Online News. Community Views.

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


October 20, 2017 - 2:58pm

Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club at East Hill Creamery.

Press release and submitted photos:

The Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club kicked off the 2017-2018 4-H season with a set of tours.

On Oct. 9, the Dairy Club traveled south to Wyoming Ccounty to visit two innovative agribusinesses. The group consisted of 48 people, including club members, family and friends.  

The first stop, East Hill Creamery -- makers of grass-fed artisan cheese. Gary Burley, co-owner and operator, gave the group a tour of the cheese processing facility and explained how they make their award winning cheeses.

The creamery makes four kinds of the French-Alpine-style cheeses. The group finished the tour with a tasting of each kind: Underpass; Underpass Reserve; Silver Lake; and Happy Accident. It was a perfect stop for the club as October is National Cheese Month, and a great reason to enjoy a slice of real dairy cheese!

Seven miles down the road, the club found themselves at stop #2: Marquart’s Potato Farm and Storage Facility.

Besides seeing millions of New York grown potatoes, the club toured the cleaning washing, sorting and shipping areas of the business. Chad Heeb gave the group insight into their waste-free facility and how the dream of making New York potato chips has become a reality.

After many decades of growth, the Marquart Brothers have now been able to see their locally grown potatoes processed into New York potato chips. To celebrate another great New York made product, the 4-H group concluded the tour with a tasty snack of New York potato chips.

To learn more about Genesee 4-H visit our website: or call the 4-H Office at 585-343-3040, ext. 101

Below, photo of Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club at Marquart Potato Farm.

October 20, 2017 - 2:36pm

Photo courtesy of Jim Burns.

Information provided by GO ART!

GO ART! will present an exhibit of photography and illustration by local artist Jim Burns Nov. 9 through Feb. 3 at Seymour Place in Downtown Batavia.

Titled "Cabal and Zen," Burns says "The main portion of this exhibit was inspired by the tension of daily life and the desire for change. There are also individual images of beauty and peace."

There will be an artist reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the gallery.

GO ART! at Seymour Place is located at 201 E. Main St. Gallery hours are Thursday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and the second Sunday of each month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

(Editor's note: The statement by artist Jim Burns was changed at his request.)

October 20, 2017 - 1:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify.

The U.S. Marshals Service is asking for the public's assistance in locating a fugitive who is a suspect in the rape and murder of a 13-month-old girl.

The fugitive is traveling with an unknown male in a pickup truck with New York license plates, which has led them to suspect the two men may travel to or through Western New York.

The men were last seen Oct. 13, in Girard, Pa.

The suspect is Joshua Gurto. He is 37 years old, approximately 5'10" tall and 145 pounds. He may have a deformed right ear, misaligned jaw and tattoos on his right forearm.

A reward is offered for information that leads to his arrest.

He is wanted by the Conneaut Police Department in Northern Ohio 

The two men are traveling in a dark gray Ford F-150.

Anyone with any information that can help identify the unknown male in the photos is asked to call 1-866-4WANTED.

Tips can also be sent via text message by typing keyword WANTED and tip to 84711 (tip411).

People providing tips can remain anonymous. 









October 20, 2017 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, City Schools, schools, news.

A student at Batavia High School has contracted viral meningitis, a contagious but not fatal virus, according to Chris Dailey, superintendent of Batavia City School District.

Dailey informed parents in the school district through a memo released today.

Here's Dailey's statement:

This is to inform you that a Batavia High School student has been diagnosed with viral meningitis. It is caused by a virus and is not fatal. It can be caused by any one of the common cold or intestinal viruses. The difference is, it affects the lining of your spinal cord and brain. It is spread by person-to-person contact, or a cough, just as the common cold virus is.

The symptoms of meningitis can be fever, stiff neck and tiredness, along with a sore throat, cough or intestinal symptoms.

If your child complains of any of these symptoms, he/she should follow-up with their own physician.

The best way to keep healthy is to wash your hands regularly and not share drinking bottles.

October 20, 2017 - 10:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester 56 Theater, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.


Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., the Batavia Players will present "Broads, Boys & Broadway Backwards" at the Harvester 56 Theater on Harvester Avenue, Batavia. 

Tickets are $15 and include a champagne reception after the show.

The players will perform songs from Broadway musicals, but with gender roles reversed. The men will sing the women's parts and the women will sing the men's parts.

Performers are Pat Burk, Amanda Taylor, Anthony Baldwin-Giambrone, Cameron Bontrager, Colin Fleming-Stumpf, Jerrod Baldwin-Giambrone, Joe Kusmierczak, Erin Stamp, Kathryn Fitzpatrick and Wendy Williams.

The show is directed by Pat Burk. Musical direction and accompaniment, Kathy White.


October 20, 2017 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.


The Richmond Memorial Library was inducted into Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame on Thursday, becoming the first building in Genesee County inducted since the recognition was created five years ago.

There have been 24 buildings inducted into the Hall of Fame, which recognizes outstanding examples of architecture using Medina sandstone.

Other new inductees include the First Presbyterian Church in Albion, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester, and First Lutheran Church of Jamestown.

The Presbyterian Church is the ninth site from Orleans County in the Hall of Fame. Genesee has its first entry with the library in Batavia. Jamestown and Chautauqua County are also making their debut in the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame with the First Lutheran Church. Holy Sepulchre is second site from Rochester to join the HOF.​

From the story by Tom Rivers, Orleans Hub:

The Richmond Memorial Library is a beautiful example of light gray Medina Sandstone and red Albion stone. The style is Richardsonian Romanesque and was designed by Rochester architect James Cutler. The Richmond Library employs the style of two-tone sandstone in a random ashlar pattern with a battered foundation and a steep gable roof.

Mrs. Mary Richmond donated a piece of land at the rear of the family property and construction of a library began on July 11, 1887 and was dedicated on March 12, 1889. Mrs. Richmond donated $24,000 towards the cost and insisted on using local labor to build this magnificent building.

The library was named after her son Dean Richmond, Jr., who died in his youth. Mrs. Richmond, noted for her charity, then donated the library to the Union Free School District. The Richmond Library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was registered on July 24, 1974.


Rob Conrad, library director, said he and the staff are thrilled to see the library go into the Hall of Fame. He praised the Batavia City School District for its ongoing commitment to maintain the site. Conrad said he is impressed by the communities that rallied their dollars to build such impressive buildings in the region, using Medina Sandstone.

"You see the beauty of the buildings and their ingenuity," he said.

Story and photos courtesy Orleans Hub.


Jim Jacobs, Batavia schools facilities director, Rob Conrad, and Chris Dailey, school superintendent. School district owns and maintains building;
will have a little more later.
October 20, 2017 - 9:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the home page).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual purchaser must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.


October 19, 2017 - 5:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Arc of Genesee Orleans, news, Announcements.

Above, Staff Recognition honorees included: Joe Navarra, IT administrator; Eileen Corcoran, pre-vocational specialist; Andrew Reeb, coordinator of Transportation; Kathy Yanik, administrative assistant and Relief Director Support professional and Barbara Agostinelli, assistant residential manager.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Richard C. Call Arena & Event Center at Genesee Community College hosted the Arc of Genesee Orleans Awards Banquet Thursday night, the first for the two-county agency which officially merged one year ago. Assemblyman Steve Hawley was the awards program Master of Ceremonies.

Medina businesswoman Mary Lou Tuohey, owner of Case-Nic Cookies, was honored with the Volunteer of the Year Award, presented by agency Board President John Huber. “Mary Lou is well known throughout Orleans County for her kind heart and giving spirit,” Huber said.

Tuohey is a longtime volunteer and tireless advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “As the Mom of Nicole, Mary Lou wants the best for her daughter and has expanded that love and commitment to all individuals served at the Arc of Genesee Orleans.” Huber said.

Case-Nic Cookies also hired an individual through the Arc’s employment training program and donates cookies and other treats to the Orleans Nutrifair/Meals on Wheels program and agency fund raisers.

Business Partner of the Year honors were presented to AAkron Line, a longtime subcontractor with the agency’s sheltered work centers. AAkron Line is a vendor for hundreds of promotional items used throughout the United States and Canada, all assembled or customized in their Akron, New York facility.

Arc Production Manager Paula Knaak presented the award to AAkron Line’s Kevin Gilcart. Knaak said AAkron Line’s success and growth over the past two decades has provided subcontracts in Arc’s work centers, as well supported employment opportunities.

“We look forward to a continued partnership for years to come that supports Aakron Line, while providing interesting and varied work options to the individuals we serve,” Knaak said.

Applebee's Batavia, Agri-Business Child Development and Genesee Community College received Friend of Arc honors to recognize outstanding service  provided to Arc of Genesee Orleans and the people served.

Staff Recognition honorees included: Joe Navarra, IT Administrator; Eileen Corcoran, pre-vocational specialist; Andrew Reeb, coordinator of Transportation; Kathy Yanik, Administrative Assistant and Relief Director Support Professional and Barbara Agostinelli, assistant residential manager.

Persons of the Year awards went to: Julius Murphy, self-advocate; Joseph Moltrop, self-advocate; Ashley Dioguardi, Work Center; Tyler Nunnery, supported employment; James Gibbs, residential; Community Services, Nick Wityk and Dwight, day habilitation.

Created in 2016 by the joining of two successful and long-standing organizations, Arc of Genesee Orleans offers support, advocacy, services and opportunities for children and adults with disabilities and their families in Genesee and Orleans counties.

Programs include everything from vocational training and full-time residences to service coordination and family support. For expanded program information, access the agency’s new website at

Above are, from left, Arc Board President John Huber; Volunteer of the Year Mary Lou Tuohey; Assemblyman Steve Hawley; Arc Executive Director Donna Saskowski, Kevin Gilbert, manufacturing coordinator at Akron Line, and Paul Saskowski, Arc director of Business Operations.

October 19, 2017 - 5:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, breast cancer, news, Announcements.

There will be a breast cancer awareness fundraiser from 3 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 at Le Beau Salon inside the City Centre Mall, 106 Main St., Batavia.

It is being held by salon owner Erika Siverling and her friend Jill Meeder, of Pearl Wellness Center.

Attendees can get their makeup done professionally for a $25 donation. There will be lots of raffle baskets to try for and a 50/50 raffle.

Appetizers, beverages and snacks will be served.

Cost to attend if you choose not to have your makeup done is $10 per person. All proceeds will go to the national nonprofit Breast Cancer Prevention Partners.

The San Fransisco-based organization has teamed up with the makeup company used at Le Beau Salon -- Beauty Counter -- and money from the purchase of those cosmetics used also goes to that nonprofit.

Le Beau's proceeds will be donated in the name of their friend, local breast cancer survivor Stacey Brion Cory.

The salon owner says the community ourpouring of support for the event has been amazing.

"We even had tablecloths and napkins donated by Batavia Restaurant Supply, everyone has just been so supportive, it's been great," Siverling said.

October 19, 2017 - 4:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news, business.

Genesee County has lost 100 jobs over the past 12 months, according to data released today by the Department of Labor.

For September 2017, there were 23,600 jobs in the county. The previous September, there were 23,500.

The total number of private sector jobs held steady at 17,800 year-over-year, which is also the same total as September 2015. The lowest number of private sector jobs locally over the past two decades was 16,800 in 2012. There haven't been as many as 18,000 private sector jobs in September since 2004 (18,100).

Labor is reporting 89,100 new jobs in the state since last year, but Western New York's two metropolitan areas reported job losses year-over-year. The Buffalo region has dropped from 564,900 to 561,400 and Rochester has dropped from 532,300 to 529,000.

There are 5,700 government jobs in the county, compared to 5,800 a year ago.

October 19, 2017 - 4:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, Milestones.

Jenna Lawson, from Corfu, has been named a Presidential Scholar for the 2017-18 school year at SUNY Geneseo.

Lawson is among 15 new Geneseo Presidential Scholars, top-achieving members of the senior class who also serve as ambassadors for the college. They represent a variety of academic areas and exemplify the college's institutional values.

To receive the honor, a student must hold a minimum grade-point average of 3.6 and have earned at least 70 credits.

They also must demonstrate academic achievement across the curriculum, affirming Geneseo's values of excellence and innovation. Examples of such achievement could be involvement in major directed studies, substantial overseas studies, independent research, conference presentations, significant artistic projects and/or record of creativity. They also must demonstrate an active involvement with the community.

SUNY Geneseo is a premiere public liberal arts college dedicated to developing socially responsible citizens with skills and values for a productive life.

October 19, 2017 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in city centre, batavia, news, mall merchants association, business.

By this time Tuesday, the year's long dispute between the City of Batavia and the City Centre Mall Association will be resolved, or the two sides will be in an Erie County courtroom.

A bench trial was scheduled to begin tomorrow before Erie County Supreme Court Justice Catherine Panepinto.

That date has since been moved to Monday, the same day the merchants are scheduled to hold another vote on the settlement.

City Manager Jason Molino, speaking on WBTA's Main and Center program this morning, says the merchants have held up the vote that had been scheduled for earlier this month.

“The merchant's legal counsel was the one who recommended the adjournment from October 2nd to the 23rd," Molino said. "They knew well in advance when the trial was, we did not suggest that nor did we agree to that.

"The judge, at this point in time, does not want to postpone because if the settlement agreement does not pass, the trial has to go on.”

The primary issue in the dispute is over who is primarily responsible for ownership and maintenance of the mall concourse.

The proposed settlement places the responsibility squarely in the hands of the city and provides some cash for roof repairs.

The City Council ratified the settlement in February of this year but the mall merchants never voted to approve the settlement.

If the merchants approve the settlement on Monday there will be no need for a trial and it would bring to a close a long-simmering dispute that has hindered any attempt to improve the neglected and crumbling concourse.

“(The settlement) null and voids all the other agreements," Molino said. "The inter-tangled web of it (the old agreements) are gone. That was the first term of the term sheet – all the existing agreements are null and void. All the things that created the mess we are dealing with are gone.

"We have very clear ownership, which is the city, very clear responsibility, which is the city. Very clear as to who is responsible for capital improvements, maintenance, and operations – it is one entity, the city. Right now, it is not one entity and that is part of the problem.”

Story via our news partner, WBTA.

October 19, 2017 - 3:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, baseball, GCC, U.S. Baseball Academy.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is hosting a four-week baseball camp starting Jan. 21. Classes are available for players in grades 1-12 and are limited to seven players per coach.

Genesee Community College Head Coach Skip Sherman will direct the program in conjunction with U.S. Baseball Academy.

Sessions are offered in advanced hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and baserunning. Space is limited. Registration is now underway and will continue until all spots are filled.

For more information, visit, or call toll-free 866-622-4487.

U.S. Baseball Academy
October 19, 2017 - 3:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports.

Photo of Exotic Beach with driver Larry Stalbaum, courtesy of Paul White.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Without even a moment of doubt in the mile, Exotic Beach overpowered her five rivals to jog home with authority in the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 18).

Exotic Beach (Larry Stalbaum) tucked in third off the gate while Squeeze This (Billy Davis Jr.) settled on the lead. But that was just a ruse by Stalbaum as he pulled Exotic Beach halfway up the backstretch and gunned her to the front in :27 flat. After clearing, Stalbaum grabbed some leather just to let the five trailers think they were in the race. But it became obvious that wasn’t the case once they hit the second stanza.

Exotic Beach opened up a gapped three-length lead and that was as close as the rest would get for the rest of the race. She cruised to three-quarters in 1:24, rounded the turn in full stride and paced away down the stretch to win by four in 1:53.3.

The time was a new seasonal mark for Exotic Beach and only three-fifths of a second off the track record for aged pacing mares.

It was the sixth win of the year for Exotic Beach ($4.30) who has now earned $52,266 for owner Larry Stalbaum, who also does the training.

Owner/trainer/driver Stalbaum similarly won the co-featured $8,000 Fillies and Mares Open II pace when he went from last at the half to three-deep at three-quarters to a half-length victor in 1:55, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. Kaitlyn Rae ($5.80) won her ninth race in 18 starts this year giving her $36,594 in the bank account.

The top three dash drivers of the meet had a very business night on Wednesday. Larry Stalbaum had four winners, Ray fisher Jr. three and Drew Monti two. As a result there has been movement at the top of the leader board. Larry Stalbaum who was behind in double digits only a week ago is now in a first place tie with former leader Drew Monti with 79 wins apiece. Ray Fisher Jr. is a close third with 75. With nine weeks left in the meet, this is going to be a tight three-way competition for the rest of the year.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 20) with post time at 6 p.m.

October 19, 2017 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, genesee county, news, notify.

As County Manager Jay Gsell gets closer to pitching his proposed 2018 budget to county legislators, the focus in budget talks is on what staff positions will be created and which will be eliminated.

New positions might include a compliance officer, a first assistant district attorney, and a program coordinator in the Department of Mental Health.

On the way out are a child care worker in Social Services and a youth program specialist in the Youth Bureau.

Many of the positions being eliminated are reclassifications of jobs within the same department. For example, in Mental Health, two part-time clerk-typist positions become one full-time position. Public health is eliminating a principal financial support specialist but adding an administrative officer and part-time senior financial clerk-typist.

If a first assistant district attorney position is created in the District Attorney's Office, which is expected to go to Melissa Cianfrini at a salary of $111,783, an assistant district attorney position, with a salary of $91,915, will be eliminated.

The headline new position, however, is the compliance officer. The potential salary is $87,694 and the position will report to the county manager. The compliance officer will make sure the county is meeting all federal and state requirements for privacy, disability accessibility, health record privacy and other codes and regulations that are often tied to the grants the county receives from state and federal agencies.

“If Tim Yaeger or somebody wants to apply for a Federal grant, a Homeland Security grant, or some other kind of grant, they can the requirement of the grant, hand it to the compliance officer who can digest it and make sure we are currently meeting the requirements or what kind of changes do we need to make administratively to make sure we’re going to meet requirements,” said Matt Landers, assistant county manager.

There are millions of dollars in grants at stake in the county if the county fails to meet compliance requirements. 

The qualified job applicant will have a four-year degree and at least two years related work experience, or a master's degree and two years experience.

The Youth Bureau is eliminating a position because there's no guarantee the federal government is going to continue to fund Americorps. That program ends at the end of the year and the current director of the program will spend January and February winding down the program and then will be out of a job.

The Sheriff's Office is also asking to add two new positions, an assistant to the director of emergency communications, at a salary of $67,109, and an emergency services dispatcher, $43,128.

From the current budget draft, Gsell must trim $257,831 to arrive at a tax rate of $10.13, which keeps the tax levy increase within the tax cap limit. Without further cuts, the Legislature would need to approve a tax cap override. If the Legislature wants to get the tax rate down to this year's $10.07 per thousand of assessed value rate, Gsell will need to find $460,000 in additional spending cuts.

Gsell will present his draft budget and his annual budget message later this month.

October 19, 2017 - 2:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Announcements, education, CTE.

Press release:

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center (CTE) will hold an Open House from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Students, parents and community members are invited to tour the center and discover the many skilled trades opportunities available at this facility.

Crime scene analysis, 3-D printing processes, welding applications, animal care methods, and the newest cosmetology trends are just a few of the practices students learn at Batavia CTE.

All programs housed at this campus will also be open for touring including the Batavia Academy, the Intensive Therapeutic Program, the Transition and Practical Assessment Exploration Systems Programs and other school-age special education programs.

The Batavia CTE Center is located at 8250 State Street Road. Please call (585) 344-7711 with any questions.

About CTE

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services providing shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York state.

October 19, 2017 - 1:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in County Clerk, news.

The County Clerk's Office continues to deal with a surge in work related to pistol permits, County Clerk Michael Cianfrini told the Legislature's Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday during a department review.

From 2009 through 2012, the office handled an average of 206 new pistol permits and 1,400 amendments to permits (adding or removing guns). In 2016, there were 671 new permits issued and 3,190 amendments. In 2017, the office is on track to issue 450 new permits and handle 3,800 amendments.

Much of the new pistol permit work is a result of the SAFE Act. Anybody who had a permit issued before 2013 must recertify their permit by 2018. 

The amendments are being driven by the need to correct the record on what pistols permit holders still own.

And that can be time-consuming. 

"We have permit holders looking to remove guns they perhaps sold in the 1980s," Cianfrini said. "A lot of times they don't know when they sold it or where they sold it. Our pistol clerk has to try and track down those guns and find out when they were sold, where they were sold and where they're registered now."

It's a lot of extra work and there's no state reimbursement for the staff time.

Among the other news out of the department, many of the forms and documents that people need to file with the County Clerk's Office can now be filed electronically. That's especially helpful, Cianfrini noted, for people living out of the county or out of state.

In about six months, the office will also be able to accept electronic filings of documents in civil litigation.

Cianfrini also displayed for legislators two Donate Life trophies. This is the second year in a row the county's Department of Motor Vehicles has won the small- and medium-county division of the state's competition for signing up the most people to become organ donors.

"It's something we’re very proud of," Cianfrini said. "My staff takes it very seriously. They really try to push it and so far we’ve been successful."

October 19, 2017 - 12:00pm

The Genesee County Agricultural Society would like to thank everyone for their continued support in helping make the 2017 Fair and the Fairgrounds successful all year round! 




Copyright © 2008-2017 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button