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May 26, 2015 - 12:09pm
posted by julie heywood in Flame.
Missing indoor flame point siamese male cat, {orange and white}. Northside area in Batavia NY. Named Flame, a reward if found. Call 585-201-3584
May 26, 2015 - 11:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke, history, civil war, Memorial Day.


On a cloud-shrouded Memorial Day afternoon in Indian Falls, the folds in the fabric of history were visible in a short service that honored one of Pembroke's own fallen Civil War soldiers.

A headstone for Conrad Litt, a German immigrant who probably joined the Army so his family could have 100 acres of land after the war, was dedicated in a service conducted by members of Colonel John B. Weber Camp No. 44 and the Weber Guard, Sons of Veterans Reserve.

The spot chosen for the marker is next to those of his parents and other family members in the Old Indian Falls Cemetery. The location is at the rise of the hill in the southwest corner of the graveyard. There's an opening in the tree line that overlooks a lush valley. 

Clifford Anderson, one of the Litt Family ancestors, who now lives in West Seneca, purchased the headstone from the Veteran's Administration. He likes the idea that Conrad Litt's grave overlooks that idyllic valley that will become a national veterans cemetery.

"His spirit will look out over his fellow soldiers here, on this hill," Anderson said.

Conrad Litt enlisted in the 100th New York Volunteer Infantry, 2nd Brigade, Company C., on October 24, 1861 as a private. The 2nd Brigade was known as the “Eagle Brigade,” which was sponsored by the Buffalo Board of Trade.

Litt participated in the Battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia, where more than half of his regiment was killed or wounded.

The Pembroke resident died in action July 18, 1863 during the Union’s night assault on Fort Wagner, Morris Island, S.C., when he was struck in the breast and died instantly.

The Second Battle for Fort Wagner was dramatized in the movie "Glory," which is about the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first military regiment in the Army comprised entirely of African-Americans, mostly freed slaves. The 54th led the nighttime charge on Fort Wagner, suffering heavy casualties, and though Fort Wagner never fell, the manner in which the men acquitted themselves led to more freed slaves being allowed to enlist. These black regiments were a significant factor, President Lincoln felt, in the Union winning the war.

Buffalo native John B. Weber enlisted in the Army Aug. 1, 1861 as a private and quickly rose through the ranks, attaining colonel before his 21st birthday. His first command, granted September 19, 1863, two months after the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, was the 89th Regiment, designated "18th Infantry, Corps d'Afrique." It was a regiment of freed slaves. Weber turned down a command of 44th Regiment to lead the 89th. He resigned later after his men were reassigned to another outfit and promised replacements, more freed slaves, were not available. He returned to Buffalo and eventually was elected to Congress.

Litt's remains were never recovered for a proper burial, as the fighting at Fort Wagner continued for another month by laying siege to take control of the rebel-held fort and battery, which was the key to entering Charleston Harbor and the Union reclaiming of Ft. Sumter, where the first shot of the War Between the States opened formal hostilities in 1861. 

Anderson learned of Litt and the cemetery where his family was buried while researching his family tree. In the process, he came across a book containing 25 of Litt's letters home. The book, which also contains the Civil War letters of Litt's childhood friend, also of Pembroke and fellow soldier, Sidney Lake, "I Take My Pen in My Hand."

"I came across these letters he wrote and I wept reading them," Anderson said. "I'm a vet myself and I would like to do him an honor, at least put a marker here for him. His body is not here, but I feel like his spirit has come home now."

The dedication ceremony comes 150 years after what some historians consider the first Memorial Day, organized in Charleston, S.C., May 1, 1865, by a group of freed slaves to honor the Union soldiers who helped secure their emancipation. The first nationally recognized Decoration Day was May 30, 1868. The date was supposedly chosen because it would be a time when flowers in all parts of the nation would be in bloom and the graves of fallen soldiers were to be decorated with flowers.

Flowers decorated Litt's marker yesterday.

For Michael Erb, who belongs to three Civil War reenactment groups, including the Weber group, and is himself a military veteran, taking part in services that honor the Civil War dead is important because the Civil War is a critical turning point in the nation's history.

"The Civil War was America's biggest war," Erb said. "It changed our country forever, you know. We were kind of a disunified country, different states going different ways, and all the sudden after the war, we were all one nation. Oliver Wendell Holmes said it was a terrible war, many people and soldiers died in that war, but look at what we got from it. We're a better country afterward. We're a unified country. Today, we're the only Superpower. It's a time in history that our whole country should remember."









May 26, 2015 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield.


Adam Bielski submitted these photos of Memorial Day events in Oakfield.




May 26, 2015 - 12:06am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, east pembroke.

A fire with multiple explosions, "multiple vehicles, possibly tankers involved," is reported at Kistner Concrete Products, Inc., 8713 Read Road, Town of Pembroke. East Pembroke fire chief responding told dispatch "I can't get close enough -- multiple explosions." East Pembroke Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Oakfield, Darien, Alexander and Town of Batavia.

UPDATE 12:08 a.m.: Pembroke Fire Department is asked to stand by in East Pembroke's fire hall.

UPDATE 12:09 a.m.: Mercy medic #2 is requested to the scene on Read Road.

UPDATE 12:18 a.m.: A dispatcher tells command: "My partner spoke with the owner and he explained what was happening. He's been updated about the situation."

UPDATE 12:22 a.m.: Howard at the scene says the fire is out. A semi-truck was completely destroyed and a flatbed truck adjacent to it was heavily damaged.

UPDATE 12:29 a.m.: East Pembroke Fire Chief Don Newton told Howard: "I don't know what blew up. We were sitting at the fire hall when we heard the explosion. I've heard tires explode and they never sounded that loud."

UPDATE 1:55 a.m.: Photos and more information from Chief Don Newton.






Newton said he and two other members of the department were burning the midnight oil at the Fire Hall working on reports when they heard a series of booms.

"It sounded like thunder," Newton said. "Well, actually, it sounded like more than thunder, so we walked outside then I heard about 10 more explosions and I said there's more than just thunder going on."

Newton and the other firefighters got into his personal vehicle and went out to scout the area. A short drive down Route 5 and they spotted the orange glow in the sky at Kistner Concrete. They swung down Bennett Road, but couldn't get into the yard because of the locked gates and barriers. Newton said he could see a truck was on fire and it looked as though the fire could have spread to other vehicles. He was worried whether there might be a structure nearby.

"I couldn't tell if there was a building around it or not because the smoke was thick and it was black and it was dark," Newton said. "You couldn't see anything except for the orange glow."

Newton radioed dispatch and immediately requested a second alarm. He took the firefighters with him back to the Fire Hall and they rolled two engines.

The gate off Read Road was locked, so Newton used one of the trucks to pull it down so they could get access to the fire.

Soon, other volunteers arrived on scene and the East Pembroke crew with the aid of Oakfield, Town of Batavia, Darien and Alexander, was able to quickly get the fire knocked down (Pembroke and Indian Falls provided fill-in at East Pembroke's hall).

The quick response likely saved another truck that was sitting next to the one that caught fire as well as a piece of machinery on the neighboring flatbed trailer.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined, but was possibly electrical.

The truck's saddle tanks were brimming with fuel, ready for the next day's work, but a lot of things could have exploded, not just those tanks.

"The explosions could have been everything from tires to the fuel tanks to the air chambers," Newton said. "There's a lot of pressurized units on these trucks. This truck was last used on Friday, so it's very possible everything could still have been pressurized on it."

People reported hearing the explosions as far away as Wortendyke Road and the Village of Corfu.

May 25, 2015 - 10:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield.

An ATV accident is reported in the area of 7394 Hutton Road, Oakfield.  

A teenage female reportedly suffered a head injury. A person will meet a fire chief roadside and escort him to the accident location.

Mercy Flight out of Olean is on in-air standby with a 40-minute ETA, weather permitting. 

UPDATE 10:30 p.m.: Mercy Flight 5 now available, 20-minute ETA.

UPDATE 12:32 a.m.: A responder subsequently told Howard, on scene at another incident -- the explosion/fire on Read Road, Town of Pembroke, that the girl was transported primarily as a precaution and that she didn't suffer severe injuries.


May 25, 2015 - 7:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Memorial Day, batavia.

The video is comprised of photos from the Memorial Day ceremonies at the VA, Upton Monument and the War Memorial at St. Jerome's. Audio provided by WBTA, our news partner.












More photos in the slide show. To purchase prints, click here.

May 25, 2015 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

A resident on North Bergen Road reports that he came home to find an intruder in his residence, and the intruder fled, leaving behind a vehicle parked in the driveway.

The husband followed the intruder and spoke with him. The alleged intruder said his car broke down and he went into the residence for some reason.

The plates on the vehicle come back to a Bergen resident who is on parole for burglary, 2nd.

A deputy is responding. The intruder is on foot on North Bergen Road, eastbound. He's a white male, 5'11", 200 pounds in shorts and a T-shirt.

May 25, 2015 - 6:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Alabama.

A car accident with minor injuries is reported at 6219 Fisher Road. Alabama fire is responding along with Mercy medics.

May 25, 2015 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A caller reports a pile of logs on fire got out of control and is now posing exposure threats on several fronts of the property at 2245 Lewiston Road. Alabama Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Oakfield.

UPDATE 6:17 p.m.: Fire is out. Assignment is back in service.

May 25, 2015 - 12:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Police have been dispatched to Jackson School to investigate a report of a child in diapers with no adult to be seen in the area.

UPDATE 12:45 p.m.: The child was scooped up by a family member before a patrol arrived. Case closed.

May 24, 2015 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Conservative Party, batavia.

Press release:

The Conservative Party of Genesee County has made the following endorsements:

Paul Viele (Republican) -- 1st Ward
Lisa Whitehead (Libertarian) -- 2nd Ward
Richard Richmond (Republican) -- 3rd Ward
Al McGinnis (Conservative) -- 4th Ward
Kathy Briggs (Democrat) -- 5th Ward
Paul Viele and Richard Richmond will running Republican primaries elections against the incumbents.
We had no request from the 6th Ward.

May 24, 2015 - 1:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, The Batavian Club, Sponsored Post, advertisement.

When we recently upgraded the software for The Batavian, the ability for users to edit comments disappeared.

That was one of a few bugs that crept up with the upgrade that we've been working through.

We've always had the ability for users to edit their own comments. An option rarely available on news Web sites. I know it's a popular feature, but it's also a feature that has been abused by a few people looking to not just correct spelling and grammar, but alter the history of what they've written. For that reason, I've sometimes wanted to limit the ability of people to edit comments particularly the here-and-there, occasional commenter, which are the ones most likely to remove a comment or substantially alter its meaning.

Also, all this software support is expensive. The Batavian needs the support of readers, and not just advertisers, to really thrive.

When it came time to get comment editing back again, I decided we're going to have a change in policy: Comment editing will only be available to those who have paid to join The Batavian Club.

The Batavian Club helps us pay the bills. We need your support. In exchange, membership more than pays for itself with the $300 in gift certificates to local businesses you receive. If you love The Batavian and love saving money, there's really no reason not to join.  

So, join today!

(BTW: If you're a member and can't edit comments, send me an e-mail, [email protected] I may not have properly tagged your user account.)

UPDATE: We also just launched a new search function on the site.  It's faster and offers some additional features to help return better results.  I forgot to mention earlier as well, we also upgraded the thumbs up/thumbs down in response to reader request.  Instead of an aggregate result of positive or negative votes, you see the total of how many ups and how many downs each comment gets. 

Use this button to set up a recurring annual payment of $50 (a discount for subscribing on an annual basis):

Use this button to make a single-year payment of $60:

May 24, 2015 - 12:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire.


A city resident turned to the Fire Department this morning for help rescuing a cat whose curiosity, or insatiable appetite, got the better of him and perhaps cost him one of his nine lives. The cat stuck his head in a can and couldn't get unstuck. Engine 15 responded at 7:58 a.m. and firefighters used handheld cutting tools to peel the can open and extricate the feline.

The cat is fine.

Photos and information submitted by Lt. Bob Fix, Batavia FD.


May 24, 2015 - 8:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Flyball, sports, dogs, animals, pets, batavia.


It's an adrenaline rush to see one of his border collies racing through four jumps, grabbing a tennis ball and streaking back to him, said Hamburg resident Peter Russell, who was in Batavia on Saturday to compete in a biannual flyball competition at the Fairgrounds.

Flyball is a dog-racing sport. Teams are comprised of four dogs and four handlers. Each dog runs down a track, jumping over four hurdles, hitting a platform at the end of the track, which releases a tennis ball, and then the dog runs back through the hurdles with the ball. The race is a relay, so once the first dog returns, the next dog runs the next leg.

The sport was created in California in the late 1960s and has grown to international proportions.  

Russell is a member of the Buffalo Wings Flyball Team, which has won national championships.

More than 15 teams competed yesterday, with dogs and owners traveling to Batavia from throughout the Northeastern United States and Canada.

The exhibition hall at the fairgrounds on Saturday was a cacophony of yelps and yaps and a whir of flashing fur.

"I think people enjoy the sport because of how quick it is," Russell said. "Races come down to hundredths of a second."

It's also a social sport, said Cindy Henderson, a resident of Massachusetts and regional director for the North American Flyball Association.

"You're with four different people," Henderson said. "That's what's fun about it. You're working with a whole team of people. It's not like other sports where you're just one handler working with a dog. You're a team."

Each member of the team has a specific role. The lead dog needs to have stamina since false starts can mean multiple trips down the track before there's a legal start. There are the middle leg dogs who need to be fast and agile, and then there's the anchor dog, who ideally loves to race and has the competitive drive to overtake another dog if the team has fallen behind. There also needs to be a height dog. The height dog is the smallest dog on the team. The shorter the dog, the lower the hurdles for the team.

Russell and his wife own 13 border collies. Four of them are retired and nine of them race. They're also breeders.

Border collies are particularly well suited to the sport, Russell said.

"It gives them a job to do," he said. "Border collies are bred to herd sheep, so they need a job to do. Their job is to go get the ball and come back to you and tug on their toy. In essence, that's their job for the day. It gives them some mind stimulation, because it's a difficult sport to learn and master and it gives them the physical stimulation because they're running over four jumps, hitting a box, coming back, tugging on the tug when they get back to you."

Alissa Schwab, of Amherst, owns a Jack Russell terrier, the height dog for the Buffalo Wings.

"I got started because obedience training wasn't enough for Jack Russell terriers," Schwab said. "The Buffalo wings needed a fast height dog and they came to training and spotted him and he was hired."

She's been racing for seven years now and now owns three Jack Russells.

"It's great for my dogs," she said. "They look forward to it. The community of people from our region is just fantastic and the racing is good."

The owners enjoy the race. The dogs enjoy pleasing their masters and getting a treat at the end of the run, usually a tug on a rope, but maybe something a little more tasty.

"They like to be rewarded for doing things they love," Schwab said. "You're part of the reward. They want to come back to you."












May 23, 2015 - 10:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Memorial Day, veterans.


Dozens and dozens of families passed through the St. Joseph Cemetery today to place flowers on the graves of loved ones who served in the military. Above, Adam Figlow adjusts a flag on the veterans marker for the grave of his grandfather Anthony LaFarnara, who served in the Army during World War II, while his son Noah looks on. Below, Adam with is father, Tony.


May 23, 2015 - 10:27pm


Laurie Napoleone speaks during the Awareness Ceremony on the second day of the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation Baseball Tournment.  The tournament has grown to a three-day event spread out over every available baseball field in Batavia.

The foundation has provided more than $170,000 in assistance to families with children dealing with medical issues. The foundation has also purchased a new scoreboard for the ball field at Williams Park, has donated more than $48,000 to pediatric cancer research and has pledged $50,000 to the Golisano Children's Hospital.

Michael Napoleone succumbed to Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer, in 2006. Mark and Laurie Napoleone formed the foundation in response to the outpouring of support their family received from the community after Michael was diagnosed.


Genesee Pride AAU boys and girls basketball donated $350 players raised for the foundation.


The family of Kenny Hazlett. Hazlett was a longtime umpire and dedicated volunteer for the tournment who passed away. A sign on the backstop of the Little League field honoring his memory was unveiled during the ceremony.


David Pero speaking about Hazlett.


Unveiling the sign.


Chase Bordonaro received a Spirit of Michael Napoleone Award, along with Tony Piazza and Griffin Dellapenna (pictured below).



Veterans in attendance were invited to stand along the first base line during the playing of the National Anthem


May 23, 2015 - 10:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in roundabout, batavia, Vibrant Batavia.


Mary Valle and Paula Miller were at the Oak Street roundabout this morning planting flowers. The project is sponsored by Vibrant Batavia.

May 23, 2015 - 6:32pm


The Batavia Varsity Boys Track Team competed in the Monroe County Championships on Saturday earning a tough second-place finish, 63 points total out of 22 schools competing. 

Junior Adonis Davis had a big day for the Blue Devils earning an impressive victory in the pentathlon. Senior Jerrett Laskett was the winner in the 400 hurdles and placed second in the high jump. Senior Devon Koepp placed third in the disc and fourth in the shot. 

The 4x8 relay team of Senior Eric Dilaura, Junior Cal Jantzi, Junior Louie Leone, and sophmore Campbell Andersen finished in third place also. 

Head Coach Nicholas Burk said, “The Monroe County Championships is a very competitive meet and to finish in second place is very impressive."

Class B rival Greece Olympia finished in first with 75 points. Next Saturday is Batavia’s next meet, which is the Section V at Brockport State College.

Full results of this meet can be found at:

May 23, 2015 - 11:49am
posted by Billie Owens in Memorial Day.

From our news partner WBTA, Memorial Day events, May 25:

Schedule and Locations of Ceremonies:

7 a.m.  –  Vietnam Veteran Memorial in Genesee County Park;
8 a.m.   –  World War I Memorial Wreath Laying and Salute in Williams Park;
8:30 a.m.  –  Batavia Veterans Administration Medical Center;
8:45 a.m.  –  State Veterans Home;
9:30 a.m.  –  Wreathe Laying and Salute at the Upton Monument;
10 a.m.  –  Elmwood Cemetery;
10 a.m.  –  Memorial Day Parade down Main Street starting at Eastown Plaza;
10:45 a.m.  –  Jerome Center Veterans Memorial;
5 p.m. -- Dedication of the Civil War memorial headstone for Pvt. Conrad Litt in Old Section of Indian Falls Cemetery.




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

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