law also required anybody convicted of drunken driving to have an interlock ignition -- designed to keep a person who has alcohol on his breath from starting a car -- on any car the person might drive.

Carroll reports that Crawford was convicted of DWI in 2007 and that her license was revoked in 2009.

The car she reportedly drove March 8 was registered to a Batavia man whom Carroll reports Crawford was living with. Carroll said the car's owner was sleeping when Crawford allegedly took the car and he didn't know about the accident until seeing news reports the following morning.

Crawford's children are reportedly living with relatives in Erie County.

March 13, 2012 - 10:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, byron, pembroke, Le Roy, Pavilion, bergen.

Mason Dumbleton, 20, of Pavilion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unsafe speed, unsafe lane change and unlawful possession of marijuana. Dumbleton was reportedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident on Route 20A in the Town of Perry at 10:30 p.m., Saturday. Dumbleton's vehicle reportedly left the south side of the road, struck a driveway culvert and a utility pole causing it to go airborne. The car landed on its roof. Dumbleton reportedly suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

Daniel Norman Brown, 39, of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Brown is accused of placing a phone call to a person he is barred from contacting. Brown was also arrested the day before, on Sunday, and charged with harassment, 2nd. Brown was accused of grabbing a woman and pushing her down.

Enoch Ronald Cole, 61, of Lake Street Road, Le Roy, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Cole allegedly punched another person in the back.

Kevin James Hodge, 28, of Valley View Drive, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Hodge is accused of stealing $66.21 in merchandise from Kmart.

Kathryn Ann Tordy, 45, of Sheriden Drive, Williamsville, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, improper left turn and failure to keep right. Tordy was stopped at 12:34 a.m. Saturday on Remsen Road, Pembroke, by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Daniel Jay Balduf, 20, of Angling Road, Pembroke, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and insufficient tail lamps. Balduf was stopped at 3:35 a.m. Saturday on Angling Road by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Danielle Marie Stevens, 35, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd. Stevens allegedly entered and remained unlawfully in a hotel room.

Jill Ann Fulater, 59, of Shepard Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving left of pavement markings and improper right turn. Fulater as stopped by Deputy Kevin McCarthy at 4:20 a.m. Sunday on Route 63, Batavia, following a complaint of an erratic driver.

Timothy Ryan McJury, 24, of Madison Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant for petit larceny. McJury was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court. McJury was arrested on a city court warrant for parking violations. McJury was jailed on $1,000 bail.

A 17-year-old resident of Warboys Road, Byron, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone) and driving on a junior license (state Class DJ) after 9 p.m. and driving on a DJ license with two or more passengers under age 21. The youth was stopped at 1:13 a.m. Sunday on Buffalo Road, Bergen, by Deputy Timothy Weis.

March 13, 2012 - 8:56am
posted by Lisa Ace in Deal of the Day.

SHOP BATAVIA SPECIAL: Turnbull Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, 50 Franklin St. Batavia, NY: Save $25 on a residential heating or air conditioning diagnostic visit from Turnbull Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration. CLICK HERE to purchase this special offer.

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.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Delavan's, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently so you can try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

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.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kravings offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

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.

Salsa & Curry, 13 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: An authentic Mexican restaurant, offering all of your favorite dishes from enchiladas and burritos to tacos and fajitas, as well as daily Indian food specials. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

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.

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


Note: If you've never purchased Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

March 12, 2012 - 8:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke, indian falls.

A car fire is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 400. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding.

UPDATE 7:07 p.m.: A responder on scene reports "nothing showing."

UPDATE 7:09 p.m.: It appears to be a blown engine, not a fire. All units back in service.

March 12, 2012 - 6:25pm

Attention parents, guardians, fourth-grade teachers and art instructors, the Landmark Society of Genesee County is calling for entries to the 22nd Annual Architectural Drawing Contest for fourth-graders.

All Genesee County schools and homeschoolers are invited to participate. Please also note that  the contest has expanded to include artistic photography and mixed media of historic sites and/or architectural details such as friezes, columns, etc.

Last year's winning artwork was also displayed on the sponsor's Facebook page:

Please be creative! Do not feel you have to copy from the Architectural Heritage of Genesee County book. Judges are especially looking for unique pieces -- photographs, images manipulated on the computer, etc.

Please send all entries by Thursday, May 3, to the Richmond Memorial Library circulation desk or to John Kennedy School.

The entries will be hung as soon as they are received on Thursday, May 3. Adults' help to hang the artworks will be most appreciated!

This year's contest and awards ceremony will be held at the Richmond library beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 10.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:
Laurie L. Oltramari
President, Landmark Society of Genesee County
P.O. Box 342
Batavia, New York 14020
(585) 343-1457
[email protected]

March 12, 2012 - 6:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in pembroke, Pavilion, east bethany, Milestones.

The following students were named to the School of Natural and Social Sciences Fall 2011 Deans' List at Buffalo State College.

  • Ashley Kingsley, of Pavilion. Kingsley is the daughter of Karen and Larry Kingsley, and a graduate of Pavilion Central School.


  • Joe Miano, of Pembroke. Miano is the son of Joe and Joanne Miano, and a graduate of Pembroke High School.


  • Elizabeth Miller, of East Bethany. Miller is the daughter of Louis and Mary Miller, and a graduate of Pavilion Central School.

To qualify, students must earn a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher and complete a minimum of 12 credit hours.

Founded in 1871, Buffalo State is the largest comprehensive college in the SUNY system. Buffalo State offers more than 165 undergraduate and 62 graduate programs in the arts, sciences, professions, and education. Each year nearly 12,000 students choose Buffalo State for its superb academic programs, applied learning opportunities, affordable tuition, and metropolitan location.

March 12, 2012 - 6:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A man accused of taking part in a couple of Batavia burglaries in the early fall was apparently sorely disappointed in the nine-year sentence handed down by Judge Robert C. Noonan today.

Kurt H. Hawkins Jr., 18, who has no permanent address, uttered a mild profanity and refused to sign about a half-dozen orders of protection documents when Noonan had them presented to him.

Noonan warned Hawkins such behavior wouldn't look good on his record at any future parole hearing, but Hawkins slumped in his chair and still refused to sign.

A month ago, Hawkins admitted to burglary, 2nd, and assault, 2nd.

The assault charge stemmed from an attack on an inmate in the Genesee County Jail following his initial arrest.

Noonan noted just before pronouncing his sentence that while Hawkins had no prior criminal history, he had shown a propensity for violence and the attack in the jail was of particular concern.

Noonan also reminded Hawkins that he was lucky, maybe, to be alive.

"I recognize your history and the fact that fortunately nobody was hurt in (the burglaries), but it could have been you (who was hurt)," Noonan said. "A lot of people keep protection in their homes and they would have been perfectly justified under the law to use it. It could have been you dead on the floor of that bedroom."

A woman was reportedly home, alone, in her bedroom when Hawkins entered the house.

Hawkins and his attorney Jerry Ader blamed his conduct on abuse of drugs and alcohol.

"He could have quite a future ahead of him if he just applies himself and avoids drugs and alcohol," Ader said. "Obviously, a prison sentence will help him do that, but it's just a question of how long."

In court, Hawkin's only statement, other than his refusal to sign, was, "I feel bad for the woman when I ran into her."

March 12, 2012 - 6:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Submitted by a reader:

Twelve months ago I almost lost my dad. He had a massive stroke on February 22nd, 2011 as a result of high-blood pressure. It was the day after my mom’s 50th birthday party and I was 22 weeks pregnant with his first grandson.

My dad, Doug Hagen, is my Superman. He is the most kind-hearted, hardest working, funniest and by far one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. He has owned and operated his own business for over 20 years which has always kept him close to home and always available to his family.

He lived to work and worked to live. If I ever needed anything I would call him, he seemed to know everybody one way or another and had the answer to any question.

My dad, who is use to spending most of his day outside either working, snowmobiling or at his camp, has since spent the past year of his life in a hospital and in rehab. He’s made more progress than ever expected and is more determined than ever to get his life back.

His family and friends are hosting a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraising Benefit from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 1st at the South Alabama Fire Hall to help assist with this recovery costs. Please take a moment out of your day to help support a prominent member of your community and help me get my Superman back.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Presale tickets are also available. Call 297-4144 for tickets.

The fire hall is located at 2230 Judge Road in the Town of Alabama.

March 12, 2012 - 5:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.
Derick Barker and Justin Barker

A 22-year-old Batavia man who pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit murder charge well as other felonies will spend from two to six years in state prison, Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled today

Justin Z. Barker, of North Lyon Street, previously admitted to criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th, and burglary, 3rd, but entered what's known as an "Alford Plea" in the murder-for-hire case, which means he didn't admit to the actual crime, just that he would probably be convicted if the case went to trial.

The burglary charge stems from a 2009 break-in at the Beaver Brothers Restaurant at Darien Lake Theme Park in which Barker and an accomplice got away with more than $7,000 cash. Baker was the driver and got to keep half the cash, according to courtroom discussion today.

The drug charge stems from Barker's arrest June 2 after management at a hotel complained about unpaid hotel guests who wouldn't leave.

Barker's brother, 25-year-old Derrick, fled on foot and was captured in a field across the Thruway from the hotel.

Also arrested June 2 was Benjamin Santiago Jr., 22, of North Lyon Street, Batavia.

Santiago allegedly had 70 bags of heroin in his backpack. A quantity of cocaine was found in the room, too.

Barker's defense attorney, Jerry Ader, sought to make technical clarifications to the record in court. Ader maintained that Barker was in no way involved in the misuse of a credit card involving a person not, apparently, associated with the case, and that Barker did not possess heroin.

Noonan struck the name of the woman with the credit card from the report on Barker, but let the information on heroin stand.

Ader said that such clarifications are important when a prisoner comes up for parole.

The other clarification was the name in the report on the purported target of the murder conspiracy. A woman's name was taken out and Benjamin Santiago's name inserted.

Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl pushed for the maximum sentence available under the plea agreement -- two- to six-years in prison) because of the seriousness of the conspiracy charge and the multiple criminal accusations in Barker's file.

"The defendant has committed or participated in drug crimes, crimes of domestic violence, property crimes, crimes of personal dishonesty and of course, the conspiracy," Zickl said. "I submit the conspiracy was substantial and was frankly quite far along in the process at the time of his plea -- money had exchanged hands."

Ader argued that many of the alleged crimes mentioned by Zickl were not anything Barker admitted doing, and that's why he didn't plead guilty to the other charges.

Ader noted that Barker, who had no prior felony convictions, had been through a series of misfortunes, including the sudden death of a daughter that led Barker to get involved with drugs.

"All of this set him off in a direction that wasn't helping, not helping for the community and not helping for himself," Ader said.

When asked to speak, Barker said, "I regret my actions. I wasn't thinking clearly when I did what I did. I'm sorry for everything I did."

Noonan responded, "Not thinking clearly is a pretty good defense to a lot of things, but it's not a good defense to conspiracy to commit murder. It's absolutely baffling that there could be anything that could make you think your conduct in this case is anything you could lead you to say just, 'I'm sorry.' "

March 12, 2012 - 5:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, Milestones.

Dan Coward, of Stafford, has been named to the School of Arts and Humanities Fall 2011 Deans' list at Buffalo State College. Coward, a graduate of Le Roy High School, is the son of Bob Harris and the late Gwen Harris.

To qualify, students must earn a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher and complete a minimum of 12 credit hours.

Founded in 1871, Buffalo State is the largest comprehensive college in the SUNY system. Buffalo State offers more than 165 undergraduate and 62 graduate programs in the arts, sciences, professions, and education. Each year nearly 12,000 students choose Buffalo State for its superb academic programs, applied learning opportunities, affordable tuition, and metropolitan location.

March 12, 2012 - 5:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, engarde.

Press release:

The Spring Open House for EnGarde Batavia is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. for Friday, March 16 at the Harvester Avenue fencing studio.

Main Street Pizza will be providing pizza and wings for those who attend this free event. While there is no charge, preregistration is highly recommended.

The open house will allow attendees to learn about competitive Olympic fencing, the skills that are used and to experience firsthand a fencing workout led by one of our coaches. The workout will cover the equipment, practice drills and a “trial” match. Attendees are asked to wear comfortable clothing and athletic footwear.

There is no age limit to attend and participate in the Open House. Fencers as young as 7 and as old as 67 have enjoyed being part of the EnGarde Batavia experience. If you are in good health and able to exercise then fencing is a way to engage in exercise and have fun in our studio setting.

When Tom Clark, artistic advisor to EnGarde to Encore, first observed the fencing classes he was impressed by the physical workout the young fencers under went.

“There were students as young as 10 whom where working on increasing their endurance, improving their eye/hand coordination and their mental agility," Clark said. "These are all skills that will make them physically and mentally better to compete as they go through life.”

Fencing is part of the upcoming summer Olympics that are being held in London. While generally considered a European sport with its roots in France and Italy, many colleges and universities in this country have teams or clubs that compete on an intercollegiate level. Scholarships are available at many institutions for students who exhibit the skill and commitment to competitive fencing. While some students work toward the Olympic Dream many fence as a form of exercise and improving their competitive edge in their chosen field.

For more information on the Open House and to register visit or email Colin Dentino at [email protected].





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

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