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February 22, 2017 - 10:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Le Roy.

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Le Roy opened its bid for a 2017 Section V title with a convincing win over Holley, 59-35.

Canyon Roster scored 14 points for Le Roy. Josh Laurie had 13 and Ryan Boyce, 11.

Holly's Dylan Hillabush led all scorers with 17 points. 

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February 22, 2017 - 9:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, news, schools, education.

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Press release:

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership recently celebrated the graduation of 28 students from its School of Nursing program.  This class graduated 22 students with high honors – a 90 percent or above average.  Students took part in this 12-month, 1,200-clock hour Licensed Practical Nursing program that is certified by the New York State Education Department.  The program is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

This program offers three different site locations: Batavia, Greece, and Leicester. 

For more information about this program, contact the Adult Education/School of Practical Nursing at (585) 344-7788.​

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February 22, 2017 - 9:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, 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.
February 21, 2017 - 8:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, outdoors, news.

A Bergen resident is reportedly in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital after a hunting accident yesterday in the Town of Sweden.

Robert Williams, 32, of Peachy Road, Bergen, was reportedly in a field on Lake Road, Sweden, when he was shot in the abdomen by a coyote hunter.

Brett Blackburn, 46, of Sweden, has been charged with assault 2nd.

According to authorities, Blackburn and his son were hunting at about 6:30 p.m., Monday, when they observed movement in the field. Blackburn used a light to illuminate the area of movement. He said he observed light and though the reflection to be the eyes of a coyote. Blackburn reportedly fired his rifle and then heard someone yell. 

Blackburn assisted Williams while his son ran to a nearby residence to call 9-1-1.

When Monroe County deputies arrived at the location on food, they observed Williams on the ground and Blackburn rendering aid.  Town of Sweden Fire arrived on scene along with EMS personnel and evacuated Williams to a waiting ambulance.

Blackburn, of Covell Road, was arraigned in Sweden Town Court and bail was set at $1,500 cash or $5,000 bond. He is no longer in custody.

Our news partner 13WHAM assisted with this story.

February 21, 2017 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elba Drama Club, elba, arts, entertainment, news.

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The Elba Central School Drama Club is presenting the musical "Hello, Dolly!" this weekend.

The show opens at 7 p.m., Friday. Additional performances are at 2 and 7 p.m., Saturday, in the school auditorium.

Tickets are $6 for students and seniors and $8 for adults. Tickets available at DailyNewsTickets.com, Roxy's Music Store, and at the door before the show.

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February 21, 2017 - 4:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Next month, nearly a year after he was arrested and accused of menacing a police officer, Bill Thomas will find out when his jury trial on the two felony charges against him begins.

Thomas withdrew his prior guilty plea to a count of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, today. He was also charged with menacing a police officer, a Class D violent felony.

He was arrested March 16. He will next appear in court on March 13.

In the intervening months, he's been through three attorneys, was about to start a jury trial but then entered a guilty plea on the day the trial was supposed to start, then at his first sentencing date, tried to withdraw his plea. That wasn't allowed and then again, last week, appeared for sentencing only to learn from Judge Michael Mohun that there was a procedural error by the court when his guilty plea was accepted.

Thomas was given time to confer with his attorney, his family and think over his options, which included withdrawing his plea and taking his case to a jury or sticking with his guilty plea and accepting whatever sentence Mohun might impose.

This afternoon, Mohun granted Thomas his request to withdraw his prior guilty plea.

Attorney Jamie Welch said he doesn't discuss ongoing cases and declined to say why Thomas decided to withdraw his plea.

One salient fact that came out last week at the sentencing hearing, before Mohun put a stop to it, was that even though Officer Peter Flanigan said he was threatened by Thomas while Thomas was holding a knife, there was no knife recovered on or near Thomas after he was arrested.

Four hours after the confrontation, Thomas was found to have a BAC of .22 and said he had few memories of events that early morning on State Street, but maintained he wouldn't have threatened a police officer, according to statements Welch made in court last week.

February 21, 2017 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.

The remains of an animal found in the basement of a former Batavia pet shop have been sent to an office of the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), according to Officer Eric Hill, spokesman for Batavia PD.

One of the things SPCA examiners will try to do is determine what kind of animal it was that was found in the basement of the former location of Neptune's Gardens.

An employee of I.D. Booth, the company that owns the building on Ellicott Street, with a store next door, reportedly found the remains in a box while cleaning out the basement to prepare the store space for a potential new tenant. That employee posted a picture of the dead animal to social media, saying it was a dog, and the dozens of people that reposted it (the post has since been removed) and media who reported on it, including The Batavian and the radio show Kimberly and Beck, didn't stop to question whether it really was a dog in the picture.

The skull was not in complete profile in the picture, so it's indistinct, but there is no clear sign that it had a snout or canine-like teeth. Also, from a picture, without anything of scale next to the remains, it's impossible to tell the actual size of the animal. 

Asked if it might not be a dog, Hill said, "Nothing has been ruled in or out at this time."

Reached last week, at a time when everybody believed the bones were the remains of a dog, Neptune's co-owner Kathy LaFarnara said she had no idea how bones from a dog could have wound up in the basement of their former store. Neptune's closed that location, with plans to open another one in a smaller space across the street, more than five months ago.

Hill said the case is open pending a report from SPCA and otherwise there is no new information to report.

February 21, 2017 - 9:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Area Jaycees, batavia, news.

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Kelsey Torrey, Kristsen Danosos and Mark Ditzel were among the crew of Batavia Area Jaycees members who put out, and then took down, the U.S. flags along Main Street yesterday for President's Day.

The Jaycees are on a recruitment drive, backed by a group of past presidents and former members, said past president Tom Ditzel.

"I joined Jaycees in 1980 and made lifelong friends," Ditzel said.

Jaycees is a leadership training organization open to young men and women age 18 to 40. The Batavia Area Jaycees have a rich heritage and were instrumental in getting public support to create Genesee Community College and pushing the County Legislature for the Genesee County Park. They installed lights on the Upton Monument, put up flags on Main Street for all national holidays, and run countless other local projects around the county.  

For those interested in membership, email [email protected] or visit the group's Facebook page.

February 21, 2017 - 8:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in MöbileSchlägen, Eichenfeld, LLC, Oakfield, business, news.

Press release:

Eichenfeld LLC, a company based in Oakfield, will be launching a MöbileSchlägen Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign on Feb. 27th at midnight. To celebrate, Eichenfeld owners Marc Johnson, James Betters and Dan Manges invite the public to a MöbileSchlägen Launch Party on Saturday, Feb 25, 7 p.m., at Ken’s Charcoal Pits & Bar-B-Q (formerly, City Slickers Bar & Grill) located at 59 Main St., Batavia.

The traditional nail-pounding game of skill, strategy and fun, can only be played by acquiring large stumps of wood that must remain stationary in your yard or gaming venue. MöbileSchlägen has reinvented this favorite German game, made it mobile and now you can be the first to purchase the world’s only portable nail hammering game. 

Of MöbileSchlägen’s much anticipated product launch, coinventor Marc Johnson said, “We’ve spent a great deal of time proving our concept, engineering our product, and securing a full utility patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. We have a deep bench of MöbileSchlägen ambassadors that have patiently waited for this moment.

"We anticipate a very active Kickstarter project. Our team is poised to meet the demand of our customers and we are excited with the amount of support the crowdfunding community has promised to the MöbileSchlägen project. This is the beginning of a fun run.”

The event on Saturday evwening will feature food and drink, music, swag giveaways and a chance to try MöbileSchlägen. The fun starts at 7 o'clock. If you cannot attend the launch party, please check out MöbileSchlägen’s website at www.mobileschlagen.com, once the campaign is active, just follow the provided link. This site goes live at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 27.

Photos: File photos from an event announcing MöbileSchlägen at the Carryville Inn in June. Top photo: Marc Johnson.

Previously:

February 21, 2017 - 7:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, 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.
February 20, 2017 - 3:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

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Investigators are looking for help in identifying three individuals involved in a theft from Target and an attempted theft from Game Stop on Veterans Memorial Drive.

The three individuals entered Game Stop at 6:46 p.m., Feb. 15, and while two of the men distracted a store employee, a third went behind the counter and attempted to gain access to the safe. 

It was locked.

The three men then went to Target, stole a magnetic unlocking device, and then stole about $800 in Beats headphones.

They then left in a gold Honda Odyssey. No plate number could be obtained.

Investigators checked with other stores in the area but no similar incident was reported at those stores.

One suspect was wearing pink shoes and a Coca Cola jacket.

People with information that may assist investigators can call Investigator Chad Minuto at (585) 345-3000.

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February 20, 2017 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business.

Press release:

Proving that a minute can matter, Tompkins Bank of Castile is launching its third round of the quarterly Community Minute Challenge. Each quarterly winner is awarded $2,500; by the end of the contest, a total of $10,000 will have been provided in much-needed funds to local not-for-profit organizations.

“The response to the Community Minute Challenge has been tremendous, and we’re thrilled to be able to help shine a light on the important services that are provided by not-for-profit organizations in our area,” said John McKenna, bank president and CEO.

The third round will begin Feb. 27 and run through March 13. The winning organization is determined by public voting on the Bank of Castile Facebook page, where visitors can watch the one-minute videos produced by participating nonprofits and then vote for their favorite. Each video explains how the nonprofit would use the awarded funds. The six organizations competing in this round are:

  • Al Sigl Community of Agencies (Monroe County)
  • Batavia Rotary (Genesee County)
  • Focus on the Children (Livingston County)
  • Genesee Amateur Hockey Association (Genesee County) 
  • Villa of Hope (Monroe County) 
  • Wyoming County Community Action (Wyoming County)  

To show support for the initiative and cast a vote, participants should “like” the Tompkins Bank of Castile Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TompkinsBankofCastile and click on the Community Minute Challenge app. They can then select their favorite nonprofit after watching the one-minute videos. Individuals can vote once per day during the contest period.

Launched in August 2016, the Community Minute Challenge has awarded $5,000 to date. The first-round winner was Going to the Dogs Rescue in Wyoming County, an organization dedicated to helping homeless pets find loving forever homes. The second-round winner was ARC of Genesee Orleans, a resource of choice for people with disabilities and their families in both Genesee and Orleans counties. Photos of the previous winners are available upon request. A fourth round of the Community Minute Challenge will launch later in 2017.

February 20, 2017 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county libertarian party, politics, news.

Press release from David Olsen, chairman:

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics...does not mean that politics won't take an interest in you.” This quote from Pericles -- who lived in Athens, Greece 2,500 years ago -- was true then and is true today in Genesee County. The 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama said in his farewell speech: “If you're disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Stay at it. Sometimes you'll win. Sometimes you'll lose."

Many have lost interest and faith in our political system. I won’t argue that it is perfect, nor will I say it’s fair. It’s far from either, but it is what we have and we all have access to it. It is possible for virtually anyone to run for and win a seat in our county legislature, Batavia’s city council or a town board in our county.

The Libertarian Party is the fastest growing political party in the United States. Have you had enough of the continued partisan bickering and the constant growth of government, both in cost and intrusiveness? Have you decided, as have many others that the Republicans and Democrats are not for you? Do you want to make a difference? Then contact us, we would love to hear from you and discuss any and all potential candidacies.

Please feel free to contact me or Vice Chairman Mark Potwora at [email protected]. You can also message us through our Facebook page www.facebook.com/GCLP.NY/

February 20, 2017 - 10:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, 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.
February 19, 2017 - 1:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news.

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Press release:

Deputy Sheriff Christopher Parker of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has been selected as the 2017 New York State Sheriffs’ Institute’s Deputy of the Year. He was nominated for the award by Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.

This statewide award was presented at the New York State Sheriffs’ Institute’s Annual Awards Luncheon, which is annually held in Albany.

On Sept. 13, the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received a report of a fire in a six-apartment complex in the Town of Pavilion, Genesee County. Deputy Chris Parker was the first law enforcement officer on the scene. When he arrived, he observed a fire in apartment #6. Thick, black smoke was rolling out of the building. Deputy Parker, without regard for his own safety and without any protective breathing apparatus or gear, entered apartment #5 to check for residents.

After he cleared the ground floor of that apartment, he entered apartment #4 and cleared that as well. In doing so, he realized that the apartments were two stories, and he had not cleared the second story of apartment #5, directly next to the fire. He returned to #5 to check the upstairs. As he entered a bedroom on the second floor, he discovered an elderly man asleep in a bed. The room was filling with smoke. He woke the man and got him out of the building. Deputy Parker then continued to clear apartments as firefighters started to arrive. This effort was all captured on Parker’s body camera.

Given the fact that the man was sound asleep as smoke crept in his bedroom, Deputy Parker’s quick, fearless actions most likely saved the elderly man’s life.

“Deputy Parker’s heroic action, in which he reentered a building fully engulfed in flames, to rescue an elderly man meets the Deputy of the Year Award’s criteria perfectly,” stated the Award’s Selection Committee’s Chairman, Sheriff Ron Spike of Yates County.

“Deputy Parker put his life on the line to save the life of another. In today’s society we use the word hero pretty loosely, but not in this particular case. Deputy Parker is a hero in the true definition of the word.”

February 19, 2017 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in indoor track, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

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Both the boys and the girls indoor track teams for Batavia High School won Section V titles at RIT on Friday night. It was the 13th title in 15 seasons for the Lady Devils and the 5th in the last 10 tries for the boys team.

The girls team dominated throughout the meet, finishing with 124 points to 71 for second-place Pal-Mac, and featured several outstanding individual performances. Katherine Wiseley won the shot put and weight throw. Lizzie Cohen won the triple jump, the 55 hurdles, and placed second in pole vault. Claire Zickl won the 600 meter, and Maddie Moore won the 1500 race walk. Bri Bromley had a strong meet with a second-place finish in the 1000 meter and a fourth-place finish in the 1500 meter. The 1600 relay of Regan Henrici, Bri Bromley, Claire Zickl and Kiaya Franklin also won.

The boys faced a bigger challenge with U-Prep keeping things close until the final event. The final point margin for Batavia over U-Prep was 15 points, with Batavia notching 91 total points. Anthony "Butch" Ray continued his dominance in the throws by winning the shot put and the weight throw while regaining the Section V record in weight, with a throw of 62'. Eric Davis had a strong performance, winning the 55 hurdles. Campbell Andersen won the 600 meter and placed third in pole vault. Nick Neid placed second in the 1600 meter. Ian SanFratello placed second in the weight throw. The 1600 relay of Isaiah Ciociola, Jerry Reinhart, Freddie Cunningham and Campbell Andersen also placed second.  

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February 19, 2017 - 12:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, 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.
February 18, 2017 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, 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.
February 17, 2017 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, education, schools, news.

Video provided by the Batavia City School District.

The forum at Batavia High School on Wednesday night was meant to discuss all aspects of the City School District's proposed $26.7 million capital improvement project, but most comments zeroed in on the future of Van Detta Stadium.

Some area residents are concerned about lights, noise, traffic, pedestrians and trash related to events at the facility.

The project, which the district has dubbed the 2020 Vision Capital Improvement Project, also had its supporters.

The project relies on money saved specifically for capital improvements and state aid, so all of the new building and upgrades can take place without any local tax increase.

Voters will be asked whether the district should move forward with the plan at a referendum vote March 2.

Jim Owen, a Redfield Parkway resident, substitute teacher, and regular at community events, praised the district for the plan.

"I just wanted to say thank you to the board and the superintendent for putting this opportunity to the voters," Owen said. "A zero-tax increase is, in my opinion, a no-brainer. When I pay a zero increase to get these benefits for today, tomorrow and the future for the children and the community, I say, thank you very much."

Among the skeptics was Councilman Bob Bialkowski, who lives in the area of the stadium. He said he has had calls from area residents about events at the current stadium and worried that changes will just make matters worse for the otherwise residential neighborhood.

“We need to teach our kids an important lesson that we care about our neighborhoods and our residential community," Bialkowski said. "I think it would be better if the vote was separated, the stadium separate from the rest of the project, but it’s too late for that.”

On the issues of light, noise, traffic and crowd control, Superintendent Chris Dailey said all of those issues are being addressed.

Lighting, for example, will use new LED lights that will not only be more energy efficient, they will be more directional so there will be less "spray" into neighboring properties.

There will continue to be security in place, including Batavia PD, to help deal with traffic, and the school will continue to emphasize to students the importance of not walking on people's lawns and leaving behind their trash.

Mike Barrett, an area resident, said he was pretty accepting of the seemingly inevitable change, but he's not happy about the prospects. There are already problems and he thinks they will just get worse.

"It’s getting out of hand, and now you want to bring in more programs," Barrett said. "This is a residential area when I have complaints it’s always on a Friday night, a Saturday night and nobody can be reached. I call the police, they drive by, they wave at the people and nothing gets done. It gets worse. So when I hear about marching bands and expanded athletic events, I think, this is insane. It’s a residential area."

Brad Griffith, who also lives in the area and said he played on Woodward Field when he was in high school, said he understands the concerns, but he thinks the new stadium will benefit the community and benefit the students.

"This is going to bring business to Batavia and we all gain from this," he said. "I know some have their issues with this, but I’d rather have my kids taking part in athletics and staying out of trouble."

There was little discussion about the planned upgrades to the four schools in the district, but when there was, it was about the current and future use of a building no longer used as a schoolhouse -- Robert Morris.

One parent asked, instead of adding more classrooms to John Kennedy, why not move one grade of students over to Robert Morris.

That was considered at one point, Dailey said.

"We looked at relocating one grade over to Robert Morris and looked at the social, emotional and academic impact, as well as the financial, of moving one grade over, and it was not beneficial to the students to add one more transition to the age group," Dailey said. "That’s why we chose not to go into Robert Morris."

Currently, Robert Morris is being used by the Star Program, a day-care provider, Genesee County Mental Health Association as a satellite office to help students and the IT department and buildings and grounds may be moving in.

After Bialkowski objected during his remarks to talk of the Batavia Daily News moving its offices over to Robert Morris, Dailey said that while the Daily News had toured the building, there was no current lease offer. After the meeting, he said the Daily News looked at the building months ago and never followed up with any further discussions.

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